Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Joshua's Insight

Josh made Dan and I cry just a few nights ago and I wanted to write it down so we didn't forget it. I was putting away clothes and Dan was chatting with them on our bed. Dan was quizzing them to see if he knew the family tree, "Who's MY daddy?" and all the way up to great-grandparents. Joshua asked, "Where is Grandpa Lyle?" Dan repeated the question to clarify and Josh said, "Is Grandpa Lyle with Grandpa Don?" Grandpa Lyle is the boys only living great-grandfather, grandpa Don passed away just before the boys were conceived, but his pictures are up throughout the house and when the boys were little they would tell me that they could see him in a specific corner of the house and that he was here with us. It's very touching. Anyway, Dan explained to Josh that Grandpa Don is with Grandma Dolly in heaven. Josh said, "I like Grandma Dolly, we played the piano together." This happened once about a month before she passed away on a random stop to her apartment. It surprised us so much that he remembered. It shouldn't have. The minute Grandma Dolly passed away, Josh looked at Dan and said, "Bye bye Grandma Dolly." And a few minutes later we got the call. He's always been so insightful, but we are so proud of him for remembering not only the great grandparents he's met, but also those he has not met (in person).
Josh with great grandpa Lyle.

The boys with great grandma Dolly.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Finally Out of the House

It's about time! The sun was shining, we had plans, it was time to get out of the house! Dad came over this morning and used the snow blower to clean up the driveway and parking spots. Then the boys and I TOOK OFF! First we met some of my highschool friends (whom I have actually known since I was 2 or 3 years old) and had lunch. It was so great to get together with lifelong friends and just sit and chat...of course it helps that our friends Korry and Suzy have 5 year old twins to keep the boys busy! :) After lunch we ran to Home Depot to look for screws for the changing table (long story short---when we took it apart, we managed to lose the screws...ugh). Home Depot didn't have any matches, so they sent us to Fasteners. This place is GREAT! They not only had a match, but the other guys working could see that my boys were losing it so close to naptime and offered them a cookie. The boys were happy from then on out! :) After securing the screws I promised the boys that if we COULD get to Northwest Seed and Pet, we WOULD. Last time I said this, the plows were in front of us creating huge berms, so we had to go home. This time, I attempted and succeeded! HOORAY! The boys were in hog heaven with a pig running around the store, seeing the alligator, and petting the doggies and kitties. It made me feel like a good mom because they were just SO happy! We then ran home and dad took my van and got me snow tires. Thanks dad! It was a great day! You forget how much you take for granted the ability to just leave the house and do errands until it's gone. We had a fantastic day!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Extravaganza!

Crazy crazy holidays! Our days have been busy with multiple family gatherings, playing with all the new toys, and playing in the snow!

On the 26th we enjoyed a family party with the Domrese grandparents and aunts and uncles. The boys had a great time playing Wii and we adults enjoyed some quick chatting time. That night I even got out to see 4 Christmases with some girlfriends. Hooray!

On the 27th Dan and I planned a date night! We figured one a year should be the minimum, so we snuck one in at the last minute! Dan's parents were gracious enough to come up and watch the boys while Dan and I enjoyed a quiet dinner and saw Valkyerie. Dinner was fabulous and I discovered my new favorite drink (found at TGI Fridays----Strawberry Lemonade Slushy) and the movie was great as well. The only problem was that Dan's car didn't start after the movie. Ugh. After multiple tries, we got it jumped and got home at a reasonable hour.

Today was a day with my family. My brother, Eric, is in town with his family from Seattle. We met in the morning after getting Dan's car fixed (bad battery terminals, quick and easy fix...thank God!) and got pictures taken of all the cousins. No small feat with 8 kids ages 5 and under! Then after a brief rest, we went over to Adam's for dinner. It was a great night and the kids had a ton of fun with their 6 cousins!

Here are some snow pictures, a video of Josh on his new drum set, and the cousin pajama picture. Oh, and a bonus picture of Dan getting his stitches out. Thomas thought it was so interesting and got up close and personal during the removal. Yuck!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

It's always such a crazy time of year, but this darned snow has really put a pinch on life!

Last night we hosted my parents for dinner and opened presents with them. This makes me really happy as Christmas Eve was present opening night for us growing up, so it felt right once again. The boys were super thrilled to get a cash register from grandma and grandpa and play-doh from greatma!

