Thursday, December 23, 2010

Monday 12/20/10 Picnic!

Monday we had really nice weather. If you live in Texas you know that the weather changes often and unless it's Summer then you never know what you're gonna get. (Our Summer is from May through September and it's just HOT!) It was in the 70's on Monday and so I decided if the weather was going to act like it was Spring then so should we. We went to play at the park and have a picnic! As soon as we got there and I turned them loose they ran right for the rock wall.


Collin couldn't make it all the way up, but that didn't stop either of them from trying. Owen was determined to be a big kid.

Owen gave me a few heart attacks and this ladder thing was one of them! Except for when I took this picture, I was holding my hands under him every time he crawled up here. He fell through once, but didn't let go and just hung there till I lifted him back up.

This slide was another heart attack. The thing is huge! Collin went up with him every time to make sure Owen was sitting down. They are such boys!


Just because Owen had to sit down on the slide didn't mean Big Brother had to! Collin is a monkey!


Silly faces! Can you believe I made them take 3 pictures like this one on the bridge and this was the best one I got?! Click the picture to make it bigger.

After the park we had to stop by the grocery store. There is a brand new Albertson's by our house and and that means one thing if you are a little boy : Coolest grocery carts ever!

They have a play car attached to the front of the shopping basket so the kids can 'drive' their way through the store. It's like trying to steer a limo for me because the contraption is extra long, but it's worth it because they have so much fun.

After nap time we made cookies! (Can you tell yet that I'm trying to make my vacation week extra fun?) First we made chocolate chip cookies with M&M's added by the boys. Then we made sugar cookies with sprinkles. Owen got a bit carried away with the sprinkles and some of the cookies are caked in them. It's pretty awesome!

Those are two sweet boys!

Sunday 12/19/10 Putt-Putt

On Sunday, while Owen and Timothy were taking a nap, I decided to take Collin to Putt-Putt! He has never been before and has told me several times recently that he would like to play golf. When we first walked in I think his mouth fell open a little bit. He was completely in awe of all the flashing lights and video games. It's kind of like a big-kid version of Chuck E Cheese's. I had to drag him past all the cool games to get to the golf section. I think his mouth fell open again when we got outside and he saw the bumper boats and go carts and other rides. Today was just for golf and video games, but we will definitely have to come back again. I should also mention that he was really sad that Owen couldn't come with us. I tried to explain that 2 years old is not quite big enough to play golf, but we will bring Owen when he gets a little older.

He did really well with the golf after I showed him how to hold the putter. He was a little shy about it at first and would just barely tap the ball, but it didn't take him long to get into it.







After we finished the golf game I was happy to get inside because it was a bit chilly that day. I got us $10 in tokens and we started spending! I guess I must have been spoiled by the aforementioned Chuck because all his games are just one token each. Not so with this place. Some of the games require 12 tokens! Are you kidding me?! So we tried to stick to the ones that only needed one or two and it worked out because those were more on his level anyway. We ended up with loads of tickets, about 400 or so, and he got to pick out a few toys for prizes. The first things he picked out were two identical bouncy balls so he could give one to Owen. (Best big brother ever!)

When all the tickets were spent we headed over for a game of mini bowling. It's mini for adults, but Collin has never been bowling either and it was still pretty hard for him. The ball is just a solid rock with no finger holes that an adult can easily fit this into the palm of their hand, but not Collin. Plus the thing was probably 8 lbs or so. But of course he figured out a way and had a blast! He just set it on the ground and gave it a push. There were bumpers so no gutter balls, but he really didn't even need them much. It took a good long while for the ball to get to the pins, but he knocked over several of them each time.






So all in all it was a great trip and we can't wait to go again and take Owen!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Oh what fun it is....

Is everyone ready for Christmas? I've been having a blast the past few days staying home with my family. I have a 11 days off from work (that just may be a record if you don't count maternity leave) and I'm determined to make it fun, productive and just a tad bit relaxing. My first day off was Friday and I finished all the shopping. I know I said I was done before but I had to wait for a day that Timothy would be out so I could go get his present and wrap it. He's a sneaky one and I can't just hide things in a closet when he's around. :)

Also, on Friday was the boys' Christmas party at daycare. I wasn't sure if I should go into Owen's class to visit him or not because I didn't want to upset him when I left without taking him with me, but he actually did great. When he saw me with my jacket on he insisted on putting his on too even though I took mine off and told him we were not leaving. I think he just like wearing the hood, or as he calls it "my hat". I went back and forth a couple of times between the classes to visit with both kids. They had a special lunch and a book gift exchange. Collin got a level 2 book from a friend for his gift and he can read almost the whole thing by himself. I'm SO proud of his reading! Owen got a Little Golden Book about going to the beach. It's a brand new book, but the first copyright was from 1951 and it shows pictures of the little tents on the beach for the changing rooms and a rope to hold on to as you wade out into the water. Such a cute little history book. Haha! I ended the afternoon with a killer headache which pretty much ruined the rest of my day. I think it was all the 2-year-olds banging their books on the table that did it, but they sure were having fun.

Saturday was a really fun day! We started early by going to Build A Bear at the mall. We wanted to avoid the crowds so we were there before they even opened. This trip was mostly supposed to be a present for Owen because he loves stuffed animals, but as it turned out I think Collin had more fun. Owen was  a bit turned off by the all the floppy unstuffed animals and it took him forever to decide which one he wanted. He finally picked a gray kitty and Collin picked a bunny. The bunny Collin picked is exactly the same bunny that their grandparents gave to Owen when he was a baby. Owen's is named O.O. Jr, and Collin decided to call his Freddy. Of course Owen couldn't pick a name for his cat (I think he was a bit overwhelmed) and since I was helping him and I have little imagination we just called him Kitty. They have both really enjoyed playing with their new friends, but especially Collin. He loves that Freddy. I was pleasantly surprised that it was only $26 total for both of the critters; I was expecting twice that.  We just may have to do this again when Owen is a bit older and understands it more.



After the mall, the boys and I went to visit the Wiethoffs and do our gift exchange. The kids had a great time and as always it seemed the visit was too short. Since we live 45 minutes apart we don't get to see each other as often as we would like. The kids raked leaves and jumped into the pile. It was pretty awesome. Cooper was the great at raking the leaves while the others were jumping.






Sadie was a bit scared to jump into the leaves. She really is a very prim and proper little lady. So she wanted
Mommy (Sally) to hold her hand the first couple of times.

