Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Pumpkin Patch and Halloween 2007






































































































Saturday, October 27, 2007

Pumpkin Carving Contest

Some would say that I am a little on the competitive side. Some would laugh at that understatement and say that I'm very competitive. (I actually really try to win those games women play at baby and wedding showers.)

This year, we bought two pumpkins. One for each kid, but really one for each of us.

Today we carved the pumpkins with the girls....good 'ole family fun! I determined that Zak didn't do much pumpkin carving as a child because he had NO clue how to do it, and every time I told him the next step he'd pretend like he knew it.

For example, he started to CARVE prior to cutting the top off and scooping out the guts and seeds! Like, Duh! I, on the other hand, am an experienced carver. My brother and I did it every year, and my mom would roast the seeds.

Before we started to carve the pumpkins, Zak would not tell me what he had planned to design. So, I decided that I was just going to have to do the same and create a pumpkin that would marvel the internet. THEN, we decided that we'd ask my blog readers to VOTE on the best pumpkin. This is where audience particpation is key, here are the choices:

This is "Happy" without a light....




Here is "Scary" without a light...



Here they are side by side lit up (where they both look much better)...



THERE IS A LOT RIDING ON THIS, FOLKS. WE HAVE A BIG BET! You must VOTE! We are also taking ideas for what to NAME the pumpkins, cause every pumpkin must have a name. For the purpose of selecting your favorite, please refer to the pumpkins as "Happy" and "Scary."

Also, because I don't trust that Zak will not attempt to rig the vote via anonymous fake votes, please write your name in your comment.

For those of you who don't know how to leave a comment (GOD! STILL!?) this is how you do it.... Click the word "COMMENTS" at the bottom of the post, choose your identity (anonymous comments are allowed), then type in your vote/comment, click "publish your comment."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

STICKERS!

Have you ever wonderd what The Girls do when we (and by "we" I mean "Zak") are watching football aroud here? Cover everyone with stickers!








Never underestimate the hours of fun that can be had with some stickers. They don't even have to be cute stickers....as long as they stick!


Brooke says, "Um, excuse me, but will these hurt when ripped off? I'm just wondering... "

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

San Diego Fires

My entire family lives in the San Diego area. The only family member I have in Texas is my dad. (And Zak's entire family).

My grandmother, mother, aunts, uncles, brothers, and cousins have all been evacuated from their homes. Them, and one million other San Diego residents.

I can't imagine what they are going through right now, but please keep them in your prayers. I don't know anything about their homes, but I know they are physically safe.

My older brother, Scott, is a firefighter in San Diego and risks his life everyday to save others.

Be well and be safe.

Monday, October 22, 2007

It's not nice to brag...

Ever met (or married) someone who bragged that he "didn't catch" the bug that was going around? Ever notice that they start puking about an hour later?

Next up at Vomitpalooza 2007 is.................ZZZZZAAAAAKKKKK!

Will Aunt Terra and Grandma Wendy (who came to visit us last week) fight off the Super Virus? We hope so. 'Cause IT SUCKS!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Just when you thought you were safe...

...Vomitpaloza 2007 rocks on.

This time, I am the sick one. When will this end???

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

October 2007 photo smorgusborg

I'll interrupt our regularly scheduled blogging about puke to discuss some fun we are having. Plus, I haven't posted pics in a while!



Brooke is ALMOST crawling. She can get around by rolling or scooting. She can also go from laying on her back, rolling to her tummy, to sitting up without assistance. She gets in plank position and cobra position (for all you yogis out there) and gets to her hands and knees, but can't quite figure out how to move forward. She goes backwards pretty well. She can also pull herself up from sitting to standing without help, but can't stand and balance for very long.


She loves fruit and we often put fresh fruit in this feeder thingamagiggy so she can satisfy her teething needs and learn to chew. It also keeps her occupied so Zak and I can eat our dinner (sometimes) with some peace and quiet.
In this picure, all three of us girls were sharing a nectarine. Actually it was MY nectarine that they both wanted to taste. Can you say slimy?



Maddie continues to amaze us with her vocabulary and memory. I am now officially "mom," and she says it with such matter of factness that it still cracks me up.
She insists on wearing dresses or skirts every day (not frilly, but comfortable), and always picks out her own shoes. She also does this hair flip thing by using her hand to brush the hair out of her face....very teenager like. Maddie has this walk that means business, and she struts when she knows she is looking cute. The other day when we were out for a walk she said, "Mom, I'm a beautiful girl." Yes, indeed you are.






Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Vomitpalooza 2007

Now it's a full blown vomit festival at our house. Hooray!

Our new headliner is Madison Paige! She impresses the crowd with her talent for projectile vomiting and graphic discussion of it afterwards. Although we're quite impressed with her abilities, we are not hoping for an encore performance.

Also, little baby, little vomit. Big kid, BIG chunky vomit. Fun!

Monday, October 15, 2007

It's an ear infection

Who knew that ear infections made you throw up? The doctor said that Brooke may actually have two different illness...a stomach bug and an ear infection. When the doctor looked at Brooke's left ear she made an audible gasp and said, "her ear is full of pus." Oddly enough, the other ear is totally fine. Brooke never had a fever or showed any signs of an ear infection.

