Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I've been flocked!!!!!

Bri came in from running at 5:30 this morning to say we had been "candy caned" Sure enough, one it got light out- we realized we had been "flocked" by the Junior Women's Club.

You pay $10 to have the stuff removed, $15 to have it removed and find out who flocked you, and $20 to flock someone else.

Thanks to Lisa and Polly for thinking of me!
The kids LOVED it! They hated that the items were not permanant. They just played and played.

Video of the front of the house

Wolfe's Apple Orchard

After naptime today we headed to the local Apple Orchard with some friends! Here, Hope Wolfe lets each child take their apple off the tree.
Mara was so proud- she LOVED apples from the tree.
Hope then took us over to the barn to watch the chickens-the kids loved getting so close to them.

They were beautiful and very friendly
Had to turn this one into black and white as I just think it's timeless...almost looked like one of the pictures my Dad and Auntie Doris have of them on their farm.

Then she let everyone grab some feed and throw it to the chickens- even Mara participated....until she decided she needed to taste it- YUCK!
The chickens loved it!

8 kids under 6 years old- fun!

The big kids headed into the small corn field for some exploring.

Alaric was so proud of himself as this is not something he would normally even consider.

Al and his good friend, Kelton!

Nolan tells Mara it's time to head into the barn.

Taste testing of each apple- I bet the kids tried 10 different apples! Mara just worked on her original one the whole time.
There were atleast 20 different types of apples
The kids climbed and explored before we leftWhat a fun group- of moms and kids- I'm so lucky~
Video of feeding chickens!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sweet Mara!

Mara got a new highchair Saturday! She has been very anxious to be like her brother and sit AT the table so we got one that's more chair like, not baby like. She is SO excited about it. This is her this morning having breakfast in the kitchen!

Before church she wanted to play with her doll. She wanted a bottle so I got her one of her old ones. She did great feeding her baby but ultimately....
She just wanted it for herself!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

McKinley's Social Justice Awards Celebration

Tonight was the first ever McKinley Foundation Social Justice Awards. It was a dinner to recognize individuals and organizations in our community who are doing incredible works for social justice in many different areas including Rape Crisis Counceling, Health Care, Interfaith Alliance, and Mentoring. These people were recognized by my church's Foundation for their stellar committment to Peace and Justice in what they do and honoring them for being in-line with what our church strives to do. It was a big deal!!!! Hundreds of people were there AND MY DAD WAS THE CHAIR OF THE EVENT!!!!
Dad purchased a table for all the Bechtels....Me and Bri
Oh wait...detour...we were all so excited about the super cool new linens in our Foundation's new banquet/dining hall! They were waterproof!! Seriously! Here is dad trying to beat the bubbles of water with his fork!

Back to our family! My dad asked our friends Lara and Phil Orr to join our table as a thankyou to them for painting the beautiful banners in the hall.

Dan and Jen! Jen was the official photographer for the night!
The award recipients got really cool glass award things and $1ooo cash to further their mission!
Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES would we ever even consider bringing our kids. Our friends brought their baby, Olivia and she was an angel! Here she is checking out Brian's facial hair- how cool!
It was a wonderful night and such a great celebration to honor those in our community who are doing outstanding things! Dad- you did amazing- we are all so proud of you!

The Moms Group Picnic

TOday was my Moms Group Picnic-we gathered at our favorite park pavillion. Amara just loves playing with the big kids. Peyton and Amara play catch!
Amara and Mason hold hands...could they be boyfriend/girlfriend soon? Who knows- he is pretty cute!

The merry go round was the biggest hit ( they are almost unheard of in parks anymore). Amara wanted to ride like everyone else. A sweet little boy, Ethan, without being asked-sat right behind her. He just held onto her while she rode. So kind!!!
The parents hung out and watched our kids play! It was a nice day!

I love my Moms Group and all our families!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Results from the doc!

Well, we got a call yesterday morning saying that Dr. Hatch had a death in the family and needed to cancel Alaric's doctor's appointment for today. It would be a few weeks before we could get in....unless we could get there in the next hour! So- we hurried to get ready, woke up Mara from her nap and jumped in the car. I'm so glad we did!

Dr. Hatch was wonderful-very detailed, asked lots of questions, really listened. We were with him for over an hour- unheard of in our HMO world.

He did a short physical exam where we learned Alaric has an embilical hernia ( outie belly button) that still hasn't closed on it's own. He also described our little booger as a bit scrawny ( he has very low percentiles for height and weight)

We've set up a constipation plan of action increasing his fiber intake, lowering his juice intake, continuing with his full dose of Miralax and beginning to keep a journal of his bowl movements ( I know it's thrilling for you all), struggles, and our concerns.

When he did a family history of his experiences in the NICU ( which included an intestinal infection on day 20 of life) and the medical history of both of our families, he did have some concerns-specifically with the large number of Auto Immune Diseases, most importantly Celiac's Disease.

So, here's the plan...

Do a full Nutritional Blood Analysis ( Liver Ensymes, etc) so we have a baseline to start from for future comparisons.

Do a Celiac's screening-blood test. Based on the results of this screening will determine if more tests will be needed. We'll know in 10 days.

Come in for another appointment in 7 weeks.

