Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Puke and Polka Dots

Parenthood isn't always laughter and lollipops.

Quite frankly, it can be disgusting. Snot. Poop. Projectile vomiting. Yep. That's parenthood.

I had double duty today at the pediatrician's office. Both Drew and Reed needed to see Dr. Hunter, stat.

Here's the scoop.

Drew: Yesterday after his nap, I noticed that red spots were beginning to develop on his cheeks and chin, and by bedtime, I could have played a nice little game of connect-the-dots on his face. They looked like bug bites, but I knew that he hadn't been attacked by a giant swarm of knats, and I was pretty sure that it wasn't the chicken pox. We did begin swimming lessons yesterday, so thought maybe he was having some kind of reaction to the chlorine, but the spots only appeared on his face. And of course, when he awoke this morning, the bright red spots he went to bed with were no longer; instead, they had faded quite a bit and were a lovely shade of light pink. Diagnosis: most likely some kind of contact irritation that got transferred to Drew's face by his hands, and since the skin on the face is more sensitive than other parts of the body, that's why the spots only appeared there. Dr. Hunter said that it almost has the look of eczema, so she prescribed a steroidal hydrocortisone cream and the spots should be cleared up in a few days.

Reed: Oh, Reed. Poor kid. He went to see Dr. Hunter today because he's been vomiting for the past five days. And not just vomit. Projectile vomit anywhere from 30 minutes to three hours after he eats. So, long story short (as most of you are aware of the struggles he's had with reflux and tummy troubles), he is now scheduled to have an upper GI on Thursday morning. This will tell us exactly what's going on inside that little body of his and help the doctor decide the best course of care. I hope and pray that this will give us the answers we need so that our little guy can get some relief already! She also prescribed baby Zantac to help relieve the pain associated with reflux. (Oh, and my "little" boy isn't so little: 17 + pounds of pure boy joy!...No wonder I have a back ache!!!)

We'll let you know his diagnosis when we get the test results. We ask for your prayers as it's nerve-wracking for a little one to have any kind of test that requires hospital personnel.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

To the Man Cave!

Potentially severe weather tonight sent us to the basement. Welcome to Brad's "Man Cave"!

When we rearranged the upstairs bedrooms, preparing for Reed's arrival, the treadmill got moved to the basement, wherein Brad decided to make a posh room for himself. Well, it's more like a corner. And posh it is not. More like one part functional, two parts trashy. Oh well. It serves its purpose well. And at least now we have a space that's somewhat comfy to retreat to when the weather turns severe.

Yeah, we pretty much have fun wherever we are.

And yep, there are toys everywhere in this house!

She looks comfy, but she was shakin' like a leaf! She hates thunder.

Oh, and as far as the severe weather is concerned, it's passing without consequence, at least as of right now. We have a thunderstorm watch in effect now until 10pm. The sirens went off earlier for a severe thunderstorm warning that was producing some rotation near North Pekin. When Brad said that storms yesterday sent a tree through the window of a house, I figured we'd better head for cover!

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Drew, Dad/Grandpa, Brad/Dad, Reed

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Gimme a Break

I love being a mother.

I love being home with my boys. I love being here when they call my name, when they discover new things, when they want to snuggle and give me kisses.

"What about those toddler tantrums?" you ask. "Do you love those?" Uh, no. "And the screaming?" Yeah, that's kind of irritating. "Oh, but that crusty spit-up on your shoulder, that's sexy. It brings out those bags under your eyes."

Oh, alright! I don't love everything about motherhood.

But don't get me wrong. I love my boys, and I love being their mom.

But every mom needs a break now and again.

Today. *sigh* Today was my day.

With the help of Brad and his parents, I was able to take a nine hour break today (yep, you read that right... NINE HOURS!). And not only was I able to have a day off, I was able to spend it doing something I love (almost as much as motherhood): scrapbook! I co-hosted a "Paper-Crafting Party" at church today, where those who enjoy scrapbooking, making greeting cards, or other paper crafts could come together to share ideas and supplies. I haven't been able to work on my albums since before Reed was born. I haven't even started his album yet, and I'm a year behind with Drew's. (Having kids kind of kills a lot of that "free time" I used to have!) But I've had the "itch" for quite a while and have been anxious to get to work up in my craft room. Our gathering at church today was the perfect opportunity!

