Monday, January 26, 2009

Naptime Shenanigans Part 2

I am about to go work out, and Mike is at his basketball game, so Grandma Linda is coming over.  I just got Zach in his PJs and got his teeth brushed so that when Mike gets home, Zach is all ready for bed.  I had noticed earlier that his hair looked wet, and I just figured Maggie had licked his head or something.  But as I was brushing his teeth, I noticed the wet hair again.  I said to him, "What's in your hair?"  He sort of grinned sheepishly and said, "Chapstick!"  That explains why I've felt like I smelled grape chapstick all afternoon and why the smell was so strong in his room earlier (see previous post).  Of course, I don't have time to give him a bath before going to work out.  At least he doesn't have school tomorrow, I guess.

Naptime Shenanigans

I got Zach down at the usual time for his nap today- a little after 2 p.m.  Then I went in and got Drew down for his nap and came downstairs for my sacred alone time.  Well, I still have a monitor in Zach's room, and the whole time he's been up there for his "nap," I've heard him moving around, getting out of bed multiple times, and a couple of louder noises, like things dropping.  I've considered going up there to tell him to go to sleep, but decided that he doesn't seem to be bothering anything, so I'll just let him be.  Well, finally, at 3:40, after a bunch more noise, I decided to go check it out.  As I opened the door to his room the smell of grape chapstick about knocked me over.  Then the thought of his chapstick quickly left me as my eyes took in the sight of his room.  His nightstand was moved away from his bed and the wall, his noisemaker, which sits on his nightstand, was on the floor, and his monitor, which also sits on his nightstand, was moved.  And there were toys on the floor and his Harry Potter glasses and a trash truck on his bed.  "Hmm, weird," I thought.  Then I looked up to see my completely naked son sitting on top of his pillow.  "What are you doing, Zach?" I asked.  "Well, my clock fell, so I had to get down to get it, and I had to move this to get it because it fell back there."  Then he kept talking, explaining things in the way a three year-old (or at least my three year-old) does, explaining so many different things that it doesn't even make sense.  I had already started laughing taking in the sight of all this, and here's Zach, serious as can be, probably thinking about how he can explain away getting in trouble.  He told me how he moved his nightstand by scooting out one side and then the other.  I'm surprised he could even move it.  Then I asked the obvious question- "Why did you take your clothes off, and where are they?"  And he gave the obvious response- "Well, I had to get down to get my clock and back up and then down again and I was a little hot and cold."  Makes perfect sense, doesn't it?  As I found his undershirt and his regular shirt on his bed, I asked, "Where are your shorts and underwear?" because they were nowhere to be found.  "Oh, they're in my bed."  So I helped him get dressed and told him to leave his stuff alone and go to sleep.  It's now 3:52, and I can still hear him moving stuff around on his nightstand, I think.  He'll be up in 8 minutes anyway, because he knows he can get up at 4 p.m.  He so fluctuates- on Friday he slept from 2:15 until I woke him up at 5 p.m., and now today he was up before 7 this morning and no nap.  Oh well- as long as he stays in his room and has some rest time and lets me have my rest time, I'm happy.  And at least I got a great laugh out of walking into his room, seeing things quite askew and him sitting in his birthday suit on his bed.  Too funny!

Drew and Zach had quite a bit of fun together earlier today both before and after lunch.  They discovered a new game where Drew tries to crawl and Zach grabs his ankles and pulls him backwards on the wood floor.  Drew just loves it, so I got some pictures and video.  It's so awesome when they play together and have fun together.  I love it.

Well, now I can hear Drew has woken up from his nap, too, and I just realized I forgot to get dinner ready while I had the chance.  Darn!  Guess I'll do it while Drew is holding onto my legs later.  Or maybe I can get Zach to pull him down the hall again. :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Frozen Goose

This is a totally random post about some things that I have found interesting lately.

First, Mike told me that there was a frozen goose in a little pond off Hwy 6 that he has seen every day on his way home from work for the last week or two.  He said he used to think it was tree branches or something because it never moved, but then he realized it is actually a frozen goose, sitting upright on a frozen pond in the middle of a cornfield.  Maybe it's a fake goose, but that would be weird.  Who would put a fake goose in a frozen pond in the middle of winter?  I keep trying to figure out how this goose could freeze like this, though.  It sure has been cold here again, but a bird wouldn't just sit there so long that the water froze around it, I don't think.  But if it died, I don't think it would die sitting upright and not tip over or slump over or whatever.  So Mike told me about it, and he said he would take a picture to show me.  Then we actually ended up going out that way on Saturday, so I saw it for myself.  Very weird.  Here's the picture Mike took the other evening on his way home from work.  I will be so interested to see what happens to the old bird when it starts to warm up a little.

