Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Doctor! Doctor!

Julia is sick again.  Temp around 100 and other symptoms I'd rather not mention here.  After work, I received the message from Kami saying that she was not feeling well.  So I called the doctor, picked the girls up and went straight to his office.

Riley gets very excited about going to the doctor.  Especially when it is for someone else.  I talked to her in the car about how we need to listen when the doctor is talking and not interrupt.  And how even when she says "Excuse me" while the doc and I are talking, I will probably need her to wait a minute before hearing what she has to say.  She is doing great with saying "Excuse me," but doesn't understand that just because she says it, doesn't mean we're going to stop at that second to hear her.  Trying to teach her patience... a lesson I am still learning.

So we get to the doctor and we are put in a room to wait.  Riley tells the nurse "My sister Julia has been sick for 15 days!!"  She laughs and smiles.

Riley wants me to read her a book.  Julia wants to practice walking around the room and spots the trash can which she tries to get to over and over.  All while Riley is whining "Mooooommmmm!!  I want to read the book!"  I manage to stay calm for the 40 minutes we are waiting.  Julia fussing and then screaming for the fun of it (happy all the while) and Riley wanting to read the book.  Then Riley has to go to the bathroom and we go back to wait some more.

So Dr. Stellman arrives and Riley immediately says "Doctor!  Doctor!  My sister Julia is sick!"  He asks if she is coughing.  Riley says "No."  He asks if she has a fever.  Riley says "Yes!  Yes, she has a fever!"  He hands her a book with a girl wearing glasses who is looking at the butterfly above her.  Then tells her to read it and tell him what happens at the end.  Riley tells him "I don't think I can do that.  I don't know what it says."  He tells her to look at the pictures.  She says "No.  I can't."

On goes the visit.  Julia has a stomach bug.  Could be rotavirus due to her symptoms, but she looks well hydrated.  Very thankful to hear that we're doing the right things.  Riley then tells him "I got sick all over our stairs and everywhere in the house.  But I'm alllll better!"  We finish talking about Julia.

Riley:  Excuse me!  Excuse me!  Doctor!  Doctor!  Wook!

Dr:  Oh the page is ripped!

Riley:  Yes!  I think a kid ripped the page because she wasn't listening to her mom and didn't do what her mom told her to do.

Dr:  Or maybe it was an accident.

Riley:  No.  I don't think so.

So Dr. Stellman and Riley go to the desk and tape the page of the book.  She looks very satisfied that she helped fix the page and that everything is all better.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


As Riley was brushing her teeth (before we took over to help), Jeremy gave me a big hug.  So Riley stops brushing her teeth and says "I want to do that too!!"  So I picked her up and Jeremy hugged us both and kissed her head.

I said "It feels so good to be loved, doesn't it?!"

Riley says "Yes, yes it does, Mom."

Friday, February 11, 2011

Back to the Hospital

No worries.  No one is actually in the hospital or going back there.  But Riley is wishing someone would.

Jeremy and I were laying with Riley in her bed to go to sleep and she said "I wish Julia would have stayed at the hospital.  That way I could play all by myself with my toys."  Jeremy then decided to tell her a story.

Jeremy:  One day God told us that He was going to give us a beautiful girl whose eyes would change from blue to hazel, who would love unicorns, who would be fun and love to run, dance, jump and play.

Riley:  That is me!

Jeremy:  Yes and God gave you to us.  Then later God told us that He was going to give us a girl who giggled all the time, giggled even harder when she walked and had big, beautiful blue eyes.

Riley:  That is Julia!

Jeremy:  Right!  God gave her to us too.

Riley:  God gave Riley and Julia to you to be your kids.

Jeremy:  Right.  And we would never send you back to the hospital because God gave you to us to keep.  Would you take your unicorn back to Santa?

Riley:  No!!  I love my unicorn!!

Jeremy:  Right.  So we don't want to give you or Julia back because we love you.

Riley:  And I love my books and my dress up clothes.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Empress' New Clothes

Riley LOVES clothes.  Grandpa Mo sent her a new dress - black velvety material with puppies and bows at the bottom - and a jacket to match.  The jacket is fake dalmation with black fur cuffs and neck with heart shaped "diamonds."

