Tuesday, June 29, 2010

One Month From Today…

One month from today, July 29th, we get to meet the newest member of our family!  Our little man is scheduled to make his debut into the world at 7:30 AM.  I’m first on the surgical rotation…unless I get bumped by an emergency c-section.

So, one month from today, two become three…

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…and four become five!

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One month from today, I will probably need a refill on this…

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…and this will all be laundered and put away just waiting for a handsome prince to wear it while being snuggled and loved on!

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One month from today, our little man will go from baby to middle child and will experience sharing his new “big boy” room!  (More pictures of the nursery to come!)

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And my hope is that one month from today, I have more energy, I become a better blogger and visitor, and that the toll that the gestational diabetes is taking on me leaves permanently!

Weekly OB appointment yesterday afternoon included a monthly growth scan. We’ve got a big boy in there…no wonder I’m tired!  :)  He is estimated to weigh just at 6 lbs…and I have 4 weeks to go!  Dr. E. promises me that I won’t have a 9 or 10 pound baby, but I’m not so sure!  She’s estimating at over 8 lbs and Benjamin was 8lbs 7oz. 

Any guesses…


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

“Mr. Sandman…”

 We’re back from our family vacation to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  We enjoyed lots of Calabash seafood, a couple of daytrips exploring the area, and lots of rest and relaxation that involved beach time.

As you can see from the title of the post, Benjamin was not such a fan of the ocean.  The sand he loved…the surf…not so much!  And while Mary never really had a fear of the ocean, I’m confident that in another year or two, Benjamin will also come to love the coastal waters that bring me so much peace and happiness.

For the majority of the vacation, Benjamin stayed in the sand.  Content with digging and building, allowing only his feet to get wet, my little man happily constructed sand castles and collected shells.IMG_3816

 

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Mid-week, we took a daytrip to Wilmington, North Carolina and the Cape Fear coast.  BEAUTIFUL!  It was here that Benjamin really began to explore the surf with his feet.  Perhaps because he was fully clothed and knew we weren’t going to require him to submerge his body!  This series of pictures shows him tentatively getting his feet and hands wet.

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And even by the last day of our stay, after he had spent the majority of the morning and afternoon wave jumping with mama and sissy, he was still most content playing Mr. Sandman!

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After arriving home safely late Sunday night, we jumped right back in to our busy lives on Monday morning!  This year, Mary Catherine is enrolled in our Parish’s vacation bible school program, and I volunteered to teach…I really don’t know what I was thinking!  HA!  I’m beyond exhausted, and have some very challenging 4th – 6th graders in my age group, but I sure slipped right back into my teaching mode.  I guess I didn’t really realize how much I missed the classroom…NOT that I plan to go back any time soon!  LOL

I also had a weekly OB visit on Monday afternoon, and all looks well with our our little man.  Getting excited to meet him in July!

Tonight, after the kids are put to bed and with the daddy being back on-duty, I look forward to some quiet blog-reading time!  Hope everyone has been doing well!

 


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A "Poopy" Start to Vacation 2010

Just popping in to say hello! We are on vacation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. While I wish we could say we are having a wonderful time, it's been anything but! You won't even believe the mini crisises that we've experienced. Things are turning around though, and I think that we might be able to salvage these last few beach days.

I have gotten some cute beach pics and can't wait to post those when we get home. (I might even download them to my husband's laptop...which is what I'm using.)

The first leg of our trip involved a stop in Huntsville, AL where we stayed with some new friends. They had a barbeque in our honor and we had a blast getting to know all of their neighbors and friends. Chris already knew several of them from attendance at the National Fire Academy over the past few years. Their hospitality was greatly appreciated.

Our first full day at the condo in Myrtle Beach involved Chris and I taking shifts with a very sick Benjamin. We think the culprit was food poisoning and I am sharing a link that I discovered while doing some research on this issue. I will probably be contacting both Kraft Foods and the FDA with regard to our Capri Sun disaster. And for the record....Mary was very sick too, but no vomiting was involved. UGH!!! I really can't prove that Capri Sun(s) were the culprit, but that is the only thing that both kiddos drank in the car on the drive from Kansas City to Myrtle Beach and Chris and I did not drink any and are fine. Benjamin started getting sick in the hotels along the way and it culminated once we arrived at our condo. It was ugly...literally and figuratively.