If the blood tests and celiac's test come back normal, there are still a few options for other testings but we are starting with the least invasive at this time ( see story below about the lab experience).

We feel GREAT about Dr. Hatch and getting him on our team. He was wonderful to work with and we feel really good about our plan for now.

Thanks everyone for your prayers! We'll keep you updated!

***A TRIP TO THE LAB! While I ran out of the hospital to get to a meeting, Brian stayed behind with Alaric to do his bloodwork. He has had his blood drawn before for his allergy tests. Although there were some cries, he didn't know what was happening so I was able to keep his mind occupied with the process of unwrapping a sucker and presenting it to him. Not this time. Bri was challenged with the logistics of holding Alaric's arms down, opening a sucker, and being a supporter. The technician got the first line in, Alaric saw it, freaked out and pulled it out of his arm- SCREW THE SUCKER- he was pissed and began screaming. With the support of another technician, they tried the other arm and got the line in and the blood drawn as quickly as possible. He ended up getting a pile of Lighting McQueen stickers, a sucker, and a trip to McDOnalds ( what we do for our kiddos). When I saw his hours later, there was no more drama- just stickers to show and his story about pulling out on of his 'shots'. Brian was exhausted! We hope to be done with that for awhile!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Zurberts are funny!

While we prepared dinner, Bri and I looked over and saw Alaric and Amara on the floor giving zurberts and laughing uncontrollably. Although I didn't capture the deep belly laughs the were showing, this video is very cute!

Bowling with the neighbors

When Brian, who was home with the kids yesterday while I worked, got a call from the neighbor asking that we take her kids for a few hours, Brian wondered what we should do with 4 kids under 4 when the weather was yucky- BOWL!!!

So, as soon as I walked in the door, we packed up all four kids in the mini van and headed to the bowling alley down the street. The kids were so excited. Our kids have bowled before but Stella and Sylvia had only bowled on Wii. We were ready. All four kids waiting and watched as the workers put the bumpers on our lane.
Sylvia bowls for the first time!

Amara helps Stella like she's an ol pro!

The kids played on the games too which allowed Brian and I to actually bowl a few frames too.
Go Alaric go!
Mara shot better then anyone!
What a fun trip....2 adults and 4 kids and 5 pairs of shoes....$5!!!!! Gotta love small towns!!!!

The kids get tattoos!

Our friend Noah had his birthday party this past weekend. When he came to our home Monday morning to be babysat, he brought Wall-E tattoos for Alaric and Amara. Their first tattoos! They loved them. All three loved that they matched too! Thanks Noah!
Here's a closeup! I always have hated to seeing kids with partial tattoos on their arms and legs and cheeks for days and even weeks...half washed off, half worn off. Then last night, while the kids were in the tub and I was scrubbing away, Alaric very kindly asked if I could do anything to keep the tattoo. Perhaps just wash his upper arm and not his lower arm. He had me! I found myself, like lots of mothers before me-washing all parts of his body except the lower arm. Even telling him to get his arm out of the way when we rinsed. He's clean today- just with a tattoo. We made a deal that it comes off at the next bath- we'll see!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pray for Alaric

After how many occurances with pooping issues, stomach cramps, and just an unhappy boy- we got into a GI Pediatric Specialist. Luckily, there was a cancellation and we have an appointment THIS next Friday at 8:20 AM.

Brian and I feel really good about having the opportunity to speak with a specialist and get someone else on our team to be proactive with Alaric and our concerns for him.

The specialist also goes to our church so we feel extra lucky we were able to get into him in his semi-retired role.

We'll keep you updated.

The 8th Annual International Beer Tasting and Chili Cookoff

Well, after the celebration we dropped the kids off at my parents house and headed to our favorite event of the year- the International Beer Tasting and Chili Cookoff! It was packed and we were so excited to try hundreds of different beers from all over the world- all microbrew!

In the huge crowds, I ran into one of my best friend's from high school, Matt Burge and his girlfrend Amy! We had a great time catching up.

Brian and I....only a few beers in!
We met up with our friend from church, Laura- her son Lucian, and her girlfriend, Amy! We had a great time with them. Lucian is only a month older than Amara and was really great. Amara would never have made it!
Bri loved snuggling with him!
A few more beers in....
Our group!

Hunger set in....after the chili ran out, we opted for some home made mac and cheese- delicious!

The festival was on the first floor of a parking garage in Urbana and out on the streets. It was perfect. Here it is at the end of the night when the hundreds of 20 and 30 something people left.
Here's a dumb little girl getting arrested at the end of the night because she wouldn't get up after passing out on the street- GOD, I DON"T miss those days!
Actually, our night ended much differently. Here is my dad picking us up on the road at EIGHT PM!!!!! He was our Designated Driver for the night!
We decided to sleep at my parents house as that was the safest thing to do and we are such incredible parents! On our way back to their place, we asked Dad to take up to Labamba for some burritos. We were in bed by 9PM! Not bad for a Saturday!

The kids were up at 6Am and moved right into their regular routine- snacks and juice in front of the TV...this time Papa joined them! Bri headed to work at 7:30 and I got the kids ready for church. Here Amara is in an old pair of sunglasses!
What a fun weekend! I'm exhuasted, overwhelmed, and NOT ready for another incredibly busy week starting tomorrow!
Deep breath....and we move on!