Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Blessings and little boys

Yesterday, when I picked Noah up from Theresa's, he was running around like a crazy boy! I wished I had had the video camera, because it was hilarious. Then, he began bringing me toys that he played with and running away from me. He has this trick where he goes limp whenever he wants to be silly. So, I was putting on his shoes, and then I stood him up, and he fell backwards, like you do in one of those trust exercises. Fortunately, I was right behind him and caught him. So I stood him up again, and he repeated himself. This went on and on. He thought he was the funniest thing ever.

I put him in his car seat, and we left to go to the ob/gyn. I pulled out my cell phone to check on my dad (he had cataract surgery yesterday), and I hear "la la la la, la la la la, Elmo's world". Noah had pulled out his Elmo cell phone and was talking on it too. He started to repeat some of my words while I was on the phone- "okay, then", "love you", "buh bye".

I had packed a bag of things to occupy him at the doctor's office- you never know if the doctor is on time or not. First, Noah charmed the lady behind the desk. Then we sat and watched the fishies in the fish tank, and he would point out the Nemo fish every time it went by. Then we got called back, and Noah brought his cup of fishies, and tried to give some to the nurse, who told him, "No thank you, sweetheart".

Time came to listen to the heartbeat. I put Noah up on the table with me- he likes this part, and pulled up my shirt. Noah pointed to my belly and laughed (he does that a lot). Then the nurse put gel on my tummy and the equipment and turned it on. Noah became very still, and looked from my tummy to the nurse over and over again. Then he asked, "Baby?".

After the nurse left, I pulled out some coloring pages I had printed off of the internet of Thomas, Manny, and Elmo, and some crayons. Noah got all excited and started to color. Then, I noticed an odor, and had to change his diaper. I put him up on the table, and he pulled his shirt up and pointed to the gel. He wanted to see if there was a baby in his tummy too! It was so cute. I grabbed the gel and pretended to put some on his tummy, and then I made the noise and he started to giggle.

When the doctor came in, Noah went up to him and started to show him all his Thomas pictures that he had. The doctor was really nice and knew all of Thomas' friends and pointed them out to Noah- Noah is just getting into Thomas so I don't know all his friends yet. It was really nice. Then after the visit, he gave Noah high five and left.

Noah was such a good boy, it's a real blessing to be his mom. He was so happy and charming. Ryan came to the appointment, but missed it, but as soon as Ryan walked into the room (we were packing up to leave), Noah yelled, "Daddy!" and brought Ryan his coat to put on him. Baby ladybug is going to have an excellent big brother.

Monday, January 26, 2009

People and animals...

I was brought up in an animal loving house. I understand that some people just don't like animals. I get it. Solution to that problem? Don't own animals. There's a family in our neighborhood who have animals. They have a cat that I see when it escapes their house, and they have 2 dogs. We'll call the boy dog, Danny, and the girl dog, Maude.

Over the summer, my neighbors and I made several trips to their owners house for various reasons. Danny got out of their fence which had holes in it. Maude dug under the fence and is now in a different yard. My personal favorites were when it was in the upper 90's and both dogs were in the back yard without shade or water. These were the times when our neighbors and I would bring water to the fence and then go and let their owners know that 3 hours outside in the heat without shade is not being a good owner (I did it a little gentler than our neighbor who threatened to call the cops).

Yesterday it was like 10 degrees out. When we let Finchy and Chili out on cold days like this, we hang out by the patio door so we can let them in as soon as they come to the door. Especially Finchy who has short hair (like Danny and Maude). Chili will lounge out in the snow and I will eventually force him to come in, because I don't want him to get frostbite or chapped paws.

Last night, we were playing "play play" at the kitchen table. I heard Danny's shrill bark, and looked outside. He was scratching at the patio door wanting to be let in to his house. Maude was also on the patio. Then Danny went to the bay window and began to scratch at it. Then, he and Maude took off running to get warm. I felt bad for these 2 dogs. Danny kept returning to the door to bark and scratch at it. Ryan went outside to start the grill (yes, we grill all year round), and they both ran over to him. Maude tried to dig under the fence to wiggle through, but the ground was frozen. We watched them outside. They were out there for almost a half hour before they were let in. Both dogs were on 3 legs by this time.

And yes, I was getting my coat on to go over and have a talk with them, when Ryan let me know that both dogs were inside.

So, here's my question. Why have an animal(s) if you're not going to take care of them?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My Sister-in-Law...

