Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Happy Holidays to you!

Wishing you the merriest of seasons! And I wish I could give each of you a hug and a kiss! squeeze! smooch! Thank you for being a part of our lives! And thank you for caring about us & reading our mundane little blog!! we are SO appreciative of our friends and family! Especially this time of year. God bless you & happy holidays!

 chewing on his slipper
 A new trend has started at our house. Cy dresses himself in the same outfit as Arlo. I never wanted to dress them the same because I know people like my mom (who is an identical twin) hated being dressed the same as their sibling. Reverse psychology I guess? Ignore it and it will happen!
 turtleneck and jean day
 Arlo makes Cy laugh SO hard
 I can say that they are now the best of friends. And they are starting to fight too! Cy LOVES to egg on his little brother. And Arlo is no wallflower. He has a pretty big bark to him for such a lil one. He lets you know it when he means business!
 maybe my most fave picture of all time.
 We got our couch finally! In love.... it's dreamy.
 friends over for dinner and cupcakes!

 So the Lucy's (Nana's maiden name) have a oyster stew tradition. And good ole Cy bellied himself right up to the dining room table and dove in headfirst to a big ole bowl of stew with all the grown-ups! Side note: there were 9 BOYS there. No girls!
 Celebrating Uncle Jack's 80th birthday. The boys wore fireman hats in case all those candles started the house on fire (totally nana humor!)
 Speaking of Nana, she had Patrick read a very sweet Christmas book (Christmas Delicious) to all the kids (the grown up's listened too!) I am sure Patrick felt sorta funny doing it but it ended up being a very cute moment!

 Last night we had the Emmer's over to our house to celebrate all the birthdays (including Jesus's :)

 Arlo got a HUGE lion
 Boppa got a silly hat
And we all sang happy birthday to "Nana, Tim, Patrick and Jesus" (that's what Tim had written on the cake!)

Tomorrow we all go to Cy's school to watch him perform a Christmas program with his class! He has his outfit all laid out on his chair already!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A very happy family for the holidays

Well don't buy us any presents this year! We are still just SO happy to have a home. A home we adore at that! Nearly every day either Patrick or I say "I just LOVE this house!" It is so "us." It's working out great! No complaints! Now we are just busy busy busy trying to get organized/moved in and prepared for the holidays! Time is flying as it always does in December! Arlo's vocabulary is taking off. He is mimicking everything we say. He has a lot of words he uses these days. Some of his favorites are "mama" "dada" "Cy" "more" "no!" "dog" "bye bye" but the list is growing rapidly! And talking to Cy these days is almost like talking to an adult. He wants to know the "why's" of everything. Including the biggies like heaven and death and all sorts of tough ones. He is also a fantastic older brother. He opens the door for me when I am carrying Arlo. He is happy to get Arlo anything he needs. He entertains him when I am cooking or doing something...
Both boys still nap. Cy occasionally skips his nap but not very often. It's the only time I can work on the house, shower, you name it. I still haven't done a lick of exercise but we did join the YMCA which is right down the road and I hope to be heading there frequently after the holidays. They have terrific kids programs which we are really excited about. And just this week I have FINALLY weaned Arlo off the breast. To me (and a lot of people, I know!) it went a little too long but there really wasn't much we could do. It was the only way to live in a hotel without keeping everyone awake. Every time we would drop a feeding, Arlo would start night wakings so we were pretty scared to do any major changes until we were all settled in to our house, which we finally are! Now if this awful engorgement would just stop, I will feel like I have my body back! Yay!
Thank you to all who have been keeping track of us the past few months. They truly were tough and it is such a blessing to be through all of that and settled for the holidays. It feels SO good!
 destroy the mail while mommy makes dinner
 Cy's idea -- "camping" in the basement. Cy & Patrick spent the night on the couch in the basement last weekend. I was surprised but they slept late!
 Getting our tree! It was brutally cold that night!
 since we don't have much furniture upstairs yet, the tree got a prime spot right in front

 once and a while Cy decides to wear all of one color to school. This particular day was "red day" and he capped it off with argyle socks and a tie! I love it when he comes strutting out of his room, all proud, in some whackadoo outfit, and declares "It's red day!!"
 Jackson turned 12. He had a celebratory hot dog and candle and of course we all sang to him!
 St Nick came! He had to come to our basement fireplace because some little hands were ripping down the stockings from the upstairs fireplace. The large box you see is cy's cabin fort.
 random whole tomato snack. One of Arlo's fave snacks is a dill pickle! Seems fitting.
 A Christmas get together with lots of the next generation
 one day we decided Arlo would make a great paul bunyon

 arlo discovered the only cabinet that wasn't child-proofed and mommy made dinner through the racket
 we got over a foot of snow!!!

 the dining room got wallpapered! Here's the before (above)
 and the after. We love it!

and Cy's all settled in his room. He loves his under the bed fort!

