Yes, it is!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Loooong Overdue Update

Wow, I'm not quite sure where to start. So much has happened in the last five months since I lasted posted here. Jackie fractured her clavicle mid-March. She fell out of bed in the middle of the night and landed on the side affected by CP. Because of the low muscle tone due to the CP, we knew healing of the fracture would take a little longer. Jackie was disappointed to be sidelined from gymnastics for awhile. A few days after Jackie fractured her clavicle, she fell out of the wagon and received a huge bump on her head and some abrasions on her face. Then a few days after that incident, Jackie was playing on my bed and rolled over the footboard onto the floor. She re-fractured her clavicle. At one point, the doctor was very concerned about the possibility of surgery because the fracture site became very sharp and was close to protruding through her skin. Thankfully, though, the area has healed very nicely and she was released a couple of weeks ago to resume gymnastics.
Jackie graduated from the Early Childhood class this past May and is now eligible for Pre-K. We are currently on a wait list to get Jackie into a program and Zion Lutheran for 3 full days a week. She is currently attending the public school Pre-K but it is just 2 1/2 hours per day and it takes up my entire morning and really limits what activities I can do during that time. As soon as Jackie gets into the full day program, I will be looking for childcare for Ben to go part-time and then I'll work on the days Ben and Jackie are at school/daycare.
We had a very busy summer. We all went to Holiday World in Santa Claus, IN in May. That is a very nice park and very family friendly. It is also very affordable. Before we left to go home, we visited a state park where Abraham Lincoln spent much of his boyhood. It was very nice, except for the snake that I encountered when I exited the bathroom. That was 2nd snake encounter in just a week. The first snake encounter still makes me shiver when I think about it but I'll explain what happened. I had gone to our storage unit that we were renting to get the portable DVD player to take on our trip to Holiday World. I found the player and as I stood in the unit to see what else I should take back to the house, I felt something brush against my ankle. I can't tell you what happened between then and when I found myself on the phone screaming to Tim at work about the snake. Of course, he couldn't understand a word I was saying because I was so hysterical. I kept screaming snake and jumping as if to get the snake off of me. Of course, the snake was already gone into the back of the unit. Guess who emptied out the unit when we got moved into the new house? I can assure you that it was not me. And I made him check every single box before he brought them to the new house. Of course, if Tim had not pointed out that snake at the park in Indiana, I would never have known it was there. But being the kind, loving guy that he is, and knowing the trauma that I experienced a few days earlier, he wanted to make sure that I noticed the snake in the woods. Of course, I screamed and Tim got a kick out of it. Ha.
Speaking of the new house, we purchased another house in our subdivision. It was a really good deal because it was a short sale transaction. The house was in terrific shape for being a short sale home. The biggest repair that was required was the exterior trim on the front of the house around the palladim window. All of the other repairs that were needed have been very minor. We plan to re-landscape in the coming weeks now that the exterior trim is completed. Then we will look at painting some of the rooms. The house is much more family friendly than our other house. And, we have a basement which we will eventually finish partially for more living space. We have the other house leased out to a nice, widowed lady. She's been a wonderful tenant so far.
The rest of our summer was spent going to physical therapy appointments for me and physical/occupational therapies for Jackie. We also went back home to Florida for a few weeks. We got a really good deal for Disney so we took advantage of that. Tim had to return home after a few days to return to work. I stayed behind with the kids. We stayed busy almost the entire time we were down there. In addition to Disney, we went to the beach, the springs, visited friends and other family members. Mother-in-law rode back home with me and the kids and after a few days here, she flew back home to Florida.
A few days after returning home from Florida, Tim had to go out of town for a couple of weeks on business. Fortunately, it was in Rock Island which was just a 4 1/2 hour drive from us. The kids and I spent an extended weekend with Tim up in Davenport, IA which is just over the river from Rock Island, IL. That was fun. It was even nicer that I was able to stop at a friend's house on the way there and back home. She has a little boy who is just a couple of weeks younger than Ben so it was nice to have our boys together to play.
Oh, another event that has happened since I last updated is that we have a new family member. His name is Dugan and he is a miniature Australian Shepherd. Some of you may remember us taking in another neighbor's dog a couple of years ago. Well, Snow died the week preceeding Mother's Day. I did not plan to get another dog right away but when we were offered this puppy for free, I took it up. Dugan and Lucy get along great and are always playing with and chasing each other.
Tim started work on his MBA this past week. This is going to be a good thing because it will afford him better opportunities with his job with the government. I am excited for him although, Tim is not thrilled about taking classes again.
Ben is growing up so quickly. He is 20 months old. He has been showing interest in the potty and I let him sit on the little one that I got him. He will sit for just a moment, though and then run and get a clean diaper. He is so cute because he tries to put his own diaper on himself. Right before bedtime tonight, I actually put a little seat on top of the big toilet seat and sat him on there while I got a clean diaper out. Before I could get to the diaper, though, I got distracted with Jackie brushing her teeth. When I reached over to get Ben off of the toilet, I noticed the seat was wet and at first, I thought it was water. But, no, low and behold, it was PEE! He actually went in the big potty. I was so proud of him. But I really don't want him to grow up, yet. I just love watching his cuteness.
Jackie is a little over 2 months away from her 5th birthday. Wow, I can't believe how quickly she seems to have grown this past year. She is still a little thing but she is talking like an older child and more independent now. She started Pre-K this week but that is only temporary until we can get her into Zion Lutheran's preschool program. I need to start planning for Jackie's birthday party. This is her 5th so I'm going to let her have a party.
Well, I will try to do better at keeping up on this blog in the future.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Little Mommy

