Crisp Autumn Eve 3 Column from TCBOTB

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Finally on the mend....

It's been a while since my last post...we have been very busy. Busy enough for me to not even be able to cover it all in a post so I am not going to even try. I'll try hit the big highlights just for documentation's sake ... but I cannot promise more than that.

Mostly, we've spent the last week or so getting the kiddos over some sort of bug. It started with MacKay the weekend before spring break (3/14 - 3/18) and lasted pretty much through that entire week. Initially he just had sporadic fevers and a runny nose so I took him into the doctor (not our normal one, had to settle for the practitioner on short notice) before heading down to the cities on Tuesday (3/15) for the remainder of the spring break week. The doc appt found nothing wrong with him, so we assumed just a bug. .... which eventually was passed on to both Oscar and Evie while we were down in the cities visiting Gma Chris. So the entire time Gma was looking forward to spending with her grandchildren, she basically helped me wipe noses, listen to whining and give doses of Motrin, Tylenol and Benadryl. Evie had us really worried for a while there as she sounded croupy a couple of the nights. We tried bringing her out in the cold night air and steam but it didn't seem to help much... so neither of us got much sleep, taking turns with her and up most the night worrying etc. But luckily both the boys started feeling a little better toward the end of the week ..... as we had planned to take them to MN Sea Life (the new name for Underwater World) as reward for being big boys in big boy undies and doing so well at potty training. Chris took Friday off and came down Thursday night, so we woke Friday morning and took off right after breakfast. Broke our hearts to have Evie trailing out the door with us with her shoes in hand wanting to come with.... unnngh. But Gma helped out and had her wave at us as we backed out and I could see her smiling. We had a blast at MN Sea Life and they enjoyed pointing out all (numerous) the animals they knew in the tanks. MacKay said his favorite was the octopus... and Oscar said his favorites were the jelly fishes and the sharks. We ran around MOA for a while, checking out legoland and some stores, then had some lunch and headed back home. Woke Saturday morning and was packing up to head back home.... MacKay was unusually irritable and whiny. Finally got him calmed down enough to eat some breakfast and then BAM... we realized why he was so out of sorts. He was screaming in pain and grabbing his left ear. So I ran him up to the nearest "Minute Clinic" to get him checked. Sure enough had a raging ear infection, so we got him some antibiotics (both internal and external - drops). During that week I had made a followup appt for the kids (specifically MacKay, as he seems to be going in a pattern of getting sick every 3 weeks or so) for that next Tuesday. And low and behold.... Tuesday afternoon, just about 30 minutes before we were leaving for the appt, Oscar starts crying and telling me over and over again how HIS ear hurts. Get to the appt and guess what.... YUP. ANOTHER ear infection for our other little boy. Again... more antibiotics. By that time MacKay's ear had cleared up and the doc told us to rush him in next time he gets sick (fevers) and he can do some blood work to find out why he is sick so often... as I was thinking maybe it is something with his immune system - extra sensitive, overactive, under active etc... whatever. Just when I thought that was enough to do me in... the next morning Evie starts crying and is all out of sorts and covering HER ear. Unnghhh. I called the doc and left a message asking what to do as I had JUST had all of them in that night before. But by later that day (and with the help of some Motrin) she was back to 100% again. So we watched her for the next 24 hours, but she seemed fine. Unnnghh. But the good news is that we are all back to 100%, or close to it, .... and I am not wiping noses every 2 minutes and dosing my kids round the clock with fever reducers.

