Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I've gone Blog Wild


I can almost hear "Suueeee" being called through this post, lol. Those of you who have had the misfortune of visiting between Sunday morning and Wednesday...uh...emm...well, now know what I'm talking about. It started off with a simple PhotoShow link that I wanted to post to the blog. Then I needed to upload/update Drew's three month photo. That led to re-doing the blog header (the red scrapblog with his current photos). Then I decided to remove the old pictures and posted the new ones. One thing after another and here I am 3.5 days later and still wondering how much I should do. I'm definitely much happier with this layout since it seems a lot more streamlined. I even tweaked the fonts and colors to make it coordinate with the new header. And lastly, I disabled the right-click option. Some gals on BBC were talking about this new MySpace, Facebook type website that's popular in South America. One person had her children's personal photos taken and used on this website (how on earth she ever found out was amazing!) as their own personal photo. It weirded out a lot of people, so I decided to make it at least a little difficult for someone to lift the photos.

In any case, I'm having a lot of fun with the blogging and as a result have added some new features to the blog. Be sure to peruse a bit and see what's new. And if you are curious to know when the next "big" blog post is up, be sure to sign up for the e-mail alerts.

I have to say, I'm stunned at how quickly the hit counter has gotten to 1000+ already. It's only been "on the market" for just over a month. Thanks to everyone who has stopped by - feel free to drop a line in the guestbook and let me know what you think or if you have any suggestions.

In the meantime, I'll just keep bloggin'. I know I'm doing a decent job when Neil comes home from work and heads for the computer to see what's new.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Smells like tween spirit...

While I was putting the updated pictures on the blog yesterday morning, Ashley told me that she doesn't want her picture put up. Ugh. Any pictures. I had taken a really cute picture of her with the flute the other day and wanted to post it. I think I'll just post that one picture and see if she notices, lol. She's such a pretty gal, we have to have at least *one* photo of her posted.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Three years and three months - what a busy weekend!

So, today we went to Paige's three year well-check. Barring any unforeseen illnesses, that should be our fourth and final visit for the month. We'll be back next month for Drew's four month checkup. Paige was 31.8lbs (50%) and 37 1/4inches tall (50-75%). The nurse asked if she was speaking with a 50+ word vocabulary and I said yes, and part of me wanted to tell her that she is actually pretty advanced in that department, but behind me there she is talking baby talk so I figured I better let that one go and not look like a liar, lol. I told the dr. that around strangers she resorts to baby talk, but when she's comfortable she has a very fluid vocabulary and loves to use big words: most likely due to big brother and big sister.

This weekend was a lot of fun - we spent the weekend celebrating Paige's birthday on Saturday and going to Costco to pick out her princess cake. She had a blast at the park playing on all the toys, flying kites with Dad and Dio, opening presents and just plain overdosing on cake, lol. I was surprised she didn't have a birthday hangover on Sunday morning. We spent a few minutes on Saturday morning taking some pictures of her using my new camera and lens. I am *loving* the results. The pouty princess photo posted at the bottom of the blog is my absolute favorite. She hardly looks like herself, all grown up! I'm going to get some nice pictures of the kids and have them printed on gallery canvas as part of their room set ups. I'm hoping we'll have their rooms ready in the next two weeks. We painted Ashley and Paige's-soon-to-be room two shades of purple and because of the ridiculous amount of work it took with the chair railing and picture moulding, have thrown in the white towel and will have someone paint Jonathan and Drew's room two shades of orange. This is probably the first time we've made it a point to get the kid's rooms all fixed up nice and perty. I'm pretty shocked at how small the kids' bedrooms are given the overall size of our home, so that's the reason for the delay in getting them all fixed up. I seriously don't think we can fit two twin beds in Ashley's room, so the debate has been either low bunk beds or a daybed with a trundle. Jonathan's room will stay as it is. Hopefully Drew will be moving in sometime soon.

So, Drew turned three months yesterday and yet another opportunity to get some pictures to document his growth. He is just the cutest and happiest baby. I can't believe it took this many children to finally get one that resembles me the most, lol. He has just absolutely stolen all of our hearts. When I see the kids with him, they are all very protective and dote on him non-stop. It's funny to think he wasn't with us not so long ago and yet he has just made a place for himself in our family. It just feels like he was always with us.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Can we get a punch card for a free visit?

