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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ten Reasons I'm Not Jealous My SIL and BIL are in Hawaii

10. We are getting about six inches of snow by Monday - I wouldn't want to miss that!
(Update - we ended up with more like 12 inches - nothing better!)

9. I get to change Bruiser's poopy diapers! I'm sure I would miss that smell!

8. I get to take all three children to the doctor on Tuesday for well check-ups. Gosh, I love a challenge!

7. My winter coat is my favorite piece of clothing!

6. I love cleaning snotty noses - I probably wouldn't get to do that in Hawaii.

5. I would miss the added stress of yippy-yappy Shadow!

4. I need constant noise in my world - the ocean waves of Hawaii could not compete with the screams and whines of my children.

3. I would really have to work hard to get sunburned in March at home - who needs to worry about sunscreen at this time of year?

2. The sand would irritate my dry, cracked skin.

1. Sitting on the beach, watching the waves, and reading a book without any interruption would be way too boring!


We hope you are having a wonderful and relaxing time, C &J!
We really do ... most of the time!

Sharing Through the Eyes of a Toddler

Tater and I had a mother-daughter morning - Tumble Tots, the library, the grocery store, and the dry cleaners. At the dry cleaners, they hand out lollipops. The nice big sister that Tater is, she asked for one for Bruiser. Usually, I would place him in his high chair to eat the sticky mess on a stick but Tater handed it to him before I could intervene. And before Daddy and I could intervene, we caught Bruiser sharing a lick with Shadow, the dog!

Friday, February 27, 2009

No Pain, No Gain!

Since the birth of G Baby, I have had a bit of an issue with finding clothing that fits me. I have a closet full of clothing and have been reduced to wearing the same few outfits over and over. I knew I was in real trouble when I was reviewing pictures from Christmas and saw a lovely one that my husband took of me - ugh!

My friend, M, who has shared two of my three pregnancies with me - we both have 4-year-olds and 2-year-olds! - told me about an aerobics class she has been taking at the local rec center. It's an hour class twice a week - and the best part is that it only costs $3 a class (after the $20 rec center registration). The instructor is great - really energetic and thorough. I'm really enjoying it and have even lost over 5 pounds in the past three weeks - a great reward!

Well, we had class last night. The instructor had been recovering from an illness at the previous class and gave us stations to complete so she could take it easy. Needless to say, she made it up tonight! She pushed us beyond what I thought I could do - I even wondered if I would be able to walk down the steps to my car after class!

On the drive home I was thinking about how hard class had been. I even had thought that the instructor should be careful walking to her car - you never know when an irritated participant might follow her. But then I thought she probably doesn't have to worry because she worked us all so hard that no one had any energy left to attacked her!

That aside, I know its all for my own good and I always feel better after I go. In fact, I'm already looking forward to the next class!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tater's Preschool Picture


Stupid Virus!

The virus strikes again! Jack now has the cough...and the fever...and the whining. Can we ever get healthy all at the same time? The house needs to be Lysol-ed from top to bottom - do they make a Lysol bomb?

Big Boy!

Bruiser was laying down in his crib the other night and I noticed that he was trying to use his Taggie ball as a pillow - not an easy feat! So, I asked him if he wanted a pillow and he quickly responded with a "yeah, yeah, yeah!" I grabbed a pillow from my bed and he quickly plopped his head on it and went into a sound sleep. Bruiser slept until 9:15 the next morning!

When I put him down for his nap the next day, he did the same thing and quickly drifted off. When I went to get him out of bed, he cried, "Momma, Momma! I ove my peeyo! I ove my peeyo!" (translation: I love my pillow!) Now, I don't remember how old Tater was when we gave her a pillow for the first time but I know she was younger than Bruiser is now. Talk about feeling like a terrible mother!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Tater's Art Work - It's a bride!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

G Baby in the Spotlight

Giggle Girl!


Someone is quite proud of getting that little foot free!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Every Cloud has a Silver Lining!

