Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Zoo, by Karl

Friday, the fam and I (plus 2) went to one of my favorite places, the Zoo.  
I love museums, and I love zoos. and we got to go to the zoo.  
It was sweet.  I have this weird thing about me and big/wild/stuffed animals, they give me the "goose-bumps".  So, usually at the zoo, or museums, no matter what the temp is, I'm covered in the "goosys".
Things i love about the zoo:
1. i love that i get to spend money to watch animals sleep.
2. i love bear butts
3. i love the wallabies
4. i love how dumb lamas are
5. i love how according to Ethan everything is a "Doggie"
6. i also love the mallard ducks that mooch off the flamingos 
that about sums it up
we had a lot of fun
i think next year we will buy the season pass.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Off to the zoo!

Karl and "the kids", and I went to the zoo today. It was a sweaty, tiring, blast of fun!
Here are some pictures:

Karl snapping a shot of me nursing Evie, the bag is very conveniently placed.


The infamous Miss Abbi


finally a picture of me and my girl!


Abbi riding like the true princess that she is. Side saddle





That's my typical "I'm petting a goat!" face. I literally have this face in nearly every goat inclusive picture I've ever been in.

I have to say the Lion's are a little un-impressive though.
But the zoo is a great size for little ones, a few hours and that's all they can take!

I called the ped...

I called our pediatrician on Monday because Evelyn would not stop screaming, and I was losing it.
The nurse told me she might be teething.
WHAT? at 10 weeks. Um, okay. Probably not.
But I hadn't really connected anything with a vaccine reaction until my MIL brought it up to me.
(She's hypertensive when it comes to anything and everything developmental because she's a teacher and see's it all)...
So I Googled "high pitched screaming" along with "vaccines" and that's how I came across the last article I posted. It was the first article I came across.
The pediatrician's office was too busy to make an appointment today. But, I think I am going to call again this Monday and explain that I think she might have had a reaction to a vaccination and see what they say.
If you try and google it you'll just get lost in politics and get overly confused. It's a mess!
But either way, most my research says that it's the DTaP vacc that causes the neuro irritation (ie: high pitched screaming).
So, we might choose to abstain from just that one on grounds of a possible reaction.
I'm not looking to War against vaccines or anything like that.
My son will continue to finish his vaccination schedule.
I am only concerned with the perceived bad reaction that Evelyn had after her vaccinations, and don't wish to put her through that again. I'm still not completely decided on anything though.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Vaccination Reaction?

So Evelyn had about 10 days of non-stop crying that appears to be "colic" in nature after her vaccination.
Back drop of the situation:
Evelyn is a fussy(er) baby. She had struggled with tolerating gas pains, and indigestion/reflux the first few weeks.
Our Doc told us she would grow out of it, and that it was most likely due to her being born early.
He was right - she grew out of it and had about 3 GOOD weeks.
Then we went in for her vaccinations at 9 weeks after a whole week of struggling against a "gut feeling" not to do it.
Well, the day of the vaccination she started high-pitch IRATE screaming that lasted about 40 minutes on average, a couple times a day. Sometimes her face would get swollen from crying so hard.
It would equally break my heart and my patience.
So that brings us back to my first sentence:
This has continued for about 10 days after her vaccination.
She has started to get better over the last couple days though - hallelujah.
But, I can't help but research, and here is an article I came across.
It's food for thought - and I'm still processing it.
We have vaccinations scheduled for 4 months (about 5 weeks away).
But, I'm thinking I want to make a more educated decision on wether or not to give her this vaccine again..


A side note: In just michigan alone, there were 2,613 adverse reactions to vaccinations on children ages 0-2.
62 of them were life threatening (we're not talking fever, or suspected mental retardation, etc - life threatening) and 2 of them ended in death as a direct result of vaccinations in the last 10 years.

The more research I do, the more confused I get. But those are the facts.

