Monday, January 29, 2007

Seriously, life couldn’t be more crazy. That's why it has taken me over a week to post this! I never have time to do anything anymore because I’m doing everything – haha does that make sense? If you are like me, I’m sure that made perfect sense.

Monday 1/22
Monday was busy. I had the day off. I took the kids into daycare for less than 2 hours so I could get my eyebrows arched (whooohooo! – my pampering) and then I went to workout at Curves. I found this great new place in town that does eyebrow arching for $10.00. I normally pay between $15 - $21 at a salon so I wasn’t expecting great things. She was by far the best person who’s ever done my eyebrows. She waxed, tweezed and trimmed! They looked AWESOME when I was done! I picked the kids up and came home and when Joey and I were playing and Joey ended up finding his gift. I told him that I could not put it together and he had to wait for daddy to get home. Poor Joey had to wait hours for daddy to finally come home. Joe made Joey his train table that Grandma bought him for his birthday. He absolutely loved it! Grandma got him a really nice one too by Imaginarium and it’s compatible with the Thomas wooden train sets.

Joey's new train table!

Joey likes his new table! He couldn't wait for it to be done!

Justin still sleeps swaddled at nearly 5 months old.

Tuesday was Rod Stewart night!!! My boss Steve won tickets from a local radio station. I found out and told him I loved Rod Stewart (heck, I love almost all 80’s artists!!). He asked me if I want to go a few weeks later and I told him HECK YEAH! So yeah, it probably looked weird that I went to a concert with my boss but it was completely innocent – I promise. We both LOVE music so it was sooo cool to go to a concert with someone else that totally appreciates music. It’s rare you find someone sooo into music – especially the music you love too.

We had awesome tickets – row B. We had an awesome view of the stage. The concert consisted of a little of all his music selections – from the 60’s, 70’s and then a bunch of 80’s, a few 90’s and a few from his new remake’s of classic’s. I knew most of the songs and was totally singing along to them (as was Steve!). I had an empty seat next to me so that was kinda cool too. They played my favorite song ‘Downtown Train’ but it wasn’t the album version – it was a much different version that I didn’t like so much so I was bummed. They did not play Steve’s favorite song so he was a little bummed too.

(camera pic). Love Rod on the big screen here.

Steve and I.

Rod up close!

The cool part of the concert was all the different instruments they played – cello, banjo, accordion, sax, and a bunch others I didn’t even know what they were. The girl playing the sax was tall, blond, thin and gorgeous. The singers were all black women, great dancers and singers. This concert didn’t have a fancy light show or anything, was mostly around his singing talent but it was fun. He would stop the music so the audience could sing along, which was a lot of fun (though the guy down the isle from me was yelling – just sing DAMNIT!!) haha. We had an AWESOME time. I NEEDED to get out of the house and the concert was exactly what I needed! What a fun time!

Here's the gorgeous sax player I was telling you about.

Wednesday night was family transition studies night. UofM and us are in a study where they are seeing how the baby transitions into our family. It’s kinda fun, we get paid for it and they get data for their study on this. Unfortunately the snow was COMING DOWN and the roads were getting bad. I got home in time to pick up the kids before the roads got too bad but Joe wasn’t so lucky. His commute took 2 hours. He’s normally home around 6:30 and was home at 7:30. The girls that come over to do the study were so nice. They just LOVED Justin and Joey. One of the girls I let feed Justin his rice cereal because he seemed hungry and he ate it all. She was just smitten with him. Joe finally came home, we finished the study, the girls went home and Joe went to bed earlier than normal because he was so exhausted from his drive home.

Justin has been finding his toes!

Love the big blue happy eyes!

I got my foot mom!!

Joey likes his train table still! :)

Thursday night was WW night. Off to my parents house after work. Weigh in wasn’t that great – up 1.8. Not sure why because my scale hasn’t said I was up that much. I wonder if I was retaining water? Anyhow I’m bummed but not upset that much over it. The weight WILL come off.

When I got back to my parents house I came in the door, looked down at the ground because it looked like there is confetti in the middle of the brown carpet they had. There is popcorn all over the floor, and Joey’s bulldozer in the center. My jaw dropped open and I saw aghast to my mom ‘Did you LET him do this’? Dad says no and mom says yes. Too funny. So I pulled out their vacuum and cleaned all the popcorn up. The kid is so ingenious. He has no sand to push, so he dumps out a bunch of popped popcorn and uses his bulldozer to push it around. Too funny.

