Sunday, September 28, 2008

Resting Comfortably

Well last night was a CRAZY one! We had 2 parties to go to, one in the afternoon and one for dinner. We arrived at the evening birthday party for a friend, but were only there an hour when Brian said we had to leave. I wasn't quite sure what was going on, but it didn't take long (minutes) before he was in considerable pain. We packed up the kids and headed home. The pain worsened, and he began vomiting, so off to the emergency room we go! I had a friend come watch the kids (and then Lauren came later for the early morning shift! :-/).

We checked in at 8pm...and there we waited! He had an initial triage diagnosis of kidney stones and then we were set in the waiting room to wait for a bed in the ER I guess. Brian spent almost the entire 3 hours in the restroom:-( We finally got back there around 11, and he didn't get any pain medication until 12:30!!! It was a brutal wait to say the least, he was in excruciating pain the whole time. He finally got to relax with some pretty heavy meds and then they took him off for a CAT scan, which revealed 2 kidney stones, one 5mm and one 2mm. So now we have to see a nephrologist with the ER's referral to see about breaking them up ultrasonically...supposedly we will get in tomorrow or Tues, I will find out more on that tomorrow, of course all doctors offices are closed for the weekend.

They gave him 2 bags of fluid via IV and some oxycodone and motrin to help keep him pain free while at home and sent us on our way at 4am! What an evening! Brian was a trooper and really held up remarkably well considering his pain level and the amount of time he had to wait. Keep him in your prayers these next few days as he is still in some pain. The oxycodone doesn't cut it like the IV drugs do!

Since the kids had a great night sleep, I opted to take them to church to tire them out more and help them nap longer. Success! I was able to get a good nap in, and with going to bed early tonight I should be pretty much back on track. Although I will have to get up every 4 hours to administer drugs to my patient, but I can handle that I think!

Although pain is never nice, I think I have decided I would rather deal with being the one in pain than have to watch someone else in pain. There is such a helpless feeling of not being able to do anything. Not fun. Once he got on all the happy drugs we were able to laugh about it a little. The drugs obviously affect your thinking, so he said a few funny things, but did pretty well not getting too loopy...he said he thought we should never have anymore kids because he didn't want me to go through that, I told him it was ok because that was a bit different:-) He is also convinced that the doctor told him he needed to eat a lot of gummy candy. Haha! I'm like, are you sure you didn't dream that honey? "Nope, he told me". I think somehow the drinking water instruction got lost in translation :-D

Camera phone pic. Am I horrible for taking a picture of his misery? I just wanted to have some memory of our exciting evening...he's not in pain anymore but sleeping, drugged up on dilaudid.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Balloon Animals

Today I went to a new grocery store,'s not really new, I just don't go there very often. But they had some great sales on, so off we went early this morning. The store had balloons everywhere, it was crazy. Well of course Brooks starts right away "awww, I see boon, I see boon, aww boon, it's boon, it's boon" while pointing and laughing. Naturally, this lasted the entire 30 minutes we were shopping. As we approached the self-checkout an employee commented to me on how much he loved looking at the balloons (how could she tell?), and told me they gave balloons to children in the floral dept. Since we weren't in a particular rush, and I knew it would make their day, we went over and got some. Brooks was a little concerned at first about tying it to his wrist, but when he saw how Kenna did it, he was fine. Delighted kids made the rest of the shopping trip fun!

While at Walmart Kenna was helping me load the groceries onto the "moving thing" at the register, and she says, with such a motherly tone "Thanks Mom, I'm so glad you're helping me". Crack up! She is just sooo funny sometimes (er, most times!:-)

Chillin' and waiting on lunch after shopping with their balloons

Friday, September 26, 2008


Brooks calls ice cream e-peam. They were both going nuts eating their 'peels'

Out with the Old

...and in with the New! We are so grateful for hand me down clothes for the kids. I have been sorting through 5 bins like these with the next new sizes and winter things, courtesy of second-cousin Kayla and friend Levi. We now have piles of 'brand new' clothes filling their dresser and closet. I am so grateful, it saves us TONS of money as we literally don't need to buy any winter or spring clothes for either of them. I just love those hand me downs!

Lawn Updates

The front slope is now covered with Lyropia (spelling?), looks great!

Notice anything missing? Our big shrub is cut back and our pokey Holly 'poisonberry bush' is gone!

Click on this picture to's worth it to see Kenna's nose! They were patiently waiting while I took the pictures:-)


Brian and Brooks checking the fantasy football stats on the laptop

And smile!

