Friday, September 30, 2005

So, as you can see from the pics I posted earlier today, I had some fun with the camera :)

Everyone woke up very early this morning. Ugh. Because of this, Gwen ended up taking three naps today tho, so that was nice! The kids alternated naps, so I didn't get a lot of time to do stuff. We've been working with Gwen on sitting and she's getting so good! She still topples, but she can hold herself upright for quite a few seconds before doing so.

Jason really wanted chicken teriyaki and rice so I made some and it came out ok. Not great, but ok.

Les & Karen will be here tomorrow and the house is disastrous. We will have a lot of work to do tomorrow morning.
I was outside with the kids today when Ethan picked up a leaf and put it on his head. I had a vision of a picture I wanted to take, and here are the results. I didn't get exactly what I envisoned, but some are pretty cute. You'll notice that Ethan never looks at the camera... well, this is because he's sick and on some cold meds that make him out of it, and I had to turn on Oobi to keep him occupied. I shoulda just waited until he was in a better mood, but I was inspired and couldn't wait :)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Tonight we had a delightful cream of carrot soup with homemade foccacia. Ugh, I ate too much of that darned foccacia. Its soooooooo good. I also made a pie the other day from a butternut squash. We didn't have any whipped cream though and I just can't have a squash pie without whipped cream. Jason picked some up today so we'll have some tonight. I'm curious to how it tastes cuz I really winged it and used a shortbread crust too.

I've been feeling a lot better since Tuesday, when I was able to get out of the house. Unfortunately, I feel the cloud starting to move back over my head. It started with J waking Gwen up this morning very early, and her not going back to sleep. It just set off the day on a bad start. Kids didn't nap hardly at all and I felt so frustrated at my lack of progress on ANYTHING. Although my general mood is still lighter than its been lately, my tolerance level is very very low. One thing just throws me into a spiral and its hard to pull out of. I'm hoping that now Gwen is sleeping through the night again and my Mom is going to babysit every week for me that I'll be able to completely come out of this in time.

Today it was very very windy. So windy in fact that it picked up the kiddie pool and blew it against the grill. I thought, huh, good. That grill will keep it from flying away. Well, the pool caught a huge gust and sent the grill flying! Yah, the heavy gas grill tumbled over and over and broke off some pieces (luckily, repairable). I couldn't believe it!

Of course, Toby has his wind-phobia and followed me around the house all day, much to my aggravation. Its funny/cute for about the first 20 minutes, but when every time you stop moving he sits on your feet and every time you turn around you trip on him, it gets old fast! I locked him out of the bathroom while I showered cuz he tried to get in with me and when I came out he was sitting on our bed, on MY pillow. Sheesh :D

We just heard from Les & Karen that they will be visiting us on Saturday. I don't believe they've seen Gwen since she was about a month old, so they have quite a bit of catching up to do!

By the way, Blogger is down right now and I'm writing this in Notepad so I don't forget what I wanted to say. Because of this, I can tell you that I DID have a piece of that squash pie and it was really really good. In fact, you can't really tell its not pumpkin. Squash is like that. They all kinda taste the same, especially when those traditional spices are used. You know, there is a fake apple pie that uses saltine crackers instead of apples that has fooled food experts by taste and texture. Just proves you can add cinnamon and cloves to almost anything and it fools you into thinking its something its not.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I have some cute pics of Ethans Halloween costume, which unfortunately, will have to go back because it barely fits him now and there is no way for me to restrict his growth between now and Halloween! Hopefully I'll be able to find a similar one in a bigger size, but its doubtful since I got this one at Other Mothers.

Also while I was there, I got a really cool highchair. Retails for $140 and I got it for $40. Its in great condition, barely used and I lurve it <3 (thats a heart, Shelly showed me. Cool isn't it?). Since Gwen is gonna start eating soon, we needed to have a highchair in addition to the one that fastens to a seat.

I'm being too lazy to post the pics. I want to go read or knit or something. Tomorrow I'll get them up.

Oh, for dinner, at Jasons request, we had hamburger patties, homemade oven fries and carrot sticks. Plain, but good.


Monday, September 26, 2005

Thank you Jesus! I just laid Gwendolyn down half awake and she put herself to sleep. This makes my night.

I've taken tons of really good pics lately. I'm hesitant to post them all here, as those on dial up will suffer.