Riley LOVES Grandpa Mo.  He came to visit over Halloween weekend.  She had been praying for a new Rapunzel dress for a while.  He surprised all of us with one and Riley was soooo excited.  She figured out that prayer works and that God hears us - in her own little way.  So she immediately ran into Julia's room and hid behind the chair and prayed... for the Rapunzel hair.

Later I asked her during our nighttime devotion if she listened to God (we were reading about Samuel when God is calling him) and she said "Yes.  Grandpa Mo listens to God.  God told him to get me the Rapunzel dress and he did!"

Well, this morning I told her he had sent her something special.  She was soooo excited.  She saw the dress and goes "Wook! (Look) I love it.  I love it!"  Then she saw the coat and we tried it on immediately.  "I love this Mom!"  Then we tried on the dress and she immediately twirled several times.  "It doesn't really twirl out.  I love the dogs!"  So I explained it was velvety material and that it is very very soft.  She took it off and got all excited about the puppies and the red bows on it.

Thank you Grandpa Mo for a very sweet gift.  She'll be one excited girl today.

Monday, February 7, 2011

On a lighter note

Sometimes I do things that just make everything a little lighter.  I'm still trying to figure this blog stuff out.  I clicked to "Follow" my Aunt Monica's blog.  Instead I just signed myself up to follow my own blog.

Reminds me of the time that I tried to redo the message on my voicemail at work.  I thought I was following the directions.  So I pressed the "right" numbers and it said "Leave a message."  So I thought I was leaving my voicemail response.  I politely said "This is Jessica.  Leave a message and I'll return your call as soon as possible.  Thanks."

When I hung up, I noticed a red light at the bottom of my phone.  "Weird," I thought.  "Someone left me a message while I was creating my new voicemail.  So I immediately dialed into my voicemail box only to find a new message that said:

"This is Jessica.  Leave a message and I'll return your call as soon as possible.  Thanks."

Releasing Steam

So I took an ESL course tonight that lasted from 5:30pm until 8:30pm.  Tons of information and no breaks.  Just lots of time sitting in a very hard chair taking pages of notes.  Thankfully, it will be all worth it.  Just not tonight.

A meeting held at this time means several things will occur:
1 - I will not be home to do bottles, laundry, clean kitchen, cook meals for Riley and Julia, pack bags for tomorrow, set out clothes for tomorrow, or spend time with them during their bedtime routines.
2 - Kami has to keep them late because Jeremy has no car seats in his car (not to mention he's driving a rental due to getting hit last week on the tollway)
3 - That I am guaranteed to have work left for me at home following the meeting.

So Jeremy asked ahead of time if I wanted any food.  I told him I was grabbing some oatmeal, but said that if he cooked something for himself, then I'd have the leftovers for lunch.  I am now home from the meeting and totally tired.  My day consisted of teaching 140+ students, going to Walmart to get Julia foods we forgot and diapers, coming home for 20 minutes to put away dishwasher dishes and get a few of my things ready for tomorrow and going right back to work for the class tonight.

I arrive home.  All I can focus on is the negative at the moment.  There are no bottles done.  There is no laundry folded.  The dishes are not put away.  The table has not been wiped.  The bags are not packed for tomorrow.

So what has occurred in the past three hours that I've been away?

The girls were put to bed and in bed by 7:20.  Chicken (5 lbs. of it) was cut and put in a bag in the fridge.  And football is on tv.

So I ask Jeremy if he washed the bottles for tomorrow.  He gives me a "what are you talking about?  I figured you were going to do that" look while I am just steaming thinking "I just had a long meeting and would never, ever leave things undone or put a chick flick on tv if I knew you were at a long meeting look."  And he says "I thought you might have a method for what you wanted to do."

My method is:  just wash them and pack them for tomorrow.