This is Candise, Ryan's sister. She is a fantastic sister-in-law, and has kept Noah in fashion. If it wasn't for Candise, Noah wouldn't have that much to wear. She also sends us hand me down clothes for Noah. Candise lives in Buffalo, which is not very close to where we live. We used to see Candise and Dale, JJ, Anna, and Sam at least once a year, but now we don't see them very often. You see, Ryan's parents used to live in Ohio, which is right in the middle for both of us. So we would at least see them at Christmas or Thanksgiving, and sometime in the summer. Now that Ryan's parents live in Arizona, we're in the middle, but it's not really in the middle (a nine hour drive as opposed to a 5 hour drive).

We drove out to Buffalo for Noah's first Christmas, and he loved Auntie Candise. Something about Candise draws kids to her, and it's very special. She's also a very cool mom. She does really cool crafts with her kids, like making gingerbread houses, and coming up with games to play. Candise is also very crafty herself- she had made Noah some very cool tye-dyed clothes, and when he would wear them, we would always get compliments on them.

On Thursday, a package arrived from Grandma and Grandpa Mahlberg, and in this package was some tye-dyed clothes that Candise had made for baby ladybug. THEY ARE SO CUTE! Also in the package were some very cute ladybug outfits for baby ladybug (thank you grandma and grandpa).

Check out all these tye-dyed clothes! Aren't they awesome?!?

Thank you Candise, for keeping both our kids in very cool clothes. We love you and miss you so much!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Noah's 2 Grandmas

Noah is blessed with 2 wonderful grandma's. There's Grandma Vicki (my mom) and Grandma Johnda (Ryan's mom). My mom and dad live in Illinois in the house I grew up in- it's not that close to our current house, almost 2 hours away, so they don't see Noah as often as they'd like. Ryan's parents live in Tucson, so they definitely don't see Noah as often as they'd like.

At Thanksgiving, the Mahlberg's flew to IL to enjoy Thanksgiving with us. We had a really nice visit. Noah warms up to new people (or people he hasn't seen in a long time) fairly quickly, so it didn't take long before he was leading Grandma Johnda around by her finger. They built quite a few towers in our living room together. Grandma Johnda is an expert at garage sales, and every time they visit, she always has some pretty nice clothes for Noah as well, which is very nice as he keeps growing like a weed! Here are some pictures from their most recent visit. Noah cried when they had to leave- he loves his grammy and grandpa (a post will appear later on the grandpa's so don't get jealous boys!).

My mom came down to watch Noah this past weekend, since Ryan had to take me to Diamond Headache Clinic on Monday, and we didn't want Noah to be stuck there (when the weather is nice, we bring Noah and he and Ryan go to the Lincoln Park Zoo, but January isn't a good time to do that). It was good that Noah stayed with Grandma, because we were there for over 3 hours! Anyway, Noah and Grandma always have a good time together. They played "play play" (play-doh), watched parts of "Cars", played on all levels of the house, and wrestled. It was also nice to have my mom here, because Ryan and I seem to have gotten Noah's "plague" and the 2 of us were running low on steam with Noah who is finally feeling better and has a lot more energy. Grandma kept him entertained so we could rest a little more than if she hadn't been there. She even got Noah to eat, which is a good thing since he hadn't really eaten in 2 weeks. Noah cried when Grandma had to leave on Monday afternoon, and this morning went into the guest bedroom (soon to be ladybug's room) and looked for her. Here are some pictures of Noah and Grandma.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Brrr, it's a good day for no school...

As most of my recent posts have indicated, Noah has been sick. Yesterday he really needed me to have a day off, but I didn't. Instead I got to go to school and sit through a bunch of Chemistry final exams and watch a ton of snow fall. I like the snow, I know a lot of people don't, but it always makes me happy.

Anyway, last night, I got "the call", and was told that due to the dangerous wind chill there would be no school on Thursday. I was extremely grateful. Noah needed me home, and now I could stay home with him.

This morning I let him sleep in- he slept until 7:30 and he had gone to bed at 6! He was fairly miserable all morning just wanting to be held on my lap. We looked at books, and watched "Cars" again- not the whole movie, he only likes the parts with "Mater" in them. I was also able to get him to eat a piece of peanut butter toast- he's getting so skinny with not wanting to eat.

Then, I pulled out one of his Christmas gifts (drum roll please)... The play-doh from Eric and Tracy. As soon as he saw it he started saying "play-play" which is what he calls it.

He played with it for at least a half hour, and then he decided to nap. He napped for over 3 hours. When he got up, we watched "Manny!"- he had woken up crying, and covered in dried snot- ew, I know- we had to give him a bath tonight to get it out of his hair.

Then, we played with the "play-play" for another hour.
If you couldn't tell, he likes the green play-doh color the best.
Thanks, Eric and Tracy and Lauren- Noah loves his Christmas present.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Sister...