All My Time

I often ask, where is time going?!
Well, this week when you brake it down...
This is where my time goes:
40% chasing kids around
25% intermittently sleeping and nursing
10% cleaning my house
25% working on photo processing (that's about 6 hours!)

So here is the fruit of my processing labor:

Session One: 1 year photos

Photo Session two: New born photos

Photo Session Three: Twin girls, 7 months

Photo Session Four: New born girl

Photo Session Five: Family Shoot

So there you have it! My latest works!
I think my skill is slowly becoming more refined, and I am really starting to enjoy seeing the pictures that come out at the end of the day.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

We have put a new sand box around our trees in our front yard. I think it's a nice combination of functionality and esthetics.
Not to mention Ethan loves it!

Here is the view before & after.

We are also experimenting with a vegetable garden right in front of our patio. Yes, a vegetable garden in the front yard! You say, Why? I say, Why not!?



Some beautiful Chard!

We're also growing 4 different kinds of tomatoes, 2 different kinds of sweet peppers, jalapenos, and habaneros! MMMmm can't wait to start cooking with them!


So, as some of you know, Evelyn has been overflowing with fuss lately. 
I got up the nerve to call her pediatrician's office today and inquire a guess as to why. 
The nurse suggested that it's a combination of gas and teething. 
Yah, that's what I said too. I'm not sure how much I buy in to it. But I suppose she's more experience than I, and so we're thinking maybe early signs of teething. 
What tipped her off to her conclusion is the copious amounts of bubbly drool that can be found on Evelyn's face at any given time and the large man-sized farts coming out of her bum at almost a steady stream. 
So there you have it. 
The reccomendation on how to alleviate her fuss? 
Gas drops, and teething rings. 
Here's to hoping!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

We put a sand box in our font yard. I know it sounds crazy, but it actually looks pretty good.
And forget aesthetics, because it's way functional!
The kids played in it for 2 HOURS yesterday! which allowed me to work on my front yard (weed heaven)


In other good news, my parent's might be moving up to Michigan!
HALLELUJAH! hallelujah!
I am praying and praying that they do. My kids need their Grandma and Grandpa Joe.

Completely unrelated... but something that's important in our lives.
Karl's school is going to be eliminated from GRCS.
So effectively his position is going to be eliminated as well.
GRCS elementary schools are going to consolidate to a completely different location (to be picked/bought) or will consolidate to the middle school (Sylvan).
Oakdale's Custodian's job is not in jeopardy because they are likely leaving the GRCS Association completely.
Sylvan's Custodian's job is secure, because they are retaining his campus (most likely) - if not then his job might be in jeopardy too, competing with Karl for the position. But he has significance seniority on Karl, and still is a younger guy. So he'll probably keep his job.
The third guy's campus has already been shut down and sold. He has already lost his job.
That leaves Karl - who's campus is going to be shut down and sold in the next 2 years.
What does that do to his job? Eliminates it.
But there is hope.
Positions might be moved around, leaving room for him and there is hope that even if they don't need him as a building manager, that they might decide to keep him on anyway. Creating a hodgepodge of a position just to keep him around, assuming a different position entirely some where along the line.

Here's to hope, and God's plan.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Veggie Garden!

I am now the proud owner of 52 vegetable plants.
Consisting of Sweet Cherry Peppers, Habanero Hot Peppers, Jalapeno Hot Peppers, Red Beauty Sweet Peppers, Bush Early Girl Tomatoes, Widow-Box Roma Tomatoes, Heartland Tomatoes, and Swiss Chard Lettuce.
Now let's hope I don't kill them before they mature!

I have plans to find and buy 1 year old Everbearing Strawberry plants too. My local nursery was out, and I prefer to buy local... so if you know someone!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cleaning house.

In the sprit of being eco-friendly I have decided to keep my vacuum in the closet today, and sweep my floors the old fashion way, with a broom. It felt kind of weird and domestic, but in a good way. But I figure, considering our house takes about 1/2 hour to an hour to vacuum all the tile/hard wood - if I commit to sweeping (every day, damn dogs) instead of using the electricity... perhaps I won't have to feel so bad about running a million fans 24 hours a day (a slight exaggeration) because we have no central air conditioning.