Here are a few of my favs.

Ok, that was a lot of pics. I hope I didn't kill all my dial up readers.

Tonight for dinner we had Grilled Chicken With Soy-Lime (except I used Lemon) Sauce. We had it over herbed rice and peas/carrots.

Ethan has learned how to climb in and out of the back door. I was feeding Gwen this evening and he just disappeared. I found him in the backyard, barefoot and tramping through the dirt. Sigh, this opens up a whole nother bit of trouble!

Today I was briefly inspired and cleaned my windows (it was much needed) and took down two screens, cleaned and patched them. Its amazing how cleaning the three dirtiest windows in my house make everything seem a lot cleaner.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Not much to say. For the first time in weeks and weeks we had a relatively peaceful sleep last night. Still two wakings, but Gwen went to back to sleep without issue.

Took lots of pictures today, but too weary to edit them down. Perhaps tomorrow.

Friday, September 23, 2005

We've had a hard couple of days. We must be under a bad luck cloud or something.

Gwen has been waking up tons at night. Sometimes as often as every hour. I'm either sleeping on the couch to avoid waking J and E, or I'm stumbling around half asleep trying to get her calm. Part of the problem is that she's not napping during the day, so she eventually drops asleep at like 7 which is too earl, so she wakes up early.

Today I thought it would be fun to go grocery shopping for a few things and get out of the house. I wanted to go before the kids morning nap, so I got everyone dressed and out the door. Well, Ethan decides to do his 'ahhhh' thing the entire time, and is trying to throw things out of the cart. Gwen gets fussy. I forget half my items, even though I have a list. So, finally, at checkout we're waiting and I notice that Ethan has a VERY runny nose. Repeatedly I told myself, "Bring a tissue for Ethan, bring a tissue for Ethan", but I forgot. So I have nothing to wipe his nose with and its really bad. I end up using my sleeve (eew) and his shirt (eew). So now I'm covered in gross baby goo.

We make it out to the car and I treat myself to an espresso on the way home. We pull into the driveway and before I've even taken a single drink of it, it gets knocked over and floods my purse. This was pretty much the topper. I started bawling my head off as I carried the kids and groceries in, and didn't stop for about 3 hours. I just don't get why things have to be so hard, every single moment of every day. The first 3 months with two kids were ok, so why have the last two been such a hell. It almost feels like God is punishing me for something.

I made this very good stuffed bell pepper recipe for dinner, since I got 5 peppers for $5 which is like an awesome deal:

6 medium bell peppers
1 pound ground beef
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon fat
2 cups stewed tomatoes
2 cups cooked rice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut off tops of bell peppers; remove seeds and membrane. Precook peppers in boiling, salted water for 5 minutes; drain. Sprinkle inside of peppers with salt. Brown meat and onion in hot fat. Add tomatoes, rice, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Heat. Add cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Stuff peppers with this mixture. Stand upright in baking dish. Bake, uncovered, for about 25 minutes. Sprinkle tops with cheese. Serves 6.

The only changes I made were to use 4 peppers, use 1/2 lb of hamburger and instead of cheese on top at the end, I put some fresh breadcrumbs tossed with melted butter on top in the beginning, so the peppers would have a crispy top. These were really good!

I also made a pot of chili for tomorrow, as I'll be at Becki's in the afternoon and probably won't feel like dealing with dinner when I get back. I used this recipe. The only changes I make are to use a pot roast instead of sirloin (I either cut it into tiny bits myself, or, this time I used my food processor to grind it coarsely) and beer (Indian Pale Ale) instead of water. I cooked it for about 3 hours in the oven and its so so good.

Did you know that if your dish is lacking a certain 'meaty-ness', adding a shot of soy sauce often resolves the problem? I learned this trick somewhere, I can't recall where, but it works really well. Adds a background flavor that enhances the meaty taste of a dish. I've even used it in chicken dishes. Just be careful because its very salty.

By some miracle, both the children are sleeping, so I'm gonna try and get some reading in.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

We are all sick :(

Poor Jason has it the worst of any of us and his breathing was so loud last night (not that he could help it) that I ended up sleeping on the couch. Gwen woke up at about 2 and I was able to get her back to sleep, but then she woke at 4:30 and I didn't hear her, so Jason brought her out to me and we ended up asleep on the couch. Just about 45 min after that, little Ethan decided to wake up, so we were all groggily sitting on the couch by 5:45. Ugh.

