Monday, September 28, 2009

Good news!

Ava's lab results are back, and she is fine. Her hemoglobin is within the normal range. Hurrah! She still needs to eat better and take her vitamin, but at least she's OK.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Glad the week is over

I'm almost 2 weeks post wisdom-teeth removal, and it's getting better day by day. I wish I could make my blog title show up on the picture I picked to add more pizazz. Cest la vie. (oh, and that picture is from last year in case you are wondering....) My poor little picky-eater Ava. She's least that's what we think. We are waiting for lab results. Her hemoglobin is really low. She had blood drawn yesterday, and we'll get the results on Monday. This is the MOST obnoxious thing: my pediatrician's office REFUSES to do a finger stick in the office because my insurance company is contracted with a lab for all lab work. OK. So, you are telling me that I have to take my baby to a lab, hold her down while a tech sticks a needle in her arm to draw blood to tell me whether she has a low hemoglobin. And THEN when you find out it is low, you are going to send me back to hold my baby down again for another needle stick to run more tests? Ummm...I do not think so. My former pediatrician did this right in her office...with my same insurance. (Unfortunately, she's like an hour from me, so the travel got to be a bit much.) You see, all that is needed for the first test is a finger stick, a drop of blood, and putting it in a small machine for a quick-read result. My sister did it for me (yay Auntie Jill!) and it took about 30 seconds. I CANNOT believe that the pediatrician can't just stick the kids finger for a drop of blood and include it in the regular office visit charge. I'm not dumb - I do work for insurance companies, so I KNOW that they are not going to deny a claim because you stuck a kids finger for a blood sample. It's all in how you code it. If it's coded as a well check-up, and you happen to do this procedure as part of the well check-up, it will be paid. But, unfortunately, this doc likes to nickel and dime. A few months back I got a $6.00 bill for a urine bag that my insurance apparently wouldn't cover. $6.00 for a urine bag? and you billed me after I spent maybe $150 in co-pays in a 3 week period? You are kidding me. (Please know that I do like and trust the doctors, which is why I put up with their billing insanity...for now. I also have siblings and parents who can provide medical advice, so I don't rely on the peds alone....) We still haven't decided what to do about the Awana drama this past week. We did get an e-mail saying that parents CANNOT take their kids out of the room and then bring them back. Ummm...hello? Isn't that they whole reason why parents have to stay within shouting distance of the Cubbies activities to begin with? (We aren't allowed to leave the building during Cubbies.) Do you really want a kid in the room yelling "STOP SINGING YOU ARE HURTING MY EARS!"

