Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I think I've momentarily lost the blogging mojo. I just can't do it. I have nothing to say. No pictures to post.

I've been a little under the weather the past few days and maybe that's a contributing factor. I think that Laney passed me her bug via the internet or the phone or something. I've had a bit of a sore throat-some aches- and cough of sorts. Luckily, I can feel it going away- and it never got super bad.

and Kent is finally home. I got used to blogging at night since he was gone- but I'm no longer sitting at the computer every night for an extended period of time. Him being home has really messed up my tv schedule as well. He's worth it, though.

and maybe it's just the weather changing. My mojo is taking a blogging break to recoup for the upcoming cold. It's supposed to frost tonight. maybe I'll get it back tomorrow.

I have decided to include one picture today. The highlight of my week was when these lovely people- the Swan Creek Daybreakers- presented me with one of their t-shirts and made me an honorary member! This picture was in the local senior paper. This group of seniors walks every morning at swan creek (my park) and we chat daily. They are the nicest people.

I'm supposed to wear my shirt every monday.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Welcome fall. It was so nice out today- we went to the park twice. Once this morning for our run- and then later to "swing and slide" (zeb's words). Ike was so dang cute in the swing. He had a rough rough night last night but made up for it in cuteness today. I think he may have an ear infection though- so I may be taking him in to the doctor tomorrow. Let's hope he's just teething or something.
Gma Pat got these little hoodies for the rugrats when Ike was just born and they are finally fitting! - just in time for the blustery weather. Thanks, grandma!!

And here's Ike in his adorable hat. I got it- along with matching gloves- at a yard sale for fifty cents. The one thing that makes me sad about the approaching cold weather is the fact that all of the yard sales come to an end!! Where am I going to get my bargains now??

Sunday, September 27, 2009

cuyahoga valley scenic railroad!

This weekend was our FIFTH anniversary! I can't believe it's been five years. We've decided to go ahead and go for another year since the last five were so great.

The traditional five year gift is something made of "wood". What was I supposed to get for kent? a table? a chair? a wooden statue symbolizing our love? gag. I decided to plan a little trip INTO the woods.

We wanted to go camping- but Kent took his evil surgery shelf test friday- and we didn't have enough time to get things organized. The best present imagineable was having kent all to me for TWO WHOLE days! I haven't had that kind of time with him for months!!! We did go out childless to dinner that night and it was HEAVENLY. Outback is my favorite restaurant ever I think. I should have taken a picture of our food (it was that good) instead of this goofy picture of the two of us.

Saturday morning we woke up and journeyed over to the Cleveland area to take a ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad that runs through the Cuyahoga Valley National Forest.
It was so much fun. Zeb, obviously, was in absolute heaven. The weather was a little gloomy and rainy- which Kent and I both LOVE- so it worked out great.

We took the train to a little town called Peninsula. Zeb loved just running around on the train tracks!
He also loved playing on the train cars.

The railroad runs through the park parallel to the "towpath trail". It's the old historic channel system that used to allow boats through this part of Ohio. The scenery was stunning. I love the woods. Cuyahoga reminded me so much of the russian forests we ran through on my mission.
We took a six mile run along the towpath trail and then just let Zeb play around on the train tracks and explore a little bit.

Ohio has some of the most beautiful scenery. After two years here I still cannot believe how green it is.

Here's one of the old "locks" for the boats. Kent was absolutely POSITIVE that Zeb was going to tumble over the edge of. I guess it just made me realize how UN nervous I am with our kiddos. I kept telling him that my dad used to sit us on the edge of places like the grand canyon when we were young all the time and none of us ever fell in- but that didn't seem to ease his mind at all.

We boarded the train a few hours later to make the return trip home. The train car we rode in had a little car seat built in! Ike loved staring out the window and Zeb thoroughly enjoyed listening to the audio tour.

We got to walk all around the train and investigate the different cars. My favorite was the dining car. Zeb loved the car full of overpriced souvenirs and toys.
Here's our final picture as we departed the train and finished our day. If anybody comes to visit during the fall months-this train trip will be a must!
Happy five years, ralph! You are the best husband I've ever had.

Friday, September 25, 2009

apples apples and more apples

We missed the ward family home evening apple picking party at MacQueens and we lucked out that some of the other families did as well. We had our own little apple picking fest today.

