Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Getting Ready for Christmas

I can't believe we are only a few days away from Christmas.  This month FLEW by!  It was another busy month to say the least!  Girls trip to Chicago, Santa visit, Christmas shopping, Christmas parties, basketball tournaments, holiday baking...

Our annual trip to visit Santa was a success.  We got really lucky and only had to wait about 20 minutes.  We have waited over an hour in past years.  Ryan was a little unsure about sitting on Santa's lap and walked pretty slowly up to Santa, but with Drew and Kayley up there with him, he was happy.

My last official day at work was Friday.  Andy's last day was Thursday, but he has had to work every day of vacation so far.  :-(  All three kids had their Christmas parties at school on Friday.  I helped at Kayley's party this year and her class had a lot of fun playing games and eating their treats.  Ryan's party was at the end of the day so we all went to that.  Here are a few videos of our little singer.  

Mom and Dad flew in from Phoenix Saturday evening.  On Sunday, we went to Drew's basketball game.  We had a light basketball weekend with only one game on Saturday and one game on Sunday.  :-)

I guess I managed to get a picture with the ball at the bottom of Drew's dribble: 

Here are Drew's faithful cheerleaders.  Not surprisingly, they do much better when there is only one game a day compared to the all day tournaments!

Yesterday, Mom, Kayley and I baked ALL DAY.  It was exhausting!  Kayley was such a trooper and stuck with us most of the day.  She only took a few short breaks.  Drew also helped with decorating the sugar cookies!

Sunday, December 6, 2015


I'm a little late on a Thanksgiving post, but I haven't had a lot of time to sit down to do the blog.  I feel like we are going 100 miles per hour all the time!

My parents and brother came for Thanksgiving again this year.  Thanks to my Mom, we had a great Thanksgiving meal on Thursday.  Ryan didn't appreciate it though.  "What IS that?  I don't want that.  I want a ham and cheese sandwich, Mama (his new term for me)."  Ah, the joys of little kids at Thanksgiving.  Well, maybe not all kids, but definitely our kids when they are little!  

We spent time on Saturday going through toys to decide what we could donate.  Ryan rediscovered his talking Elmo and it has been joy (and a little annoying) ever since!

We watched the Iowa-Nebraska game Friday afternoon and went out for dinner to celebrate after their big win!!  Ryan was pretty excited.

My parents left Sunday morning.  After they left, I was picking up the family room and it hit me that I hadn't put a Christmas card together yet.  UGH.  We didn't have any family pictures taken so I frantically went through all of my pictures from the year and there was nothing that was good enough for a Christmas card.  So, I quickly got some clothes together and put the kids in front of the fireplace for a quick, cute picture.  If only it worked out exactly as I had planned.  Ryan was in no mood to take a Christmas card picture.  He was much more interested in being funny and making Andy and Matt laugh while I attempted to get the picture.  After many, many takes and a promise of 3 cookies, he finally sat still long enough for about two usable pictures.  And I really want to get family pictures taken?

After the boys got to change back into their "real" clothes, they posed for one more picture with Matt before he left.

I went to Chicago for a shopping trip with two of my friends this weekend.  It is so nice to be in the city during the Christmas season.  The lights are beautiful.  We had fun shopping and had a great dinner last night.  A great girls weekend!

Sunday, November 22, 2015


It feels more like Christmas than Thanksgiving with all of the snow we got on Saturday.  The kids are in heaven and have been playing outside quite a bit the past two days.  Surprisingly, Kayley has been out there more than Drew.  Ryan was SO excited to go out.  He was downright giddy as I was helping him get his boots on.  He lasted about 12 minutes.  His hand got wet and that was the end of the fun for him!

It feels like football just ended, but we are already 3 weeks into Drew's basketball season.  He made the 3rd grade travel team for our school district so he has been busy with practices and games during the month of November.  His team played in their first tournament this weekend.  The tournament was about 35 minutes from our house and was Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  It was a long weekend, but we had fun.  In 3rd grade, they play on a regulation height hoop so the games are usually low scoring, but they are still entertaining to watch.