My mom (Mimi) came over and joined us for pizza Saturday evening. The boys just love when she comes to play. Of course we watched an episode of Star Trek because that's just what Nowell's do when they eat pizza. This time it was Next Gen. There is a cute picture of Collin and Mimi snuggling on the couch watching Star Trek, but I can't figure out how get it from Facebook :( so you can try this link: http://tinyurl.com/2bflder 


Well there was lots more fun stuff that happened on Sunday and Monday, but this is already way too long, so I will just have to write again soon.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Top Ten Things I Learned From Harry Potter

I got this list a few months ago from Mugglecast which is a Harry Potter podcast. Podcasts are cool, like bow ties. If you got that joke then you get 5 geek points. :) Anyway, I thought it was so awesome that I actually wrote it down and hung it up by my desk at work. It's next to my Obi-Wan action figure with his arms raised over his head to scare away the Sand People. So here is a little glimpse into my geekdom:

10. Your family is more important than you realize.

9. We all start as outsiders.

8. The greatest gift in the world is a truly loyal friend.

7. Don't be afraid to break the rules.

6. Arrogance will be your downfall.

5. Don't mess with giants.

4. To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.

3. It is our choices that show who we truly are, far more than our abilities.

2.  The magic is real if you want it to be.

1. Love conquers all.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fa la la la wow it's quiet in here

Collin and Owen spent last night with their Memaw and G-da (Timothy's parents) and we got to enjoy a quiet house and watch grown-up movies. Collin especially has been dying to stay over with the grandparents for awhile now. This was my first night away from Owen and I think only number six for Collin and that includes two nights I was in the hospital after having Owen. I held up much better than I thought I would. :) Timothy's office had a Christmas party last night and so we would have had to get a sitter anyway so it worked out well that they were able to go stay. It's Sunday morning now and we will go get them after nap time today. This was the first time in forever that we have both gotten to sleep as late as we wanted. I still woke up at 7 this morning, but then realized I didn't have to be up and slept till about 8:30. That's REALLY late for us. We went out to IHOP for breakfast. It's nice to have some kid-free time, especially in the car. It's been very quiet.

I spent a couple hours last night wrapping presents and watching Ocean's Eleven and an episode of original series Star Trek. I have officially gotten presents for all the kids that we need to buy for. It's hard to know where to draw the line, but there it is. I suppose if I only see your kids a couple times a year I don't need to buy the presents, right? Isn't is amazing how quickly Christmas turns from being a celebration of God's gift of His son into stressing about whose feelings will be hurt and what to buy for whom? I am thankful that there are only a couple of people in my life that don't appreciate the true meaning of gift-giving and are incredibly hard to buy for on our budget. Most people in my family and my close friends would be overjoyed to receive anything in the spirit of Christmas even if it's just a hand-made ornament or cookies. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Aged P

Today was another trial in the life of the grown child trying to care for the elderly parent, or as I like to affectionately call my dad, The Aged P. It's from Great Expectations. Go read it if you haven't already.

The Aged is 76 years old and is so irresponsible with money that I'm starting to wonder if he understands the concept. His life revolves around that social security check and he can't wait to spend it and loves planning different ways of spending it. He get sucked into every scam imaginable and wastes so much money. I'm convinced there is a special place in Hell for people that prey on the elderly. Why can't we live on the Enterprise already?! I'm so sick of everyone obsessing about money. There is never enough of it, everyone wants more. Why can't we just learn to be happy with what we have?

Obviously, The Aged is no longer playing with a full deck. He has been diagnosed with dementia and possibly/probably Alzheimer's. Whatever you want to call it, it sucks. It really blows to lose someone while they are still with you. He's not the same guy that raised me anymore. The man that was my Daddy was strong and smart and kind and creative. This new guy that took over his body is just mental. He is constantly confused and doesn't know what's going on half the time.

He lives on his own and the place is a mess. I'm convinced that he would be better off in a nursing home. Even though there is nothing physically wrong with him, I don't believe he takes care of himself very well. He doesn't like to discuss the matter because any place that he would move to he A: wouldn't get his monthly check anymore because it would go toward his care while the state picks up the rest of the tab and B: wouldn't get to take all his junk with him. Including a collection of plastic Wal-Mart bags large enough to take over a room. He doesn't even want to make me his power of attorney because he doesn't want anyone calling the shots but him. (Have I mentioned I think I get my stubbornness from him?) So as I understand it the only way I can make him go to a home if he doesn't want to would involve a court battle. I really don't like the thought of having to form a case against The Aged.

At this point he is choosing to not pay his bills, which I think makes him a danger to himself. I had to pay to turn his electricity back on a few days ago. It was going to be in the lower 30's that night! Then when he got paid today he was ready to go give it all to the scammers again and put off the bills for another month. Luckily I was able to convince him that it would be in his best interest to keep the lights and the phone on so he agreed to give me some money to pay his bills.

I guess we will do this all again next month, and in the meantime I should probably call a lawyer. :( If any of you have any advice on this or if you have been through this process before I would really appreciate some feed back.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Just Another Day....

Today was awesome in that it was just a normal day with my great family. We went to do our shopping this morning at Wal-Mart which we do almost every Saturday to stock up for the week. When we came home Collin helped me put up our Christmas lights on the house. He really wanted to do the tree too, but I can't handle both on one day. :)

Then we had lunch... Owen said "I hundry por chi-den nuggets!" That's about all he's ever "hundry" for these days. Then while neither Timothy or I was looking something happened in the kitchen and we go in to find both boys upset and somehow Owen's chocolate milk ended up in Collin's hair and all over his face! Still don't understand that one because I know Owen wouldn't dump it on him intentionally and his shirt was hardly wet. I guess it just got away from him... it was pretty funny. Then Owen said he wasn't hungry after all and just wanted to take a nap. How awesome is it that he can recognize when he's tired and vocalize it?! So I put him to bed and put some laundry on and then I took a nap too. (yay!) Collin and Timothy watched some Star Trek and played Nintendo.

After naps Owen helped me with some laundry. I tell you, he is a pro when it comes to pushing the button to start the dryer! The boys had a great game of hide and seek even though I don't think Owen really understands the concept yet, but he knows how to count to ten and look for his brother so that's good enough for Collin. They had such a great time playing hide and seek with their cousin Annie on Thanksgiving and this is the first time I've seen them play it by themselves. We had dinner: yummy potato soup for me and Timothy and peanut butter sandwich and mac and cheese for the boys. Owen managed to spill more chocolate milk on the floor. I swear we go a week or two with no spills then they all come in one day. Oh well, I guess that's my clue that it's time to mop again.

I told Owen to get ready for his bath and the next thing I know I have 2 naked boys in the bathroom. They just love doing everything together and unless I specify they will assume that they are having a bath together. I set up my computer in Owen's room and they got their pillows and blankets/sleeping bag and watched A Land Before Time a classic from my childhood and conveniently available on Netflix instant. They loved it and loved watching a movie in Owen's room.

Then they decided to have a slumber party and just stay on the floor. When I left them Collin was reading a bedtime story to Owen. They talked a little bit but never fussed or came out of the room. When I went to check on them they were both sleeping peacefully.  It makes me so happy that they get along so well most of the time and I just hope they always keep that bond. Sweet dreams, my boys.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Haircuts!

I gave Collin and Owen haircuts tonight. I just started cutting their hair this year and I kind of wish I had been brave enough to try it sooner. I really didn't like to pay someone $15 plus tip to cut Owen's hair when he just screamed the whole time. It was stressful for everyone, but mostly for him. He still doesn't like it when I cut his hair, but at least he doesn't scream his head off. I think Collin would rather have someone else do his hair, not because he cares how he looks but because he doesn't like getting his hair cut in the bathroom, but I figure if I can save $15 and he looks decent then it's a good deal.
Here they are after haircuts and baths tonight:









I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We all have so much to be thankful for. I should blog about that....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Who's a lazy blogger?