Another random thing that has been on my mind involves Adam and Eve.  Our church is doing a study this year called Year of the Bible, so our small group has been reading the New Testament.  So far we've read all of Matthew and about half of Mark.  Mike and I got a new study Bible, which is really interesting because it has all kinds of interesting notes at the bottom that help decipher what is being said.  We call it the Cheater Bible.  It's also been interesting to read these 2 Gospels and see how much of the stories are familiar to me from Sunday School, camp, confirmation class, and a couple of my classes in college.  Mike always laughs in church when there's a Bible quote and I say, "I know a song for that," but that is totally ringing true now.  I have also read many things where I've thought, "Hmm, I didn't realize that saying came from the Bible."  Anyway, back to Adam and Eve.  I was at a meeting last week for small group leaders, and the pastor that was leading it, Pastor Caroline, said something about Adam and Eve not necessarily being the first people on Earth.  This was towards the end of the meeting, and I can admit, I was starting to lose focus, but this caught my attention.  However, I thought I must have misunderstood what she said, and, not wanting to look like an idiot, I didn't ask the question I was thinking.  I did bring the idea up to my small group (a group of 4 other couples who go to our church), and everyone was shocked by this possibility.  Growing up in an ELCA church back home, I remember learning that not all things in the Bible are meant to be taken literally, and that there are certainly things that are or could be left out of the Bible.  For example, obviously dinosaurs existed, but they're not in the Bible.  And my pastor growing up said that evolution is not out of the question.  I've always wondered how much incest had to occur for Adam and Eve to supposedly populate the entire earth, but never have really pressed the issue at all, probably because I haven't felt close enough to a pastor to do so.  So I emailed Pastor Caroline and asked her if I understood correctly that she had said Adam and Eve were not necessarily the first people God created.  Here's what Pastor Caroline said in her response:

"I think when we're clear about what Gen 1-11 is teaching us, this will make sense.  Gen 1 is the creation story told in sweeping terms- God created the whole cosmos with humankind (plural) as the pinnacle of creation- Gen 1:26-31.  So we learn that one God created out of nothing (he didn't need anything, just his words of power), his creation was good, and he created humans as his crowning creation to live in relationship with him and with each other.

So what went wrong?  The answer is found in Gen 2-11.  In Gen 2, instead of the whole cosmos, the focus is on one man and one woman, their relationship with God, how that relationship was broken and evil came into the world (Gen 3). The story of Adam and Eve doesn't exclude the idea that others were living on earth- why else would Cain be worried about other people killing him or where do the wives for Cain and Seth come from?  Gen 4-11 shows how that evil multiplied and spread: Cain and Abel (Gen 4), the 'sons of god and daughters of man' (Gen 6), nations and Tower of Babel (Gen 10), so we finally get to the heart of the story, which is the call of Abraham and the story of his descendants (Gen 12)."

Pastor Caroline then went on to say how it is rare that any church will deal with the text in this minute of a manner in a sermon and that it is instead generally saved for a deeper Bible study, which would explain why I've never heard this possibility before.  It really makes sense to me, though.  It's very interesting to listen to Pastor Caroline- she is an OB/Gyn turned pastor- talk about a change of professions!  She did a sermon once about how science and religion can go hand in hand, which was pretty cool for those who think that's not a possibility.

And now a third random thought.  As I'm writing this I am watching Supernanny, and this couple over in Great Britain have 2 sets of twins- one set is 4 years-old, and the other set is 2.5 years-old.  Up until the nanny came along, these parents were putting their almost 5 year-olds in diapers at night so the parents wouldn't have to get up to help the kids potty in the night, and they were still pureeing all their 2.5 year-olds' food and trying to feed it to them.  The 2.5 year-olds of course never wanted to eat, so mealtimes were a total pain.  And the parents were giving all 4 kids a bottle at night.  Hello?  Common sense, anyone?

Nothing else is really going on here.  No new milestones to write about or cute pictures to post.  It's still cold.  I think it got up to about 6 degrees here today.  We are making progress on getting new things on the walls since the house got painted.  We got a couple of cool prints for the bathroom with song quotes on them at a gallery in Valley Junction, and I just got those matted and hung in the bathroom.  We also ordered a bunch of frames to do a sort of photo wall in the dining room, and Mike just got all those frames hung this weekend.  They have no pictures in them, though.  With all the frames together, there are spaces for 4-5x7 photos, 6-4x6 photos, 4-4x4 photos, and 1-8x10 photo.  Yikes.  Now I've got to start figuring out just what pictures I want to put up.  Ugh.  Then I need to decide if I want a different picture above our fireplace, because I just don't think the one that's been up there for 5 years is big enough for that space.  I think I'll just wait to post any pictures of the new decor until after it's all done, or at least mostly done, as it may be awhile for the fireplace picture, since I have no idea what to put up there.  

