Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Right Now: February Edition

Reading: See Me by Nicholas Sparks. He's always been one of my favorite authors. I love the movie versions too, but the books are always a million times better.

Watching: Still watching This Is Us. So happy it was on again last night, but sad there is only two more episodes left in this season.

Listening: The heater that just kicked on. Thank goodness, because I'm cold! As for anything else, I haven't listened to a whole lot lately. Occasionally I turn on Sing-a-Long songs for kids on Amazon Prime, when the kids request it.

Drinking: Mostly water. I've been doing better with my water consumption lately. I did buy some Cascade Ice sparkling water when I went grocery shopping last weekend. That's been a little treat to have something more bubbly.

Eating: Ummm, I just ate a bowl of Tillamook Mudslide ice cream. Don't judge. It's been a hard couple of weeks around here.

Wearing: Black leggings, a blue Finders record store t-shirt (I have a friend in Ohio who works there), and a grey zip up hooded sweatshirt. I'm all about being comfortable today.

Loving: These two. As much as they drive me crazy (endlessly some days), I feel eternally grateful and blessed that I get to be their mommy.

Anticipating: Our one-on-one dates we have planned for this weekend! Tony is taking Ayden to big Dinosaur Quest event and I am taking Rylee to a Princess for a Day event. We all originally were going to do the dinosaur thing and skip the princess one, but then I discovered both events were happening on the very same day and the cost comes out to be pretty much the same. We thought it would be a great opportunity to spend quality one-on-one time with the kids.

Hoping: That everyone is healthy and we actually get to even go to our fun activities this weekend. Ayden has been doing so much better since his pneumonia diagnosis, but this morning he vomited within a half hour of waking up. No fever, no loss of appetite, and no repeat puke, but still. The swab they did on Ayden last week at the doctor also came back positive for RSV, which I'm positive Rylee also has. She has been fever free since Sunday night, but her cough is worse than ever and she's been a little fatigued. I debated taking them both into the doctor today, but the advice nurse still hasn't called me back from this morning, so that's not going to happen. They NEED to be better for this weekend!

Following: The controversy over gun control/keeping our kids safe.

Wondering: If I'm going to have time to get all my stuff ready for the consignment sale coming up next week. With the kids being so sick lately, I am losing the 2.5 hours of free time I normally would have while they are in school. They've only been to three days of school in the last two weeks. I foresee a lot of late nights coming up.

Trying: To keep things sanitized around our house so we can stop this cycle of sickness.

Worrying: Someone posted on our local community Facebook page today about a Kindergarten information night coming up. It made my chest tighten at the thought that this time next year, WE will be the ones going to this info night! First, it boggles my mind (in a giddy sort of way) that WE actually have kids to send to school. However, in light of all the school shootings that take place in our country, this also terrifies me! I also can't help but worry about how they will do in school. Will they be bullied? Will they be bullies themselves? I hope not, but really, you never know. Will they be leaders? Will they be good students? Will they make good choices? It's impossible not to worry as a parent.

Planning: I need to find a local 5k to sign up for this spring, and then another race for during the summer, in prep for running Hood to Coast in August.

Contemplating: Whether I'm going to start working next year or not, which would mean sending the kids to all day preschool. I still have that pesky resume looming over me that I need to write. Tony is adamant that I start working again when the kids start kindergarten, which I really do need to do, for obvious financial reasons. My hope is to get a job within the school district so I can be on the same schedule as the kids. I think it will be easier for me to work my way into a full time position if I start my job search next school year instead of waiting until the following year.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Sick Again

Now say that in your best Eeyore voice - "sick again." Because I'm feeling a bit Eeyore-ish about this winter.

Rylee missed a day of school on Tuesday because she was battling a fever. She was fine otherwise, but I couldn't send her to school because of the pesky 101℉ fever. She was back in school on Wednesday. Ayden developed a little cough Tuesday afternoon, but nothing serious. But then by Wednesday night, his cough was terrible. I elevated his mattress with some blankets underneath, but that didn't help much. Ayden has struggled with coughs on and off since he was born. It's pretty common for him to get a cough along with most colds, and it's usually worse at night. That night after going to bed, his cough was constant, and he ended up making him gag and throw up a couple times.
Once he finally stopped coughing few hours later, he was able to sleep most of the night, with only a few coughing spells.