Yup, it's me! Ta-da!

The boys started at a new daycare last week. It's closer to home so they will be able to take Collin to and from school next year when he starts, not that I'm going to think about that yet. Also, this new place is saving us $60 per week! I have already noticed a difference in our budget and it's nice. :)

A few changes from the last school. This one is much smaller. All the kids are in the same room (except the infants) until the bus leaves to take the older ones to school. This means Collin and Owen get to hang out  for 45 minutes or so and have breakfast together. Owen loves this! When we walk in he starts looking for 2 chairs next to each other so he can sit "by Bubba". They also get to watch movies or educational programs during this time. Our last school didn't have TV time at all, which I admit I was a fan of that rule, but it's really only for 45 minutes so it's not a big deal. That is the only time of day that the TV is on.

The first day was really hard for little Owen. He didn't eat at all until just right before we got there to pick them up. He warmed up a little more each day and getting to hang out with Collin for a bit after I leave has really helped. They told me he still gets a little sad when it's time for them to split up, but it's getting better. Collin on the other hand is Mr Personality. He ran into his class the first day and announced, "My name is Collin. I'm four and a half. My name is spelled C-O-L-L-I-N!" He has come home singing the new songs he has learned and seems to be having a good time. He still mentions every couple of days that he would like to go back to his old school. He doesn't sound like he's really bonded with the other kids yet. He can only tell me one kid's name from his class and the teacher says he mostly plays alone. I'm sure it's hard being the new kid and it will take a little time to get used to.

The weirdest part for me is that now I drop the kids off so close to home instead of down the street from my work. That means my car is very quiet and I haven't gotten used to that yet. I'm not used to being able to listen to whatever I want to in the car. I pass over a set of train tracks to get to work and it's not nearly as exciting to get stopped to wait for a train if you don't have two little boys in the backseat. The other sad part is that they are just a little too far for me to be able to take Collin out to lunch now. I know we will both miss that.

In other news, it's been nice having Timothy home for two weeks in a row! Don't know if he will be here next week or not because his job is being annoyingly non-committal. But, that's okay! We are grateful for employment! Collin has two more T-ball games for the season. Just in time too because the last couple have been really cold. Owen is talking up a storm now. He is starting to get competitive with Collin, especially in the car. Both kids will say "No, I'M talking!", then I have to pick one and say "Owen/Collin what do you want to say?" More times than not it's followed by a sweet "I love you, Mommy." from either kid. :)

I took the boys to a new church on Sunday. It was bad! Not the church, just my experience. They were both so loud during service. Collin wouldn't whisper when he was reading and said "If I whisper then I won't hear the story!" Owen meanwhile was reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar and kept saying at ever increasing volumes "But he was STILL hungry!" Then finally it was time for communion which is right before the end of the service. I took the boys up, but apparently this church doesn't distribute communion to children and when they were overlooked they both lost it. Collin was sobbing and saying "He didn't give me my communion!" and Owen was screaming "Me want BREAD! Me want BREAD!" Yeah, we had to check out at that point. Luckily there was a big plate of cookies that we walked past and I told the boys that the cookies were their communion for that day. Whew! It was exhausting.

Hopefully I'll check back in sooner rather than later. I hope you are all well.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The H word

I know I promised a couple of posts ago that I would explain my quirks with October 31st. First I'll just say that I know I'm in the minority here and I'm not trying to convince anyone... just stating my position. Here it is: I think it's lame. That's it. What? Not enough.... ?

It irks me that people call it a holiday. The word holiday came from "holy day". So far doesn't qualify. Well, now the definition has come to include any day where "observation is warranted". I guess that's up to you. If you look up the history of halloween it's straight out of the middle ages and if we are still doing that then we might as well tie Hermione to a stake.

I know some people think it's so much fun to dress up and dress up the kids and the dog and decorate the house and the yard and their desks at work and whatever else they can get their hands on. I just don't get it. To me the biggest thing I have to worry about is trying not to take the kids into Wal-Greens for two months because the decorations freak them out. Oh that and explaining to people why I'm not as excited as they are. The house across the street has ghost decorations and Owen thinks they are bunnies. You think I corrected him?

I am the only person I know that has never been trick-or-treating. My parents (hi mom!) had pretty extreme views of halloween when I was growing up. I used to think that when I was old enough I would just go all out and that would show them. But instead I grew up and asked myself "what is the point?" I never have come up with a good answer, so here I am: the Scrooge of halloween. 

I would let the kids dress up if they wanted to, although I draw the line at trick-or treating. I just think it's rude to knock on a door and expect them to give you candy. Collin has had a costume for the last two years, but he has never wanted to wear it on the day, or in front of people. I don't blame him, I would feel silly too. As for Owen... we are still trying to talk that child into wearing pj's to bed. He spent the entire day today in just his diaper and loved every second of it. Good luck trying to get a costume on that one.

So again, not trying to convince anyone, just saying I'm gonna need a better reason to go out of my way. None of this stuff is fun for me. Bah humbug.

Don't worry, I'll cheer up for Thanksgiving. There is always something to be thankful for... like the kids in my neighborhood respecting the porch light and not ringing my bell. :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

It was a dark and scary night......

About an hour ago at 10:30 I was just getting ready to go to bed. I had ten minutes left to watch of my movie on Netflix instant and I hear a doorbell. My first thought was that I don't see how that sound could fit in to the movie at this point, then I realize that it was my actual doorbell. Timothy is out of town again this week and even if he wasn't I probably still wouldn't have answered the door so late. I snuck past the front door with the window at the top to get to the other side of the house for two reasons: that's where the boys are sleeping and I want to be closer to them in this moment of uncertainty and also because their bedroom windows are the only ones in the house that look out onto the street. I see someone standing on the front porch with a flashlight and a truck parked in the street in front of the house. It looked like a work truck, but I couldn't see any logos on the side or anything.

I called Timothy who was most likely already sleeping and didn't answer, then wondered what I expected him to do about this anyway. By this point scary flashlight man is walking around my yard and I'm trying to watch him through the blinds and not let him see me at the same time. Then I called my cousin David who lives only a couple of miles away who said he'd be right over and agreed I should call the police. While on the phone with 911 the scary flashlight man managed to get over the fence into the backyard!

I'm running from the kids' rooms to check on them and look outside to the window in the kitchen to watch the backyard too. Then freaky scary flashlight man pulls out the biggest chainsaw I have ever seen and starts cutting down my neighbor's tree that hangs over our fence. By this time a part of my brain was thinking this has to be someone from the power company, but I was too far into panic mode at this time to listen to it. Finally, the nice guy on the phone tells me the cops are outside, it's just a utility truck and I should go outside to talk to the officer.

I go outside and see the police car about 3 houses down where he had pulled David over for speeding! They were more worried about giving him a ticket than making sure I was okay! I hovered on my front porch for a bit, not wanting to walk away from my house where the two boys are sleeping with scary flashlight/chainsaw man still on the loose, but it was soon obvious that the police were not going to come to me and I was going to have to go to them. So I ran down the street in my bare feet and told them I was the one that called and please come check on the guy roaming my yard and please don't give my cousin a ticket for trying to come save me.

