Friday, October 02, 2009

Everyone needs a laugh sometimes

Ok, so my brother emailed this to me and I was really laughing as I read through this.  And, since I felt like I really needed that laugh, I figured there are others out there that do too.  So, without further ado, laugh away!

Subject: 40 thoughts...

1. I
wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you
realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. Is it just me, or are 80% of the people in the "people you may
know" feature on Facebook people that I do know, but I deliberately
choose not to be friends with?

5. Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it
wouldn't work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would
magically fix the problem. Every kid in 
America did that, but how did
we all know how to fix the problem? There was no internet or message
boards or FAQ's. We just figured it out. Today's kids are soft.

6. There is a great need for a sarcasm font.

7. Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and
suddenly realize I had no idea what the heck was going on when I first
saw it.

8. I think everyone has a movie that they love so much, it actually
becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting
90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone's
laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little
bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I'm still the
only one who really, really gets it.

9. I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand
than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

10. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear
your computer history if you die.

11. Was learning cursive really necessary?

12. LOL has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".

13. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger..

14. Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a
Scantron test is absolutely petrifying.

15. Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart",
all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".

16. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just
nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?

17. Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using 'as in'
examples, I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete
idiot. Today I had to spell my boss's last name to an attorney and
said "Yes that's G as in...(10 second lapse)..ummm...Goonies"

18. While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and
instinctively swerved to avoid it...thanks Mario Kart.

19. Google Maps really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty
sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

20. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how
the person died.

21. I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the
shower first and THEN turn on the water.

22. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get
dirty, and you can wear them forever.

23. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

24. Bad decisions make good stories.

25. Is it just me or do high school girls get sluttier & sluttier every year?

26. If Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring
would probably just be completely invisible.

27. Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to
go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so
incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from, this
shouldn't be a problem....

28. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at
work when you've made up your mind that you just aren't doing anything
productive for the rest of the day.

29. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't
want to have to restart my collection.

30. There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are
going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

31. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks
me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I
swear I did not make any changes to.

32. "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this ever.

33. I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people
watching TV. There's so much pressure. 'I love this show, but will
they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren't
watching this. It's only a matter of time before they all get up and
leave the room. Will we still be friends after this?'

34. I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello?
Crap!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes
to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and
run away?

35. Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising
speed for pedophiles.

36. As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate
drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate

37. It should probably be called Unplanned Parenthood.

38. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not
to answer when they call.

39. Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what
to do with it.

40. I wonder if cops ever get ticked off at the fact that everyone
they drive behind obeys the speed limit.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Living life in fast forward

Does anyone ever feel like they're living life in fast forward?  I was thinking about it today, and that's how things feel.  Time seems to be speeding by all around me and I have no idea where it's all going.  I mean, I realize I'm working long days, trying to find fun and new things to do with two very active and curious toddlers when I'm not working, and always cleaning up after one thing or another (read here: a shedding malamute, two messy toddlers, a fairly messy husband, etc.).  So, I know the time is going somewhere, but when I look back on my day/week/month, I wonder WHERE did it go and how did I manage to NOT get done so many things I have on my "to-do" list???  

I've at least prioritized one thing lately that's been nagging at me for about a year.  I've been anxious to get the kids readoption done, but for one reason or another haven't.  First, I didn't want to start the process in southern California, as I knew we were moving and didn't want to do that mid-way through.  After that, well... one thing or another has been reason enough for it to slip to the back burner over and over again.  Well, on Friday Joe and I were fingerprinted and today I sent those prints in to CBI in Denver and the FBI in West Virginia!  That's the FIRST step towards the readoption... so I'm finally getting somewhere!  Let's hope those come back quickly and we can move on to the next step!  I also need to work on getting our TRAILS background checks done.  It's wild how different the fingerprinting process alone is in Colorado than it was in California.

In addition to that, I'm bound and determined to finish up a few things around the house soon.  It's sad, but we still have a ridiculous amount of boxes piled up in the garage from our move here in late May.  It's been hard to find the time since we aren't home very much, and when we are, the tornadoes REALLY enjoy helping me, which is not quite as helpful as they'd like to think they're being... :-) So, it keeps getting put off and now that it's getting cool outside, I know winter is just around the corner and I would love to be able to park in the garage before snow falls.  *Sigh*  We'll see.  I also need to finish organizing and setting up the basement.  It's huge and unfinished, so things were just sort of piled up and tossed down there as we moved in.  I have a huge play area for the kids, but it's been taken over by the mess when I go down there in search of something.  I am DETERMINED to get that back into usable order since most of their toys are down there.

