Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Life's Lessons

Alan is now 5 and really starting to "figure" things out. It was only a couple weeks ago that I pulled him aside one night when he was being a big pain. I explained to him that when I said it was bedtime and had a couple things to do it would be a really good idea for him to just "disappear" and be soooo quiet I would maybe forget he was still awake and he would end up staying up way past his bedtime!!!

I really wasn't sure how he would process this info until last night. We are staying with Uncle Tim, Aunt April, and Cousin Ian. The adults were playing Apples to Apples (This is an A-W-E-S-O-M-E board game!!!). Daniel told Alan and Eddie to use the bathroom and he would tuck them in. He was then promptly distracted by laughter from the game. It was well over an hour later when I realized Alan and Eddie were sitting at the kids table playing very quietly. I guess this lesson really stuck. I quietly shared the story at the grown up table and continued to ignore the extremely well behaved boys. When I could hear Eddie fussing about whatever it was I called Alan over to point out how late it was and that Daddy had said bedtime was a super long time ago. I can only hope he will get the message through to his younger brothers. After our discussion I am quite certain the evenings will be a bit calmer at home from now on. I also need to pay closer attention to time and not forget to eventually put them to bed or I will have extra cranky boys in the morning!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Metropolis, IL

Ever wonder if Superman's hometown of Metropolis really exists?? Well, it does and it happened to be just 6 miles from our hotel the first night of holiday travels. My mom stopped at a visitor center near there on her way home this summer and sent the boys a picture of her face in a Superman cut out.

We decided since we were so close the boys would enjoy the stop. They were sooo excited to see Superman and even more excited at the memory from the picture telling us that Grandma had been there before.

Here are the pictures from our pitstop.



SUPER Joey!!




SUPER Eddie!!




SUPER Alan!!





SUPER Saucers!!








SUPER Mommy!!




SUPER Daddy!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dreaming of a White Christmas

While a "White" Christmas is something many dream of, I'm pretty confident in saying I dream and pray that this will be my LAST white Christmas!!

It's funny how the only things about snow that "stick" in your memory are the snowball fights, snowman building, sledding and FUN!!! Daniel and I decided the boys would really enjoy seeing snow for the first time this year. So we packed up our mini van turned into a sleigh and then hit the highway our destination was 2 days away.

Over the highways and byways we glide to grandmother's house we drive. With turn right or turn left we trust GPS to get us there alive.

It turns out we have very bad trip coordination with mother nature. She seemed to think this weekend was the perfect time for a blizzard/white out to visit the mid-west. This didn't quite sync with our driving plans. The further north we drove the talk of snow increased until it was finally falling and hitting our windshield. I warned them of the snow making roads and sidewalks slippery before we got out of the van at McDonald's for a pit stop. Their feet didn't even hit the ground before they noticed Mommy's foot prints in the snow. They were so excited they didn't notice I only took them to use the potty and we didn't get a happy meal!!

The drive seemed to be going well with several family members calling us with weather updates. We decided to change our route due to the below freezing temperatures and increase in snow fall. Not much after Daniel merged right to avoid a passing vehicle that was driving way too fast. (Trying to get past that damn Florida driver who couldn't possibly know how to drive in the Iowa snow no doubt.)
The tire hit the shoulder and the van went spinning into the median. Thankfully we missed several other vehicles and the state trooper had a tow truck on the way before the van came to a stop. All injuries were healed immediately with kisses and sesame street band aids. Alan did get a rubbermaid full of Christmas presents in the face, but handled it quite well. We were getting pulled back on the road within 15 minutes.

I tapped the screen of my new Tom Tom GPS navigation system (Christmas gift from Daniel and the boys) and located POI (Point of Interest) along route; hotels. There was a Super 8 6.3 miles down the road and what's that at the bottom of the screen?? A phone number?? I called and had the room booked in less than 2 miles. Daniel got us checked in and took Alan to get pizzas. The boys weren't upset at all. They thought it was a party!! Mommy on the other hand decided right then and there she must have been dilusional when deciding to make this 1,200 mile drive!! We were only 80 miles from Grandma's house. We took our time in the morning as the plows would need time to clear the very curvy road we had ahead. We did finally make it and the boys are having a BLAST!! Maybe tomorrow the outside temp will be freezing or above so they can play outside in the snow.