Gwens raspy, but can still breathe. Ethan seems to be coming out of the cold. So far I have minor congestion and sore throat.

Needless to say, nothing much got done today as everyone was sleepy and out of sorts.

We did go outside today for about 45 min. Since Aaron scooped the other day (thanks again Aaron!), the yard was fairly clean and Ethan ran around picking flowers and alternately picking them apart or stuffing them up his nose to sniff them :) That boy loves him some outdoors.

I forgot to mention what we had for dinner last night. It was really good. The recipe is called Turkey Scallopini with Capers and Lemons, though I made it with pounded chicken breasts. I made some thyme-infused rice to go along with it. Num. Tonight we had Spaghetti and Meatballs w/ peas & carrots and garlic bread. Ethan dug it!

So a funny thing happened this evening. Jason was watching Simpsons while I was cooking. He got up to do something, and then stopped to talk to me for a moment. All of a sudden we hear the Oobi (Ethans favorite show) theme song, and it was being turned up as we spoke. Jason and I were perplexed, so we peek out of the kitchen to see Ethan there with the remote. Somehow, and this is amazing, he got into the TiVo menu, chose Oobi (which wasn't at the top of the list by the way) then pressed play, and then adjusted the volume! In a matter of minutes! Wow. It could have been just chance, but to do it all so quickly. Weird!

We've started Ethan with pacifier rationing. He is only getting them at naps and bedtime. I want to make sure that it doesn't get in the way of his communicating clearly. Its been a little rough. When he starts wearing down or getting stressed he'll look for one, or ask me for one.

Send us good sleep wishes, would ya? :)

Monday, September 19, 2005

Ethan growls like a dog. Its started fairly recently. When he's irritated or you tell him not to do something, he will growl... then depending on how angry he is, he'll find something to throw. He won't throw it at you, but he will really pitch it. Quite the temper that one.

Went to Costco today. No one said, "How old is your newborn" so Gwennie must be growing up! :) Ethan has nearly outgrown his 2T pajamas and Costco had a good deal on them, so I bought him a 3T and 4T pair (cuz I couldn't find another 3T). Well, lets just say that they are gigantic on him! The sizing of childrens clothes is so frustrating. How can he nearly be busting out of his 2T, yet swim in a 3T? Grr! At least he'll have something to grow into.

I did something bad to my back and its hurting like crazy. I rarely have back pain, which is surprising, given how bad my back really is. I would just LOVE to take a Tylenol PM and get a nice restful sleep and have my pain relieved, but its pretty useless with Gwen waking throughout the night.

All of us are bit sick. Ethan has had a runny nose and cough for two days, and Jason started coming down with something today. My throat feels a bit sore. Hopefully it will pass quickly, whatever it is.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Gwen woke up at 4:30 and would not go back to sleep. After trying all different things to get her to sleep, I finally gave up and took her to the living room. I was afraid she'd wake up Ethan if we stayed in the bedroom. So, I tried to get her to sleep on my lap, but she wasn't having it. Out of desperation, I finally put her in the bouncer, turned on Oobi, put the volume on low and I fell asleep. She woke up an hour later and joined me on the couch.

During the whole trying to get her to sleep thing, I was so... so... frustrated and weary. I'm ashamed to admit that I actually yelled at her at one point. Just could not understand why she would not be quiet! All I could think of was that she would wake Ethan and then I'd really not get sleep. Sleep deprivation is so hard for me to deal with.

I posted about this experience on one of the message boards I visit and the very kind women there shared their similar experiences. It got me thinking, if this feeling of being overwhelmed and worn out is so common and disheartening to the Mommy population at large, why were babies designed to do it to us? Are we doing something wrong that our babies wear us out so much, or is that the natural order? If it is the natural way, then what is the purpose? Why did God decide that our little ones have to push us so that we (temporarily) regret having them, and feel so low and depressed? There must be some reason, some purpose that it serves either the child or the mother, but I've yet to figure it out.

