… And A Foot Of Snow!

The past five days have been all kinds of exhausting and filled with sick kids and a sick mommy. Zoren’s chest cold got much worse and was accompanied by a terrible sore throat and stuffy nose. I took one look in his mouth on Saturday morning, after he had spent the previous night tossing, turning, and crying in bed next to me, and was pretty sure he had Strep throat. We were luckily able to get him into his pediatrician’s office right away that morning and the doctor took a look and came to the same conclusion that I did, probably Strep. They swabbed him and the test came back positive within minutes so we were sent on our not so merry way with a prescription for an antibiotic and instructed to rest, hydrate, and quarantine Z as much as possible for the next 24 hours to ensure pixie had minimal exposure.

While my sick boy and I spent the day watching movies and listening to music, Steve and Astoria got to have a daddy/daughter day at the zoo. It was a beautiful spring day and I was so glad they were able to get out and enjoy the warm weather and get a chance to have some one on one time which happens far too infrequently around here. When they returned from their zoo visit, Stori immediately gave me the rundown of the days highlights which went something like this…. “We had a fun time and I got to ride on the dinosaur train with daddy and we saw the monkeys eating and we saw the baby lions but they weren’t babies because they were big and I got juice in a pink T-Rex and we got popcorn for you mommy, aren’t you happy!?!” So happy :)

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The rest of the weekend was a blur of sleeplessness. I washed and disinfected every surface, blanket, and item that Z touched after the 24 hour contagious period was over and spent copious amounts of time trying to convince my little patient to take his meds and hydrate. It is pretty clear to me that Zoren will never be the poster child for smiles and optimism while being sick. Quite the contrary. He spent a good three days and nights whining and crying for hours on end, constantly telling me how much he hates being sick, and fiercely lamenting his stuffy nose and sore throat. It was a truly pathetic sight and made me wish all the more that I could take his place on the couch in our living room turned sick bay. The worst was when he started in with the “Mommy, I just want you to cuddle with me and take care of me, I am so so sick and I don’t like feeling sick” every hour. So heartbreaking.


By Monday morning, things were looking up and even though Zoren’s cough and stuffy nose were still problematic, he was able to get a fair amount of sleep the night before which, along with the antibiotics, helped his sore throat feel better and toned down the dramatics.

And then came the snow…

This storm system was predicted to start Monday evening and bring a max of 6 inches of accumulation by Tuesday morning. Imagine my surprise when it started snowing before Steve went to work Monday morning and continued throughout the day and night for a total of about 15 inches by Tuesday morning. Now the state of Colorado definitely needed the precipitation since we have been quite a bit below average for the season but I was hoping it would come in the form of rain, not so much a blizzard. By late Tuesday morning the creek by our house was rushing with the neighborhood run off since the sun was melting the snow almost as quickly as it had fallen the previous day.

The wet, easily packed mess made for great snowman building and snowball fights. Steve and the kids built a huge silly snow creature in the backyard complete with spinning rainbow pinwheel arms and a bowtie to match. I think the kids were really happy to get out and play in the snow, especially since they had been cooped up in the house for far too long, which isn’t something they are used to.

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We’ve had a steady but light snowfall today but are looking forward to a bit of warmer weather by the weekend. The kids and I are making slow recoveries and it has been a generally pleasant atmosphere of cuddling, reading, movie watching, and game playing. I think we are all anticipating a return to our normal schedules sooner then later though because the days are starting to get a little long and monotonous. In good time, I suppose.

I found out that I don’t have gestational diabetes which is a very happy thing and will allow me to focus my energies on other important tasks like finding a house to rent, packing up all of our things, and trying to prep as much as possible for the little guy that will be here in about two and a half months. We have so much still to do before the end of June and I know we will be cutting it quite close to baby’s arrival before we are able to get all of the gear and things we will need for him. I know we will make it all happen though. We always do!

Turn Around the Day

Zoren had quite the dramatic day filled with complex breakdowns of yelling and screaming prompted by the most minuscule of things. I am sure this behavior is partially prompted by this chesty cough he’s had the last few days which seems to be zapping his energy and corrupting his usually pleasant attitude. But I think he was also just having a bad day, which happens to all of us and is something I can sympathize with since I had my own dramatic meltdown yesterday, just in time for his first speech therapy session.