She always needs one of her too

Nor Easter!

Yesterday we were hit with a Nor Easter! The rain was very welcome as it has not rained much lately, and since I water my yard...I like rain. The driving was pretty treacherous at took me 45 mins to drive 7 miles to church for bible study, because of a really bad accident. Around 4:30 I started cooking dinner (thai food!) and at almost 5 exactly, all the power went out, and didn't come back on. We were wondering what was going on and looked out the front window...

One of our neighbours trees had a large limb come down on the power lines and obviously knocked everything out. I called the power company. They said someone would be coming right away. An hour later I called back to check on the status..."Your power will be restored by 11:15" Great! Dinner was half cooked and with no way to finish it, I put it in the fridge to finish later. The kids had a random thrown together dinner of basically all the 'non-cooking' food we had...cheese, canned fruit, veggies (carrots and peppers), cereal, and a cherry pop tart for dessert. I felt so bad for them! They don't like peanut butter & honey/jam, to bad for them, I didn't have anything else to put on the bread. They love kidney beans and Brian thought I should give them some cold from the can, but I just couldn't do that, just a little too gross for me!

Of course by the end of dinner it was pretty much completely dark, so I lit enough candles to light our way. With no hot water, we had to skip the baths and pretty much go straight to bed. It's amazing how quiet the house is with no background noises. Brian and I settled in for a long night of "camping" sort of. I caught up on reading some of my home decor mags. At one point I had the brilliant idea to make pina colada shakes because "we have all the ingredients"...Brian asked how I was going to crush the ice. Good point. It's amazing how 99.9% of the stuff in our house is completely useless without electricity.

Around 8:30 they came out and started working. I was watching them in the window and the candlelit background gave me a weird side profile shadow on the blinds. I commented on how it made me look like Bill Clinton from the side...Brian says, no, that's how you look from the side! Lucky for him there was nothing handy to throw at him. So rude! The power came back on around 9:15, yay. It was a slow night, kinda boring, but we made through.

Sooo I think we really should invest in compiling a hurricance survival kit for next season...just so we know we have stuff on hand that would actually be useful to us in the event of a longer-term power outage.

Here is a picture of the branch, all chopped up and ready for pickup

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Veggie Tales

Here are my cuties finishing lunch, grilled cheese and mushroom soup. I find them very funny eaters...they love green peppers, mushrooms, any type of bean (pinto, kidney etc), basically any and all vegetables (they are addicted to carrots)...but they won't eat chicken nuggets, or any type of meat without forcing it down...I don't ever remember seeing kids like foods these kids like. Kenna just wants to eat salad, or cabbage salad...I know I didn't when I was little. Very strange to me. Also interesting that they like and refuse all the same foods.

Wash me up now!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Brooks can count!

We love this little cash register! The key pad is actually a real calculator, and I thought it could last for awhile...right now they just play with it. It's Kenna "job" and "a-puter", eventually they can play store or whatever with it, and it will come in handy for school too - a fun way to learn and count money. I just had lots of visions of it being a toy for all ages when I bought it (in May, Parents brand, at Target), so hopefully it lives up to my expectations.
So far so good, as last night the kids were playing with it and Kenna was doling out her dollars. Brooks had a five dollar bill and looked at it like he was reading and then he counted to TEN! He started at 2 and went all the way to 10 and then threw his hands up and said "Yay!" It was definitely his baby talk, but clear enough that I could tell what he was trying to say, it was just adorable. I thought that was pretty good for 16 months old. I really ought to teach him something...I am usually doing it all with Kenna, so he obviously just picked it up. Think of what he could do with a little instruction. I knew he knew 1-2-3-GO, but the rest of the numbers were a surprise!

Another thing he is good at is the sounds of the letters. We do flashcards at lunchtime and he is actually better at the sounds that the letters make than Kenna is. She is too concerned with what that letter says (milk and mommy and moon and and and) but can never 'be-member' what sounds the letters make. They are both good little learners so far, hopefully it continues on so schooling will be slightly easier for me (we plan to homeschool). We have a lot of fun together!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Picture This

This June or July I think, time is all running together...we still laugh about it, I really can't believe I didn't post about it.

Let me set the scene...we are driving quite happily to Wal-mart, having just visited the bank. All the sudden there is screaming, I mean blood curdling screaming from the back seat. I was at a precarious place in the road, it was really curvy and with on coming traffic I am trying to turn around and see what's going on. I catch a glimpse.