The doctor asked if there have been any changes in environment or diet in the last week or two. I haven't written about it here, but Brooke transitioned to daycare last week (because I got a job!). So she was there for a few hours for four days last week to adjust before going full time.

It's not uncommon for kids to get sick when they start at daycare (the other kids, caretakers, new germs, etc). According to my overly dramatic doctor, "kids who stay at home get sick 10-12 times per year and those that go to daycare can expect to double or even triple that. Sometimes I see the same child every week or two." Well if that is not a way to induce mother's guilt, I don't know what is!

I was supposed to start my new job today, but I put it off until next Monday. I don't really like to blog about what we do for work, so for those of you who want more details can give me a call. It is similar to my last job in higher education. I anticipate it will be very rewarding on all fronts.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Brooke-ster the Puke-ster

Little Miss Brooke is a pukester. She has been vomiting since 9 p.m. yesterday. It's pretty scary to see an infant throw up, because Maddie never did until just this year. The hardest part is that Brooke can't tell us what is wrong.

Every night before I go to bed, I walk into Brooke's room to check on her, and cover her with a blanket...just for peace of mind. At 10:30 last night, I did the same routine, and gently pulled a blanket that was too close to her mouth away from her face. When I did this, I noticed the blanket felt very wet. I then touched her back...soaked. Her hair was wet, the bed was wet. I knew it wasn't urine because it was a thick mucus-y substance. Vomit was the only thing that I thought it could be. Funny thing is that she never even cried. She just fell asleep in her own vomit. How sad is that?

I picked her up to change her PJ's, clean her up, and put on new sheets. When she woke up, she just stared at me, no fussing, no crying....just confusion. We fixed her up, and I nursed her back to sleep. As I was walking out of the room, she vomited again. We had to change her again and all of her bedding. This time, I just put her down without nursing.

Brooke slept until 7am, and at that time I nursed her and put her back down. She woke up at 8 a. m., happy as normal. She sat with us during breakfast, and acted like the Brooke we know and love. After breakfast, I gave her some Pedialite to rehydrate her. A few minutes later, she threw it up. This cycle continued all day.

Since it was Sunday, I couldn't reach her doctor. I called two nurse hot lines who, interestingly, gave conflicting advice. This is when your instinct as a mom just takes over. Moms know what is best for their babies. Both of them did say to just give her clear liquids for 8-12 hours a tablespoon at a time in order to make sure she could keep it down. One told me to nurse her, the other one told me not to.

She continued to throw up a few times in the morning, then again at 2pm. She finally napped and then woke up and kept all fluids down until about 7pm. Just after she got out of the bath, and put on her PJ's, she threw up (TONS!) all over the place. We changed her (again!) and put her to sleep. She cried for a long time, probably hungry, but one nurse hot line told us to let her stomach settle before providing anymore fluids (i.e. she's throwing up for a reason). They also mentioned how odd it was for a breastfed baby to vomit so many times.

I will call the doctor in the morning for an appointment. The odd thing is that for the majority of the day she was her normal self, with just a little bit more fussiness. I don't think her stomach hurt her because she really never cried, even when she was throwing up.

So...I hope this isn't contagious, because we will all be throwing up very very soon.

Friday, October 12, 2007

2008 Election

A few days ago I was chatting with my wonderful sister-in-law, Terra, and politics came up. Like so many Americans, we are so busy with our lives that paying attention to the 2008 election seems so far away, like more than a year away! Well, it is, actually, but it seems like the 2008 presidential election is getting so much attention so soon this election season. I suppose that is because we don't have an incumbent retard to re-elect (thank god), and for the first time, we have the additional choice of a woman and a black man with different perspectives than we've ever seen before.

Terra mentioned that she doesn't really know where all the candidates stand on the issues that are important to her. I mean, really, what are the true differences in all the democrats who are running? We usually only hear stuff on the news, many people don't bother to do research on the candidate of our choice and just vote along party lines.

I found this website that helped me sort things out. Check it out and let me know if you think it helped you narrow done your choices. Zak and I were both surprised with which candidates matched our important issues. It also tells you who is your lowest match...i.e. your own personal worst case scenario president!

Here is the actual URL if you want to share or are having trouble with the link above:
http://www.selectsmart.com/president/2008.html

P.S. There are tons and tons of ads after you complete the survey. If you look carefully in the top right hand corner there is a button that says something like, "See results now" to skip the junk.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Rockin' it out

