Monday, February 14, 2011

Finn is 8!!

Finn turned 8 on Saturday and I am as shocked as everyone else. We had rain on Saturday, so it was a pretty low key birthday. We did have some visitors at the farm and my dad saddled up the horses, so Finn demonstrated his backwards horse riding skills (see below). He says, he only got clothes! But I know for a fact that there was a soccer ball, a back back and a huge lego set. We asked Finn before Christmas if he would consider $100 instead of having a birthday party and he JUMPED at the money. I just know what a pain winter parties are too plan and our house is just too small to have a crowd of 8 year olds bouncing off the walls. There is always the option of a pool or soccer party, but those would cost more than $100 and require planning.

Then I made a comment that I wish we could afford to go do something fun for his birthday, like go to Great Wolf Lodge (after I knew they had their rates on sale) and he offered me the $100 back to put towards a family getaway, in celebration of his birthday of course. Because I am not a crowd person, and the lodge is an indoor water park, involving bathing suits and his birthday fall right near Presidents day, we scheduled it for a weekday get away. All the boys are excited as it's rapidly approaching.
Quincy is recovering...It's been a week and every day he has said at least once, that he wants his tonsils back. His pain is intense and the liquid tylenol with codeine is disgusting. He missed school today and had probably the worst day so far. He got out and rode his bike, just for a short time the day after surgery, and has ridden every day since, except today. Here he is napping, looking so innocent a few days ago. The doctor talked to us after his surgery and said both the tonsils and adenoids were huge and really needed to be removed. I'm glad we made the decision to do it now, not later.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

No Tonsils for Q

Christmas was great...simple and fairly easy when you plan for months! Santa Spent big bucks on a jeep for Quincy and Paxton. Santa got off easy and brought Finn a telescope and soccer goals! Most of our gifts were handmade or second hand or bought well in advance. Alvin got me a vaccuum, and I love it! Finn Wrestled the past few months. I love it because it's affordable and makes him exhausted. They only had one tournament and they wrestled a team that was hardcore. He didn't win either of his 2 matches, but he didn't get pinned either (one was against a girl).
Our big news is that Quincy is getting his tonsils and adnoids removed on Tuesday. I recently read an article suggesting a connection between children diagnosed with behavior problems and sleep apnea. I have said since his behavior started that he seemed like he wasn't getting enough sleep. He snores like me and I am 40 and overweight! His tonsils are huge and they stay the same size always (sick or healthy). We went to see a few doctors and both agreed that they needed to go eventually, and it's easier younger. And hopefully behaviors can still be changed!

Think of us as we will be eating lots of ice cream and popsicles next week!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Countdown to Christmas

Hard to believe it's almost Christmas. When things in my life get "tough" I clam up and don't post much. It's been a tough few months! But, I'll try to be better about posting, if my kids cooperate.
Speaking of not cooperating, we were having a very difficult time with the oldest. Love the kid to death, but he's like every other first born and trying to parent his brothers. On top of being bossy, he's quick to anger and the instigator in most of the problems around the house. So, we took advantage of the season and stole the tradition of the Elf on the Shelf. Santa had the elf delivered to the door with a personal letter to the boys after I called him begging for help. Here's Finn reading the letter. Since Waldorfs (our elfs name) arrival, Finn has been trying to be kinder and less bossy, and he is thrilled when Waldorf brings back letters from Santa.

Last week, we had a short visit with Sol and Sabine. It was very last minute, but my parents arranged for some family photos...that's my parents in costume. Pictures had to be Tuesday afternoon, and afternoons aren't good for my kids, but we pressed on. Pictures didn't turn out very well, but we had a good time with lots of laughs.The twins went to their 4 year old check ups, Finally! I got it right this year and took them on seperate days. 2 screaming kids in one exam room just doesn't work for me, especially when one needs to be held down for shots and the other needs to be cuddled after getting his. Paxton went first and had a little accident, and had to remove his underwear...and I couldn't resist.
He did great, even talked to the Dr a little, whereas Quincy wouldn't cooperate at all and made me carry him to the car because his legs hurt so bad!Alvin picked out our tree this year, because it was easier than all of us trekking out to argue which tree to get. He and the kids did the decorating! I'm a fan of white lights and the boys ALL like colored, so we compromised with colored twinkling lights at the trunk and white all around. This arrangement won't work next year because Finn thinks it's boring...along with all my non kid friendly ornaments. Good thing Dad bought "fun" ornaments because more ornaments were broken in decorating this year than all other years combined.And today, our little friend Waldorf found his seat in the tree. It's a good place to see the entire family area and take all the things he learns back to Santa!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Weathering the Storm

