Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Elisabeth's straightened hair

Yesterday while I was straightening my hair, Elisabeth came in to watch. Once I finished, she asked if I could straighten her hair. She'd never asked before so I'd never tried, though I had been curious to see what she'd look like, and how long her hair would be when it was straight. So we did it, but I told her we can't do this very much because I didn't want to damage her hair(but I will damage mine :), But mine's thicker and stronger so I don't think it'd do as much damage to mine as it would to hers).
We liked it, though Elisabeth and Charlie agreed that she, 'looked different.' But in a good way.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Ear infection

Thursday in the late morning, Elisabeth came to me and said her ear was hurting. I bent down and looked inside, but couldn't see anything so I told her she probably just scratched it or hit it on something and sent her on her way. But within a few minutes she came back again, this time with tears in her eyes, saying that it was still really hurting and asked if I'd say a prayer with her to help it get better, which I did. But within five or ten minutes she said it was hurting again and now she was crying. My first thought was, 'I don't think it could be an ear infection because she hasn't had any sort of sinus/cold symptoms in probably a year, and what else could it possibly be?' But then I decided I'd better call the doctor's office and talk to a nurse because this sort of behavior in Elisabeth, was abnormal. I ended up taking her into the doctor's office around 230pm and she was still crying. When the doctor came in, she asked me what was going on and I told her that she had been complaining for the last couple of hours, and crying on and off, that her ear is hurting. The doctor asked me the same questions that I'd been thinking, "Does she have a runny nose, cough, any sinus?"
"Hum? Well let me take a look," she said, but I could tell she was full of doubt, as was I.
She looked in both ears and then said, "Oh, wow. Yep, she's got an ear infection all right. And she just started complaining about it this afternoon?"
I nodded my head in response.
"She must have a high pain tolerance then because this is a bad one. Everything is all red. But at least we can put her on antibiotics."

I asked the doctor how this could've happened, considering she's been perfectly healthy for a long time. All she said was that they're caused from fluid being trapped in the ears.

After our visit to the doctor, we drove to Walmart to get her the amoxicillin and the ear drops the doctor prescribed. On our way, Elisabeth asked me, through her tears, how this happened. I thought for a second about what the doctor said and then remembered something from last night: I walked into the bathroom to check on Elisabeth who was bathing, and I had to call her name a couple of times and finally wave my hand in front of her face to get her attention, because she was laying on her back in the water, her ears completely submerged. And she laid that way for probably ten maybe twenty minutes, I'm not really sure. Going back to my story, when we got home, I called and talked to one of the nurses to see if this could be possible. And it was. She said that if she's laying there in water, it's a perfect warm, moist place for bacteria to grow. And also, she said, they get quite a few patients in there for something they call, 'swimmers ear' which is the same sort of thing. She also said in order to avoid that, if it's really wet in there and before there's an infection, you can just put a drop of alcohol inside the ear and it'll dry it up. So anyways, I explained this to Elisabeth and she decided she's no longer going to lay in the bath tub with her ears under the water.

She was miserable for awhile with pain. Our wait for the prescriptions at Walmart was the worst because she was crying a lot and wouldn't allow me to move a muscle from where we were waiting on the bench in the pharmacy. This was a hard thing to do considering I was also trying to keep Annabelle from pulling things off of shelves. And Charlie from wandering off too far. I ended up pulling a lollipop out of my diaper bag and giving it to Annabelle. I let her have it as long as she sat on my lap, which she did. I guess in a way, Elisabeth's crying wasn't all bad, because the pharmasists would look up and watch her occasionally when she would cry out and I think it helped them to hurry. Once she'd taken some Tylenol and I put some ear drops inside and we started the amoxicillin, she was feeling much better. And perhaps the fact that I told her, if she wanted to go to D's house tonight(yep, that's his whole name and the correct spelling, just D) for Daddy's work party, she needed to be feeling better-- may have helped a bit with the healing process. So anyways, she was fine, and we went and all had a fun time. And after that first day of feeling a lot of pain, she hasn't experienced any more since, though she'll be taking her amoxicillin for another seven days.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tap dancing lessons

