Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New challenges and girls night out!

Well, after three weeks of numbness in my hands and arms and waking up 15 times a night with "dead hands" I went to the doctor Monday. Ihave carpel tunnel in both hands, severe in my right.
So, I wear these awesome braces 24 hours a day for 2 days and then 12 hours a day til next Monday. If they aren't better, I get refered to a Orthepedic surgeon. First for a steroid shot and then for consult for surgery. I will do anything not to have surgery as I can't imagine how I will run a home with weeks of recovery. These braces are a bitch as I can hardly hold Amara with them on and they are uncomforatble to do much of anything with but they beat surgery. Our good friend, Clink Jackson is a chiropractor and I may see him next week for an adjustment and accupuncture.

Last night the girls had one last Girls Night out for Heidi ( in pink) who is moving next week to Iowa City. We had dinner and drinks at a local restaurant. Heidi's husband put it together and babysat 4 kids while the moms went out. We were still home by 9. We'll see how the men do when they have their guys night out on THursday.

Thanksgiving at our home

Sunday we hosted 23 people for Thanksgiving dinner at our home. It's the 2nd annual dinner for friends at the Fultons and we love it. Here everyone is at one table in our living room.
Group picture of the kids.

Amara and Cindy are 3 days apart and so cute together. They just watched each other and held hands. We didn't even plan their outfits.

All our group of friends. 4 mommies are pregnant so our group will grow to 27!

This event also signified our goodbye to our dear friends, Heidi, Matt, James, and Cindy Eckhardt. They are moving to Iowa City. We surprised them with a picture frame and mat all the kids had signed and scribbled, a phot book with pics of all of us, BBQ sauce from a favorite restaurant, Illini stuff, local wine, and more.

What a great night! In three weeks we have our Christmas party!

Indoor Picnic

Saturday, as we stressed to get the basement done, I called the neigbors to see if their little girl would play with Alaric and keep him occupied while we worked. She came over and brought her older sister and the other next door neighbor. They spent about 4 hours at our house watching movies, playing, eating popcorn, etc. At noon, the older girls came up with the idea of an indoor picnic. Since the furniture was already moved for the Thanksgiving dinner, we did it. They had a blast. What great neighbors!

The basement is done, kinda

We worked our butts off to get the basement as done as we could before we hosted 23 people for THanksgiving dinner. The walls have no pictures on them and we haven't done the touch ups to the walls and trim that were damaged in the move in but it's livable and we love it. We probably won;t get to the extras till after Christmas.

THis is a pic of one wall. Above the eisel will be a mounted TV set.
Book corner
Bathroom. Brian layed the 16 inch tiles- they look great!

Before view of living room and bar area...

After view of bar area

After view of living room and bar area

Before view of living room...

After view of living room

Before view of guest room...

After view of guest room

Thursday, November 13, 2008

SO much going on!

Look at this precious girl, pretty in pink! This was last Saturday before we headed to a birthday party.
Sunday Brian got home from 4 days in Indiana at a conference and he took Alaric to a basketball game at Assembly Hall- first one since he was 9 months old. They had so much fun!

Monday morning we took off super early for the Quad Cities to see Great Gramps who is in the hospital still working through some complications from a fall a month ago. Alaric was so great with Great Gramps. We prepped him that he would be laying down and wearing a mask to help him breathe. All Alaric cared about was whether or not he could still give Great Gramps a kiss-sure thing, buddy, my sweet boy!

Tuesday Bri was home SLAVING in the basement for about 12 hours. Amara and I went to get her immunizations done right before lunch so she did something she NEVER does, she let someone fall asleep with her. She's not a cuddler so this moment is even more cherished. Bri napped for about a half hour before heading down to the basement again to work.

We've been working around the clock to finish our basement and start moving back in. You realize being without all your stuff for 6 months how little you really need. Our basement DID look so awesome just days ago with nothing in it. NOw it is filled with CRAP we wish we didn't have as we try to find places for everything.

OUr newest addtion...the contractors are here today and they finished our bar area. New cabinets, new countertops, new sink,new bar!!!!!!!

We love it! My brother is coming over tomorrow to help move the furniture back in and away we go!!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Updates to Basement

The carpet was laid today!!! It's done. Here is the view from the stairs into the playroom. You learn with any construction project that there is always something to do...the door going into the guest room needs to be shaved on the bottom because the door won't close with the carpet. There are new knicks in the walls from carrying stuff in and out, the bar and cabinets aren't in yet, our electric isn't done, etc. We'll get there- we have to!
Into the guest room
From guest room looking at bar area

Looking up stairs

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Amara is so big and Alaric finds a new role model

Amara gets cuter everyday but she's also getting so big and doing so much more than ever before. Here she is attempting to sit up on her own. She can't do it without her Boppy but she loves trying.
My favorite part is when she goes from this sweet, loving baby who loves trying new things to a pissed off kid who just wants to be held and not pushed to do anything.
She's starting to hold her own bottle. it has to be her little juice bottle or a regular bottle that is almost done so it's super light but she's trying. The greatest is watching her try to put the bottle in her mouth when she's so hungry. She's determined and is desperately trying to figure out her hands and how they work.