I know I've written a post Brooke's dancing ability, and I've even posted a video of her dancing. The girl grooves to ANY tune she hears....and by any tune, I mean:
  • A commercial--sometimes I'll see her bopping her head and realize that, in the background, there is a catchy song playing on a TV commercial.
  • Toys--lots of baby toys play classical music or nursery rhyme music. She'll shake it to anything, slow and fast.
  • My snapping fingers--I did it just now, to see if she'd do it. She did.
  • Blocks and rattles--She makes her OWN music by hitting blocks together or rhythmically shaking a rattle, then she dances to it.
  • The telephone ring--Our telephone ring isn't the standard annoying "ring, ring," but a classical song. The other day when it rang, she moved to the sound of the music.
  • Any song on the TV/Radio--This is when I expect her to dance, and she doesn't disappoint.
  • When Zak "performs" his nightly concert. Maddie says, "Daddy, play your Ga-drums!" Nearly every night before bed, when the girls are at their most fussy, we bang loud drums in their ears to drown out the whine and to distract them. Just kidding, but Zak does play his congas and guitar and all three of us girls dance around and act silly. Interestingly, when I play the congas, Brooke doesn't dance. Maybe that is because I can't carry a beat? It has become a bed time ritual for us that is lots of fun.
Zak and I often talk and laugh about Brooke's dancing abilities, and last night he said, "Maybe she'll be a dancer?" My thoughts immediately went to the kind of dancer that you don't want your daughter to be. You know, the kind of dancer that wears clear heels. So I responded with, "maybe we should encourage her musical talent with instruments instead?"

Monday, October 08, 2007

Silly tears that only a mother will understand

Zak and I are lucky to have two girls for lots of reasons, but mainly, THE CLOTHES! We didn't have to duplicate our efforts. I've blogged before about poor little Brooke who is always wearing her sisters hand me downs.

Every six months I used to clean out Maddie's closet and sort through the items that were too small. Those items went into large plastic boxes waiting (and hoping) that one day, they'd get worn again.

When we found out Brooke was a girl, I went though those plastic boxes and pulled out Maddie's old infant clothes, washed, and got them ready for Brooke.

Today, I did the same routine, although, now I'm cleaning out Brooke's closet too. I look at her little baby clothes, which used to be Maddie's little baby clothes, and remind myself just one more time that their lives are passing far to quickly.

I'm not sure which caused me to cry, putting away all the 0-3 and 3-6 month clothes, OR pulling out Maddie's 9-12 month old clothes, remembering the times she wore them and thinking about how she is such a girl, not at all a baby.

Zak and I are not planning on having any more kids (we're 99% sure). We feel like our family is complete, and plus, we can't handle any more monkeys or we'll be outnumbered! I sold all my maternity clothes on ebay, all our infant care things, our co-sleeper...all the things that say "newborn" because there will probably not be any more newborns.

Our lives are full of a baby, and a preschooler who will far too soon grow up to be toddler and teenagers. We have so much to look to forward to, and so many reasons to be thankful.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Toxic Toys

Say goodbye to Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Ernie.




They are toxic, according to the government. Do we know for sure? No, but how would one know if they toys their children are chewing on and playing with are lead laden?


My grandfather asked me in an email a few weeks ago if I was concerned about this "lead scare." I responded that I wasn't worried with the ole "I used to chew on lead pencils as a kid" and "I'm not the kind of mom that freaks out and overreacts" type comments, but then read this article. That made me really want to know, specifically, which toys were recalled. I found that we had three of the recalled toys.


The danger with the lead toys is when kids chew on them for prolonged periods of time. Maddie only used these guys as bath toys, and I don't think that Brooke played with them much (but if she did they were no doubt in her mouth).

I segregated them from Maddie's other toys so I could take their picture for your benefit. However, Maddie saw them in the office and immedialy demanded to play with them. Try explaining toxic lead paint to a two year old who just wants her damn toys! I told her they were sick, and I had to take them to the doctor.

"What kinda sick?" she asked. After I told her that they have tummy aches, she wanted to kiss them!

NOOOOOOooo!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Shots!

Maddie went to the doctor today to get two shots, a flu shot, and a one more hepatitis shot that is required in Texas ('cause we're a border state, y'all).

I didn't tell her why we were going until the last minute. In the car, on the way there, she said, "Am I sick, Mom?"

The nurse who was taking care of us was a very, very short woman (maybe 4' 3''). When the nurse left the room to get her shots, I told Maddie that she was going to get two shots in her legs today, and it would hurt, but only for a minute. She whined for a minute, and screamed when she got the shots. It just took a minute to calm her down. After that, she was a superstar patient entertaining all the nurses.

My favorite comment was, "Where did that little girl who gave me the shot go?" The office staff burst into laughter, and the short nurse laughed the hardest.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Just call me Martha Stewart

Okay, I'm actually kidding. I'm no Martha Stewart, as you can easily tell by my poor housekeeping skills. However, I can cook, and I can follow directions really well. See this brownie recipe for details.

I decide to bake homemade brownies from scratch after Maddie demands "A BROWNIE!" Since my sole being revolves around fulfilling her demands, I jump into action and start to make them! Zak is, again, very confused as how I can create brownies without a box of brownie mix. I decided to just tell him "it's magic!," and he seems satisfied.

Here is a leftover Easter Dove Chocolate Brownie being melted with one stick of butter. Chocolaty Salty goodness. By the way, the calories of a chocolate Easter bunny do NOT count if said Easter bunny is over 5 months old.


Maddie and Zak lick the beaters while Brooke looks on with jealousy.


Finished product:

Maddie eating BROWNIES! for dessert after she polishes off a bowl of spaghetti.