I have discovered that parenting two preschoolers while going through a difficult pregnancy is much more exhausting and complicated then I ever thought it was going to be. Well, everything about this pregnancy seems complicated. From stress over conceiving to worries about viability due to spotting from low progesterone. Unending hyperemesis gravidarum that is still haunting me like the plague. And top that off with excessive migraines, constantly aching hips, and the lovely three hour glucose tolerance test I took today since I failed the one hour test, you will get one miserable, pregnant mama. And that’s me.

I lamented having to take that three hour test and was more then aggravated when I spent over an hour yesterday trying to schedule an appointment through LabCorp’s automated phone system. The fem-bot voice informed me that the next available appointment wasn’t until the end of the month which certainly wasn’t going to work since my OB wanted the test done before the end of week 28 (which is tomorrow). In the process of prying that information from the automated system I was disconnected four times because Zoren and Stori were providing fem-bot voice with more background noise then it could handle. It tried to make sense of the chaos my kids were supplying coupled with my desperate pleas for the “next available appointment” and decided after a few tries that there must be some malfunction and shut itself down. I wish I had that ability some days, to give myself three attempts at organizing the chaos in this house, then allowing myself some time to shut down for awhile and reboot.

Instead of scheduling an appointment, I did the early morning walk-in patient thing per the nurse on call’s advice. I think that after my eighth time through the automated system and the fourth call to the nurse, she could tell I’d had enough and gave me the easiest out. They got me in right away this morning and I drank 10 oz. of the nastiest sugary fruit punch concoction, hoping that my stomach could tolerate it after fasting for the previous 12 hours. It was rough and for the first two hours I wavered between massive nausea and unrelenting dizziness which eventually got bad enough that I had to lay down in the back room of the lab after the first hour. I was feeling much better by hour three and was beyond relieved when the fourth blood draw was done and I could go home and eat some lunch.

It was an incredibly draining way to spend the morning and coming home to an emotionally unstable Zoren was not exactly what I was hoping for. But as exhausted as I was and wanted nothing more then to collapse into bed for a nap after lunch, I could tell he needed me around. So while Steve tried to get some work done on his laptop, the kids and I played silly games and put together puzzles which turned out to be a fun, cathartic couple hours and reminded me that sometimes all it takes to turn a bad day upside down is a little laughter and quality time spent bonding with the people we love. My day certainly improved, Zoren’s attitude and dramatic mood swings improved, and we all ended the afternoon in a good place.

We celebrated the turnaround of our day by ordering pizza and breadsticks for an early dinner, which Stori was all about since she is the breadstick queen of our house. Then Z got to take a shower in the basement bathroom which he sees as a super exciting privilege since it doesn’t get offered up very often. In reality, I just wanted to steam the room up to clear his chest which helped immensely and he informed me upon his shower completion that I saved his day and he was ready for bed (an hour before his actual bedtime). Best thing I have heard all day :)




-Behold our grumpy day faces above, followed by much happier faces below :)

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You Stuck WHAT Up Your Nose!?!

The past week has been pretty intense for me. My hormones are crazy, I have been as nauseous as ever, and spent two days partially incapacitated by a migraine. So you can imagine my relief when Friday finally came and I woke up feeling mostly human again. The kids and I spent the morning doing some Easter crafts and spring activities before I let them loose in the backyard to play for an hour before their mandated “Quiet Time” was to begin. One of their favorite outdoor past times is “planting Truffula seeds” in a section of loose rocks that stretches from the back door to the edge of the house (worst landscaping idea ever, silly landlord.). It seems that on Friday, not only were the kids planting Truffula seeds, but the holes they dug in the rocks yielded some new treasures, one of which made its way into our house via the pocket of our 4 year old.

After I got the kids situated for Quiet Time with the special treat of watching a movie together on one of our tablets, I got busy working on some birthday projects for little Pixie’s birthday party. Since we cancelled our cable a couple months back, I have instead been listening to various Ted talks and podcasts on my iPad while crafting. One of my favorite podcasts is Penn’s Sunday School (I love myself some Penn Jillette) and since my husband has been recommending I find an hour and a half to listen to the episode where George Takai talks with Penn about growing up in a Japanese American internment camp, I decided to turn that on while I worked.