Since I don't tote around these albums everywhere I go, very few of you have had the opportunity to see what I'm working on. And since the point of scrapbooking is to share our memories with others, and blogging is a type of "cyper/digital" scrapbooking, I hope to post pictures of some of my pages here. Until then, I'll show you one of the projects I worked on today. I found this idea in a magazine, and knew I wanted to try to replicate it. It hangs on the wall in our living room, surrounded by our family pictures.

Now, this would be a 5-star day if I can get some sleep tonight...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

You know it's been a good day when the house looks like this at 6pm:

Drew rediscovered a bucket of toys that I had in "storage" in his bedroom closet. He just had to bring them downstairs to show all the "new" toys to Reed.

And all in all, it was a very good day.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Grammy & Papa

All of us enjoyed a lovely, long, fun-filled weekend with my parents, aka "Grammy" and "Papa" to Drew and Reed. They arrived Saturday evening, and stayed until this morning when they had to head home to Minnesota and back to their "real" jobs. And by "real" I mean those jobs for which they get paid. They both did a whole lot of work around here but didn't get a dime! They stayed with the boys Sunday afternoon through Monday morning so Brad and I could get away for our anniversary. My dad helped me hang a ceiling fan in the last bedroom without one, my mom did a lot of laundry and dish-washing, and Lord knows those little boys ran both of them ragged!

(Forgive my absence of pictures...I have gotten quite lazy with capturing our days digitally. Perhaps that will be 2010's new year's resolution??)

I always love it when the boys' grandparents can come visit us. Growing up, I lived two and four hours away from my grandparents, which always made our visits special, but I was always jealous of my cousins who lived closer to them and saw them more often. Now that I have children of my own, I want for my kids to live close to their grandparents. And here we sit, in Illinois, four and seven hours away. Ho hum. I am forever grateful that our parents make these visits such a priority. I hope they know how much it means to us, and to our boys, to have them here.

We are looking forward to "Round 2" this weekend when Grandma and Grandpa VW come to visit...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Memory Lane

Today, we celebrate seven years together. It doesn't seem like such a long time, considering those that have been married much, much, much, MUCH longer than us. But when we sit back and think about how far we've come, "seven," all of the sudden, seems like such a big number.

Would you care to reminisce with us??

May 2000: first met

October 20, 2000: first date

February 2001: Sweetheart dinner at Brad's church in Worthington, MN.
(look at those kids!!)

July 3, 2001: engaged

Engagement picture March 2002
(so young!)

May 2002: Lesley's graduation from college

Married Friday, June 14, 2002
(now that's one good lookin' couple!)

August 2002: moved to Denver, CO for seminary

August 2003: moved to St. Paul, MN for seminary

April 30, 2004: bought our first house

July 5, 2004: adopted Luci

May 2006: graduation from seminary

November 2006: ordination, and moved to Pekin, IL for Brad's first church as a pastor

January 26, 2007: Drew is born

March 10, 2009: Reed is born


...with children!
(oops! where's Reed?? He was napping during this photo op...no way I was going to wake him!)

Friday, June 12, 2009

It's Turkey Time!

Tonight we headed to Tremont, a small town about 6 miles away, for their town's celebration, the Turkey Festival. Friends of ours invited us to go, and as we hadn't been in the three summers we've been here, we went along. It was a pretty typical town celebration, with carnival rides and games, vendors, and of course, lots of food loaded with fat, calories, and deliciousness! And, what was on tonight's menu, you ask?

Delicious turkey sandwiches for mom and dad, with potato chips and pop. A "Little Cobbler Meal" for Drew: turkey hot dog, applesauce, teddy grahams, and juice. And no Turkey Festival children's meal is complete without...