Well the cops were pretty much jerks and thought I was a stupid girl, but at least David didn't get a ticket. They finally went and talked to the utility guy and then said they were going to leave. David and Sheila came inside and sat with me for a few minutes to calm me down. I'm really grateful they live so close by and stay up late.

An hour later, I feel kinda stupid, but I would probably do it the same way again. And if you think guys walking around at night with flashlights aren't scary then you should go watch E.T. again.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Chocolate Tea

I got to stay home with Owen tonight while Timothy took Collin to T-ball practice. We had a blast doing 2-year-old stuff. We watched Mickey Mouse and Imagination Movers and then he had a bubble bath! Collin actually started the tradition of making chocolate tea for me, so I need to be sure to give him credit, but Owen caught on quickly. When they have bubbles in the bath they will scoop up some water with a cup and leave the foam on top. This is chocolate tea with whipped cream. Collin started serving me tea because I don't like coffee. If I'm lucky I will get some pretend chocolate syrup and a cherry on top.  So tonight Owen made me some tea and I had to record the moment:

video


Here is a transcription for those that don't speak Owen:
ME: Hey Owen what is that?
Owen: um, chocolate tea.
Me: Who's it for?
Owen: um, Mommy.
Me: Aw thank you. You're so sweet.
Owen: Oop! Dump all out tea!
Me: Where's my chocolate tea?
Owen: Dump all out.
Me: oh no.
Owen: Ma, me get more.
Me ok, you get some more.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Link!

Collin has been absolutely obsessed with Zelda the past couple of months. I don't mind admitting that I know how he feels, it's an awesome game. For any that were living under a rock especially in the 80's and 90's, Zelda is a Nintendo video game about a little boy named Link who looks like an elf and his mission is (you guessed it!) to save the princess, Zelda. Collin has been playing on our old Nintendo 64 and after he warmed up with Mario for a few weeks he has moved on to my favorite game of all time. Zelda is intense and takes hours and hours to complete even if you know what you're doing, but the awesome part for Collin is that you can just sort of wander around and explore places, which he does endlessly. He is still a bit scared to confront many of the 'bad guys' but there are so many places to go and things to do in the game so he can easily avoid them.

He has been saying for awhile that he wants to be Link. I found a bow and arrow at Wal-Mart a couple weeks ago for him and that was exciting, but he keeps asking for more Link stuff. Link has a LOT of stuff. He wants a hook-shot, sling-shot, magic, a sword, shield, a shirt that lets you breathe under water,  boots that fly... the list just goes on and on. He finally said that he wanted a Link costume so I started looking for one. But since Zelda is SO ten years ago, costumes are hard to find. The best I could find was someone on eBay willing to make custom order costumes for about $30. Then the craziness began and I thought "Hey, I could do that." You all should already know, I do NOT sew. Maybe a button here or there, or if I'm feeling really lucky I may attempt to save some poor stuffed animal that has suffered a horrible accident. I did do a couple of blankets around the time Owen was born, but no one wears a blanket unless the are playing Superman and need a cape. Mostly we take advantage of my wonderful mother-in-law who can completely put Martha Stewart to shame. She can make anything and it's always amazing.

After wandering the craft section of the previously mentioned Wal-Mart and feeling like an idiot, I found some material and thread. (Thanks to Sally for recommending the felt!) When I got home I felt even dumber for ever expecting to create something wearable from these raw materials. I found some instructions online that basically involved tracing one of Collin's t-shirts and cutting it out. I had this thing all pinned up with safety pins, because I'm not cool enough to have those straight pins that people have when they actually know how to sew. When Collin first saw it in it's rough first draft form he made a face and said he didn't want to be Link anymore. We had to have a Mommy/Collin conference at that point and I explained that I had already put some time and money into this thing and if he was going to be rude about it we could just throw it in the trash. He totally called my bluff and agreed that indeed the thing I was calling his costume should be thrown into the trash as soon as possible. He explained his argument as well as a 4-year-old could and said that he didn't want to wear Link's shirt, but instead he just wanted to actually BE Link. He wanted all the accessories and tools that Link uses, but he was not comfortable wearing elf clothes. I explained that if he wasn't dressed like our brave hero then no one was going to know he was Link and would just think he was Collin with a sword for some reason. This seemed to work for him and he agreed to wait and see how the costume turned out. I was still curious myself as to how it would turn out at this point.

Well here is the final product and I think it worked out way better than I could have hoped for. Collin changed his mind and I think he is happy it didn't go into the trash. He wears it all the time now.

I was particularly proud of the collar and the sleeves, since I've never done either before. :) I still have to make some boots... he wants me to make 3 pairs of boots like Link has: Hover boots (lets you float in the air), Iron boots (helps you sink and walk under water) and then the regular boots. He also really wants some gauntlets, little fingerless gloves that go up to the forearm, and he needs the golden gauntlets and not the silver ones because he needs the extra strength to pick up huge rocks! If nothing else I think playing this game has helped him work on his memory skills. You have to play certain songs to go different places and use certain weapons at the right time etc. He has also discovered that if you keep practicing you will improve on whatever you are trying to do.

I found a sword and shield for him at Target:


Some folks have asked what kind of costume Owen is going to wear and my answer to that is: are you kidding me? The kid doesn't even like clothes!

If you were wondering, and I know you are, I have intentionally left out the "H" word from this story up until this point, but since it is October and I am one of about 5 people on the planet that does not get excited about the last day of this month it will come back to haunt me I'm sure. I will give you another post soon about my quirks about that day.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Go Rangers!

I can't even begin to tell you what I have been doing for the last week other than being a nervous ball of energy about the Rangers winning their first ever post-season series! Yup, really don't remember much other than that. Well, I made a costume that is pretty cool. Oh, and I got to hang out with my awesome cousins on Saturday. Watched a couple movies yesterday. I think that's it. I must have been busy because it's already October 12 and I'm not even sure I've flipped the calendar from September yet. I obviously need some sleep, but I promise I will give you a story and pictures of that costume soon. We have until Friday to recover and get ready to take on the Yankees!
Just remembered, I set my own record this week: I managed to give those boys their 10 day antibiotic without missing a dose! Never happened before in this house. I got lucky because it was just a twice a day medicine, but still... I think it's pretty cool!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Oh, my silly Owen

Owen is getting so big and he is changing everyday. He is trying more and more to do everything "yike Bubba" and "by self". Today his new thing is to fall down (on purpose) and then say, "I'm otay!" We all think it's pretty funny and cute so he keeps doing it and we keep laughing. I have noticed that when he actually falls or bumps his head or any other kind of minor injury he doesn't complain nearly as much as he did even a couple of weeks ago. He used to always run over for kisses and cuddles for any kind of owie, but now he will often just keep playing. I catch myself starting to go over to him but before I get there he is off again like it never happened. Oh well, at least he isn't driving yet.

I have always thought that Collin just got more fun as he got older so I wasn't as sad when it happened. I think because I also knew that I wanted another child so I knew I would get to do it all over again. But it's a bit different with Owen because he's the baby I guess. Still, I'm looking forward to him growing and being able to do more things.