(phone pic) Joey's popcorn mess and his bulldozer pushing it around.

(phone pic) The carpet! Yikes!

(phone pic) My mom and Justin. I love this photo!

Friday during lunch I had to go to Curves because I promised myself I would go three times a week and I only went once a week thus far. Unfortunately the weather was awful, it was snowing so much you couldn’t see the road, and I still made the trek out to go to the curves that was local to work. DUMB I tell you! I almost got in two accidents because people were driving DUMB! The slush was so bad you had NO traction on it – it was like being on ice. The good thing was I got my workout in and felt better.

(phone pic) The walk back into work!

That day during work my previous boss Chris and my new boss Steve were both wearing the same style shirt and it looked funny. Check out this photo:

(phone pic) Chris and Steve wearing matching shirts. HAHAHA!!

That night the roads were clear when I come home – thankfully. We decided that the roads were still not clear up north yet and because we wanted to go look for a new mini-van on Saturday, we decided to stay home and go up north to visit Grandma on Saturday instead.

Saturday we NEEDED to stay home. We were way behind on chores, in which we were able to mostly catch up. Once the kids were up and the baby had his first nap we were off to the closet Chrysler dealership to get a Town and Country mini-van. My wonderful friend Lori and her husband Jeff got us their employee discount so we were looking to save a LOT of money when shopping (yay!).

In a nutshell, they wanted to give us $6,000 LESS than what we owed on our Honda Odyssey and Joe was like NO WAY – you have to be KIDDING. Then they tried to show us, well we are actually giving you $14,000 for your mini-van and the cost of the Town and Country is 28,000. Joe (who is a financial analyst for a living) looks at the guy and was like ‘Ok, I’m not DUMB. You are still only giving me $6,000 but rolling my employee discount and your $4,000 back into that total.’ Do they really think we are THAT dumb? So we ended up leaving.

Joe and I left upset about what we would get for our trade-in. We KNEW we would lose money on the van and we told the guy this, because we put soooo many miles on our cars that we out drive them before we pay it off. We put 30,000 miles on my car every year! So Joe and I went home depressed and trying to figure out what to do. We couldn’t take $6,000 for the van and have to pay $6,000. We would take $9,000 and lose $3,000 but that is about all really. We talked about driving it for another 6 months and paying down more of the value but then we would probably have to do maintenance on it and pay extra so we would really be back to where we are today.

We kept throwing things around. We really wanted the LX version which is Stow and Go but there are ONLY 3 in lower Michigan (so they probably won’t deal much)! We can’t really afford the touring right now so I told him I would go for the base model as long as he put satellite radio in my car. So we decided that we would take Tuesday off work and go car shopping. BLECH. I hate car shopping but I want to get this done and over with!

My Honda is fully loaded right now – leather heated seats, we have an entertainment package in it with a dvd player, it has everything and I’m going to go to a new van but a base model that has no miles instead. I hope I can get used to it! We are going to try to get away from putting another dvd system in the car but if Joey asks about it enough, we may just go to Best Buy and have it installed. Since the base is so much cheaper than any of the other models, we should be able to afford putting it in ourselves.

Random photo of Justin on Saturday. He likes to kick around on the ground with his clothes off and just a diaper on.

Funny things Joey said this week (that I can remember):

Joey says to Joe – “I want my presents. I’m three years old”. What a spoiled kid. Joe told him that’s not exactly how it works.

This morning Joey referred to Joe and I as ‘Hey guys’.

Joey woke up Sunday morning screaming – well almost crowing arrrr arrrr (for fun, not because he was scared). Joe walks into his room, asks ‘What is going on’ and Joey replies ‘Pizza’. Pizza is his new word for everything.

Sunday he was playing with his sandbox in grandma’s house and made a huge mess. Joe yelled at him and told him he was going to take it away, Joey looks him in the eye, laughs and says ‘Pizza’. Needless to say, he lost his ‘sandbox’ privileges.

Justin this week is really grabbing his feet. He’s now sitting in his exersaucer and will intentionally grab his toys and start to chew on them. His hand eye coordination is getting much better. He’s still a huge smiler. When we took him to the dealership this week he was squealing at everyone he passed! They absolutely loved him!