Oh and Eleanor: Arlo got stitches because he fell and his tooth went all the way through his lip! Ewwww!! he's fine now though!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

All moved in, well almost!

Hi! We closed on our house on November 14th. We started painting that day. Patrick used to paint in college so he painted along with two guys he used to work with. We painted almost the whole house, including most of the trim work. It was a lot of time and work but it paid off. The house looks really updated! I cannot wait to show you before and after pictures but those might be a long time coming because we still have quite a bit of work ahead of us. Our whole family is just giddy about this new house. It has lots of space. And there are little things that we just love about it. The window over the kitchen sink looks right over the back yard. The master bedroom has two closets and its own bath with a fantastic shower. There is a lot of storage in the basement. We turned the big rec room area into a split room - half family/tv area and half playroom. I think it worked out great. The galley kitchen has really tall cabinets which provide a lot of space and a pantry. Arlo has two closets in his room so we made one a fort with a secret entrance through a bookcase. We made our master bedroom very grown up. It has a chandelier! ( of course.) We still dont have much furniture in the upstairs family room but it is all coming together bit by bit.

One stall in our garage is absolutely filled with bags of stuff to wash & unpack. I am going very slowly to make sure it is all clean before it comes in. I keep saying "one lazy mistake" to not properly treat or wash something or one decision to be cheap (and keep a flea-egged chair, etc.) and all of our hard work was for nill... It's hard because I want to keep everything... like our beloved leather rocker... but after throwing out all of our couches, rugs and beds, why should I keep that one upholstered item that sat on a flea infested rug?

The boys are doing great. They love the new house too.

My parents were here for a week and literally worked from 7:30am til 8pm every day, nonstop with the exception of a break for Thanksgiving dinner. Hard working people, those folks!

And speaking of hard working people, you would not believe the help we had from friends and family. The Emmer's took the kids for multiple nights & even brought us food! Uncle Tim helped in a million different ways - moving, kid care, etc. My sweet friend Jono came over and must have put in almost 20 hours of sweat labor - painting and putting together ikea furniture. Josh came over one evening and painted... If any of you read this -- A HUGE THANK YOU!!!!

 Trick or treating and Halloween. We were still living in Uptown. We were a family of skunks -- Cy's idea of course. He wanted to be animals that people are afraid of! We had spray bottles with water so we could "spray" people.
 Annual candy sort.

 Just before we all got sick with a horrible stomach flu.

 Arlo at the emergency room (read his shirt - very appropriate) getting stitches in his lip at the EXACT same moment as our closing.
 Let the painting begin!
Lynn & Fishpa arrive. Lynn becomes a nanny. Fishpa morphs into "Fixpa"
This is our breakfast nook card table!
 Boys first bath in their new tub
 Who needs furniture when you have boxes!

I didnt take a lot of pictures at the Emmer's for Thanksgiving (too busy enjoying relaxing for the first time!) but see if you can spot Nana in this one!
The bottom left side of this bookcase is gone -- its the entrance to the closet fort!

Friday, November 9, 2012

one more thing i want to add - there is such thing as frontline resistant fleas!

I just posted a new post - see below -- and pictures of our life in a hotel. I just realized though that I never wrote about a crucial player in all of this.... FRONTLINE!!
We will never know where Jackson got fleas from. Our yard? The cabin? The kennel? But I can tell you with no doubt that FRONTLINE PLUS does not work on all fleas. After all the research I have done, including talking to a vet who has experience with this, I have learned that Frontline is an old product and that it appears that some fleas have developed a resistance to it. Not all fleas. The vet at our clinic used to work in Oregon where fleas were a common problem (maybe because it never freezes much there?) and she said she encountered many many dogs/cats infested with fleas on Frontline. She said once they switched the animals to a new flea drug, their flea problems were gone. Anecdotal, yes. But since I have witnessed this myself add me to the long growing list of anecdotal evidence.

