Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What's Happening in School These Days?

 We haven't had a school update in awhile. Let's see what's happening during a typical school day...
Tommy and his best friend practiced following directions with legos.  This picture doesn't look posed or anything. ;-)

They had their 100th day of school.  They decorated hats to celebrate and counted to one hundred a few times with the 100 items they chose to bring in. Tommy brought in 100 candy legos.  We found them in the pantry from last year.  He ate one and said they were gross and they've been sitting there ever since. :-)

I got this picture that day and freaked out.  First of all, he can have the Meijer brand fudge stripe cookies.  I had just brought those in for his snacks for after school.  Also, I thought those little brown things were raisins.  So I figured he was super disappointed about his 100 snack and felt horrible.  I sent her a message but it was too late after hers.  But she did write me back said that those were actually chocolate chips.  PHEW.  I felt better after that.  Just a little.  He's been expressing frustration lately with not getting what the other kids get.  I feel awful for him. He's pretty resilient though and gets over it quickly.

 This is a picture from the after school program.  Once again, it's Tommy and his best friend, playing cars.  Too cute.

 On this day, they counted feathers and talked about penguins.

 When you learn to tie your shoe, you become an honorary shoe sheriff. Tommy has not become a shoe sheriff yet.  Only two in the class have.  I'm thinking we should maybe work on that someday?  ;-)

They were flashlight reading in this picture.  His teacher said it's something they love to do.  I think one kiddo fell asleep.  Just kidding! ;-) It's the little things though for little kids.  I'm sure they get really serious about it.

Tommy had Show and Tell last week.  He decided to bring in his Smithsonian Space book that he got for Christmas.  His teacher told me that he was going through the book explaining everything about space that he knows.  All the kids were asking questions.  His teacher said she admitted at one point, even she was raising her hand and asking Tommy questions.  Haha!!

Tommy loves Kindergarten and he loves learning.  I love hearing about his days and all the fun stories his teacher tells me about what kind of person he is becoming.  I'm so proud of him and everything he is doing.

So we've heard plenty about kindergarten.  Who's wondering about the 3's class?
 Here's a picture of the core crew.  I believe this was their New Year's noisemaker celebration.  Best buds! Love the smile, Charshe!

Here's the kiddos doing a little painting. I love this picture just for the sheer fact of Charlotte's hair looking so ridiculously cute.  I can't get over it.

This was a game where each kid had a color ball they had to race to pick up.  She said they did fantastic with this task.  Looks like Charlotte had green which she says is new favorite color besides pink.

I haven't gotten as many pictures of Charlotte but I have gotten lots of stories.  They send me something all the time telling me how funny she is or how crazy her stories are.  Here are a couple snippets.

"Hey teacher, my mommy was 10 years old when she was a baby!"

"Hey guys, when I have a piggy at my home, it blows my house down and then my dad builds it again."

Anatomy lesson with Charlotte, "My heart is inside my stomach!"

Charlotte had a phone during playtime and said, "This is Mom! I'm stuck in Canada!!"

"Hey teacher, I went underwater and I bit and ate and kicked the shark."

"Hey teacher, my mom and dad ate a stingray."

Besides all the funny stories, I can already tell that Charlotte will learn best through songs.  She is constantly singing. They learn a song for each letter to get used to the sound and learn more vocab for  each one.  She just LOVES those songs.  She also loves entertaining her friends.  She is a riot.  Anything she can do to make them laugh, she is on it! She also loves school and her best friends.  She makes sure to get a "huggie" from each friend before she leaves each day.  It's adorable.

These stories and pictures make it slightly easier to be away from them during the day.  It makes me so happy to see how much they love their friends and their school.  I miss them so much but I know they are having such a great time becoming the wonderful people they are.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

2017: Interesting So Far

 2017 started off with our furnace having trouble keeping up and then totally going poo.  We were without heat and our house got down to 50ish degrees.  We thought we might try to stay and just use space heaters.  But I couldn't take it so we ended up heading to Renssy and staying at my parents' house while they were away.

Even though we were in Renssy, we still came back every day because Tommy had a birthday party on Saturday.  His buddy Cooper was turning 6 and they were going to the trampoline park.  This was going to be Tommy's first big boy birthday party where we leave him and come back to pick him up.  I was excited for him.  He actually said on the way to the party, "I have a feeling like I'm scared to go to this party."  I figured it was just excitement/anxiety.  Well, maybe he knew more than we realized...

