Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Part 2

When we got home from Omaha on the 24th, we quickly made sugar cookies for Santa.  The kids were really excited and we had a hard time getting them to settle down and fall asleep!  Once we got her in bed, Kayley fell asleep pretty quickly. 

Poor Drew just couldn't fall asleep and had a million questions about Santa.  I thought he believed without question, but he made a comment saying maybe there isn't a Santa and maybe it is just your parents.  I was shocked.  I asked him where he heard that and he said he hadn't heard it anywhere, he just thought it.  Then I asked him if he really thought we would buy him all of the presents and he quickly said no.  He has to still believe!  He is too young to not believe.

The kids were really excited when they woke up on Christmas morning.  They couldn't take it any longer by 7am so we had to wake Ryan up and come down to open presents.  Ryan didn't know what to think when he got downstairs.

Here is a video of each of them opening their first gifts:

Here are some pictures of the kids and a few of their gifts:

Santa brought Drew and Kayley sleds. 
Too bad we have no snow!
Dartboard for Drew (or Dad??)

Kayley's pillow that lights up

Drew has wanted this book since
he saw it at his school book fair.


Ryan's new book

He really loves Elmo!

All those new toys and this is how he
chooses to spend his time!

Matching PJs with her doll

More matching PJs!

Christmas Part 1

We celebrated Christmas on Sunday, December 22nd with Andy's family in Omaha.  The kids loved opening and playing with all of their presents (and each other's presents)!

Grandpa with his grandchildren
Ryan's ball pit was enjoyed by just about every cousin.  Here are the boys enjoying themselves:

Kayley has wanted roller skates ever since we gave some to Angela's daughter, Amelia, for her 6th birthday.  Matt and Kim came through and she was a happy girl!  Here is her first attempt at roller skating.  We have some work to do, but she had a great attitude!

Ryan's tackle dummy from his cousin Noah was also a big hit with the boys.  Here he is playing with JD:

We gave Macie a microphone and she sang us Taylor Swift.  Noah wanted to sing too and his choice was Macklemore:

We had our annual steak and crab Christmas dinner Sunday night.  This year was a little different as it involved a grill fire, but with some quick thinking on Matt's part, dinner was saved! 

We spent Monday at Matt and Kim's house.  The kids entertained themselves playing with their gifts.  The older kids went with JD to see Santa.  My brother stopped by to say hi to the kids too. 

Drew, Macie and JD visiting Santa

We had a great time in Omaha as always. The kids were sad to leave on the 24th, but excited to get home and wait for Santa at the same time. The drive home was long again and Ryan didn't sleep nearly as much as we would have liked, but thankfully he was entertained by the DVDs Drew and Kayley were watching.

JD's Birthday

We have had a great holiday break so far.  Drew and Kayley had their Christmas parties at school on the 20th.  I helped at Drew's party and then we picked Kayley up from her party and left for Omaha to celebrate JD's birthday and Christmas with Andy's family.  It was a long car ride for Ryan, which made it a long car ride for the rest of us!

We celebrated JD's 6th birthday on Saturday.  He had a party at Bounce U with all of his cousins and some friends.  The kids had a great time.  Thanks to Uncle Chris taking him up the slide, Ryan might have had the most fun!







The whole group
Time for cake!

After the birthday party, Grandpa took all of the grandkids bowling.  They had a great time in their matching bowling shirts!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Santa and SNOW!

Pretty much nothing went as planned this weekend, but we made the most of it. 

I took Friday off from work and had the entire day planned with errands before Ryan's Christmas party at daycare, but as soon as I got the kids on the bus, I decided to go back to bed until 8:30.  I finally got up at 10:45!  It was WONDERFUL!  Needless to say, I didn't get all of my errands done before the Christmas party, but it was so nice to get some extra sleep.

Ryan had fun at his Christmas party.  They had a snack, sang (I use that term loosely) Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Jingle Bells and made an ornament. 

Ryan and his friend Jillian enjoying
their snack at the Christmas party.
After the Christmas party, Ryan and I picked up Drew and Kayley from school and headed to Bass Pro Shops to see Santa.  We met Andy there and were lucky that we only had to wait about 5 minutes to see Santa.  Drew and Kayley were really excited...Ryan was not as excited.

Too bad I already did my Christmas cards for this year

After Santa, we tried to cheer Ryan up so we went to the carousel and Ryan loved it.  Kayley and Drew enjoyed it too.  I am sure Andy even had fun! 

We also spent some time at the big fish tank. 