...the ever popular turkey ring!

The poor economy must be hitting small town carnivals... since when does it cost $6 to ride the carousel?? So as much as I wanted Drew to ride his first amusement park ride, we settled for "Lucky Ducky" instead (an especially wise economical choice since our friends paid for him to play!). Drew enjoyed the game so much, he kept grabbing for the ducks instead of picking his prize!

Mom picked for him. Kinda pitiful, huh?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Three Months Old

Milestones this month...

First cold (runny nose & congestion)
Sucked thumb for first time
Slept through the night
No calls to the pediatrician!

Ready for breakfast!

Sleepy sleepykins

Yep, they're pretty handsome, I know.

He's off!

Sidewalk chalkin' it.

Old Man Jones watching Elmo in his new rocker.

Enjoying some fresh air in the sunshade...

...all that fresh air poops a guy out!


Yeah, we pretty much make Drew do this. :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Weekend Friends

What a fantastic weekend we just had! Ever since we've moved to Pekin, our very good friends, Scott and Kathy, along with their daughters, Grace and Norah, have made several trips to come visit us. We are so thankful for this time together, as it makes Brad and I feel closer to all of our friends back in Minnesota, and we are so so appreciative to the Vriezes for making this extra special effort to stay in touch.

Drew, Reed (look at that belly!), Norah & Grace

Our friends arrived late afternoon on Friday, and unlike their previous visits when they've had to return home on Sunday, they were able to stay another night with us and delay their return home until Monday morning. This gave us, and the kids, an extra day of fun. Kathy and I were able to get a little "mommy time" in as we hit some garage sales Saturday morning, but unfortunately for Scott and Brad, the weather didn't cooperate with their "daddy time" on the golf course. Oh well, maybe next time! The kids had a blast together, playing inside, outside, and all around the town! With our two boys and their two girls, we, of course, think we have the perfect set-up for arranged marriages in about 20-25 years... but we learned that Little Sister Norah might be making the moves on Drew!

Here's a peek into all the fun we had... makes you want to come and visit, too, doesn't it???

Scott & Kathy: THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! You'll never fully know how much we appreciate these visits.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bachelor #1

Toddler love is blooming.

A friend of mine from church was over yesterday and she told me a very cute story about her 3 1/2 year old daughter. Apparently Bekah has taken a liking to leaving their house (unannounced) and going over to their neighbor's house, where a little boy named Jackson lives. Upon trying to explain to Bekah why it's not okay to up and leave, Bekah says this to her mom:

"But mom, I gotta pick a boyfriend. I like Drew a lot a lot, and I like Jackson a lot a lot. And they both have yellow hair."

Too funny!

I guess I have to keep a look out for the growing affections Bekah has for Drew. Another woman in his life??? Bah!

Monday, June 1, 2009

8 hours

Does anyone remember what it's like to get eight pure, blissful, uninterrupted hours of sleep at night?

I don't.

That is, until last night. Reed finally, finally, slept eight hours, sleeping from 9:30 last night until 5:29 this morning (ok, so one minute short of eight hours, but I'll take it!)! WOOT WOOT!

And technically, my sleep was not eight hours in length. I was able to take a 3 1/2 hour nap yesterday afternoon, which, as delicious as it was, made me too awake to actually fall asleep last night. And then when Reed fussed a bit at 4am, I could only doze from then until 5:29. But you know what? I feel GREAT this morning!

Now, am I naive enough to think this is it? Reed has finally mastered sleeping through the night and I will never again have to see the likes of 3:30 in the morning (which, by the way, is the ugliest time of day)?

Yes, yes I am. At least for the moment. (Hey, I've gotta suck all the optimism out of this moment as I can!)

But really, I know that chances are Reed will go back and forth for a little while yet, occasionally sleeping through the night while still waking at times for a "midnight" feeding. Heck, the way it's been going, it may be two weeks before he sleeps another eight hours at night. For now, I will be so proud, and so relieved and rested and happy, that Reed has finally reached this milestone.