Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Holidays are Here!

I can't believe Christmas is THIS Saturday.  Where does the time go really?  Every year I say I am going to do all my shopping in October, then every year the week of Christmas is here before I even know it, and I still have almost all of my shopping to do.....crazy.  However, even though gifts are a fun part of Christmas, it is important for us to remember the true meaning of Christmas.  Especially with Lizzie getting older,  now is the time to instill those values by setting the right example.  We must keep the focus on Christ, and even though she is young, I am finding it easier than I had anticipated. 

I have a couple of nativity scenes around our home (both given to us by my Grandma Wittmer, thanks G.G.), which was sort of our starting point.  She is very into birthday parties, so I basically tried to explain that His birth was the most important one of all time.  Because she has much experience with a baby born recently (her little bro) she was quick to understand that part.  It was fun for her to think of Jesus as a baby, because that had never occurred to her before.  Besides bdays, she is also VERY into princesses, so my next point was to focus on the fact that He is the King.  She thought that was really cool.

While snowmen, gingerbread houses and Christmas trees are beautiful and fun as well, most little kids tend to think of presents when they think of Christmas.  When I told Lizzie the story of Christ's birth, I explained to her that many gifts were brought to Him.  The way we give gifts today is a symbol of those gifts given to Christ.  (obviously He didn't get a My Little Pony, but it's all relative) Anyway, I just thought I would share this in case anyone who reads my blog is in the same boat :) 

I love Christmas and the whole season of Christmas.  Everyone is in a better mood than usual.  There are beautiful light displays all over the place.  Plus, you are usually with the people you love the most, celebrating the One who loves us ALL!  I am so grateful for Christ's birth and for his righteous example.  I know that as we strive to remember Him in all that we do (not only at Christmas time) we will receive blessings beyond measure.  Merry Christmas!!!!!

Misfortune Turned Favorable

I was absolutely in love with my Brocade Bordeaux Boxy Backpack by Petunia Pickle Bottom.  It was the exact colors I wanted and even matched with the nursing cover my friend made for me.  (Totally by chance I might add)  They're pretty pricey, but having a good, dependable, functional diaper bag is pretty crucial in my opinion.  My wonderful mom bought it for me before Max was born.  A couple months after I started using it, the zipper broke.  It wasn't impossible to keep using, so I kept on using it.  After a couple more months it started to be an annoying hassle.  I decided to contact Petunia Pickle Bottom because I had heard they are very good about repairing their products.  However, I am not the most efficient person, so I let a few more months go by.  I FINALLY e-mailed them a couple weeks ago and I have to say they were AMAZING!  Customer service is very important to me but never have I dealt with such a wonderful company before.  They had me send in my bag and after showing it to their seamstress, they determined it could not be repaired, but that they would be happy to send me a new bag.  WOW!  I thought that was super awesome, until I read the next line.  "Unfortunately, we no longer carry that style diaper bag."  Boo....But then it went on.  "However, please take a look at our current line to find the bag that is just right for you and we will be happy to send you a brand new bag."  That's pretty awesome, but there is no way I will find one I liked as much as mine, right?  WRONG! 

Found a GORGEOUS one and was so excited to receive it in the mail just a few days later.  This company really goes above and beyond.  I highly reccommend PPB to everyone I know :) Yes, they are expensive, but from this experience I believe even more now that they are totally worth it! 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Being Sick is NO FUN!

This post is coming much later than planned, but I just had to document some of the events that took place a few weeks ago.  It was the day after Thanksgiving.  We had gone to my grandma's for a wonderful German dinner.  Max's appetite was noticeably smaller, but I just figured he was too distracted to eat by all the people there.  (Getting kids to eat when other kids are running around and playing is next to impossible, but that's a whole separate post)  We got home and went to bed as normal.  He woke up around 2 for a feeding, again very normal.  Then, as I went to lay him down he started to cry a cry that I have never heard before.  Tired and confused, I handed him to Todd for a minute.  Within seconds he puked up violently all over our bed!! While I tore all the bedding off of our bed, Todd gave him a bath.  The rest of the night continued in this way.  Todd and I took turns holding him out in the living room with a towel.  At around 4am, Todd went to get pedialyte.  Max sucked it down fast, which was a mistake because within 5 minutes it all came up.  The next few days & nights were miserable, especially for poor Max.  We took him to the doctor's on Sunday and again on Wednesday and they really couldn't tell us much except for a few tips to keep him hydrated. 

I was amazed Lizzie hadn't gotten sick.  However, something else happened to her which, can only be described as hilarious in my opinion.  It is SUPER stressful to have a baby throwing up at any given time without ANY warning.  One of these times in particular was when I was holding him in the kitchen, trying to get a quick peek at my e-mails.  He threw up all over the kitchen floor as I struggled to get him to the sink.  He continued to vomit.  Lizzie was playing in her room, so I asked her to stay in there and warned her not to come out because Max had puked.  Lizzie replied, "OK Mom?"  I told her again, but at this point she must have been curious.  She came running into the kitchen only to slip and fall right over the barfy mess.  She sat there stunned for a minute as I hurried to clean Max up and put him down for a nap.  She looked down at her hands which were covered with barf and started to gag immediately.  I told her to calmly walk to my bathroom so she could have a bath.  I could have let that incident really put me over the top of my stress level, but instead I just had to laugh. 