I know this is not the worst thing to ever occur in anyone's life.  Just releasing steam that is pent up inside of my tired working self that just needs to go to bed.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Every waiter's dream

I'm sure from the second our waiter saw us sit down tonight, he was thinking "Oh boy.  Another family with two young kids, bad tips, and a big mess to clean up at the end."  Thankfully, I think he found himself so grateful to have so much entertainment.

As Icepocalypse came to an end today and the snow melted to loads of slush, everyone in North Texas decided that they must also get out of their homes to experience life outside.  We came to the decision to get out around 11am as our furnace downstairs broke last night and the temperature reached a warm 69 degrees.  We spent almost our entire morning upstairs where we could stay warm.  After four days of playing unicorns, talking "neigh" for hours (literally) and nothing else, I was about to come unglued.  So Jeremy humored me and took us to the mall to get out.

We purchased what we thought was an amazing down comforter for the guest room.  Only to find that it was a cheaper down comforter in a nice down comforter bag mis-marked.  Unfortunately we found this out when we got home and put it in the new duvet cover and noticed how badly it fit.  So I really wanted to go back and get a new one to replace it, but didn't really want to drive in the slush.  I wouldn't mind driving in it in Michigan, but Texas drivers in slush is a whole new ballgame.  Totally crazy.  One person drives five miles an hour while another races by you.  No thank you.

Jeremy asked me later what I wanted for dinner.  I had no idea, he didn't want to think of anything either and Riley was just hungry.  So I asked if we could go out.  He mentioned Applebee's as we had a gift card and then briefly mentioned something about Macaroni Grill.  We've had the giftcard to Applebee's for almost two years as I'm not a huge fan of their food.  But at the thought of Macaroni Grill, I was like "Yes! Let's go there!!  They have bread that Riley likes and she can color on the paper.  Julia will eat her puffs and bottle.  It's perfect!"

Jeremy called them at 4:30pm to ask if they do "call aheads."  Being that there was no wait, they said to just come in.  No call aheads with no wait.  Perfect!  Definitely love the idea of not having to wait.  If we left right away, we'd beat the crowd!  So Jeremy went outside with Riley and asked her to get in the car while he turned the car on.  I was right behind with Julia in my arms.  Instead Riley decided to go see the snow on the driveway and fell in it.  Her white dress and tights were covered in black slush.  She was quite wet and dirty to say the least.  So I took her upstairs and got her all changed.  Jeremy put Julia in the car.  Another fifteen minutes later, we were all set.

We arrived at Macaroni Grill soon after.  Maybe 10 minutes or so.  There was a line backed up almost to the door.  And the tables looked completely full throughout the restaurant.  So much for "no wait."  Guess everyone had the same idea we did.  And we were stuck waiting for thirty minutes.

So we each took turns holding the girls and watched the chefs work.  Riley was a little afraid of the fire that came from the pans, but was really quite taken with what they were doing.  Julia just drooled all over Jeremy's shoulder and waved at people around her.  The family that was waiting ahead of us decided to leave so we were actually seated in about 20 minutes.

As soon as we sat down, I placed Julia in her highchair and scooted her close to the table.  She immediately began lifting the paper off the table, squealing and shaking it up and down.  Everything on the table shook.  Which made her find it even more funny.  So shake, she did until we put puffs in front of her.

Riley sat down.  We each ordered waters (including Riley asking for her own and saying thank you).  We already knew what we wanted as we had looked at the menu online before going so we ordered immediately.  I asked Jeremy if we should get the spinach artichoke dip for Riley.  He said "No, I think we'll just order a kid's meal.  Let's do the pizza."  So now we just had to wait for the bread.

 We began writing our names in front of us.  Jeremy wrote "Puff Master" under Julia's name.  She seriously loves the Gerber Puffs and truly deserves the nickname.  Riley begins to drink her water through the straw and tipped the cup, spilling water all over herself.  I take her to the bathroom to use a hand dryer (as I forgot a change of clothes) and find there are no hand dryers.  So I just dab as best I can with the paper towels.