Last year when Granny visited from Washington, she brought a pair of tap shoes for each of the kids. They put them on occasionally, and would walk around on our tile floor; they enjoy hearing the sounds their taps make. This year Elisabeth has started asking that I put her in dance class. But I told her I wanted to wait until she's five or six. I thought, at this young age, how much are they really going to be able to teach her? I'd feel like I was wasting my money and my time(taking her to lessons and sitting around with the two young ones while she has her lessons.). Well this week the thought donned on me, "I can teach them. I took beginning and intermediate tap at BYU, and I'm sure that'd be enough experience to teach a three and four year old." So Wednesday night this week I told Elisabeth that we'd start tap dance lessons the following morning, and she was thrilled!

I wasn't exactly sure what I should teach them, being so young and all. So I went online and found a website called expertvillage.com that has videos you can watch of a dance teacher, that will teach you how to do all different dance steps. While on there, I searched, 'tap for kids' and then watched a few videos showing and explaining, some of the very simple and easy steps you should teach children or beginning dancers. I wrote those steps down, we turned on some music, and began our tap class. Here is what Elisabeth mastered at her first dance class: shuffle step, heel step, toe drop, and a combination of a heel-toe-toe-drop. She did very well and had a really good time. I think this will be good for both of us because we'll be able to see if this is something that she really wants to do, without me feeling like I'm wasting our money. If she does decide to continue with tap and if she continues to practice, then I'll probably put her in a real class next year.

Doesn't she have great form?!

Charles began tapping with us, but after a minute or two, he completely lost interest. Instead, he fixed things with his wrench while we tapped. (I'm sure this news came as a relief to Scott who didn't love the idea of our boy taking dance :)). Notice the wrench that he's holding in his left hand.
*As a side note, we practiced in our downstairs bathroom on the linoleum floor. We started out in the kitchen on the tile floor but it was getting black marks all over it and I thought, I'd much rather get black marks on our ugly, stained linoleum floor downstairs then our kitchen tile. They both came up really easy with a rag, but still. And the bathroom downstairs is pretty spacious so we had plenty of room. But if any of you local readers have some scrap tile or linoleum that you're wanting to be rid of, let me know and I'll pick it up so they can have a small floor to practice on that doesn't need to be cleaned after practicing.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Dentist; Elisabeth's 3rd visit

Elisabeth went to the dentist again Wednesday. It was her third visit and she did really well again with Dr. Dave. I actually didn't even go back with her, not on purpose, but while we were waiting, Charles had to go to the bathroom. Elisabeth was playing with a train set in the waiting room so I told her to just wait there and listen for her name and if they called her, she could go back. And that's exactly what happened. When we got back from the bathroom I talked to the receptionist and asked her if I should go back, but she said I didn't need to; so I told her to get me if there were any problems and then I sat down on a chair, grabbed a magazine and read while Charlie and Annabelle entertained themselves with all the fun, new toys. It was by far the least stressful visit we've ever had. When she finished she got some fun prizes and then Dr. Dave visited with me for a moment, just to see if I had any questions. Everything went really well, no cavities, no tantrums, no babies trying to grab at drills while the dental assistant cleans teeth. A very nice visit, indeed.

Afterwords, Elisabeth got to pick somewhere to play and eat... But I told her beforehand that I only had $5 cash and that's what we could use. So we went to Arctic Circle and shared an 8 piece chicken rings, and ice cream. Annabelle made friends with another family there with three kids. One of the kids gave her their stuffed animal that they got in a children's meal. She mostly just wanted to chew on it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

So excited for Spring/Summer!

The weather plays a HUGE factor(though I don't love the heat in the summer...but Spring weather is perfect!) in my excitement for Spring/Summer, but we also have a couple of trips planned that we're looking forward to.