I was super excited about the apples themselves- but almost equally as excited about just walking around and taking pictures in the apple orchards. Apple picking is just such an autumn activity. The weather has finally adjusted and become fall like- so we ended up with the perfect day for the event. No heat. no humidity. no rain.

The orchard has a few different varieties of nice apples -but zeb mostly picked the wormy rotten ones from the ground. He loved just running around with friends.
I couldn't believe how many apples these kids were eating. Zeb just ate and ate and ate. And so did I!even Ike got in on the apple eating. He thought it was sooooo funny that there was an apple on his head. He would laugh hysterically every time it slid off and I replaced it.I couldn't even get Zeb to smile for any pictures because he was always busy biting and chewing.

Ike had a blast getting to know his pal, Finn, better. I love that my kids have so many built in friends here in Toledo. It helps make up for not being able to play with cousins.
I love this picture with Zebbo and his double chin. He was trying desperately to hit me with apples but I managed to dodge every one.
We finished off our day with some freshly made donuts and newly brewed cider at the barn. Don't worry mum- I didn't eat a donut. But Zeb LOVED his cherry donut (ewww). He must take after Kent.


Every day of the letter week we choose an animal to research and act out.

D is for Dinosaur! This is Zeb's scary dinosaur face.

D is for ducks. We completely lucked out that playgroup was duck feeding this week.
Zeb had no fear of them. It may have been because I kept telling him to try and pet one.
and D is for dragonfly.
Zeb especially loves to pretend to be insects.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

he doesn't like peas. too bad he doesn't quite get the idea that I keep feeding them to him.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

oh, fall.

My three favorite things about autumn.

1. TV premieres. I am so happy that the shows are back. It's like Christmas morning every night this week.

NCIS, NCIS:Los Angeles, The Mentalist, Castle, Ugly Betty, Southland, Criminal Minds, Medium, CSI, CSI:NY. And all of the new ones!! I'm not going to be able to keep up with every show- but I can certainly pick favorites. Any suggestions? what's your favorite? Did anybody see "Community"? I laughed out loud in a few spots. I hope it pans out- unlike the early disappointment with glee.

2. Leaves. lots and lots of fallen leaves.
the parks are already starting to smell all leafy. sporadic trees are sprouting bits of red and orange. I can't wait for the all out colors to debut.

3. chilly hoodie wearing weather.

WHERE ARE YOU?!?!?!?! it has been so FLIPPING hot this week. I canNOT believe it's September 22nd and the weather is giving us this. grrrr. I want to be cold. I want to eat soup.

Oh- and #4. This has nothing to do with autumn besides timing- but it is the highlight of fall this year. I get Kent back TONIGHT!!! He finishes his last surgery/ER rotation late this evening. He starts family practice on Monday and the hours are far more friendly (or so I hear). I'll see him more often for at least a few weeks.

Monday, September 21, 2009

lessons in parenting.

Maybe I'm just not cut out for it. I don't have the patience for young children. seriously.

I was searching for some ideas on how to curtail Zeb's current pushing/shoving streak when I found this lovely piece of advice. It made me laugh out loud. and just how did they know that it is my "son" with these problems?!

"Choose durable playmates and understanding parents.

While your son is working on learning gentleness, it can reduce the stress on everyone if you spend most of your time with easy-going, active kids who don’t take being hit too seriously. Spending time with parents who understand young children’s clumsy attempts at being social, can help reduce your stress and sense of ostracism about your child’s behavior"

Looks like I'm going to have to interview all of Zeb's friends and their parents to see just how "durable" the kids are and how "understanding" the parents will be. I also may just be avoiding some people all together.

I'm not super worried about the issue. While unacceptable and inappropriate- Zeb's current communication attempts do seem to be somewhat normal 2 year old behavior. I'd blame it on Kent's absence (this month his schedule in the ER has been waaaay worse than surgery ever was) but I have a feeling he's just Zeb and these phases are going to come regardless of kent's presence or my pleadings. My job is to figure out how to nip them all in the bud far before they become long lasting or permanent.

am I really going to have to go through all of this with every kid? Let's hope it gets easier or I get more patience or something.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Today Zeb rode a real live horse. Here is completely stone faced atop "mirage". He was so nervous until he realized that riding this horse was not all that different from sandy -and then he warmed right up and LOVED the ride. This picture makes him look so grown up.

