Tuesday, December 29, 2009

snipits in the house

How strange are my kids. The boys first words are "UhOh" and the girls favorite DVD to watch is "Learn Chinese - the adventures of the River Dragon King" We have watched that a minimum of 5 times a day since she opened it.

heard in the house tonight, "Kevin, would you change our daughter? I am WIPED!"

A full day today and another planned for the rest of the week. Time off of work is some of the busiest times I have.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Best Christmas Present ever fragments

I am sitting at the table with my boy in my lap, wiggling, watching it snow like a snow globe over the pond and woods and taking in the scent of my son's hair and there isn't a better experience in the world.

Kyle's first words don't appear to be Mama or Dada, but rather, UhOh. I think his sister taught him to say it. He will push his bottle off the high chair and after he hears it hit the floor, he says "UhOh" very clearly.

Kat has a blankey. It is HER blankey. This afternoon when taking her nap, Kat took off her diaper. Then she wet the bed. Except she had swaddled herself with blankey. So it is disgusting. Really disgusting. But she has a tantrum when we try to take it away and wash it, which it desperately needs.

We took the kids sledding this afternoon. Jill and I had very different approaches. She had a long toboggan and put Kat in front, climbed in the back and wheee! down the hill the raced. I had Kyle in his own little sled and pulled him down the hill. After about three minutes, he started crying. He cried and cried until he howled. I don't know if it was the cold sleigh or the cold air or the ride, but he was one unhappy little dude. So I brought him back in and we watched Kat and Jill go down the hill, over and over again. The boy seems to like a warm fire in the house.

Kat got a computer for Christmas. We hooked it up to the TV to see how she would like playing with it. She has zero interest in it so far. The toy she plays with the most is her brother's noise making merry go round. Between her bedroom and the living room, we look like we have about seven kids if you count all the toys.

Supper tonight consisted of salmon cooked on a cedar plank. It was very good. Kudos to the wife for thinking it up and getting the cedar to cook on.

It is bedtime for the Kat and she is taking this opportunity to jump up and down around the house. In and out of her bedroom and into the kitchen and back, she is like a tigger with the bounce, bounce, bounce.

I am trying to link this to Mrs. 4444 fragment link, I don't know if it will work.

Friday Fragments?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Christmas morning found the boy waking up early. Around 6am. Fortunately, Mom and Fran were here and took him down to the basement where they played with him until Kat woke up.
When Kat woke up she was SO excited! The presents that everyone told her would be there were all piled under the tree. She ran around the house and jumped up and down and clapped her hands, she was so excited.
Jill decreed the that there would be no opening of gifts until breakfast was eaten and the table was cleared. This made NO sense to Kat. She was EXCITED about the presents!
Before to long, breakfast was eaten and the dishes cleared. We made sure that the cameras had fresh batteries and told Kat to open a present. It turns out she didn’t really know what she was going to DO with the presents, she was just excited they were there. She would pick one up and run around the room and hand it to someone, then pick up another one and jump up and down with it. Kat was all wound up and it turns out, she didn’t really know why.
Kyle on the other hand, was excited because Kat was excited. He kept watching her and wanting to crawl over to where she was.
We finally helped Kat open her first gift. Then we got it out of the package and let her play with it. She was perfectly happy to play with the one gift. She pretty much forgot about the rest of them under the tree. Here we had spent 20 minutes on her first gift and at this rate, it would be around 5pm before we got through all of them. So we took that one away and handed her another package. Pawpaw had to help her open it. Then she was excited again! Another toy! And she had to play with this one, too.
Kyle had no clue. We would unwrap something and put it in front of him. He would ignore it so he could watch his sister. He worked harder at crawling to wherever she was to try and get a better look at what she was doing than playing with his own gifts. With one exception. Kyle got an inch worm that played different tunes. I haven’t mentioned it before but Kyle is enthralled with music. This inch worm was no different. He sat on the floor and pushed the button over and over to hear the tunes.
Through the course of the morning, we finally got Kat to figure out the idea of OPENING the packages we handed her. Then it turned into, she wanted to open EVERY package under the tree. We tried to stop that runaway train but had to hide the rest of the presents to get Kat to stop opening all of them.
All in all, we had a very good time playing with the kids and watching them wind up higher than a kite.

Monday, November 30, 2009

An open response to how I got my deer, Bow or Truck

Thanks for asking.
No, it wasn't with either of those tried and true methods of taking a deer. Seriously, once you have totalled a truck or had to chase a dumb butt deer 200 yards after you stick him with an arrow, you have no desire to do it again anytime soon.
No, with this deer I decided to try something different.
I took out the quad runner at my MIL's farm and raced past all the likely buck hang outs. You know, like the Co Ed Doe Ranch, or the Buck Bar. Lucky me, while racing past a remaining stand of corn, this nice 8 point busted out.
I pointed the quad in his direction, raced up beside him, jumped on his back like I was wrasslin' a steer and grabbed his horns (antlers) and brought him down.
I wish you could have seen it, you would have been amazed.
Frankly I wish anyone could have seen it, now you just have to take my word for it.
Kevin (Daniel Boone)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Great weekend (1:1 TIME W/ WIFE)

What an incredible weekend. My wonderful mother volunteered to spend time with the kids and I made plans to drop them off at Mom’s then go to the farm and sight in my muzzle loader and six shooter for the upcoming deer season. As an extra treat, I took one of my rifles along to play with.
Jill elected to stay home and rest as BF had been pretty tiring for her. She planned on doing some cleaning, organizing and take a nap in the morning. She also planned to take another in the afternoon and just have some personal alone time. Can you imagine? She might even get to shower without anyone crying “mommy” or maybe even go to the bathroom in peace.
So I rounded up the kids and their suitcases (for an overnight stay, suitcases?) and all my supplies in the car and went about my day.
In between IaCity and the MIL, I stopped by Dietrich509 and visited with his family to see how the holidays had treated them. As usual, I enjoyed my time with them as I hadn’t seen them in months.
At the farm shooting went well. I could go on and on about that, but most people would be quickly bored.
The ONLY part of the day that could be taken as a downer was working on the water heater for MIL. She doesn’t have a softener or in-line filter and so her water heater tends to build up lime. A LOT of lime. She asked if I could replace the heating element and I said I would. I even went on YouToob and watched a plumber demonstrate how easy it was. You know, I would like to find that plumber and drop a water heater on his toe. In his video the element comes out so easy you would think that there is nothing to it. Well in his heater there was nothing to it because it was a new unit. MIL heater was installed 10 years ago and the heating element had corroded into a solid weld. It finally yielded to a two foot cheater bar and MIL holding the heater so it wouldn’t tip over. Between the two of us, we got the element out. That was when I discovered that her water supply comes from an alternate universe. You see, I had drained the heater while I was shooting. So for two hours that heater drained. And all the while, I had shut off the water at the well, so there was no water coming into the house. By the time we got the element out the hose had stopped draining about an hour previously. Mysteriously, when we took out the element we had very cold, fifty degree (F) water running all over the floor. The water ran out for nearly a half hour before I screwed the old element back into the heater (since I couldn’t even get it out) and said screw it, I had had enough. Quite a bit of lime came out so hopefully the heater will work better for a while. We never did figure out the source of the water.
Sunday morning Jill and I woke to the sunshine, not children crying. We had a quiet breakfast of homemade apple pie (courtesy of the Dietrich’s) and visited. Just talked. The two of us talked to each other. No screaming. No crying. No pressure. We connected and shared ideas and did some planning.
Then we got out of bed and wrapped Xmas presents for nearly two hours then went and picked up our darling kids whom we had missed SO MUCH. BTW, there is NOTHING that can replace watching your child’s face light up when they see you at the door and scream “MOMMY, DADDY, MOMMY, DADDY, MOMMY, DADDY” until you catch them and gather them into a hug. Priceless.
Later, I will be posting the Christmas itinerary that Jill has planned for our family. All I can say is I will need a PDA to coordinate EVERYTHING that has to happen for our new family tradition. Burrier and Ives won’t have nothing on US! (if it works according to plan)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

Twelve hours and twenty minutes later, Wife is home from shopping.
She took care of the entire family and is only about 10% over budget (all she is admitting to).
She looks VERY tired.