This year, I've begun my Christmas shopping early.  Just some casual "Cra*gsli*t" shopping to find some neat things for cheap.  Our new income situation has forced me to plan ahead and really get smart with my shopping.  I've already picked up some great stuff, and also found them new jackets and snow boots!!!  Now, if only I could find someone with free sod, landscaping rock, and labor to put it it!  I'm dreading the idea of having a yucky muddy yard all winter.  Not much fun to go play in!  We'll see... for now it's a pipe dream.  

All this leads me into my next goal.  I'm starting to think about returning to the work force - for real.  Not that I'm not really working, I guess I more mean that I think I should be looking for IT jobs that would land me a salary and benefits.  We could REALLY use that, and it would take a load of stress off as our business is still a baby and it's a struggle to find the money to support our personal needs as well as keep fueling the business.  I still feel like my role there is important, but I think I may be able to help Joe from the sidelines more and find someone that can just run the front desk.  Soon, we'll have a book keeper and an accountant handling the ugliest part of the business (in my opinion - that stuff is NOT fun for me!), and then I think I'd be comfortable stepping down.  I would/will miss spending my days around Joe, and enjoying the ability/freedom to take days off whenever needed to take care of sick kids, etc.... but I guess it's about doing the smart thing, not the easier.  Right?  

Ugh... I still think about how nice it'd be to go back to just being home with the kids too!  I always felt so negative about having someone else take care of my kids all day long, five days a week.  It seems like THEY are the ones "raising" them.  I realize that's not completely the case, and I DO see a lot of positives about daycare, now that they've been there awhile.  Their language is REALLY blossoming, and I think that's in part to being around so many different people and kids of various ages.  They have actual "lesson" type of things, so they may be learning a larger variety of things than they were at home playing with me... not that I wasn't always trying to teach the, and not that they weren't learning... I don't know.  Maybe I'm just trying to see the positives.

Today, the kids are home sick and I am sitting here writing a post I really don't have time for.  I haven't vacuumed in a few days, so it's like a giant fluffy layer of hair is coating the carpet (ewww, I know!).  Malamutes are GREAT dogs, but they sure do shed a lot twice a year!  I had better get back to reality.  I'll post some random pictures really quickly to appease those that have been asking for them!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

And the Worst Blogger of the YEAR Award goes to... ME! :-)

Well, at this point I figure this post will be written and read by me and me alone, but here it goes anyway.  We've been quite busy around the G household this year.  Ezra and Olivia are full-fledged toddlers that are doing their best to emulate typical 2-year old behaviors in all their finest.  :-D

The auto repair shop that we bought in March is doing amazingly well.  I guess we have the poor economy to thank for that - more people fixing their old cars rather than buying new ones.  Of course, the poor economy also means we end up with a large number of customers that have to seriously stress over getting their brakes replaced (for example) than you might normally see.

Joe works longer hours and harder than about anyone I've known.  After a couple of weeks running the office and having another mechanic do the wrenching, he realized that mechanic was NOT going to work out.  His work was sloppy and unreliable.  So, Joe headed out into the shop to do the wrenching himself and I was called back into the workforce to man the office.  Sadly, that meant the Olivia and Ezra would no longer be able to stay with me during the days and daycare was in their future (with literally a day's notice).  I agonized over the decision, but we felt that for the survival of the business it would be necessary, at least short term.  I enrolled the kids in the best daycare I could find and choked back my feelings of disappointment and failure.  

E&O made sure to voice their unhappiness with the change of pace initially too.  Ezra, in particular, took about a month to warm up to the situation.  He HATED drop offs in the morning, but was usually having a blast and playing like crazy when I'd go to pick them up in the evening.  Ez now has a best friend that he loves to head-butt and wrestle with.  His buddy, JH, is also a twin, and his sister, JN, is best buddies with Livi.  Ezi also decided he just loved a little girl named M, and gives her hugs and kisses all the time.  Very cute stuff, let me tell you.