The other event we had recently would be Gma Hoglund's (Bernice) Birthday - 93 years old, and doesn't act a day over 60. She's something else I tell ya... probably more active than I am! The family got together this last Sunday at her apartment complex and had pizza and cake and played a ton of games. It was a good time. Leading up to it I was worried about how Evie was going to be at this; 1.) How leery she is of males and 2.) How she is a little high maintenence lately... just needing to be entertained all the time and not one for sitting around letting adults converse too much. But she was a trooper and did quite well. MacKay was our challenge.... the minute he walked in and saw one of his cousins (Evan) with a big red dinosaur (Fisher Price Imaginext) toy that he had brought to play with - which just happened to be his version of MacKay's Diesel 10 - a gift he had gotten for Xmas that was a favorite of his. MacKay had tunnel vision though - he wanted to play with that toy and NOTHING was going to distract him. Not the million other toys there, not all the other people who wanted to see him..... he tried to hold it together and not have a melt down but he had the puppy dog eyes and quivering lip cooking. Every 30 seconds he would pull at my pants and tell me how much he needed it. It was like a broken record over and over and over again ..... he knew he needed to wait until Evan was done with it and spouted that verbage out every time... but wasn't too patient about waiting for that time to come. Evan was a trooper and eventually let MacKay have a turn with it ..... and then for the remainder of the time that Evan (and his dinosaur) was there it was about it getting passed back and forth between the two of them. MacKay could barely stay focused on eating his pizza as he was worried that Evan was going to "take it away" - whatever that meant. I kept telling him that it was Evan's toy... that he COULD take it, that he was being nice and sharing and that MacKay needed to be patient. When the cake came MacKay finally ceased to talk about the red dinosaur long enough to polish off two pieces. After the meal the two boys played SO nicely with the dinosaur, sharing etc. MacKay would come over to me boasting about how he was sharing and had given it back... and that when he [Evan] was done that he could play with it again. Then it came time for Evan (and dino) to leave..... oh boy. Commence Melt Down.... I thought MacKay was going to have a heart attack. Just losing it about the fact that Evan was taking it away. This kept up well after they had left. Gma Bonnie and I promised MacKay that we would look for one next time we went shopping (though we had to tell him this about 100 times) and eventually he stopped and joined in on the BINGO and quarters games that the adults were all playing. So I've now found that THAT particular FP Imaginext Dinosaur was from 2005 (not available in stores anymore) but have found a few for sale on ebay that I have bids on. THEN.... come to find that one of my very good friends from high school has a whole bin full of those dinosaurs (they made a ton of them... Spinosaurus, Kentrosaurus, Velociraptor, Wooly Mammoth, Allosaurus, Stegosaurus...etc) and is sending them up our way as her son no longer plays with them and would rather send them off to some boys that would really love them. WOW... MacKay and Oscar are going to be getting QUITE the Easter present this year. :)

Gosh so much else has happened ... but this could go on forever if I covered it all.... so instead I am going to just cover some updates on the kids and what they are up to.

The boys have now completed 4 sessions of swim lessons. MacKay was big talk after the first session, saying he was going to wear goggles the next time... and he delivered. He actually wore them. And since then he has been a FISH. He LOVES lessons, LOVES being dunked.... and on his third lesson decided he was ready to do "Chop Chop Timber". Chop Chop Timber is done at the end where they stand on the side of the pool and jump in (and go under) and the teacher helps them back up and to the side. Those who aren't ready for, or don't want to do, Chop Chop Timber do Humpty Dumpty... which is what both MacKay and Oscar had been doing up to this point. Humpty is where they SIT on the side and the instructor holds their hands and pulls them into (and under) the water. One of the other kids in class (who is much more advanced and older) always does Chop Chop Timber... and I think MacKay just didn't want to be outdone and wanted to try it as well. So from that point on, he always does Chop Chop Timber. Oscar still is a bit more hesitant to be going under the water.... sometimes yelling out for help from those of us on the sidelines (parents) like the instructor is torturing him. I don't think either of them really get the holding breath concept... but they still give it a good try. I took both the boys swimming at the Days Inn pool this past week for practice... and Oscar seemed MUCH more willing to go under with me. I gave him a lot of lead up time to it by counting it off and making sure he was doing his "monkey cheeks" when I would dunk him... but I think both of them take in a breath once they actually go under as well cuz they are always spitting out water and looking freakishly shocked upon emerging from the water. I suppose it will just take more practice and time. They do well at kicking and floating on their backs though ... once you can get them to relax enough to sit still and just float peacefully. Next week is safety week where they are supposed to come fully dressed. COME ON.. seriously? I don't think these kids are going to get whatever is taught to them about this whole safety thing (falling in fully clothed) as they cannot even swim/float on their own yet. But whatever. :)