He woke up coughing the next morning, yesterday, and saying he didn't feel good. He didn't have a fever though. We also had our first snow day of the year! Ayden and Rylee both get super excited when they see snow. We'd had some snowflakes over the weekend that didn't amount to much, but they were still excited to go out and "play" in the snow. None of it stuck on the wet ground, so playing in the snow consisted of only trying to catch the snowflakes. But yesterday we actually woke up to snow on the ground! It was pretty telling to how much Ayden didn't feel good, because he didn't want to go outside at all. That is, until he saw Tony and Rylee building a snowman when he looked out the window! Then we couldn't get him outside fast enough! He was missing out!

We don't really get a lot of snow here, and I knew it was only going to last a few hours before melting away, so I got him bundled up so he could go build a snowman too.

Meet their new friends, Crystal and Frosty.

I made an afternoon doctor appointment for Ayden, fully expecting it to be a pointless trip to the peds office, but thought I should take him in just in case. I hoped they could maybe give us something for him, if he ended up having another miserable night trying to fall asleep. After eating lunch, which both kids barely touched, I set them up to watch a movie in my bedroom for quiet time. We only had a little over an hour before we had to leave for the appointment, so we didn't really have time to try to get naps in. Besides that, they very rarely actually nap anyway these days, even when I do try.

They both ended up falling asleep while watching the movie. I knew I was going to have some very grumpy cats on my hands, when I had to wake them up and hustle them out the door. I wasn't wrong! It was not easy waking either of them up! I had everything ready to head out the door before waking them, just had to throw jackets, socks, and shoes on them. I did quickly take Ayden's temperature though, because he felt warm and was very lethargic. He had a temp of 101.6℉.

Before waking them up.

By the time we got to the peds office, Ayden's temp was up to 104°! He had no energy to walk, or even stand up. I had to carry him. It was not at all difficult to tell which kid we were there for; Ayden was miserable and Rylee was bouncing off the walls full of energy! It was a challenge balancing Ayden needing all my attention and trying to keep Rylee out of trouble.

Poor guy

Ayden ended up having a chest x-ray done and being diagnosed with a "mild" case of pneumonia. So, I'm glad I took him in! Tylenol brought his fever down, and we started him on antibiotics last night. He is still coughing, but not near as bad as he was. At 9:30 last night, his fever hit 104° again, but Tylenol worked it's magic once again and brought it down. Thankfully, his fever hasn't come back since then.

Rylee may have been full of energy at the doctor's office, but by last night, she also had a fever and started to cough. Sigh...

Today we are having a very relaxing day at home watching movies, reading books, and both are currently napping. Oh, and we made (sugar free) jello. They've never had it before, but both of them don't have super great appetites right now, so I thought it might be a little "treat" for them.

I cannot wait for this winter to be over so we can hopefully move past the never ending colds and sickness!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Microblog Monday: The Many Names of Rylee

Rylee likes to sometimes pretend that she is someone else, such as Owlette from PJ Masks, Lady from Lady and the Tramp, or any Disney princess. Not only does she like to pretend to be someone (or something) else, she also likes to change her name. And she fully expects you to call her by said name and corrects you if you forget.

Last week we made a trip to the coast with a nature group we are involved with. On the drive there, we talked about the other kids that would be joining us that day. When I told her that Leo and his baby sister Briar Rose would be there, she got very excited and exclaimed, "Ohhh!!! Briar Rose is a nice name. I'm going to be Briar Rose today!" (They call her Bria, pronounced Bry-a)

On Saturday we went to a birthday party for some twin friends. There was a balloon artist there, making balloon animals for all the kids. This was of course a huge hit, and we had to wait line for our turn. When Rylee noticed that he was asking the kids in front of us what their names were, she leaned over to me and whispered, "I'm gonna be Aurora today." When it was finally our turn and the balloon man asked Rylee her name, she proudly told him that it was Aurora. She was very convincing about it too! He told her what a nice name she had.

After the birthday party, the kids went to their grandparents to spend the night. Rylee spent the evening and all the next morning saying her name was JayCee, which is one of their cousins. When they asked Ayden if his name was Jade (the other cousin), he answered "no, I'm Ayden James (insert last name)!" He sometimes goes along with Rylee's active imagination and will agree to be Lightning McQueen, but for the most part, he tends to be very exact and goes by his own name. Haha!

Kids are funny.

If you'd like to read more #MicroblogMonday posts from other bloggers, click here for this week's complete list.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

2018 Goals

I have never really been one for making New Year's Resolutions, but I have always been an advocate for goal setting. Contradicting? Probably. Goal setting just seems a lot less intimidating. I think it's impossible to be involved with sports almost your entire life and NOT learn how to set goals. Also, after working in a gym for a lot of years, you see first hand how many people make New Years resolutions and never stick with them. After reading Non Sequitur ChicaMine to Command, and Risa at's blog posts about their 2018 goals and reviews of the previous year's goals, I was inspired to write my own goals. So here they are, even if we are 1.5 months into the year already!