 There were just a few of them and they had a great time... until... Tommy ate the cupcakes at the party. I had talked to the birthday boy's mom about how Tommy can eat vegan cupcakes as long as they are nut-free.  She was really excited to order them for him because she knows he never gets to have the cupcakes at the party.   There was some sort of mix-up in communication either between me and the mom or the mom and baker.  I don't know what happened but the cupcake he ate started an allergic reaction.  We weren't there but they said he started sneezing and getting really phlegm-y.  Then he got really quiet.  He wasn't acting normal.  He didn't say anything to anyone.  They opened presents and then they went upstairs to play.  It wasn't long after that when he started vomiting all over their house. They called us and we raced back there.  He was done vomiting by the time we got back but he was still a mess.  The mom was crying and everyone felt so bad.  I felt especially bad for Cooper. :(  Tommy couldn't stop blowing his nose and feeling awful.  He still wasn't quite right but I was hoping he was recovering.  We packed up everything and headed out.  Since we were staying in Renssy, we decided not to leave town and instead we just headed toward hospital because he still wasn't acting normal.  His mouth was open like the last time when his tongue swelled but he kept saying he was totally fine.  By the time we got to the parking lot of the ER, he started vomiting again.   Ah yes, time to go inside.

We checked in very quickly.  You can still see how he does his mouth weird when he's in the middle of a reaction. I don't know if it's his lips or tongue that bothers him but he can't shut his mouth.  I kept asking him questions in the car about how he was feeling and what his mouth was doing to try to figure out if we needed to use the epi-pen or go in the ER.  At one point, he said, "Which one is the right answer?"  Poor kid.
For a Saturday evening, there were not that many people there.  We got room #1! They gave him anti-vomiting medicine, benadryl and a steroid.  No epi this time AND no shots! Whoo hoo!! It was a great ER visit, if you can call it that. Ha! He really recovered very quickly and they sent us home within a couple hours.  Awesome!

 Middle fingers up to food allergies!

Since he vomited all over his clothes and Andrew took Charlotte home to clean up the car and get new ones, he had nothing to wear.  So while we were waiting for them to come back and pick us up, I put him in my coat and hummed the Imperial March while we walked around. He just needed his Vader mask and he would have been complete!

So we learned a major lesson with all of this.  We should never let anyone be responsible for feeding our kid like that.  We can't put that liability on them.  It's just too complicated.  Plus everyone thinks it's gluten because that's the new big popular thing.  So now we know we should just continue to bring our own food for Tommy so we can be sure it's safe.  Lesson learned.

Back to our furnace issues... we came back to Lafayette on Sunday because the kids needed to go to school on Monday and we needed to meet the "furnace fixers" as the kids called them.  So we used Andrew's points and got a room and the Ho-tel, Mo-tel, Holiday Innnnn, say what? Check out our gorgeous view! 

 The kids were totally stoked about using the pool.  Too bad when we went down there, our key wouldn't let us in.  We know the pool is open, folks, so let us in! The manager finally let us in and swim we did!

 Pool time selfies! The pool was so warm.  It was awesome! We called and they said they warmed it up for us.  AWESOME!

Family pool selfie! Sweet goggles, Dada! 

 It was finally time to get out.  The kids were not excited to stop swimming but we had to eat dinner. Do you like our workout room mirror selfie? Ha!

We finally had a working furnace at 6:30 on Monday night.
I couldn't get close enough to the fire.  So cold. I sat in the living room in my winter coat drinking hot tea.  What a wimp! :)
But our furnace is working like a champ now! It actually heats the whole house and not just the downstairs.  I guess they are normally supposed to do that.  Good to know. :)
January 2017 is definitely the time we made lemonade out of the many lemons we were given this month.  Here's to the rest of 2017! It's gonna be great! :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

New Year's Eve

 The kids celebrated New Year's Eve at school with a parade!! I can only imagine how loud that was.
You can see Charlotte in the front in purple and Tommy is in the back by the super tall kid with his hood pulled up.  :-)

Tommy's class celebrated with 2017 shades!

Thanks to Gaga and Pop for babysitting so that Mama and Dada could celebrate New Year's Eve with a noisemaker parade too!! We had shades at one point but they didn't fit very well.

I also cannot imagine how loud we also were. ;-)

Happy New Years Everyone! It's 2017!

Purdue Game with a Friend

 Tommy's friend Bode was at the game and we asked his mom if he would want to join us where we were sitting.  She said sure and the boys were so excited.

