Friday, December 23, 2011

Getting Ready for Christmas!

We have been busy doing all the things you do before Christmas.  I can't believe Christmas is in just two days.  Where did the month of December go?! 

We took the kids to see Santa last Sunday.  They decided to go up together and bring their lists with them.  Drew was concerned he would forget to tell Santa everything he wanted so he wanted to bring his list with him.

Kayley didn't say anything.  She just showed Santa her list!

Posing for a free picture after I declined to
pay for the official picture with Santa

The kids and I made sugar cookies today.  Kayley lasted about 7 minutes, but Drew hung with me almost the entire time.  He is definitely Mommy's little helper. 

Hard at work

Also hard at work

He might have stuck is finger in the frosting a time or two

She hates baking as much as I do!

Or maybe she is crying because I told
her to stop eating all the cookies

And we ended the day with a gingerbread house.  Neither lasted long at this activity so we rushed through it to be finished.  That may be our first and last gingerbread house!

Our masterpiece!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Iowa Peoria

The Iowa Women's Basketball team played Bradley last Saturday night so Andy and I took the kids to the game.  Bradley was trying to promote the game so tickets were only $1 each and it worked because they had record attendance.  I think there were more Iowa fans than Bradley fans.  We do travel well!  Unfortuntely, Bradley's 3 point shooters were on fire and Iowa was flat.  Bradley beat Iowa.  We ended up leaving shortly after the beginning of the second half.  The kids were getting restless and the game wasn't that fun to watch at that point! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Program at Preschool

Drew and Kayley had their Christmas programs at preschool on Friday.  Overall, I think they had a great time. 

Last year, Kayley cried as soon as she saw me, ran over to me and refused to take part in anything.  This year, she smiled proudly and stood with her class and sang until the boy next to her touched her leg.  Between songs, she told on him to her teacher for everyone to hear.  Then he pushed her leg a little harder and she burst into tears and ran to her teacher and sat with her teacher for the rest of the program.  Little bit of drama from that girl. 

Things looked up when Santa made a visit.  She went up and got her present, but didn't want to get too close.  Santa brought her a princess book of stories and we have been reading it over and over and over!

Getting ready to sing "Jingle Bells"

Safely on Ms. Collette's lap

Santa reading the Threes class a Christmas story

Getting her present

Last year, Drew came and stood with us while the rest of his class sang.  He wanted nothing to do with it.  Notice the theme with our kids?!  This year he was so excited to sing for us!  He had a great time.

Santa brought him a book on space.  He recently learned about space at school and is constantly telling us everything he knows about space.  He wasn't as into his book as Kayley was hers.  He seemed to already know most of what was in it.  We read it once and he hasn't asked for it since.  I hope Santa has better luck with the rest of Christmas!

Angels getting ready for the program

Listening to Santa read a Christmas story

Blurry picture with Santa
I have tried for two days to post the videos of Drew singing, but they won't load.  I'll have to get my IT guy to help me out!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a great Thanksgiving weekend with my family.  We have been spoiled by having Mom here for two weeks.  Mom came a week early when Kayley got meningitis to help watch her the week after she was discharged from the hospital.  She has cooked for us, played nonstop with the kids, gave the kids their baths and put them to bed pretty much every night.  And she put up our Christmas tree while I did the other decorations.  Thank you, Mom!!

Mom and I took the kids to see "Happy Feet Two" last weekend.  The kids still are not very into movies.  They loved eating the popcorn and candy, but that was about it.  They seemed bored and kept asking when we were going to leave.  But, after we got home from the movie, they talked nonstop about little Erik and how much they liked the movie.  Not sure what to make of that.  I think they were just happy to be home!

Dad came on Tuesday and Matt came on Wednesday. Andy and I took Matt and Dad to The Pour House Wednesday after dinner. Dad and I came home early. Matt and Andy did not. :-) We had a great Thanksgiving dinner that was cooked by Mom with some help from me.  (She has it down to a science.  If you help too much, you just get in the way!) 

On Friday, we went to The Pour House for lunch and to watch the Iowa game.  All I have to say about that is that the food was good.  Friday night we went to Mickey's in Dunlap for pizza. Andy saw some regulars from The Pour House at Mickey's so he had to chat with them and give them a little bit of a hard time about drinking at another establishment!

I haven't had our camera out once in the last few weeks so I had to steal all of these pictures from Mom!
Maybe one will be a future Picasso?  Too bad we
have not let them actually use the paint yet!

Princess Kayley

I have my paper.  I really want to paint.

Eating her breakfast and wearing
Drew's White Sox hat.