Other random notes:

Today I happened to watch the Hallmark channel that had a show on people trafficing and it was so sad. They showed this girl from Guatemala and how bad the economy is over there. These girls leave with a hope to make their life better in the USA and are told they are getting jobs and are instead sold into slavery. The only reason this girl was found was because she got pregnant with this guys baby that raped her daily and she was bleeding badly and started to go into labor and she was rushed to the hospital by a neighbor who had never seen her before. The baby was born early at 2 lbs but was ok. When they went to take the girl back home she was sobbing to this woman that if she lost the baby it was this man’s fault. The neighbor asked why and she said ‘He beat for for burning his tortillas’. The woman called the police who pretty much did nothing but she took this woman home with her. She had to fight the system for a long time to finally put this guy behind bars. The only good thing about this whole story is that this poor girl that was held hostage like this by an American was able to attain American citizenship. Could you image having to live a life like that and then being deported home? The show was eye opening for me. It makes me really take a step back and appreciate the little things I have – electricity, running clean water, a good job, a house – it’s scary and sad how a lot of the world lives.

When I went on my trip to Mexico in Oct 05 we went on a few city/country tours. It was amazing the poverty these people live in and how it seems they are 50 years behind us in technology. They work for only dollars a day. The kids were playing marbles and jacks – something our parents did when they were kids. It was eye opening – that’s for sure. I’ve never even been in another country where I saw poverty like that. Enough of this....

Stay tuned. When I get the next chance I'll have to post about our new Mini Van purchase. Plus I may get Rose from Joey's daycare to start sending me some digital photos of him at school so I can post them on my blog. Pretty please Rose? :)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Our week recap....

We were recovering from Justin’s Er trip. Gosh, there is nothing scarier than watching your child every few moments to see if they are breathing. Whew.

Monday was also the day we had a HUGE ice storm. Ice ice everywhere. Not fun, not fun at all. 6:45am, poof – everything went black. Then they came back on, went black, went on and stayed black. We heard screams from Joey’s room as he noticed we were in complete dark. He came running into our room. We told him we lost electricity and not to get upset. We searched for our flashlights and found them. We gave one to Joey and he thought it was so neat he ran into his room and put it down next to his cars and proceeded to play. We looked outside. Sometimes when we lose power, the neighbors across the street, who are on a different circuit still have power. Nope, the ENTIRE neighborhood was black.

You can see the ice here. It was crazy.

Joey was quite bummed about the fact that we could not watch tv. He asked multiple times to watch one of his movies and we told him we couldn’t. Power was out most of the day.

We got the kids up and ready to go. They both had a wellness appt at 9am. They did great. Joey is in the 95% for height and 97% for height. He got one shot. I was thinking the WORST and he did awesome. He’s such a big boy. Justin had 4 shots and also did well – a lot better than he did at his 2 month appt when he screamed bloody murder. I was so proud of my boys. Joey is 36.5 lbs and 39 ¼ inches tall. Justin is 14.5lbs and 25 inches tall. That’s 25% for weight and 37% for height. He’s a bit smaller than Joey used to be.

For lunch we did Rio Wraps and got Joey peanut butter and jelly. We had a picnic in the house. We put down a large beach towel and everyone sat down on it and had their lunch. Joey just loved it. Losing electricity was a great thing – we spent so much quality time together!

Joey in his new sweater from Grandma Dziekan (My mom). It even had fun train buttons on it!

The boys and their picnic!

During the afternoon we all took a nap and it was 61 degrees in the house (20 degrees outside) and we slept like a ROCK. Something about taking a nap in a cold house makes you slumber longer. It was great.

When we woke up around 4 we still didn’t have power. Joe decided to take Joey outside to run off some energy and they went sledding on the little snow we did have. They also shoveled the driveway a little bit.

Joey outside helping dad shovel.

We were most worried about the fish. It was 61 degrees inside and the heater runs on electricity. The 75 gallon tank was heated only by a blanket I threw over the tank. The temp is supposed to stay around 75 degrees. My 10 gallon tank got cold fast and dropped to the 60’s. I had babies in there I was worried about so I did a water change with very warm water which brought up the water a little. Our water was hot only because we have a gas hot water heater and running water – at least that was a relief.

We took down our Christmas tree. Sad sad sad I know – we had it up until 15th! I don’t think we have ever left it up that long. Joey and I really loved the tree this year. Heck he loved it so much he tipped it over! We were fortunate we were able to enjoy it until Jan 15th but we are glad to reclaim the space it took in our front room.