It is somewhat reassuring that others feel the same way and go through the same struggles. Its easy to think that you are the only one feeling this way, and that no one has ever ever felt as bad as you do, but its not true. Human emotion is not unique in that someone has always gone through what you're going through, at some point in time. I find that reassuring. That my problems are not so irregular.

Tomorrow Aaron (my 11 yo cousin) is coming over with my Mom to do our yardwork! He's going to be our yardboy :) Mom is going to drop him off, then go to Costco for her eye appointment. I'll show Aaron the ropes, then leave with Gwen (oh, Jenni will be here to watch Ethan) to join Mom at Costco for shopping.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

We got Ethans hair cut yesterday. It was soooo long and it just had to be done. I skipped the child place and just went to Hair Masters. He did not like that, oh no he did not. I ended up holding him the whole time and after it was over, he and I were just covered in hair! She didn't shave any of it (like the last haircut), just trimmed it around the ears, eyes and neck and thinned it out. I think it looks really good.

Yesterday, Jason got a call from one of his Spokane friends. They had come into town for a Cougars game and wanted to go out. So Jason (after working late the night before) trotted out to meet them at about 9:30 or so. He came home at about 1. Of course, cuz I'm a major scaredy cat, I wasn't able to sleep until he got home. We both fell immediately into bed, but were awoken by our little noisy peanut (Gwen) at 5:30. She was talking and laughing to herself, but after a time it turned into fussiness and we had to get up. This woke up Ethan, and so everyone was out of bed by 7.

Jason had to work today as well, so he went off. The kids and I did absolutely nothing of significance. Not a thing. After J got home, we moved in my treadmill (nearly killing ourselves more than a few times. That thing is freaking heavy!) so that I can start working out. I'm very inspired.

Becki stopped by this evening to pick up a game and see the kids real quick.

I made a grilled chicken thing (can't exactly recall the name). The chicken had the back cut out and was flattened, then brined in a saltwater/bay leaf/2 head of garlic smashed concoction. I then took it out and rubbed a garlic-pepper oil (olive oil, red pepper flakes, black pepper and garlic) under the skin and grilled it. After it was done, you carve the chicken and put a bit more of the oil over the top. Its very spicy, and the oil under the skin while its cooking give it a super crisp skin. We had it with roasted balsamic asparagus.

Has anyone watched the new Martha Stewart show? I think its pretty darn good! One would think that Martha would be dreadful on a live talk show, but she's surprisingly watchable. She makes great fun of her prison time, which makes her seem like less of a snob. I had to admit that I could not stop laughing when 'Diddy' was there teaching her how to rap. She had not one bit of 'soul' or 'funk' in her. When she rapped it sounded like she was reciting Shakespeare in a retirement home!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Ethan and I went to his 18 month checkup up today. Here are his stats:

Height: 34.5 in (95%)
Weight: 26lbs, 6 oz (55%)

All was well! Pediatrician was thrilled that she'd never seen him for illness or any reason other than well-child visits :) Yay for healthy kids!

After the appointment, I came home and picked up Gwen (thanks for babysitting Grammy!) and headed out to Mom's for dinner and to welcome home Aunt Margaret.

We had a good time. Aunt Margaret has a new, adorable little puppy named Kimchi (I don't know if I'm spelling that right) and Ethan was enthralled!

Right before we left, Mom took Ethan out to pick blackberries and gave me a few to feed him on the way home. He ate them, then promptly fell asleep. He was so dead tired that even after I got him out of the car, carried him in and sat him on the couch so I could retrieve Gwen, he still did not wake. Check it out for yourself

Jason is working late tonight, which means I'm home alone and, of course, totally freaked out about every noise. I hate being home alone at night. Luckily Jason just IM'd and said he'd be leaving soon.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Today I worked my tooshie off. Grammy is coming by tomorrow to watch Gwen while I take Ethan to the doctor and it was the kick in the pants I needed to clean up a bit. I worked all day and the house is now in acceptable, though not perfect, condition. I'm kinda cheating because all my laundry is in my bedroom, but at least its out of sight. I replaced our toilet seat (which, thanks to Ethan, had broken). It was much more challenging than it would seem because the screws used to hold it on were this soft plastic and when I was undoing them they were actually changing shape. I did manage to complete the task, albeit with proclamations about where this toilet should take itself!

I had great plans for dinner, but due to some last minute fussiness, I was unable to act on them and Jason and Ethan had frozen pot pies for dinner and I had some bread and cheese.