Even though our weekend was crazy with Tater's illness and trips to the doctor and hospital, Daddy and I took a few minutes last night to celebrate some blessing that occurred:

1. After months of not having a working thermometer to check my sick children's temperatures, Daddy fixed my temporal thermometer - turns out all it needed was to have the tip cleaned - go figure!

2. We are less in debt! We joyously applied all of our state and federal tax returns to pay off a credit card. Talk about a weight off our shoulders!

3. It only cost us $12 to fix Tater's brand new bike that somehow got a flat tire after only one ride! That was cheaper than the aggravation of Daddy trying to fix it!

4. Bruiser Boy learned how say he's sorry - for those Bruiser Boy moves! - by giving big hugs! Its so sweet!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Dinner Time Drama

A sick little girl on the mend!

Daddy and Bruiser

A sad little face!



Doogie Houser, MD

Oh, yes, we made a trip to the ER last night! Daddy had just left to go pick up a few groceries and a Redbox movie while I got everyone ready for bed and tucked in. Per the doctor's instructions, I tested Tater's protein level before bed - and it was through the roof! I have never seen it that high. So I made an emergency call to the doctor and she sent us to the ER. Unfortunately, the medicine Tater takes to control her kidney problems can mask infections, making fevers lower than they really are and hiding other symptoms. Because she is immuno-suppressed (the medicine again), we get a room right away at the ER, which means avoiding the hours in the waiting room. The other good thing about our ER is that it is in a children's hospital and they are amazing with kids!

So we got to the hospital around 8:00 and were in a room by 8:30. We sat for about an hour, made numerous bathroom trips trying to get a sample to test (yea, fun!), and waited for the doctor. All of a sudden, this boy walked in - and yes, I do mean boy - my first thought was "What is he, 12?". Well, I'm sure he wasn't and he was great with Tater (Funny thing is, I noticed on the discharge papers this morning that his initials are the same as Doogie Houser - coincidence?). So, he checked her, ordered a slew of test - chest x-ray, blood work, etc. - and said we would be precautious and rule it all out.

The x-ray went fine - she was such a big girl standing there and she even got to see her "pictures" and they explained what she was seeing - pretty cool! Then it was time for the IV - not so good! She had to be held down and she screamed the entire time. She was crying so hard it was hard to know exactly what she was screaming but we caught bits of "Stop it!", "Let me up!" , "Get off!", and lots of "Momma, help me!" As traumatic as it was, Daddy and I flashed back to when we were there a year ago to get her "itches" (aka "stitches") in her chin and remembered her screaming the worst thing a three-year-old could think of - "Stupid doctor!"

Long story short, everything came back fine except her protein levels. So we were able to come home with a diagnosis of a virus (they always say that when they don't know what else to say!) and script for Prednisone! We knew going in that that was going to happen but we still held out hope that we wouldn't need those "stupid steroids!"

At midnight, they woke her to take out the IV ("Oww! Get it out! Stop it!") and we were home with a very sleepy child by 12:30. She slept in until 8:30 this morning and is happily watching Maggie and the Ferocious Beast right now. Her protein was still very high this morning but we will have to give the medicine time to work. We will update you all when we see the specialist on Tuesday - funny thing is that it's a regularly scheduled appointment!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Jumping Jacks

Tater learned how to do jumping jacks in her Tumble Tots class
and Bruiser decided to join in! The attempt is quite cute!

Painting!

Thanks, Mimi and Papa!
No-mess painting is the best!




The Birthday Rehash!


Tater turned 4 yesterday! We had a fairly quiet day and dinner with friends. She had several visitors throughout the day - Brother came to play in the morning and Dana came to drop off a gift in morning. Tater sure enjoyed being the center of attention! The phone rang non-stop but Tater was too busy to talk long - sorry to everyone!