It was snowing pretty hard when we left Bass Pro Shops so we had a quick dinner at Red Robin and then headed home.  Drew and Kayley were watching tv before bed and Ryan went over and got down right beside them to watch tv with them.  It was so cute.  He lasted for about 30 seconds and then got up to go play.

I was supposed to go to Chicago Saturday morning with some friends.  It was going to be a quick trip with us coming home on Sunday.  I woke up at 6am Saturday morning to a very sick Andy.  He had food posioning (appears to be from Red Robin) and had been up since 3am.  I felt bad for him.  I also felt bad for me because I wasn't going to be going on my little Chicago trip with him sick!   

Andy stayed in bed and as soon as I tried to force Ryan down for a morning nap, the kids and I headed outside to shovel the driveway.  We got about 6 inches of snow.  Yes, Andy has great timing on food posioning!  Pardon the language, but all I could think as I was shoveling was why in the hell do we not have a snow blower?!?!  Andy had to have a riding lawn mower, but he didn't buy a snow blower?!  Ryan wasn't really interested in sleeping (or just being quiet) for more than 25 minutes so not a lot of shoveling got done before I had to go back in and get him. 

Drew helped me shovel

Drew and Kayley have probably spent over 7 hours outside between yesterday and today.  They love it and both told me that witner is by far their favorite season!  I remember loving the snow too when I was their age, but summer really is much more enjoyable!

Andy started to feel a little better early in the afternoon so we all went to Drew's basketball game.  He is in the 1st and 2nd grade league.  We didn't start basketball until 4th or 5th grade so this seems really young to me.  And to be honest, it is painful to watch!  They all need a lot of practice!  But, they had a lot of fun and that is what it is all about at this age.  Ryan was demanding a lot of my attention during the game, but I was able to get one of Drew's baskets on video.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sickness, snow and a holiday show

We are still enjoying the Iowa victory over Nebraska last weekend.  Andy, my brother and my dad watched the game at the Pour House while mom and I watched it at home with the kids.  Drew gets into character whenever he watches football!

Kayley had a rough week.  She had a fever on Sunday and then complained of a sore throat Monday morning so we kept her home.  She was feeling better on Tuesday so she went to school on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Wednesday night she started in with a cough that sounded like croup and started complaining of her throat again.  Strep is going around her class so we were a little worried about that.  Even though she has her tonsils out, her pediatrician has told us she could still get strep so Andy took her to the pediatrician on Thursday.  The rapid strep test came back negative, but she did have an ear infection.  She woke up Friday morning with a fever again.  Poor girl can't catch a break!  However, motrin and tylenol are miracle medicines.


She was much better Saturday morning.  Go figure.  She is extremely excited to go to school tomorrow because it is her half birthday.  Since she has a summer birthday, she gets to celebrate her half birthday at school.  She seems more excited than she is on her actual birthday!  She did ask if I was going to get her any half birthday presents.  I told her nice try, but no.  :-)

Drew, Kayley and I went to the Caterpillar holiday laser light show this afternoon at the civic center with some friends.  I think I was the only one that didn't really like it.  Don't get me wrong, it was done really well and the music was fantastic, but all of the lights gave me a headache.  I kept having to look away. 

We had our first real snow today so when we got home, Drew and Kayley bundled up and headed outside.  Kayley had a personal record of at least 20 minutes outside and Drew was outside for over an hour and then helped Andy shovel the sidewalk and driveway tonight.  He told me he really loves snow! 

Ryan's new favorite thing is Elmo.  He found the Elmo potty book we bought Drew when we potty trained him and he loves it.  He started saying Elmo and whenever he sees Elmo, he yells Elmo.  Kayley and I were at Sam's Club and she found a big Elmo and wanted to get it for Ryan.  I decided to buy it for Ryan as a gift from Drew and Kayley.  We showed it to Ryan when we got home and he went nuts.  "Elmo! Elmo!"  He started banging on the box he was so excited.  I took video of him tonight and it was nowhere near as good as when he first saw it, but here it is anyway.  I have since wrapped Elmo and he is under the tree.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

It wouldn't be Thanksgiving (November really) in our house if there weren't sick kids.  I thought we would escape it this November for the first time in probably 7 years, but no such luck.  I got a call from daycare last Monday that Ryan had a fever.  We ended up at the doctor on Wednesday with him and he had an ear infection.  Poor little guy was not feeling well and not sleeping well. 

Ryan sleeping on the couch after he fell
asleep in Grandpa's lap.