As you know, Gwen has been suffering extreme fussiness of late. I was beginning to think that I may have to drop dairy from my diet (eep!) but decided to stop taking my multi-vitamin to see if that made a difference. Well, so far it has! Hopefully our luck holds. She still has bad moments, but its totally normal stuff and not the all out scream fests.

I got some adorable pics of Ethan and Gwen today....

Yes, he's kissing her toes in that last one!

Tomorrow is Ethans 18 mo appt. As always, it should be interesting to see how he's grown. Luckily, no shots this time!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Our new pics are up, finally! I'm working on an entirely new website, but it will be a long time before its up because I'm a complete dunce when it comes to web design and things like that.

Today I dropped the kids off at Mom's and went grocery shopping. It was good to get away, but it didn't help the depression too much. I hope I can shake it soon.

A lady on my message boards posted about her scoliosis and we started talking. Turns out she had the Harrington rods put in like I did, but get this... she had them removed! They took them out, replaced them with a more modern version and she's much improved. If I recall, we were told when I had them done that they could not ever be removed. I did some research and indeed, it appears that many people have had them removed, or they broke. They broke! One guy was talking about how the rods slipped out and ended up around his pelvic bone while the screws were up around his neck. Frightening! Now I'm thinking that perhaps I should have my back checked out just for good measure. I haven't seen anyone about my back since my post-surgery stuff. Just another medical bill waiting to happen, eh? Would my dear Jason have married me if he knew how expensive I was?

Ethan has developed a penchant for Gwennies toys.

Check this out:

In that jumpy thing, that was on the highest setting and he was so big for it when he pulled up his feet he was practically on the floor. It looked like a little tutu on him!

What you see in that jumpy picture as well is his new smile. He bares his teeth and closes his eyes. Where he picked this up I do not know but its pretty cute/scary looking.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Ugh. Why can I not snap out of this dreadful state I'm in? I'm back to no patience, short with the kids, and a general feeling of life sucking. I even told Jason today that I wanted to look for part-time work. I can't stand being in the house all day, or dealing with the kids all day. Just no more patience to deal with the little things. They aren't being bad kids, I'm just being an incapable Mommy. When I try to find a reason for it, I can't really pin it down. If its not one reason (lack of sleep) its another (Gwen being fussy all the time) or another (my messy house). I feel like I'm constantly hitting my head against a wall.

On a different subject, I've gone soap-free on the kids. Both of them have been suffering very dry skin... and it was made even worse by the trip to Chelan. The air in E. Wa is very dry, and their skin got rough and scaly. So, I'm trying a new trick I heard about where you don't use soap. I just scrub them with a washcloth and rinse very well with the detachable showerhead. I'm only washing their hair once a week. So far, so good. They smell clean, they look clean, and their skin is so much softer. Its great.

Thats all I have to say tonight. Sorry its not more interesting.

Oh, we've been having issues with the photo albums. One of these days we'll have pics

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Stressful day. Extremely tired. Not much to say. We slightly revamped the site and pics should be up by late tonight.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Well last night did not go well. Gwen woke up at 12 and wouldn't go back to sleep until 2. Let me tell you, I'm a complete monster when I go without sleep.

Tonight we're using her pack 'n play instead of having her in bed with us, because we think maybe we're all waking each other up at night. She's extremely active, so maybe she just needs her own space.

We went out to Mom's today to pick up the stuff they took home from Chelan for us, and also to have a mini belated b-day party for me. We had Pancit, an asian dish of rice, chicken, and veggies. Twas nummy. We had brownies for dessert. Grammy and Grandpa stopped by and so we were able to visit and such. Ethan picked up a slug. It was gross!

Ethan has been hugely affectionate with Gwen lately. Even tonight at my Mom's house, he grabbed her and hugged and kissed her. This is so unlike his normal attitude which is, "Get her away from me!". Its good to see that they actually are liking each other now.

Tomorrow my treadmill comes in and my hardcore workout routine starts. I'm doing it every day, even if it means my house doesn't' get clean. I'm almost back to my post-Ethan, pre-Gwen size, but by Christmas I want to be back to where I was before kids and even more.