Surprisingly, she actually napped in the afternoon and then woke up very groggy - I'll give you one guess why! She's sick! We spent this afternoon in the very germ-infested doctor's office to discover that she has a fever, a terrible cough, and extreme post-nasal drip (the doctor's words!). So, in other words, she has a cold! Now we are on fever watch - because of her kidney problems and the medicine she takes for that, a high fever means a visit to the ER. With any luck the Tylenol will work and we can spend a weekend at home resting and recuperating!

In spite of all that, we enjoyed a nice evening with our next-door neighbors last night. Their oldest, E, was also celebrating his birthday - so we made it a double celebration. Pizza, cake, and presents times 2!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, Tater!



Tater Tot turns 4 today!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

I LOVE THE SPA!!!!

Can you hear me yelling that? Over Christmas, I won a spa package from a local news station and finally had the opportunity to use it today. I spent three hours being pampered and not having to be Mommy - it was AWESOME! I have decided that this will become a common occurrence. To quote Kate of Jon and Kate Plus Eight - "Going to the spa makes you a better Mommy." I fully and whole-heartedly agree!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Are You Listening?

For the past four months or so, Bruiser Boy has been receive speech therapy through our local early intervention. It is really more like play therapy with a focus on developing his language skills. They bring toys and make him talk as they play - not easy to do with a two-year-old. Their official diagnosis is that he has weak muscle tone in his mouth and jaw. This was evident because he refused to close his mouth when forming words and he DROOLS - buckets!

So, they were here today for therapy. We have the early intervention person two times a month and once a month we get the entourage - early intervention, speech, and fine motor. A bit overwhelming for a two-year-old with some stranger anxiety! Today we all sat on the playroom/dining room floor. We played with balls, play dough, and puzzles. Tater was right in the middle too!

Unfortunately, they were a bit concerned with his progress today. He's refusing to listen and process requests, while is affecting his ability to produce the words and sounds he needs to use to communicate. In other words, he's being a man! So, we will be starting a sound therapy program where he will have to listen a specially designed CD by wearing special headphones for 1/2 hour two times a day. It's supposed to train his brain to listen better - I almost asked if there was one for husbands!

We'll see how he progresses. Most likely, we will be adding more therapy time and need to be more instructive during his daily play - just another thing to add to our already overwhelmed schedule!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

G Baby!




Sleepover!


Early Birthday Gift

Tater got an early present from Mommy and Daddy on Saturday. Her new dollhouse is bigger than her!




Saturday, February 14, 2009

Possession is 9/10th of the Law!

Tater got an early birthday present today because she had her birthday slumber party with her bestest friend, C. We got her a huge doll house (pictures to follow!) that thrilled her. I wish I would have had something like this when I turned 4!

While she and Daddy and C were off at the movies (which Mommy was not invited to!), Bruiser discovered the doll house. Next to the doll house was the smaller princess castle that Tater got from Mimi and Papa for Christmas. Bruiser pointed at it and said "Sis-sis's" and I agreed with him. Then he pointed to the new and bigger doll house and said "Mine!" I couldn't help but laugh!

Happy Heart Day from Our House to Yours!

Tater making hearts for Daddy and her friend, C.

Bruiser making a heart for Daddy. It later ended up being a "broken heart" that we had to tape back together with stickers!

G Baby's first Valentine's Day.
Notice the sock - they never stay on!


Happy Heart Day
with lots of love from
The Sprout House!

P.S. Daddy's at work right now. That's right - he left me alone with three children ... on a Saturday ... for three hours ... on Valentine's Day!
Happy Heart Day to me!

Friday, February 13, 2009

"They have free books!"

Yesterday, while I was at work, my wonderful neighbor bravely invited Tater Tot to visit the local library with her and two of her children. Tater was so excited to tell me when I got home from work!

Sitter: "Tater, tell Mommy what you did today."
Me: "Uh-oh, what happened?"
Sitter: "Nothing bad!"
Tater: "I went to the library with C!"
Me: "What a great big girl treat!"