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

This and that

I really wish I had something earth-shattering or witty to say, but, I don't. I've been pretty busy and trying to work a lot lately, but here's the latest happenings: * I had my 2 lower wisdom teeth pulled last Tuesday. Today I took my first vicodin. Ahhh...very nice. :) Pete had his popcorn stuff all last week, so he was out late most nights. Hence, I stuck with Motrin, as I was worried that the vicodin would make me very did. * Ava has started her terrible 2, Ava, you are 4 now. We don't do that! Ava yells out the window, "I'm 4 and I know it...know it...know it." She is also OBSESSED with ants. Is there sugar in this peanut butter? cracker? sucker? milk? What if milk is on my lip, will the ant try to get it? We will now be adding science curriculum to 4 y.o. preschool at Stikovich Christian Preschool - beginning with ants and spiders. I may even get an ant farm. ha ha. * Michaela is very chatty. She's a parrot. "Spwowt Pwease!" "P-uh-wease!!" now answers "yeah" when I ask her questions. Ripped up Pinkalicious...again. At least it was a page I had already taped. Got up on Grandpa's lap the other day with a book and said, "" *Mommy: "Michaela - WHAT are you eating?" Michaela: "do do food." {do - do = dog.} Yes, she is the self-appointed carer of the dog (dogs when my parents dog came for a visit). Oh, it's just so adorable to watch her getting food for the dog...playing in the dog water...feeding Kammie food one nugget at a time...sitting on the floor with a box of bones feeding them to Kammie one bone at a time.... *Ava standing in my office door with an odd expression: "I'm peeing my pants right now. I just didn't know." You didn't know you had to pee? Ummm you are 4 and didn't you know that I wrote a post just a few days ago about how you haven't really had any accidents? Well, at least she had on the thick gerber training pants so no pee got on the floor. *I'm addicted to my slow cooker. Yesterday I made not 1 but 2 soups! One for dinner last night (chicken spaghetti soup) and 1 for Pete's lunch and dinner today (spiced lentil soup from a Prevention Slow Cooker book I picked up at Target the other day). Of course my jaw hurts, so I'm not eating well these days. I made the 2d soup and set it on low for 10 hours around 7 last night. By my calculations, it would switch to the "warm" setting around 5 a.m., Pete was leaving at 6:30 a.m., could get what he wanted for lunch (I even left him a tupperware dish AND a cup to get it out of the crock ... oh yeah, I so rocked Proverbs 31 last night...even made him ham sandwiches, apples and string cheese to go with the soup) and then turn off the crock. I came down around 8 this morning - soup smelled good - totally no burn smell...what do I see but the tupperware container empty. Hmmmm....what happened? Did he forget? I mean, it was sitting right in front of his pill dish (yeah, he's an old man). Then I lifted the lid and saw the desert that the top of my soup had become. Crap. Wait. Maybe if I stir it....presto. Stirred it, added a can of beef broth...put it in the fridge and hubby declared it delish at dinner. Me - I had Campbells tomato soup-to-go because I wore out my jaw yelling at kids today. Did I say yelling? I mean calmly talking to.....

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Birthday

Ava had a great day yesterday. (Check out pics here.)When she woke up I sang happy birthday to her. She said, "Is today my birthday?" and started bouncing up and down on her bed when I confirmed that, indeed, it was September 17. (The day before she said - "Is my birthday after this day's night?") She then stood up on her bed and said to me: "Am I bigger?" Definitely. We had cinnamon rolls and hot cocoa for breakfast; went to story time at Barnes & Noble and picked up Purplicious (the sequel to Pinkalicious); had lunch at Cici's Pizza - her fav mac-n-cheese pizza; took a birthday nap; had cousins, grandpa, Auntie Kelly, Auntie Jen, Miss Jacki and crew for dinner/cake. A great day. When she woke up from her nap she said, "Am I still 4?" Yes, Ava. "I'm not 3 anymore - right?" To say that she loved her easel would be an understatement. Her summary: This is the best birthday EVER!
1st Birthday 2d Birthday
3rd Birthday 4th Birthday

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Ava

September 17, 2009 Dear Ava, 4 years ago today my prayers were answered. I prayed for 35 years for you...well maybe not all 35 years, but since I was old enough to realize that I wanted kids. And then through 4 years of college, 3 years of law school, and almost 10 years of lawyering, wondering prayer for a child would be answered. (Of course, my prayer for a husband was answered about a year and a half before you were born.)
{it's a faint line, but it's there! HURRAY!}
September 17...your daddy & I planned the date of your birth. Your auntie Jill was there the whole time (well, except for when she had office hours...the key contraction time and she WOULD NOT let me get an epidural until she got back). Your strong-willed nature that was evident throughout my pregnancy was even more demonstrated at your birth. You DID NOT want to come out! A vacuum was involved, but that's another story. {your strong will was later exhibited - earlier this year actually - when you REFUSED to go on the potty until YOU wanted to..."going on the potty is not for me!" And then the next day you trained yourself. Nary an accident since....well almost anyway}
These last 4 years have been such a joy. Your strong will and stubbornness have taught me even more patience. You are precocious - speaking in sentences since you were just over a speak like you are 20. I love that about you. I love your questions - even when I don't know the answer. You are teaching yourself how to write, which is just so awesome. We are working on reading, too...we'll get there. I am so excited to homeschool you...what a great adventure.
You are so sweet - I think about how when you see commercials on tv, you always ask to get the toys for one of your cousins (naming the particular one) - never for yourself. You love your little sister (even though you tried to hit her a few times when she was a little baby). She adores you. She looks up to you and tries to be like you. You have a genuine concern for others - something not many people have. I need to have more of that myself. I can learn from you.
You love: drawing (ava: "who's the greatest artist?" mommy: "YOU are!" ava: big smile); apples; mac-and-cheese; mac-and-cheese pizza from Cici's; butterflies (declared a butterfly at the butterfly house your "sweetheart" - constantly concerned about your "sweetheart's" well-being and hoping it didn't die on the ground like other butterflies you saw); chicktable! (your fish prize for pooping on the potty...chicktable 1 died due to a bath you gave - I'm sure it was the washcloth that did it; chicktable 2 died due to ick; chicktable 3 is alive and swimming....); gum; crackers - especially little saltines with butter; swimming; the color blue (although recently you like pink and purple); music (yeah!); using big words...the bigger the better. If you don't have a big word to describe a situation, you make one up. That is the best.