Alaric wore his daddy shirt today but his new role model is our good friend and contractor, Jamey. He decided the only way to wear a hat is backwards like Jamey and he likes to wear his tool belt too ( daddy's belt).
Day 5 toilet training update...three poopies IN the undies today and three pee pee accidents. BUT...we ventured out to Menards and were gone for more than 2 hours and he used the public potty and stayed dry! Baby steps, right? In the picture below you can see on his tool belt his potty watch. It's a watch that's in the shape of a potty and you program it to go off every 30, 60, or 90 minutes to remind him it's time to go. He loves it. he doesn't love going when it goes off but he loves his watch.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Alaric says, "VOTE TODAY ( and vote Obama)"

While trying to get the kids up and fed and bathed and dressed and out to school this morning, I discussed with Alaric that we would be going to vote this morning for Barack Obama. His response..."Barack Obama? Where?"

After explaining to him that we would not be able to SEE him today but rather have the opportunity to vote for him for President on a piece of paper, he proceeded to pull out a piece of paper and marker from the drawer in the kitchen next to where he was eating and "vote" for Obama himself.

I showed him how to make an O and a B...the O is actually distinguishable. While he wrote, he said, " I'm voting for Barack Obama today".

We'll watch lots of Obama tonight on TV!

Potty Training- Day 4...first day at school while potty training. He headed off with a pullup on. He was very excited to tell Mrs. Cook and Mrs. Winterbottom all about it. We'll see if he goes for them or not. Updates later...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Updates to Basement

The end is near!!!!!! The basement is totally painted...only two coats of primer and three coats of color!

Here's Bri working on the stairwell...15 feet on a ladder- glad he's doing it, not me.
We did one coat of primer last night, another this morning, and hope to do only one coat of color tonight...if needed, the last coat will be Tuesday night.
Since it was only white primer, Alaric was able to participate again. He wants to do everything like daddy! Gotta love his outfit right...the boots are the best!

Hard to see the color at 10PM in a basement but it's tan and we love it! Our contractor, Jamey Schurvinske will be trimming the next three day and carpet gets installed on Thursday. Our cabinets and bar come next Monday and WE ARE DONE. We'll be ready to move in!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


SO, the most amazing thing happened Saturday night! Alaric decided on his own, to use the potty. Some bribary was involved with a cake and a party but he did it! He got to go to the grocery store and pick out any cake he wanted ( no time for Grammy to make one). he chose THomas the Train cupcakes.

Then, he got to call his cousin, Katie. Calling her was also part of the negotiations.

Here Alaric is running to daddy ( when he and grandpa got home from the Illini game) to share his good news.

At his party. We had cupcakes, blew up balloons, did toasts, etc.

YUM!!! The beer is for the parents...I tell you- we need it! This potty training stuff is HARD!

In his big boy undies and rubber pants. He HATES the rubber pants!

We are now three days in and he's only had a 3 accidents- not bad! We're all tired. He keeps asking us to just put him in a diaper and it's hard not to but we are making it! Wish us luck!

Nana and Grandpa come to visit

Nana and Grandpa came to visit Saturday morning. This was Bob's birthday gift to go to the Iowa/Illinois Football weekend with Brian. Amara is ready for the game!

Amara and Alaric were dressed in their Halloween costumes when Nana and Grandpa pulled up. Instead of trick or treating at the door, Alaric trick or treated at the car. Nana had a cool bowl that had a hand that moved in the middle and came down on your hand when you went to grab some candy. Alaric loved it!

Nana and Alaric catch up on some reading.

Mommy got to read some too.

Nana and Alaric turn their hats into masks and have a "fight" using balloons!


Our church, McKinley Presbyterian Church, just built a 6 story residence hall next to our chruch and foundation on campus called Presby Hall. Presby did the coolest thing this year...they did trick or treating for McKinley kids! We had so much fun! This is group one of the kids who came to trick or treat. Many of Alaric's preschool friends came as it was their first trick or treating experience away from the neighbors.
We walked over from the foundation to the residence hall with our pastor, Keith.

The residents left their door slightly open if they wanted trick or treaters. The kids went running from room to room knocking on doors and yelling trick or treat. The residents were amazing! They had their rooms decorated, they took pictures of the kids, and even dressed up themselves. We even ran into JESUS!!

This is Dimitra! She used to be Alaric's church preschool teacher. She lives in the dorms but had to resign from her teaching position to concentrate on her nursing degree. All the toddlers who had her as a teacher gave her big hugs. I think we made Dimetra alittle sad...that's OK. We miss her. You can tell how much Alaric loves her!

What was great was that the kids could go as fast or slow as they wanted. The big kids passed the little kids and had the whole place covered in 15 minutes. We took our time and enjoyed Alaric's first real trick or treating experience.

HEre's Alaric on the patio between the church and Presby after he trick or treated.

Even Amara had fun!

After a quick trip to Steak and Shake, we headed home to hit up our neighbors and a few spooky houses down the street. Here is Alaric sorting through his candy and licking the chocolate off his fingers- a successful night!

I couldn't resist! Alaric was running around naked before he put on his jammy's and didn't want to let go of his plastic pumpkin.