About 45 minutes into this amazing interview with George Takai, I hear a blood curdling, death scream, followed by Zoren running out of his sister’s room, finger up his nose, blood covering his hand and dripping down his sleeve. Flipping awesome….

For a split second I was sure it was just a bloody nose until Z says to me, absolutely hysterical, “It’s stuck, it’s stuck. My battery is stuck in my nose and I can’t get it out!” WHAT!?! You stuck WHAT up your freaking nose!?! And then panic started to set in a little and a partition of my brain wandered off to an operating room somewhere imagining the worst case scenario, while I sat on the floor of our living room trying comfort my boy, grabbing handfuls of Kleenex for him to bleed into, and calling my husband repeatedly at work (while he was in the bathroom trying to pee, poor guy) because I was sure this would require an ER visit and our car was parked across town at the Park and Ride.

After I got ahold of my husband and knew he was on his way home, I took a deep breath, flipped off the panic button in my head, and assessed the situation logically, i.e. “zombie apocalypse stye”… I immediately decided that if I ever had a chance of surviving said apocalypse, I should, at a bare minimum, have the skills to remove a foreign object from someones nose or I should at least be trying to do so until Steve got back because, well, what else was I going to do for the next 20 minutes.

So I helped Z calm down and we worked on cleaning all the excess blood out of his nose and once I got a good look in there, I knew I had a decent chance of getting this thing out, hopefully without lodging it even further into his nasal cavity. Risky, yes. But I had to at least try, right? I found and cleaned my “battery” removal tools, a set of long handled tweezers that had rounded ends and a set of short handled tweezers that came to a point, both of which I found in the bottom of my purse. Then I propped Zoren up on the couch with his head tipped back a bit, held the flashlight my mouth to see what I was doing since my hands were otherwise occupied with tweezers and a flailing noggin, and after a couple tries (made more difficult by a screaming and head jerking boy) I was able to dislodge this thing from its perch near the bridge of his nose, just enough for him to blow it out into a piece of paper towel. Phew! Crisis averted.

And it wasn’t even a battery. It was a piece of cable (like for installing cable TV), a black rubber cylinder covering a chunk of metal, not more then a centimeter in height and just about as big around as one of Stori’s hearing aid batteries. He apparently had found it outside while planting Truffula seeds by the house, right below where the cable TV was initially installed back when other renters lived here, and he was pretending it was his battery. And why did he stick it up his nose you ask? Because he wanted to smell it of course.

I must admit, I was pretty proud of myself for getting that thing out and saving us a visit to the ER. So much so that I keep fantasizing about asking our insurance company to float us a couple hundred dollars for saving them from the thousand dollar bill that would have surely been heading their way, if it weren’t for my mad surgical skills. I have also concluded that things are definitely looking up for my chances of surviving a zombie apocalypse and that this is perhaps the best mindset for me to jump into in cases of crisis, because apparently I work pretty well under the imaginary threat of life and limb (or braaaiiins… ). Jeez, I am such a nerd.

Anyway, Zoren is fine and spent the rest of the afternoon alternately telling me how awesome I am for saving him and how scary the situation was. I am hopeful that it taught him an important lesson about why we don’t go shoving small objects up our nose, but he’s a boy, so you never know.

Luckily, the rest of our weekend was uneventful, aside from the foot of snow that we got on Saturday. But I was at least able to get a bunch of birthday projects completed for Pixie’s big day. I can’t believe she is going to be three years old tomorrow!!

First Helpings of Spring

The first signs of Spring were all around us toward the end of last week and we could not have been more pleased to be spending our days outside enjoying the changing of seasons. The cool mornings were perfect for walks to the park, quickly turning into warm afternoons spent exploring by the creek or playing in the backyard. We picnicked on blankets while basking in the sunshine and dug through the garden plot in search of pet worms to name. It still feels like a long way off from the hot summer, when our picnics are always shaded and the garden is for watering or picking veggies and bug hunting expeditions have expanded to curious searches under anything that can be lifted or overturned.