We return to the table.  As we're sitting and coloring and talking, the waiter brings over the bread.  Riley is eating some and drops a piece.  Then dives to get it and falls to the floor.  Her body angled to the floor, she is unable to get up.  And all the tables around us are watching us.  We finally get her up and explain that if we drop food, we don't have to pick it up and eat it.  This is followed by the surprise arrival of spinach artichoke dip.  Jeremy asked what it was.  The waiter said it was the dip we ordered.  He explained that we were trying to decide what to get Riley, but that we had decided on the pizza.  The waiter says "Oh yeah.  Sorry.  I'll take it off your bill. Go ahead and enjoy it."

Riley comes to sit on my lap.  She loves the dip.  Julia, in the meantime, has decided to entertain the other tables and turn around to wave and smile.  She finds herself amusing as well.  Jeremy breaks off some bread pieces for us and Julia decides to flap her arms on the paper, causing the pieces to fly into the air.  As she is laughing and carrying on, Riley decides to flap her arms as well.  So we talk about manners and how Julia is still learning how to behave - Riley already knows.

Our food arrives.  Riley spills her water again.   Julia scrunches the paper and sends food flying some more.  We feel totally inadequate.  Riley eats her pizza - making funny faces and opening her mouth as wide as possible.  I explain that noone wants to see her food as she eats it.  Julia starts on her bottle and finds it funny to throw it forward and then laugh hysterically.

I drop Julia's can of puffs into the olive oil mixture in the middle of the table.  We both look at Julia and notice the grunting "uuuhhhh" look on her face.  The infamous "I'm doing something you'll have to clean soon" look.

Riley then says "Isn't this fun?!"

I change Julia's diaper, we load up and we walk to our car that is parked far, far away.  Yes, Riley.  It was a ton of fun.  And I don't mean that sarcastically.

Dinner for two please

Every couple of months Jeremy and I decide that a nice dinner out with the girls sounds like a great idea.  It isn't until we're at the restaurant that we realize why we never eat out.

Our first experience dining out with two girls was when Julia was five weeks old.  I was tired of being at home and just wanted to get out.  So we chose a very family-friendly restaurant - Carrabba's.  Actually, we had never realized how un-family friendly it was for those who have newborns.  Our  car seat carrier filled up almost the entire aisle.  We blocked the waiter no matter how we adjusted.  Julia was still eating every hour and a half which meant Jeremy and I didn't even eat anything but a little bread together at the beginning.  Riley was so excited to leave the house she was beside herself.

Soon after we arrived, Julia started crying.  Thankfully she had the most sweet and quiet cry of any baby I've ever heard.  And that's not just my opinion.  Friends would come over and comment on it all the time.  She was very hungry so I started to put her bottle together.  When I went to hold her to feed, I realized that even though the booths seem large, they are not big enough to accomodate a mom who is feeding her baby a bottle.  Being that it was warm outside, I told Jeremy to go ahead and eat without me.  He stayed with Riley while I fed Julia outside on the bench.  Met a very nice woman and her husband and chatted with them until it was time for them to eat their meal - together.  When she finished, I brought Julia back inside and Jeremy took her back outside (as she was crying and sleepy) and I ate my cold dinner while Riley amused herself with crayons.

So we waited a long while before going out just the four of us again.... until tonight actually.   Julia is now ten months old and the four of us actually ate the meal together - finally we could say "table for four, please."

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I took Riley to Walmart to grocery shop.  We bumped into a coworker and her daughter.  Sweet people.  Riley noticed that the girl was eating food.  The remainder of the meeting went like this:

Riley:  Wow!  That looks so neat!  What is that?  I've never seen that before!

Mom of the other girl:  We always get the McDonald's Happy meals on Fridays.  But we only get them one day each week.

Riley:  That looks so great.  I would like one of those.  What are they?

Maybe it's sad that she has yet to experience McDonald's.  But I'm actually quite happy about it.  I'm sure she'll be even more interested when she learns one day that there are toys in the meals too.

Bless You'd

Riley:  Achoo!!  (a real sneeze)  I just bless you'd.

Stairway Fun and Clean Floors

Julia loves the stairs. She loves to go up one stair, turn to make sure I'm watching and then dart as fast as possible up them while giggling hard.  I always come behind her and stay with her and tickle her as she goes up.  She loves it.  Then we come back down again and repeat it.  Super fun.