Trying on Grandpa's glasses

My turn

Waiting for our table at Mickey's

Drew frosted and sprinkled the cupcakes!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Stealing Toys from School

Kayley is feeling much better and going back to school tomorrow for half a day.  I decided we should address the fact that she stole toys from school last week before she goes back tomorrow. 

After Kayley threw up all over herself last week, Andy did a load of her laundry.  I folded the clothes when I got home from work.  This is what I found in the pockets of three pairs of her jeans and her coat:

Tonight before we put her to bed, I attempted to have a talk with her about stealing from school.  As you will see, Kayley isn't all that interested in having a talk (or listening to me), but she does confess.  :-)  Because we were taping it, I let it drag on to see what all she would say.  Maybe if I would have taken it a little more seriously, she would have too.  Maybe.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


If you are like me, meningitis is something you have heard of, you know it is bad, you know neck pain is a sign of it and that is all you know about it.  Until this weekend.

Kayley came home from daycare on Wednesday night not feeling well and when we asked her what hurt, she kind of pointed to the back of her head and we thought maybe she had fallen down and hit her head, but we didn't see any bumps.  She was also running a low-grade fever.  We put her to bed and she woke up once during the night and just seemed generally uncomfortable, but nothing terrible. 

Her fever was over 101 on Thursday morning when Andy got her up.  She came into our room when I was getting ready and just looked miserable so I put her up on the counter and asked her again what hurt.  She pointed to the back of her head and again I looked for some sign of a fall.  Then she said that wasn't where it hurt and she pointed more clearly to her neck.  Now, if you know me, I have a slight tendency to think the worst.  I went from relief that she doesn't have a brain tumor to fear that she had meningitis!  I mentioned meningitis to Andy and he kind of shook his head.  Andy stayed home with her and I called the pediatrician as soon as they opened.  They wanted her to come in because she was having the neck pain.  Unfortunately for Andy, she started throwing up right as they were leaving for the appointment.  The pediatrician couldn't rule out meningitis and to call back on Friday morning with an update, but if the neck pain got worse, we should take her to the ER immediately.  The thing that is hard is that she is THREE.  You aren't sure if what she is telling you is true!  If you ask if it hurts worse, she says yes.  Five minutes later if you ask if it is getting better, she says yes.   

She continued vomiting on Thursday, through the night and Friday morning.  She continued to complain that her neck hurt and also said her head hurt.  I called the pediatrician and they said to take her to the ER because she was likely dehydrated from all of the vomiting and they wanted her seen because of the neck pain. 

Friday morning

I have to say, when you show up at the ER with a bad allergic reaction (Drew last year) or apparent meningitis, you get right in.  We never sat down.  The nurses and doctors were really nice, but they had a terrible time getting an IV going because she was so dehydrated.  It took 4 tries.  I thought Kayley was going to explode she was so mad.  They tried to distract her and they also tried to involve her by asking if she wanted to hold the different instruments.  Her response?  Screaming, "No!  I don't want to hold that!"  I can't blame her.  They tried, but she was miserable and having nothing to do with it!

Sitting with Daddy in the ER waiting for x-rays

I am going to forget all of the tests that they ran, but they wanted to rule out everything they could before they did a spinal tap to check for meningitis.  She had a chest x-ray, soft tissue x-ray of her neck, swab of her throat for strep throat, etc.  We were all hoping it was strep throat because nobody wanted to have to do the spinal tap.  All came back negative. 

That left the spinal tap.  They wanted to try without sedation.  I thought they were crazy.  Three nurses tried to hold her down and it was a joke.  They got her on her side and in the fetal position, but she immediately straightened her legs out of that position.  That plan was quickly abandoned.  They explained that they were going to use "conscious sedation."  I think it was called ketamine.  The doctor warned me that she would act strangely and appear to look past me, etc.  Because she was still going to be awake, I asked whether it would be enough to make her stay still and the doctor smiled and said they use this drug to amputate limbs on the battlefield.  I smiled back and said I guess it should be good enough!  They also brought in extra doctors and nurses and certain life saving equipment because they are using sedation and they have to be prepared in case she would have a bad reaction.  I would not have wanted to know what my blood pressure was at that moment!  Andy had left to pick up Drew from daycare so it was just me with her. 

The doctors were right on with how she acted.  No parent should have to watch their child like that.  I am sure it is safer than knocking them out, but I almost would have preferred for her to be sleeping.  She just stared off into space and said, "Mommy" a few times in a very pained voiced, but never moved.  She started to come out of it within 10 minutes and she said the strangest things.  She talked about how the doctor didn't listen to her because he took her pillow.  She said she was going to tell him to listen to her next time.  The nurse and I laughed, but it was still a little unsettling to hear her so out of it.  She also said that I had two eyes.  The nurse laughed and said they see double for awhile.  They also gave her something to dry up her saliva and she kept forcing coughs.  It was very strange.  I was very happy when she appeared to be back to normal after about 30 minutes! 