Thursday started with a trip to one of the parks in the area. It was much further then I wanted to walk since my hips have been giving me nothing but trouble this pregnancy, but the kids were adamant that the “Big Green Park” was the place to be, so that’s where we went. And it was a good choice. The walk was beautiful as the trail guided us through a still brown but lively section of green space and alongside two creeks. The final patches of snow from the previous weekend were disappearing quickly and the weeks run-off made the usually still creek start to fill and gurgle as water rushed over rocks, making little waterfalls. These creeks seem to love the spring as much as we do. In this drought-laden area, it’s the only time of year they swell and rush from the occasional downpours and melting snow that bring them to life.

We walked over bridges and through an underpass where the creek is at its widest. Zoren practiced his “hip hop tricks” on the slanted concrete leading up to the road while Stori and I watched the ducks splashing in the cold water and listened to the first prairie dogs of the season, two sentinels standing outside their burrows barking alerts to their families as a pair of hungry hawks circled above. I love this section of open space in the springtime because it reminds me of taking walks along The Dredge Bank when I was a kid in Wisconsin.

The Dredge Bank is small road, next to a local lake, that bypassed town and was laden with wildlife and the sounds of water rushing over the dam, into the Fox River. It’s a road in ruin now, just an overgrown shadow of its former self, unable to even be driven on anymore due to excessive flooding about 5 years back. But it is still a place I take the kids every summer we go back to Wisconsin. And we walk together, looking for caterpillars, trying to catch dragonflies and butterflies, and listening to the water as it pours over the dam.

The stretch of open space here, that winds through the nearby section of Big Dry Creek, invokes the same sense of connection with the earth and nature that I felt so many years ago as a kid, out having adventures along the Dredge Bank. It is a little piece of my childhood, right here at home. And the kidlets seems to feel that same connection to this area, always opting for our walks to lead us through this section of trails, always stopping to marvel at its inhabitants, bodies of water, and vegetation. It’s a place of peace and comfort to all of us.

By the time we got to the park, it was already teeming with moms and little ones who were also out taking advantage of the morning sun. It was a nice change from most mornings at the park, when my kids and maybe a couple others are the only people in sight. We stayed for well over an hour and I watched as the kidlets showed off all the their climbing, swinging, and spinning skills.

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imageWhen their little bellies started to grumble for some lunch, we started our trek back home through the same winding trails that took us there. Even though we all had tired legs and rumbling tummies, and my hips were sure to give out at any moment, we made it a point to enjoy our walk home. We made up songs about the changing seasons and played the “freeze” game. We stopped at the underpass to say a quick hello/goodbye to the ducks and counted almost 20 huge ant hills that were luckily not yet covered with armies of little foragers.


It was a beautiful morning and is precisely how I want to remember our last spring in this neighborhood and probably my last spring being pregnant. There are a lot of changes on the horizon for us over the next few months but for now we are enjoying our days together, making the most of the time we have left in this neighborhood, and looking forward to the new adventures that are waiting for us.

When One Door Closes…

Our weeks generally tend to be a little chaotic and unpredictable, but have been especially so since I found out I was pregnant and morning sickness started kicking my ass. The only exception to this is Wednesday. On Wednesday’s I can count on waking up to the sounds of the vacuum whirring, the hubs pleading with and bribing the kidlets to pick up their toys and put on their clothes, towels and pajamas that should have made it to a laundry basket days ago, being launched down the stairs with an exasperated sigh. These are all very clear indications that, despite my desire to stay in bed and continue ignoring the mess that has gathered over the last few days, Wednesday is upon us and our speech therapist will be arriving in mere hours, so I need to get my butt moving and pull this place together, fast.