Between the most chaotic workdays I've ever had and the hustle and bustle of life with two toddlers, the summer passed us by in the wink of an eye.  Suddenly, it's September and I haven't found a moment to blog since April.  Yikes!  I've missed a lot and will never be able to really catch the blog up.  Some "highlights" in brief however:

1)  Ezra and Olivia have been fighting sickness galore since starting in daycare.  It's been a stream of ear infections which nearly landed Ezra in surgery to get some tubes.  Thankfully, we've been ear infection free for about a month and a half now.  Whew!  Let's hope that's the end of that... somehow I kind of doubt it though.  Right now, both have runny noses and Ezra seems to be pretty darn grumpy.  Ugh.

2)  Joe's schedule prevented him from being able to travel to the Ethiopian Heritage Camp in California with us (we'd pre-paid in January expecting we could make it work), so my dear friend, T, travelled with us and prevented me from being up a creek with out a paddle (no way could I keep the twin tornadoes under control on a trip like that alone!).  The flight out went about as smoothly as could be hoped for and we took the kids straight to the beach.  After seeing a dead seal rolling in and out on the shoreline just feet from where we were playing in the sand, we headed up to the camp.  

First thing in the morning the first session of camp began.  As an adult-only discussion about race, there was a daycare set up for the kids.  I was quite leery to leave the kids, as they were worried about being out of their element and the setting was less than "safe" in my opinion.  There was a large slide meant for older children on the outside deck (literally on a wood deck), and about 21+ young children (4 and under) to only two adults.  Seemed like a recipe for disaster, but I tried to let go of my over-protectiveness and trust the situation since the other parents obviously had.  I walked around the corner with T (who was celebrating and making phone calls to family as she JUST learned they passed court for their Ethiopian beauties!!!) and waited two minutes before peeking back around the building to see how they were doing.  

As I came around the corner, I heard a sound that makes a mommy's blood run cold.  My feet began pounding against the pavement and I was grabbing Ezi out of the arms of one of the caretakers before I realized WHAT was even happening.  After a quick wipe on the side of his head, the caretaker told me he'd fallen and was bleeding a little bit.  I glanced at his cheek where I thought she'd wiped and didn't see anything.  Tracy grabbed Livi and I asked what happened.  I learned (in broken English as the caretaker was Ethiopian) that Ezra had fallen off the slide... a mere five feet or so.  HOW and WHY he was up there was beyond me.  I touched the back of his head and pulled my hand back wet - covered in blood.  We rushed off for a first aid kit.  I asked T to put the gloves we were given on and to try and clean it up so I could hold him.  She wouldn't touch it and we agreed a trip to the emergency room was in order.  

While zooming down the two lane road out of the mountains, following a camp employee to the E.R., Ezra's head began to droop and we couldn't get him to keep his eyes open.  THAT was the scariest moment.  Until then, I was holding it together and staying strong for him.  Seeing him losing consciousness freaked me out completely.  That was definitely one of those situations I don't hope to relive. 

Ezi was a trooper at the E.R. and received a few staples in his scalp to close the wound.  Under strict instructions to observe for further signs of brain injury and advisement that staying close to a hospital for 48 hours, it was agreed with the doctors we needed to get home to Colorado and not head back up to the camp.  We packed up and did just that.  So, we missed the ENTIRE camp, which was a real bummer as I'm sure the experience would have been great for the kiddos as well as us adults.

Thankfully, Ezra recovered very well and has done great.  I'm so proud of him and thankful that he was so lucky.  A fall that far onto such a hard surface could have been MUCH more devastating.  I'm also sooooo glad that I was worried enough to go back so quickly to check on him.  He's doing great now, and that's what matters.

3) We moved into a nice new place that's very close to our shop.  It was a new home, so no landscaping whatsoever.  That's one more thing that's kept us busy - getting fencing in, irrigation, and hopefully grass at some point!  ;-)  In the meantime, it's a bit muddy when it rains!  One thing at a time, and one expense at a time these days.

I can honestly say there is no way I would have pictured this is where we'd be right now at this time last year, but I'm thankful for the life lessons we're learning.  We're working harder than ever for less money but appreciating the achievements so much more.  You reap what you sow, and we are sowing our booties off... so hopefully the reaping is coming.  :-)  Something like that, anyway.  Let's just say that it's been a tough year in many, MANY respects, but I know that things happen for a reason and good times are ahead.

While I'm into the honesty though, I'll say that I now have a very hard time choking back laughter when people tell me bad things happen in three's.  Um, three's?  Really?  Try 3*100 or something like that.  It's been a year where one challenge is followed up by another, bigger one.  When I'm feeling like I can't handle any more though, I focus on all that we have and what a miracle our two kids are.  They are really, truly amazing.  For them, we can get through anything.  