For example, I will not be sad to see the diapers go. He is going to be stubborn about the whole potty training thing too. He totally freaks out if I even suggest trying to go to the potty! He has his little potty chair that he will occasionally try out and a little potty seat to go on the toilet that he even picked out himself that he has never used. He will not even consider the toilet because it's "Bubba's potty". I can hear you all now with your thoughts of he is too little and don't force the poor thing, but I'm telling you that the kid knows when he needs to go. He tells me all the time, "Mommy, need new diaper. Me go pee-pee." I think if he can say that then he could use the potty. Oh well, I'm not going to push it too much yet.... but I'm also not going to play this game too much longer either.

Here is a picture from last night.... Owen and Collin were playing in their rooms and he just came out like this:

"Mommy, yook me!" Awesome! He has his Spiderman undies on over his diaper, so cute! It is really hard to keep clothes on that boy. He knows how to undress himself pretty well and will do so at the drop of a hat. We are always asking him if he would like a shirt or pants and he will say in his little sing-song voice "Noooooo. Just diaper!" We don't mind him running around like that most of the time but pretty soon it's going to be cold and that may cause a problem. I had to wrestle him into his pj's tonight because he just wanted to sleep in his diaper. The last couple of mornings he has been like an ice cube when he wakes up and that bothers me even if it doesn't bother him.

A couple of nights ago when I was putting him to bed I asked what song he wanted to sing. Normally he like Jesus Loves Me (Jesus) or You Are My Sunshine (Sun-sign). Instead of the faithful favorites he decided to go with Happy Birthday. Okay, sure.... who should we sing happy birthday to? "Um, chocolate milk." You want to sing happy birthday to chocolate milk? "Yeah. And pancake!" So that is how the new tradition began and we have spent the last several nights singing "happy birthday dear chocolate milk and pancake" and he loves it every time! I love that my boys are creative and like to imagine. It just doesn't get better than that. :)

Here is another picture, again with no shirt... he likes to be my helper in the kitchen and you just can't be a helper without sitting on the counter.

I think that is all I have for tonight. Don't forget to cheer on the Rangers for their first game of the playoffs tomorrow. I don't know who decided that the games needed to be in the middle of the day, but that person is really lame. I'm thankful that my job allows me to listen to my earphones as I work so I can keep up with the game, but I was really looking forward to watching it.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Janet and the terrible, horrible, no good very bad day.... that ended rather nicely

Owen has been sick all weekend. Nothing too bad, just a low fever and very tired and fussy, which makes me tired and fussy too. Last night he woke up crying about 1:45 with no fever but very thirsty apparently. We had a discussion about how how should have water because I'm a big fan of nothing but water after teeth have been brushed and don't want him to have something sugary right before he sleeps. I should have known that the middle of the night was no time for advice about good dental habits. He wanted chocolate milk but we settled on apple juice. Timothy got up to get him the juice and had to search for a sippy cup because we don't use those very often and don't have many anymore. Owen drained the half-cup of juice and wanted more right away so it was my turn to fetch it. This time he decided he needed a big cup and didn't want the sippy cup. Of course I told him no to that (keep in mind he is in our bed at this point) but he insisted and took off for the kitchen. I poured a bit of the juice into the big cup for him which he drank then decided he wanted the sippy cup back. By the time he went to sleep it was almost 3:00 and I didn't get back to sleep till much later, partially due to the apple juice dripping out of the no-drip sippy cup onto my shoulder and my pillow.

We all had to be up early because we had to drop off Timothy at his office at 6:00 so he could leave to work out of town for the week. After we said our good-byes the boys and I had some time to kill because I start work at 7:30. We went to Burger King and had breakfast and the kids played in the play area. Owen couldn't climb all the way up on his own because the steps were soo big, so that means I had to climb into the thing too. (between that and the apple juice it was not turning out to be a glamorous morning for yours truly) Funny side note: I remember climbing into the same play area to help Collin get to the top when I was pregnant with Owen. That was another time when I was glad there was no one around with a camera. So every time they come down the slide they have to get another bite to eat or a drink and during one such break Owen dumps his chocolate milk ALL over his shirt. I blame his confusion on the sippy cup incident mentioned earlier.

Finally, 6:55 I tell them one more time down the slide and it's time to go. Owen does not agree with this assessment and is quite vocal about his opinion. I climb in one more time to help him up and (sniff sniff) what's that? Oh Owen! I didn't bring the diaper bag because we are going right to daycare where the have all the diapers. I then have to drag my screaming, chocolate milk covered, stinky 2 year-old out to the car. I didn't mention yet, but we had a cold front come in and it was in the upper 40's to lower 50's this morning but SOMEONE didn't bother to check the weather because everyone who lives here knows it's always Summer until Halloween, so needless to say my boys were in shorts and t-shirts today. Oops! It was not my proudest Mom moment to walk into daycare this morning with my messy, stinky, fussy, freezing child. At least poor Collin was just freezing. I changed Owen's diaper and kissed the boys and off to work to try to relax and recover from my long morning.

After sleep-walking through my morning I decided to go to the QT (gas station) across the street at lunch because I'd noticed one of my tires was low. I went in a bought a tire gauge (I swear I used to have one of those) then filled my tires to the prescribed pressure like the model motorist that I am. ha! I got back to work and was walking into the building when I realized that I couldn't remember if I had put my debit card in my pocket or back in my wallet. Of course it was in either of those places. Panic! Back to the car, dump out the purse, tear up the car.... nothing. Uh-oh, I threw my receipt and the package for the tire gauge into the trash at QT, could I have thrown away my debit card? Back to the QT, it's been a whole 10 minutes and they have already emptied the trash can. Are you kidding me? It wasn't even close to full! Of course the guys inside haven't found it. Acceptance. Anger. Bad words. Call the bank and cancel the card and now I get to wait 5-7 days for a new one. Timothy will be home before I get my new card. Sigh.

By the time I picked up the boys it was a nice warm afternoon and I no longer felt bad about the whole shorts thing. We came home and they watched Mickey Mouse while I tried to de-stress. We had an easy dinner and had two video chats with Daddy before bedtime. Both boys were really good tonight and I even got to take a shower without anyone interrupting me. They played nice with each other except for bath time which was a bit messy for all of us. Owen fussed about going to bed, but I think he mostly missed his Daddy. My boys like their routine what can I say? Can you think of a better way to end the night than with brownies?! Yum! Brownies just make everything better.


Here's to a better tomorrow! Good night.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Lucy, I've got some splainin' to do

I have been asked more than once now about the title of my blog, and here I was thinking it was plain as day, so I suppose I had better lay it out for ya'll. Since this is about my family (mostly) I tried to describe us in a way that no one else had yet claimed on the blogspot internets: Three guys, Timothy, Collin and Owen versus one girl, hello, that's me! That is the 3 to 1 explanation and as for the web address, I couldn't come up with any way of writing the title that wasn't already taken so I added a 4 in front because it's like a countdown. 4, 3, 2, 1 blastoff! And who doesn't think countdowns are fun? Ok, right after I wrote that I realized quite a few ways that countdowns could be really horrible and instead of just taking out that sentence I decided to just let each of you think of an example of good and bad countdowns for your homework. It's fun to use your imagination... except when it's not. Oh dear...... Here are a couple of pictures of my guys:



I'm out-numbered and I realize this will only get worse as the boys get older and graduate from sweet little boys into smelly, disgusting, messy, bigger boys. When I went to the hospital for my pre-operation prep stuff with Owen's scheduled c-section, one of the nurses saw Collin and asked if we were getting a girl this time. I answered no and she gave me this look like she was so sorry for me. She said, "Oh Honey, my best friend has four boys plus her husband and when you walk into that house it just smells like one big fart." So, now that I have been warned about my future, I plan to enjoy the (mostly) fart-free atmosphere of our home for as long as it lasts. And I'm also planning to stock up on Fabreze for when that time comes.