The story continued and I found out the she actually got to bring a book home. She picked The Polar Express, which we already have a copy of! She went for the familiar. She also told our sitter "You know, they have free books there!" and "A got his own library card" (said with the appropriate amount of awe!). Please know that we have talked about how she is only borrowing the book and that we have to take it back!

It was a day of cute thoughts from Tater - On the way to preschool she told me that our neighbors' oldest son doesn't live at their house any more (He's in first grade!). With that slight degree of hesitation that we always approach her comments and questions with, I asked her what she meant. "Well, he wasn't there this morning when we went to the library. So I guess he moved somewhere else to live!" I then proceeded to explain how he had been at school like I was and she got herself all straightened out!

Expressions of the Week

Tater Tot: "Doink!"
Bruiser Boy: "Oh, no!"
G Baby: "aahhhooohhh"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, Cousin A!

Bet you don't remember the "best double sleepy-over ever," do you?

Will You Be My Valentine?

Valentine's Day is not a big deal in our house. In fact, my husband - always the serious scientist - says it's a made up holiday and refuses to celebrate it. I remember our first Valentine's Day together when we had only been dating a few months. We went to visit his new niece, who had been born the day before. When his family asked what we were doing to celebrate this special holiday, C of course launched into his theory of how commercialized it is and how he was just a poor college student. His mother then handed him money and told him to take me to dinner and movie (I think we saw Jerry McGuire).

So, all that being said, Saturday will not be a huge day for us. I have picked up small gifts for the children, which is a tradition my mother started years ago. And we are actually having a friend of Tater's for a sleepover so her parents can go away - how romantic for us!

But, as I was thinking about all this, I watched Tater and Bruiser open a package from Mimi and Auntie M yesterday that was filled with Valentine's Day goodies - they loved it! Then today was Tater's Valentine's Day celebration at preschool and she got such innocent joy out of opening her goodie bag and discovering who all the cards were from. And as I write this, I'm thinking about my own kindergarten students that could barely stay in their seats today with anticipation of our celebration tomorrow.

So, with all the stresses and worries of the current times, take a minute and remember those sweet moments when you were thrilled to get a Barbie valentine or heart-shaped lollipop. And take a minute to share that happiness with the one you love (Hint, hint, Daddy!).

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - G Baby Style!


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Help, Momma!

The Characters
Tater Tot, Momma, Bruiser Boy, G Baby, Mimi (on the phone)
The Scene
Sitting in the van outside dance class. Momma in the driver's seat, Bruiser and G Baby in the their car seats in the middle row, and Tater in her seat in the back row.
The Script
Tater: "Momma, I have something in my bum!"
Momma: "You have something in your bum?"
Tater: "I think it's my clothing!"
The Resolution
After Momma stopped laughing at Tater's first wedgie experience, Tater was removed from her car seat and the problem resolved itself!

A Love Dare

Usually I post about our children but today I want to shift gears and share an awesome movie we saw this weekend. It really impacted our marriage - and, as we all know, without Mommy and Daddy, there would be no Tater, Bruiser, or G Baby to entertain you and make you smile!

On Friday night, we put the kids to bed and looked forward to our favorite weekend pastime - a Redbox movie! You see, with three children and no family nearby, we don't get out much! So, for a few months, I had been hearing about this new movie, Fireproof, with Kirk Cameron and a Christian message. What an powerful movie! I don't want to ruin the movie because I want to encourage you all to see it but I'll give you the basic idea. His character, a firefighter (hence the name!), is in an unhappy marriage and about to divorce. His father dares him to wait 40 days and to follow a guidebook during those 40 days. We were so impressed with what happened that we couldn't wait to get a copy of the book, The Love Dare. Now, don't worry - we aren't on the verge of divorce, but we feel this will help to make our marriage stronger, which is always a good thing (No comments, Mimi!).

So, we are on Day 4, and each day gets a bit tougher. Today we had to call each other with no hidden agenda, just to see how the other is doing and if they need anything. A bit scripted, but you get the message. Yesterday, we had to buy something for each other. I took the practical route and bought C a snow scraper for his car - something he has needed all winter. Below is the picture of what he got me - aren't I lucky?