Oh! Something fun did happen this weekend. I got to have a girls' night out, which was much needed and appreciated!  Friday night I went out with my playgroup girlfriends.  Four out of five of us used to teach together, and we get together every Friday for playgroup.  It was so nice to get a chance to really talk and not worry about what the kids were doing.  We went out to Bonefish Grill, which was delicious.  I had the very tasty Bang Bang Shrimp and a couple of Pomegranate Infused Mojitos, which were really good.   If you have a Bonefish Grill near you, I totally recommend it.  We met for dinner at 7 and I didn't get home until close to midnight, and we never left our table.  And, I have to say, I was quite proud of myself before dinner- I went to the 5:30 kickboxing class because I hadn't had a chance to work out yet that day.  I left a few minutes early (it ends at 6:15), so when I walked into my bathroom it was 6:20.  When I got out of the shower it was 6:23, and I had my make-up on and was drying my hair at 6:30.  I was ready and waiting at the front door when Brea pulled up in my driveway at 6:42.  As I said, I was quite proud of myself for getting ready in 20 short minutes.  Here's a picture from the night of Brea, Tyra, Erin, myself, and Sara.  I learned from this picture that I should not wear white and that I need a new haircut.  Or maybe I learned I should take more than 5 minutes to do my hair, but really, I don't think it matters too much- I think I just need a change. 

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Thawing Out

I've been a little remiss about blogging lately, but it seems like nothing is really happening here.  We've been in a deep freeze, and the last 2 days it's actually been in the low to mid 30's, which is awesome.  I finally got out of the house for more than just working out, which is also nice.  Let's see, the very cold temps started late Tuesday and continued through Thursday, but then Friday took us up to the teens.  Thursday when I got up the actual temperature was -17, but with the windchill it felt like -39, and we never even hit zero for our high, so that's pretty sad.  I never realized what true cold was until I moved to Iowa for college.  Colorado just doesn't seem to get this cold, and it's not as windy, either.  Even the schools around here canceled on Thursday because it wasn't safe for kids to be waiting at the bus stops.   Anyway, with these terribly cold temperatures, I just couldn't justify taking the kids out of the house, so we didn't go anywhere.  By Friday morning I definitely had cabin fever, and I think the boys did a little, too.  Here's what we did while we were house-bound.

The week started badly when Foudy had another 3-puke day on Monday, where, of course, she threw up on my bed again.  So I washed the comforter and all the bedding again.  Fourth time in 2 weeks.  Unbelievable. Thankfully there were no socks in her this time, and I did not take any pictures, because that's just gross.  I do wonder what keeps periodically making her throw up, though.

On Wednesday, when the cold had really settled in, Zach and Drew used some nice teamwork to push Drew's toy around the kitchen.  They both thought this was loads of fun.

Zach and I made cookies to send to Aunt Katherine at college.  We ate a few, too!  (Katherine, if you're reading this, they'll be there soon!  I stuck them in the freezer right away and just mailed them yesterday.)

We tried to stay away from the windows and the front door, where there was ice inside and out.  The first picture is our front door.  More proof of why we need a storm door.  The second picture is our kitchen window.  It's a little hard to see because of the glare/reflection.

The boys watched the trash and recycling get picked up.  I especially felt for the recycling guy, because he actually had to get out of his truck and stand in the cold, cold weather.  Trash day is Thursday, and that was our coldest day!  The trash guy never gets out of his truck, so I didn't feel so bad for him.

Friday it was finally warm enough to get out to playgroup, which was much needed by everyone!  Saturday I took Maggie to the vet for another ear check.  Her ear infection is not 100% better, but it is getting a little better.  While we were there she decided to take revenge on us all by kicking her anal glands into high gear, which just about stunk the vet, the tech, and me out of the exam room.  That was embarrassing.  Dr. Allison and the tech took her off and cleaned her out, so hopefully that won't happen this next Saturday when we're back at the vet again for our 3rd recheck on this darn ear!  If it doesn't get better, Dr. Allison said she might have to anesthetize Maggie to get all the gunk out to make sure her eardrum is still intact.  Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

Finally, today I had a meeting after church and then I went to the grocery store, so Mike and the boys came home.  Mike apparently got some good time to watch football and play on the computer, as the boys were out of harm's way, I guess.

Maybe I should have used that when I was going crazy being stuck inside with the cold temps.  I'll have to remember it next time, I guess.

Friday, January 9, 2009

10 Months Old

Ok, Drew turned 10 months a few days ago. Time keeps flying by, and each day Drew is more and more fun. As I mentioned in my novel of a post a few days ago, Drew started clapping and playing "So Big" while we were in Colorado. He is loving the dogs more and more each day, which is really sweet and definitely warms my heart. He cruises all over the place, and he can be a very fast crawler if he really wants to get somewhere.  Recently he discovered how fun a toilet paper roll can be.  He also recently started going up the stairs, which is a fun new game.  