I certainly don't mean for that to come off as overly dramatic, so I apologize if that's how it seems.  I can't go into detail on all the drama that's been going on in our lives in various forms this year, as it's not exactly anyone else's business.  :-)  And it's not that one single thing has been ridiculously bad, just so many things all rolled into each other that leaves a person struggling for some reprieve.  The hardest part for me is that I know we still don't have things that bad compared to many people.  So, I feel selfish when I am overwhelmed with everything life tosses at us.  I KNOW it could be worse, but that doesn't really make me feel any less weak on the days where the *crap* continues to pile on.

I'm not really sure if ANY of that makes much sense, so I'll just end it with that.  Life is HARD sometimes and that's that.  Things are/will get better.  Ezra and Olivia are the smartest, most beautiful, amazing babies in the whole world.  Oh, and some of the biggest for their age too!  TALL and super skinny.  Barely any of that delightful baby fat most kids have at some point... they are ridiculously muscular and lean.  

I'll work on getting some more current pictures uploaded next.  As with everything I've been bad about this summer, I haven't taken nearly as many pictures as I should have.  Hmmmm.... anything else I can slack on here?  Nope, don't think so!

That's all for now!  More soon (I hope!)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Catching up... and growing up

Sledding, slides and Easter, Oh My! I am way behind in photos... my sincerest apologies. With the craziness lately, I don't pick up the camera often enough, and even more seldomly do I actually get photos uploaded on here! So sorry!

A yucky, ucky weekend for the bambinos

So, who here likes pink eye? How about a good ole' dose of conJUNCtivitis? :-D Please, sign me up for another round!

My poor angel baby, Livi, woke up with a nice gunky, pink eye last Thursday. Ezra was doing great and his eyes were as clear as could be, so he got to enjoy a day of play on his own. Livi, however, was stuck with mom, ouchy eye drops, and feeling miserable. We paid for the "wooha" eye drops that the Drs. office told us made it non-contagious after the first drop. However, after waiting around at the pharmacy for an hour (the Drs. office FORGOT to call in the Rx after we spoke that morning... no visit needed for pink eye these days), the Pharmacist told me that was bologne and that all antibiotics take at least 24 hours to become non-contagious. Ugh. I call the doc, they argued that, and I went with the more expensive stuff in the hopes that the first drop would at least significantly reduce the risk of spreading since having Ezi and Livi around each other is almost a guarantee that fingers will be rubbing eyes and poking the other ones eyes with their contaminated fingers. :-) Nice, huh?

Friday morning Livi was looking and acting much better, but on Saturday, things went downhill. She developed diarreah, became really rattly in the chest, and started occasionally making a weird, strained sort of breathing noise. I call the after hours number for our pediatrician and after discussing things with the nurse that called us back, she asked to listen to Livi. The result.... head to the E.R. to have her checked out. No other option since the urgent care was closed at that point as well. So, Ya-ya and Papaw (my parents) watched Ezra and I loaded up my angel and zoomed to the hospital. Daddy met us there, and we made an evening of it.

They started listening to her heart and lungs, sucking boogies out of her nose to check for Flu and RSV, gave her a nebulizer treatment, and THEN decided on a chest x-ray to check for pneumonia. Let's just say that Olivia did NOT want to be stripped naked, set on the bed apart from her mommy's warm, loving arms. She was screaming (bloody murder... but it was a much more silent version than normal since her voice was pretty weak and squeaky). The front x-ray was "OK" since she could see me standing there with her with my pretty teal, lead vest on. The side view was not so good. Livi was turned away from me and her arms were held out in front of her by the x-ray tech. I had to hold her head to keep her looking forward... at this stranger x-ray tech. She SCREAMED and wriggled and then.... she projectile PUKED all over the tech. Poor angel had it all over her lap, her diaper, the floor, her legs, my goodness, it was everywhere! She was shaking and crying and I had to get a new diaper on her and wipe her up before she could be held and snuggled again. It was heartbreaking.

And Joe... oh my did he freeze. He's sort of a "reactive" puker. When he seems someone else puke, it can make him puke. He was standing back behind the x-ray machine and when the chaos of getting her cleaned up began, he stayed frozen in the background until he heard me hollering for assistance. He pulled himself together and managed to keep from following in Livi's footsteps... thank goodness! Once Livi was cleaned up, they gave her a hospital gown sized for a MUCH larger/older child, and I snuggled her again. She almost instantly began falling asleep and remained content if we were the only ones in the room.