Jason assures me, pics tomorrow!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Did nothing today. Really. I'm still in the clothes I woke up in :) Got a smidge of housework done, but pretty much moped around and felt sorry for myself.

The bright spot of my day was hearing from a very old friend of mine who lives in New Orleans. We hadn't talked in a long time, and I wasn't even sure if he still lived there, so I had been wondering if he was ok, and I was glad to hear he was. Unfortunately, he lost everything but the 6 pairs of clothes he had with him. This amount of loss and devastation is so hard to imagine. How do people recover? Do they ever fully get over this type of trauma?

I thought 9/11 was perhaps the worst thing I'd ever see in my lifetime, and, because it was a terrorist attack, maybe it was in a way. But there is something much worse about this natural disaster... it was not preventable... it wreaked such havoc on so many and that makes it much worse in my mind. A whole city was destroyed. A beautiful city, with so much history and great food and music.

Today I recalled that I have not yet finished knitting Gwennies baby blanket. Its about 3/4 of the way done, and I need to finish it up. Ethan is now very attached to his blanket and about 4 times a day pulls it, along with his bear, out of his crib into the living room to snuggle with it.

Jason is nearly done with doing the pics. Hopefully they'll be completely up by tomorrow.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Have I felt worse and more down than I have today? Perhaps, but if so I do not remember it. My children... I love them to bits, but today I thought more than once that I should wish to be childless again! The constant fit throwing by Ethan. Gwen's infernal fussiness. At one point I'm in the rocking chair, rocking frantically trying to get Gwen to calm down and I'm so numb and worn out that I feel like I'm dead.

Anywhoo, on a lighter note (kinda), I went to the neurologist today. Despite the doctor being very skeptical of my decision to let Gwen self wean off breastfeeding, whenever that may be (Dr. only breastfed 10 mo and she feels that's the best way *roll eyes*), she gave me quite a bit of good information.

Since I'm breastfeeding, I cannot take the daily meds that she wants me to take. However, once I stop breastfeeding, she wants me to go on either Zonegran or Topomax for prevention of headaches. Which one will depend on the results of my MRI. The reason that she wants me to have an MRI is because she believes I may have 'scratches' on my temporal lobe from my sleepwalking incident back in 2003. My headaches have gotten worse and I started having auras and confusion after that incident. These 'scratches' can cause these types of symptoms. Its not a serious issue, but if these scratches are present, she wants me on a medication that will help me with those 'short circuits' and headaches.

I'm now officially diagnosed with Migraine... specifically Classic-type migraines. She feels that the speech issue I had back in August was a rare occurrence, though it could happen again. That my auras and this speech problem only last a few minutes are good signs. That means that its not serious. If it were mini-stroke or something, it would last longer, and be accompanied by paralysis.

So, in the meantime, until I stop breastfeeding, I will continue taking my Labetalol, and also take one baby aspirin a day to slightly thin my blood. Both these are minor preventives. I was given 3 samples of migraine meds to try. Axcert, Relpax, Maxalt. All are considered fairly safe to use while breastfeeding.

I know it sounds dorky, but I'm excited to try these drugs out because as long as I have something to kill the headaches, I don't worry to much about prevention. I'd much rather breastfeed Gwen and take occasional drugs to kill headaches then stop breastfeeding so I can take a daily drug to prevent. Does that make sense?

Anyway, I've just about exhausted my available brain power. I'm sooooo tired (oh, did I mention that both kids were awake all through the night last night?) .

Oh, one more thing. Gwen rolled over today. I had her sleeping on her tummy on the couch. She started making noises and moving around and next thing I know she's on her back with her feet in her mouth. Wow! Thats my girl :)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Gentle readers, we have returned.

I'm still trying to decide if the trip's high points make up for its many low points.

The children were as poorly behaved as I feared they would be. Ethan, while having a rollicking good time, would not sleep through the night. About halfway through he'd stand up in his bed and start calling for us. The first 3 nights, we fought him and fought him (read: screaming, crying, swats on the butt and major fit throwing). It was not that he was scared, but that he was overtired. I would tell him to lay down and he would start giggling hysterically. Or, he would actually yell at me and throw everything out of his playpen. It was appalling actually :) He eventually would end up in our bed. By the 4 and 5th nights, Jason and I were sleeping in separate areas, Gwen with me, Ethan with J. Those were the only two nights when either of us got decent sleep. Gwen was a doll at night (sleeping through the night all nights), but her bad time was during the day when she fussed continually, even when I was holding her. A few times she fell into all out screaming fits and was inconsolable. We nearly left the second day out of frustration.