Grandma had promised Eddie they would build a snowman when they got here and he just wouldn't let it rest. He stood his ground claiming it wasn't too cold to play outside. Well, Grandma stood her ground claiming it was below freezing and there was no way he was building a snowman outside. She kept her promise though as her heart melted with his frustration and her creativity has never failed her. She took the child sized shovel she bought him and brought it to the bathroom sink full of snow.





Only a grandmother would allow a 3yr old and 5yr old to play with snow in the house AND help them build a snowman in the bathroom!!!





Here is Alan transporting the snowman to the living room to show Daddy and Papa Joe. Then he took the snowman outside so he wouldn't melt.






They used a baby carrot for the nose, cloves for the eyes, cinnamon sticks for the arms and a strip from a Christmas napkin for the scarf.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Eddie's Preschool Christmas Program

Here are some video clips from Eddie's Preschool Christmas Program. I was a bit surprised he decided not to sing. I also never should have commented to my friend about her daughter being up there next year twirling and lifting her dress. You'll see why if you watch the clips!!




Sunday, December 21, 2008

Preparing for Christmas

Here is Joey all decked out and ready for the SNOW!!




Here is a picture of the foam ornaments I helped make for Alan's classmates. Each one has a picture of the student in the center.


Here is a short clip of Joey trying to walk in his new snowsuit!!


Friday, December 19, 2008

Twins!!

This is a long story that has been going on for 9 months. My friend, Dina Rich, is having exploratory heart surgery today. Her husband is a reservist who works with contractors in Iraq. He was home this spring on leave and they discovered upon his return to Iraq that they were unexpectedly expecting. Then they discovered they were expecting twins!!! The pregnancy was extremely difficult and Dina had to manage care of their incredibly difficult 3 yr. old all with her husband fighting in Iraq. Thankfully he was able to come home in early December. Only 5 days after his feet touched American soil they had a routine OB appointment at 36 weeks and Dina had severe preclampsia so they did a C-section to get the babies out. Dillion and Katia were 5 lbs 11 oz and 5 lbs 7 oz. They are doing great and off all feeding tubes already at 1 week old today. After the C-section Dina complained of difficulty breathing. They discharged her anyway. She went to the ER yesterday and went into congestive heart failure. Then they found a heart murmur and now they are planning on doing exploratory heart surgery today. They have no family support what so ever!! I will be traveling out of town for the holidays so they will have even less support available. Please pray for Dina that they find answers and help her heal quickly. Pray for the family unit to be strong to lift her up. Prayer is sooo powerful. Thank you for all your prayers and please continue to pray for Dina, Ed, the babies, Katia and Dillon and big sister, Dania. They decided they were rushing things and post poned surgery for Dina yesterday. They gave her some different medications and she seems to be responding. They have determined it's a heart murmur and leaky valve that she has probably had for a very long time, but is only a problem now because the stress and strain from the pregnancy and preclampsia. There is talk of more tests on her heart. One they will put a camera down her esophagus to take a closer look and one involves putting a cath in her heart. They have not completely ruled surgery out, but the posibilities are decreasing as she continues to respond to the medication. They moved her from ICU to a regular room so I have taken Dania to see her and they are allowing her to go downstair and spend time with the babies as well. Today was full of GREAT news. They did the test with the camera down her esophagus, but didn't need to put the cath in her heart. Dina will NOT need surgery. The stress and strain from all the extra fluid and preclampsia was very hard on her heart, but it is looking strong and should recover with meds, rest, and time. The babies will be home tomorrow and Dina should be released tomorrow or the next day. Everyone will be home for Christmas!!!

Here are a couple pics.



Here is a clip of big sister Dania playing at our house.




Everyone is home safely from the hospital!!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thanksgiving

Yes, I know Thanksgiving was a super long time ago!!! I thought you might enjoy some pictures and videos that we took on Thanksgiving anyway. Better late than never :)



The first clip is Alan leading the Our Father he's learning in "Religious Education" or what most of us refer to as CCD.






Wednesday, December 03, 2008

New Picasa Pictures Posted

I just finished sorting pictures and have updated the 2008_November folder as well as started the 2008_December folder with our very small tree decorating process. The tree has already had ALL the ornaments confiscated as Joey has had each and every one in his mouth so I decided to leave the tree naked!!!

To see the pictures simply click on the link to the NEW Saucer Family website on the left.