The results of the chest x-ray, flu and RSV tests were all negative. The x-ray showed some markings that were consistant with what a virus does, I guess, but no pneumonia. They gave Livi some meds to calm her stomach and prescribed an antibiotic to help ward off an ear infection that looked like was beginning in her left ear. Just as we changed her to go, one of the doctors overheard her cough, something she hadn't done prior to arriving at the E.R., but she'd done it a few times there when we were alone with her. The doc thought it sounded pretty bad, and decided we should try some steriods to see if that would help. So, one more nasty tasting thing for her to taste, and we were outta there!

I am so thankful that it wasn't anything more serious and that today she seems much better. She still has a lot of congestion and a raspy voice, but is getting back to her normal self. Yeah! Ezra did seem to get sick, but not nearly as badly and also seems to be feeling/acting much better today! Hooray... we've gotten through our first trip to the E.R. with one of our babies and come out successfully!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

15 months (well... 15.5 months really) and more amazing by the day

I actually wrote this post weeks ago... and am just now posting it... I guess I got distracted by that tornado!


I'm a bit delayed in updating (thanks to a LOVELY bout of the stomach flu & a head cold passed between the four of us last weekend), but here are the updates on the twin tornadoes, from their 15 month well-baby checkups.

31.25" tall - 75%
20 lbs 10 oz - 25%

32.75" tall - 90%
23 lbs 11 oz - 40%

The doctor kept commenting on how tall and lean they continue to become. He was amazed by our little man's abs. It's a bit freaky, really. Ezra has been sporting a bit of a 6-pack for months now. He's had one (a six pack) most of his life when he'd stretch or tighten those abs, but now it seems even more apparent.
Ok, gotta run as the tornado seems to be taking over the play room! ;-)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Here you go... a quick photo catch up

Ezra enjoying some of his grandpa's birthday cake (Valentine's Day)

Olivia after gobbling up her slice of Grandpa's cake.

Yummy stuff!

Olivia after her puffs are taken out and her hair is combed through.

Splash time!  Oh!  That brother is such a pain!

"Somebody call a vet cause these puppies are sick!" says Ezra about his massive muscles

Reason #1 you shouldn't crawl under the table... you'll get stuck!

Oh my word, are those clippers for me?!

It's finally my turn?!  Hooray!  (Not!)

Ezra's natural mohawk - daddy insisted we leave it there since it's so cute... 

Awwwww.  Shucks.  Mommy shaved my mohawk off!

Ezra looking fabulous without hair on St. Patty's day (and our one year anniversary of becoming a family!)

One proud mama with her cuties

What?  Are you looking at me?

St. Patrick's Day... a day to remember

Just a quick post to revel in the fact that one year ago TODAY, Yodit & Tewodros became our children... legally.  Finally.  What an excruciating morning it was waiting for news to see if we'd passed court.  Joe was so calm and kept telling me that we did and I needed to relax.  But, I couldn't.  Not until I had word from our agency and saw those beautiful words.  There's no way that a year ago today I would have been able to guess where we'd be now and all the amazing highs and lows that would be thrown our way.  But, on the roller coaster of life, I couldn't be happier that we are a family and that the oceans and continents that separated Livi and Ezi from us couldn't keep us apart!

Pictures to come... gotta put the kiddies down for their morning nap first and then upload them off my camera!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The crazy whirlwind continues... and the blog is seriously neglected!

Ok, so I realize it's been about 4 weeks since my last post.  And I REALIZE that I left that post with a promise of pictures in the next few days.  Well, that CLEARLY didn't happen.  So sorry.  Our lives have been so crazy I just don't know where to start.

Joe traveled back to O.C. to get the remaining stuff we had there (mostly furniture) loaded onto a moving truck, which my brother then very graciously drove back to Colorado for us.  Joe had to fly home as we were closing on a commercial property at the end of that week that needed a number of things done before closing.  Yikes.