So, I think Treehouse Pediatrics has gotten too much of our money this month. First was Drew's two month appointment. Then Jonathan was unable to hear much in school and I requested that he be taken to the nurses office to be checked out. Turned out he had a double ear infection that required a second February dr. visit. That was three weeks ago. Today we went back for a follow up visit. His ears look good. We were worried we might have to see a specialist if there was no improvement, so this is good news. While we're there the receptionist asks me to pay before the visit. No problem. I hand her the card and sit down. While I'm waiting for her to run the charge, another mom and her daughter show up. The daughter starts waving her hand in front of the aquarium. The fish go absolutely nuts. The receptionist told her she was waving her hand at the exact spot where they're fed. She then goes on to tell her that a few fish have jumped out while the food was being dropped in and then asks her if she'd like to feed them. I mean, we're talking about close to 100 fish in this tank!! The girl's all squirmy, back and forth, back and forth. 'You do it' she says to her mom. Finally the fish get their food and it's like some crazy feeding frenzy. I'm surprised they didn't accidentally try to eat each other. I've been to a fish farm before. I've seen what hungry fish do on accident!

Anyway, so we're waiting for our name to be called. The nurse pops her head out and calls Elisabeth (I actually have no idea if this was how her name was spelled - but it makes my story telling much more entertaining). I didn't flinch. The lady and her daughter make their way back. The receptionist asks me to sign the receipt. She starts off by saying she's sorry she accidentally put in an extra '0' in the co-pay. So, instead of being charged $30, it was $300!! I think she was distracted by the fish show. She had already done a "refund" and I guess I needed to sign it to show that I knew it was refunded. So, I asked her where the receipt was for the actual co-pay. Apparently, at this doctor's office when they run your card for $300 on accident, they absorb the cost of the real co-pay, lol. Part of me wanted to tell her to feel free to run it for $300 everytime we come through. ;)

Anyway, I sit back down and finish waiting. The nurse pops out again and says 'ANDREW'. I grabbed Drew's carseat and called to Jonathan and Paige. The woman to the right of me looks at me funny as she gets up with her son, also named Andrew. I laughed and when I caught the nurse's eye, I told her, 'ok, the past two patients called have two of my three children's names! I had to think about who I was here for!' Good thing Ashley was still in school, or we might have had to wait for an Ashley to be called back too!

So, our next visit will be on Monday for Paige's three year check up. I'm wondering about that pay for nine visits and get the tenth free punch card. I think doctors should look into that. Four visits in one month is excessive to say the least. All I can be grateful is for the fact that we didn't have to pay $30...today.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Part Deux

So, this post is the original story I wanted to tell, but got side tracked with Jonathan's swim lessons, lol. And now that I think about it, it's not all that interesting. It started with the end of his swim lesson and a lady who goes to our church showed up for the following lesson. Our boys are in 1st grade CCD together and we've had a few chats here and there waiting for the dismissal bell. I hadn't seen her much since Drew was born, so it was really good to see her. I've missed connecting with old friends and acquaintances. Anyway, every time I've seen her it's only been with Jonathan. Paige and Ashley are never there. So, this time Paige is with me and so is Drew. She asked me how old he is and I had to think quickly. Do I go with weeks or months? Ok, if I go with weeks, where are we? Each Saturday is a new week, today is Friday. My mind is trying to calculate. Finally, I just blurt out 'he's two months, uh, two and a half months'. Then I tell her how I couldn't remember how many weeks he is off the top of my head and she's laughing and nodding her head. She obviously knows my struggle, lol. She's been there and done that. I told her that it felt like once they hit two months it's just easier to start saying months vs. weeks.

It *is* much cuter when they're weeks old, though. I had one lady in church ask me how old Drew was and I believe he was three weeks old or four weeks, not quite a month old. And when I told her, she did the usual 'awwww' and then touched him. Our parish is made up of a lot of families and in the section that we sit in, a lot of us are Hispanic of one sort or another. We've been sitting in that section for quite a while now, so we know practically everyone.

In any case, I go on to tell Rocco's mom about this one little girl who was at the daycare I worked at ten years ago. I just thought she was the cutest thing and looked so similar to Ashley (who was a tiny thing at the time). I asked her mom how old she was and she stopped, paused for a second, and then said 'she's thirty-six months old'. I had to double take on that one. Seriously?? At what point do we just convert months to years??

So, you see, it's not all that interesting, but I felt I had to tell it since I went so far to forget to tell it in the first place. I promise the next post won't be soooo boring, lol.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Days, weeks or months - you have to know when to let it go!!

**Jonathan's first day of swimming last June - Coach Mike is helping assess his skills**

So, I took Jonathan to swim lessons on Friday. I have to say, for a kid who probably missed the better part of two months after Drew was born, and having been stuck at station 5 (freestyle) for two months before that, I was impressed when he got to bang the gong. At Nitro the kids get to bang the gong when they advance a level. There are ten levels in all before getting up'd to the other, more competitive levels. I'm hoping he'll be at level 10 by the time summer rolls around. So, now he's working on his backstroke and his first day on level six, the instructor tells me that aside from stamina, he's all but mastered all the skills.