This is a picture of me and my sister, my best friend, Jaime. Jaime and I are 13 months apart- I'm older. Growing up we didn't always get along, but I could always count on Jaime to be there for me. I always had someone to play with or fight with if that came about (Jaime and I NEVER fought, right Jaimers?).
Jaime is a super-mom. She has 2 beautiful little kids. Rori Rose who is 3, and Liam who is 1 and a half- he was born 3 months after Noah. She is a magnificant baker, and I'm hoping she will make me some more of those wonderful cinnamon rolls that she's making for her neighbors (hint, hint).
Jaime is one of the strongest and bravest people I know. Here's a story I'd like to share with you.
After my brain injury, Jaime announced she was pregnant. We were all very excited for her. I knew she was going to have a girl- don't ask me how, but I just knew.
About 10 weeks into her pregnancy, Jaime started to have complications. She kept having on and off bleeding. The doctor's kept checking her out and telling her she was fine. Eventually, though, Jaime was put on bedrest. Around 16 weeks, Jaime had an ultrasound, and was told there wasn't enough amniotic fluid for the baby. She was given her options- to terminate or carry on with her pregnancy. Jaime chose to carry on, I would have made the same decision. At 19 1/2 weeks, I called Jaime during my lunch period, and I don't remember all of our conversation, but I remember she told me she thought she was going to miscarry and I remember I was sobbing when I got off the phone. I let my boss know what was going on, and he knew how close I was to my family, and told me if I needed to take time off for anything not to worry about it.
When I got home that day, I went down to the basement- it was unfinished at the time, and just beat the crap out of my punching bag (I was having rage issues due to my brain injury). In my anger, I had forgotten to put on my punching gloves, and tore up my knuckles pretty good- I had to take off all my rings when I was done. I felt a little better.
That evening, my parents called and said that Jaime and Bill were on the way to the hospital- that Jaime had started to cramp and had a fever. It was January 14th. Ryan and I drove immediately up to the hospital. They wouldn't let us go in to see her because she already had 2 other people in the room, and they didn't tell her that we were in the waiting room. Eventually my dad came out to see if we had arrived- we had been there for over 2 hours waiting already, and he brought us back- he didn't care if we were breaking hospital policy.
Jaime had been told that she had an infection and was contracting. Decisions had to be made. We all prayed over Jaime, and then Ryan and I left to go get their dog and bring her to our house. We didn't know how long Jaime would be in the hospital. The next morning, my mom called and said that Jaime would probably deliver that morning and that the baby would not survive delivery. I called in sick to school, and drove up the hospital calling my friends' cell phones and leaving them messages to pray for Jaime.
I sat in the waiting room with my dad and Bill's family. Bill would come out to give us updates, and one time he stayed out catching his family up on everything- my mom came and let all of us know that Jaime had delivered. My dad, Bill and I went back to see Jaime. Her little girl was beautiful. I studied her, trying to commit her to memory- as I no longer had a very good one. I can still see what she looked like. We all cried. Jaime and Bill named her Faith (click Faith to read Faith's story).
That weekend we all went up to Jaime and Bill's house to stay there. We buried Faith on Monday. I was so angry at God because He allowed this to happen to Jaime. I've been angry at Him since that happened, and I mentioned to Jaime that I was still mad. She told me not to be anymore, because she had come to peace with everything. I'm not angry anymore.
A year after Jaime's miscarriage, I got the Kanji sign for Faith tattooed on my back. The Bible verse underneath it is Psalm 139:16.
"Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days you ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be".
I love you, Jaime, and I hope it's okay that I posted this.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

No Snow Day...

It wasn't like I was hoping for a snow day, because Final Exams are this week (today for Early Bird, tomorrow and Thursday). Noah can't seem to shake his sickness, and I was looking forward to letting him sleep in today. If it had been blizzardish, Ryan would have stayed home too.

Well, we all know the blizzard warning has been cancelled and is now in effect for tomorrow afternoon.

I got Noah up this morning, and he cried. We snuggled for a little while and then I had to get him ready, and he cried. When we got to Theresa's he wouldn't let go of my leg. I told her to call me if I need to come get him- I had to be at school to give my early bird final, but the rest of the day we're just reviewing and my kids could use me but it's not super important for me to be there.

After I got Noah untangled from my leg, he went into the corner and just started to cry. Theresa went and got him, and when I left the 2 of them were sitting on the couch together. I wanted to cry with Noah.

I wish I could be a stay at home mom.

This afternoon we watched part of "Cars" for the millionth time since he threw up last Tuesday. I miss when he's the little hurricane that he normally is, because he likes to play so much. It's been nice to have him sitting on my lap, reclining, but I want him to not be miserable.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

It 'nowing Momma...