Well, the closing went off without too many hitches and we are now the proud owners of a historical piece of downtown Loveland.  Joe purchased the shop he worked at so many years ago.  He worked there for a while after returning from Basic & AIT.  Wow... it seems like light years ago.  The owner had let the shop really go downhill.  It'd always looked a bit like a junkyard, and he never had kept it a smooth flowing auto repair shop, but when Joe drove by to say "Hi" after getting back to Colorado in December, it was shocking.  The guy had completely let the place go and just wanted to be done with it.  He didn't know how to run a business and just didn't want to try anymore.  So... the bright guy Joe is, he negotiated an incredible deal with him.  Fast forward a couple of months, and we now own "Alliance Auto Care" off 4th and Garfield!

The building DEFINITELY needed an overhaul.  The downtown area of Loveland has been getting a facelift, and this was definitely the eye sore of it all.  We picked new paint colors (which we're still waiting for the exterior to get painted due to the cooler temps since closing a week and a half ago), scrubbed the place top to bottom, removed inches upon inches of grease and gunk that was caked on the floor of the shop, outfitted the office that had previously been used as a dumpster ;-), ordered banners to announce the new store, and are now working on our marketing and advertising.  It's incredible how much different the place is already... and how much more has yet to be done!  Joe now works Monday through Saturday which SUCKS, but it's necessary for the time being.  I think I complain about this more than anyone... but the kids are a close second.  They LOVE their daddy and hate having him gone so much.  I LOVE their daddy too... but at least I "get" why he's gone.  

Enough of THAT nonsense.  I know everyone is really just wanting news on the kids.  So, here it is.  Ezra and Olivia are so stinkin' fast and strong-willed these days I feel like the things I say al day long are: "No.  Don't touch that.  NO!  NO TOUCH!!!  DANGEROUS.  Don't climb on that, please.  GET DOWN!  Ewww!!! Don't suck on that.  Keep that out of your mouth.  Ahhh!  Get down!  You'll get hurt!  Ah, ah, ah!  I see you!  Stop banging the windows!  NO!  Good job, good decisions... WAIT!  STOP THAT!  Don't hit your (brother/sister)!"

You get the point.  They are all over the place and definitely into EVERYTHING.  What was previously a very safe play zone where we had gates/covers/padding/protection/dangerous items removed is no longer safe.  They now climb the back of the dining room chairs (resulting in the chairs tipping on top of them), MOVE the gates that aren't secured to the walls, slam toys into the windows, push/shove each other, climb all over the couches, and SCREAM with pure delight or absolute frustration.  I swear they are communicating and working together too.  They tend to go opposite directions and get into things simultaneously so I can only get to one at a time.  You'd think with all the running around the room I'd be fit for a marathon by now!  Taking them to the store alone has become treacherous.  If one's in the shopping cart, they're desperately trying to get out.  If I let one be down on the ground with their backpack leash attached, that one screams and stomps their feet when they can't go the direction they want.  They are VERY independent and LOVE to explore.  Babies were nothing... toddlers though??!!  Holy smokes!

We do have one really huge saving grace coming into play though.  Language and communication.  They don't have great speech (attempt most things, but it often all sounds the same), but they are getting really good at signing.  It's a mixed blessing, I guess, because now they are SOOOOOOO cute when they ask for something.  Livi constantly says: "Tee?  Tee?"  while enthusiastically signing "Eat."  Of course, this is about 5 minutes after we get done with a meal that they wouldn't really eat.  Ugh. 

So far, the signs they know are: eat, more, all done, diaper, mama (kind of), and milk.  

Ezra is really good at attempting to repeat words you say, such as "please."  He'll say "peeeeeeaaassss" while stretching his neck forward and tipping his head back.  This is similar to how he makes his neigh sound to "NEEEEEeeeee!" while stretching his head forward and tipping it back.  Very cute.  They've both got the cheesy expressions down pat and it's just a riot.  Ezra will get so goofy out of nowhere.  He'll just be doing something and then turn on the wackiness.  What a total goofball!  Livi, on the other hand, is an absolute love!  If either of them is getting in trouble, she usually runs over and snuggles into my chest and wraps her arms around me to hug.  She does that when they're not getting in trouble too, so I get lots of love during the days!  She loves on ALL their toys by resting her head on the toy and batting her eyes.  She gives kisses, and has even started puckering her lips up in a very exaggerated way to do so.  It's sort of like a fish kiss.  I haven't been fortunate enough to get it on camera yet, but I'll keep trying.

