Thursday, April 19, 2012

Photo op

You seriously need to check out these sweet pictures my dear friend, Maddy Lucas, recently took of my kids. They are absolutely beautiful. Visit her website to see them all. 


Hello again. It should come as no surprise to you now that from time to time, I step away from the blogosphere. Facebook has just become easier for me lately. However, I do love the idea of having updates on the old blog as a way to remember the little details of life with my children. So here's a quick snapshot.

Alex completed his first science project. He and Noah built a robot fish feeder, which is far beyond any science project I ever did! 
 Gabby's fear/ fascination of weather took a shift when we went and saw the TIV (Tornado Intercept Vehicle) at Noah's work. Gabby has since completed watching the entire first season of Storm Chasers, and has decided that some day she will be a piano-playing meteorologist.

 We made our third trek to the horse races in Keenland, Kentucky this year and this time the Nugents came along with us, which made the trip more fun for everyone.
Easter this year was spent with the Bjorks and Lucas'. If there's one thing we as a group know how to do, it's make food and party. 
In a side note, I was offered an Associate Instructor position at Indiana University which will cover 91 % of my [in-state] tuition with a stipend that will cover the cost of Oliver's Montessori preschool. It's amazing to me how things are just falling into place. We took a gamble a few years ago when we moved to Indiana, before I had even applied to IU. And here we are. We're where we are meant to be.

Friday, January 27, 2012


Life is about to change pretty drastically in my home. I just found out that I was accepted into the Master of Music education program at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music!!! This is a HUGE deal. The Jacobs School of Music is world renown and ranks along side Julliard. So, yeah, big deal!

The hope of my being accepted into this school was one of the driving forces behind moving the family out to Indiana. When Noah and I first got married I would sometimes throw out how much I would love to go to IU, but I didn't see it as a real possibility until Noah got a job offer in Columbus, Indiana (40 miles away from the school). And here we are!

In addition to the esteem this school holds, I have history here. My mom was a child in Bloomington while my grandpa worked on his doctorate. My grandpa's health is currently declining, so I feel especially proud right now to have this connection with him--to walk the same halls he walked many years ago. I got to talk to him yesterday and give him the news right after I found out.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Holy SHIP it's Christmas!

Thanks to mommy bloggers, Noah and I realized that we've been doing Christmas wrong all these years in our marriage--we've been buying our kids their presents at stores instead of making them.

So this year, we did it right. And we did it better than every mommy blogger out there.

But I'm getting ahead of myself... Let me start with Christmas eve:

Festivities began for us with the kids sprinkling magic Reindeer food on our lawn so Santa's reindeer would have energy to complete their long journey (for those of you living in the West coast, that basically means we single handedly saved your Christmas, so you're welcome).
then it was dinner time. This year, we went for a simple, but significant dinner of fish and honeycomb. If you're wondering why that's significant, it's probably time for you to start going to church.
honeycomb looks so cool, but boy is it powerful stuff!
This year, we decided to do eve gifts, which we do some years. I found pirate pajamas for Oliver and Saturn/ rocket pajamas for Alex (he's very into outer-space right now, and really loves the planet Saturn). Gabby doesn't particularly care about sock monkeys, but I couldn't find any PJs with a book pattern so that's what she got.
Bedtime. We read the Christmas story out of the bible, and a handful of other Christmas themed books before sending the kids off to bed. Alex and Oliver fell asleep without any problem. Gabby wasn't asleep until midnight. She was too excited.

My first Christmas gift this year was that my kids slept until 8:30 AM! Which was awesome because I stayed up until 2 AM finishing Christmas preparations.

Santa made it to the house, leaving the kids stockings filled on their beds. Oliver got coal in his stocking (coal gum), and a rock, which is exactly what he asked Santa for when we saw him at the Children's museum.

The tree was also loaded with presents below it (because I had stayed up until 2 AM wrapping them), but those had to wait until after breakfast.
For breakfast, we ate delicious Santa pancakes covered in whip cream and loaded with raspberries. But you know, the kids were so excited about the presents under the tree that they hardly ate anything.
And then it was the much anticipated present opening time

Oliver started things off. This was his first year of being excited for Christmas which made it extra special. He insisted on playing with every toy he opened before letting anyone open another present, which meant that Christmas lasted a whole lot longer.
My nerdy kids got exactly what they asked for...a kit for growing crystals for Alex, and...a DNA laboratory--complete with centrifuge--for Gabby.
If you're thinking that these gifts look surprisingly store bought for a homemade Christmas, you're right. The kids got Christmas money and gifts from their grandparents, uncles and aunts (Noah and I only bought few of the gifts under the tree).