Yesterday was Thanksgiving. It was an outstanding day. I was with the family and the Outlaws all day. A lot of laughter, a happy announcement (May 5th, if I heard it right), no fighting amongst adults, no crisis longer than 3 minutes amongst kids.
Home safely with no incidents, accidents, or tickets, (special thanks to officer friendly for driving 55 for the entire width of 2 lane Hwy 30- must have been 50 cars stacked until it became 4 lane).
Wife made a joke (I thought) about waking up at 0'Dark30 to hit some BF sales.
I woke up at 5am to find her gone. After checking the house I finally texted her, "hope you are safe, call me when it is convenient". She called a moment later from Best Buy. "I didn't get the computer and I don't know what else I would want from here. Going to Sears next then ToysRUs."
Holey Cow!
We have been dating since '90, known each other since '88 and she has NEVER shown an interest in being part of the insanity! Who says people don't change?
She can never again say she doesn't understand why I wake up at 330 to go hunting on opening day. At least my doing that makes sense!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

life goal? nope, day goals

Today, I swear I am going to get the garage organized and cleaned to the point that wifey can park her car in the garage.
Which, on the one hand will earn me brownie points with wifey. And how I need them!
On the other hand, what a wast of a beautiful 70* day in November Iowa!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

New Post!

It has been a while.
Jill had the flu but is better. The kids are all healthy. I am healthy.
Utterly boring, but that is the state of our health.

Yesterday, I got to have a day to myself. I went up to a buddies farm in northern Iowa and sat in a deer stand looking for whitetail deer.
Anyone who has bow hunted can tell you that there is a LOT of waiting in a stand.
So while I sat there, I thought about things. Quite a bit about family and how my life has changed in the last three years. For the better, without question. Life is much much busier now. To have a day to myself is pretty rare. Usually there are 5,000 things that need to be done... and laundry.
So the opportunity to be by myself with the peace and quite of squirrels, birds, bugs, and the wind rustling through the tree branches comes very infrequently, now. After a while I realized how much I miss the time to enjoy nature and the beauty of all creation. It is so peaceful and calming, and for me, really gives my mind a chance to wander and reflect on all I am grateful for.
As I type this post, Jill is following the 30 day shred, Kyle is screaming and crying and Kat is alternating between jumping jacks with mom and crying for attention. So I have to cut this reflective post short and get back to life.

Monday, October 5, 2009

What, a weekend?

I fear this is a losing battle. Knock on wood, I am still not sick. Really.
Wife coughs on me all night long.
The boy stuck his hand in my mouth yesterday.
The girl wouldn't sleep Sunday night. When I was holding her, she sneezed on me.
We canned 26 quarts of chili over the weekend, along with 18 quarts of diced tomatoes.
I made a batch of fuel and did 6 loads of laundry.
But I am not sick...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sick people everywhere

Knock on wood.
I haven't been infected yet.
I feel like I am in the "Invasion of the Body Snatchers".
Wife is sick and nasty with coughing and how she sounds.
boy is happy and sick, smiling while he has snot running down his nose. He has no appetite because I think his tummy is full of mucus.
girl is sick and angry, she doesn't understand WHY she cannot breathe, she just wants desperately to breathe.
Not me. Not a cough. Sinus is clear. I am barricaded behind hand sanitizer and distance. and lysol. When I hold the boy or girl, I wash afterward. If I share the bed with the sick wife, I lay on the edge, on my side, facing away. If she touches me I spray with lysol and use hand sanitizer.
I am seriously thinking of moving to the basement. Better might be to move into a hotel for a week or so.
I'm gonna survive this... Yep, I am gonna stay healthy.
I was sick last time, but I am not gonna get it this time.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A rare reflective moment...

For me the saying "you don't have to believe in GOD, he believes in YOU" sums it up for me.
I work very hard to live a life by the golden rule... I often give to causes because "there but for the grace of GOD, go I"
While I haven't gone to an organized church in many years, I will go out in the woods or on my porch and watch the sun come up or the morning mist melt away and just KNOW that there is a higher power that loves us all, unconditionally.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I have been pretty frustrated in the past few months. As I have tried to work the issues and come up with solutions (lets face it, I like solving problems) I haven't had much luck.
As I had a 2 hour drive this afternoon, thinking about what frustrates me and why and what to do about it I began to wonder if these issues were hopeless.
Then, because I cannot focus for five minutes, I thought to myself.
If something is truly hopeless and there really is no overt action that you can take to change the situation, then the solution is Prayer.
If I cannot solve it or resolve it, then it is time to turn it over to the master.
God, I need help.
There, now someone smarter than me, who knows all the details and people involved, is working the situation.

new post

I have been busy as of late and have neglected my blog.
For all of you that have stuck with me and continue to check it from time to time, hang in there.
I spent Friday and Saturday at my MIL working on a variety of projects. On Friday, Dietrich509 consented to help with a little manual labor around the farm. And altho I was an hour late (or so) he waited me out so we could have a pretty enjoyable afternoon. It was great to talk to him and catch up on how his kids and family are doing.
Saturday was back to the farm to work on a bunch of other little projects. This time Bill and Ben came to help.
I want to say THANKS to the three of them for all of their help. Many hands helps work go faster.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What will it take?

I must confess, I feel like I am slipping back to jr. high. There is a girl that I wish would pay attention to me.
Every time she does say a word in my direction, my heart is lifted to new heights. I have tried being very overt, trying to get her attention and engage her in conversation.
I tried getting her to do things with me, maybe find a common interest in which we could spend hours, getting to know one another better.
I have tried subtly ignoring her, waiting to see if she notices that I haven't said anything to her that day; to see if she is suffering in any way from my aloofness. Not that I have ever noticed, so far.
I see that she is so ALIVE and that she is fun-loving and rambunctious. I want to be part of HER circle of friends so that I can be cool, too. She almost always has a smile and is ready to laugh.
I have noticed that she is only moody when she is tired; watch out!
I know that over time, we will interact more. Our relationship will develop on many levels. It seems that it will take so long and I long for her friendship now.