MacKay has been hilarious with the things he says lately. He repeats almost anything we say. Lately he's been so concerned with Evie and what she is doing... sort of a little tattle tale. I have told him over and over again not to worry about it and that I am the Mommy and will handle it. Now whenever Evie is doing something he will just come tell me "You're the Mommy... and you will hanno (handle) it?" He likes showing me that he understands this kind of stuff. He can read almost the entire book for "Are You My Mother?" and "Green Eggs and Ham." I love that they now know Green Eggs and Ham, because we use that as an example when they are refusing to eat something we've prepared for them..... how he said he didn't like it, but once he tried it he "did so like Green Eggs and Ham." For a while there MacKay was telling me (when he was mad at me for scolding him or disciplining him) "I don't like you." I tried to stay calm each time and just would tell him the same thing "That's not a nice thing to say, and it makes me feel sad." So now MacKay is always telling me (when he's in a good mood) "I like you Mommy. ....Say I don't like you is not berry )very) nice to say ..... it makes you real sad." YAY - I think I won that battle. Oscar loves telling me over and over again (probably related to MacKay telling me he didn't like me) how much he likes me and loves giving hugs. He also likes giving me back rubs for some reason... and loves when I tell him how good it feels. If I don't respond he will whisper in my ear "Say it feels so good Mommy." which now that I type that sounds utterly creepy..... but he's just such a tactile person and loves to please. He's been very affectionate with Evie lately and concerned for her well being when she is doing something she shouldn't. And lately I hear him making up songs and singing around the house which cracks me up. If he catches me watching him he stops and gets all embarrassed. Both MacKay and Oscar can do so many things for themselves now too which is nice. They attempt to make their beds in the morning, they can get totally undressed (they struggled with pants and socks sometimes) and put their clothes in the hamper, can put on most of their clothes with little help, go to the bathroom entirely by themselves (other than poops), can put on their coats and shoes by themselves with no help etc. We talked about how much they could do today and talked about chores and how we might switch from potty sticker charts to chore sticker charts soon. We'll keep it simple with things like: making bed, dressing self, cleaning up after meals, cleaning up toys etc. Then hopefully we can add more on later .....

Evie has learned SO many new words in the past couple weeks. She now talks about the potty a lot and points to the toilet as if wanting to be like her big brothers. She knows and says: ball, baby, cow (moo), car (vroom), horse, dog or doggie goes woof woof, monkey (ooh oooh aah aah), pig (snorts), spoon, book, Otto (Oscar), Mah-tee (MacKay), jump (and jumps.... this is hilarious to watch). She also can do a perfect somersault and loves doing them. The other night I thought my cheek muscles were going to go out on me as I was laughing so hard at her..... for about 10 minutes she was jumping around (she doesn't really get off the ground much and kind of pivots around in a circle on one foot with her arms circling around and around just trying to get some air) and doing somersaults all over the place and didn't stop for a minute. She's an entertainer. And I know I've said how affectionate and lovey she is lately... but she's up'd her game on that one. She is CONSTANTLY hugging and kissing me now. I am trying to just soak it all in as this is probably a phase that will soon end... I hope not though cuz it feels so good to get these big tight hugs from her... she just throws herself at you and puts everything she's got into it.

Well... that's about it for now. I'll move onto the photos now as I can't recall much else to share. I really need to keep up with blogging weekly otherwise I forget so many of the things I would normally share. So hopefully I can get around to that again soon. Until then, here are some fun shots I snapped of the kiddos:

More swimming lesson photos.... MacKay finally wearing his goggles and Oscar enjoying the hot tub.

Getting warmed up in the pool splashing around.... and laughing at instructor, Megan, who would fall back into (under) the water after smelling their feet.

The boys having a story (a favorite, Commotion in the Ocean) read to them by Uncle Dennis

Oscar stole Uncle Dennis' hat ....

The boys with Gma Chris's vacuum... they are obsessed with trying out other people's vacuums lately.

Poor Oscar who couldn't stay awake at dinner the other night due to him enduring ear pain from his ear infection ... it really hit him hard.

Great Gma Bernice Hoglund's 93rd Birthday Party

Oscar proudly showing off his blue mustache and tongue from drinking blue Gatorade, Evie just hanging out with the grown ups at the table... and MacKay with his "precious" (Evan's dinosaur)

Playing some BINGO.... shockingly Evie actually sat with a MALE for a while (Great Uncle Ron), MacKay got to spin the BINGO cage and Oscar played a card with Gpa Dean

Playing Quarters (4 = pot, 5 = ahead, 6 = back) with the adults.

MacKay brought Great Auntie Connie some luck rolling the dice for her.... love the one picture where it looks like he's eyeing up that Coors Light.

....and Oscar tried to bring some luck to Gma Bonnie - kissing the quarters for luck, but eventually having to patiently wait for some quarters to come back his way.


Evie trying to nab herself some more jelly beans and watching to see if Daddy was seeing her (unaware I was catching her in the act) .... and her rather coy look when she realized she was caught in the act.

That's it for now.... come on back soon.

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