By about 8am, showers and breakfasts have happened, along with a pixie chase around the house to secure some kind of tie in her crazy morning hair, and then we turn on some tunes and start the cleaning frenzy. Z likes to listen to Dubstep while we clean, Pixie prefers kids music that she knows the words to, generally opting for the Laurie Berkner Band, and I tend to clean to show tunes or angry girl music (I find that cleaning is much more bearable when one can sing through it). So with the playlist in constant rotation, we dance our way through the house, picking up toys, retrieving snack bowls and cups from under couches and behind play kitchen doors, re-shelving a few days worth of children’s books that are quickly encroaching on every last inch of the hallway floor, sweeping and scrubbing floors, and performing every other task that a good housewife should be doing daily instead of bi-weekly. But you know, that’s how I roll.

Once things are finally looking presentable again, the kids are more then over the dancing and singing and cleaning so we make time for a few games and usually some kind of messy craft before we break for a little nourishment. Wednesday lunches are my favorite because the kids shovel food into their mouthes hastily, making life a little easier on me. Especially considering most lunches consists of more singing, jumping up out of chairs, feeding baby dolls, and constant silly conversation, than actual eating. As soon as lunch is done, we scour the temporarily organized bookshelves for something to read to pass time until…

Knock, knock, knock…. The kids, in unison, start yelling “Marcia! Marcia’s here!! Marcia’s home!! Hi Marcia, we missed you!!” as they bound for the door and open it to greet her. Much rejoicing is had by all and my little cubs are hugging the poor woman to death while talking to her a mile a minute, as she tries to get through the narrow entrance to our house with her piles of toys and bags. And this sweet, sweet speech therapist of ours just smiles and loves right back on them, excited to hear their adventures and triumphs of the previous week. I am going to tell you right now, that I fully believe the Universe worked its magic to ensure that Marcia was placed into our lives. She has not only helped foster the kidlets speech and communication skills, but has been a dear friend and encourager to me and an amazing support for our family when we have needed advice or information.

Things are about to change now as they tend to do when kids get older. Astoria is almost three which means that she will be done with early intervention services, and while she may need a few special accommodations once she is in school (seating in the front of the room or an icom unit for the teacher), she is likely done with all therapies and is way ahead of the game where language and communication is concerned. So we know this is good change and we are so proud of our Pixie for working so hard with her speech and her listening skills. Her most recent communication assessment put her speech and language comprehension and expression at a 4 year, 6 month old level which is absolutely amazing for any child, much less one with hearing loss.

Lucky for us (well in a weird sort of way), instead of ending this post saying how HARD it will be without Marcia, and how epically sad we are to see her services come to an end, another door opened… At Z’s four year check up, our pediatrician noticed some articulation issues in his speech and occasional stuttering. Now these things are no surprise to us and we mostly attribute them to the fact that this little boy’s mind goes about a thousand times faster then his mouth could possibly move to keep up. The silver lining in all of this is that, even though we will have to start paying her privately to come over and give Z speech therapy (Stori’s was provided through our state’s early intervention program), Marcia will still be a fixture in this household, and I couldn’t be happier about that.

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Nursery Inspiration

Although we got more then a few inches of snow on Saturday, the blizzard that we had anticipated only ended up lasting a few hours, which was a relief. We got to spend the afternoon celebrating a birthday with friends at our local swimming pool, and as a bonus to my Saturday, I got to do a little fabric shopping and wound up finding some great inspiration for Little Ninja’s future nest.

Here’s what I found:


I love this light and yet stormy looking gray with white, mixed in with zings of turquoise, and the subtle greens in these patterns. Also stripes. Horizontal and Chevron stripes will definitely be incorporated into this nursery.

I’ll let you in on a little secret, I pretty much suck at planning big projects with multiple pieces. I find that my creativity works at optimum efficiency when I pick one piece to start working on as a jumping off point for further inspiration. The first thing I pictured when choosing these fabrics was little fingers and toes curling against it in little mister’s crib. So I knew I would be starting with a blanket. Yesterday morning, after a wee bit of sketching, I had a layout drawn up and got busy cutting and sewing this monster together. About two hours later…


I plan on adding some kind of gray and white stripe backing next weekend after another fabric browsing excursion. I found a couple that I liked, but wanted to get the front done first to see which will work better. I am also toying with the idea of binding the blanket with black trim because I think it will really make the turquoise stand out. Stay tuned for an update on the blanket and for other posts involving this nursery project over the next couple months!