Do any other dads have this angst for their two year old daughters? Kat is SUCH a mommy's girl right now that I don't even get a hug on some days.
Jill tells me that I need to develop a consistent routine, something that is ours so that she is more used to me. I am trying to think of what that will be; a story perhaps, reading to her every night, perhaps a skills exercise working on colors or letters or shapes.
I don't know what it will be, but I cannot wait for my very own daddy's girl.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Laughing at the absurdity

Jill and I went and saw Hangover this afternoon. My sweetheart of a mom watched our precious children so we could have a couple of hours to ourselves.
Much has been blogged about Hangover and if it is funny or just plain stupid. Jill and I agree that it really is both. It reminds me of Porkys (back in the 80s, check out IMDB) or Bachelor Party with Tom Hanks (again, IMDB). Lots of laugh but no redeeming qualities other than releasing lots of endorphins into your system from laughing. Come to think of it, that is a redeeming quality in and of itself.
Anyway, there is a scene in the movie where the idiots put a live tiger in the back seat of a squad car. And in the back seat of their car.
Jill and I are driving home, laughing about various parts of the movie, reciting punchlines that made us laugh when Jill turns to me and says, “that whole tiger in the backseat thing, I would have put him in the trunk”.
This broke me up as much as anything in the movie. Here is my super frugal sensible engineer type wife coming up with a REASONABLE way of transporting a live tiger in your car.

Maybe you just had to be there.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Brotherly love

Lots of fabulous pictures coming from my vacation. I know you don't really want to see them, but some have the cuteness that is my son in them. THAT will make it worthwhile.
But on to brotherly love.
Jill and I have noticed lately that the boy will do everything he can, including fighting sleep for nearly 30 minutes just to watch what antics his sister is up to. Really. In the car while we were driving around the mountain on the most treacherous road I have EVER driven, Kat was howling and Kyle was laughing... At her. A LOT.
He even reached out for her and tried to take her hand and reassure her. She flipped his hand back and howled, "NO, Ky-ell!" (she adds the second syllable)
Tonight when he had eaten his fill and hadn't slept in nearly four hours, I carried him to the couch and tried to put him to sleep. Unfortunately, his sister was on the other side of the couch having her supper. (lasagna and berry apple sauce) He fought sleep to watch her and everything she did for nearly half an hour. If she flopped over out of sight, he squalled until she sat up. It wasn't until Kat left the room that he started to rest his head on my chest.
We have noticed this trip that he will sit up on his own to see her. And crane his neck around to see her while we were hiking. If he can hear her voice he imitates a giraffe trying to see her.
As near as I can tell, he is taking notes on how to be a drama queen by the age of two. Oh well, it worked for Freddy Mercury.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Picture Tuesday

The first pics are of Lily lake and Kat's new BEST FRIEND! When the squirrel climbed up Jill's shin, Kat threw her banana on the ground. That little squirrel was in HEAVEN!

Monday, August 17, 2009

The best day of vacation!

This morning was wonderful. Everyone woke up in a good mood and well rested. Kat didn’t know that Gma was going to be here when she woke up. So she came out of the bedroom and saw G’ma on the couch and her face lit up like a sunrise on the ocean.
Late this morning we went to Lily Lake and walked around the lake on the path. This path is great. Colorado has put in a handicapped accessible path all the way around this small mountain lake. You could smell how peaceful it was to see the plants waving in the breeze and the ducks bobbing in the water. I also got lucky and saw a trout in the lake along with a fingerling. Everyone’s blood pressure around that lake dropped by 20 pounds, it was so relaxing. The chipmunks and ground squirrels were friendly and open, thinking nothing of climbing up on your shoe to have a conversation with you (I didn’t get a picture, but one climbed up on Jill’s shoe and tickled her shin). Granted the conversations followed the same path; do you have food to give me? Still, it was nice to see that the critters were so friendly. After we walked around the lake and relaxed, we went across the road to the Bald Pate Inn, which has been open for business since 1917. They don’t serve lunch plates, they have a soup and salad bar along with sweetbreads, cheese, and wine. And PIE. I cannot forget the pie. Granted, we didn’t try the pie, but everyone I talked to raved about the pie.
After lunch, we came back to the condo and took very brief naps. Kat was determined that SOMETHING was going on. After repeated efforts at attempted naps, Jill took the kids out and I snuck in a nap.
When I woke up we took Kat in the Kelty and walked to town to look at an art center that showcases local artists only. I had to laugh when I saw an oil titled “Eastern Iowa”. Yep, that looks like a corn field as seen from a car on I-80. With a barn in the background.
When we walked back, it had started raining and rained the entire two miles back to the condo. We let Kat out and she walked almost a mile uphill. Then we put her back into the Kelty and let her ride. We also saw 4 mule deer in town and one trout in the river that flows through town.
When we got back I shucked sweet corn and Jill made tacos. Stepdad went to the Estes Brewery and bought beer. Truly a great supper after walking four miles. Here it is, 830 and I am the last one still awake. I think I am going to call this a night.

vacation day two

Today, Kat slept until 8am Iowa time. She was pretty tired. We were all pretty tired. Jill was smart and drank lots of water. I woke up dehydrated and sick from altitude and tired.
After a very restful morning, we went to downtown Estes Park to wander from store to store. We were off to a great start when we realized that Kat had poured her entire cup of water into the seat of her jogging stroller. Then we found a children’s park. Kat had a BLAST playing on the slide and jungle gym.
Until someone’s balloon blew by and she couldn’t have it. That started a meltdown that lasted all the way back to the condo.

After supper, we played games and rested. Mom and Fran arrived around 7pm.
Not a lot of exploring or activities, but we are here and rested, somewhat.

Think Nat'l Lampoon Vacation

Golfed again at the company golf outing on Friday. I had a GREAT TIME! A few beers and about a thousand laughs; nearly a dozen balls and about a dozen double bogeys; laughter and laughter and jokes in five hours. All of these ingredients went into a VERY relaxing afternoon.
I wish I could have stayed for the party after golf but Jill and I needed to pack and get on the road for our first family vacation. We got everything packed and ready about 10pm. Since we were completely exhausted, we went to bed, planning to get up in the night and starting our trip in the dark.
I woke up at 3am and we were on the road at 4am. We thought Kat would sleep for the first few hours of the trip since she normally sleeps until 7 or 8 in the morning. No such luck. She sat in her car seat, wide eyed and curious as to WTH is going on.
Her first meltdown and fit came 29 minutes into the trip. As near as I figure she had a meltdown every 29 minutes after that. I shut off my hearing aids an hour into the trip. I brought earmuffs for Jill and she put them on so we could travel in silence.
There isn’t much to say about the next 17.5 hours except that I contemplated jumping out of the car so I wouldn’t have to make the return trip. Or leaving Kat at a truck stop. Oddly enough, 2 year olds don’t travel well in spite of having toys, games, and a video player.
We did manage to get pictures of all the interesting things in Western Nebraska as Jill drove through it at 85MPH. They are shown throughout this entry.

Friday, July 31, 2009

The summer is flying by!

It is another Friday Fragment kind of day. This time with pictures!

