Friday, February 27, 2009

Highlights and Lowlights

The kids and I are back from a 6-day trip to Texas to see my parents and to give Ryan some time to really work on his school and air force stuff. I'm glad we were able to go, but the trip was not without its challenges. I'll mention here some good and some less-than-desirable circumstances.

On the way there, Stephen and Abby were delightful travel companions. On our 2nd flight, the young woman next to us was sleeping almost the whole time. As we were getting ready to deplane, Stephen noticed that she still had her eyes closed. He started pointing at her frantically: "WAKE! WAKE! WAKE!" I promised him that I'd make sure she got off the plane, too, but at that point she was already smiling at him. Stephen was so excited when he saw mom, dad, and Emily waiting for us that he sped up from his casual stroll to an all-out run to greet them.

We got to have lunch at the restaurant where Emily works. It was a busy time for them, so she was pretty busy, and Stephen didn't understand why he couldn't have "Tantie Em" all to himself.

I was given a few names of women to connect with in San Antonio (hi Bethany and Julie and Sherri) ... and that was really nice as we weren't really there to be tourists but rather to get a feel for what the locals do.

While I'm glad we got to go to San Antonio for the day, it was a little overwhelming for me. The hour-long wait at the visitor center to get onto the base was tiring and the city is too big to just drive around a few areas where we might want to live.

Wednesday when mom and I got back from toy shopping, Stephen was resting on the couch with a fever. He continued to get sicker and sicker and we finally took him to the minute clinic at the CVS down the street. We did that mostly so they could take a look at his ears to see if he would be able to handle the airplane ride today. She heard his wheezing and sent us immediately to urgent care. "Urgent care" was not a good name for this place, as we waited 2.5 hours to see a doctor and get a prescription for a sinus infection. The medicine did its work and Stephen is much better today!

We celebrated Emily's 25th birthday with a giant cookie. Stephen sort of ruined the little bit of surprise it would have been; when she walked in the house he said, "CANDLES!"

I mentionned the toy shopping before. Mom and I found a great deal on toy train track (all you could fit in a gallon ziploc for $5!) and I got a magnetic calendar that I won't use for awhile. We also found the pushtoy for Abby that she LOVES!


Today was pretty much a nightmare at the airports. We flew Austin-Chicago-Indianapolis and then drove home. Stephen hardly ever wants to sit in the stroller, and that's fine when we aren't in a hurry and when he is being cooperative and staying close to me. After being sick Wednesday and Thursday, he was still feeling rather weak and would really have prefered to sit on the couch with mommy watching Thomas the Tank Engine. So hooray for being home with 2 sleeping kids :).

Thursday, February 26, 2009


My one request, food-wise, was that we eat at a Mexican place while the kids and I were visiting mom and dad in Texas. So this was on our way home from San Antonio yesterday and it was sure great! We also enjoyed a nice lunch at The Cove and took a quick tour of Lackland AFB, where Ryan will be working sometime later this year.

Abby got a new push toy today and loved it. Mom has a video of it up on YouTube.

I would post more, but I'm anticipating a rough night with a little boy with a fever and a girl who gets me up a lot anyway.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Not Just Another Fire Station

No, this is a fire station made of recyclables! When Carolyn and Susan were here this weekend, we put this together during naps and after bedtime. The station is made of cereal boxes, and the truck is made of an egg carton.

Speaking of egg cartons, we picked up some eggs at Meijer tonight, and soon afterwards, I asked Stephen to put a jar of peanut butter in the cart. Oops! Right on top of the eggs. I checked, and 2 eggs were broken in a significant way. Long story short, I got a dozen solid eggs and Meijer didn't make me pay for the broken ones. That was nice.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

You Know You're a Mother When ...

... you think "living on the edge" means going to the library without a diaper bag.

This is precisely what I did a couple of hours ago.

And I'm sure that you're now thinking I'm going to tell you a thrilling poop story. But I'm not. It was fine. There were no catastrophes.

But we did stumble upon a birthday party for Abraham Lincoln, complete with cake and punch! Ever since going to the museum a few weeks ago, Stephen has noticed Abe's picture just about everywhere. And since he's on the Illinois license plate, we hear about dear ol' Abe quite a bit.

And now we're waiting for Susan and Carolyn to arrive. It'll be a little later than they expected since Obama decided to go to Peoria when they were driving through.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Lest You Think Abby Is Adopted ...

My dad has been having fun digitizing old slides.

Here are two: One is of my sister Emily when she's about a year old. The other is of my dad (on the right) and his twin brother sitting on their grandparents' laps.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Show and Tell

One of the ways I've been able to stay connected to adults while I'm home with kids all day is through reading blogs. Some of my favorites are Keeper of the Home and Not Always Right. It doesn't require me to have more than one hand free--essential with a baby!

Yesterday I discovered a new feature of Google Reader.

I can "share" articles and blog entries that I find interesting and want to share with other people. I can even make comments next to them (without commenting on the blog itself). One of the ways to do this is through a website that anyone can access. So here it is. Check it as often as you want; I'm not making any promises to update it but if I do it's something I think is worth reading!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Favorite Things

My friend L posted today about what we can be happy about in February. Since the only things I can really add to her list are that grandma and Aunt Care are coming next weekend and the kids and I are going to Texas later in the month, I decided to write a list of some of our current favorite things.

Abby's favorite place to hang out
Under the table, where, despite my best attempts at frequent sweeping, she finds bits of food to eat

My favorite new treat
Stroopwafel Cookie. Bethany brought me a bag from Germany last week. And I hope my food coop friends want to order some, too, so we can buy a whole case ...

Ryan's favorite thing to not have to do on Wednesday night
A paper for musicology

Stephen's favorite pastime at the library
Reading books (he just realized they were there last night?!?!)

Abby's favorite new toy
An empty bottle of dried oregano

Stephen's favorite thing to hand me in the middle of the night
a booger

Stephen's favorite CD
Veggie Tales Sing-a-long, which he refers to as "MADE-O" (tomato)

Ryan's favorite hot chocolate
After trying many types, he still claims that nothing compares to Friedrich's in Des Moines

Stephen's favorite nonsense word

My favorite laundry soap
Charlie's. Some friends and I just ordered a 5 gallon bucket and are splitting it up 13 ways.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Big or Little?

We noticed that Stephen was distinguishing between big and little things ... He has big trucks and little trucks ... in the picture of hot air balloons he will point out the little balloons and the big balloons and do so correctly.

But then this is how our conversation went this morning:

Me: "Is Abby big or little?"

Stephen: "Little."

Ryan: "Is mommy big or little?"

Stephen: "Little."

Me: "Is daddy big or little?"

Stephen: "Little."

Me: "Is Stephen big or little?"

Stephen: "Big."

There Are Things Children Learn from Their Parents

Stephen started hugging Abby and then he started kissing her on the lips. She was a willing participant in his display of affection. I ran to get the camera but the imitating of me and Ryan was over. Here you'll see a more appropriate, brother-and-sister sort of interaction.