  1.  Run in three races (not counting the Hood to Coast Relay). I would like to do do a 5k this spring, and a 10k leading up to the Hood to Coast this summer as small goals to help motivate me to train for the big H2C. Then I would like to do another race in the fall/early winter just to keep things going.
  2. Complete the Hood to Coast relay. I want to be able to complete the relay without injury and without any of my teammates needing to run my legs in addition to their own. I've managed to successfully do this eight times in the past, but my body is not the same as it used to be.
  3. Lose 25 lbs. I really need to lose more than twice that amount, but I'll start with 25, and maybe that will catapult me into losing the rest. My hope is that with all the running I'll be doing, this won't be too hard of a challenge. I always find that eat much better when I am exercising and feeling better. 
  4. Read three books. I used to be an avid reader and would read three books in a week! I miss reading for pleasure.
  5. Finish painting the inside of our house, with the living room, kitchen, downstairs hallway, the downstairs bathroom, and master bathroom being the major rooms that need done.
  6. Finish organizing the garage, hopefully with Aunt D's help???
  7. Get a resume put together. I'd like to start applying for a part time job within the local school district this summer/fall.
  8. Mail birthday cards to all my nieces and nephews. My aunt has always done such a fantastic job of writing letters and sending cards in the mail. I've always enjoyed getting "real" mail. Who doesn't? My mom is also really good about sending cards. I know my kiddos LOVE when we check the mail and there's something just for them. So I want to start doing this for my nieces and nephews, too. 
  9. Celebrate our anniversary with another overnight weekend away sans kids. Last year was our first full weekend away since before the kids were born, and it was so fantastic to be able to focus on just us. It was much needed, and we don't want to wait another four years to make it happen again.
  10. Go hiking as a family once/month May-September. More would be great, but it's easier to plan when we are more likely not having to work around the weather.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Microblog Monday: Imaginary Friends

Ayden and Rylee have an imaginary friend named Papa. We have no idea who Papa is or where they came up with this, but he is a regular source of conversation around here. Ayden was the one that came up with his Papa first and Rylee just played along a bit, but it didn't take long before she conjured up her own Papa. 

This kind of freaked us out in the beginning, because we couldn't figure out who they were talking about, and Ayden was SO convincing of this being a real person. There is nobody in their life that they call "Papa," other than these imaginary people. Their cousins do have a grandpa that they call Papa, but that isn't who Ayden and Rylee are talking about. Although this was disturbing at first, now we just roll with it. They talk about their Papas several times a day, so we don't really have much choice but to go along with it! lol

Here are some of the things they say:

  • When watching a show on Netflix, "my Papa gave this movie to me."
  • "My Papa lives on that street over there."
  • "My Papa lives in a brown house."
  • "I'm going to my Papa's house tomorrow."
  • "My Papa read that book to me before."
  • "I'm going to see my Papa tomorrow."
  • "My Papa likes this soup, too."
  • "My Papa says _________."
  • "My Papa's going to buy me ___________."
  • "My Papa likes to play this game with me."

It's "my Papa" this, and "my Papa" that all day long. They have conversations with each other about their Papa's. Rylee will say something like, "my Papa has a blue car," and Ayden will respond with something along the lines of, "MY Papa has a red car."

There are times that Tony and I get a little jealous (not really, but maybe a little?) of their Papas. I mean, they are pretty much the coolest people on the planet that can do no wrong, and pretty much fulfill all of Ayden and Rylee's wildest dreams.

As weird as this all is, I can remember having an imaginary friend when I was a kid. I remember this friend going out to restaurants with us, and needing to make sure there was a chair for this friend as well. I don't remember how my "friend" came about or when he/she disappeared, but I do remember having one.

Have you ever had an imaginary friend? How about your kids?

If you'd like to learn more about what #MicroblogMondays, click here to visit Stirrup Queens and read her inaugural post which introduced the idea.

Friday, February 2, 2018

All About Ayden at 4 Years Old

It has been TWO years since I've written "All About" posts! That is way too long. I actually started one last year, but never did end up finishing it. Shame on me! The kids had their four year well checks last week, so I thought it would be a good time to finally sit down and write these long overdue posts.

In the doctor's office

Ayden is 41.25 inches tall, landing in the 68%. He weighs 38.4 lbs, which puts him at 69% on the chart. Two years ago he was 85% on the chart at 31.2 lbs! Although he never seemed like a chunky toddler at all, I'm happy to see his weight matching up to his height a lot more. Ayden continues to have a long torso and is moving into size 5 tops. He is solidly in size 4 pants, and wears size 11 shoes.