Okay, this is a halloween picture, which I never posted. My little cuties loved dressing up, but it was pretty easy. Paxton wanted to wear the same costume as last year, Quincy was sick last year, but was happy to wear our cowboy get up and Finn wanted to be a vampire, just like last year. But since we had borrowed last years costume, I had to make a cape and necklace. They turned out great, and I think the cape will be used a few times. More recently, we had a storm! Monday before Thanksgiving, it starts snowing. I took Finn to the bus stop and there were just traces of snow, but it started snowing again on the way home. When I went to put the twins on their school bus at about 11:00, I felt like I was in the midwest, like putting your kids on the bus in the middle of a snow storm, was normal. I fretted while they were at school and cleaned house. When all the boys were home, I relaxed and prepared for the power to go out.

Okay, where we live, we expect the power to go out! This year, the power company trimmed a ton of tree branches back, but that doesn't do much good when a tree takes down the power lines! We were with out power 41 hours total, from Monday night until Wednesday morning. Normally, that isn't a long time, but along with the 4 inches of snow, we had hard winds and very cold temperatures.

And no power, when you live out from a city, means no water (we are on a well) no heat (we have radiant heat which needs power to circulate the water) as well as no electronics, no lights, etc.

So how'd we do it? Well, I write this in case you are like us and need a few new ideas, or just to have it written down! But, I would also love your ideas that would help us during the next outage.

  • If you have warning, finish your laundry and don't start a new load.
  • Fill up a basin of water (I use a pitcher with a pour spout) and put it by the kitchen sink.
  • Unload the dishwasher and make sure your sink is empty. Rinse dirty dishes in basin and put directly into the dishwasher.
  • Put a pitcher of water in the bathroom (we only have one, but if you have many bathrooms, water goes in each one) use this for washing or toothbrushing.
  • I have a dish soap bottle that I fill with water and add a few drops of soap for washing hands. Just squirt a little water on them!
  • Fill the bathtub! (I'm always amazed when people don't know you can flush a toilet by adding water into the bowl, the faster you pour, the less water it takes to send solids away) We use the water in the tub for hand washing and flushing.
  • Close off unnecessary rooms. Smaller spaces heat faster and since we only have a fireplace, not a wood stove, we can't heat much! We planned for the boys to sleep in the living room and closed off their room.
  • Put towels at base of all doors, to keep drafts out and heat in.
  • When it starts to get dusky, give each child a glow stick (must get more) or bracelet. They can hang them off their bodies with out loosing them and they have a little night light!
  • Down comforters for everyone. Down alternative isn't the same...we all sleep warmly with just a down comforter. (for small children, get an oversized down throw from overstock, and sew it in half)
  • The less you open your refrigerator, the better, so put milk and other foods you get out a lot, outside (if it's cold).
  • Tin Foil dinners! If you rub a cookie sheet with dish soap (helps wash the soot away when finished), you can cook a tin foil dinner on top of the coals for easy removal. Although you won't want to use the cookie sheet for cookies again!
  • Barbeques work for cooking food too, but not so great for casseroles, if you can stand outside to cook it.
  • Wear a hat inside if you start to get cold. My kids always tell me how stupid I look in my down vest and bad hat, but at least I am warm.
  • The minute the power comes on, turn on the dishwasher, wash down the counters and head for the shower (water stays hot for a few days in the water heater), because you never know if it's going to go out again!

We have downstairs neighbors that have a wood stove and that really helped to keep us warmer! And they could take water downstairs in a pan and warm it up for us. We didn't have warm coffee, but since we cold brew coffee, we did have iced lattes!

What tricks do you use for survival? We also spent time with my mom and dad, who have a wood stove big enough to cook on, but that isn't an option for all!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

School Pictures

Who are these handsome boys?

Mimi bought them the shirts before school started and I'd forgotten Finn wore his for school pictures and dressed the twins alike.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bee Stings and Stitches again!