Drew has even stood without holding onto anything for a few seconds at a time a few times now, the most recent and longest being this morning. And, I'm not sure, but I think he's starting to pick up on the sign language. It's hard to tell, though. It seems like maybe he knows the sign for milk and for Foudy. We made up our own sign for Foudy and Maggie- the same signs we used for them when Zach was a baby. Because Foudy loves to have people hold her paw, our sign for her is to take our hand and make it look like we're pawing at someone. Lately, whenever I say "Foudy" to Drew, he starts moving his hand up and down. So, it could just be a coincidence, or he could have picked up on the sign. Zach was about 10-11 months or so when he started doing some signs, so maybe this is something. Something else I've noticed about Drew is that if he bonks his head or gets scared or something and starts crying, he really doesn't like being snuggled. He tends to get over it faster if I just let him be, which is interesting. Drew also seems to be making the switch to more table food and less baby food. Today he has only had 1 jar of baby food so far. The kid loves to feed himself, and he will eat and eat and eat. The other night at dinner, he had most of a jar of baby food, and then he ate most of a banana and almost 2 canned pear halves. It'll be nice to not buy baby food anymore, but preparing healthy meals for someone just learning to eat table food requires a lot more thought than grabbing a jar of veggies or fruit that's already pureed. At this point I think we are also making a switch in Drew's schedule. Since we got back from Colorado, he seems to be sleeping a little later in the morning and not needing his morning nap quite as early. This then pushes back his afternoon nap as well. Also, I've been nursing him 4x a day for the last few months, and I think we're ready to cut one of those out and go down to 3x a day. Oh, I also started offering him a sippy cup with a couple of his meals, and he seems to like that and maybe is starting to get the hang of it.   Mostly he just likes to chew on the spout, though.

Here are a couple of pictures from a few days ago.  You can tell my this post that I've been playing/practicing with our new camera.  I feel like a professional photographer using a big, fancy camera, even if my pictures don't turn out like theirs.

I think this next one is cute because Drew looks like a little pregnant baby with his big belly.

In this picture you can see Drew's one little tooth, which is still coming in. It looks like he has another one that is about to break through any day.

A few days ago, Drew realized that he can push his high chair around from underneath. It's really fun. Zach loved doing this as a baby, too.

Yesterday I was changing Drew when he decided to crawl away on me and do some more exciting stuff. So here is a little photo montage of that:

First, I'll play with some blocks.

Then I think I'll do a little reading.  Hmm, what to read, what to read...

Maybe I'll just play the piano instead.

Finally I grabbed him and got him to sit still long enough to get some clothes on.  He sure is cute in the buff, though!

These next two pictures show my boys having fun together.  Zach was trying to help hold Drew up and give him a big hug at the same time.  I was surprised that Drew was as happy about that as he was.  

The boys are both napping as I write this, and just a few minutes ago, I heard Zach wake up crying. After a minute or two I heard him come out of his room, and I went to the stairs to see what was up. He was most of the way down the stairs, wearing nothing but his underwear, which is weird, because he went to sleep in his clothes. We went back upstairs and his clothes were all on his floor. I asked why they were off and if he took them off before his nap or just now, but he was too out of it to answer me. I wonder if I'll get the story later...

A couple of other funny things Zach has said recently:

-We were at the grocery store on Monday and Zach was talking with the check-out lady. She asked him if he liked being a big brother, and he told her that yes, he did. Then he said, "We're having another baby, too. A girl!" The lady was like, "Oh, wow," about at the same time that I said, "NO, we're not! Not right now, anyway!" The check-out lady got a big kick out of that. It all started a couple of weeks ago, when we celebrated Christmas with Mike's dad's family. Zach said at the dinner table that night, "Mom, let's have another baby on Saturday. Let's have a girl this time." Apparently the kid thinks he wants a sister, but I'm sure I could find some big brothers out there who would advise him otherwise.
-After that same grocery store trip, we were on our way home, and Zach was playing with our incredibly long receipt. (A side note- groceries have gotten SO expensive, haven't they!? Holy cow!) He was pretending he was Santa, and that this long receipt was his naughty and nice list. At one point, our conversation went like this:

Zach: Mom, I found a naughty house.
Me: Really? So do those people get toys from Santa?
Z: Nope.
M: What did they do that was naughty?
Z: Ummm...they went potty in their pants after their mom asked them and asked them (if they had to potty).
M: Oh, that's too bad. Did they mean to go potty, or was it an accident?
Z: No, their mom asked them and asked them.
M: Wow, that's too bad. Do you think they should get just a little present maybe?
Z: Maybe. Here's a nice house...Here's another naughty house!
M: What did they do that was naughty?
Z: They threw things upstairs when their mom told them not to.
M: Hmmm. Too bad.

It was very interesting to see what he considered naughty, and what was naughty enough to not get any presents from Santa.

Zach recently discovered this basketball jersey of Mike's from when Mike was in about 5th grade. He loved wearing it, even though it was definitely too big.

And here are my two boys.  I wanted to put these pictures side by side to see a good comparison of them, but it didn't turn out the way I wanted.  Oh well.  One thing that's interesting to me is the difference in the color of their eyes.  Mike and I both have pretty light eyes.  Mike's are a steely blue, and mine are kind of grayish/bluish/greenish, depending on the day and what I'm wearing.  I think it's especially interesting to get a good look at Zach's eyes, which are more brown than anything else.  Weird.