I also made a few burp clothes and cloth wipes with some of the leftover scraps from this and from a couple receiving blankets I made yesterday. The robot/science fabric on the burp cloths below is also another weekend find and one of my favorites.


Here is one more fun fabric I nabbed and absolutely adore but am still unsure what to use for. Brainstorming ideas for these cute little birdies today!


Happy Monday!

Taking a Step Back

The unusually mild winter in our area has made the past four months of nearly constant morning sickness a little more bearable because the kids have been able to get out and burn off some energy, while I relax, enjoy the sunshine, and allow myself to be present for my sweet cubs. As lovely as it would be to say that every day was spent in that sort of appreciative bliss, it wouldn’t be the truth. Certainly more days in recent months have been spent inside instead of outside, with me on the couch playing patient to two doctors, conducting story time from my horizontal perch, or eating plastic meals and desserts prepared by my two enthusiastic chefs. We have watched The Lorax and Tinkerbell movies far too many times and usually opted for picnics on the floor of the living room instead of at the table so I didn’t have to leave the couch.

Despite being in this haze of nausea and having life thrown a little off kilter for awhile, I have been in pretty good spirits. I am focusing more on leaning into the natural ebb and flow of our day to day lives, relying on the kids built in curiosities to drive the direction of our focus, doing more spontaneous projects and experiments, and less scheduling and planning of activities. This has afforded us all a certain sense of freedom with our time and energy and although there are things that tend to be sacrificed (like keeping ahead of the laundry and cleaning), the reward of having less stress each day is totally worth it, right now.

We have taken this week at a snails pace so far, allowing ample time for creativity and imagination to take the place of our once normal schedules. The shamrock activity we did on Monday went over really well, but we still haven’t gotten around to the decorating and displaying part of things. Mostly because the kids just want to use the shamrocks for hiding, hunting, sorting and counting on their own now. And that is fine by me. They both seem to have other drawing priorities when the markers come out anyway, and aren’t interested in instruction from me. So I have given them free reign to create as they please and the results have been absolute perfection.

Astoria likes to trace her hands, and color the palms of each hand with whatever color she is currently fixated on. Her paper is always covered in big loopy fingers and swollen thumbs, “ghost hands” as she calls them. Her coloring time is generally short-lived as she is far more interested in playing dress up, practicing her unicorn riding skills while mastering her high heeled princess walk. She goes from room to room on her stick unicorn, acknowledging all of her subjects, which she usually lines up along her parade route, waving and throwing silk flower petals in their direction, occasionally stoping by her favorite dolls and stuffed animals for a big hug. Then she brings out the stool from the bathroom sink and steps up onto her soap box for a long and very important royal speech which always begins with the same announcement “Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Here is your Princess Astoria Miss Stodola” (yes, that’s actually what she calls herself, silly girl)… And she follows that up with either a long commentary on her experiences of the day or a nice made up song and dance number. It is spectacular.image image image

Zoren is right in the middle of a creativity and engineering explosion. His drawings are complex, deliberate, and very important to him. He creates entire worlds on paper with detailed explanations as to what every line, color, and shape represents. He constantly designs levels to his favorite critical thinking games on the Xoom, World of Goo and Where’s my Water. He draws ladders, pipes, pumps, levers, gears, and pulleys all connecting to one another to form, what he sees, as the perfect new level to his game. He also loves to draw his own complex contraptions. Grandiose machines that will do things like take his laundry to the hamper so he doesn’t have to, or clean up the toys that he doesn’t want to deal with. Now, I have no idea if this is a “normal” type of thing for 4 year olds to do, but it absolutely amazes me. I am sure, at that age, I was probably barely able to draw some stick figures in a house, much less a theoretically fully functioning mechanism with direction and purpose.


These expressions of creativity, imagination, and ingenuity are exactly what I want to foster in my little ones. I want them to see the world as an open platform with which they can expand upon freely, without limitations or instruction from others. I am thankful that this pregnancy has given me a reason to slow down and take a step back from expectations I have for myself as a stay at home mom. It has made me see, that although planning learning activities and projects to do with them is integral in preparing them for school and something we will continue to do in the future, it is also important to take a step back and let them discover and create on their own.