Jackson is on a new med recommended by our vet. (I had to go to a different vet to get it! She doesnt even sell it and she endorses it!)

Jackson was on Frontline continuously throughout the year. He got infested. Enough said.

Another quick update

We close on our house next week. We will be leaving our temporary apartment and getting everything out of our storage unit & bringing it all back together. (reunited and it feels so good!) We are also doing some major painting (Patrick and his friend) before we move in. The old house still has its little friends living in it. We had the yard done. We had Orkin come for a third time! Just waiting to move out of there now. Sad.

The past few weeks have just been dealing with logisitcs. And illness. We all got sick. Pretty bad. Fevers. Nasty cough. Sinuses, etc. Last night Mr Arlo puked every half hour ALL NIGHT LONG. not good for a mama whose husband is in California all week! I'm a little out of sorts today! So please excuse my exceptionally bad grammar and spelling errors. We went to the doctor this morning and Arlo checked out fine. Ears. Throat. Lungs. All looked good. Virus I guess. Nasty.

Today is Cy's half birthday. He is smiling ear to ear because he is so excited to be four AND A HALF. Sadly we spent the moring at the doctor office getting Arlo checked out instead of celebrating. But we are going to take advantage of being in Uptown for one last week and walk down to a nearby bakery Woullet's - and get him a special treat later!

And I would like to ask that you keep the Hansen family in your thoughts and prayers. Dr Hansen is one of my dad's partners and best friends. His lost his daughter this week to cancer. She was my age and my friend. We met when we were young on ski trips out west with our dads. I will never forget how grateful I was to see her smiling face in my very first class the very first hour at a brand new school in a new school district. Ms K's math class. A familiar face! And a friend! And we were wearing the EXACT same outfits that first day. Sara was so sweet and she took my hand and made all the newness seem not nearly as scary. She was just one of those super smiley, happy, sweet natured people. She left behind a husband and two young sons. My heart aches for her family but I am glad she is not suffering any longer. She put up an amazing fight. Rest is peace sweet Sarah.

makes fleas seem silly now doesn't it?

This photo montage is titled "Life with fleas. Life in a hotel."

 This was the first night we returned home from Milwaukee (back in Sept) to discover these strange bugs everywhere. I took a picture of one to show to people to find out what it was. Makes me sick now to look at it. How can something so tiny completely turn ones life upside down?
 Belgium waffle bars at all the hotels. First Cy was elated and by the end of our long hotel stint he just wanted oatmeal!
 Arlo eating lunch in the garage before we realized that was also infested. I brought him there so I could run in & grab stuff, etc.
 Arlo's room literally being turned upside down. This is when we were using that non-toxic powder to try to kill the fleas. No avail. Orkin came a week later.
 Cy's room
 When you don't have toys in a hotel, you improvise! the dog makes a great toy.
 Arlo & mama time while Cy was in school
 Finding fields/nature even when we were in the middle of a concrete jungle.
 Self-entertaining with soaps, dishes and water.

 The typical baby-taking-out-the-pots pic... but this time our memory will be in a hotel!
 Hotel parking lot walks.
 early morning hotel lobby visits
Improvised hotel jungle gyms

A reprise from hotel life. Dada took the boys to a fall festival

 Cy and Arlo's bedroom for a month.
 Now we live here. In the first floor.
 Before we left the hotel we did over 20 loads of laundry. Used Arlo's crib as our basket. This is just one of the many times we filled the crib. The boys were at  the grandparents and we literally stayed up all night. These are all clean clothes. The hotel had free laundry machines - good ones - and a lot of them - so we washed EVERYTHING we own!
 Bagging up the house. Moments before the mean bad guys came and took away my favorite couch and rugs. (I just might have shed a tear or two on the sly)
 A house worth's of mattresses waiting to be hauled away.
 Here is a pic of the inside where we live now in Uptown. The furnishings have a sort of european hostal feel to them. Futons. Lots of kitsch. But three bedrooms and much more space!
It does have a updated (although very small) kitchen.

See you in our next place! :) We close on Wednesday!