So, in summary I have two totally exhausting and incredibly active, intelligent and beautiful kiddos.  Do I have my hands full?  Heck yes!  Between the kids and the three businesses Joe and I have going on (the other two are stories for another day...), I'm beat and not getting the amount of sleep my body tends to prefer.  But, we are so fortunate and I love my family so much... so I try not to complain too much!  I know all the hard work will pay off soon enough.  AND, I know Ezi & Livi won't be toddlers forever, and I try to enjoy it while it lasts!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Where in the world have we been?!

Oh my goodness, what a disgrace!  I can't believe I haven't written since the day after Olivia and Ezra's birthday!  Yikes!  Time flies these days.  Ezra and Olivia keep us hopping, and we've had so much going on in addition to the fun we have with them.

Joe was able to move out to Colorado permanently the day before the kids birthday.  It was such a huge relief to finally have him out here after three months of seeing him every couple of weeks.  The kids have loved having daddy around all the time again, and Ezra quickly got back into being a daddy's boy.  It's funny how things work out... Livi has been a total mama's girl since as far back as I can remember, and Ezra has been a daddy's boy.  

Day to day, you never can guess what the twin tornadoes will do next.  They learn so quickly, it's such an amazing thing to watch.  For a while, they're verbal skills seem to plateau and even drop backward.  This happened around the time they started walking.  I have always heard that once babies start walking their language accelerates, so this was intriguing.  However, I think they were so focused on mastering walking, followed by running and climbing.  They are now much chattier again, though they still don't use too many words.  Ezra is still famous for his ridiculously high pitched scream.  It's the most impressive scream I have ever heard.  Amazing that all the windows haven't shattered yet!  He screams with excitement, pleasure, frustration, anger, you name it.  Any sort of emotion can trigger the scream... so beware!  ;-)  Olivia has learned to copy him, but thankfully she isn't quite as persistent.  

They now climb up on the ottoman and use it like a stage to dance and scream at each other.  It's hilarious.  They have both become such avid dancers that they stop whatever they are doing to start boogying when music comes on.  Ezra tends to bob up and down and Olivia sways side to side.  Their favorite songs for US to sing are: "Bringing home a baby bumblebee," "Little cabin in the woods," "Itsy, bitsy spider."  All with the hands motions, of course.  When they want us to sing one, they put their hands they way you do for the start of that song and start singing it.  Their singing is still just jabbering in a way that sounds a little like the song itself, but it's adorable.  

Olivia has become a master of body parts, practically overnight.  Ezra is doing well too, but much less interested in anything relating to detail (like pointing out body parts).  Olivia can identify her eyes, ears, hair, nose, teeth, belly button and toes.  She LOVES to walk around poking people in the nose and saying "Nee."  She ALSO enjoys lifting up shirts to point to belly buttons... whether hers or someone else's.  She's gotten big into giving a cheesy grin to people, which is absolutely goofy and precious.  She also LOVES to "give love" to her stuffed animals, MAMA, and daddy.  She has started giving kisses, too.  One of the worst, but cutest, things she just started doing is after she does something naughty (like smacking mommy on the head), she comes over and gently hugs your head (or other "injured" body part) and gently pats you.  Ezra has started to copy her, so I've had the extreme pleasure of having two cuties fighting for time to give love and hugs.  It's so cool!

Ezra is such a B-O-Y!  He really and truly is a stereotypical boy.  He still doesn't use his finger to point (which Livi has been doing for ages), as whatever HE cares enough about to point at is big enough to gesture with his entire hand!  He does this cute arm extension with a downward sort of flick of the wrist to "point."  He stomps, runs, throws, crushes and clobbers things.  If I ever doubted how much NATURE has to do with who we are, those doubts are 100% resolved.  These two have shown me that despite identical parenting, age range, etc... they are DEFINITELY two very different people!  It's really fun to watch all the changes and differences surface.  Ezra has been really enjoying swings when we go to parks and will laugh with his perfect, deep, giggly, belly laugh.  That boy could melt the heart of the meanest, nastiest person alive with his laugh.  

Every night before bed we have a tickle time.   Ezra and Olivia LOVE to be tickled and will even sign for "more!"  They run around the room and when they're ready they tackle me so they can get tickled.  By the time we carry them upstairs to go to bed they are both breathless and smily as can be.  I don't know how they can stand getting tickled so much, but they seem to love it and we LOVE hearing all the laughter around here!  What good is life without laughter???

So, that's a quick recap of how Ezra and Olivia are these days.  Now, on to a recap of events over the last month and a half!

