Wednesday, April 2, 2014


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Voting ends April 8!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Growing Up Before My Eyes

There are some really fun things going on in this stage of almost 4.5.  Their brains are just working overtime.  The things they can recite & put together just blows me away.  Here is just a little collection of random memories I felt the need to write down.

They can all now spell & write (with minimal assistance on a few letters) their full names; first, middle & last. 

Olivia has memorized our address, complete with zip code.  Hopefully if they get lost, they all get lost together.

Olivia is "this close" to being able to read.  I know, I know it sounds crazy, but I mean it, really.  We can write words like "cat" "dog" "fox" "golf" "hat" & she can sound them out over & over & over again.  And her memory bank of sight words from school keeps growing too, words like "the" "I" "an" "them".  We can also hand her a paper & pencil & say spell "hot" "ran" "mom" & she can sound it out & write them too.  I honestly almost cried this week when she essentially read an entire page of a book & the only words I helped her with was the character's name Buster & light.  I've been trying to get it on video but she is so shy & timid sometimes it just doesn't come through on video well.

The boys are not doing that.  But they are so intrigued that she is.  She works SOOOO hard at things like this though.  The boys would rather watch a movie & she would rather sit at a table with me & learn.

Logan & Olivia can count to 100 by 5s & 10s.  Hayden can by 10s, except he usually skips one number, I think 30 or 40.  Olivia can count by 1s almost indefinitely, a few weeks ago she made it to 217 before getting tired.  When she isn't singing or spelling, she is counting.  It isn't uncommon to her the boys say "Olivia stop counting, I can't hear the movie."  

She also learned to skip.  Man, oh man she worked hard though.  Day after day she jumped on one foot, then the other, then the other until it finally clicked.

They are all of the sudden very into drawing.  Not so much coloring, but actual creative art.  Hayden's is on the left.  That's how Olivia's people look too.  Logan reached a new level this week with drawing people.  His is on the right.  One guy is missing arms & I'm not sure whats on their heads, but his people now have bodies.  I'm fairly certain that is actually a developmental milestone processing that to draw it.

The kids were watching TV in my room while I picked up a few things upstairs. When I was done, I decided to lay down beside them & take a little cat nap, this night shift stuff is catching up with me. I told them when the show was over, we'd all get up & go play. When I woke up, I discovered the show was over, they had turned off the light, turned on the fan I use for noise & were downstairs playing. They take such good care of me.

A few weeks back, Hayden came home from preschool with a quarter. His teacher bet his class of 16 kids each a quarter they couldn't eat all their broccoli at lunch. Not only was Hayden the only kid who ate all his broccoli, he's the only one who ate any! Proud mommy moment!!

Logan, however came home from school with this:  "Mom, mom... guess what! I ate green eggs & ham at school today." Me: "You did? You ate ham Logan?" Logan: "Actually, I didn't eat ham. Actually I didn't eat eggs either. Actually, we just had green pudding & pretended it was green eggs." At least he has a good imagination.

Because sometimes one spoon just isn't enough...

Someday his wife will thank me :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Seasonal Allergies.... help!

Per the calendar, it has been spring for whole 4 days.

The weather has been perking up here in good ole' Nebraska.

With that comes pollen & sneezes & itchy eyes.

Monday, the kids played outside for a grand total of 1 hour.  It was 35-ish degrees so they didn't last too long.  But apparently it was enough to expose poor Hayden to the elements.

His eyes were almost swollen shut.
After a dose of Benadryl... he literally fell asleep in the tub.

Last spring his allergies were bad too.  He made it through the spring with Claritin.  Then it stopped working mid-summer.  So we switched to Zyrtec.  Which worked until September.  He was puking daily just to keep his sinuses clear.  He was miserable.  We tried some Singulair, which worked great for his allergies.  After a week he was in tip-top shape.  However, apparently anger is a side effect in children.  And he had some completely erratic behavior.

Today he spent the day rubbing his itchy little eyeballs raw.

So what are we to do?

I've heard raw honey is "the thing" to do.  I'm just not sure about how to give it to him.  How much?  What are the risks of raw honey?

What works at your house?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Nebraska "spring"

The 1st day of spring (per the calendar) is almost here.  And we're being teased here in good ole Nebraska.  Some days its warm enough to get outside to play, the next day it snows.

One night it snowed & the next day by mid-afternoon most of the snow was melted & it was warm enough to get out with jackets & hats (with our PJs still on).  Best investment we made last fall, rain boots.  We have played outside in them a lot this spring in the mush.
Pretty glam!!
 These just crack me up.  We're pretty cool :)
 Pretty much sums up Hayden in a nutshell.
 Hayden even drew a picture of spring at school.  I love it.  He clearly put a lot of time & thought into it.  From our kid who is usually scribbler, I was pretty impressed.
He explained to me what it all was.  Grass, flowers, Hayden & mom, the sun, clouds & rain, a bird, a bat & a green check mark (to signify a good job!)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Spring Break Vacation!

Sitting on the couch, chillaxing after an exhausting 2 days away.  (Well chillaxing & doing tons of laundry)

We booked a 2 night mini vaca up to Storm Lake, Iowa to stay at King's Pointe Resort.  Who takes a vacation to Iowa?  I know right.  But it was the perfect price, the perfect drive & the perfect size.