A Weekend of Sun and Sutures…

Our Saturday was fun and relaxing, and luckily afforded me time to play catch-up with some housework since we didn’t have anywhere in particular to be. We also did a little shopping for our Little Ninja, letting the kids each pick out a special gift to give him upon arrival (yes, Little Ninja is this baby’s official title until we can actually find a name we agree on). And we decided it was time to bite the bullet and sign up for a Costco membership, something we have talked about doing for a couple years now.

After a week of cold and snow, we were all ecstatic that it hit 60 degrees before noon on Saturday and took that as an invitation to spend the afternoon outside. Astoria insisted on digging out some of the baby gear that we have stored in the garage, along with her stroller, purse, and blankets so we could take care of her baby doll. She is such a precious little mama and I never tire watching her nurture her babies. She alternated between rocking her doll in the baby chair, feeding her with the collection of bottles she hoards in her purse, practicing her swaddling skills, singing bedtime songs, and pushing her doll all over the neighborhood at top speed.

Zoren was immediately drawn to the tiny creek of water that had formed in the gutter by the road as it rushed down the slope of our cul-de-sac, making new paths through the remaining unmelted snow. My brilliant husband decided that this was most definitely the perfect time for a little science lesson. The two of them spent hours building dams of snow to form a splash pool, experimenting with how fast or slow the water would rush through the snow river banks they created by changing the width of the creek bed, and talking about erosion, momentum, temperature, and the changing states of matter. Watching Steve and Zoren bond over their loves of science and engineering was absolutely fantastic and made this momma a little teary.







With as laid back as Saturday was, I should have known that Sunday would bring the drama. I woke up later then normal and was incredibly grateful that my husband had taken care of the kids morning routine, even making them some waffles for breakfast. I laid in bed for awhile, trying to catch up on some articles I have been meaning to read, when I heard a super loud THUMP come from above, followed quickly by an equally loud “Oh, shit!” from Steve in his ‘something really bad just went down’ voice. I immediately flew out of bed, far too quickly for my still temperamental round ligaments to handle and they screamed at me as I made my way upstairs, half doubled over in pain, while my husband yelled down to me for help. I assumed that Z had fallen and held his breath until he stopped breathing momentarily, which is really freaky but something he has done since his first injury. Although my heart skips a beat every time it happens, at least we know how to handle it. To my surprise, I came up the stairs to find a breathing boy with a trail of blood starting to make it way down his left cheek, originating from a nice sized gash above his eyebrow.

I immediately knew that this injury was going to require more then just some kisses and a band aid, so I wiped off the blood and taped some gauze over the gaping wound while Steve gathered coats and slippers. By the time we piled into the car to head out to urgent care, Zoren had already calmed down and the tears were gone. Despite the fact that we only had about 20 miles left on this gas tank, the 20 minute drive out to Children’s Hospital North was uneventful and quick. Luckily, the waiting room was empty sans the receptionists (apparently everyone else in the area was having a much safer breakfast experience) so we got taken back to a room immediately after they took Zoren’s vitals. As it turns out, his gash was much deeper then I thought, requiring stitches instead of glue. They put some gel and a bandage on his head to numb the area, which was a relief because I was sure they would be pulling out a big needle at any moment. The four of us spent the next half hour playing games and reading books on the Xoom and iPad before the technician came in to clean up Z’s head and prep him for stitches. The five stitches went in pretty slowly and I held tight to our brave boy’s hands the whole time as he struggled to stay calm though the fear and pain of being sutured. He cried a little when the doctor put in the last couple stitches, which were on the outside edges where the numbing gel didn’t take effect as well, but he was so tough and I was beyond proud.


After we were discharged with some care instructions, we made a stop at the store for some kids ibuprofen and of course, ice cream. Because ice cream makes everything better, or so I am told. And the rest of the day progressed just as uneventfully as we could hope for. Sure, Zoren insisted on jumping around the house and doing every dangerous activity that he could get away with, clearly unphased by the mornings events but at least there were no more injuries. My husband and I had a good laugh while reading the after care instructions for his sutures, one of which reads: “Do not allow patient to perform any tasks that require coordination for the next 24 hours”. Ha! I am still amused by that one.