1. In the end of April, beginning of May, Scott's parents are flying us out to North Carolina for Kelley and Jericho's wedding! Scott's parents will fly to Utah first, in April, for Krissy's BYU graduation, and then we'll all fly back together. It'll be so nice to have several extra hands to help with the kids on the airplane.

2. I'll be attending LDStorymakers writing conference in Provo on April 25! I Can't wait! And it's all day! Wahoo!

3. We're going to camp at a KOA campground sometime this summer. We LOVE doing this. The kids love roasting marshmallows, swimming in the pool, playing on the playgrounds, particpating in the activities, and hiking(we bring our child-carrier-hiking-backpacks). And I'm just happy that I get to sleep on a bed in a cabin and not on the floor of a tent :).

4. In July we're going to drive out to Washington and see my parents, and sisters and both brothers! Fred and his family live in Tri-cities, Wa so they'll come over while we're there. And Luis and his family are going to fly out from upstate New York! So we'll all be together.

Here is a picture of my cute nephews, Rainier and Denali from NY. Aren't they handsome! I think that'd be pretty awesome to go ice fishing. Maybe we'll have to make a trip up there one winter and try.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Clean oven!

Last weekend for my Saturday chore, I decided to tackle the stove top. I wipe it down daily, but I forget to change the tinfoil under the stove ranges until they're pretty nasty. And on top of the back of the oven....was sick! It had this thick buildup of sticky, greasy, nasty stuff that wouldn't clean up with a rag and some 409 spray. So I thought I'd try my Brillo pads. They worked like a charm! I love those things! Now I can run my hand over the back of the oven without gagging. See, watch me demonstrate:
I have no more fears of what I might feel on there. Lovely!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Elisabeth and Charles

Cool tongues guys :)

Vaseline fixed Annabelle's itchiness

I really appreciate all the quick responses to the blog I posted about Annabelle's red, itchy skin. They were all very helpful.

One of our friends, Casey, said that her son had something similar...a type of eczema. They went to several pediatricians and a dermatologist, they bought different lotions and creams, but in the end they decided that Vaseline worked the best. You're supposed to apply it within three minutes of taking baby out of the bath, and then later as needed. That seemed to solve Annabelle's skin irritation. Thanks again for all your suggestions.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Videos of Annabelle

Here are a couple videos of Annabelle walking. The first one was taken a couple of weeks ago. Even though she took her first steps on her birthday, she really didn't get walking down until she was 13 months...which would be these last couple of weeks.

I like how this video begins because she was refusing to walk; she wouldn't even put her legs down for awhile.

And here's a video we took this morning of Annabelle doing peek-a-boo:

Annabelle is growing up

She's walking,

She's climbing,

she's feeding herself(yum, black beans!),
and she swings on the big kid swing set(as long as the swing is close to the ground)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Enjoying food

Elisabeth enjoys watching food bake in the oven. Last week she asked me to turn on the oven light, so she could watch the cookies. After she had a good look she turned around, so I switched off the light. Elisabeth whirled around to face me.
"No, wait!" she exclaimed, "Turn it back on, Mom."
I did as she instructed. She then proceeded to walk over to the kitchen table, where she grabbed a chair and drug it across the tile floor. She positioned it right in front of the oven(not even a foot away) and promptly sat down, slouching down a little. She sat and watched the cookies until the buzzer rang.