These are a few pictures from the first game last weekend and then a video of Drew shooting a free throw during the tournament this weekend.

Drew is #4.  He is in the white jersey on the left
side of the picture guarding #45.  Yeah, I would
like to see #45's birth certificate.  Seems to be
a lot bigger than a 3rd grader!

Drew with a steal

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Last Football Game

Drew's last two football games were this past weekend.  His team ended the season with a record of 8-1.  They had a great team and great coaches.  Even though I was a little concerned at the beginning of the season about my 8 year old playing tackle football, it was a lot of fun.  Drew "grew up" in so many ways during the season.  He was a totally different player by the end of the season.

Here is a picture from Saturday's game in the rain.  This was the only game they lost this year.  It was cold and rained steadily throughout the game.  I was miserable at times, but felt even worse for the boys.  This picture doesn't really show the weather.

Here is a picture and some videos from the final game on Sunday evening.  The boys were so excited to get to play under the lights at the high school.  My parents were in town for the weekend so it was nice that they got to see such a good game.

Drew is at outside linebacker (#22)

These two videos show Drew playing outside linebacker and making the tackle.  He is #22.

This one is of Drew at running back.  He got tackled at the 1 yard line.  Darn it!

This was the final play of the game.  Drew got an interception!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Happy Halloween!!

Where did this month go?!  The kids have been looking forward to trick or treating all month.  I bought Halloween candy too early - they practiced trick or treating with it.  

Ryan's Halloween party at daycare was Friday afternoon.  He was his usual ornery self during the parade.  He had no interest in singing the Halloween songs.  He was pretty happy during the snack portion though.  :-)  Another plus is that he actually wore his costume.  Drew was Thomas the Train when he was 3 also, but refused to wear his costume at the daycare party.

Ryan had a rough start to trick or treating.  It started when we were leaving the bedroom after getting him dressed.  Apparently, I shut the light off before he was ready and that set him off.  Then we got the kids lined up for a picture and Kayley's broom slipped out of her hand and hit him on the head so we were back to crying.  Rough few minutes for poor Thomas the Train.  

Witch, Sad Thomas the Train and
Iowa football player

Three year old tantrums can come out of nowhere, but they also end quickly.  Candy at the first house seemed to cure all of his problems.  It was cold and rainy so Ryan didn't last as long as Drew and Kayley, but he stayed out a lot longer than I thought he would.  

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Surgery Round 2

Kayley had her tonsils and adenoids out when she was 3 because she was suffering from sleep apnea - not the typical reason of strep throat. Ironically, it was strep throat that landed her back in surgery.  Once your tonsils and adenoids are gone, your incidence of strep throat should go down dramatically. Poor Kayley has had strep throat around 6 times this year.  Apart from strep throat, she has also had countless nosebleeds.  They were so common that they didn't phase her at all and she could pretty much take care of them on her own.  A 7 year old shouldn't be that comfortable with a bloody nose!  Her pediatrician recommended a trip back to the ENT, who recommended cauterizing her nose and removing her adenoids again, which had grown back.  They grow back?!?!  Apparently, they sometimes do.  Poor girl!

Both procedures are minor, but you never like to see your child have to go under general anesthesia and this was her 4th time.  The surgery went well and the recovery has been very easy.  The worst part for her was getting sick from the anesthesia.

Not so sure about this 

A little more relaxed

Coach Marc was Kayley's nurse anesthetist.  He was the
basketball coach for her and Drew and has been a coach
with Andy multiple times for Drew's other sports.
He was SOOOO good with her.  

Marc gave Kayley rides in a wheelchair
before she had to go back for her procedure.

This is on the wall in the waiting area at the
surgery center.  Perhaps they could have put
that in another part of the building!

The kids also had a visit to the dentist recently.  It was Ryan's first time in the chair by himself and he did awesome.  WAY better than his siblings did their first time.  He didn't enjoy it by any means, but he sat there the entire time and didn't cry.  Maybe not a big deal for other families, but it was pretty big for us!