Ayden is turning into a real sweetheart. He frequently tells me he loves me, sometimes followed by "I love everyone!" He loves hugs and gives fantastic hugs in return. If anyone gets hurt, he usually asks them if they are okay. If I have a bad parenting moment (generally because I can only take so much whining/crying/fighting before I lose my cool), Ayden reminds me that "it's not okay to yell."

I wish I could remember all the funny things that Ayden says. I really need to write them down, but always think I'll get to it in a blog post, and then I procrastinate and forget all the funny things! Here's a good one though - when my family was here for Christmas Eve and it came time to clean up and pick up toys, Ayden wasn't too happy about it. When he was told that it was time to clean up, Ayden said, "I'm not a cleaner-up guy, I'm a player guy." Meaning he wanted to keep playing. Bahahahaha! He did finally consent to being a "picker-upper guy," but there was no way he was going to be a cleaner-upper guy.

Ayden still struggles with stuttering on occasion, but most of the time it doesn't seem to be too much of an issue. When he's having a hard time, the word he seems to struggle with the most is saying Rylee's name. It comes out as "Ry, Ry, Ryyyy-Ryyyyyyyylee." There are other words he gets stuck on too at times, but it comes and goes for a few days at a time and then other days you can hardly tell at all. It's doesn't worry us near as much now as it did during the summer when he could hardly talk and it was changing his personality. Now when it happens, we make it a particular point to spend more one-on-one time with the kids and that seems to help.

Ayden's favorite color is orange. His favorite songs to sing are the ABC's, Mary had a Little Lamb, and Row Row Row Your Boat. He can also sing Amazing Grace all by himself, which I am super proud of. He still is very into dinosaurs and has quite the impressive knowledge of them. He can tell you the names of many and tell you whether they eat plants or other dinosaurs, thanks to Usborne's Big Book of Big Dinosaurs. His favorite tv show is Blaze and the Monster Machines. His favorite movies are Planes and Planes Fire and Rescue. He also LOVES Lightning McQueen. Ayden has several of the cars from the movie. His favorite shirt to wear is his Cars t-shirt, and he got a new Cars jacket for his birthday. He wears that shirt whenever it is clean, so 2-3 times/week!

He also is really into building things lately. He got a set of magnetic building blocks for Christmas that he has played with every single day, several times a day. We also have a Duplo set that Rylee won from the summer reading program at the library, and Ayden has been playing with that a lot lately too. In addition to that, the kids got several lego jr sets between their birthday and Christmas. We got them all put together, and Ayden has since taken them all apart and builds other random things.

Whenever it's not raining outside, we always walk around the block to get our mail. Well, I generally walk, the kids run. Ayden does NOT like Rylee to beat him. God forbid she run in front of him. If that happens, and he can't catch her, he stops and throws a fit in the middle of the sidewalk. Then we have a talk about how he can never catch her if he gives up and doesn't try. He sometimes will then start chasing after her again, but then gets mad again and whines the rest of the way to the mailbox. Good times. Good times. It doesn't help that Rylee IS faster than him. On the way back to the house, he always makes sure he gets a head start so he's in the lead the whole time. He has to be in the lead when riding bikes too. If Rylee gets ahead of him, he makes sure he fixes that and gets around her. He is a little more dare devilish on his bike than her, so that's generally never a problem.

Not only does Ayden have a hard time "losing" to Rylee, but he also gets frustrated really easily. He loves to do puzzles, but insists that he needs help and "can't" do it. He's actually pretty good at doing puzzles himself, but it's as if he either doesn't have the confidence, or the patience. Another example is climbing. He wants to climb the rock wall at the park so badly, and he can in certain parts, but he gets so mad and frustrated when he can't figure out how to climb the harder sections. He asks for help constantly. I keep reminding him that it just takes lots of practice, and he will get stronger and better at it. I do spot him and offer suggestions as to where to put his foot/hand next, but I can't climb that wall for him.

PB&J sandwiches are by far Ayden's favorite food. That and dinosaur oatmeal. The kids picked this dinosaur oatmeal out as a special "treat" for their birthday. Ayden has eaten it almost every single day since, and would eat it every meal if we'd let him. He also loves fruit, especially berries. Other favorites are pasta, cheddar and broccoli soup, and kid's Cliff bars. He used to be really good about eating vegetables, but recently has been rebelling against them and acting like they are the worst thing ever. Makes absolutely no sense to me since just a few weeks ago, he ate them no problem.