Monday, February 9, 2009

The World According to Tater Tot!

We never know what Tater is going to come up with - so we are very hesitant in how we react to her comments and questions. We are also very careful in how we word the questions we ask her! Here are two of her latest thoughts:

Every night, Daddy and I check on "our kids" before we go to bed. It's always a challenge to figure out where Bruiser Boy is in his crib in the semi-darkness. Tater usually needs to be re-covered - and if you read the previous post, she knows if we don't check on her! So last night we went through the ritual - first Bruiser, then Tater. As I was fixing her covers, Daddy noticed that her tummy looked lumpy (yes, lumpy!) under her jammie shirt. I reached under her shirt and pulled out Mommy Lovie! Well, amid quiet snickers, we tried to figure out why Mommy Lovie was under her shirt. I thought maybe she was playing that she was having a baby (a common make-believe topic in our house) and Daddy thought she was hiding Mommy Lovie because I had threatened to take it away during a moment of tension earlier in the evening. This morning I asked her what Mommy Lovie was doing under her shirt, and score one for Momma! - "I was pretending to have a baby, Momma."

This morning I walked down the stairs to find Tater sitting on the couch watching her favorite kids' show, Martha Speaks. For those of you who aren't familiar with the world of kids' shows, Martha Speaks is based on a series of children's books in which the main character, Martha the Dog, eats alphabet soup and can talk. So Tater is sitting there watching her show when I walk through the room, opening the mini-blinds. She looks at me and says "Momma, I can chew my own feet." and proceeds to show me. Now, it was only 7:45 in the morning (and I'm not a morning person!), so I looked at her and kept walking to the kitchen. Once I got there, I suddenly processed what she said and returned to the living room for a second take. Yup, there was Tater sitting on the couch, chewing on her foot - like Martha the Dog! Before I could intervene, Bruiser went over to her and she took one of his favorite books away from him. He started screaming (another thing that is not good that early in the morning) and I told her to give him the book back. Instead of arguing with me, Tater handed the book back, huffed a bit, and said "Fine, I'll just sit here and chew on my foot." I'm not proud - but I had to just walk away!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

More for Auntie M!




Saturday, February 7, 2009

For Auntie M!


Tubby Time!

G Baby had her first big girl tubby with Tater and Bruiser - Rub-a-dub-dub! Three kids in a tub! We had a very wet floor by the end!

G Baby
And again!

Check out those chunky little legs!

The three sprouts!

And again!

Tumble Tots

Tater Tot had her first Tumble Tots class today with her friend P. She finally got to run around and expell some pent-up energy - yea!

That's Tater going into the tunnel.

Drink break!

That blur is Tater!

Mr. President

For the past few weeks, Tater has had this obsession of talking about death and people going to be with God. We're not sure where it's coming from but it is a reoccurring conversation - particularly when we are driving in the car. This morning G Baby and I took Tater to her Tumble Tots class at our local rec center. On the way home we passed a church with a funeral procession lined up out front. As we went by, they were carrying the casket inside. Well, I braced myself for the questions, anticipating a day of many conversations revolving around this event - but thankfully I was wrong! Tater saw the big, long black cars (aka the hearse and the limo) and the flags on them, and asked "Momma, is the president here? Can we go see him?"

Friday, February 6, 2009

Toddler Trickles

There are always a few hidden joys when dealing with toddlers and diapers (note the sarcasm!). Poor Bruiser Boy decided to inhale three handfuls of raisins a few days ago. He is now paying the price with a horrible case of diaper rash. So today before his rest, I noticed the tell-tale stench lingering behind him and knew we were in for another loud and unpleasant diaper changing experience. I successfully laid him on the changing table, removed his pants, and began to remove his onesie that caught what the diaper failed to. Well, I realized this was going to be quite the endeavor when he refused to sit on his bum while I removed his top. Okay, so I decide to remove the offending diaper first - four wipes later and he is no cleaner. I had never seem poop like this - it stuck to everything, including Bruiser! Bath time!