I think I'm once again a fan of preservatives. That and H2O!!!

If you are a parent and buy these juice pouches for your kiddos..beware! Our drink pouches were not punctured or damaged in any way, but I'm still suspicious. How can a juice pouch be good until 2011 if it doesn't contain preservatives? Hmmmm...

http://www.consumerbell.com/1/post/2010/06/family-finds-large-hard-skin-like-object-in-capri-sun-two-weeks-later-kraft-says-its-unpleasant-mold-on-facebook.html

I apologize for the lack of photos and anchors in this post. I've been using Windows Live Writer for so long now that I've forgotten how to link in Blogger and have been spoiled!

Wishing you all a great week! We are off to the Ripley's Believe it or Not Aquarium museum on the strip in Myrtle Beach. Mary is beyond excited!!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Where’s Waldo…AKA…The Kueters?

Sometimes it’s frightening how fast a week can pass!  Last week flew by due to a few unfortunate circumstances that have kept us on our toes. 

After posting about our Memorial Day on June 1, I had an OB appointment on the 2nd.  This involved both a regular bi-weekly appointment as well as a sonogram.  Because of several high-risk factors including age, that quirky blood-work early on showing increased risk for Trisomy 21, and now, gestational diabetes, I get to see our little man on sono every 2-weeks.  I’m not complaining! 

Seems we’ve got a big boy in there…he measured about 4.3 lbs., around the 65th% and a full pound heavier than other babies his gestational age.  Due to some high blood sugars, I am lucky enough to get to return to the OB tomorrow to review my numbers, discuss diet, and possibly begin medication.  Ugh!

On Thursday, June 3, we were invited to a play date at Antioch Park in our metro-area by a member of the new MOPS group that I joined.  We were able to make it, but I forgot my camera!  They had the cutest kid-size pioneer town constructed on the property.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to stay long as Mary Catherine developed an acute case of this

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….ugh!  It lasted about two days.  Nobody else in the household got sick.   Hmmmm…

Then we received the bad news about this

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(Image from National Geographic)

…tar balls and globs of rust colored oil washing up on Alabama’s Gulf coast.  While we were preparing ourselves for a last minute change of vacation plans, we are still deeply saddened for the loss of wildlife, marine life,and economic devastation affecting the people of the entire Gulf Coast Region.

Instead of the white sand beaches of Gulf Shores, AL we will be vacationing here

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…we’re not complaining!  We just feel fortunate that we were able to book a condo on the beach at all! 

I had been monitoring rentals for the past week, and the minute CNN reported that tar and oil was reaching the Panhandle of Florida, availability dropped significantly.  We are getting excited about this change in plans.  I think there is a lot of “touristy” stuff to do in Myrtle Beach which will be fun for the kids.

In the meantime, the same little one that was having stomach issues earlier in the week, woke up on Friday with a “weird” rash on her arm and leg.  I didn’t think much about it until she woke up Saturday morning with the same rash on her face.  I put some Benadryl topical ointment on her face and this is what I woke up to on Sunday

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…and truly, this photo doesn’t due her justice!  The rash was also under her chin, creeping up her cheek to her temple and down the back of the ear and neck.  Aaargh!  I decided on Sunday morning that we needed to go see urgent care as this had literally spread overnight from just a few “spots”.

The diagnosis…poison-something or other.  Probably poison ivy, but who knows.  It could be poison oak, sumac, etc.  You would think I would know what that looked like, but you couldn’t be more wrong!  I have never had poison ivy in my life and I traipsed through the neighborhood park with the best of them during my childhood! 

Her legs and arm are healing well, and the urgent care physician said that ordinarily he would not have even treated her, but because her face was such a mess…and spreading…he started her on an oral steroid to speed up healing. 

I think I’ll be Photoshop-ing our vacation pics!

This week also proves to be a busy one, but I hope to post a few times before we depart on our Atlantic sea-faring journey!  Also, I am so excited because I get to meet a blogging friend for lunch this week!  Can’t wait to hook up with Melinda over at Country Dreaming!  I promise not to forget my camera!


