Saturday, February 28, 2009

Quick Birthday Party Post

Well, today was THE big day, and we had a great time. The weather was awesome, 84 degrees and lots of sun. Aiden was a little out of sorts since he had a short morning nap, and actually slept the entire first hour of his own party. I will have lots more pictures to share tomorrow when I get the photos from my photographer (it was awesome to sit back and enjoy the party and not be stuck behind the camera the entire time!!).
Sporting his new frog sunglasses."Look at my new wheels. Watch out world, here I come."
Darcy did such an awesome job on the cakes!!! Everyone loved them. (Pictures of him digging in will be posted tomorrow hopefully)
It was awesome to see Darcy and Rachel again. I am very blessed to have Darcy in my life to help answer all my cleft questions. She is so willing to share her experiences and for that I am very grateful!! Beyond her invaluable advice, she is an incredible person to know.
Check out that cute, 'hop to it', bum.
And now he is officially a big boy in a big boy carseat. Shhhh... don't tell the cops that he doesn't actually turn one till Tues. He simply no longer could fit in his baby seat. It had been stretched to the longest length and could barely be clipped in without pushing down pretty hard on his shoulders. He loves facing forward and has lots of room to grow!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's Crunch Time

We are about 48 hours out from Aiden's 1st birthday party, and there is LOTS to get done. The goody bags have been stuffed, the gifts have been purchased, the balloons have been ordered, and lots of emails have been exchanged on the details of the cake. Dale's car has not been working the past two days so he has taken my car to work both yesterday and today. I am very thankful that we have two cars, but it sure makes it inconvenient when I have SO many errands that need to be run. Instead of getting it done during the day time, we have been jumping in the car the minute he gets home and then try and get some of it done while dragging three kids around. Tonight will be no different. I need to get his car fixed, the food picked up so I can get it all prepped tomorrow, and the kids all need haircuts. Wishing some of these things could wait till tomorrow but I have an all day walking field trip I am volunteering on for Andrew's class, and I know I won't have the energy to do it tomorrow after school. So I am hoping that Dale and the kids are ready to hit the ground running when Dale gets home at 4:00. In the mean time I am trying to get everything done here at home.

I need to work on the games while I have some time this afternoon. I am planning on making some lily pads for the bean bag toss, and I need to make a huge frog for "Kiss the Frog" (like pin the tail on the donkey, except with lipstick and a huge frog). We are also going to do a frog hunt and play leap frog. I am really hoping that my expectations are not too high for this whole thing and that we will have a fun time.

Add on top of all of this the Box Tops I need to cut, sort, group, and mail off by Saturday. Being the Box Top coordinator queen is fun until it is crunch time. The postmark deadline happens to be this Saturday of course. I have collected all of them from the classrooms and now just need to go through them all, check for expired and ripped ones, and then sort them into groups of 50, fill out the proper paperwork, get them in the mail, and then update my spreadsheet and fliers for the classrooms. We have already collect $948 this year alone. That is 9,480 box tops that me and my family (trust me it is a whole family effort) have dealt with in the past 6 months and we are geared up to reach our goal by this deadline, which is $1,000.

Wishing I could clone myself for the next few days so it could all get done. I am going to need a nap on Sunday! Thank goodness I don't have to super clean the house for the party since it is going to be at a park. Just praying for no rain at this point, but things look good in that department as of this morning's news. So for now there are will be no more posts till after the party on Saurday. Wish me luck and send any spare energy you might have.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Family Get Together - Part 3: Play Time, Food, and a Nap

From the oldest cousin, Jacob; to the youngest cousin, Aiden, fun was had by all!!!Jacob and Andrew have been best buddies from day one. Even though they only get to see each other about once every 6 months, when they get together they don't skip a beat. Andrew was planning on being a stow-away in their car and was wondering if I would notice he was gone. DUH!!! I think I would notice in about 2 seconds and miss him dearly.Auntie Grace loves to shower Aiden with kisses and was hogging him most of the day. Not that he minded at all. :)This was Uncle Rob's first time meeting Aiden. Aiden wasn't so sure of him at first, especially since he picked him up and was wearing a hat (something about ballcaps scare him). Once Rob removed the hat he settled down but was still a little leary.Auntie Faith (sporting her Red Bull.. yikes), was actualy able to steal him away from Grace for a moment. My grandma makes THE best pies (sorry Dale's mom, who is a close second)!!! I have not had a chance to enjoy a piece of one of her pies in a LONG time, but they still taste as good as I remember them from my childhood. I even begged scored a few pieces to take home that we will enjoy after dinner tonight. YUM YUM!!Boys just hanging out, waiting for the grub to arrive.The kids loved being able to sit together while they ate.This family has some serious olive lovers.Shelby took some time out from the chaos to enjoy a good book. And of course they all LOVED their ice cream cones. This was the pretty clean phase. Hands were too sticky later to even take the time to snap a different picture, but they loved it so it was worth it.Best buds, sharing some ice cream.How appropriate that George is holding on to this sign. :)Aiden tried to stay awake for the whole thing but just couldn't do it. He finally gave in and took a quick hour nap during lunch time. That was his only nap for the day and he was SUPER grouchy for the 100 mile drive home (fun times). He gave up the fight when we were only 10 miles away from home. Luckily Dale was able to transfer him straight to his bed and he slept till 6 the next morning.
We are looking forward to having most of them together again next weekend for Aiden's first birthday party at a park near our house. We just wish that everyone could have been there. Not all spouses could be there, Dale included, and my brother and his two kiddos that live in North Carolina of course were not able to make it. They were missed dearly.