Brooks is biting Kenna's index finger with apparent extreme...something. I don't even know the word for it, but he had a wild look in his eye. So I started hollering "let go! Brooks, no biting, let go" while trying to contort my shoulder and reach back there. A few unsuccessful random swats from me, I couldn't really reach him what with my driving and all. Kenna still SCREAMING. Me yelling, LET GO. I managed to pull the car over without killing anyone.

I then managed to pry his jaw open and she pulled her practically severed finger from the wild man's mouth. It took a long time to calm her down. Her poor finger was seriously indented and very purple. After she was basically calm, but still sniffling, she asked me "Why Brooksie bite me?...he just no like me!" I explained that he was just a little boy and he didn't know how much biting hurt yet (after a little chastisement he has not done it again, thankfully). She said again "Brooksie just no like me!" a couple times that day when recounting the event. Leave it to her to make it as dramatic as possible.

Here are my wonderful kids helping me sort the laundry. Kenna climbs in a basket and suggests I take her picture. Haha. Her mom must have a blog or something...she's such a ham.

She wanted Brooks to do it too, but he wasn't having it! Climbed back out in a flash.

Cutie pie. He really goes back and forth with his looks, some days he is so Kennedy, but in this pic, all I see is Brian! His face is scratched from a run in with Kenna's fingernail. "Sorry Boy, I didn't mean to, it was a ack-dee-dent". She is usually very apologetic over things.

Monday, September 15, 2008

DIY - Fruit flies and lice

Here are a few little "homemade" things I have discovered that really work!

After a recent scare with head lice (my young sister in law got them from camp), we found something to be quite effective...

The Original Listerine

If infected with lice wash hair, towel dry and completely saturate hair with original listerine. Put a shower cap on and keep on hair for 2 - 4 hours. When done, brush dead lice out of hair and pick all the nits out (continually, until all gone) This can be done several times until you are sure it is under control. Of course you need to wash everything and spray couches etc, with a lice killing solution (not listerine).

As a preventative, spray original listerine in hair with a spray bottle or use as conditioner but don't rinse out. It smells when hair is wet, but is orderless when it dries. This can be done on little kids, and it really seemed to work, as we didn't catch them. Apparently if you hear of head lice going around you can do this with the kids at each bath and they won't catch them... something to do with the alcohol in it, I think.
*NOTE: Meghan's case was not severe, so perhaps if you are crawling with lice it would be less effective. There are testimonies online that it works even on bad cases, but I can't speak to that.

Another thing I discovered around Christmas is how to get rid of fruit flies. We had what seemed like an infestation of them here last winter, and I read up online of some easy ways to get rid of them. This one I found to be the most effective.

Put some apple cider vinegar in a bottle. Create a funnel with a piece of paper and put it in the opening of the bottle. They fly in there, and get trapped and eventually drown. There are some reports that adding a drop of dishwashing detergent to the vinegar can be helpful, but I haven't noticed a difference. This is also quick, we literally caught hundreds of them in a day. Now whenever I notice a few flying around, I pull out my trusty old baby bottle and they are gone, usually within hours.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Deals thru 9/16

Kmart - boneless skinless chicken breasts $1.77/lb

Rite Aid - Airborne is $2.99 after rebate
Clairol Herbal Essances Hair Color $3.99 after coupon (rite aid flier) and rebate
Jane and Neutrogena Cosmetics are 50% off
Revlon Cosmetics are B1G1
Maybelline Cosmetics are 40% off
Herbal Essances Shampoo & Conditioners $2.99

Walgreens - FREE AFTER REBATE (click)
L'oreal RevitaLift Anti-Wrinkle Cream
Nivea for men body wash
Excedrin Express Gels 20 pack
Crest Pro-Health toothpaste
Revlon Nail Color or Nail Care
Chemistry Shampoo, Conditioner or Treatment
LypSyl Honey Berry LypMoisturizer

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Adirondacks

"If you're lucky enough to be in the mountains, you're lucky enough" ...I thought that was a cute little saying on a plaque here...We're having fun "helping" Brian work this week. He and his dad are finishing some decks on a Bed & Breakfast here. It's 7 bedrooms, 6 full baths, as well as all the regular common areas (living room, dining room etc). There are tons of decks and porches, all connecting with stairs or through the house etc which the kids are loving. Lots of ways to get to the same places! It's a maze of fun for them!