The real present from us was in the basement.
... concealed by a paper barrier:
This is what the kids looked like (note the glum expression on Alex's face--after all the excitement from present opening wore off, the flu set in):
this is what they were looking at:

Initially, Oliver was a bit apprehensive about the ship since Noah put a rocking mechanism on the thing, so it literally ROCKS!
He has since warmed up to it

But wait, there's more!

Noah built an indoor half pipe--you know, for the kids.
The kids actually really love it-- what kid wouldn't! I however, have stayed off the thing remembering what happened last time I got on one.
Christmas night was spent at my best friend, Adrea's house in Indianapolis where we had the best Christmas dinner of my life. Seriously.

We got home around 2:00 AM, put the kids in their beds, gave Alex a drink of water, and watched as he threw it up violently (along with everything else he ate). I think he must have caught the flu bug that's been going around. So we got to clean up puke.

Next year, we're getting the kids each a pair of socks. That's it. And you can bet they'll be store bought.

Stitches and an Allergy

A week ago Saturday, while I was painting the basement, Oliver said, "Hey Mom! Watch this!" I looked down to see Oliver dive head first over a toy basket. The basket flipped over (which I think came as a surprise to him). Then came the screaming--the kind a mom hears and knows something is wrong. I bent down to pick up Oliver and saw blood everywhere. When the basket tipped over, Oliver's head landed on a pile of wooden blocks. Immediately I started hyperventilating as I frantically grabbed my baby and carried him out to where Noah was. Noah took over since I was a little hysterical. We got Ollie cleaned off, and knew right away he'd need stitches.
Oliver was brave. He didn't cry, and held stiller than I've ever seen the boy hold as the doctor numbed him and stitched his head back together.
We were instructed to apply neosporin and hydrogen peroxide twice a day to help with the scaring and to come back in a week to get the 7 stitches removed.
However, two days later, Oliver's forehead started swelling. Noah first noticed it on Monday night at 7:00 PM, when the swelling was about an inch and a half in diameter around the cut. We got a hold of our after hours clinic, and they called in an antibiotic.
By midnight, the swelling had reached 4 inches in diameter and Oliver developed a fever of 102.5 F. I tried calling the after hours clinic again as I was a bit frantic with concern, but after waiting on hold for 25 minutes, I decided to take him to the ER.
The ER trip was a complete waste of time. They gave Oliver Tylenol. Had his cut been anywhere else but the center of his forehead, they would have opened it and drained it.

You can bet I'll be raising my fist to them when I get the $300 bill.
The swelling started improving over the next two days. It was so painful for him when I touched it that I stopped putting the Neosporin and hydogen peroxide on it--until the third day.

When the swelling had nearly gone completely down (Thurday), I put Neosporin on Ollie. Within ten minutes of application, his cut started swelling up and oozing blood and pus.
As it turns out, two of Noah's sisters are allergic to Neosporin. I guess it runs in the family.
Oliver is now doing much better. He looks [and acts] like his old self again. And you can bet I'll never be giving him Neosporin ever again.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Halls are Decked

This year, I am really getting my holiday game on. We have lights strung along our roof line (thanks to Noah, who is awesome) and our front porch looks amazing, especially at night.

Yes, that is a Halloween door mat. We keep my favorite holiday running all. year. long.
I made wreaths:
and even garlands (never doing that again!):
the tree is up, and the train is already broken (thanks Oliver):
And the elves are hard at work in the garage building something...


During the month of November, we worked on a "thankful tree," where every night our family would write something we were grateful for on a leaf to add to our tree.

My personal favorite leaf came from Alex, who said that he was thankful for space, as in outer-space.
"I am thankful for trampolines"--Gabby
This year, I decorated our mantle (I even made the garland!):
Noah cooked the turkey in dutch ovens. He had trouble fitting one of them, so he literally had to saw the turkey in half. It was worth it though.
the spread:
friends and family (totaling 10 adults and 11 kids):
the quintessential "kids table"