Jackie has been quite the little mommy these last couple of days. This morning, she insisted that her baby had to go with us to church. So, she puts her naked baby in the babydoll infant carrier with a blanket over it. Off to church we go. I tried to get her to keep the baby in the car but no, it had to go inside with us. So, she carried this thing into church with us and she was actually quite attentive to it during the song service. During the announcements, I took Ben to the nursery and when I came back inside the sanctuary, I noticed Jackie had her dress hiked way up to her chest. At first, I thought she was playing with her belly button, which has been an obsession of hers, and as I started to pull her dress down and remind her not to show her underwear off in public, she whispered "baby eating." It was then, that I noticed that she was actually holding her baby to her chest, not playing with her belly button. And Tim was oblivious to the entire thing. He must have really been into the announcements because even though Jackie was sitting right next to him, he did not notice Jackie "feeding" her baby while at the same time showing the world her underwear and naked belly. I have to say that I was laughing hysterically inside. I just love that girl.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Jackie and Make-up and Other Stuff

This past week, Jackie brought an object to me (which shall remain unnamed) and asked "Mommy, is this a bandaid?" Obviously, it was not a band-aid but I calmly took it from her and said "yes, it's a band-aid." Thank God she did not pursue the matter further. I was cracking up inside, though.
A little over a month, Jackie went to a friend's birthday party after which she brought home a goody back that included a necklace. Well, I noticed that this necklace pendant opened up and inside there was some kind lip gloss or something. I wasn't sure what it was but it did smell good. So I closed it back up and hoped Jackie would not notice that the pendant opened up to this mystery substance. Well, she discovered it alright. I have pictures to prove it. Jackie had this stuff on her face. After I told her to go clean up and to put the necklace away, she came back into my room with Ben following her. Then I noticed Ben was made up, too. And Jackie had the stuff completely coating her face by now. As you can see in the pictures, I find it intriguing that this mystery stuff somehow made it's way to the back of Ben's neck. If you look close at the pictures, you can see where the "make-up" was applied. I swear I have the goofiest kids.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

This Place is a ******** Mess!

That's right, this place is a mess. We've been switching rooms around and with 2 little ones around, things have gotten to be quite messy here. Jackie was talking to Tim's mom and telling her how she didn't have school last Friday and that she doesn't have school on Monday. Then suddenly Jackie announced to her grandma "and this place is a friggin' mess." It was funny but it drove the point home how careful we need to be with our words.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

$12.95 For a Baby's First Haircut?!!!

Fantastic Sam's used to offer baby's first cuts for free along with a certificate and an envelope to keep the first clips in. I took Ben for his first hair cut but when I was told that it would be $12.95 to cut his hair, I balked, of course. Am I cheap? I don't think so but I refuse to pay nearly $13 to have a few tiny clips done to Ben's hair. On top of that, a tip would be expected. I'm sorry but that is just pure highway robbery. So, I will be doing his cuts on my own. Pray for me.

Jackie's First Time Skating

Tim took Jackie skating for the first time today. Ben was napping but when he woke up, he and I went over to the skating rink to watch Jackie skate. She was so cute and having alot of fun. I don't know about Tim, though. I think he was getting a little bored following Jackie around the rink. It was painstakingly slow for him. But Jackie was having a good time and she was so proud of her as was I. With Jackie's disability, I was not certain if skating would be a good thing for her leg but she seemed to hold up well. She did get fatigued but after resting a short time, she was ready to get back out on the rink. The skates were nice in that the 2 wheels on each skate were "walking" training wheels. That helped to keep Jackie from losing her balance. A

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Days in the Life of Ben

Ben is quite the adventurer. He gets into things, climbs onto and into things, and is becoming quite the pesky brother. I am always warning Jackie to keep her bedroom door closed or keep her things out of Ben's reach. As you can see in the pictures, Ben got his hands on Jackie's color markers. The next day, Jackie left her colors within Ben's reach again. I was cleaning the hall bathroom when Ben came running in with purple stuff drooling down his chin. When I went to wipe his face off, I pulled his lower lip down and noticed that he had crayon lodged between his teeth. He was certainly enjoying the markers and crayons.