On a similar subject, We bought hanging strawberry baskets the other day and they're starting to sprout strawberries! I am so excited! I have plans to take the daughter plants, and plant them in the ground in our font yard-garden. I hear that they spread well, and I LOVE strawberries!
Speaking of - that is one of the two house projects I'm working on right now. I have just put landscaping blocks in a rectangular format in front of our front porch area, and am working the ground to plant a veggie garden. So pumped! I am a newbie at it, so I hope that I don't kill everything. haha. And the second project is painting all the pillars and wood work in the front of our house. I am not a "white" house person, so we're going green.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Orientation at DAB

Karl and I went to an orientation at DAB tonight for becoming foster parents & or adoptive parents.
It went well. It was A LOT of information. But I'm pretty pumped.
They ran through the time line of things and it looks like we'll have 10 classes, 3 hours each, over the next 3 months to complete, plus a butt load of paperwork. And a home study (multiple interviews at our house)
We could potentially be foster parenting by the end of August!
We got some one-on-one time with the social worker at the end of the orientation to chat, and she affirmed us that we'll make great foster parents. That was really nice to hear!
I think the timing of it all is going to be just perfect.
Because I'm certainly in no position to take on a foster child right this second,
but in 3-4 months I think our lives will be much less busy and we'll be prepared.

On another note, Ethan's in that period of rapid learning.
He has so many new words including "none, none" which is "all done"
UP, Down, buh-bye, "te-te" which is "thank you", and "Knee-ow" which is obviously meow.
He's learned how to "pound it" this week too. hah.
and Evelyn started swinging her arms at her over-head toy!
Oh, my. They are growing.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Foster Parents?

So, it's definitely 12:40a right now and I have to babysit two rambunctious kiddos all day tomorrow starting at 8:30a.
I am going to be totally wrecked tomorrow... not good.
But Ethan stayed up until quarter to one the other night, and completely messed up my whole schedule.
Thus, being awake.

Karl and I have been thinking about adoption for a while now - and after researching our adoption options, we have decided to simultaneously apply to be foster parents, and adoptive parents via the foster system. We have been wrestling with the choices of domestic infant adoption, foster system adoption, international adoption, private adoption or agency adoption, and finally our decision has been made.
We've always known that we wanted to adopt some day, just weren't sure when. But, we're thinking now is the time to at least start looking in to it. Now we just need to decide on an agency. We're deciding between D.A. Blodgett and Lutheran Services. You might be thinking "but what about Bethany?". Well that was our first consideration - but they are currently not taking on families who are interested in adopting a single child younger than 5 right now, so that's the end of that. I am yet waiting for confirmation from DA and Lutheran Services that they are accepting families - but it doesn't say otherwise anywhere on their site so here's to hoping.

While there is a major perk of foster adoption being nearly free (usually less than $1,000 total, which is completely cheap compared to domestic infant adoption) - there is the down side of a very extensive educational and training program that is required in order to adopt a foster child or be a foster parent... So as if I'm not busy enough, my little free-time that I do have has probably just come to a screeching halt.

"We're crazy" has become my go-to line as people ask what we're (I'm) up to, and I answer with my dozen and a half long list of things, and I get a weird look.

So currently I am (first) attempting to be a good wife, and mother. baby-sitting. running my photo/design business (including weddings now)... do this whole process of fostering and adoption. attempting to keep up with baby showers, weddings, etc. with friends. attempting to make progress on one of the many household projects we've started (and will probably never finish in the next 20 something years!). moving my sister in-law in for the summer. and attempting to read the required reading to become a post-partum doula (you should see this list!).

yah "WE'RE CRAZY!".


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

My boy!

Dirty boy part two:

IMG_0862 IMG_0864

My boy is all boy!