Things I have learned from this experience:
1. I can totally remain cool, calm, and collected in a minor crisis situation, which is a vast improvement from our last head injury incident, which was suffered by Astoria and required a forehead glueing. I cried more then she did and totally panicked when I saw her head wound (which was less then a centimeter), not even able to think clearly enough to call the doctor without prompting from my husband.

2. Children’s Hospital never seems to disappoint. This is only our second trip there for an urgent issue and both of our experiences have been more then satisfactory. Every single doctor, nurse, technician, and even custodian that we encounter knows exactly how to relate to kids. Not once did someone poke or prod or touch Z without explaining, to him, not us, exactly what they would be doing and how it would feel.

3. Despite all the dangerous things that these kids do every single day, and despite my anxiety when watching them take these risks, the worst injuries they have incurred always seem to come from mundane things, like breakfast. Go figure.


… And it’s a Ninja Boy!!

Yesterday was an enchanted and soul nourishing, super slice of awesome at the end of my week. It was the day of my 20 (well really 23) week ultrasound. I am convinced the doctors and universe made me wait these extra three weeks just to spite me for having a severe lack of patience in the gender verification department. But it was well worth the wait.

Within the first minute of my ultrasound, the black and white screen clearly confirmed what I have felt since the beginning of this pregnancy; our newest little kidlet is a boy!!

I immediately looked over to Zoren and we shared a sparkly-eyed moment of satisfaction as he completely lit up, letting out a squeal of delight. This was exactly what he had been hoping for and his elation was practically tangible as he bobbed up and down on his chair, grinning from ear to ear. Big sister was not quite as enthusiastic. In fact, her face immediately wrinkled into a scowl and the first words out of her mouth were “Aww, man! I wanted a girl”. Luckily, she has quickly warmed up to the idea of having a little brother and proclaimed that she will be changing all of his diapers, picking out all of his clothes, and taking very good care of him. Which I am sure she will do… at least the picking out his clothes part.

As for me, I am definitely excited to be having another boy. I felt so connected during those moments in the ultrasound room, yesterday. Connected to my sweet husband who spent much of that hour calming antsy children. Connected to my big brother and big sister cubs as I remembered my ultrasounds with each of them, pulling those same feelings of anticipation and excitement into our shared experience this time around. And connected to this little boy growing, moving, and thriving inside of me, my heart already overflowing with buckets of love for him.

I found such a sense peace while watching our little guy move around like a ninja on the monitor. His legs stretched straight out, then he kicked one foot up by his head followed shortly by the other foot. He started sucking on his hand for a second and then it shot out of his mouth and down to grab his tiny toes, before flying back up in a series of kung fu style hand motions in which I could see each bone of each finger absolutely perfectly. Every time the technician moved her magic wand for a different view, this baby would react by launching strong kicks and wee elbows in its direction, clearly irritated by the disturbance. I could have literally sat in that room all day, chatting with our super cool ultrasound technician, and watching our baby perform his own ninja ballet. It was perfection.

The rest of my day was frosting. Great conversation, baby shopping, mama shopping, and lunch with one of my best friends, who also happens to be pregnant with her second son. To me, this meant some much needed time away from the chaos at home to enjoy friendship and camaraderie, remembering what it feels like to let the stress of motherhood melt away for a few hours. We treated ourselves to some awesome belly dance finds and browsed designer purses at an upscale consignment store, spending much of our time laughing and talking and appreciating the opportunity to share one another’s company, without interruption from kids or husbands.

I returned home to two rambunctious preschoolers, and one tired looking daddy who were all very glad to see me. I was happy to see them, too. We spent the last hour before bedtime sitting together on the couch, coming up with boy names we liked, which were mostly vetoed by the kidlets. Then they started proposing names of their own, which mostly sounded like a bunch of nonsense (like “ah, lo, me, ah, nah”), before collapsing into a pile of hysterical giggles. It was a perfectly silly and fun way to end the day, like rainbow sprinkles on top of my frosting.



See, I told you she was warming up to the idea of a little brother!