After this we went to my parent’s house to warm up. We stopped by the neighbors house to ask them to call if the power went on. We also asked if we could plug into the generator later to warm up the fish tanks and they said we could. We went down the road not even 10 minutes away from the house and the neighbor called to tell us the power finally came back on – it was near 5:30 pm. Almost 12 hours without power and it’s COLD outside, which made the house very cold inside. It’s amazing how much you take electricity for granted. We don’t have a gas stove (though we have gas in the house) so we couldn’t warm anything up and it was too cold to pull out the grill. Luckily one side of Milford had power. Our side was completely out until then.

(camera phone pic) - My dad with Justin.

(camera phone pic) - The first time in a walker. He LOVED it.

(camera phone pic) - My dad has a knack for holding Justin and making him fall asleep. He loves cuddling with my dad!

We had a nice dinner at my parent’s house. We stayed over for a few hours and came home to a nice warm house with the lights on. Phew!!

Back to work. I stayed home with Justin and worked. My mother came over in the late morning to help take care of him so I could get some work done. Normally Justin is up all day long and only sleeps a ½ hour here, an hour there but not a lot. Of course the day my mom comes over to watch him he sleeps until 12:30pm (like 9-12:30) and then was only up until 2 and then went back down. She left, figuring he would sleep for awhile and he did. He slept until almost 5. I got a LOT done at work so this was good.

Justin in his stationary exersaucer.

Usually when we have an ice storm, the trees look magnificent until the sun comes out that afternoon and melts all the ice. Well it was SOOO cold that none of the ice melted, even days later. Here is the next day's photos of the ice storm.

Here is a tree in our backyard glistening from the sun.

I think because of all of the warm weather up until now (50's mostly) the trees got really confused and started to bud. You can see all the ice on this budded tree. I love how the background looks like crystal.

More ice buds.

This looks so cool!

You can see all the ice on the trees, and the power lines!

Joe stayed home with Justin. We got a call about 3pm for Joe to pick up Joey and that he had a 101.1 fever. Now check this out:

Last week
Joe had the flu
Joey had the flu
Justin had bronchitis.

This week
Joey had a fever and come cold symtoms
Justin was still getting over bronchitis
Joe came down with a cold.

Where’s me in all of this? Lucky as hell to be healthy. Washing my hands like mad, taking my prenatal pills (because I’m nursing) and praying that I don’t get sick.

Isn’t that crazy? That’s not fair!! So Wednesday Joe was staying home with Justin, and now had to get Joey. So I made plans to stay home Thursday with Joey this time. I swear they must think I’m lying at work to stay home.

No photos today. I think with all of the sickies in the house, I was too tired taking care of them and forgot to take photos!

I stayed home with Joey today while Justin went to daycare for the first time in a week. I got a lot done. Joey did well amusing himself. I got a TON done at home. It’s much easier to watch a sick Joey, than it is to watch a sick Justin or to watch a healthy Justin for that matter. Justin loves to be held all the time so it’s sometimes hard to get things done. Thursday Joey was fine. No fever, nothing. I THINK the shot he got from Monday made him spike the fever.

That evening it was off to my parents for our weekly visit. They watched the kids while I went off to Weight watchers. Guess what – I’m down three more pounds! This was over two weeks as I was not at WW last week because of our mom’s club Christmas party. I was happy with a three pound loss. That puts me at 22 lbs now and I’ve now lost 10% so I got a keychain holder (it’s a really nice one too). Only 17 more pounds to go to goal!!

After the meeting I went to Men’s Warehouse to pickup two of Joe’s suits. Then it was off to Costco! I love shopping there. My mom gave me a few things to pickup for her. I got a new crockpot – a 5qt. I now have a 2.5 qt, a mini crockpot and a 5qt for larger things. I LOVE my crockpots!

No pictures. We didn't get home until 10:30 that night!

We both finally went to work because both of the kids were WELL! It was about time! Friday evening we picked up really quick and went on our way to Grandma’s house up north.

This is what you do when you are too lazy to get out your tripod. It's called take a mirror photo! Justin loves to be held and carried everywhere. In this case he hadn't seen me all day so I put him in the baby bjorn so I could get some work done around the house. He fell asleep. Isn't this adorable?

Justin exhausted, fell asleep in the baby bjorn!

We just relaxed. Joe and Joey went sledding. We did a birthday celebration for Joey on Saturday. Joe’s mom got him this ride on excavator and he LOVED it. You used controls to move the arm up and down and to scoop. He also got new sleds.

Joe's mom took these photos. Joe pulling Joey on a sled.

Joey wiped out!

Joe and Joey going fast down the hill - the dog Hazel B hot in their tracks!