Happy Birthday, Tom!

Sandy beat me to it, but I'm doing it anyway- Happy Birthday, Tom!  Tom is my brother-in-law, and today is his birthday.  Tom, your birthday always sneaks up on me after the holidays, and this year I don't have a card in the mail yet.  Sorry.  I really have thought about you often today.

Here's Tom and Becky holding Drew when they came out for Drew's baptism in May. Clearly, Drew is loving it.

Hope you have a great birthday, Tom!

I've already done 2 posts today, but once I figure out how to put pictures from the new camera on the computer, I'll get that 10 month update done. I know, I know- you're on pins and needles; you can hardly wait. Try to contain yourselves.

Enough Already!

Ok, I love my dogs as much as the next person, maybe even more than the next person (anyone who knows me knows I REALLY love my dogs!), but enough is enough.  It started a couple of weeks ago, with Maggie having an ear infection.  We've been down the ear infection road hundreds of times with both dogs, only to discover years ago that they both have food allergies and that Foudy also has inhalant allergies.  So we switched to prescription food (two different kinds, because it would be too easy for them to be on the same food), we give Foudy allergy shots, we don't feed them anything from the table, etc.  No big deal most of the time.  For Maggie the food was the magic trick.  Then she gets this ear infection a couple of weeks ago.  I get in to see the vet, whom we unfortunately know very well (I say unfortunately because us knowing them so well is a direct result of the many issues we've had with our dogs, i.e. torn ACLs, allergies up the ying-yang, stomach bugs and extreme constipation, terrible ear infections that required sedation to help take care of, UTIs, etc.), and we get Mags on some medicine.  Later that day I was home, and I realized that Foudy kept needing to go out and potty every half hour or so, and when she did go out, she would squat, walk around, squat, walk around, squat, etc.  So I knew it wasn't good.  Got her in to the vet the next day (after following her around out in the freezing cold to get a urine sample), and sure enough, she had a UTI.  Of course, between the time I noticed something was wrong and the time I could get her into the vet, she pottied a little here and there on the carpet.  

Well, then we go to Colorado, and as I mentioned in a previous post, the day after we left, Foudy started throwing up at my in-laws' house.  That seemed to be just a one day thing, though it was 5 times in that one day.  We got home from Colorado, and I took Maggie to the vet for a recheck on her ears.  The infection was getting better, but she was reacting to the medicine (something I forgot to mention- my dogs also tend to have sensitivities/allergies to certain medicines and ear cleaners), so we quit the medicine and got her on some Prednisone to take care of that problem.  That was last Wednesday.  Thursday morning, Jan. 1, Foudy threw up again, but not somewhere convenient like the wood floor, the bathroom, or her kennel, or even on the carpet.  No, she threw up on my bed, and I was standing right there.  So, I got the comforter off and washed it, which is no easy feat, given it's a king-sized comforter.  The next day, Jan. 2, I get out of the shower and come into my bedroom and turn on the light.  It's about 6:45 a.m., and I realize there is a huge wet spot in the middle of the bed.  Hoping that it's from a dog licking the bed, I peel back the freshly washed comforter to discover that the blanket and sheets underneath are all wet as well.  Great.  Somebody peed on my bed.  So, I strip the bed down and wash everything again.  What a pain.

Fast forward to last night.  Mike and I head upstairs to go to bed at about 10:15 and turn on our bedroom light.  I notice another suspicious spot on the bed.  "It's just from a dog licking," Mike says.  So I pull back the covers, and the sheets have a huge dark circle on them.  I start cursing because not only do I not feel like washing the comforter for the 3rd time in one week, but I also don't feel like remaking the bed at 10:15 at night, and I know that we don't even have another set of king-sized sheets to make the bed with.  Plus, I'm mad that somebody peed on the bed; it's gross, and I wonder what is wrong with my dogs and which dog did it!  As soon as I got mad, Maggie high-tailed it to the door, which was shut, so she couldn't get out.  We sent her to her kennel, because no dogs were sleeping on the bed with us!  A little later I called her out of her kennel and checked her out, and sure enough, her hair was somewhat wet and matted, so I know it was her.  Maggie has had this happen a handful of times in her life, where she just wets herself while she's sleeping.  It's weird, and definitely very frustrating.  I'm hoping that's all it was this time.  I don't know if it's a side effect of the Prednisone, or what.  But again, I say, "Enough already!"

And just to show I love them, here are 2 recent pictures of my dear, sweet, puking, pottying, sock-eating dogs, Maggie and Foudy.  God love 'em.

And I know I haven't posted Drew's 10 month photos yet.  Maybe tonight or tomorrow.  Sorry.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sandy- You're it!