We spent the afternoon at the annual Lutheran Village "Family-A-fair". We rode horses, held snakes, got lots of free junk, ate a free lunch, saw all of our friends, and jumped on bouncy toys. Oh- and Zeb's favorite thing all day- rode in the helicopter.
oh- and we took a picture with this large bird. "Chicken" is one of the words that I love to hear most from Zeb. Something about the way he says it makes me smile. I forced him to hug the chicken for this picture and he obliged. I'm not entirely sure why- but he (the chicken) was sitting at a Baptist church booth.

Friday, September 18, 2009

This morning I woke up grumpy grumpy grumpy. Kent was off to school early for an EVIL oral exam where surgeons can ask him ANY question about ANY patient he's seen in the last three months!! along with a full 12 hour shift in the ER. I was doomed to a day of tiredness, a dirty house, and 2 children. I think that every person is entitled to the days where they just don't feel like cleaning, child rearing, exercising, or the like. Today was my day.

Finally around 10:30 I decided to suck it up and try to be productive. Things started off pretty good and have completed themselves quite nicely.

Our run ended up being great. Zeb spotted a fuzzy caterpillar along the trail and we stopped to take a look. It was definitely our lucky day- we have been looking for a caterpillar (to go with the letter "c") every day this week. I thought we were going to have to settle for pictures we'd looked at!

Maybe I woke up grumpy because we'd had such a long night last night. We had a great enrichment- but since Kent worked until 12- I had to take the kids with me. We were at the church from 5-9 doing set-up/nursery duty/clean-up, etc. I was just so tired of chasing kiddos around and trying to keep them entertained and the rugrats were just plain tired. Plus- Zeb has been a little aggressive lately- and I'm not sure why. He's still so darn cute- but when he shoves people and knocks them on the noggins with sticks- I just want to scream. I like to post cute pictures of him to remind myself of just how much I love him. He is so good and so smart and so fun.Later this afternoon my day turned to gold. I went to the mall and picked up my FREE giftcards. The rules stated that I could receive two. I talked my way into four. I've now got forty dollars to spend with Kent :) Plus. we ran into a plethora of friends.
Now the kids are in bed asleep- I'm catching up on Project Runway- and Kent will be home in two hours with frosties. My day wasn't so bad after all.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I bought a Ginormous eggplant at the farmer's market this week because it looked good?! I ate them in russia a lot- but the russians always did the prep. Any suggestions? I found a highly rated eggplant Parmesan recipe from Allrecipes- but are there any other suggestions? recipes? ideas?

And just for a good laugh. here's the kid putting on sidewalk chalk. Cylindrical = chapstick to Zeb. Such a weirdo. He's done it with sunscreen and glue sticks too.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

it's a.....

Funny how much it looks like an early OB ultrasound, huh? Well, It's not a baby- or even a uterus. It's a gall bladder. My gall bladder. And it's chock full of nice large stones. The red circle encompasses the stones. The darker bean shape above is the actual gall bladder wall.

While in Utah- I over indulged myself with fatty foods and lots of treats- and my gall bladder kind of freaked. At first I thought that I just didn't feel good so I decided to run off the stomachache- but after about twenty minutes I could barely walk - let alone run. I finally made it home and just plopped onto my parent's lawn. I called Kent (he was already back in toledo) to get his professional medical (student) opinion and he diagnosed it immediately as a gall bladder issue. The major pain only lasted for about two hours and then tapered off so I wasn't too worried, but as soon as I got home I made an appointment with my doctor here and she ordered an ultrasound.

I guess gall bladder problems are most common in the four "F"s. Female, fertile, forty +, and fat. I'm only going to claim fertile and female- but apparently that's enough. Some people just have gall stones- and there's nothing you can do about the fact that they exist. Mine just happen to occasionally lodge themselves in places they aren't supposed to be and cause me great pain when I'm trying to excrete my bile.

Surgery is a definite possibility and most likely the solution. Things are fine now and I don't eat an especially fatty diet on a regular basis- but pregnancy makes gall bladders angry and since I'm planning on being pregnant a few more times- the tech recommended I get it removed now. We'll see what Dr. McClarren says (she's my WONDERFUL family practice doc) and then move forward.