Family Get Together - Part 2: Music Time

Andrew wanted to have the opportunity to play his trumpet for all of his cousins. They all seemed to enjoy listening to him and were impressed with how well he is doing in such a short time.

Aiden seems to be following in his big brother's footsteps in the music department.

He loved playing the drums and got pretty carried away.The guitar was another favorite, though I think he liked the strap more.Playing the keys with Auntie Charity.

I can't for the life of me figure out how to bring Andrew's Talent Show video over from Vimeo to show it in this blog. My computer doesn't like me today, so click on the link above to go to it if you want to see his great performance. He was super nervous since he was first up, but he did an awesome job.

Family Get Together - Part 1: Poses

This weekend we were able to get 11 (out of 14) of the cousins together in San Diego. They all have such a great time playing together.
My Grandma is currently visiting from OH, and it was great to all get together and spend time chatting while the kids could run off energy on the playground equipment.

4 sisters: Faith (25), Charity (34), me (32), and Grace (30)The sisters with our mom (In the middle....we didn't get any tall genes from her) :)4 sisters, Mom and Grandma.Carter kiddos: Desiree (4 1/2), Tatiana (21 months), and Caleb (2 1/2)Howse kiddos: Andrew (9 1/2), Aiden (11 months old), and Alexis (4 1/2)Scriven kiddos: Clint (2 1/2), Jacob (10 1/2), and George (5)Heil kiddos: Shelby (3) and Shayna (6)

Friday, February 20, 2009

But Mom.... will people know what is going on in our lives if you don't blog every day?" (actually spoken by a very smart 9 year old). Didn't know I had blogging fans out there, or maybe those are just my husband and children who ask me as they walk in the door if there is anything to read on the blog for the day.

I had to take a break from blogging the past few days due to a severe sinus infection, amongst other stuff. I could barely hold my head up, my nose was dripping like crazy, my lungs hurt just to breath, my jaw and neck were getting stiff, a fever of 102.7, had a cough that would not stop and felt like knives cutting my throat each time, and when I inhaled through my nose I would get a lightning bolt of pain shot into my left eye. Not fun at all!!!

So, I bit the bullet and called for a pre-registration appointment with our urgent care. That pre-registration idea is a major God send. Most times you go and wait for hours (read about Aiden's awful experience with that), but with this whole new system you can call and get a pre-arranged arrival time. I got there 5 mins. before my time, checked in, gave my co-pay, and sat down to get comfy for the long wait. Little did I know how great this experience would end up being. I was called back by the triage nurse at 5:01, sat back down out in the lobby and then was called back to a room at 5:04. The doctor entered at 5:12, not nearly enough time to read the magazine article that had captured my attention. The longest part of the appointment was waiting for the nurse to come back in with a shot of antibiotics in the hip that hurt like heck. Then I had to take a nap wait for 20 mins to make sure I didn't have a negative reaction.

I walked out of there at 5:40 with two prescriptions in hand and an order to come back tomorrow (well, technically today as of this post) to be rechecked. I was disappointed that he didn't give me an off work order though. I had asked for one but when he asked what kind of work I do, I replied, "I'm a mom so could you print it out, my kids don't read cursive very well," he pretty much just laughed at me and wished me luck with getting enough rest.

So here I am, still feeling yucky and wondering when the relief is going to come. I am travelling to San Diego tomorrow to spend time with my mom, all my sisters (3) and their families (12 kids total), and my grandma who is visiting from OH. I really want to be feeling good not just for selfish reasons, but because I don't want to get anyone sick. Doc says I am no longer contagious once the antibiotics have been in my system for 24 hours so we are covered there, but would be nice to enjoy my time instead of being miserable. Hoping to make a turn around in the next 18 hours. Prayers are appreciated.

Just Because....

....he loves me!! These are my favorite kind of flowers to get, the just because flowers. Not attached to a birthday, anniversary, Valentine's day or other 'flower' day. But, just because!
Aiden's new obsessions:
1.) The vertical blinds in the living room. Boy can he go wild with those.
2.) The cords of course. This one is his favorite. 3.)Is also pictured above. The ziploc container lid. That kid could have hours of fun playing with it, though by the time I got new batteries put in the camera to take a picture, he had moved on to the cord. He loves to look through the lid and just giggles.