As the family gets ready for vacation we have a BUNCH of things to get taken care of.
Jill harvested 1,500 onions from the garden so that they can start drying. I have been doing maintainence on the car. After all, if your battery explodes, it must be time to replace the plugs and belts, brakes and fluids, right?
And the house. My advice to you, wonderful readers, is this; NEVER buy a used log home. I have been caulking all of the logs and will be staining them. As I go around the house and look for weather checking I am finding evidence of years of neglect. Another thing about log homes most people (myself included) don’t realize is that every other to every four years you have to inspect and caulk the entire outside of the house, all the way to the roof.

The little guy had his 6mo check up this week. He is 18#1oz and is 29inches long. The doc says he is in the 95th% for height. Just like his sister. It seems Jill and I are raising tall children. I had the pleasure of getting the little guy to sleep on my chest last night. I cannot convey the feeling of having the boy drink his bottle, pass out in my arms, and snore at me. When we were at the DR office, I had a list of things we were concerned about… he doesn’t sit up yet, he doesn’t hold his bottle on his own, he doesn’t really want solids much, he spits up periodically – a lot! The doc listened to my litany of whining and then asked what we expected, he is only six months old. Apparently, he isn’t going to keep up with his sister as she does things – go figure!

We introduced Kat to watercolors a week ago. Crayola Crayons makes really neat watercolors balls that are just right for small hands. Kat’s canvas of choice is herself. As soon as we get the paints out, she paints her tummy blue and her arms read and her legs are either blue or yellow. Then, once she is painted, she wants to HUG everyone. Or sit on their lap.

BTW, the round things by Kat in her paint picture are zucchini! Jill found a round zuke in Johnny’s Seeds and thought she would try them out. They are really good and tasty. So far we have tried Zbread, grilled Z, Zbrownies, saute’d Z, eggs & Z. I cannot wait to see what me try to do with that stuff next!

I also wanted to share that I golfed again… First time since 2006. I didn’t count the strokes, but I did get around 9 holes in just 4 balls. For not having played for three years, I was terrible. I am happy to claim that I was able to drive the ball past the ladies tee on all of my tee shots. Not by much, mind you, but past is past. We had a lot of potential in our foursome. I don’t know for what, but the potential is there.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Fragments

I have seen FF on another blog for ages and tonight it strikes me

Kat's supper. Usually Wife and I are pulling our hair out to get the girl to eat... I hope she eats a ton at daycare because at home she doesn't eat boo.
Tonight she ate; half a pack of raman noodles, one hot dog, 1 slice of watermelon (and it is 60* outside), pretzel sticks, chips and salsa, diced tomatos, and about half of my spicy taco. I don't expect her to eat for the rest of the weekend.

Maybe the reason she ate so much is that I didn't make her supper until we got home from running errands at 718. After work, I picked up the pair of them and went to buy a jogging stroller... I guess Kat wants to jog more. After that we went over to Blondie's house so she could see the kids. I have worked with Blondie for years... she is the hottest 42 YO mom I know... she makes parenting look simple and easy. She has two awesome kids that are very well behaved. Her husband is a great guy even though he is a fanatic Steelers fan. After Kat terrorized their cat for half and hour and Kyle spit up on Blondie, I headed for home. All the way home I fed Kat pretzel stick cuz she was STARVING.

Jill is out tonight having a much deserved evening to herself. She pushes herself at work something fierce and is determined to do everything she can in the garden and for the kids... I HOPE she is shopping for herself and relaxing and enjoying her evening.

OH! before I forget, We are taking a FAMILY VACATION!!! There is no doubt in my mind it will rival the Griswold vacations... We are driving with our two kids to Estes Park, CO in August. Wife and I need a vacation, but we couldn't pawn the kids on anyone so they get a vacation with us. The only consolation is that neither kid can say.............. "Are we there, YET?"

All for now, more to come over the weekend.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday afternoon

Jill and I made plans for Sunday. We would wake up and take care of the kids while trying to maintain our household. You know, dishes and laundry and crap.
Then in the afternoon, Mom and MMH were going to come and play with the kids and Jill and I were going to go horseback riding, then paint some more fence boards then go for another ride and come home.
Everything went according to plan until we got into the car to go to the farm and torture, er, ride the horses.
We got into the car and when I went to turn the key in the ignition, something under the hood exploded.
Not fireball blow off the top of the car exploded but a really loud BOOM that got our attention RIGHT NOW.
I looked at Jill. “Did you hear that?” she asked me.
“Um… I have to change my shorts.” I replied.
So we got out and popped the hood on the car. As I was doing that I noticed a rapidly expanding puddle under the car. Jill noticed a strong smell of acid.
With the hood up I saw that VW puts an enclosure made of plastic all around the battery so that if the battery explodes it won’t spatter all over the engine compartment. That little plastic enclosure is now in 37 pieces in a variety of shapes and sizes… and the sides of my battery are burst open with acid leaking all over.
I summed up the situation with a slightly technical diagnosis.
“Holy SHIT! It blowed UP!”
So I called some people who know more about VW than I do and asked them what I should do? I was prepared for directions like, call the fire department, evacuate the house, freak out, vote straight party ticket, anything radical.
Instead I was told; hose it all down really good, (that is strong acid) pull out the battery, buy another one and put it in. Then get another battery enclosure from VW.
Well. It was as easy as he made it sound but it still took about four hours.
Most of that time was finding a replacement battery.
The first place I called had a battery so I sent Jill for it. Her trip sounds something like what happens when you send either a stoner or someone with ADD to run an errand.
She went to AutoStore, GardenCenter, IceCream Shop, Grocer (just for milk)(ended up w/7 bags of food), then home.
In the end, the battery got changed and no one got hurt. We didn’t go riding, though.

happy Sunday

Kyle just blew out a diaper on his bouncy seat.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Relaxing Saturday

I now have cable. Yes, I know, out here in the woods we barely have flush plumbing.
One of the side effects is that we have cable 'net. So I can post pics from home again. Yippee!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Kat turns TWO! (already?)

My Mom wrote this poem for her (favorite) granddaughter. I post it with permission.

Upon turning Two

She’s become more independent with the passing of each day.
She stops her foot and shakes her head, she wants it done her way.
Her stubborn ‘no’ may yet mean yes, she really isn’t sure,
But she says it often now because she hears it said to her.

She hears a noise, ‘what’s that?’ she says, she looks expectantly
She waits for me to tell her, be it plane or bus or bee.
She asks ’what’s that?’ for everything she sees that’s new to her,
She wants and explanation, plain and simple that’s for sure.

Standing upright on the stairway, she slowly makes her way
Downward one step, then the next, safe for another day
It gives me pause; my mind speeds up like wind set in a sail.
For the scene I see, as I look up, she’s in her wedding veil.