Now, those of you who have ever seen Jonathan in (or near) the water prior to last June, *know* that he has conquered his fears. I got some really good advice years ago about only enrolling the kids in one activity at a time. I've stuck to that. With the swimming, I initially wanted the kids to have something to do while I was feeling absolutely yucky with being pregnant. So, I signed Jonathan up for lessons and got Ashley into the summer league. We practically lived at Nitro last summer! When he started he was still dealing with an irrational fear of water. I was floored that the instructors got him to stick his face in the water on the first day. At the beginning of the school year, I opted to keep him in swimming for the sole reason that I didn't want to have to pay for those beginning lessons all over again this year. Poor Jonathan. He just wanted to play basketball and do something else alongside his swimming. He loves to swim these days. So, I made him a deal that as soon as he got to level 10 he could move onto something else. I'm already impressed that he's done so well with his swimming. I may make an exception this June and let him pick another activity to do. The owner frequently hops into the pool to help out with the lessons and because of this, Jonathan has had the privilege of being taught by Coach Mike. Since there are only a couple of kids at any one station, he gets a semi-private lesson . I have to say, he responds to the male instructors totally different from the females. He jumps when they ask him to do something and at least two different times, when Coach Mike has instructed him, he's advanced a level. Coach Mike has assured me, lol, that Jonathan will be in summer league by the time those classes start up. I'm looking forward to seeing how his skills and interest will develop once he masters those first ten levels.


And now that I finish this post, I realize that I was actually intending on writing about something entirely different, but I'll have to do a part deux to bring this story to a close, lol. That's usually how my mind works. I have a story to tell, but then a somewhat more interesting sub-story occurs. I'm sure it's annoying for anyone who hears me tell a story, or it could be just multi-layered and more interesting. Maybe I should have an informal poll on that and see what the reader's choice award says, lol. So, in this instance, my secondary story about the swimming is now the primary story. I had meant to write about Drew and how I was asked how old he was. The title actually has to do with days vs. weeks vs. months. And *that* story would have gone into another story about a little girl who attended a daycare I worked at over ten years ago. You'll have to wait for the part deux to see how that lovely story ends up.

Friday, February 1, 2008

I apparently have too much time on my hands, lol

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I've had it brought to my attention by several people lately (and you know who you are! - ) that because I was able to put this blog together in relative short time, that I must have oodles of time on my hands. I have to address this matter because it's very serious and it needs to be dealt with, lol. Let's go back in time a bit. I have to preface my story with a paper I wrote in third grade. I can't even remember my teacher's name or what it was about. I *do* remember that we were switching classes for math and reading in third grade. Weird.

...anyway, so I absolutely hate writing. I love to think and talk, but writing is SOOO slow when you do the first two so quickly. I remember dragging out the family typewriter to fashion that little paper. The black ribbon was so tired and dry that I flipped the ribbon and used the red. I remember my teacher was pretty impressed. I wonder if I still have that paper...I'm guessing it took me a long time (that time) to type it up. It was years before I honed that skill, though. I think it was 6th grade before I could choose typing as an elective. Yeah, I know...major geek to pick that. I hated classes like English and Math and even my Spanish class (and yes, I'm aware I did eventually get my degree in Spanish and linguistics to boot), but I really enjoyed all the typing classes I took.

Even now, I like to find those typing games online and just see how quickly I can type before the shark eats the little guy up. Last I checked, I was near 100 wpm w/a pretty high accuracy rate. Honestly, this is the only way I can post the way I do. Even Neil shakes his head and says 'woman!' - like it's a chore to read. Yeah, only because he was there! lol - I'm in the camp of Dr. Phil. If you don't like what you see, keep on flippin'. Or scroll in my case.

I look back and think how important those English classes might have been. Funny enough, though. I seemed to have learned the intricacies of English from my Spanish classes. I'm a comma hog. I put them every place I'd naturally pause in word or thought.

Ok, so maybe you're wondering why all the fuss to explain how fast I type and then it's been over a week since the last post. Well, Drew had just turned two months. I wanted to give his newest milestone some time to gel before heading on to the next big topic. A lot of gals from a website I visit started this whole thing - I've had a few blogs on this site, but never really done much with it. Doing one for Drew seemed like a good idea because it keeps me in touch with his growth in a format that I *know* I'll stick with. Plus, I need to get back into journaling anyway. At this point I'm debating starting my own personal 'Calgon, take me away' blog as a mom and the day to day stuff I do...I haven't decided if it'll be just for me or if I want to open up my life for public consumption. I have to think on that one a while longer. In the meantime, I'll be posting here and I look forward to all the comments the blog's been getting. It makes it fun to post more when people e-mail and comment that they like the way I write.