Now, all that said, we did have some high points. We went swimming, played lots of Yatzee Texas Hold 'Em (pretty fun) and just enjoyed the scenery. Both Ethan and Gwen seemed to grow up a bit. Gwen is now holding onto her toes, nearly turning over and can drink out of a sippy! Ethan learned how to open screen doors and walk up and down steps. The independence he gained on this trip was amazing. He'd come in and out of the house at will, and ventured all over the property, throwing rocks, sticks, playing in sprinklers, etc. He showed some of his temper too when we had to restrain him. His favorite trick when punished, would be to scream, grab a fistful of dirt and pine needles and throw it in his face. This was pretty darn funny, but we tried our hardest to look stern, or just ignore it completely. He threw enough of these fits to be walking around most the day with a dirty face!

My family was amazing and helped out tremendously with the kids. Without them we would have certainly left immediately. They were dolls, even though our children's fits bothered them quite a bit (though they hesitated to admit that!).

We had some excitement on Sunday when my Aunt Daralyn, Uncle Greg, Lindy and Tim showed up. We were able to find out lots of information about my cousin Josh, his wife Amber and their small son Kadin, who were in Biloxi at the time of the hurricane. Their car survived, but their apartment fared badly. They were able to move out to Alabama though and are currently staying there until the Airforce decides what to do with them. What a frightening and horrible experience they've been through! There is a fund set up through USBank for them, as their financial outlook is uncertain. You can donate at any USBank, and the fund name is "Josh & Amber Hollenbeck Hurricane Acct."

unfortunately, they could only stay for the day since my aunts dog was due to give birth any time. The lake had been choppy when they arrived, but it was downright rough when it was time for them to leave. For about an hour, we were uncertain that they'd even be able to leave. My grandparents were also slated to leave that day. Finally, my Dad decided to give it a shot and my aunt, uncle, cousin and her husband got in. My grandparents were going to be in a second trip, depending on how the lake was.

It was a very wet and bumpy ride on the way out and my Dad had to go slow on the way in and on the way back. He radioed in that he needed help to dock and we all ran out to see how he fared on the trip. He came into the dock fast and Becki and Aaron leaned over to ease the boat in. We could see immediately that he was not well. He was hunched over and tense. I had this sudden panic that he might be having a heart attack or something. He leaned over the side of the boat and threw up... He was very seasick. I can't say I've ever seen my Dad seasick, but he really was. My Mom ran out with some water and paper towels and I took Jenni inside as she was really upset about seeing Dad not well. He was so sick that he laid on the dock for a long time before he felt well enough to stand up and walk inside.

Turns out that when he had dropped off everyone, he had crawled into the bow of the boat to try and fix the running lights. The waves were very rough even at the dock and he'd gotten badly sick from being jostled about. He then came home over the rough water and that just made it worse. Needless to say, my Grandparents didn't go home that night :) In fact, my Dad was still under the weather enough that the next day Michael ran the trips to take people back.

The trip seemed so short and I was sorry that it was over, but also glad because it was really hard with the kids. We got home at about 3:30 on Tuesday. I took measurements of some of the windows at Chelan and want to bring over some new curtain rods and curtains. Mom and I also have a few other improvements that we want to make (after we get permission of course!) on our next trip. We're hoping for maybe a spring trip next year. The kids would be old enough to leave with my Mom, and maybe we could take Dad and the kids and whoever else and try to rebuild the dock and do some other projects. I do not know if we will go next year with the kids. Having two little ones over there would be double the work of this time. I do not know if I'm strong enough to handle that.

I forgot that Jason is home all this week. Tomorrow I have my long awaited trip to the neurologist to have my consultation. It should be interesting.

I've given Jason the task of putting up all our pics this week so you can see Chelan pics, as well as all the others we've taken of late.

Last night, after getting home, unpacking, starting laundry and dealing with an inconsolable Gwen (who eventually fell asleep), I didn't want to go to sleep because I dreaded waking up the next morning and dealing again with kids. Just feeling really burned out right now. I need a vacation I guess :)