Charlie enjoys playing with his food. In this picture, his banana is a train and the banana peel is the train track. And his mouth is making a train noise.
Oh, and I failed to mention in my 'happy meal time' post, that even though breakfast and lunch are always a good time(because we eat the same thing every single day), dinners are only happy when I make something they like, which happens maybe 50% of the time. And what happens the other 50% of the time, you ask, when we make something they don't like? They cry and beg to be able to eat something else, but to no avail. They know that in the end, if they want a dessert afterwards(when we have one available), or if they don't want to be hungry later--because they all know that the kitchen closes after dinner-- they'll need to eat what's on their plate. And they're getting better.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Starting something new

Old bedtime schedule(for the kids) aka 'song, scripture, prayer time':
-Get in pj's
-Everyone pick a primary/hymn to sing together
-Scott and Mom alternate nights reading from scriptures
-Kneel for family prayer
-Brush teeth and use potty
-Take kids to bed, sing, children pray, lights out

New bedtime schedule(for the kids):
-Get in pj's
-Everyone pick a primary/hymn to sing together
-Everyone has their own set of scriptures to hold, Scott and Mom alternate nights reading, and every night each child(as long as they can speak...so not Annabelle, yet) also reads a verse from the scriptures aloud, repeating the words after Mom/Dad
-Kneel for family prayer
-Brush teeth and use potty
-Take kids to bed, sing, children pray, lights out

I put the change in bold, to make it obvious. We started doing this last week and we've already noticed some improvements during our, 'song, scripture, prayer time'. Here is what we've observed:

1. Because the kids each have their own set of scriptures to follow along with, they're more reverent. They're not constantly jumping on couches, doing somersaults, climbing on top of me and Scott, pushing each other etc. But they're actually sitting still and looking at their own scriptures!
2. Because they're reading aloud, they're becoming more familiar with the words in the scriptures. The scriptures can be hard to understand and hard to get through, especially in this day in age when we don't normally say things like, "thee, thou, wherefore, and it came to pass, redemption, appointed' and on and on and on. There are so many new and unfamiliar words! But already, they're starting to feel a little more comfortable saying them. The first several nights we had to repeat words several times because when they would try and say them it would come out all gibberish because they'd never tried to say that word before.
3. The kids also sit better because they're anxiously awaiting their turn to read

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cleaning party

The very little free time that I have each day, is completely full for the next month and a half while I'm working on a writing project. Which means, if I want to get any cleaning done, I'm going to have to do it with the kids. So, last week, we had a couple of 'cleaning parties'. All this means is we work together to clean something, and generally, we do it with music in the background. Oh and as a side note, Scott and Maren have recently introduced me to pandora.com which is an online radio station where you can search a singer or song and then they'll put together your own personalized radio station, choosing songs like the one you searched for. So anyways, we were listening to Avril Lavigne radio and Kenneth Cope radio (I know, quite opposites huh? What can I say, I have a wide range of likes and dislikes) on the computer, while disinfecting toys, dusting, vacuuming, cleaning walls, putting everything in it's spot, like toys, shoes, clothes, etc. and we had a lot of fun doing it. In fact, once we finished and while we ate lunch, Elisabeth asked if we could please have another cleaning party after lunch because this, and this and this(she listed A LOT of things) still really needed to be done. My answer probably should have been, 'Oh, yeah! Sure, let's jump on it! I'm so thrilled you want to help clean!' But what I actually said was, 'Uh, Elisabeth. I'm kinda tired now. So you can do it if you want, but if it requires my help, you're gonna have to wait until tomorrow.' But anyways, it was all good fun. So if you're looking for something to do with your kids...put em' to work! I think we're going to try and do this as a project most days of the week. We'll see how long I last :).

I asked Charlie to tidy Annabelle's room. When I went in there later, I found that he had organized her decorative booties on her Jesus picture. Very creative, Charles. :) Oh and also, Charles probably cleaned 50% of the time, the rest of the time he just followed us around and played with toys. He really liked dusting, which he did a lot of.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Annabelle's shoe fetish

Annabelle loves shoes. Several times throughout the day, I'll find her in her bedroom closet trying to put on her shoes. That's not a simple task for 12 month old, but luckily, she has a sweet big sister who likes to help her out.