My friend Britt tagged me, so now I'm tagging my sister Sandy.  I know you're busy, Sandy, but this is quick and easy.  Here are your instructions:

1. Go to the pictures folder on your computer.
2. Open the sixth folder.
3. Pull up the sixth picture.
4. Post it.

Here's the sixth picture from the sixth folder in my iPhoto application.

This was taken in late April/Early May of 2007, I believe.  Zach was a couple months shy of 2 years old, and Mike had just gotten home from a golf trip in the Ozarks and had picked up this little lawn mower for Zach.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Longest Post Ever

Ok, I've been sort of putting off doing this post because I anticipate it being long, but it's time to bite the bullet and get to it.  I've had it started for a few days and even added a bunch to it that didn't get saved (aaargh!), so at this point, it's going to be just the highlights.  I hear a collective sigh from everyone reading this, but don't breathe too easily- I tend to be long-winded, so even when I try to get just the highlights, I still write a lot more than I originally planned.  Plus, it's not like it was just any old week that I neglected to write posts for- it was a couple of weeks with 2 holidays and a trip to Colorado, so there's a lot that happened.  Get comfortable- here goes...

On the 23rd we flew to Colorado, but not until after Foudy threw up another 4 socks.  That darn dog.  After Mike worked most of the day we drove 2 hours to the airport in order to save about a thousand dollars on our plane tickets, so that wasn't fun, but it was worth the saved money.  The plane left on time, which still was later than I was comfortable with, because it was after the boys' bedtimes (way after for Drew, not to much after Zach's).  All things considered, the plane ride was not terrible, even after Drew spilled my water all over Zach and me.  Both boys fell asleep about 10 minutes before we landed and woke up  while we were taxiing, and by the time we got them in bed it was about 11:00 p.m. our time.  Ugh.  Oh well, they slept well the whole trip, so it all worked out fine.

Christmas Eve started with a call from Mike's parents, letting us know that Foudy had thrown up 5 times already that morning.  So after a talk with our vet, we decided to just watch her rather than do x-rays or an endoscopy.  Good decision- she was fine the rest of the time we were gone.  After getting our rental car, we headed over to Tom and Becky's house.  Zach and Cam were pretty excited to see each other and got to playing right away.  Later we made cookies, because Zach was adamant about making cookies to leave out for Santa.

After naps we went to church with Becky, Tom, and Cam.

We actually got a pretty good picture of the 3 cousins.

After a delicious dinner with my parents that Becky made, Mike, the boys, and I headed back to my parents' house to get the boys in bed and get ready for Christmas day.  My parents had to head to their church so my mom could sing with the choir.  As we left, Zach warned Becky, Tom, and Cam not to snore that night, or else Santa might not come.  I'm not sure where he got that idea.  We had a fun ride home, as Zach was busy the whole ride looking for Santa's sleigh.  He thought he spotted it once or twice, and he even had me keep my window open so we could listen for sleigh bells, but he ultimately decided that Santa was still up at the North Pole getting ready.  Zach did tell us that if he had to go potty that night, he would listen for Santa and his reindeer, and if he heard them, he would not get up, but wait until he heard them leave, and then he would get up and go.  That kind of cracked us up.  Once we got home and got Drew in bed, Zach dictated a note for Santa to Mike, and we left out the cookies we had made and a cup of milk.  We read Bear Stays Up for Christmas Karma Wilson, a book I highly recommend, and Zach was in bed.  We were surprised at how easily he went to sleep.  Mike and I then got all the stockings filled and got started on the brunch preparations.

Christmas morning came quickly.  I think that no matter how fun Christmas is when you're a kid, it's 10 times more fun when you're a parent.  We put a little jingle bell on the floor outside Zach's door while he was sleeping on Christmas Eve.  He got up twice that night, once at 2:15, when he went in to Grandma & Grandpa's room, woke Grandpa Dick up, and said, "Grandpa- I can't see my clock.  Is it seven yet?"  Grandpa assured him it was not yet seven.  Then he was up again around 4:00, I think, to go potty.  Neither time did he see the bell, which is probably a good thing, because I think he would have been too excited to go back to sleep.  So Christmas morning he got out of bed and found the bell on the floor, and came running out to show us all.  He was certain it was a bell from Santa, and that it had fallen off of one of the reindeer.  He then told us how he had heard Santa's boots walking around in the house that night.  Man he was so excited.  It was awesome.  He then went out to see if Santa had eaten his cookies and found that he had, and Santa had even written a note back to Zach.  The excitement was building.  Later Zach told Grandma to keep the note so we can use it again next year.  Reduce, reuse, recycle, right?  Anyway, then Zach got to check out his stocking.  He could see the pointer sticking out of it.  (For anyone who doesn't know, the pointer Zach had asked for is basically a plastic stick with a little plastic hand on the end that is pointing.  They have one at preschool that Zach likes to use, so that was the first thing he asked Santa for.)  He opened everything that was in and under his stocking, and in a slightly sad tone said, "But there's no helicopter..."  That was the other thing he had asked Santa for.  Alas, there was one last gift under his stocking, and it was his helicopter.  