Almost to the bottom! What fun!

Joey posing for a photo.

Justin drooling :)

Joey playing with his GeoTrax.

Joey hooking up two trains!

Joey watching the trains move.

I love this photo of Hazel B! This is her (red) man toy.

This is Rj and I.

Here's Hazel B, Rj and I.

Grandma reading the paper and Rj sitting next to her in her spot!

Justin and I! It's a little out of focus but will have to do.

Joey sitting in his new sled.

We celebrated Joey's birthday with a cake with construction vehicles on top. He loved it.

Joey's new ride on excavator.

Justin and Joey's Horse in the box :)

Dog, you are IN the way!

Joey was not happy when we would NOT let him drive his tractors back through the cake. He figured they were on there to begin with, so why can't he run them back through the cake!??

Joey in his new construction hat.

Justin in his bouncer.

Joe’s mom and I went to Walmart to get some photos printed. I wanted some for home and work and made a copy for Grandma and Joe’s mom. I made a dvd with the photos and it would not take it. It kept getting stuck. We ended up leaving without photos!

Later that day I got some cd’s from Joe’s mom and put the photos on cd. Joe and I went back to Walmart. I got a cooking oil bottle with a special spout on top that slowly pours oil out. I got a new can opener because mine went MIA! How can you lose a can opener? Did the munchkins take it?! It’s gone. I’m sure one day when we move out of our house, I’ll find it! Haha. I got a set of new plastic storage containers – the kind that is on a spinner and all of plastic containers use the same lid. No more 50 kids of sizes, lids and it taking over my kitchen! Then I got my photos back. I had a few hundred! They were printed a bit darker than I would have liked and I’ll have to remember next time I go there to take the check off having them automatically fix my photos before printing.

We thought it would be a great idea today to start Justin on solid foods. We’ve already tried the rice cereal. He didn’t really care for it. More went out than in. We figured if we went ahead and gave him some jarred food he may actually eat it.

Grandma Char feeding Justin rice cereal. He doesn't really care for it.

He tells us his hands taste better than that gross rice cereal!

See my hands DO taste good. That's why I constantly chew on them :)

So we tried it and Justin LOVED it. We gave him sweet potatoes. At first he pushed them out of his mouth and then he started to gobble them up. It’s funny – our parents think we are completely starving our children because we wait so long to give them solids. You tell our parents you don’t want to give them solids before 6 months and they look at you like it must be child abuse. Joey has allergies and perhaps it’s because we started him on solids a week before he was 4 months old (they say to wait until they are 4 months).

Justin eating his sweet potatoes.

He liked holding the spoon!

Justin will be 5 months old on the 29th. We gave him rice cereal three times the week before last and then laid off the cereal.

Justin and I after he had his 'lunch'.

About a ½ hour after we gave him the sweet potatoes I was watching him and his face started to break out in these patches, then it went on his head, his temples, around his mouth and then on his arms, and his shoulders. I was getting worried. I am very familiar with hives and he had them. I told Joe I was calling the on call pediatrician. We called, left a message and he called me back not even three minutes later. I explained Justin would be 5 months old in a week and we started him out on sweet potatoes and he was getting hives all over. He was not having a hard time breathing, he was just breaking out. I wanted to know if it was safe to give him benedryl. He said it was safe and since I had the children’s benedryl I could give him ¼ tsp for his weight. He was happy I called him and told me no more solids for awhile, especially not sweet potatoes.

Who's allergic to sweet potatoes? I've never heard such a thing but Justin broke out in hives all over - especially his face. Check out the red patches near the right ear and on the forehead. Scary!!

Sunday evening we went over Joe’s dad’s house and Joey got a tractor and a singing turtle for his birthday. We got Joe’s dad a gift certificate for his birthday which was on the 14th.

In other news:
Today I was talking to Joey and we always ask him if he wants pickle juice to drink. Today he said he did want pickle juice. We tried to talk him out of it and he wanted it! So we put some in a glass, I grabbed my camera. He took the cup, started to tip it back and must have smelled it, wrinkled his nose and said, no I do not want it.

Later that day he said he was busy and I asked him, ‘Joey do you want pickle juice’. He said this – swear to God – ‘I had the pickle juice earlier. I did not like it’. Two sentences, together and said well. Gosh he just says everything anymore!

Joey with the pickle juice.

Going to drink it...

He did not drink it. I think he smelled it, gave it back and was like, um no thanks! Too funny!