Andy and I took a trip to Fort Myers Beach in Florida with friends at the beginning of October.  It was so nice to get away for a little bit.  We rented a house near the beach and spent a lot of time at the pool and enjoying the views from the local bars and restaurants.  I missed the kids, but the warm sun made up for it a little!

See the huge house?  Not ours.
Ours was two down from it.  

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Goodbye September

I can't believe it is already the end of September.  Even though it means it is going to start getting colder, I'm ready to say goodbye to September.  It has been a stressful month on every front.  Here's hoping October is easy and calm!

We have been busy every weekend with football.  Drew's team is doing very well.  They are 3-0 and so far no team has been competitive with them (I hope I didn't just jinx them).  Most be that awesome coaching they are are getting!

Here are some videos from Drew's game two weeks ago.  The first one is of him at running back.  They have 22 players on their team so they mainly play offense or defense.  Drew is an outside line backer on defense so he doesn't play much offense, but when he is in I try to get a little video.

Here is one of him on defense.  This is not his best play, but he does end up getting the tackle.  He is #22.  The quality isn't very good when you upload to blogger so it is hard to know which one he is.  He starts on the outside, runs to the inside, slips, runs back out toward the sideline and gets the tackle.

I think when September is over, Kayley will have been to the pediatrician, ENT, eye doctor, surgery center for a blood draw and the dentist.  Busy month for this girl!  Kayley has been having a lot of bloody noses.  And often when she is doing nothing - like sleeping or reading a book.  Her ENT doctor (he removed her tonsils and adenoids when she was 3) looked at her nose and said she has 2 blood vessels in each nostril that are very close to the surface.  Kayley is having a procedure on Monday, October 5 to hopefully help.  He will cauterize her blood vessels  My understanding is that this is a very simple procedure.  However, because of her age, they have to put her under general anesthesia for it.  Ugh.

While she is under, the ENT is going to look at adenoids and if they have started to grow back (yuck, right?), he will remove them again.  Kayley has had roughly 6 bouts of strep throat this year, which is incredibly odd given the fact that she has no tonsils and adenoids.  Poor girl!  I'm hoping they don't have to do anything with the adenoids, but I certainly don't want her to keep getting strep throat either.  

Ice cream after a traumatic blood draw
(just a few nurses required to hold her down)

Kayley also had to go to the eye doctor because she failed the eye screening at the pediatrician earlier this summer.  However, she did fine at the eye doctor and doesn't need glasses yet.  He wants her back in two years to check them again though.

Sunday, September 13, 2015


We took our annual trip to Lake Okoboji last weekend.  As always, it was a great weekend!  We drove over on Friday and arrived around 4:30pm.  It took a little longer than it should because we had to stop in Cedar Falls to have lunch at Pepper's and pick up some UNI gear at Scheels.  :-)

Matt and Dad arrived a couple of hours after us.  Butch, Mitch and Sox arrived Saturday morning.  The kids (especially Ryan) have been in HEAVEN since they have been reunited with Sox.  I think Andy is pretty happy too!

The weekend was spent between swimming and Arnold's Park.  Matt and Dad went fishing and we also went up to the Emporium a few times.  Very relaxing and much needed weekend for all of us.

We still don't have grass or our yard even graded yet so we spend a lot of time riding bikes and scooters during the week when Drew and Andy are at football.  Ryan got this Y bike (balance bike) for his birthday and hasn't done much on it until his week.  He literally went from barely moving on it to do this in one day.  I guess he just got the hang of it.  Kayley wanted to show off her skills too.  ;-)

This weekend was all about football.  The JFL players were announced at the high school game on Friday night.

Andy,  Drew and the other players
 getting ready to be announced

Drew's first football game was Saturday afternoon.  His team played great and they had no problem beating the other team.  Drew played outside linebacker most of the game and did really well.  He is our most timid child so I haven't been too sure how he would do with the physical contact of tackle football, but he has no problem doing the tackling.  They move the kids around a lot so here is a clip of him at running back.  He is #22.  I didn't get the video started until after he had the ball so it is a short video.