Annabelle sits very still for Elisabeth

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Meal times are happy times

Just look at these pictures and you'll see for yourself that our kids love to eat and spend time around the table together(accept not so much at dinner; probably because we occasionally try new items at dinner which they hate. They really like having the same thing for breakfast and lunch every single day; no variation). Meals take a long time at our house, mostly because the kids love to talk and sing and tell stories, while they eat. This is fine with me, as long as we're not in a hurry, which most of the time, we're not. It's funny how happy our children are when they're given a treat or a familiar food...I suppose they take after their parents. :)
Oh, yes. And here is Annabelle with her lollipop that daddy gave her. It's no wonder that the kids love dad so much; who wouldn't when he offers things like lollipops.

Ingredient measurement, misread

Saturday Scott made some brownie bars that you cover with melted chocolate(he did half white chocolate for me, the sweetheart). A couple hours after the fact, I went back to the recipe book he used because I like to read recipes...I know, I'm a dork. But it's fun for me. Anyways, I noticed that the recipe called for 2 cups of butter(4 sticks). But I knew that we didn't have 4 sticks because I used some earlier that day. So I went to the fridge to see if there was any left and I found a stick and a half in there. 'Hum,' I thought. 'Maybe he halved the recipe.' So I asked him. He said no and asked why, and I explained my discovery. Apparently he read 2 cups as 2 sticks.

Anyways, they tasted really good when they were warm and fresh out of the oven, but once they cooled, they got really hard and tasted kind of floury. But we were able to soften them by sticking them in the microwave just before we ate one, and then they were fine. In fact, we finished the pan pretty fast. I think we're going to try and make the same recipe again this week(or next) using 4 sticks of butter instead of 2. I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

High chair solution, continued

I forgot to mention what Charles sits in during meals, now that Annabelle has taken over his booster seat. Well, they just swapped.It looks a little funny, I know. He's getting pretty tall. His head goes above the back of the seat and his legs go past the foot rest at the bottom. But I can't have him sitting in a normal chair without restraints. We've tried, but he simply forgets we have rules about where food is and isn't allowed when he's free, and he starts daydreaming/playing. Then he's off roaming the house, food in hand, leaving trails of peanut butter, bread or cracker crumbs everywhere he goes.

I don't know why he made weird faces in the pictures above. I didn't notice at first because the lighting was off, so I was busy moving around, trying to figure out how to make it look right with the light, while taking several pictures. When I did notice his odd expressions, I asked him to smile, and he seemed happy enough to oblige.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

High chair solution

A little while ago, I mentioned Annabelle's inability to stay strapped in her high chair. Some how, she always managed to wiggle out and would end up, hands and knees, on top of the high chair. I've worried about her safety since then, because sometimes I'm urgently called out of the kitchen by another child and wouldn't think to take Annabelle out of the high chair because she was eating and covered in food.

A couple of weeks ago I decided to try her in Charlie's booster seat. Problem solved! The only difference, I think, is that it has the normal buckle in front, but it also has the little piece that you bring up in the middle, between both legs. She doesn't even try to get up by herself anymore. Yay! Here are a few pictures of her and Elisabeth. I had to take several because they were showing off some really broad grins; and I love that Annabelle closes her eyes.

Friday, March 6, 2009

April, my roomie from BYU

Me and the kids on our walk, with April and Tate. This is our imitation triple stroller.
April pushing Tate

Out of all the six roommates that I once had(Jen, I'm counting you too b/c you lived down the hall), April and I are the only ones still in Utah.

April had a baby a couple of months ago and I finally got out to see him. My kids had been sick off and on for awhile, so we'll blame it on them :). We met at the Sugar House park and went for a walk, but it was pretty windy so we cut it short. We went back to her mom's house to eat lunch, and April did a sandtray session with me, while the kids watched Cinderella. We all had a really nice time. Thanks for having us over April and Donna!

Here is a picture of my sandtray:
If you want to learn about Sand play therapy or sandtray sessions, you can go here: http://www.westernsandplay.com/