Friday, January 22, 2010

It's like a dream come true.

Anyone who knows my littlest guy knows he's a penguin addict. He loves them and has several that he insists join him at bedtime. For Christmas he was asked several times for months what he wanted and his answer was "another penguin lovey". He had three identical plush penguins that he had named, penguin-penguin, Mr. Penguin, and Dr. Penguin. Due to their constant cuddles, squeezes, kisses, and playtimes, they now have distinguishing characteristics and he insists we call them by their correct names.
So of course on Christmas morning, Santa obliged his simple request and he received this big guy who he named all on his own. Meet 'Marshmellow Penguin'.

Of course, he needed to have the comfort of his new friend on Christmas night. Luckily he has since been happy with Marshmellow Penguin sleeping beside the crib.

Well, the St. Louis Zoo had a fabulous treat for Nathan. Last Sunday, we surprised the boys with a trip to the zoo. When we sat down on the ground across from a bear exhibit, Nathan was quite wiggly and asking if we could go see other animals, but he was patient and smiley. Then he got a wonderful surprise!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tis the season to be weary

The holiday season makes me feel so warm and fuzzy and I love to hear the stories of people who do such selfless things for others. I know that those things happen every day, but around this time of year, I think people do them more and the news and such definitely talks about them more often.

Well, unfortunately, we've also been programmed in today's society to be careful of strangers and always be thinking of our safety. As a parent that is magnified. I am always aware of people around me in parking lots and where my kids are when we are out in public. I still like to use a stroller when we are at the mall only because that means I have one of them kids contained and can easily keep the other one close while I shop. It's just that while there are so many good people, there are too many people yet, that aren't good and we have to be careful.

So here's a couple stories for you:
Last week, I went to run some errands with Nathan, while Carson was at school. I finished at the Walmart and had my cart with Nathan in the front and the basket full of bags and bags. I was at the trunk of my car, shifting around the other things I'd bought that day to make room for all my bags to fit and the man who collects carts came up behind us. He was friendly and talked to Nathan and I some. He had a thick accent and Nathan didn't understand him much, but he was chatting with Nathan nonetheless. I had only begun to put my 20 or so bags into the car and so it was quite awhile before I was ready to go. I was nervous with him being there so close to us. I couldn't help but think, 'he could have taken that vest from the breakroom and not even really work here'. I kept looking around to see where others were in case I needed to scream or run. I asked him to take some of my heavy bags and put them into the passenger seat of the car to have some time with him away from us. Then when I was done, I got Nathan out of the cart and waited for him to take it away. He kept chatting with us about our holiday plans and I finally began to put Nathan into the car, but I left my purse on top of the car because I thought, if he wants to rob me, he can just take my purse and go. I wouldn't strap Nathan in because if this guy was going to steal my car, I wanted to be able to grab Nathan out. It was awful to have those things going through my head while this man was so nicely talking to us and making Nathan laugh by HO HO HOing like Santa. Finally, he took our cart and went and gathered other ones and I quickly fastened Nathan and jumped into the car with the doors locked. I felt awful for being so weary of such a very nice person.

That same night, Greg had taken the boys with him for a quick run to the grocery store for something I'd forgotten. On his way home, he called me and told me that he was in the neighborhood, but that someone was following him and flashing their lights and honking at him. He drove around and around, not coming to our house (as the police say you shouldn't go home if someone is following you). Finally he said he seemed to have lost the person. I told him to head home, but to pull into our neighbor's driveway (he's a big man) and I'd meet them outside. Then he said, the person was back, this time he could finally see the person and see that that it was a woman who was waving at him. He was near the house and other neighbors and he stopped the car. She came up to the car and bless her heart this woman was amazingly sweet. Greg had used the self-checkout at the grocery store and this woman was behind him in line, Greg had gotten cash back, but left it in the machine at the store. This angel of a woman rushed to finish her checkout and saw him leaving the parking lot and followed him all the way from the grocery store to our neighborhood and then around and around as he drove in circles trying to evade this kind follower.

So, while I still say, 'we must be careful', there are such wonderful people in this world and I hope that we can all take time to notice the wonderful people around us this holiday season and every day.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Apple Picking

We went apple picking for the first time a few weeks ago. My sister's family goes every year and so they introduced us to the fun of it.

The boys had a blast! They loved it. We had two different varieties to choose from this time. My favorites; red delicious and some I'd never tried before that were yummy, golden delicious. You are allowed/encouraged to eat all the apples you want while in the field and then you buy ones to bring home. Carson had decided before we got there that he was going to pick 22 apples. I'm not sure where he got that number from, but he was certain and that's exactly how many he picked.

My sweet, little niece, Maeve, taught Nathan how to pick them and helped him to find some he could reach that were good ones. She showed him to twist the apple and pull and he got great at it.