An hour later the initial results were back.  The results are somewhat confusing because they test two things - the white blood cell count was consistent with viral meningitis or early stages of bacterial meningitis and the other thing was consistent with bacterial meningitis or early stages of viral meningitis.  Basically, it means her results were consistent with early onset of either viral or bacterial meningitis.  The doctors felt very strongly that it was viral, but out of precaution they started antibiotics and admitted her.  Her ER doctor told us he would be shocked if it turned out to be bacterial because she seemed doing too well for it to be bacterial (this was the sickest I have ever seen her so I can't imagine seeing anyone with bacterial meningitis).  Also, she had what appeared at the time to be an allergic reaction to the ketamine so they wanted to treat that and watch it.  Later, they attributed the rash to the meningitis because it cleared up too fast for an allergic reaction. 

She was in the hospital Friday night and Saturday night and was released this afternoon.  The biggest thing when she was in the hospital was getting all the fluids.  That seemed to help with her neck pain and the headache she developed.  The headache was either directly from the meningitis or a nice little side effect of the spinal tap.  The doctor said some people develop chronic headaches after a spinal tap.  I sure hope she isn't one of them!  She also twitched constantly while she slept.  We pointed it out to the doctor and he said we should watch her for seizures, but the twitching is nothing concerning considering that the fluid around her brain was inflamed.  She slept for over 4 hours when we got home and I noticed she was still twitching.  The doctor said that may continue for awhile.

Saturday afternoon. "I want to go home" was
what she said whenever anyone talked to her.

Today after the doctor told her she can go home!


First stoplight after we left the hospital! 
She might have passed out from being overheated...
it was cold when we went to the ER on Friday,
but 70s today when we left and I didn't
realize it until we got outside!
We are happy to be home and relieved she appears to be on the mend.  The doctor said she will take awhile to get back to normal.  The biggest thing we have noticed since she has been home is that she is really unsteady on her feet.  She walks like a drunken sailor.  I assume that is related to the fact that she hasn't walked at all since Friday? 

I'm pretty sure we will never get this child back to a doctor.  She was slightly traumatized when she had to stay in the hospital after having her tonsils and adenoids out.  I am pretty sure the four attempts at an IV, the first attempt at a spinal tap without sedation, and all of the blood draws might have sent her over the edge!  She has been through way more than most kids her age and I think she deserves a break!  She is a tough one though!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Kayley, Kayley, Kayley

Kayley tests us every chance she gets.  Bedtime is no exception.  She usually gets out of bed 2 or 3 times after we put her to bed.  It used to be that she would get up and get some toys and get back in her bed or she would go out into the hallway and make some noise to let us know she is up and then we would go up and tell her to get back in bed.  The other night when we heard her moving around upstairs, Andy went up there to find her painting her fingernails in her room.  He calmly helped her wash it off and put her back to bed and told her to stay in bed.  She said she would.  We knew better.  He waited a few minutes and went back up.  Apparently, she needed to go potty this time and had a little bit of trouble getting her PJs back on:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Grandpa = Bowling!

When Grandpa comes to town, we go bowling!  Andy's dad came to Peoria Friday night and met Andy and the kids out while I was hosting a jewelry party at our house.  If you know me very well at all, you are wondering why I would host a jewelry party!  Me too!  Actually, we had a great time!  However, I wish I would have picked a different day for the party because I was gone earlier in the week on a trip to Alabama for work and I didn't have much time to prepare, but it worked out in the end.  Andy and his dad attempted to take the kids bowling, but all of the lanes were full so they took them to Jillian's instead.  All Drew could talk about when they got home was that we were going bowling on Saturday since they didn't get to go on Friday.

I took the kids to a birthday party Saturday afternoon and they had their first opportunity for face painting.  They weren't sure if they wanted to do it, but after watching a few other kids, they were ready.  Kayley couldn't make up her mind.  She wanted a bunny, then the dog, then batman and finally a unicorn.  When she climbed into the chair, she said she wanted to be spiderman.  No idea where that came from, but spiderman it was!  Pink spidergirl with glitter really!  Drew hopped up into the chair and also asked for spiderman after previously saying he wanted batman.  :-)

Kayley had a meltdown at the birthday party and it started
to smear.  When I told her what was happening, she cried harder!
We attempted bowling again on Saturday night and were able to get a couple of lanes.  Andy bowls in the Caterpillar bowling league and his dad has been bowling in a league for years so they had some healthy competition and the kids were very excited as you will see. 

Kayley carrying an 8lb ball and showing off her bowling style:

Drew bowling and Andy not letting me take a video of him bowling:

Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat!