Last night (Thursday) was Collin's first T-ball practice and I think he loved it! He wore his Texas Rangers Kinsler jersey that he has been saving all week for practice. When the coach asked his name Collin said "I'm Ian Kinsler!" and then the coach called him Kinsler the rest of the night which Collin has no problem answering to. Collin was a little nervous at first, but he got over it pretty quickly and before long he had become the team's cheerleader. Every time he saw someone bat, catch or throw the ball he was right there with a loud "Good job!", "Great catch!" or "Good throw!" He even complimented the coach when he caught the ball. Cheeky! And when someone missed the ball he would yell "Almost got it!" He really is quite the optimist. :)




Today was lunch date #2 for Collin and I. I told him that we can't afford to go have lunch at McDonald's every week, but I could still come take him out if he wanted. I made us peanut butter sandwiches and took him to the park. (Thanks for the idea, Mom) I thought it would be kinda lame especially since I'm not the biggest fan of PBJ sandwiches, but it was actually really nice. It took him all of 5 minutes to eat his sandwich and pretzels and then we were off to the swings. We got to play for about 20 minutes before we had to head back which was just about perfect since it was warm today. Now I know that I can indeed take him out and make it back to work within my hour time limit so that's pretty cool. I can't wait for Owen to get big enough to go too.



On a completely random note I listened to the audio book A Long Walk to Freedom the autobiography of Nelson Mandela. Two thoughts: 1. that guy was and is awesome and 2. the National Anthem of South Africa is really beautiful when sung in the native language and you should all go Google it and have a listen.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Best Big Brother Ever!

Collin has just been awesome lately and has grown into a wonderful big brother. It is so nice to see him care about Owen. :) I always thought (mostly based on my own childhood) that Owen as the younger child would always be chasing after Collin and wanting to play with him and copy whatever he is doing. Yup, I was wrong about that; it's the other way around. Owen definitely love his big Bubba, but I think Collin is a bit more attached right now. Collin always wants to play with Owen and is happy to help him with anything he can. He has even attempted to change a dirty diaper, but he soon found his limit with that one! Often times Collin will get his feelings hurt because Owen would rather have Mommy or Daddy help him instead of Collin. For months now, Collin has been wanting to help Owen to unbuckle his car seat when it's time to get out of the car, but Owen would scream and only allow Timothy or I to do it. I tried to encourage Owen to let his brother help because after all, it would help me too, but he just wouldn't have it. Finally, last week Collin asked Owen again if he could get him out and Owen said, "sure Bubba" and it was just awesome! So now that is a pretty regular thing and I love it.

On Sunday night, Owen was being his normal monkey self and kept climbing on the couch and jumping off. I don't mean sitting on his bottom and sliding off either. He was standing on the couch and jumping to the floor. He actually managed to land on his feet most of the time, which was impressive, but still-- we don't stand on or jump off of the couch! When I told him to sit down for what seemed like the hundredth time (and yes, there were some time outs involved) I said something like, "Stop jumping off the couch before you break your neck!" Well apparently that's the wrong thing to say because Collin lost it. He was crying so hard he could hardly talk but he managed to say, "I don't want Owey to break his neck off!" He was so scared that his brother would get hurt. After that, he kept an eye on Owen all night and told him to sit down every time he stood up. Later, they were is Collin's room and Collin jumped off his bed and of course Owen followed him. Collin immediately realized what he had done and got right in Owen's face and told him, "I'm really sorry I jumped off my bed and I won't do it any more and you can't do it either because I don't want to you to get hurt and break your neck off!" He was so serious and Owen listened to him.

They play together as well as any two kids their age can I think. They will play quietly making a spectacular mess for 20 minutes before one of them starts fussing about something the other one did. I mostly attribute this successful playtime to Collin being an all-around easy-going kid. If Owen wants the toy Collin is playing with then Collin will say, "ok it can be your turn now and then my turn again." We tried to teach him early on that Owen has a short attention span that it's easier just to share because he won't play with the same toy for long anyway so you will get it right back most of the time.

Owen won't go to bed unless he gets to give Bubba a hug and kiss. And there are times when Owen refuses to go to sleep no matter how many time Timothy and I go in to put him back to bed, but we only have to send Collin in once. He will cover Owen up and give him lots of friends (stuffed animals) to sleep with and tell him goodnight and it's just all better. They have slumber parties all the time in Owen's room and sleep on the floor in sleeping bags. I hope that they always get along as well as they do now, and when they don't I will come back and read this entry and remember the good ol' days.

Speaking of bed time, this week I started reading Harry Potter to Collin. It's his first chapter book and first book without a picture on every page. He seems to like it so far (we just started chapter two today) but I'm not sure if he understands all of it. I try to stop and explain often because it's so new for him, not to mention it's British. I really was expecting him to freak out a little when I told him Voldemort killed Harry's parents, but he didn't get scared at all. I also think part of the reason he likes it is because he knows he is staying up a bit later then he normally would, but it's not like he would be sleeping anyway. He always talks to himself or 'reads' a book to himself for a good hour before he goes to sleep. Which is just what I need to do now too, so I will talk to you all again soon.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Play Date and Remembering 9/11

This morning Timothy had to work to make up for some rain days this week, or I should say flood days because I don't think the word 'rain' really covers it. Anyway, it was just me and the boys for our weekly Wal-Mart run today. We always go early because it's less crowded and because we are already up so we might as well get it over with. It has been so frustrating the last few weeks since they have decided to remodel our store and I still can't find anything! I had to ask someone today where the cat litter had moved to and was informed that it is now where the baby section used to be. And that's just one item.... it's like someone took everything in the store and threw it up in the air just to see where it would land. Oh well, I'm sure I will get used to it eventually. Nobody likes change once they are comfortable with something.

After shopping we came home and put away groceries and then took off again to go have a play date with our dear friends. Sally and I have been friends since we were 11 and met on the bus going to 6th grade. She and her husband Brent had two wonderful kids almost the same ages as Collin and Owen. Cooper in 7 months older than Collin and Sadie is 4 months older the Owen. For the most part they all get along really well which is awesome for me because I get to hang out with my friend. It's really sad that we don't live closer to each other to be able to visit more often. Here is a picture of Cooper and Collin playing Wii (I think it was Mario Kart)


It was Collin's first time to play on a Wii and it was pretty intense.  Big thanks to Brent for coaching Collin through the game!