We were SO thankful to make it out this morning and make it to my in-laws! It only snowed around 10 inches, so Dan was able to shovel us out and get us on plowed roads quickly. My in-laws however haven't been plowed in who knows how long, so that road was rather treacherous. We got there just in time for the traditional Christmas breakfast. His siblings will tell you the best part is the home-made hollendaise (sp) sauce, I will tell you it's the tradition of having Cinnabons at breakfast! :) After breakfast the boys were itching to open presents. I knew some of what was coming, so I was excited to see their faces. Among Geo Trax, games, and stickers, there was the one present they've wanted forever. A drum set. Yes, a drum set. I knew they were getting it from Auntie Angie, Uncle J and Cousin Kierra, but they were so happy to open that thing! A highlight for Dan and I was getting Grandma Don and Grandma Dolly's old backgammon set. Hooray! We stayed and rested (both boys even took a nap!!!!!). The boys played a little "Tim Ton"=ping pong. Dan ran to Walgreens to refill my inhaler since I had regrettably left my purse containing it at home. We all sat down to an awesome dinner and enjoyed great company. Afterwards several people (not including myself) played Guesstures. Thomas and Joshua joined in on the fun and took several turns as well. Nothing cuter than watching a 3-year old try to get someone to say "triangle" or "belly button."

The holiday festivities are not even close to over yet. We will still see another side of Dan's family tomorrow, visit with some of my friends from high school on Saturday, and have my big family celebration (assuming my brother and family make it over from Seattle) on Sunday. Should be a fun, crazy weekend!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Snowed In Pictures

Shocking, I know, we're snowed in again. Here are pictures of the boys in their ugly sweaters (their 38 month picture) and snow pictures. They enjoyed the snow way more than I did this afternoon and really burned off some energy. Looking forward to a 7:30 bedtime!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ugly Sweater Party

Well, the ugly sweater party was a lot of fun! Some people were snowed in and unable to attend, but the kids seemed to have a blast. I hope next year we can make it larger and really see the ugly sweaters roll in! AND, as we were pulling in, the graters were plowing our street! HOORAY! It will be so much easier for Dan to get in and out now. The van is still buried. If anyone wants to come help us by digging out the van, we'd be VERY appreciative! Dan has been outside for an hour now shoveling where the graters created big berms behind his car.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Out of the HOUSE!

We finally got out today! My dad stopped by and took us to McDonald's for lunch. Dan even got out in his car, so we are finally free! The boys were grateful to leave the house for a period of time and loved running through McDonald's. After that we took them on a brief trip to Shopko where the boys got to get each other presents. CUTE! We got home and I was contracting, so I rested while Dan took Joshua to return a movie to Blockbuster. We then made a quick jaunt to the hospital to get me checked out (see pregnancy blog- After the hospital we went to the annual Ball Family Christmas Party (about 2 1/2 hours late) where I sat on the couch and the kids ran around with all their 2nd cousins (I think). We're home. I'm going to drink some juice and water and we're all going to bed. I'm just happy we finally got out of the house!

Friday, December 19, 2008

We Got Plowed!

I'm not sure if it was a city plow or just a neighbor, but our street has been plowed! And after Adam did the driveway last night, we're looking better and better. Our stinkin' neighbors are doing the least amount of work possible and unloaded the snow that was blocking their car back into the spot Adam cleared last night so they could get out. That's pretty peeving. I could vent for a long time, but I'm trying to be better and let things go. I'm officially done shoveling as of 5 minutes ago. I'm contracting pretty good and taking that as a sign that it's time for me to quit. I think we're close enough to getting out though. Hooray!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Big Thanks To My Brother ADAM!

My brother stopped by tonight and shoveled a TON of snow out of our driveway! AND, I forgot to give him cookies! Darn it, I even had his favorite kind made! Anyway, it made a HUGE difference and now if we ever get Dan's car home, he has a spot to park it. Adam was amazing in his Tahoe plowing through all the snow and then shoveling it all out of the way. Thanks so much big brother.

Adam and I were probably close as kids, but as always I remember fighting with him the most. When he went away to college, I realized how much I loved and missed him. We were close from then on out. Adam drove me and waited for hours while I broke up with my high school first love, Adam was there while I cried on the floor when Dan was told he was being deployed for 6 months (luckily the orders were canceled), Adam was there when I freaked out the boys weren't moving enough in-utero and took care of my worries, and he was here to drive me to the hospital while I puked in his car from a kidney stone. The point? He's always here when I need him. And I'm so grateful. I'm grateful he married someone wonderful that is there for me too and that I can call one of my best friends. Thanks for being such a great big brother, I appreciate you more than you'll ever know...especially since neither you nor your wife read this.

Do We Have Enough Snow Yet?