She did end up getting sick almost the day Max got better, but luckily when Lizzie gets sick it never lasts more than 2 days.  Poor Max on the other hand, was very ill for about a week.  (that week felt like a month)  The nice thing about older kids being sick, is they kinda know when the vomit is coming.  She would cover her mouth with her hand exactly 3 seconds before it came up EVERY time.  That was nice.  There was less mess that way.  She also remains is great spirits when she's sick, so that's kinda nice too.

Here are a few things I learned and found to be very helpful for kids with the flu:

1.  Chicken or beef broth is better than pedialyte because salt is lost when they are dehydrated (it stayed down better too)
2.  Coconut water (from Trader Joe's)  tastes gross, so is hard for them to drink, but has less sugar than gatorade or pedialyte, and is still filled with electrolytes
3.  Peppermint oils, rubbed on the feet and also smelled from my hands helps with the nausea and vomiting
4.  Big bowls are great to keep close at hand (learned that one from my mama)
5.  Finally, though we don't promote children under 2 watching tv/movies, "Finding Nemo" seems to do the trick for lulling a sick child back to sleep in the middle of the night.  It worked for Lizzie and now Max too!

Good luck to anyone who has a sick child at some point.  It is inevitable and will inevitably happen a dozen more times.  The best thing to do is keep your sense of humor around, because with all the gross, stressful and not-fun things you have to deal with, you may as well have a few laughs along the way. :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

We Love Yosemite!

Last month we took the kids to Yosemite for the first time.  I have a great uncle and aunt who live in Sonora.  We visit them often and they don't live too far from Yosemite, so this last visit we decided to take a day trip to the gorgeous sites of Yosemite.  I hadn't been since I was about 12, but the memories from my childhood trips were fresh in my mind that day.  I fell in love with that place all over again.  What's not to love?  It's absolutely beautiful!!

Lizzie did great and hiked most of the way on the Vernal Falls trail.  We had to stop at the bridge because that was as far as a stroller could go.  Next time we HAVE to remember our backpack carrier.  The weather was perfect, not too cold or hot and the Fall colors were amazing.  Todd wants to go again in the Winter, so we may get to see yet another season of Yosemite.  I always went in the summer as a kid.  No matter when you go, there is something so magnificent about the place I imagine that even the worst weather conditions couldn't keep it from being an amazing vacation spot.

Football Fun

Last night the Huskies finished the regular season with a sad loss to James Logan High.  We still had a great season with a 5-1 record and will for sure go on to the playoffs.  It has been fun with all the family in the stands, especially all the little kids!  They have been such troopers sitting through all kinds of weather, some very long games and some very loud games.  With the help of some snacks on hand, they made it through.  Their reward?  After every game, the kids would get to run (or crawl in some cases) all over the football field, chasing and even tackling one another.  It has been a blast to watch them!  Here a just a couple of pictures I got of Lizzie, Ashlyn and Madison, all wearing their Daddys' old numbers from when they were Husky football players years ago :) 

(Tiff, if you read this, would you mind sending me more? Thanks :)  You got the BEST pics of ALL the kids)

"Pretty School" as Lizzie calls it

Lizzie's First Day of Preschool

She absolutely loves going to preschool and I love how much she is learning!  It's so fun to see her recognize letters and numbers on store signs or street signs or wherever we go.  It's awesome to see her interact with other children too.  The conversations that go on between 3 & 4 year olds is absolutely priceless!  I'm so glad she enjoys it and hope her love for school will carry on throughout the years.  Next school year she will be enrolled in preschool, but which preschool has yet to be determined.  If anyone can recommend any, we're open to suggestions :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Busy Busy Busy!!

We sure have been busy these last couple weeks.  I wish I could say it will slow down soon, but no chance of that. This is literally the 3rd time I have started this post!  Max started crawling a couple weeks ago and made me realize that while my home is child-proof it isn't very baby-proof.  He also got his first tooth!

We have been busy re-organizing our place yet again!  Both kids have grown out of many of the clothes in their drawers so it was time to put them into storage to make room for their current size clothing.  Whew!  What a job that was. 

Lizzie started preschool.  It's two other moms and myself on a rotation of teaching lessons twice a week.  She loves it but she think it's called "pretty school" :). 

I recently applied to a teaching credential program and have been busy gathering the necessary documents for that, plus substitute teaching about twice a week.  I even have a couple of jewelry shows lined up for the end of this month!  As much as I would have loved it, I am glad I decided to turn down the offer to help coach cross-country this season. 

Todd's football team started league so we are in the middle of football season, which is ALWAYS a busy time for the whole family.  We are 2-0 for regular season so far (a lot better than our pre-season record of 0-4)  Everyday before football he has stayed steadily busy with work at the apartments too.  Oh and he applied to Chabot to take a full load during the Spring semester.

I'm sure I am forgetting a few more things that have added to the chaos that is our lives, but we love it all.  I am just grateful for family and for the fact that we are able to do most of these activities together!!  We have managed to squeeze in some fun family outings which I will be posting shortly!