And now it is Kayley's turn.  :-(  Hoping that it is quick for her and that Drew does not get this! 

I wouldn't want my picture taken either!

It wasn't all sickness though.  My parents and brother came for the weekend and we had a lot of fun.  The kids had fun playing with their grandparents and uncle.  I think Drew might have a new record for time spent catching football passes.  It is all he wants to do.  He rarely plays with his toys, which is fine with me, but it makes it hard to think of things to get him for Christmas. 

We took the kids to see Frozen yesterday.  Drew said he was bored and Kayley cried because the movie made her sad.  And that is why we see about one movie a year. 

Shooting hoops with Grandma

Kayley and Grandma

Kayley reading Ryan his bedtime book

Drew, Ryan and Uncle Matt

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Where to Begin?

Wow, it has been awhile and so much has gone on since I last posted. 

One of my friends from work stayed with us during the first two weeks of November before she moved out of state in connection with a new position.  I am sure she really enjoyed the chaos that is our house each night after work until the kids go to bed! 

We went to Amelia's 6th birthday party (her mom, Angela, is one of my best friends from law school) on the 16th.  It was at Monkey Joe's and the kids had a great time.  It is good times with friends like these that I love living back in the Midwest.  Something better make it worth it because it is COLD right now and I am certainly not here for the weather!

Ryan in the toddler play area

Ryan loved the toddler bouncer

This is as good as I could get of all three of them

Amelia (in the purple shirt), some friends and Drew and Kaley

Last Sunday was World Prematurity Awareness Day.  I was planning to do a post related to it that day, but a tornado hit and I never got around to it.  Andy was not home when it happened.  Drew and Kayley were in the basement playing.  Lesa was in the kitchen and Ryan and I were upstairs.  The news had been predicting bad weather, even tornadoes so it wasn't completely a surprise, but it was still a little shocking to hear the sirens go off late Sunday morning.  Lesa went right to the basement.  Ryan and I looked out the window, but it didn't look that bad.  It was hailing and windy, but it didn't seem like a tornado was imminent.  We headed to the basement anyway and turned on the tv.  That is when we realized a tornado was ripping through Washington, a town on the other side of the river and home to a number of our friends.  I immediately started texting my friends over there and most were ok, but two of my friends lost their homes.  And both families were home when the tornado hit so on top of having no home, they have the extra trauma of living through it.  I cannot even imagine. 

Lesa and I spent Sunday afternoon gathering things for our friends and we took everything to the family member's house they were staying at.  This week has been busy helping them run errands and gather more items that they need.  Another friend and I took the clothes they were able to find to the cleaners.  And our coworkers have been amazing about donating and buying things the families need.  Anytime my friend told me something she needed, our friends and coworkers got it immediately.  Next week we will hlp them move into their new rental home.  I seriously cannot imagine how hard this is for them. 

View of the tornado path through Washington

I haven't heard the final numbers, but it appears over 1000 homes were destroyed or damaged.  The community support has been unbelievable.  Everyone wants to help.  I used to think that only happens in small towns like the one I grew up in, but it definitely happens here too. 

On a brighter note, I went downstairs to the basement last night to this (Andy tells me anything goes in the basement):



And here is a video of Ryan on the roller coaster:

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Trick or Treat

We had a rainy Halloween, but it didn't stop Drew and Kayley from trick or treating.  They had been waiting for it all week and a little rain wasn't going to stop them.

Andy went to Drew and Kayley's school over lunch for their costume parade.  Because of the rain, the parade was in the gym.  Drew was a pirate and Kayley was Princess Aurora (for the 3rd year in a row). 

I went to Ryan's party in the afternoon.  He was a pirate too.  He was super cute, but refused to wear his hat. 

The kids were pretty wired when they got home from school.  They were very excited to go trick or treating.  Drew decided he didn't want to be a pirate anymore so he went as a White Sox baseball player instead. 

Ryan was really in no mood for anything.  He was only happy if he was eating or being held.  We took him for the first few houses, but then I brought him back to the house.  When Ryan and I left them, the kids were cold and were planning on going to a few more houses and then coming home.  About 15 minutes after I got home, Andy called to say they were really into it and were probably going to be awhile.  They had a lot of fun, but came home pretty wet.

Refused to look at me...
...until he got his snack in his mouth

And we are off
Rain doesn't stop them

Ryan enjoyed himself

Last stop of the night was our house!
Here is the result of Ryan being up a little past his bedtime:

This is my favorite.  :-)