Wow! Talk about tons of snow! Dan's car never made it home last night. It's parked at a friend's house awaiting the snow plows.....that won't arrive for days and days. I went out this morning and shoveled again. There is so much snow! I did as much as I could before starting to contract and having to quit. The boys came out and reveled in the amount of snow and crawled through the yard waist-high in snow. Everything was fine until at one end of the yard, Thomas lost a mitten and on the other end Josh lost a boot. To make matters worse, I signed "help" to Dan who was watching out the window and when he came out he fell down the stairs. Talk about a stellar moment of the morning. Dan is fine, just rapped his wrist on the metal railing and traumatized the sutures in his back a little bit. The boys are happily hanging out with mommy and daddy. We know of only one person attempting a drive to work this morning (Greg you are CRAZY!). 32nd street is eerily quiet, I've not seen a car on it all morning. This is an improvement from last year when we ALL attempted to leave and everyone one of us on the block took turns pushing each other out. Even Perry, which I believe is plowed, is only being driven on by 4-wheel trucks and some SUV's with chains. Here are a few pictures!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Daily Trials, Tribulations, and Joys

Yesterday we were so tired of being cooped up we went to Mobius for the morning. The boys had an absolute blast and it was so empty that I was able to just sit and watch them run from thing to thing. We were there nearly two hours...a record for us!

This morning was one of those mornings where I left a message with Dan on his phone stating that I was getting a job. Not that I'm real employable right now! : ) While helping Joshua in another room Thomas managed to totally destroy a silver ball ornament. He had a long session in the naughty chair while he watched me clean and vacuum it up. Not even minutes later I walk back in to find another ornament destroyed. This one was way worse. The boys' friend Harry had taken clear ornament balls and poured paint in them making a really neat design. Apparently Thomas decided "tapping" them with the extending wand of the vacuum cleaner would be neat. This caused the ornament to explode across the living room leaving dripping pink and white paint on the tv, carpet, Christmas tree, you name it. AUGH!

Luckily, we had an appointment downtown so we quickly packed up to get out. Getting to the appointment was no problem. By the time we left, however, it was heartily snowing. The office is about 10 minutes from our house. It took us just over an hour to get home, and we barely made it. NOTHING had been plowed or sanded so we slid everywhere. I promised the boys a candy cane if they would pray with me up Thor that we made it. The guy in front of me, reveling in his 4-wheel drive, took the hill at an even 20 mph. I, in my all-season wheeled van, rode his tail sliding up the whole way. It was a total mess.

Dan had his mole removed today. It was quite traumatic but he seems to have survived. His dad and uncle picked him up and drove his car home for him since he was drugged fairly well. It took them a good long while to get him home too. I think it's a combination of the mass traffic today with the weather.

The boys and I played in the snow and had a lot of time playing together. After our morning fiasco, it ended up being a really nice day! And no naps means they are both in bed crashed right now! Dan had to go to the store (I refuse to even try until I either get snow tires or the snow is cleared more) to get milk and bread to last a few days in case we can't get out like last year. I look out the window and he's shoveling under his car. Ok, neither of us should be shoveling, but I can control the contractions if I'm good, I cannot handle it if his stitches tear. Yuck! We shoveled and maneuvered the car. And I learned a trick from the news that newspaper is good works!! Dan got out! I have shoveled the rest of his spot so that when he gets back he'll have a huge spot to park in with little/no snow. Hopefully it helps in the morning...and hopefully he can get back home!

Tomorrow we are making cookies and playing in the snow. Maybe a short walk to the library, but that's our plans for the day. So far we have just over 8 inches outside. Our neighbor has shoveled once and I've now shoveled twice. Crazy Snow!

Snow Worries

Thought I'd post it out here as well as chatting with family and friends. We realized today that we are in trouble for shoveling this snow for the next 7-10 days. I can shovel a little bit, but start contracting after a fairly short period of time. Dan will have stitches in his back for 7-10 days and will be unable to shovel until they are removed. The doctor stated that sutures in the back tear easily and are painful to repair. Nice.

Here's my plea: If anyone wants to stop by and shovel our sidewalks/path to the garbage and car, we would be most thankful! Our upstairs neighbors shoveled for us today, but somewhat begrudgingly (I will keep asking them though until they flat out tell me no since they use the sidewalk too). My brother will come snow blow if absolutely needed as well. Give me a call in advance so I make sure I have cookies ready for you to take home in thanks! I can bake, I just can't shovel! :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Fulfilling End To A Day

Man it is COLD outside! Our sliding glass door now has ice caked on the inside of the door. The kitchen remains at a freezing 52 degrees. YIKES! We are working on solutions to fix this problem as it's COLD!