Zach combined his to sought-after gifts by counting the rotors on his helicopter with his pointer.

Soon thereafter, Drew got up, and we helped him open his stocking.  He wasn't too impressed with anything in it, but his stocking was mostly filled with clothes, so who can blame him?  He did like his new "Safe Sippy," though.

We then got a picture of Zach and Drew in their first truly matching outfits (I had to do it!).  

Then we played a while until Becky, Tom, and Cam came over.  After a delicious traditional brunch of souffle, grapefruit, and caramel rolls, we got back to the gift opening.  The boys had fun with this, and were very helpful.  

Sadie and Drew enjoyed playing with one of Drew's new toys.

And Zach and Cam enjoyed some wrestling with Aunt Becky.

The men did what they do best.

Later that day, we watched some videos from when my dad was a little boy.  It was really neat to see my dad, my uncles, and my grandparents so young.  In some of the videos my dad wasn't even born yet.  Probably my favorite video was my dad's 5th birthday party, because that had footage of my dad, my mom (who was a guest at the party), and both of my grandmas- my mom's mom and my dad's mom, as well as my dad's dad.  It was cool.

When we put Zach in bed on Christmas night, he said to us, "I like Christmas a lot...I'm ready for another one!"  I think I need a whole year to get the energy to do Christmas all over again, so I'm glad I've got some time.  What a fun, fun day, though.  I don't remember another Christmas as awesome as this one, and I hope I get to say that next year, too, and for many years to come.

The day after Christmas we spent the day with Becky, Tom, and Cam again.  While Drew was taking his morning nap, Mike went out and took advantage of a misprinted ad at Circuit City and got a fantastic deal on a new camera.  Didn't I say in the last post that he thought we needed a new camera?  I'm telling you, when the guy gets an idea about something he wants, he doesn't mess around.  He had my brother-in-law Will's help with some research beforehand, and then found this too-good-to-be-true deal and had to do it.  

Here's one of the first pictures he took with the new camera.  Some of the pictures that follow in this post are from the old camera, and some are from the new one.  See if you can figure out which photos come from which camera.

After Drew's nap we all headed downtown to the Denver Firefighters Museum.  It was in an old fire station and was really cool.  Zach and Cam had a lot of fun dressing up like firemen and playing in one of the old fire engines.

Saturday we left Drew at home with Grandma Ruth and Grandpa Dick, and Mike, Zach, Becky, Tom, Cam, and I all went up to this indoor waterpark.  They had big slides and little slides, a lazy river, a family hot tub, a kids' area, and a deep pool, too.  It was awesome.  The slides were a blast, it wasn't too busy, and we all had a super fun time.  

Saturday night Mike, the boys, and I went to a party at my parents' friends' house, the Scotts.  The Scotts' family is just like ours- they have 3 daughters who were all basically the same age as my sisters and me (the two middle daughters being off by a year), and their youngest daughter, Nancy, has been a friend of mine since preschool.  We played soccer together from the time we were about 6 until we graduated from high school.  Nancy lived in Africa for a long time and now is back in the U.S. pursuing her D.P.H. (Doctorate of Public Health), and she was home for the holidays.  I hadn't seen Nancy in a really long time, so she was very surprised to see me and meet Mike, Zach, and Drew.  Some other preschool/elementary/high school friends were there, and it was great to catch up.  A few of the other friends there I've also known since preschool, so we got a big laugh out of the fact that we were Zach's age when we met.  Weird.  We had a great time at the party.  Mike and Drew headed home early so Drew could go to bed, and Zach played with some junior high and high school kids (neighbors of the Scotts) the whole time, and didn't care where I was or what I was doing.  He had a blast, and it gave me a good chance to catch up with a lot of old friends.  Zach and my parents then headed out, and I stuck around talking until 11:00.  What fun.

Here's a picture from that night with Jane, Kelly, Nancy, Gina, Kristen, me, and Darci (counterclockwise from bottom left corner):

Sunday we got together with some other old friends.  My good friend Ange, whom I have also known since preschool and with whom I have been very close with since kindergarten came over.  Ange and I grew up with our families as best friends, going on joint family trips, watching the Broncos lose a bunch of Superbowls, etc., and we were voted "Best Friends" our senior year for the Senior Superlatives section of our yearbook, so I was very excited to get a chance to see Ange and meet the newest member of her family, Ben.  So Sunday Ange and Ben and Alissa, one of Ange's younger sisters, who was always like a little sister to me, too, and Alissa's daughter Olivia came over to hang out with Becky, Cam, Zach, Drew, my mom, and me.  We had a great time visiting and watching the kids play.  Olivia is 18 months and just jumped right in with Zach and Cam, and Ben is 5 months, so he mostly just checked things out.  Sadly, we did not take any pictures of this event, which is a real bummer.  We were also sad that Ange and Alissa's mom and other sisters, Adrienne, Abbey, and Alex, could not join us.  A link to Ange's blog is listed on the side of my blog; last I checked, though, I couldn't get into it to read it.  Ange said she was working on changing that.