By Gma Pat

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cave Crawling

Friends from UNI were here over the weekend. We had an Awesome time. They brought two of four children.
On Saturday when it was so hot and yucky we went to the Maquoketa Caves.
We had an awesome time. Kat tried so hard to keep up with the older kids in everything they did.
Cave? Who cares! Run along the path and keep up with Josh. Rocks? What fun! Climb as high as I can to keep up with CC.
Then she sat with Brian and played Peek a Boo with us so that we could be entertained.
It was such a grand time, the whole weekend. It went by so fast but we enjoyed nearly every minute of it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Business Advice

A number of years ago, I took a motorcycle trip to Ouray, Colorado. It was a fantastic vacation of camping and sightseeing, back and forth across the Rockies.
One of the people on the trip was a business process consultant from the KC area.
One night around the campfire, he was talking about work and how after he had left a contract, the company ignored his advice and continued to struggle.
I asked him if that bothered him; how did he deal with that type of situation.
He told me that “you just have to not care”. Essentially, he did his job to the best of his abilities. He then moves on. What they do is their business.
Today, I heard some news about a project that I stopped working on over a year ago. I worked on it for over a year, but as business works, I was re-assigned to other projects.
Anyway, it seems as though some of my ‘solutions’ are coming unraveled.
I got REALLY worked up about it, calling friends who know how close I was to this project and venting about it. I don’t know what they think of me, other than I must be a lunatic.
Tonight, as I drink a beer and tend my children, feeding Kat all kinds of cheese and chicken, I remembered my conversation with Dick. He really hit it on the head. Unknowingly, he gave me great advice that would serve me years later in my career.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Where did the time go?

Friday night, (WO)Menards buying tomato cage supplies. Then 2 hours in the garage cutting the ingredients for cages. Every year we try something new with the garden. This year it is tomato cage experiments.
Saturday I went to the chiro, stopped by an awesome fundraising garage sale where I bought a golf bag (score) then got into the garden, to make the cages. 50 of them. That is right, we have 50 tomato plants. But they are not all the same type of tomato, cuz that would be… extreme or something.
Eight hours later, I have the cages together and up, Jill went and got mulch, so we have the tomatoes covered. First with weed barrier fabric, then with the mulch. Then netting over the whole thing for the tomatoes to cling to.
Today, I laid fabric on the peppers (76 plants) and mulched them. Then dug up a 6’ apple tree that Jill had mowed over (different post – she is amazing on that Deere) and replaced it with a peach tree.
We laid out nearly one and a half yards of mulch in the garden.
As I type it out, it doesn’t seem like much.
Why am I so tired?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Water sports

Last weekend, Kat and Kyle were invited to a friends house for a play date. Jill was excited about the idea and packed a bag for me to take them away so that she could garden.
The play date was AWESOME! Kat got to meet (and flirt) with two of the nicest young men she has ever met. They had a pool. The older one was very friendly and wanted to show how good of a swimmer he was. He even fetched the ball and ice fish that Kat threw out. And he showed everyone how good he was on the slip and slide.
These people had ALL the fun accessories. She had SO MUCH FUN! Huge Thanks to Connor and Tyler for a great time.
Now, fast forward to Sunday. Dad went to the farm and fenced. ALL DAY. So Jill had the kids at home. It seems Kyle was well behaved, but Kat...
She wanted to play in the water again. After all, it is Sunday and last Sunday she got to play in the water. So Jill gave her a garden hose and told her to amuse herself. Well, since she didn't have her own slip and slide, she soaked a garden row and then played 'otter' where she slid on her belly in the slippy slimy MUD!
These pictures clearly show the difference between the towns folk water toys and the country bumpkins amusements. The thing is, I bet Connor and Tyler would have LOVED to join Kat in playing 'otter' in the mud, sliding this way and that!

Weekends are for WORK

What a long day yesterday.
The kids let us sleep in until 6am. Then it was out to the garden to finish planting the fruit tree orchard.
Then to the MIL to work on the board fence for the horse pasture.
Shortly after we got to the farm, Kat did a face plant on the front step. (forehead, not nose) Coincidentally, she was cranky all day.
Then move boards, help dig holes, clean out holes, pick up posts, line up posts, fill in post holes, tamp dirt down, pick up tools, finish moving boards.
Today I go back with a different crew to finish putting the posts in holes, lining up posts, painting (if no rain), and nailing the boards up to make a fence then sinking the gate posts and hanging gates.
All of my muscles are sore and my joints creak. And I think my sore muscles have sore joints.
I cannot wait for Monday and a desk job.

Monday, June 1, 2009

What am I, really?

I would like to think that the determination of whether or not a person is fat is left up to that person or their Dr.
My response to that type of characterization is, "So?".
Really, does it change how wonderful/awful a person is?
Fat, anemic, tall, short, skinny, one eye, cleft lip, all of that doesn't matter to the personality that is inside.
Tease me about being a jerk or rude or an ass or I cannot carry a tune.
Compliment me for being nice, thoughtful, or friendly or funny.
Don't charactarize me because of my skin color, my hearing, my accent.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

What on earth is sleep training

Holy cow I am learning so much from reading blogs!
So many terms I had never heard of - in life and in parenting.
Thanks to Loren at SweetenedTaters I now know about donkey shows! (thanks, therapy is twice weekly)
And now, thanks to Jenny's link to Motherhood Uncensored I heard about sleep training. What on earth is THAT? And why is there a PhD for every flippen stage of childhood but not parenting?
So MU had a link to someone who WROTE THE BOOK on sleep training. WOW! the scales are falling from my eyes!
Kat went from sleeping in a nightstand drawer to sleeping in a bassinet with scarcely a howl. She moved from the bassinet to the crib with frequent screams and yells for attention. (which we gave her. still do, come to think of it)
Now I find that if we take Kat and move her to a toddler bed and move Kyle to the crib (not Kat's crib - the crib belongs to cousin Jane, Karl made it for her originally) then KAT will have fits at night and not sleep for months just to make us pay for giving her sleep habitat to the unsurper.
Not to mention that according to the experts, Kat might be a little to young for a T-bed.
So I am asking for help and suggestions - What to do, what to do!?

Seriously, Mrs. 4444, Surprised Mom, Jenny, Loren, even Mrs. Weasel (if she reads this blog), Mom, cousins, Triplet Mom in LV, Nevada, anyone - shoot me some suggestions. I don't want to traumatize or set my children back potty training or disrupt Kat's " major cognitive-emotional transition period."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

NEW wake up call

This morning marks the sixth consecutive day where I have either woke up due to my own crazy head or been woke up due to my loving and enthusiastic children.
Lets see
Friday, 15th = Work
Saturday 16th = Work
Sunday 17th = shooting match preparation
Monday 18th = Kyle
Tuesday 19th = Work
Wednesday = Mommy playing patty cake with Kyle in our bed because Kyle woke mommy up and wanted to play so mommy thought, OK, lets play here in bed next to daddy!
I wonder what tomorrow will bring...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

family night

Last night was GREAT! I got home a few minutes after Jill and found the family seated on the front porch having a picnic of chicken and baked beans.
"DADDY!" Greeted me as I got out of the truck.
We all had supper on the porch in an absolutely beautiful evening. Kat of course likes the food off of my plate better than her plate... And, of course, Mommy has the best food on her plate... So she had to hop and shuffle between the two of us to steal our food... Cause food tastes better off of someone else's plate. (Jill did this to me ALL THE TIME when we were dating)
Jill took Kat to the garden after dinner to play in the dirt. They stayed out there for nearly an hour while I bonded with the boy on the porch. He snoozed for a while on my chest, then he drank half a bottle, and snoozed some more. He woke up after a few minutes to spew into my shirt pocket. Amazing how much that will hold.
Jill came back in around 7 to give Kat a bath. I brought puker inside and we watched antique roadshow together.
We got Kat down to bed just before 8 and then Jill and I put Kyle to bed. Once he was down we looked at each other with that special look of lust that parents of children under two often share...
"I want... sleep!" we said at the same time.
So we were sleeping snuggled together by 830. And I slept til 330 without waking up more than 3 times.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Waking up CRANKY

Lets see... wouldn't eat supper and got to bed late last night.
This morning was LOADS of fun.
Daycare says the little girl ate two bowls of macaroni at lunch.
Thank goodness she eats there, she ate only the green beans from her supper and wanted down.
wash, rinse, repeat.