All that picking sure can make you tired. Nathan was enjoying a warm cuddle with Daddy on the wagon ride back out of the orchard. It was a great day for everyone and it will definitely be a family tradition. Maybe even one we will continue with my sister's family. I know they have other crops of fruits at different times of the year as well. I can't wait until strawberry season. I'm sure Nathan will eat his money's worth while in the field.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Little Mr. Attitude!

Today at nap time, I was putting on Nathan's brace. He still likes to do the right insert by himself sometimes, but other times, he's busy talking or singing and I just do it.
As I was strapping the left shoe, he picked up the insert and the pringle to the left shoe. He leaned forward so he was only about 3 inches from my face and held the pringle about an inch from my face and very forcefully waved it at me, while harshly declaring, "I do the pringle, by myself!"
Whoa! Okay, if he was a teenager, I'd have had to hold myself back from smacking that smart mouth right off of him, but since he's only a little two year old, I had to hold myself back from laughing and make myself be firm with him.
Yes, I did take the pringle and talked to him about him being rude and refused to let him do it which of course, caused a fit, but I wasn't about to let him get away with that tone of voice, no matter how adorable it may sound coming from a toddler.
It did get me thinking, I wonder how many times he's seen me hold something up in front of Carson's face like that? Where else would he have gotten that gesture? I'm sure I must have done this when upset with Carson. It's so hard to be a role model when you aren't even aware of all of your own behaviors.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Peace to you, Dr. Ponseti

I am sure a man who worked into his 90's did not simply pass away and decide to 'rest in peace'. So I wish you peace, and love in your everlasting life. I hope you do take some time to simply rest and recognize all the things you have done for so many families around the world.
I am saddened at the loss, but it is a blessing that he lived such a long life and did not linger, suffering. I hope he is watching all his little miracles running along.
My love and prayers for comfort go out to Helena and all of Dr. Ponseti's family and friends.

Read a bit of Dr. Ponseti's amazing story. His story is wonderful beyond his clubfoot treatment.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Praying for Dr. Ponseti

I was heartbroken to read this message posted on the clubfoot message board that I belong to:

This is Dr. Michael Colburn.

I just got off the phone with Helena Ponseti and was informed that Dr. Ponseti has suffered a stroke and is in the hospital. He is paralyzed and cannot speak. The outlook is poor. Helena appreciates all of your thoughts and prayers. He was to speak at the Ponseti conference tomorrow and Helena will be speaking for him. I will post again when I hear any more information.

Dr. Ponseti is the reason my little man runs around the house like a madman every day. He's the reason Nathan can do all that running with no pain at all. Nathan was born with a club foot and Dr. Ignacio Ponseti developed a method of treatment that requires no surgery, and taught his method to other doctors (including Dr. Dobbs who treats Nathan.) Not only does that mean these little babies with clubfoot don't have to suffer the pain of surgery and recovery, the risks of general anestesia, have multiple surgeries as they grow, but it means that he will be able to have a life free from pain.

Nathan is a magnificent jumper and I have no doubt that despite his tiny size (those are 18month sized pants falling off of him) and the lack of athletic ability in both of his parents, he'll be quite an athlete. Shortly after he started walking, he was giving Tigger a run for his money when it came to bouncing.

Our family's prayers go out to Dr. Ponseti and his family.

More of Nathan's clubfoot story can be read in these posts:
Nathan's Clubfoot

A few second video of Nathan in his brace

Me Do! Me Do!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Why not U.S.? Please Read.

I know this may seem trivial to many people out there, but if you have a child with allergies or a child who loves granola bars and is school age, it matters.

Carson is now in preschool and as with almost all schools nowadays, snacks (and sometimes even lunches) brought into the school must be peanut free. I am lucky to not have a child with this allergy, but it is a scary as heck allergy. They are so severe usually that it takes so little to send a child to the hospital and this allergy kills.

We were buying snacks for Carson's preschool and he wanted to buy granola bars, but we can't because there are none on the U.S. market that are peanut safe. Upon researching and looking for a brand that was safe, I found that Quaker has a COMPLETELY peanut and tree nut free facility in Canada (as does Mars candy company). I called Quaker to see if I could purchase those somewhere around me.

Well, guess what? You CAN'T! They are not sold at all in the U.S. Not only was the lady quick to inform me of that, but she was very rude to me about it. When I told her that I would like her to make a report of my call and pass it along so that the company could see that there is a demand in the U.S., she got really huffy with me. Apparently, I was somehow disturbing her busy day of Quaker customer service.

I am asking EVERYONE to PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE for the sake of all the children out there with peanut allergies and also the families affected by school age non-allergic children being limited to call Quaker and request that they offer these safe products here in the U.S.

They answered the phone quickly and it will only take 1-2 minutes. Specifically ask that they make a report of the call or they will just say, 'they aren't available in the U.S. and hang up. Please, think of all the time you are sitting doing nothing or are waiting in line at the drive thru or for many of us, waiting in the car pick-up line at school. Please take these 2 minutes.

They are open from 7-5 central time. Thanks.