Yesterday started okay, but didn't stay that way for long. I woke the kids up and Finn proceeded to get dressed, but Quincy sat on the couch, refusing milk (unusual for the kid who drinks milk 5 times a day). A little while later he complained that he had to throw up, but didn't. I left to take Finn to the bus and went on my walk (trying to go get some ME time before anyone notices I am missing). When I returned, Alvin informed me that Quincy needed to go to the doctor because he was feverish and his hand was the significantly swollen.
Let me break for a minute and tell you what I haven't blogged about. In Denver, Alvin was digging a trench and dug into a wasp nest (underground) and was stung multiple 25! Finn got stung too. A few days later, while working in the same area, he was stung a few times again. When we returned, he was working at my parents and disturbed a yellowjacket nest (under some plants and he didn't know about it) and was stung again, multiple times. The boys got a few stings here and there, but nothing major. Then Alvin was helping my dad with his honey bees and insisting that he was going to get stung (should have thought positively) and sure enough, he got stung on the forearm. The next day his arm was throbbing and swollen and a trip to the Doctor means Alvin now has a bee allergy. Saturday, I was inside canning and my parents and Alvin were out working on our yard when my mom moved some branches and found ANOTHER yellow jacket nest. Paxton and Quincy were both stung at least 5 times.
Back to my story...

Quincy had been stung on the hand and that was the cause of the swelling, but another sting on his stomach was swollen and feverish. I decided early that morning, that I needed to switch pediatricians. I love our doctor, but a 30 minutes drive was more than I could handle and would likely mean missing school, but I had baked cookies to celebrate Quincys birthday and HE WAS NOT GOING TO MISS SCHOOL. Luckily there is a branch of the clinic locally and they could get us in by 9:15. Ah, my day is going back to easy!

Dr. tells me that it's just an infection and infections in the hand spread very quickly and he needs benedryl and antibiotics. We rush to the pharmacy and that script isn't ready. Pick up a few groceries and it still isn't ready, so Quincy picks out a balloon because he was so good at the doctor, but school is going to start. I go home, make the boys lunch and the 3 of us go to Quincys school. After lunch and celebrating with cookies, Pax and I left and went to get stuff for dinner and Quincy's medicine. Come home, get Quincy off the bus and I hear Quincy telling Paxton that the doctor is really nice and if you go see him, you can get a pirate balloon. Finn gets home a few minutes later and I laid down on my bed while talking to my mom and telling her how exhausting my day had been...when Finn starts yelling! Paxton has hit his head on the corner of the kitchen counter. It's bleeding like head wounds do, but when I looked at it, I had to call my mom back and ask her to come over. We conclude that although the bleeding has stopped, he is going to need stitches. We did wait an hour and 45 minutes, because the local doctors office couldn't squeeze us in for ANOTHER appointment and their urgent care opened at 5:00 (local people, did you know there is an urgent care here now?--opened last week). The doctor confirmed the worst, that we had no other option, since you could see the skull and Pax was terrified. He was a trooper, played on my phone and only cried during the anesthetic shots. By 7:00 we left with 5 stitches and Paxton was the very first person to use the brand new procedure room there!

And it was only after we got the kids in bed, that I realized I had 3 kids coming over in the morning for the twins "birthday party"/ normal tuesday playdate with balloons. Fortunately, today was much better and I haven't had to take anyone to the doctor...YET! Although Finn suggested that I take him in because he had a stuffed up nose and he really wanted a pirate balloon.

Friday, September 17, 2010

They are 4!

Hard to believe it was 4 years ago that our family went from 3 to 5 in just a few minutes. Paxton's first photo!
Quincy's first Photo!
Our first family picture
Today, we celebrated with dinner of Pesto (aka pesto the besto--the boys favorite) homemade bread and spinach dip. Both boys wanted a different kind of cake...strawberry cake for Paxton and applesauce cupcakes for Quincy. The boys have various gifts, but both really wanted a pillow pet! And they will soon be nestled in bed, Paxton with his penguin and Quincy with his lion. Mimi and I took the boys a few weeks ago to one of those paint your own pottery, to make banks for the boys and the results were fantastic. Here are the most recent pictures of the boys, painting their banks!
Paxton painting his birthday gift from Mimi and Bubba
Quincy working on his birthday gift from Mimi and Bubba!