Summer Fun

I have a feeling that the daughter is giving her mom and I a glimpse of what this summer is going to be like.
I found myself last night at 820 trying to convince her to eat something before I put her into bed. And she was WAY too tired to eat.
When she got home with Jill yesterday, she hopped out of the car and began to explore the yard, the shed, the water pump, the radio tower, the bushes, the woodpile, the cows next door, the barb wire fence, and on and on and on. We interrupted her activity to bring her in and TRY to feed her - she would have none of it. She howled as we brought her in and wouldn't eat a thing. "Down.... Down... Down!" So we let her loose again in the front yard. Explore the bushes, the trike, the porch, the rocks, the grass, the dandelion...
She didn't stop until we finally brought her inside. I should have just given her a bottle of milk and thrown her in bed. But I tried to get her to eat something. Nope, too tired.
It is going to be fun waking her up this morning.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day!

Stardate Log – Mother’s Day, 2009; the boy woke his mom up at 550 – he was all happy and just wanted to play. The girl, she slept in until 7am – she was mildly cranky and wanted all of Mom’s attention. Then at 8am, the boy went down for his first nap of the day. Girl still wants all of the attention.

Don't Stop Believing

Last fall, I failed. I failed completely and it cost me a LOT of time and some money. Hours and hours of time and a few hundred dollars.
That was the cheap cost of failure. This failure was so unexpected that I went through all of the stages, or most of them. Denial, Rage, Acceptance, and Defeat.
As I continue to deal with that failure, I have been trying to learn from it. I am not used to it so it has been hard to be positive about it.
My failure was in making a batch of biodiesel. A hobby that typically saves me a couple of thousand dollars each year. Rather, the failure wasn’t in making the fuel, but in making sludge. I didn’t intend to make sludge. I filled my processor with sludge the consistency of thick pudding. Color of chocolate. Chocolate pudding.
As I look back on my failure, it was interesting that I had no fear of failure. I had been successful in making fuel nearly a hundred times. I had started taking everything for granted. I knew what I was doing. I knew each step, I knew what the material looked like at each step, I knew what to expect. (As I watched “Meet the Robinsons” with Kat this morning, I agreed wholeheartedly with the line, you learn from failure – success, not so much) When my mix turned to sludge, I started with denial. That lasted a while, about a week. I went over all of my steps in my head. Where had I gone wrong? What did I do? In the end, the only thing I could think of was the vegetable oil was from a new source that I had never tried before and it was bad contaminated oil. I had to assume that was the problem because I couldn’t think of anything else. I wasn’t 100% sure as the oil was mostly used and I couldn’t isolate the oil and get rid of it.
Then came rage. The rage really hit when I had to shovel out the pudding from my processor. That was hard enough to work with but then I had to disassemble all of the hoses, pumps, valves and tubes and clean them out. These are all parts that are sealed together so that they won’t leak. Sealing everything does not lend itself to taking it apart. Yeah, I raged all right.
And still, I wondered, did I miss something? Did I have bad oil or did I do something else? In my mind, I accepted it. That had to be it.
The weather turned cold not long after this event, so I wasn’t able to make fuel anyway, it was too cold. All winter long, I collected oil. Jill, who NEVER STOPPED BELIEVING IN ME, (definition of AWESOME wife) encouraged me to keep collecting lots of oil because we would need it come spring. I could make fuel again when it is warmer.
By the time Lent came around, doubt and fear had settled in. I never talked about it, I always carried a positive attitude. (but inside, I knew that I didn’t know for sure what had gone wrong) During Lent, I collected a couple hundred gallons of oil.
The weather in Iowa finally warmed up and I kept hearing of others running their cars on home brew. I on the other hand kept myself busy enough that I ‘couldn’t find the time’. About that time I finally admitted to myself that I was afraid to try. WHAT IF? I was afraid to fill up the processor and make pudding. I was afraid that I didn’t really know what went wrong. I didn’t really know if it was the oil, maybe it was me?
Eventually, I finally worked up the courage to tell Jill what my problem was. I was afraid. She is my best friend. I can tell her everything, can’t I?
She once again demonstrated that she is my best friend. “Kevin, you have made fuel a hundred times. You have been successful for years. Don’t focus on one disaster, focus on your track record. You have made a TON of fuel. Make sure your equipment is clean, use the new oil from Lent and believe in yourself. You really know how to do this, just go and make it.”
So I put one foot in front of the other, so to speak. I got all of the ingredients together to make a test batch (something I should have done last fall) and had everything in place. All that was left was to make test fuel. I still was afraid it wouldn’t work, but I had no more excuses.
Last night I made a one quart test batch. The process is such that you mix it up and have to wait about 8 hours to see if it is working. I found myself not sleeping last night. I was so worked up, wondering if I was making pudding or fuel.
But the important thing is that I did it. I faced my fear and did what I was afraid of doing. To borrow a line from the Robinsons, keep moving forward. I cannot stop with one failure, I have to keep trying.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Visitor IRL!

I called the phone number in the email, the one that advertised "Hot COED science majors will visit you"... Sure enough, a week later she showed up... As she eased herself out of her swanky sedan?
Wait a minute, I am confusing this story with a dream I had 20 years ago.
Actually, I am terribly remiss in telling the story of being visited by the Microblogologist from Iowa State. And while she is a very lovely co-ed science major, and I did call her, none of the entire visit was as sordid as the story I started to tell.
MicroBloggy emailed that she would be in the neighborhood (sort of)and that if Kat and Kyle were willing, she would stop by and visit them. She made sure they asked their parents if it was Okay, first. Well of course it was Okay with Wife and I so on the day she was to arrive, Blogology lady arrived at our house precisely at the time she said she would. Kat took one look at her and decided to play 'shy' for the evening. This resulted in me talking MB's ear off all evening long.
Wife and I bribed her with supper and conversation on a wonderful Friday night and stayed up past our bedtime to talk to her about everything under the sun. Wife went so far as to make blueberry banana walnut bread in order to make sure that MB was fed and nourished. (Funniest thing in the world, I actually heard wife utter her mother's nag "if you go hungry, it is your own fault! we have plenty of food here!")
In all honesty, it was the most exciting Friday evening that wife and I have shared in years if not decades. Adult conversation with someone neither of us was married to! It doesn't get much better than that! We talked about family, politics, gun control, and, um, lots of interesting stuff that I cannot remember.
All I really remember is that I was so happy to have company that I don't think I shut up the entire time MicroWoman was here.
I want to thank her for coming to visit and letting us know that there are real people connected to these blogs. We really enjoyed having her over for dinner and Kat wants her to come back again this summer.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Stop the MADNESS!!