Hold on Aiden, that must be one crazy dream.

"Oh, Alexis is so close. Maybe I can reach out and get her hair."

"Getting a little closer and she still doesn't notice me..........""Almost there........ Wait for it......"
"Got her!!! But wait, she doesn't look as happy as me."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Yet ANOTHER Plastic Surgeon Post-Op

We had our SEVENTH post-op appointment with Aiden's plastic surgeon today. Why so many? We are asking the same thing. I know they did a lot with his surgery; repaired his lip, nose, palate, gum line and tubes in the ears. This just seems very excessive and an excuse to charge our insurance for yet another visit and us a co-pay. Most days we have to wait an hour minimum to be seen for less then 5 minutes. He always comes in, says a few words, has his hand on the door like he is ready to run, and then does so shortly after saying hello. Today the actually visit wasn't much different, but the wait time was nothing. We were in and out of our 3:00 appointment by 3:10!! WOW, that has never happened there before. He did say that Aiden seems to have too much tissue in his upper lip, which is the best negative outcome one could ask for from the surgery. He doesn't want to touch it till we watch it for a while since sometimes that can correct itself as the repair heals. If we were to go in and correct it now then we could do more damage. We talked about the need for a good pediatric dentist to help prevent cavities early and the potential for a cosmetic surgery before school starts depending on the continued healing of his repair. Overall I don't feel it was all that necessary of a visit, but hey, Alexis got a sticker out of the whole deal.

We did get a chance to stop by his old orthodontist's office (Dr. Garcia, who did his NAM). We always love saying hello and letting her love all over him. She is now 7 months pregnant with her own little guy. She could not get over how big Aiden has gotten, nor the fact that he will be 1 in two weeks. And as always, she was super impressed with how well his cleft repair turned out. She took the time to show off Aiden to her students, and showed us pictures of the other little bilateral girl she did the NAM on after Aiden's was completed. I had seen some of the pictures already, but was super interested to see the after surgery pics. She looked great! Dr. Garcia does such an awesome job and is a major assett to the cleft team. And, if she mothers anything like she has cared for my kiddo as if he was her own, then 'little Eric' is very lucky to have her as his mom.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Come join me on this free therapy Monday. Get comfy on the couch and get prepared to confess all the things we did not do this week. Then, head on over to MckMama's blog to read what other mommies are not doing.

I did not break the preschool rules and take Aiden with me to Alexis' class. I have not had the opportunity to work in Alexis' class because I always have Aiden. She reminds me of this often, which really tugs at my heart because I want more then anything to be involved in her class. So, I took my chances and just showed up to her class for her Valentine's Day party, baby in toe. I was not then approached by a snooty mom (mind you not the teacher) who was kindly rudely reminding me that the rules state no siblings are allowed. I did not then proceed to stick around regardless of the dirty looks I was getting. I did NOT want a repeat of the Halloween party where everyone got picked up early, leaving my little one there by herself since I couldn't be a part of the party.She was so jazzed to have me there and showed me everything she does during her school day.

She was not super proud of her Valentine's Day shoe box. She did a great job decorating it and really enjoyed getting lots of fun cards and treats from her friends. We are not now on sugar rations from the whole weekend.The kids and I did not enjoy going to story and craft time at the school, where they got to decorate these cool Valentine's picture frames. The frames are not still sitting on my bar waiting for a picture to be placed in them. Of course I promptly came home and put a picture in them so they could be displayed right away.

I am not super proud of my son making intermediate band that I immediately began calling everyone to brag share with them his accomplishment. And of course Aiden is not at all curious about the noises that come out of the end of that shiny thing.

I was not saddened by the fact that my husband forgot Valentine's Day and didn't even get me so much as a card. (**I am NOT, seriously, trying to make him feel guilty for this, I know that he works long and hard hours to provide for our family**) Andrew did not make up for this sadness by making me a homemade card when we got home from grandma and grandpa's house. He is my super sensitive guy and really seems to take after my dad, who always spoiled my mom.

Alexis did not make us all laugh at the grandparents' house when she had the following conversation with grandma:

Grandma: Are you J-E-A-L-O-U-S? Alexis: No, I am A-L-E-X-I-S

I am not happy that today is a non-school day since it is raining pretty hard right now. I do not enjoy sitting around with my kiddos, all of us in our jammies till noon, when it is yucky outside.

Alexis did not make me laugh really hard this morning when she woke up asking what we are suppose to do to celebrate Presidents' Day. She was hoping this celebration included exchanging gifts and getting more chocolates and candies. This girl has a one track mind, SWEETS!

HAPPY PRESIDENTS' DAY! Don't forget to stop on in at MckMama's blog to read what other moms are not doing. Better yet, join in the fun and have a free therapy session where you can download about all the things you have never done.