Of course today is the anniversary of 9/11 and Timothy and I were watching a program about it on the History channel tonight. There are no words to describe the horror of that day. I was glued to the TV tonight just like I was 9 years ago on that Tuesday morning and I would not be surprised if I have nightmares of those burning towers tonight just like I did in 2001. I feel like I should reach out to everyone I know and tell them I love them. I remember all too well where I was and what I was doing that day just as I'm sure all of you do. I remember that feeling of helplessness wanting to do something for all those people so far away. I remember wanting to call everyone I knew to make sure they were alright even though they were nowhere near the sites affected. I remember the feeling of unity that brought our country together because we were all living the same nightmare. Strangers talking to and comforting each other in ways that we would never have done the day before. I remember the utter stillness of no planes in the air for days after. I remember the beauty of a country drawn together that was born of such horror. I remember the flags flying everywhere. Remembering is important and I will never forget.

I would like to close today with a huge Thank You to everyone who has ever served our country and fought to provide the freedoms we enjoy today. God bless you.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lunch Date

Collin was supposed to go to the dentist today, but they called yesterday and had to reschedule because we were a couple weeks short of the 6 month mark since his last visit and they were afraid insurance wouldn't cover it. His appointment was in the middle of the day and I told him that I would come pick him up from school (daycare) and we would go to the dentist then to lunch and he would be back at school by nap time and I wouldn't miss a whole day of work. When I informed him last night that we had to change the appointment he was actually disappointed, so I promised him that I would still come take him to lunch. That was me making promises to make him feel better before I thought about this remnant of a tropical storm that was hovering over us today and flooding everything in sight. If you live in the DFW area you know what I'm talking about. It's been raining like crazy for 2 days now. Luckily, when 11:00 rolled around today I didn't even need my umbrella. Of course Collin wanted to go to McDonald's.... do 4 year olds know any other restaurants? I hooked him up with his chicken mcnuggets and we sat on the big stools at the counter which was so fun for him.

He is just getting so big! While we were eating it started pouring again, which was good because it reinforced why we could not go outside in the play area. He ate all his food down to the last fry so since I was already spoiling him......


I got him an ice cream sundae! I just love the look on his face. :) You can also see his new Aquaman toy there. I think that foot-long spoon they gave us was supposed to be for some other frozen treat, but it did the job. By the time he was done with the ice cream the rain had almost stopped again and we went back to school. All his friends were all over him asking where he went and I was really glad I made him leave Aquaman in the car. Then I had to go back to work and I really didn't want to.
The daycare is less than a mile from my work and after this trip went so smoothly it has got me thinking that I might should do this more often. If we hurried a bit I could even fit it into my lunch hour without taking extra time off. I can't wait for Owen to be able to take little trips with me like this too. Right now he is still at the point that if he sees me for a few minutes and doesn't get to go home with me it is the end of the world so I don't want to add to his stress. After this year Collin will be in real school and I won't be able to go get him whenever I feel like it to go out and have fun with me so I suppose I should enjoy it while I can.
Speaking of the little O-man.... here is a short video of him brushing his teeth:

video

Don't worry, I brushed for him first, but sometime he like to follow up after I'm done.
Thanks for sharing part of our day!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Give thanks with a grateful heart

There are times in life when I rediscover how much I have to be thankful for and this past week has been one of those times. My family has witnessed God's awesome power as he guided doctors and nurses and saved my tiny baby cousin's life. It kinda puts everything into perspective and makes me want to count my blessings. It seems like there is always something to complain about, but this week I'm having a hard time thinking of anything.

Of course the obvious one is that I'm thankful for the health of myself, Timothy and our boys. Owen had his 2 year-old check up this week and not only is he in perfect shape, but he didn't even cry when he got his immunization shot! That was a first for either of the boys. I always feel so guilty when I have to hold them down and I know what is about to happen and they don't. I told him he was going to have a "little owie" and he said it back to me, "yittle owie." Then he just got all excited about the Elmo band-aid and kept showing it off. In my book, not crying over shots is definitely something to be grateful for.

Yesterday, I was eating breakfast and I realized that my food was almost all given to us! I had a bagel with home-made peach jam from my Aunt Joyce (SO yummy!) and banana bread from my sweet Mom-in-law (also very yummy!). Then I realized how awesome it is to be able to have a pantry and fridge full of food to choose from. I know many people are not so blessed.

So I could go on forever about how everything is wonderful. I'm so grateful to have our house, cars, jobs, etc. I hope all of you have something to be thankful for today, or many things! Happy Labor day!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

God is Good!

Baby Hayden had his heart surgery today and everything went really well. Praise the Lord! It was a long day of waiting at the hospital and it's funny how just waiting can wear a person out. I'm so tired right now and the poor parents are still there, bless them. So now there is more waiting and more praying. We pray for everything to heal timely and properly. We pray for continued strength of everyone involved. Hayden is a miracle and I know he will continue to fight and amaze us all. His mom and dad are also amazing and continue to show their strong faith in God and trust Him to take care of their child. We pray for their strength to juggle life with their children in two different places and also that they will feel God's peace when everything starts to seem overwhelming.
If all continues to go well the parents will be able to hold Hayden in 5-7 days and he should be home in 10-14 days. Of course he first has to show that he is able to eat and gain weight, but considering that he spent his first 3 days only being fed with an IV I'm betting that kid will be pretty happy to see a bottle!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hayden and Owen

See I told you not to trust me! I was way off about how the heart surgery will be done and it's not good news. It's way invasive and you don't want to know. Sweet Hayden will have surgery tomorrow (Tuesday) so please keep those prayers coming! I was able to go visit him for the first time today. He looks so perfect and big and healthy. If he wasn't hooked up to so much equipment you wouldn't know that anything was wrong.
Here is a picture of the little guy:


Now I'll tell you what Owen has been up to: getting too big! This morning he asked me for a banana. No big deal right? WRONG! He has never called it a banana before; it has always been a 'nina' or a 'nanny'. That one quick word made me realize that he is really getting so big. He's only been 2 for a couple of weeks and he's already moved on to using the proper word banana. He also seems to be a bit more fearless and daring, which is not a good thing. He was up on mommy and daddy's bed tonight and started walking around. He laughed and tried to run away from me when I reached for him and thought it was a game. After deciding that chasing him was probably not the best idea, I stood there watching him for a few seconds and telling him to sit down then he fell right off the bed! He wasn't hurt at all, just a little shocked. So I think this was a good lesson to show him what can happen when you stand up on the bed and I'm sure he must be too scared to try that again. Nope. He pops right up and asks me to help him get back up on the bed. Little toot! Then no more than 45 minutes later he apparently thinks it would be a good idea to climb on the couch. I was in the other room and I'm not sure exactly what happened but he was crying and spent 3 minutes telling me about how the couch hurt him. Again, he was not hurt but I think he got the point that time. I'm sure he will start fresh tomorrow and look for something else to climb on or jump off of.