You do NOT like: bugs. vegetables (except freshly picked cherry tomatoes and celery...I've told you you have to pick 4 vegetables to eat by the time you turn 4). wearing pajamas to bed - you love pajamas, just not wearing them in bed. You must be in your "skin," which you've assumed is an acceptable article of clothing since you were about 2. "I'll just wear my skin."
Third birthday breakfast at Mimi's.
Someday you'll read this letter....know that your mommy loves you...adores you...thanks God for every day with you.
"Look at the really silly face I can make!"
All of my love, mommy

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Apples, Apples, Apples, Apples

While reading this post, you must sing "apples, apples, apples, apples" to the tune of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." That is the song Michaela made up after visiting Royal Oak Farm/Orchard yesterday. We had a great time...even though they didn't have the very delicious honey crisp apples. We'll have to wait a few more weeks for those. A few highlights: * apple cider donuts * getting the from Ava while riding the little train she was SO excited to ride * Michaela saying "apples" instead of "cheese" when I started taking pictures of them picking apples (she did that on her prompting) * picking a peck of johnny mac apples - even though I was ordered by Ava not to make applesauce * Ava eating 2 apples while at the orchard ("mom - this is a healthy food, right?") * car picnic at Sonic (Ava's new favorite treat) - Ava declared it "awesome" Here's some pictures (click on the collage to make it larger):
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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Slow cooking

I love my slow cooker a/k/a crock-pot. I try to use it as much as possible - especially in the winter. Pete loves it, too. We do stews, soups, roasts, bbq chicken, etc. I just found this really cool website/blog written by a lady who cooked in her slow cooker every day in 2008. She has a cookbook coming out in October, which I'm sure I'll be getting. (I also love cookbooks and read them like "regular" books.) The site is cool because she describes the recipe and whether or not her family liked it. Funny thing is, I just realized that I actually saw her on Rachael Ray last year. I just don't remember her mentioning that she had a blog. I'm excited to try it! I may even post a few recipes here if they work out. Tonight is the first night of Awana, so I'll be trying the crockpot lasagna. How bad can that be? (to quote another of my favs - Barefoot Contessa) Have I mentioned that I love to cook? **************************************************** UPDATE: The lasagna was very yummy. I used: 1 jar barilla sweet pepper sauce; 1 container part-skim; reduced fat ricotta cheese; shredded carrot; sauteed swiss chard; 2 links turkey sausage; mozzarella cheese; oregano; garlic powder. Put a few spoonfuls in the bottom of the crock, and start layering. When you get to the top, fill your sauce jar about 1/2 way full with water, shake to get all of the tomato sauce bits and pour over the top. I added fresh parsley & basil to the top right before serving. (Thanks jen's garden.)I cooked it on high and it was done in about 3 1/2 hours.