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

“Treasuring” Memorial Day Memories

I hope that everyone had an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend.  We sure did.  As the unofficial kickoff to summer, we packed in as many activities as we could.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of a couple of activities, but we do have all summer! 

We started our weekend on Friday night with some sprinkler hose play. Although the AC man had arrived earlier that day, the house was still uncomfortably warm and so we headed outside to cool off.

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On Saturday we celebrated the season’s opening of the city pool and camped in our backyard.  (Forgot to take pics…too busy having fun!)  We enjoyed hot dogs on the grill with ice cold pink lemonade and made Smores while sitting around Daddy’s new fire pit.  We had a great time and mama was able to sneak into the air conditioned house after daddy and the kids fell asleep!

Sunday we trailered our boat to Clinton Lake in Lawrence, KS.  It seems every year we have some sort of problem…battery is dead…transmission problem…no taillights on the trailer, etc.  This year, we decided to stay close to home, prepped the boat the night before, and found that our inaugural voyage (ha!) went off without a hitch.  Surprisingly, the waster wasn’t all that cold…although I didn’t get in!

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(See those curls up above…all gone!)  :(

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Sun-soaked and tired we headed home for a quiet evening.

Monday was also low-key, but fun.  The kids wore their new “Memorial Day/4th of July” outfits that I buy them each year to honor all those that have served our country.  The day involved lots of bubbles and popsicles, brauts, and corn on the cob.

Mary’s all about the twirling in her new dress!

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See…I told you the curls were all gone.  Daddy and Ben got summer haircuts.  I know he feels so much cooler, but I just love those blonde curls!  Fortunately, they always grow back.  (Oh, and I also love that sprinkling of freckles across the bridge of his nose!)

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Last but not least, we are attempting a bit of positive reinforcement around our house when it comes to the littles and good behavior.  (Not that Mary Catherine needs it so much…she really is my helper with a heart of gold, but she has her moments too…)

I don’t know if it is 3rd trimester tiredness/impatience or just general frustration (pregnant or not), but I find myself more and more at conflict with Ben.  He is my strong-willed child and will stare down my husband and me without hesitation when we ask  him to pick up toys or sit back down at the table during meal time.  Part of it is his age (3.5 years), but part of it is also that I’ve always done everything for him and now when I need help, he’s not interested in participating!

As a former educator, I’m not a big fan of extrinsic motivators, but even as a 3rd grade teacher, I had to “bribe” certain kids to read the required minutes per day, or books per week!  So why wouldn’t it be any different with my own two when it comes to helping out around the house…not stalling at bedtime…accepting “no” the first time they hear it…etc.?

So…I’ve resorted to…The Treasure Chest.  I got this idea from one of my favorite crafty websites Crafting Chicks.  Jamie created a cute incentive chart, ready to be downloaded for free.  (Unfortunately, I don’t have  a more recent version of Microsoft Word, so I couldn’t download Jamie’s version, but I quickly made my own.)

After downloading a fun, free “pirate” font, I created a 6 column, 5 row table in Word.  Since Mary Catherine is a bit older than Ben and beginning to read sight words, I added the 5 days of the week.  I have attached their charts at their eye level to the inside of my pantry doors.  Jamie also suggested that you attach the sticker pouch at the same level so that they kiddos can get their own sticker and attach to their chart throughout the day.  It’s gotta be user-friendly!

Obeying mom and helping out when I ask (a minimum of 5 times a day) earns a trip to the treasure chest.  Jamie filled her chest (a cute one that she got at a hobby store) with little trinkets, snacks, etc.  This afternoon, the kids and I are headed out to create our very own treasure chest.  I figure that if I let them help pick out the items to be put in the chest that might up the excitement and motivation level.

We’ll see how this goes!  We are headed to the public library this afternoon, and that is a biggie for Ben! Even though we talk about what type of behavior I expect in the library, he can’t seem to not run,  not use the water fountain excessively, not wander away from me, not take toys (puzzles, cars, etc.) away from Mary Catherine.

So, we shall see how this works!

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Hoping that you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and are ready to kick off the summer in style!