Seriously. No, really, I mean it. THANK GOD IT IS FRIDAY! If I have one more emergency clown race at work I think I am going to lose it.
The latest one was along the lines of...
"Kevin, QUICK! Here are 20,000 lines of data! Match them all up to the best skittles color! By 5 pm! Hurry - I have a hunch, and I want you to validate it!
Don't whine about the rest of your job - JUST GO GET SKITTLES'

Sunday, April 26, 2009

new behavior

So I walk into the livingroom where wife has squawk on her chest, they are both napping. I see a size 4 diaper on the floor and Kat is running around, playing.
At first I thought Kat had pulled a new diaper from the box and opened it up and brought it into the room.
Then I realize that she has taken off her diaper and is running around in just her sleepshirt, no diaper.
I didn't find a puddle, but I don't like where this is going.
Loren @ sweetenedtaters has me scared.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Help from Bloggerville

I have 3 weeks to come up with t-shirts for eleven great grandchildren (not mine) in honor of my G'Ma's birthday.
We are having a big get together (kegger family reunion) and we want all of the grandkids in shirts in her honor.
Microbloggy was here this weekend (IRL!) and told me about a custom shirt shop but I promptly forgot who it was.
Does anyone have any idea where I can get shirts in short notice with "She's my GREAT gramm!"?
In sizes ranging 12year old to 3 months (mine).

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Sunday night, I couldn't WAIT for the kids to go to sleep. I was exhausted and needed sleep. I didn't have much patience and they were trying what was left.
Monday night they drove me crazy, I couldn't wait to get to work in the garage.
Tonight, coming home, I COULD.NOT.WAIT to get to my kids and get a hug. I wanted to hold my little girl and have her pat me on the back. I wanted to hold Squawker and have him drool on my shirt.
I had to work late tonight so I found myself racing, impatient at stop lights, trying to get home to see them both before bedtime.
I was so lucky. I got to come in the door and Kat greeted me with "DADDY!" as she raised her arms. "Pick me up, please" she said to me. I was more than happy to oblige. "I am so glad you are home" she whispered in my ear, "Now you can read me a story!"
I got to spend the 30 minutes before bed with her, playing, tickling, laughing.
I put her in jammies and read her a story, then put her to bed.
Now I get to wrestle the boy from Jill and put him to bed.
How strange, some nights they get on my last nerve. Other nights, I want to give them everything I have, because I need every bit of them.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I might be an unfit parent

Tonight Jill let me live the fantasy of being a single dad while Jill worked late or went to the spa or did homework. For whatever completely justified reason (not that she needed to justify it) she let me take care of the kids on my own.
First I picked them up from daycare and called an old family friend of my parents that I got to know as I grew up. She didn't even know about Kyle. She was home and willing so I took both of them over to meet her. We had a wonderful conversation while Kat explored their house. (silly me, their house isn't child friendly. lots to break)
We left at six when Kat let me know she was REALLY hungry.
when we got home, I threw her in her high chair and fed her leftovers. She ate like a child starved. Squawker was quiet until I had made myself a sandwich. I got in one bite when he started screaming that he was hungry, too.
As I took care of the kids and their needs as the evening went on I discovered that taking care of them is really about reducing the crying, yelling, and screaming to a manageable level.
When I tried to get Kat ready for bed, I put Kyle in his recliner and went to change Kat into pjs. Kyle managed to lean forward and fall out of his recliner, doing a beautiful faceplant before I could catch him. As he was a little distraught, I left Kat to her amusement while I held and soothed Kyle. Then I took him upstairs to put him in his swing. When leaning over to put him in, he arched back and managed to smack his head on the back of the swing. While he screamed at me for my inept skills I picked him back up, and in doing so I bonked his head on the ceiling. Now he was cursing my very existence as well as cursing his mother for leaving him with this dolt. I held him a talked to him then put him back in the swing and turned on the noise machine to soothe him some more. Within a minute he was asleep.
Sooo... I did good?
Maybe not. When I turned around I discovered Kat had climbed the stairs to see all of the excitement.
I find that single parenting is about keeping my blood pressure down.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Google Search

My friend Loren Twittered that she is the number seven search result for people googling "mexican donkey show"
Here's to you Loren!
Everyone should have something they are proud of and well known for.
I would love to hear someone turn this into one of those beer commercial songs,
"Real Women of Genius"
Here's to you, Ms, mexican donkey show.
While other people hide their affliction, you post it on your blog!
so go on over to w.sweetenedtaters.blogspot.com and see what the fuss is about.
While at times she may be tacky, she is never crude.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Kat's first egg hunt

Kat got to experience the thrill of looking for bunny poo today. The pictures don't do it justice, but the yard was covered with bright and sparkley Easter Eggs.
Al was on fire, running flat out to collect ALL of the eggs. Hey, I don't blame him, that is what being four is all about. Life and everything in it is all about AL!
Kat figured it out after Miranda led her by the hand to a couple of eggs and told her to pick them up. Okay, the first three or four Miranda handed to her. Then it was follow Al to try and pick up eggs that he missed.
We laughed quite a bit as Kat looked so confused as to what nonsense this was. Really, someone or something scattered lots of little treasures through the yard and she had to go and run to pick them up? Wouldn't it have made more sense for her to look cute and have people hand her treats.

Easter Sunday with Kyle

People keep telling me I need more pictures with Kyle in them. So here is my little monkey in his Easter finest. He got along famously with his G'ma Sandy. He also had a little nap, too short, that he had trouble waking up from.
When we arrived, he was shy and covered most of his face with his blanket.
The day went very well as Kyle watched his sister learn about the joys of Easter Egg Hunting with her cousins.
Kat did fine, although she had to figure it out at first. Her cousin, Al, took off after the eggs like a boy possessed.
More pictures of that later

Tubes & Ads

Friday morning at 4am I felt Jill's knuckle digging into my back.
"get up" she hissed as she shut off the alarm clock.
Ugh. If I were going turkey hunting or fishing, I wouldn't have really been asleep.
This time, however, I was getting up so I could take Kat to Iowa City to have tubes put in and adnoids taken out. The instructions were to be at the Ambulatory Surgical Center at 0545 to begin checking in.
Since there was surprisingly little traffic, we got to the ASC at 0530. The sign on the door said they opened at 6am. Meanwhile, Kat sat in her carseat and yowled. I think she was hungry and thirsty.
When they opened the doors and let me register, we took a seat in their waiting room. Just then, Mom walked in the door. You should have seen Kat's eyes light up! She was out of my arms in a flash! The relationship between my mother and my daughter is incredibly close. If they don't see each other once a week I think they both become depressed and lethargic.
Anyway, after Mom showed up, they lead us back to an exam room and we gowned Kat. Then she got to play in the toyroom until the gas passer came to meet her and take her to surgery. He was really cool about it. He came in the first time to meet her. Then he came back with a big warm blanket and wrapped it around her and picked her up.
You could see in her eyes that Kat was scared to death, but she made not a sound.
then she was gone into a doorway that we could not follow.
We went to the recovery room to wait for the Dr. to come and tell us that surgery had gone well, then for the delivery of my precious little girl.
I sat in the easy chair after the Dr. came in to tell us that the ears were REALLY full of fluid and that her ads were swollen and irritated.
When the nurse came in with her, I was ready to receive her. The nurse set her in my arms and told us how good Kat had been. She didn't cry when she woke up, we were told that 85% of kids cry.
Kat looked around the room and saw my mom and whimpered. I wasn't going to let her go, though.
Kat fell asleep in my arms, her neck stretched around so she could see Mom.
When she woke up, she struggled and fussed but didn't want to drink.
Mom stood up and told me that she might be able to get Kat to drink. So she sat down and held Kat. For the next 4 hours. Kat was so happy to be in G'ma's arms. G'ma read to her and sang to her and gently got her to drink the 4 ounces of water she needed so that we could be discharged. Kat even ate raspberry jello, which made the nurses very happy.
Saturday, we couldn't keep her "quiet and calm" like the discharge instructions said. Kat has been running around the house and wanting to play with everything. She did take a 4 hour nap in the afternoon.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The boy