Very high up there!
Kenna, loves to help by moving scraps and debris from place to place
Cute fireplace in livingroom
Back of house and more porches!
Can you tell he got a haircut?
Right across the street, the Hudson River

A Few More...

Kenna is loving carrying around my little wedding program. "This is from your weddin' Mom? It's your frien's Aud-tra's?"

Here is Audra in front of her new house! If I have the story right, Travis built this himself (either that or he had it built...but I think he did it!)

A hydrant in the flower garden...Travis is a Captain on the fire department. Too cute.

The beautiful bouquets

The bridal and house parties

Monday, September 8, 2008

My Travels!

This past weekend I flew from NY to Oklahoma City for my good friend Audra's wedding. It was such a blast! Brian and Grandma kept the kids, so I was footloose and fancy free, as they say:-) I flew into Dallas, a few hours away and then drove up. I had such a great time connecting with old friends from my IBLP Chicago days

Audra & Travis!!!

Audra had a traditional wedding party and then something called a House Party, which is a southern tradition to incorporate more friends than the bridal party will allow for. Since Audra has 5 sisters and Travis has 3 (2 in wedding), there were a lot of people standing up front, so we the house party just walked in during the processional and were seated in the front row.
The House Party - Darla, Jessica, Rachel, Faith, Christina and Grace (Erika was missing from shot). I wasn't taking the pic, obviously, and so somehow it was on a very weird setting altering the colours...I will have to wait until others post pics to get a nice one of Audra and I.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

You're My Angel - video

This is the song I sung for my brothers wedding...we did it again at the Music Night. The wedding video camera was "fixed" on the front of the church...they were signing the register and I was singing off to the side so you can't see us on there, so I thought this was better. Aerylin did not sing harmonies at the wedding, it was just Logan and I

You're My Angel, a Brooks and Dunn song. Darla - lead vocals, Aerylin - harmonies, Logan - guitar.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Music Night in Alberta - Video

Here are a couple clips from the Country Music Night I was a part of in July...actually these are from the warm up practice before the concert started actually...I will have to get a few more good clips from the actual event, but this was right at the beginning and I wanted to test out my video making program:-) It's not the whole song, just about a minute and a half of each.

Here I Am To Worship. Aerylin -high harmonies, Darla - lead vocals, Chantelle - lead vocals (I think? I think I can hear her singing along too more quietly), Dave -harmonies & guitar, Logan - guitar, Davis - bass guitar, Kaden - drums

Traveling Soldier. Kari - lead vocals, Aerylin - high harmonies, Darla - low harmonies, Logan - guitar, Davis - bass guitar, Kaden - drums (LOVE the drums in this!)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Having Fun with Blogskins

Bruschetta & Stuffed Mushrooms - Recipe

Bruschetta - This is a very refreshing recipe that is delicious and easy. An awesome appetizer! The "to taste" part is a little will taste bland when you make it, until it sits for at least an hour, so just add normal amounts of everything until the flavours blend, then add more of something if needed. It's one of our favourites!

Plum/Roma tomatos, cubed
1 sm clove garlic, crushed
dry oregano to taste
fresh parsley to taste
salt to taste
pepper to taste
olive oil

Mix together, let sit for an hour or so for flavours to blend. Serve with toasted french bread for dipping.

Stuffed Mushrooms - Another awesome appetizer that is really quick and easy to make and serve.

Wash/clean fresh white mushrooms, and remove the stems.

Make garlic butter -melt butter and add crushed garlic and garlic powder to taste.

Place mushrooms on a cookie sheet. Pour garlic butter into/over the mushrooms to fill each little hole. Top with shredded mozarella cheese and broil in oven (not on very top rack) until mushrooms are softened and cheese is melted. Serve hot.

Labour Day at the Park

A nice park in Catskill, where we had a little fun waiting for Grandma to do some shopping.

Loving his swing. He says "Swing, swing" in a sing-song voice for a little rhyme we say, Swing swing way up high, swing swing touch the sky. So adorable!

They only had one baby swing so Kenna was enjoying being a big girl

The Rip Van Winkle Bridge

Mini-family shot by the water. Brian is working today, so he's obviously missing from the pictures:-)

New York, here we come

We came to NY for a bit of a working vacation, Brian is helping his Dad out with a project. The kids and I haven't been here since July '07, so it's nice to be back. The weather is gorgeous!

Here is the view of the Catskill mountains from the deck

Kenna loves to point out "mountains!" as we drive around, a pretty sight she is not used to seeing

Brian's Parents Home