Yesterday Riley kept telling me that her mouth hurt.  That her throat hurt.  With strep going around, I wasn't too excited about the thought.  So I had her drink some water.  She finished her breakfast consisting of a very healthy meal of two Eggos with syrup.  Still said her mouth hurt.  I asked if her tummy hurt, but she said "No" each time.

We were planning a playdate with the neighbor during the ice storm and she was going to walk over after lunch.  Around noon, Riley walked herself to her room and lay down in her bed with her nightlight on.  She told me she wanted to rest.  I was trying to figure out why she would just lay down.  So I asked her if she was ok.  She said she just wanted to rest.  I asked if she wanted to come downstairs and have some oatmeal and see if we could help her get settled.  She finally was convinced and walked to me.

I picked her up to carry her downstairs.  We got about four stairs down when she leaned a little away from me and threw up.  All over me.  Then all over her.  Then down our stairway.  And the walls.  And the railings.  And through the railings.  And on the furniture below that was between the railings.

I waited before walking forward - just stunned and trying to figure out what to do.  So when she had a pause, we went to the kitchen.  There was nothing ready and available to help (as we have kid proof locks that require magnets to open  and those are stored in the upper cupboards).  Left no time to do anything productive.

So she got sick on the floor in the kitchen.  Took a few steps forward.  Got sick again.  Repeated this a few times until the kitchen had its share of the fun.

And when she finished, she looked at me and said very sweetly "Mom, it's on my hand.  And it's on my toe.  Please clean it."  To which I said, "I'm doing my best and I'll get it honey."

I grabbed some washcloths to clean her first and changed her clothes quickly. Then got out three bowls - all three because they were the only bowls we had that would work.  And had her lay on towels on the couch to rest.  So with her cleaned up, I started cleaning the floor in the kitchen.  Then changed my clothes, sprayed the stairway with Resolve and began the cleanup on the walls, banister, railings and furniture below.

After all was relatively clean, I got out my Lysol and my mop.  Julia continued to eat Cheerios and smile happily throughout the entire hour I spent cleaning.  Riley actually took some Pedialyte and said she liked it.  But refused it again after getting sick again.

I didn't get a lunch until after 2pm and had a hard time finding something that didn't turn my stomach after watching the current events.

I'm sure she'll love that I shared this story.  But it will just remind her that even bad things happen to good people and it's all in your attitude as to how you handle your circumstance.  And that it's all in the day of being a Mom who loves her girl and will do whatever it takes to make her feel loved and taken care of.

Ice Age

Tomorrow marks Day 4 of being home with my two girls and not being able to even walk out onto our porch.  Let alone open the garage and drive somewhere.  Cabin fever struck this afternoon and I am super excited to go anywhere!  Walmart, dry cleaners, work, whatever.  I'll take it!

On Monday, everyone at work was saying that we would probably have Tuesday off of school.  Didn't believe that it would happen even one day.  Well, it happened four times over.  I have never seen so much ice in my life.  Our streets look like ice skating rinks.  And I have no idea how my husband was even able to get out each morning to go to work.

A few interesting facts about Texas Ice Storms:

1.  Pipes freeze.  Our pipes in the Master Bath are currently frozen and we're running a space heater and keeping the faucets dripping.  One friend had their pipes bust this morning and another had her pipes freeze to her washer.  Just praying ours don't break tonight while we sleep, but praying that if it does bust, that Jeremy is home.

2.  Wheels on cars can go forward and backward at the same time.  My mom watched someone in her work parking lot put their car in reverse as they were sliding backward.  The front wheels continued going forward while the back wheels spun back.

3.  Plenty of time for family.  I could not have been happier to have three (tomorrow will be four) days home with the girls.  We've done marble painting, played unicorn traps, built forts with pillows and blankets, chased Julia up the stairs a million times, and read several great books.  Others might disagree.  One friend has two kids who were arguing over who gets to wear their Dad's crocs so they could be the midget.  Mine just argued over whether Julia was grabbing something Riley wanted.  And it only happened rarely - thankfully.