Christmas was a blast.  E&O didn't know what to make of all the presents and hardly napped on Christmas day... to much excitement in the air, I guess.  They played with new toys all day long and enjoyed their first Christmas dinner.  They loved playing with everyone that visited... and had a long list of adult playmates all day long.  Family is the main reason we chose to move back to Colorado... and the holidays are a perfect example of how that can really make life special.  Sharing everyone's joy in seeing Ezra and Olivia enjoying their first Christmas with us was really a treat.  Olivia and Ezra give us so much more than I think we will ever be able to give them.  We are so fortunate to have the honor and pleasure of being their mommy and daddy.

In mid-January, Joe and I drove to Palm Springs for a 5-day business conference followed by a quick trip to our condo in O.C. to check on things.  E&O spent the duration at home with their grandma and grandpa and did just great.  I, on the other hand, had a bit of a hard time missing them like CRAZY, but it was nice to allow myself to trust them to have fun and do well in the excellent care of my parents and enjoy some adult time getting my brain cranking again.  The weather in Palm Springs was incredible and we had a lovely trip.  My only complaint was getting sick the evening the conference ended (good timing though!) and running a really high fever for the next 4 days or so.  That made for a very unpleasant road trip home and MORE time away from Ezi & Livi once we were back!  Ugh!

The week we returned from Palm Springs I went under the knife.  Let's just say it was LONG overdue, but much dreaded.  I have had serious issues with my tonsils since I was very little, but was completely terrified about surgery and wouldn't agree to having them taken out when I was younger (and the surgery would have been SOOO much easier on me then, I'm told).  Last year (2008) in late January I was dealing with ANOTHER bout of strep throat when I developed a peritonsillar abscess.  Let's just say it was one of those pains you hope to never relive.  This occurred just before we received our referral for Olivia and Ezra, so the renewed need to get my tonsils dealt with was put on hold with baby preparations.  After I began having issues with them AGAIN in December 2008 I decided this was as good a time as any to go to an ENT and have them looked at.  

The ENT I saw took one look at my tonsils and heard my history before telling me they needed to come out.  Apparently since they didn't shrink and atrophy after puberty, they will always be a problem for me, and were creating tonsilliths.  Yuck.  Those suckers had lived past their prime and were just begging to get yanked out.  The surgeon told me it would be much harder for me as an adult than it is for children, but that I'd do great.  Huh.  Let's just say I did not come close to mentally preparing myself for what I felt post-surgery.  That was BRUTAL.  When I was in recovery, they kept asking my pain level and giving me more pain killers through my IV to try and lower it.  However, that kept causing me to stop breathing, which isn't exactly a good thing, I guess.  So... they stopped giving me drugs through the IV and tried the oral painkillers that I'd be sent home with.  I spent a good bit of the day in recovery and then was sent home to wallow in my pain.  I was starving, but sipping broth didn't begin to weaken my hunger and was ridiculously painful.  

I'm now ALMOST two weeks post-op and still hurting.  I can eat most things again, but am still taking 4 Aleeve every 8 or so hours.  I had an allergic reaction to the antibiotics I was given in surgery (and sent home with to take 4x per day).  That was a real drag.  I itched like crazy and my tongue got so swollen I couldn't really talk.  My tongue is still damaged (from the reaction, apparently) and hurts a TON when I have anything very cold.  No ice cream or ice tea for me. :-(
Oh, and eating ice cream wasn't really a part of recovery!  It was too hard to "chew" and the cold was too much for my tongue!  Oh, and the ear aches I got were so strong that I couldn't have cool water for a few days (I drank WARM water... ick!), so anything from the freezer was OUT!  Isn't that a bummer?!  That was the part of recovery I looked forward to the most!  Anyway, enough whining.  I'll be back to feeling good again in another couple of days and undoubtedly much healthier.  During my first post-op visit with the surgeon last Wednesday I learned that my tonsils were filled with.... drum roll please.... FUNGUS!  Ewwwwwww!!!!!  Those suckers definitely needed to come out, as each illness and resulting round of antibiotics just allowed the fungus to rage further out of control.  Let's just say that's NASTY.  It's ok, I know.  I was growing fungus in my throat and I think that's is downright DISGUSTING!  Yuck.

Sooooo, that about sums it up for now.  I have some really exciting news I'm hoping to post in the next couple of weeks, but not just yet.  Hopefully you will all be just as excited as I am!  ;-)  To those of you still out there and reading this, thanks for sticking around!  I'll be back soon with photos of the kids!