His new favorite

While we are on the food topic, I should add that we think Ayden must be going through a growth spurt right now, because he is eating So. Much. Food! The other morning for breakfast, not only did he eat dinosaur oatmeal, he also ate a big bowl of cereal, half a banana, and half an English muffin. Tonight at dinner, he gobbled down the chicken pot pie I made and then asked for seconds. And then he had thirds. And then he asked for more again! He's also been complaining that his legs hurt lately. I see nothing wrong with them, so the only thing I can think of is that he must be having growing pains?

Ayden is an explorer and is always finding treasures when we are outside: special rocks, bugs, sticks, leaves, flowers, etc. He likes to save them and always wants to bring them home. He's not happy when I won't let him bring most of these things into the house. While Ayden has no problem picking up bugs and worms, he has recently decided he dislikes getting dirty. He most definitely is not a happy camper when he gets dirt on his hands or clothes. He also doesn't like the idea of brushing dirt off his own clothes. I have to do it for him!

Showing me the clam he found

One of my biggest frustrations in life right now is having to constantly clean our toilets, and surrounding floor. Ayden continues to struggle getting his pee in the toilet. We tried having him sit instead of standing to go potty for about a week, but that was still a struggle at times if he didn't press down far enough. When that happens, he hits the little spot between the toilet seat and the toilet bowl, and we end up having to change his pants and underwear because they end up soaked. His grandma took him potty in a public bathroom about a month ago, and she came back telling me how he accidentally peed all over the wall and the floor, and how she tried to clean it up the best she could. Story of my life right now, cleaning up pee! Please tell me this is a phase.... please.

Ayden has always had a huge fear of going to the doctor and the dentist, but he's had an appointment for both in the last two weeks and he did so good! At his dentist appointment 6 months ago, Ayden had a complete meltdown. He refused to sit in the dentist chair. The dentist ended up just looking at his teeth really quick while Ayden sat in my lap crying his little heart out. They didn't even end up cleaning his teeth because he had been so upset. This time around he did fantastic! I was so proud of him! A few months ago, I bought a children's book about going to the dentist and have read it off and on since then. I made a point of reading it a few times the week of their appointment. I don't know if that made the difference this time, or if he is just growing up and getting braver. Not only did he get his teeth cleaned, but he also let them take x-rays of his teeth!

Ayden also did great at the doctor's for their 4 year well checks. In the past, I've had to hold him so the the pediatrician could listen to his heart, look in his ears, etc. He almost always cried/complained through all of this, but this time he did great! Until it came time to get shots... Once he learned he was getting shots, he got quite a bit of anxiety and got pretty upset. I had to hold him pretty tight while the nurse administered the vaccinations. He about broke my heart with his cries, but we made it through. For the rest of the day, he was pretty dramatic though, and it was all Tony and I could do not to laugh. At first, he didn't even want to walk and made me carry him because "his legs hurt." Once he got past that, he just walked very tenderly with an extra flare of dramatic. I have no doubt that his legs probably were in fact sore from the shots and I sympathized with him for that, but he was so dramatic about it, in almost a theatrical way, you couldn't help but also laugh at his antics.

We start our bedtime routine around 7:00pm (unless it's bath night; then it's 6:40pm), and bedtime is 7:30. Ayden goes to bed super easy, and almost always falls asleep quickly. He had been sleeping until about 7-7:15am, but here the last few weeks, he's been waking up somewhere between 5:30-6:15pm. The dude is killing me with the early wake ups! I am soooooo dreading the upcoming time change, because I know that 5:30am time is going to turn into 4:30 😩. I know he's waking up to go potty, but he doesn't go back to sleep! He comes into our room, which wouldn't be too bad if he'd cuddle up and just lay there quietly, even if he stays awake. But he wants to play! I have told him repeatedly that it's okay if he can't go back to sleep, but that he needs to play quietly in his room. This morning he was up at 5:30 to go potty, and did go back to bed, but only till 5:50 when he decided it was time to come wake us up. Ugh!

It's so amazing to watch this little guy evolve into the person he is going to be. He's very sensitive to when he does something wrong or gets in trouble. He has a quiet talking voice, but is very loud otherwise. He takes after his daddy with the loudest footsteps of anyone I've ever known. He drops the toilet seat lid almost every single time. That's how I know when he wakes up in the middle of the night to go potty, because it wakes me up. At least he's closing the lid, right? Ayden and Rylee fight for territorial rights to either sit in my lap, or as close as possible at my side, when we read books or watch tv. He loves to be tickled, and has such an amazing laugh when he is truly happy and thrilled with something.

I am so proud to call this boy my son.