We booked for Thursday & Friday night.  Then of course, Wednesday night... so technically Thursday morning at 4am, the puking started.  Ugh.  Poor Logan was sick.  He puked just a few times, then slept the morning away.  Given that he had no fever, no pukes since 5am & besides being tired said he felt ok, we opted to still pack up & go.  Check in was at 4.  And by the time we got there, he was ready to swim!  I can honestly say he didn't hold back one little bit.  We swam waaayyy too late, ate a late dinner at Pizza Hut (at 8:30!) & slept in the next morning.

We found a yummy little diner for breakfast, then swam the rest of the morning away.  We headed back to the room around 2 for some room service lunch & a nice long nap.

Livi woke up from her nap with an awful cold.  Cough, cough, cough.  Luckily I had brought along our medicine stash since Logan had been sick.  So we had Tylenol & cough syrup for her.  Had I known this was coming, I'd of packed her inhaler.  She needed it!  Now that we're home & she's had 1 dose of Albuterol, she's a new woman.  Anyways, after naps, we headed back down to the pool & swam for a few more hours.  Then went back to the room to call it a night.  The kids dined on their lunch leftovers & Jeff ran out to get us some Subway/Hardees & an adult beverage.

We talked about swimming Saturday yet after checkout, before we left & just showering in the locker rooms before heading home.  But the kids were tired, bruised, scratched & allll played out by the time we hit the hay Friday night.  We got in plenty of swimming & slides!

Thursday & Friday morning we had the place to ourselves.  Literally, Friday morning there was like 2 other people in the whole waterpark!  Friday afternoon/evening was much, much more busy.  And I assume Saturday would have been too.  Glad we booked Thursday/Friday instead of Friday/Saturday!  There was a Spring Break deal going on, room discounts & our "package" included 4 passes to the Waterpark.  Its open to the public too, not just hotel guests.  The Fri/Sat package included movie passes too.  Thursday they asked us how old the kids were & I said 4 before I saw the "3 & under free" sign.  Then I asked the girl if I could change my mind & say 3.  She laughed & we forked out the whopping $6 & some odd cents.  Friday when we went down, we showed them our hotel pass & I said "this is for 4 of us" & little Logan was standing over by the door peering in, they didn't even ask or bat an eye.  I didn't even have to lie.  They whipped out 5 wristbands & that was that.

We hadn't swam in months so I was curious how it would all go.  But they did awesome.  Had no fear.  "Swam" everywhere with their puddle jumpers on.  Did the big waterslides (EVEN CHICKEN LOGAN!!).  It was a great time.

Sorry the pictures aren't great.  I just brought my cheap camera & the lighting in hotels & indoor pools isn't stellar.

So excited to get to the hotel!!
Hotel bed jumping is always a must!
"Patiently" waiting by the door to head to the pool.

 Here's a little tour.  The kid area.  Steps, 4 slides, tons of levers to pull, wheels to turn, buckets of water to spill.  
 There is a little splash pad area too.  
 A log/lily pad crossing thinggy (surely that's the technical term)
 Back there is a little lazy river (where the heater is & its soooo warm back there) & a little area with seating & jets (though its not warm like a hot tub in there)
 A basketball hoop & 3 waterslides!!
 They even have a huge stash of life jackets to use.  Our kids tried them & preferred their puddle jumpers (which are getting too small, too tight on their arms).
 They were tall enough to ride the green waterslide solo, the blue/white one on a tube with an adult, but not big enough for the yellow one.  That one's pretty fast, Jeff & I both tried it!
 Swimming away.  He really had no fear, which surprised me greatly!
 Funny face after going under!  He figured out jumping off the ledge (then got told by the lifeguard the ledge he chose was too slick & not to jump there).
 This was her favorite thing to do!
 My legs got a work out from the stairs to the slides.  They are really as tall as this seems!
 Off they go!  They had no fear.  
 Logan, I still can't believe he did slides at all.  Let alone this huge slide, all by himself!  Maybe he was still delirious from his brief flu?
 After a few tries, they got the hang of getting out themselves.  This slide was so great because it ended in this little splash pad vs a deep pool.
 Mad at me because I made her go down sitting up for a picture.  She preferred to lay on her back (plugging her nose) but every time I tried to get a picture of her I couldn't see her.
 Riding with dad.... Livi is somewhere under all that splash!!
 There she is!
Me & Olivia coming off the tube slide....
 Me & Logan (I think)
 Here comes Dad & Hayden
 There goes dad & Hayden!  Jeff tipped over at the bottom a lot.
 When it was slow, they let me take 2 kids down the tube slide.  One on my lap, one on the 2nd seat on my feet.  Friday when it was busy, or maybe just a different lifeguard, they said no.
 See poor Liv coughing :(
We spent plenty of time just swimming & playing in the little kid area too.
 Logan enjoyed swimming after basketballs all over the pool.
Ho hum... Its not fair we have to stop swimming at 8pm on Thursday night :(  
Waiting for the elevators.
 Poor skinny Logan had plumbers crack the whole time.  I can't buy him smaller trunks or they are too nerdy short. Gonna have to sew some extra elastic in them.  Day 2 we tightened them up with a hair tie!
 Hayden being silly in the hotel room.
 Livi of course had to do it too.
 Logan says, "Watch me, I can do something even sillier!"  
Such a fun time.  But we are exhausted & glad to be home!