Owen and Dodo in their rocket ships! Owen pretty much refuses to wear clothes and just wears a diaper unless we have to leave the house. He is just a free spirit!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Baby Moses

Our extended family's newest addition is doing better today! Hayden has a heart condition called transposition of the great arteries. Basically the 2 arteries that lead to his heart are reversed so the blood is going in the 'out' door and out the 'in' door. This means that the oxygen is not getting from his lungs to the blood. (FYI - I feel like an idiot explaining all this and I just learned it from Google today. I'm NOT a doctor and I don't even play one on T.V.) The surgery to correct this problem seem fairly non-invasive and they fix it with a catheter line fed through a vein and a little balloon attached to it. We don't have a surgery date yet, but it should be within the next 2-4 days. 
Now I will switch you to a new, but related topic. Recently I have developed an issue with the church that we have been attending for the last couple of years. We are Lutheran if you're wondering, but I don't think that matters as much as just Christian. Anyway, our church has been really emphasizing their need for money and our obligation to give it to them and it just got to be too much for me. I don't feel like they should preach guilt or money as often as they do. I fully understand the church's need for money, but I also fully understand some people's inability to give that money and I think all people should be able to come and hear God's word and not worry about how much they are dropping into the collection. I would assume that most people, like my family, are giving what they can. So to make a long story a bit less long, I made the painful decision to  not go back and I will be teaching Sunday school at home for now. This is not a permanent change and we will look for a new church home, but for now I think this is the right thing to do. Just as I don't pretend to be a doctor, I certainly don't pretend to be qualified to answer all the questions Collin and Owen will no doubt have about God.... but I think I can handle teaching them Bible stories. 
How in the world is this related to baby Hayden? Good question. Here goes:
I really wanted to find a way to connect a Bible story to Hayden so I started to search the website that I use for Sunday school materials and crafts http://www.dltk-bible.com/guides/index.htm and found a cute craft to make for baby Moses. I realized that Moses and Hayden actually have a lot in common. They were both loved tremendously by their families especially their mothers who would do anything to ensure their safety. Both babies were in danger. Jochebed hid Moses for 3 months from Pharaoh's soldiers who had orders to kill all newborn boys, and of course, Hayden was not completely healthy when he was born. Jochebed made what had to be the hardest decision of her life and placed her baby in a basket in a river and trusted him to the Lord's care. We all know the story, but have you stopped to think how horrible that must have been? There is a species called the Nile Crocodile. I think that says it all. She had no idea what would happen to her sweet baby, but she trusted God. Our 21st century baby 'baskets' are a bit more updated. We just call it an incubator. But I can assure you that it was just as heart-wrenching for Sheila to watch her baby be taken away in that basket as it was for Jochebed all those years ago. Now it's time to trust God. Of course Moses grew up to be a great and powerful man of God, just as I know Hayden will be. And the neatest part: Moses and Hayden both had big brothers named Aaron! :)
On a side note I would like to add that I don't mean to take away from the pain I'm sure Hayden's daddy is feeling right now. I'm sure David wishes he could be in three places at once to take care of everyone. I just feel like I can relate more to how Mom is feeling because I'm a mom.
Another side note: If you can hear the name Moses without singing "Moses supposes his toses are roses" in your head then you just haven't seen enough movies.

This is a picture of the craft that Collin and I made today. Owen got horribly offended that I wanted to cut out his pictures after he colored them so his never made it to the final product, but I'm fine with that because I think he had fun. Note to self: watch the 2-year-old with crayons more carefully next time to avoid the scrubbing of floor and table after. Also: Mr Clean magic erase sponges are awesome!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Welcome baby Hayden... Please get well soon!

Today my new little cousin Hayden was born! Technically he is my first cousin once removed because his daddy, David, is my cousin, but that just makes it seem too complicated. His mommy, Sheila, is also my dear friend and she has had such a difficult pregnancy. Hayden was a little more than 3 weeks early and he is having trouble breathing. They had to intubate him and put him on a ventilator and the worst part is they had to send him to another hospital for better NICU care. I feel so sad for Sheila. I cannot imagine how helpless it must feel to not be able to take care of your baby. Not to mention having someone inside you for months and months only to have him taken away before you can even hold him. This is just not the way it's supposed to happen, but I know God has His arms around little Hayden and he will receive the best care. This is a sad night for our family, but I know the story will have a beautiful ending. It's just getting from here to there that will be hard.
Please pray for quick healing for both mom and baby and that they can be reunited soon.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Introducing....

Since you're reading this you probably know all about me, but for the benefit of those that don't or if it's been awhile since we've seen each other, I thought a brief introduction was in order. I'm Janet (hello) and I'll be doing the writing. My husband, Timothy, and I have been married for 7 years and we have 2 awesome boys: Collin is 4 and a half and Owen just turned 2.
Timothy and I met when we started high school together in 1994 and we were good friends all through school. We were in band together and that's just the start of our nerdiness. He played percussion and I played flute and did flags or color guard or whatever you kids are calling it these days. We stayed in touch pretty regularly for a couple of years after school but then drifted apart as people tend to do. Then I sent him a Christmas card in 2002 with my email address and it was awesome how easily we reconnected. We 'dated' for the first time in January 2003 for exactly 4 days before he proposed and I accepted! We got married in May of that year. We are both working full time to get all the bills paid. I have a boring office job that I love and Timothy is a land surveyor which I think he likes okay. We both have a bunch of nerdy interests that I'm sure you will hear more about all too soon. Our main mutual nerdy bond is Star Trek.
Collin is our little inquisitive scientist. He loves anything to do with space and astronomy, Mythbusters. reading, baseball, volcanoes and Super Mario. He is very smart and I'm not just saying that because he's mine, although I do admit I'm a bit biased. We still have a year before he starts kindergarten, but he is already reading a lot of words and sounding out his letters. He likes to ask questions that require the internet for me to answer: "If the Earth was in a really big ocean would it float or sink?" and "Why would I be flat as a pancake if I lived on Jupiter?" (Okay I could answer that second one without help, but if you know how to answer that first one in 4-year-old language then you get 10 nerd points.) He is in Pre-K class at daycare and loves playing with his friends and 'reading' all the books in his classroom.
Owen is our little ball of energy! For awhile we called him Spaz because he seemed incapable of holding still for more than half a second. He has calmed down a bit and doesn't automatically reach for anything shiny anymore but he is still all over the place all the time. In the last few months he has really started talking and it's so fun to catch a peek of what is in his head. Owen is a pretty smart kiddo himself. He is learning his letters and knows about 12 so far. He loves Mickey Mouse, stuffed animals and endlessly reading books. He will bring us a book every 3 minutes and ask us to read to him, then as soon as one of us finishes the book he will take it right to the other parent and ask them to read it again! He is also in daycare all day and mostly loves his teachers and friends.
Well that is the Nowell family in a nutshell, which is actually fitting because we are a bunch of nuts. Thanks for spending a few minutes with us today.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

So I think I'll start a blog....

Hello, thanks for stopping by. I've been thinking about doing this for while now, so we will just have to see how it works out. What is the worst that can happen? I will proudly prove to the world that I can't spell and I have awful grammar skills! Really if you know me you shouldn't have high expectations and if you don't know me then why are you here? 

Mostly I wanted to write down my stories and share them with other people. I really enjoy keeping up with some of my friends' blogs and getting to experience those little everyday stories that just never get told when you finally find a minute to talk and catch up. I happen to think my family is pretty fantastic and that you should get to hear more about them. So I will tell you what we are up to and hopefully you can tell me what you think and together we will watch as 2 amazing little boys grow up faster than you would think is possible.