All went well with Bruiser sharing my shower - we both got clean and the bathroom didn't get too wet! I wrapped him in his towel and headed to his bedroom for fresh clothing. As I was bending down to dig in the drawer for something cozy for him, I hear the sound of liquid hitting the carpet and look up to see my diaper-less, un-potty-trained toddler peeing on the rug! Just as I was about to yell, I noticed his face and began to laugh. Poor Bruiser Boy had no idea what he was doing and couldn't figure out where the liquid was coming from. This of course lead to him putting his hand into the stream as he tried to figure out this anomaly - even more laughing on my part!

Needless to say, we both were ready for rest time and are in no rush to figure out this potty training business. Thank goodness it is Friday - Daddy gets diaper duty for the weekend!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Filling

This is a family favorite on the Sprout side. A family holiday meal (and even meals in between) are not complete without it! Attempts have been made to make it healthier but it never taste quite right. And the best versions of it have been made in the "filling bowl" which I am now in possession of!

Filling
(Thanks to Pop-Pop)

1 loaf of white bread, cubed
4 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 stick of butter
3 eggs
1 c. milk

Saute celery, onion, and butter until smooth and colorless. Slightly beat eggs and milk. Pour all over bread cubes and mix until moist. Bake in a ceramic bowl at 350 for 45 minute or until golden brown.

Tips
We usually double it.
Always tastes best fresh out of the oven and right out of the bowl
or heated up the next day!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Snack Time with Pop-Pop!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Middle of the Night Visitor

All of our children are good sleepers. Bruiser takes a 4 hour nap each day and still sleeps 12 hours at night. G Baby has slept 8 hours at night from her second week home from the hospital. Even Tater is a fairly good sleeper - most of the time! You see, she requires routine to establish a good sleeping pattern. Unfortunately, we have had lots of interruptions in her routine since G Baby was born - visitors sleeping in her bed, holidays, travels, etc. So, all these disruptions have lead to disrupted sleep and frequent middle of the night visits. Monday morning she ended up in our bed at 5am - wide awake and ready to start the day (Mommy and Daddy were not so ready!). That visit prompted us to establish the rule that she could not come into our room until she hears Daddy's alarm in the morning - good thought, huh? We thought so until this morning!

Tater has an incredible memory. She can tell you details from over a year ago - it's amazing! Every night she asks whoever doesn't tuck her in to check on her later. And we swear she lays awake until she hears the door open and close again. Well, last night Daddy fell asleep on the sofa and didn't check on her. At 4am she was sitting in the hallway screaming that Daddy didn't check on her! SHE NEVER FORGETS! Not only did she know that Daddy didn't check on her, she knew she couldn't come in our room!

Monday, February 2, 2009

When I Wish Upon A Star...

Daddy and Tater just let Shadow out into the backyard. As they were waiting for him to "take care of business," they noticed a sky full of stars. Tater got all excited as she saw a shooting star. "Daddy, I need to make a wish!" Daddy was curious to find out what she would wish for - you never know how a three-year-old's mind works! Her response is going to make someone's "heart cry" - "I wish I could see my Papa right now." Sniff, sniff!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Splish, Splash!

Bruiser Boy and Daddy are taking swimming lessons at the local YMCA. As Pop-Pop says - Daddy went for a swim and Bruiser Boy went for a carry. Stranger anxiety and a fear of large pools of water are not a good combination! Things are improving, I suppose - Bruiser did try to kick a bit and even make a fairly good jump into the pool. We'll just get him used to it and the lessons will be over!

Splash, splash!
Getting ready to jump!

Hi, Pop-Pop!

Update: Bruiser, who refused to lay on his belly and blow bubbles in the pool, was just laying on the living room rug and kicking his feet while pretending to blow bubbles - must be learning something!