We had a great day. I attempted to more activities, reading, and cooking with the boys than normal. It definitely wore me out and by the time Dan got home I needed a couple hours to get the contractions to stop. No worries, the contractions are simply Braxton-Hicks and exactly the same as last time with the boys. They are a sign that I need to slow down and I listen to them religiously so it's easy to control. The boys both took a nap (although they tag-teamed it again meaning that Thomas slept from 1-3 and Josh slept from 3-5), but it was a nice quiet break. We discovered a Dora computer game online and since it's educational, both boys took quite a while exploring and playing. It was fun to hear them laughing together while playing computer.

When Dan got his new job I scheduled several appointments for him that he hadn't/wouldn't do in the past. He had a dermatology appointment last week just to get all his moles checked. At that appointment, they immediately did a biopsy on one. This completely freaked Dan out. He announced that in order to return to this doctor, he would need a reward (Scotch). Today I got a call with his results and a trip to the liquor store was then in order. Dan goes back in on Wednesday to get the entire mole removed. The biopsy came back atypical. Basically she told me that it is not yet cancerous, but left there it will become cancerous. They want it off now. I arrnaged his appointment for Monday as well as his prescription for Valium. Dan will seriously pass out on the table without some kind of medication on board. After this, we are hoping his dermatology days take a long vacation.

When Dan got home tonight it was Christmas tree time! The boys were ecstatic! It took several trips to the store (first for replacement bulbs, then just plain new sets of lights), but we finally got it all on. I think my favorite moment was watching Dan's eyes light up watching the boys. The boys had an absolute blast but it was Dan watching them that touched my heart the most.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Yup. It's snowing alright. It started snowing while I was at the doctor's office today. As I pulled into our driveway, a car turned onto our street, lost control and totally hit my neighbor's parked car. It was at that point that we decided we should probably stay in for the night. As soon as I walked in the door, the boys started in, "Can we play in the snow? Can we go outside?" Happy to run off some of their energy we bundled up and headed out. They had an absolute blast! I finally went inside and stood at the sliding door and watched them because I was freezing! It was only when I spotted a stray boot in the yard that I knew shoeless Thomas needed to come in. They were happy to oblige as long as we make Frosty tomorrow. :)

Smart Kids Or Too Much TV????

Josh just looked at me, "Mommy, where are my sharp teeth?" I pointed to his sharp teeth. "These are my canines?" I definitely did not teach him that. Cute though.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Do These People Not Know Me?

Seriously, ok not seriously, but still. A website I get a regular e-mail from sent me a weekly menu. I usually get some great stuff. This one, obviously they don't know me at all. Here is the menu for the week:
Monday: Alpine Sausage and Cabbage Sauté
Tuesday: Salsa Chicken, Italian-Style
Wednesday: Onion Chopped Steak and Gravy
Thursday: Chicken Stroganoff
Friday: Caribbean Chicken Sauté with Steamed Zucchini

*Yeah, I won't eat even one thing off that list. Yuck. Guess I'll have to wait for the next e-mail. It better have plain noodles with Parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sick Week

Apparently we just decided that this week would be sick week. I started feeling awful on Saturday afternoon. The boys quickly followed on Sunday. And Dan kept pace coming down with it Monday. Basically it's just a fever for a couple days and then an awful head cold. Dan, with his lightning quick recoveries, is fine. The boys and I are still coping. We have been fever-free, but continue to have runny noses, sore throats, and just a yucky feeling. I went to the doctor today because my ear was about to explode. I'm hoping the boys don't follow. This is my first ear infection ever, and (knock on wood) the boys have never had one. We'll just keep hydrating!

No pictures for now. We have more recovering to do first!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

What A Rotten Week

It has just been a rotten week. I think the babies are growing, which means I'm not only expanding but exhausted as well. The boys have refused naps every single day, making for a mean mommy by the time daddy gets home. Instead of focusing on the grumpiness, here are some fun things we've done this week:

*We rode bikes to the library (meaning the boys rode bikes and then got tired about halfway home)
*We watched Christmas movies
*We made special home-made gifts to attach to Christmas presents (this included painting with acrylic paint which by the way does NOT come off seat cushions or the carpet very easily)
*We raked leaves outside and cleaned up the front yard
*We made gingerbread houses with our friends
*I introduced the boys to the world of Lite Brite. Ok, maybe I enjoyed it a little more, but it was fun!
*We watched a backhoe unload in front of the house. This might not mean much to the anyone else, but we spent nearly an hour watching the guys get it unloaded and move it around. It was a definite highlight of the day!

Enjoy the pictures from this week. My Christmas present arrived in the mail today, so I can finally give Jenn her camera back now that I have my own!