Here are a couple of funny pictures of Zach, Drew, and Cam from Sunday. Zach and Cam were both ready to cheer their teams on with their Bronco and Patriots jerseys, but unfortunately, both teams lost.

And a cute one of Grandma Ruth with 3 of her 4 grandsons.

Monday we had to head back home.  The trip home was quite uneventful.  We ate lunch in a gross McDonald's and I made a mental note to never stop there again, if we can avoid it.  Then we started the 2 hour drive back to our house.  Zach fell asleep about the second that he finished his McDonald's cookies, but Drew struggled a little bit.  He had learned 2 new skills while in Colorado- he learned how to clap and to play "So Big," and once he got in the car and had the mirror in front of him, he just couldn't stop himself from doing "So Big" (arms way up in the air), and then clapping for himself.  Finally he decided he'd practiced enough and fell asleep.  Since then he's kind of slowed down on clapping and playing "So Big," which is a little sad.  He still does it some, though it's hard to get the so big part out of him.  We'll have to keep practicing, I guess.

Drew was so proud when he figured out "So Big!"

And he loved to congratulate himself with lots of clapping.

It felt good to be home, though we were sad to leave Colorado.  It's always so much fun to have the family together, and especially to have Zach and Cam together.  We were sad Sandy, Will, and Anders weren't with us, because it would have been especially fun to have all 4 little boy cousins together.  I sometimes imagine Christmas or family get-togethers in 3 years or so, when Drew and Anders are 3+ and Zach and Cam are 5 and 6, and who knows what other little cousins there may be running around.  Now THAT will be fun!  

Once we got home, we got ready for the next few days, which included 4 straight nights of planned events.  First, we had a Christmas celebration planned with our church small group on Tuesday.  Wednesday we were hosting a Christmas celebration with Mike's dad's family, Thursday we were expecting Sandy, Will, and Anders to arrive, Friday we had a friend's 4th birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese, and Saturday we were supposed to go to a friend's 40th birthday party (which we ended up skipping b/c we couldn't get a sitter- bummer!).  Things were not slowing down!  Zach loved it, though, because it was like Christmas just kept coming!  

Aunt Katherine, Zach, and Sam enjoyed looking at the photo books I made for Katherine, Kevin, and Cynthia.

Kevin and Cynthia were excited about one of the gifts Sam gave them.  If you look closely, you can see they received boxes of "Moose Droppings" and "Reindeer Droppings"- Yum!

This is a cute picture of Katherine and Sam.

And a good one of Grandma Cynthia, Grandpa Kevin, Zach, and Drew.

Katherine and Sam are young- so they headed out that night for probably a fun New Year's Eve party.  Kevin and Cynthia offered to stay with the boys so Mike and I could go to a movie, but we were too tired to leave home.  We knew that by the time we got to a movie, it would be 9:00 or later, and there was no way we could stay up that late.  It was a great offer, though!  Instead we were in bed too early to ring in the new year.  We were still up later than we had wanted to be, though.

Thursday we were up early and ready to cheer on the Hawkeyes!  Thankfully, they didn't disappoint and won their bowl game.  Then we waited excitedly for Aunt Sandy, Uncle Will, and Anders to arrive.

Drew was very interested in Anders and really wanted to check him out.  Anders was cool with that until Drew kind of grabbed Anders's (it can be Anders' or Anders's, for you grammar people out there- the grammar program we used when I was teaching said if it's singular and ends in -s, you still put 's) head and happily screeched.  Anders really didn't care for that too much, so I picked him up (he was crying), and then Drew didn't care for that much.  He didn't want his mommy holding another baby, even if it was his younger cousin.

We got out some of our baby stuff we don't use anymore for Sandy and Will to use for Anders, and Zach and Drew promptly made good use of it.  In this picture, Drew had crawled up onto the bouncy seat, and Zach was pushing him around.  They both thought it was lots of fun.  Unfortunately, this was the best picture I could get.

We were sure to get one picture of the three cousins before Sandy and Will left.  It really turned out pretty good.  In this picture I feel like Zach and Anders look as much or even more alike than Zach and Drew.  Maybe it's Drew's orange skin, which is hopefully due to all of the orange veggies he has been eating.  Either way, I love this picture.  Drew was finishing a graham cracker, which is why his finger is in his mouth.

Whew!  I think that's it for the recap on the last couple of weeks.  There's a little more I can think of to write, but it'll probably be in another post that I start tonight or tomorrow.  This post has taken me long enough to write, and it's probably taken you long enough to read.  At least there were a lot of pictures to look at, right?  I'm not even going to proofread it, so you'll probably find some mistakes.  Oh well!  At least it's finally done, and I've got that monkey off my back!  Now I can get back to the shorter, more frequent posts I enjoy.  Look for another post in the next day or two with some funny things Zach has said recently and Drew's 10 month pictures.