So, yesterday after I picked Noah up, I fed him a snack of "fishies" (goldfish) and let him watch 1 episode of "Manny!" (Handy Manny). Then, I asked him if he wanted to go play outside. If you don't know Noah, he is an outdoors kid to the core. He got up, ran to the patio door and began to dance and chant "outide, outide". So, I told him we had to get on our boots and coats but then we could go outside.

It's hard to get a little kid ready to go outside. Especially one that doesn't stop moving. By the time I had him in his snowsuit, I was sweating. By the time he was ready to go outside, he looked like the kid from "A Christmas Story." He could barely move around in his outfit- his boots are a little too big on him (my son has little feet, and I guess we shouldn't have bought the same size as the shoe he wears because those are too big).

He was very excited to be outside, and kept trying to run around like he did in the summer. Unfortunately, he kept falling down, but then he figured out that if he was on the ground he could move the snow around with his hands and feet. He also liked watching the dogs play in the snow. The big excitement was when he saw his swing still hanging up. Have you ever tried to shove a kid into a swing when they're all bundled up for winter? When it came time to get him out, I had to take his boots off, and I decided it was time to go in. His face was red and his nose was running. He cried and cried and cried, because he wanted to go back outside. I felt bad, but I didn't want him to get sicker, you know?

He's going to be excited today when he wakes up and sees that it "'nowed" again. Although he is getting a cold and cough, so I don't know how long we'll play out there today.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

All Better!

So on Monday, Noah was in a great mood when I picked him up from Theresa's (I was sure he would be mad at me like at the start of the school year). We had a fun afternoon playing and giggling, and then around 5 o'clock, he started to get fussy- which as I said before, this kid is always happy. He wouldn't eat dinner- we had quesadilla's and 'mole (one of his favorites), and he just cried while he sat at the table. We decided that it was probably due to his routine changing, so we gave him a bath and put him to bed early. He didn't even rock in his crib.

Around 10:30 that night, he started to babble and giggle in his crib. I could hear him playing with his fishie aquarium that's attached to his crib. I was exhausted, so I turned the sound down so that I could go into a semi-sleep state (I am a very light sleeper). Eventually, by 11, his crib party ended and I fell asleep.

Tuesday morning, I open the door to his room, and I catch this odor. You know what I'm talking about, the vomit odor. Ryan was literally walking out of the door (fortunately he was running a few minutes late) when I yelled for him to come up and help me. Noah was covered in dried vomit, as was his crib, his duckie blanket (Theresa made it for him and he likes to sleep with it) and his 2 stuffed animals. Noah was in his crib moaning, and his face was all flushed.

Since I teach early bird, I told Ryan I could call in for the regular day, but it was too late to get me a sub for early bird, and if he didn't mind going in a little late, I'd be home after early bird. He told me he didn't mind staying home and that I could go to work (thank you, Ryan- finals are next week, and I'm still teaching in both my classes). I helped Ryan clean things up and get Noah changed, and gave him ibuprofen and left.

Noah took 2 naps yesterday- morning and afternoon, and when I came home he was better. Ryan ended up giving him a bath in the morning, because when you sleep in your vomit, it gets in your skin somehow. His fever came back that night, and he went to bed a half hour early. Ryan and I felt guilty that we didn't hear him throw up in the night (normally he cries when he throws up, but this time he didn't) and we checked on him multiple times throughout the night. (What if he had choked on his vomit the night before, you know?).

This morning, Ryan waited until I got Noah up to see if he needed to stay home again, but besides being a little cranky, Noah's fever was gone. I took him to Theresa's, but told her to call me if anything happened. I called during my plan period, and she said he was running around her house like a wild man (translation he was back to normal).

This afternoon, Noah and I played on every floor of the house, and we played hard- making lots of messes, but Noah helped me clean them all up! Then when we were playing in his room, he started this game where he would turn music on, and we'd dance, and then he'd turn it off, and I would pretend to get sad and he would run over and give me a giant hug. This went on for about 15 minutes. IT WAS WONDERFUL! Then, he changed the game, where when he would turn off the music, he would fall on the floor and pretend to be sad and I would have to give him the hug.

Oh yeah, and I almost forgot. Those of you who know me, know that I am a chapstick addict. Literally. I have chapstick everywhere in the house, and in all my rooms at school. Plus I carry it in my pocket. Anyway, Noah discovered my chapstick today. I put some on, and then he wanted some, so I put a little bit on his lips. Then I gave him the tube... he smeared it all over his nose. Then he looked at me, giggled and ran over to Finchy. Poor Finchy, I don't think he even knew it was coming, and then Noah was putting chapstick on Finch's mouth. Needless to say that tube of chapstick is in the garbage- fortunately it was almost done.