Monday, February 16, 2009

It's Not Worth Time Out?

Jackie never ceases to amaze me with the explosion of her vocabulary. I threatened her earlier today with a time-out for disobeying. She kept saying something and then I finally understood: "It's not worth time-out," she said. Where on earth did she pick that up? I had a good laugh inside, of course.


I have no clue what this is about. What can I say except that I have a weird kid?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Jackie's Valentine Party

Jackie's class had a little Valentine party today. Ben and I were next door at playgroup so when it was time, we joined the party along with another playpal, Isabel, whose brother is in Jackie's class. Ben enjoyed the little cake and in fact, he even swiped Isabel's cake. Jackie came home with lots of Valentines and candy. Before joining the party, Ben enjoyed playgroup as usual. He has become quite busy. He loves to climb on the playsets and ride in the play cars. He did have an incident where he fell backward into a car and he could not get back out. It was a comical sight but Ben was non-plussed. A couple of weeks ago at playgroup, he figured out how to climb into the car but when it came to climbing out, he was not quite sure how to do so. But he figured it out his own way but just climbing out. He just dove head first out of the car so that his hands were on the ground and his butt and feet were up in the air. It was funny to watch him figure his own way out of the car. Then a few moments later, he decided he wanted back in the car but this time, he climbed under the car and into the seat. He is such a funny boy and quite smart to figure out on his own how to get things done.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lesson #1: Do Not Take a Four-Year Shopping

Do not take a 4-year shopping for birthday presents lest you want her to give away secrets. Last night, we all went to Olive Garden to celebrate my birthday. Just before we got ready to leave the restaurant, Tim asked Jackie if she wanted to go home so Mommy can open her presents. She immediately proceeded to tell me "I got you candle." Of course, Tim got a good laugh out of that. Little does he know, though, that this past Christmas Jackie told me that she and Ben got me a butterfly necklace after Daddy brought her home from Christmas shopping. So, my birthday was nice. I got the candle from the kids and Tim got me a family Bible. Tim also got me an ice-cream cake which was so delicious.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snow Day!

School and work was cancelled today. We're supposed to get more wintry mix today. I do not like to drive in snow but I absolutely love to watch it fall. I was up until 1:00 this morning watching the snow fall.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Overdue Update

I know this update is long overdue. We have been quite busy here for the last couple of weeks. We took our house off of the market and we interviewed another realtor. We really like him but we are going to interview a couple of others. We stripped wallpaper from the 2 bathrooms upstairs and repainted the walls so hopefully that will make this place more appealing. I hate wallpaper so I was glad to finally be rid of it.
Jackie went back to school last week on January 5th. She was excited to go back and she really missed her teachers during Christmas break. Last Friday evening, I took her and Ben to story-time at Jackie's school. It was fun and Jackie enjoyed some cookies and took home a brand new book for her library. Several school staff members took turns reading stories and Jackie truly enjoyed that. The Cat in the Hat was also there for pictures with the children and at first, Jackie wanted nothing to do with it. She wanted to be brave as she watched the other kids shake hands with the Cat and eventually Jackie got brave enough for a handshake, too, although she kept a good distance between herself and the Cat. Ben wanted no part of it. Ben is keeping me busy as ever as he is now almost running everywhere. He does not slow down. He is always into something or on top of something. I do not understand why I am not losing weight with as often as I am having to get up and go rescue Ben from trouble.Tim started his new job on January 5th. So far, he likes it better than his old job. I just don't like the new salary. But being that this is a government job, job security and benefits are much better and hopefully he will move up quickly on the pay scale. I am encouraging him to pursue his Master's degree as this will increase his potential for promotions and salary increases.
I have a couple of funnies to share. Last Saturday as I was bathing the kids, Jackie pointed to her nipple and asked "Mommie, what's this?" My first thought was how do I explain to and what terminology do I use with a 4-year old. So I asked "I don't know, what is it Jackie?" To which she replied "It's baby food." Then she went back to playing in the water. Tonight the kids were playing quietly upstairs in Ben's room while I loaded pictures on the computer. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Ben walk into Jackie's room. I did not think anything of it because he usually likes to play with Jackie's Dora dollhouse stuff. After a couple of minutes I heard Ben scream and cry hysterically as if he was stuck or hurt himself. So I hurriedly checked Jackie's room and he was not there. Then I looked across the hall into Ben's room and there is Ben standing just inside the doorway crying at his sister who he did not recognize because Jackie was wearing her own made-up costume. Ben finally ran and hid in the next room behind the desk chair. It was hysterical.I hope everyone who lives in the tundra is staying warm. It has been very cold here for these past couple of days and in fact we are experiencing minus zero degree wind chill. The weather is still projected to be in the single digits for at least the next day or two. I really do not mind living here in Illinois but this freezing weather makes me pine for Florida again.