It's kind of exciting, really. I think I thought myself gall stones. I've always told Kent that I wanted my gall bladder out. I'd really like to at least even up organ # with my sis. It may not be my appendix that's coming out-but at least we'll be even in organ count again. The surgery is still considered "major" - or so they told me- but it's laparoscopic and same dayish. Kent just finished his general surgery rotation and saw/"assisted" in a few cholecystectomies- and says they seems pretty simple (relatively).

or maybe they just made a big mistake and I won't need anything done at all :) I'll just have to wait and see!

Monday, September 14, 2009

It's been one of those days when I feel like I was busy every moment- but there seems to be zero evidence that I did anything at all.

It's 10:15 and I really should hit the sack. I got up at five this morning and I'm exhausted, but the kitchen sink is full of dishes- I can hear Ike coughing (which means he'll probably wake himself up soon and want to eat anyway)- my seminary lesson is still pretty nonexistent- kent is gone until nine tomorrow morning so I won't be able to fall asleep forever anyway- and the "Real Housewives of Atlanta" is on. Plus- I haven't blogged yet today! Far too many things to keep me up and going.

Rugrat #1 really tried my patience today and I'm trying to figure out how to better work with him on behavior. He really is a wonderful little boy- and even pretty good for the so called "terrible-twos". He's super smart- extremely funny- very sensitive- and he's even starting to be my friend. When I talk to him- he understands- he talks back- and I feel like I'm not just lugging around a non communicative pet. We actually have fun! However- he does NOT care one bit about timeouts anymore. What in heaven's name can I do besides give timeouts? I bagged up all of his trains and hung them on a hook yesterday. Today he didn't get to watch an ounce of tv. This evening I put him on the toilet- with all the lights out- and shut the door. He sat in there jabbering to himself and LAUGHING for FIFTEEN minutes. He's such a little turkey. This kid is completely aware that his actions result in consequences- but those consequences just don't seem to bother him. I guess I'll just keep trying the timeouts and start branching out too see what else works.

Good thing he redeems himself with all sorts of fabulous moments. Tonight for family home evening we were going through the new gospel art book that I picked up in Utah- when Zeb stopped me at this picture. I asked him what was going on in the picture and he actually said- verbatim- "Jesus says: Stop. Peace, be still." We've got a similar picture in his sacrament book that I go over with him on Sundays. I never thought that he was listening that closely until tonight. What a good little rugrat. He also had Kent and I stifling giggles during the prayer. He was trying so hard to keep his eyes closed- but as he was thanking for things- he kept scanning the room with his eyes fluttering open and shut searching for things to list. "thank you for dizzy... and percy... and the t.d. (tv)...etc". He's growing up SO fast.

Here's my little monkey doing one of his favorite things on our runs. Every day when I finish- he jumps out of the stroller- searches for a dry leaf- then dips the stem in the "doggy water" so that he can "color" on the water fountain. I always have to plan in these extra few minutes. If he doesn't get to do it- he gets very crabby.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

He's starting to enter the phase of existence where I have to be on the constant lookout. He wants lots of attention, grabs at EVERYthing, puts all objects in his mouth, and is constantly getting himself into precarious positions and places that he can't get out of.

And here's a token "green bean all over his face" picture so that you can all see just how much cuter he's getting.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

happy saturday!

We totally lucked out with Kent's schedule today. He got off last night just after midnight and then didn't have to work until tonight at nine. It meant that he got to spend most of the day with us (he ditched us to attend some church meetings late afternoon). We decided to take full advantage and went to the Black Swamp Arts festival in Bowling Green.
They have a plethora of free kid activities and crafts! Zeb had quite the enjoyable afternoon making hats, painting, sidewalk chalking, playing drums, and flapping his new wings.
This week we learned about bees and how they do dances to tell other bees about food- and he's been doing the bee dance ever since. Putting on these wings made him so excited. He decorated the other side of them with feathers and drawings.
I think that Ike was bored at the festival but had a wonderful evening at the church with the nursery toys. We helped babysit kids in the ward while parents attended the adult evening session of stake conference. Ike LOVED all of the attention from the young women and Zeb thought it was the greatest thing ever to be at the church with all of his friends in their pajamas.

And doesn't Ike look like this tugboat? I think it must be the chubby little cheeks.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I really want a free Jack Daniels Burger from TGIFridays so please go to facebook and become Woody's fan. You'll get a free burger too!

Make sure and go to the register tab to sign up for the burger after you've become his fan!