[to the tune of Seger's Night Moves]
Woke up last night to the sound of thunder.
What the hell is that, I had to wonder.
Is there a big freight train coming near?
What is that sound, that I hear?

Holey smokes! I woke up at 0430 this morning to the sound of squawker snoring.
Loud and steady, like the throbbing diesels of a train.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tuesday rambling

Me again. I know it has been a while since I last spent a few minutes updating this page. Truth is, I have been feeling overwhelmed for a few weeks. I applied for a position at work and while the interviews have gone well, it seems that politics will make it unlikely that anything will come of it. I also am coming up on a time where both of my major projects are requiring quite a bit of attention. One project isn’t going well and I am going to have to gather all of the players together and get back on track and make sure that everyone understands what needs to be done and the urgency that they need to feel for reaching the goals. The other project needs to have training sessions scheduled. One session needs to be 3 weeks out, the other 3-5 sessions need to be 4 weeks out. Then the process that I have been the PM for will be implemented beginning the Wednesday after Memorial day. Unfortunately, I still need to complete the curriculum for the training and we need the tools completed that everyone will be working with.
Kat has been sick a lot lately. She is on her third ear infection this year. This past week she has been miserable and not sleeping at night and not eating much at all. Tonight it looks as tho she has another two teeth trying to cut in. With all of the ear infections, we made an appointment with an ENT in IC and Kat will have her adnoids removed and tubes put in this upcoming Friday.
Kyle is wonderful. He is eating 3-5 oz (well, drinking really) at a time. At 11weeks old he is nearly 15 pounds. Considering he left the hospital at roughly 8#1oz, he is really packing it on. I can hear him right now, snoring away. I am hoping that I will get a good nights sleep tonight. I haven’t had one for about a week and I am getting really tired.
Jill and I have been having discussions for about six months now about adding on to the house. When we bought the house it was plenty big enough for the two of us. And really, it is plenty big enough for the four of us. If we can swing it, we would like to have at least two more bedrooms added on. We have been meeting with contractors and drawing up floor plans for months. To be honest, I have been pretty reluctant about the whole thing. Jill has been VERY persistent in her ideas. She acknowledges that it may not come to be, but she is determined to make a fact-based decision. Until a contractor gives her a valid quote, she is not going to discard the possibility of adding on to the house.
I wonder how people do it. I like to think that I know what I am doing and that I have a good head on my shoulders. I even like to think that I am competent. But over the last couple of weeks, I have not felt very self confident. Like I haven’t been on top of my game. I think I hide it well and cover myself in front of others. I wonder how long I can keep it up, sometimes. As I get more tired, I don’t think I am doing as well as I need to be.
On the plus side, I am down 6 pounds in 2 weeks of WW. I plan on getting to lifetime again, 210#. Only 41 pounds to go.

Monday, March 30, 2009

I got pie'd

We had a food drive for the local pantry and the winners got to pick someone to splat with a pie.
I was one of the losers that got pie'd.
Lauren may be interested that the Kitchen Witch tossed a pie at her boss.
Lots a fun.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

good morning!

What an awesome morning. I woke up this morning to Kat crawling over me. I was all snuggled into the comforter and when I felt the person crawling into bed, I assumed it was Jill.
Nope. It was a little Kat. And she was awake and wanted to play. Jill crawled in next.
"She was awake and wanted out of her crib so I brought her up here with us" Jill explained.
It was 717 and Kat had gone to sleep at 745 the night before with NO BINKY!
So I started a pillow fight and when that wore off, a game of tickle, tickle.
To hear the delightful cascade of laughter and giggles from Jill and Kat was a priceless treasure and an AWESOME way to wake up in the morning.
A quick game of peek-a-boo under the covers followed with another pillow fight wore me out.
So I tossed Kat out of bed and went to make breakfast for everyone.
Veggie omelets and toast. With milk (or Dew), 6 points.

Monday, March 16, 2009

She's gonna be a cowgirl!

Last weekend while at MIL, Kat spotted the hanging horse (sounds worse than it is) and ran right over to try and climb on. The horse did not cooperate at all and kept turning a tight circle around her.

Soon MIL came over and hoisted Kat up on her new horse and Kat was as pleased as could be. She spent the next 20 minutes riding that horse around the tree.
Not 100' away was a small pod of about 10 horses, two of which are mine.
I imagine that she will be just like her mother and by the time she is 4 she will be riding Dreamy around the lot.
Like mother, like daughter. (of course that means Squawker will be riding motorcycles and shooting guns)

giving me gray hair

I went to MIL yesterday to get some wood because I don't think we are done with cold weather, yet. We had used up all but a bit of wood and by getting more and stocking it, I have made it THAT much less likely that we will get any snow or cold weather.
I took the Kat so that MIL could enjoy spoiling her favorite (that day) granddaughter.

While working on the tractor to take off the snow blade (counter jinx to getting wood - taking off snow blade) Kat wanted to see what we were up to. She was SO annoyed that she couldn't play on the blade until it was OFF the tractor. Once it was off - get out of her way!

After the blade got boring (It just SITS THERE) she continued on her favorite activity on the farm - EXPLORING.

Kat wants to explore everything she can see. No sooner does she spot something than she has to check it out. She keeps MIL and I hopping trying to keep between her and the manure, the mud, the horses, and so on.
When we got to the rolls of barb wire that I made last summer, I knew that she should mostly be ok. While it was rusty, the barbs were dull so it would be harder for them to break her skin. She spent so much time trying to figure out how to unravel those big coils. She tugged and yanked and pulled to no avail. Then you could see the wheels turning. She walked around them a couple of times and decided that she needed to get into the center of the coil to take them apart. I didn't have the heart to tell her that she wasn't right, not to mention that you cannot train a KAT!

She tried repeatedly to step over the coil to get to the center but she didn't quite have the stride (give her time - she will likely have 34" inseams) to step right over. After 3 or 4 attempts she decided to crawl over. She got down on her hands and knees and began the hazardous trek. She got little more than half way before her jeans had become entangled in the wire. After getting some excellent shots of an ensnared Kat, I went over and freed her.

Gramma made it up to her by putting her on the 4-wheeler and running her up and down the lane until her cheeks were as pink as her coat.

When it came time to go home my little Kat was bushed. She was asleep before she crossed the creek.