What a difference a year makes!  Last year, Drew refused to put his costume on for school and was the ONLY kid in the preschool who didn't wear a costume during the parade.  This year, he wanted to sleep in his costume the night before because he was so excited.  Last year, Kayley burst into tears the second she saw me during the parade and cried the rest of the party because she didn't want me to leave.  This year, as she walked by, she had a big smile on her face and waved at Andy and me.  When I went to her room for her party, she was happy as can be.  No tears even when I told her I had to leave. 

They were also more into trick or treating this year.  Drew more so than Kayley.  She tired out pretty quickly and didn't like being cold.  Sounds like me!  When we came back to our house, the kids helped me hand out candy.  Drew loved it.  Kayley cried at first when she saw us giving away candy.  She thought that candy should be hers too.  Ha! 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Birthday, Amelia!!

Drew, Kayley and I drove to Davenport yesterday afternoon for Amelia's 4th birthday party.  The kids were excited to play with Amelia and new toys and I was excited to see some of my friends from law school.  Since it was so close to Halloween, it was a costume party.  This is the first year that Drew and Kayley were excited to put on their costumes!  Kayley's princess costume is for ages 3+, but it is too big for her.  I said something about her looking like a stripper princess when one of her shoulders was exposed and of course she heard me and looked at me and said, "Stripper princess?!?!  What's a stripper princess, Mommy?!"  Ah, little ears are always around.  You would think I would know that by now!

We had a great time and as always, Ang put on a great party! 

Lightning McQueen driver and Princess Aurora

Patiently waiting for cake

Birthday Girl

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Another Busy Week!

I feel like we have been going non-stop again.  Last Friday, we took the kids to Monkey Joe's for a birthday party.  We got to see some of our friends who also have kids in Drew's class so Andy and I enjoyed ourselves too.  That said, I won't be upset if I don't go to Monkey Joe's for another year or so (or maybe ever)!  The kids and I spent Saturday running a lot of errands while Andy worked outside in the yard.  Saturday night, we went to Washington for dinner and a bonfire with our friends Chuck and Jamie and Jeff and Amy.  Drew, Sam and Brody are all in the same Pre-K class and Maia is just a year younger than Kayley so the kids play really well together. 

The boys dressed up in Sam's costumes for the bonfire.
Brody, Sam, Drew and Maia

The first s'more Drew has ever eaten.  Nothing
like a little peer pressure to get him to try it!

Way past their bedtime and enjoying
some late night cartoons!

I left really early Monday morning for Toronto for work and then flew home first thing Tuesday morning.  So early that I was back in Peoria by 10:30am after a layover in Detroit.  I went straight to Kayley's surgery follow-up appointment.  The doctor said she is looking great and everything appears to be completely healed.  She was just happy about the sticker he gave her.  :-)

Yesterday was dentist day for the kids.  When I picked the kids up from daycare on Tuesday and told them we were going to the dentist the next day, Drew said he wanted to eat healthy for dinner.  He wanted pizza and an apple and said he was going to brush really good that night.  :-)  Last time we went to the dentist, Drew cried most of the visit while Kayley was great and sat in the chair by herself and didn't cry or whine at all.  I was nervous this time for how Drew would do so on the way there I told him he could have a new monster truck if he was really good without any whining or crying.  Even though I knew Kayley would do good, I told her she could have a small toy too for being good. 

When we got back to the room they asked who wanted to go first.  I looked at Kayley thinking she would be easier to get up in the chair.  She burst into tears and Drew quickly volunteered to go first.  He jumped up into the chair and sat perfectly still the entire time.  No whining.  No crying.  Kayley, on the other hand, was trembling in my lap.  The girls noticed and asked if anything with her had changed because she was so good the last time.  I said no except that she had her tonsils out earlier this month.  They started shaking their heads and said her reaction is very common after having tonsils out.  By that time, Andy had arrived and they took her and Andy to another room.  I got off easy with Drew who was happily watching a movie while they cleaned his teeth.  After they were done, I was helping Drew into the car and I told him how proud I was that he was such a  big boy (yes, I realize most 4 1/2 year olds are good at the dentist without bribery).  He looked at me and said very matter-of-factly, "well, that is because I wanted a monster truck."  I learned two things yesterday - (1) Drew is VERY easy to bribe; and (2) Drew doesn't need to be bribed next time because he is clearly capable of acting like a big boy at the dentist. 

Kayley got a small toy too because I felt bad that she was so traumatized by having her tonsils removed!

Bribe toys

After all the hard work at the dentist, Andy let me have a girls night with some friends!  We went to the neighborhood bar Andy and his friends own.  That is probably why he was so willing to let me go out - we were bringing him business!