 They had a great time! The whole time they were either talking about Purdue basketball (surprisingly) or just saying potty words.  Haha!!

Charlotte wanted to be a part of it too so she was throwing in words at will.  Too funny.

You can see in the video how jacked up they were for the game. Actually they were just talking about things that STINK.  What?? I don't know.  Six year olds.  Good times though!


Christmas is a magical time! First the magic comes in getting your family to pose for a Christmas card.  On Black Friday, I had to work.  I got an email about a sale for Christmas cards.  I had this idea to model the cover of the movie, "It's a Wonderful Life." When I got home from work, I mentioned it to Andrew and he said, "Sure let's do it." So we picked out our clothes for the shoot.  We dressed the kids first and then ourselves.  While we were getting ready, Charlotte grabbed a tub of vaseline and smeared it on her face and in her bangs.  Yikes! I cleaned her up the best I could. We posed and set the camera to take 10 continuous shots.  It took 6 tries but we got the shot!
Well we got the shot that I filtered and cropped the crap out of until it looked just right. :-)

Would you like to see some outtakes? Here's a focus shot while I set up the camera.  I'm a big fan of this one actually.

Here's a lovely one.  Don't you like the hallway doors open so you can see in our closet? Also, the kids are hogging the light! ;-)

Mom's gotta fix her hair.  Dada is rolling his eyes. :)

Soooooo how did we do? I think it turned out pretty great.  We got a lot of compliments.  I wish you could see more of Tommy's face but after vaseline, 60 pictures, and everyone sweating, we were ready to be DONE.

So quick little side note, speaking of work (terrible segue btw), I planned the District Christmas party.  I swear I planned 57 parties this month between work, Tommy's birthday and Christmas.  Sheesh.  This party, just like all of them, turned out fantastic! 

 So on Sunday after our last Thanksgiving, we put up our tree and Christmas lights.  Tommy put the star on the tree as the finishing touch.

 We had a new tree this year thanks to Aunt Laura, Uncle Andy and cousin David.  The kids loved decorating it.

 They had a Giving Tree at school where we basically purchased presents for the classroom.  I pulled a Barbie doll.  So I bought a Veterinarian Barbie complete with a small puppy to doctor up.  They were excited!

I also purchased a fire station set for the after school kids class.

 We discovered a Christmas app on our cable box so they kids were able to do a little Christmas karaoke.

 On Christmas eve, we made Christmas sugar cookies with Grandma Katie's old cookie cutters. I also used an egg substitute that was made out of chia and flaxseed. Odd but it actually made the cookies rise! Amazing! The texture was great and the taste wasn't that bad either.  (I will have to try a cake next!)

 They had fun making a mess, I mean, icing cookies.

 But mostly they just loved eating them.

 They turned out quite beautiful, huh?

 After the kids went to bed, Santa came and laid out all kinds of goodies.  Santa doesn't wrap his presents (thank goodness!) so it didn't take too long.  However in the middle of it, Tommy came downstairs after having a bad dream. I have never moved so fast in my life.  I don't think he saw Santa or anything since he was pretty out of it but WOW was I freaked out. Oh notice the movie on TV? We finally own it now instead of looking for it on tv every year.

In the morning, the kids were very excited!!

 They love their tent and Poppy Troll doll and remote controlled T-Rex.  Charlotte also got the necklace that Moana wears and Tommy got Maui's fishhook.  They must have been super good this year!
I think Charlotte thinks so!!

 After we opened presents, we sat and ate some Christmas Divvies Chocolate chip cookies. Yum!

 We headed to my parents house on Christmas Day for Keiper Christmas.  If you would have told me last Christmas that I wouldn't be hosting and that we would be celebrating Christmas IN TOWN, I would have slapped you silly.  But here we are! This is one of the only pictures I took all day.  The kids were playing Just Dance.  Charlotte was INTO IT! But she didn't really understand how to play so much. :-)

Here's the other proof of our Christmas that day.  Photo cred to Brother Adam.  Lovely picture.

 The following day, we headed down to Westfield for Thornburg Christmas.  I was so happy we were able to get a picture of the grandkiddos and their grandparents!

Here's a cousin pic too! So sweet! Wyatt doesn't know what to think. :-)

Here's one that shows a little bit more candid personality.  Ha!

 We did a gift card exchange and we skyped in Cait and Scott for the occasion.

 One last sweet picture of Pop and Charlotte looked at the beautiful Christmas tree.

We really had a magical, wonderful Christmas this year.  We hope you did too! Merry Christmas!

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