Monday, September 7, 2009

My kids

One purpose for this blog is so that I can keep track of things my girls say (things that I find very adorable, and of course I am not biased at all) Here's a few recent things: Today we were outside and Michaela kept saying "hot dog. hot dog." The girl has never eaten a hot dog in her whole 21 months of existence, so I could not figure out why she was asking me for a hot dog. We came in the house and she says, "hot dog. fifi." Fifi = t.v. Light bulb came on: She wanted to watch the Hot Dog Dance which is at the end of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Now, the kid ONLY likes the theme songs for tv shows. She could care less about what comes in between the opening song and the closing song. Except of course for "pat pat" she loves counting and yelling "Bas off!" (That's Little Einsteins in case you are totally out-of-it when it comes to kids tv) The other totally cute thing she does is play hide and seek. She "covers" her eyes and says, "One...twooo....sick" then yells something and runs off looking for "sis." "Where she go?" (oh, and sick = six) I did count with her the other day and she made it to ten. Not too bad. Now my little darling Ava spent the last 2 nights at Jill-Jill's house with her cousins. (Steve & Kelly are in Florida.) Today Jill tells me that at 6:30 a.m. Ava came into her room, handed her her underpants and said, "these are wet." Ava has not wet the bed in, well, ever. For those of you thinking, "oh, you are so lucky she doesn't wet the bed," this child was in no way interested in potty training until January of this year when she went to "school." She was 3 years and 4 months old. And she pooped in her pants until June. So, I think having consistently dry nights is a pretty fair trade for a 3 year old saying "going on the potty is not for me." In any event, later in the day I asked Ava if she wet her pants. She said, "On this day's night? Yes, I did." I said, what happened? She said, "I just don't know. I woke up and found myself naked in the bed. Then I found my underpants on the floor and they were wet." I said, "Well, did you pee in the bed?" Her response, "No. I just tooted a little." My guess is she got up to go and didn't quite make it in time. That happens to little girls...big girls, too...unless they do their kegels.

Butterfly House...again

This time daddy, the cousins & Auntie Jill joined us. The Butterfly House closes for the season on September 13, so we probably won't get there again until the spring. After the "house," we went to McDonald's for lunch. Pete's trying to pretend he's not with us..... It's Ronald!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sleepy girl

So...tired. Can't make it to couch....
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Ava helped her out.

Friday, September 4, 2009


One of Ava's favorite books is Pinkalicious - a Christmas gift from my Aunt Jan & Uncle Ray. We've read it countless times. Yesterday during "rest time" she pulled out the book and started reading it to herself. About half way through, I picked up the camera and started recording. Of course, she spotted me and then wanted me to record her "reading" the whole thing. Both versions are posted on youtube in my account ("lawmommy2") or you can access by clicking under "Mamastiks Movies" to the right. It's hilarious because she was trying to read with drama. The kid is not lacking in the self-confidence department. She draws constantly and yesterday started saying to me: "Who's the greatest artist?" Of course my response had to be "You are!" On another comical/dramatic Ava note - yesterday she came running up to me and says, "Mom! A HORRIBLE thing has happened! Come quick!" The horrible thing: Michaela colored on the glass of the entertainment center with glass. I guess that is horrible in the mind of a 3 year old.\ Happy Labor Day Weekend.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

In Daddy We Trust.....

One of the many magazines I read is Family Fun. It often has some cute craft ideas, so I like it. One tip in a recent magazine was from a mom who uses daddy money to encourage her kids to get ready for school on time. Her kids are older (pre-teens, I think), so they use it for things like sleep-overs, bonfires, and other "treats." That got me thinking.... I really need to start something like that for Ava. She doesn't need the real money yet, but fake money would be great. She'll earn her daddy dollars by doing her schoolwork, cleaning up her toys/room, kindness, and overall good behavior. She will most likely be spending all of her dollars on episodes of Little Einsteins (the show de jour). I've never had a problem with my kids watching TV. It has been my experience that watching has really increased her vocabulary (Ava's been talking in sentences since well before 12 months). I do monitor what she watches and limit it, but this will make watching The Glass Slipper Ball a little more enjoyable.