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Close to Christmas 2008...

Last night we had our "small group Christmas". Our small group is a group that's been together for over 4 years- back from when we went to Wheaton Bible Church. We usually get together every few months, eat dinner and let our kids play together.

Our group consists of Ryan, Noah, myself, Tracy, Eric, their daughter Lauren, Steve, Jill and their twin boys Will and Jake (who are just a little younger than Noah). Yesterday we met at Steve and Jill's house. Noah had a good time playing with Will and Jake's toys. We had an excellent enchilada dinner, and then it was time for presents. Noah has become an expert at opening gifts now, and was very very excited to have more gifts to unwrap. Our friends gave him some pretty cool things, like play-doh which will come out on a rainy day or snow day to play with, and a tug boat that opens and has a car inside of it.

At the end of the visit, we tried to change Noah into his jammies. He, like his cousin Liam prefers to be naked, and fortunately kept his diaper on while he ran all around Steve and Jill's first floor in his bedtime hyperness. Eventually I was able to get him in his pj's and then into his car seat. He babbled almost the entire way home, but fell asleep when we got onto I-55.

This morning I had to wake him up- because today is my first day back at school. Normally, I look forward to teaching, but I'll be honest, as much as I love my students, I'd rather be at home with my little boy. We had a really good time during my break.
Theresa, the lady who watches Noah, greeted him with an "I missed you so much!" this morning. He was a little clingy, but Theresa had saved his Christmas presents for today, which was smart, because that drew him away from me. She knows his love of Elmo, and got to watch his excitement as he opened his Elmo presents. When I left, Noah gave me a kiss, and a smile, and then brought his new Elmo phone to Theresa and said "opy, opy, opy"- she needed to dismantle it from the box.

At the bottom of this post are some pictures from our visit to grandma and grandpa's house.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year...Late...

So, as I figured, I wouldn't be one of those daily bloggers. We were supposed to go up to my parents' house for Christmas Eve, but Noah ran a fever that day and he took 2 naps (always a sign that he doesn't feel well) and Chili had re-injured himself the night before, so we post-poned our visit. We ended up driving up on New Year's Eve morning.

I, of course, made sure everyone was packed for 2 nights (we had only planned to stay one, but you never know). However, in my expertise of coordinating, I only packed pajamas, socks and underwear for myself- something we found out on New Year's Eve night.

We got there around 11:15, and we waited for my dad to get home from a wake he had gone to. While we waited, I of course, got hungry, so Ryan whipped up this really yummy artichoke dip that we snacked on. Noah wanted to go down to the family room to play, and while we were down there grandpa came home. Noah began to dance in place and yell. We all swear we heard him yell, "Grandpa, get your butt down here!"

After grandpa changed his clothes, we went to Tacos El Norte- my favorite Mexican food place around (of course there isn't one down by us, so it's a special treat to get to go there). I had the chicken enchiladas with green sauce- and if you ever go there, you should order those- Ryan would disagree and say you should get 3 steak tacos, but either way you will be full and happy. Noah ate all of grandma's " 'mole" (guacamole), so grandpa had to order him another side of it.

Then we put Noah down for his nap, which came a little later than we would have liked. Especially for Noah who has his routine and is a terrific little napper. He had a meltdown before we got him into the pack and play, and so I covered him with his duck blanket (which he had to have over his head) and sang very off key. This calmed him down, but he still only took an hour long nap (he is usually good for a 2-3 hour nap).

While we were there, Ryan set up my mom's new computer. My dad had bought my mom a new computer for Christmas, and so Ryan was moving all of her pictures, scrapbooking papers, and quotes over to the new computer. It should have been easy, but everything that could go wrong did.

I didn't sleep well the first night- I think I got about 2 hours combined, but Ryan slept like a rock- as did Noah. In the morning, my dad made me some coffee, and grandma let Noah help make pancakes for us. We didn't see much of Ryan that day- he spent his day in the office trying to transfer files. Noah was entertained by grandma and grandpa- I was exhausted and basically useless. Grandpa and Noah played at the sink with measuring cups and water, and also played grandpa's piano. Grandma and Noah cooked together, played play-doh, and choo choo train. Noah had a great time.

Oh, and my dad let me borrow a sweat suit to wear while I washed my clothes. It was really comfy :-)

By 9:00 pm on New Years, Ryan had most of the files transferred, and transferred the ones he had missed the next morning. Noah was sad to leave (we all were), but we needed to get home. It was a fun visit :-)