Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Introducing: The little sib

The Gingerbread Train

Little Stinker! So the question is always "can I have one gumdrop?" Today I said yes. This is a rare occurrence for me as daddy is much more lenient when it comes to candy. I let him say yes and I say no. It works. Today I said yes. So Aiden heads gleefully to the gingerbread train and chooses a blue candy. He said, "I like blue one" and continued to suck on it making happy grunting noises for the next 10 minutes. Then he tries a new angle "I didn't like that one. I need to pick new one." Huh? Sorry bud...you picked blue and you ate it with relish. Somehow I don't believe you. It scares me to see how quickly he is finding little ways around this. And as I was typing he wanted some Christmas cookies (which are now 3 weeks old and need to be tossed!). I told him no, of course, and he stalks off to his playroom carrying the bag...Ummm...I don't think so. I'm not that dumb yet, son!

Anyway, here are some pictures from our gingerbread decorating fun...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Really, really sick

Aiden has a cough that is interrupting his sleep. Pregnant mommy needs her sleep...as you can see, we have diverging interests in our house.

Two nights ago Aiden's cough was hurting him. He would be fine while I was in the room with him rubbing his back, but not so fine if I tried to leave to go to my own bed. Since he's in a toddler bed, crawling in with him was not an option. So I came up with the bright idea of taking him down with me to the guest room (didn't want to wake up daddy). At first it worked well. The crying stopped and he seemed like he was drifting off. But then pregnant mommy had to pee, which meant disturbing sleeping Aiden. That was the end of the sleep. Next it was "What that noise?" (it was the vents in the room, which are closed and whistle with the heat), then it was "I hear Casey!" (our large cat who has a growth over his nose and breathes like Darth Vader).

2.5 hours later Aiden was wide awake and enjoying hanging out with mommy, but showing no interest in sleep, so I had to take him back to his room. He was NOT happy, but he did eventually fall asleep in his own bed. The next morning he informed me, "I going to sleep with you again in THAT room". And here's the part I never, ever should have said...I replied, "No, that's only for when you're really, really sick and can't sleep." For two days now he's been saying, "I going to be really sick tonight". Of course you are...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Away in a Manger

There are some obvious signs around our house that a child lives here. After specific instructions that he was not to play with the manger pieces, this is what I found:

There have also been joyous refrains of "Happy Birthday to Jesus" echoing through the halls, so maybe he's picking up something of the reason for the season :-).

I've been tagged...

I've been tagged and I'm supposed to show where I blog from...Here I am in all of my blogging glory:

So now I tag...Lisa Perreca :-) (You don't have to be in the picture, I just happened to have this one because Mike had the camera one night)...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Halloween Pictures--Yes, I'm aware that it's December :-)

Updating here has become difficult for a few reasons.

One. It's difficult to get good pictures of Aiden, mainly because he starts to scream, "I want to see Aiden!" as soon as he sees the camera. We're still trying to make him understand that we have to TAKE a picture before he can SEE a picture.

Two. My writing business has taken off so quickly that I find I spend all of my free time writing. And it makes blogging a little less fun because writing is now becoming "work" to me. Not a side-effect I anticipated, but I'll try to deal.

Three. I've been a little fatigued and nauseous lately...with good reason :-). For those of you who don't know already, we are expecting July 8, 2009. 7-8-09...Cool date, huh? Not that very many women ever actually hit the due date, but at least it's easy to remember. A good thing for me and my pregnancy brain (yes, I've been finding frozen stuff in the fridge, refrigerated items in the pantry...pregnancy brain is for real, because that's not a problem I usually have).

Those are my excuses. Take them or leave them. I do have his Halloween pictures up. I was chastised by Mike's cousin's wife at Thankgiving for not bringing pictures of him dressed up for Halloween with me to Thanksgiving. But really, who prints out paper pictures anymore? Not me. I haven't printed out paper copies since he was about 1 and a half. Does anyone else find that the digital cameras have left you with loads of DVDs full of pictures, but no hard copies? Or maybe I'm the only one...Well...these are the best that I could find of my little Thomas train. As you can see, he wasn't really posing--He was too busy saying "I want to GO trick or treat!" Geez mom...who wants to take pictures when there's candy to be had?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Aiden has been busy

I know it has been awhile, but Aiden has been a busy young man this month. With visits to the pumpkin patch, an apple orchard and preschool, his schedule has been full. It is such a fun age! Here are some pictures from the past month or so...

First we've started him on some slave labor:

Then we took a trip to the North Carolina Aquarium. By the end of the museum he complained: "I don't like fish, I don't like sharks, I hungry, I want to eat!"

Then we took him to an apple orchard where he learned that apples come from trees (not the grocery store). He also insisted on carrying this bag even though he could barely walk under the weight.

That's a lot of activity for a 3 year-old.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

You can only be lucky for so long...

We made it 3 years and 5 months without Aiden ever vomiting. As you can tell from the title of this article, the golden age is over...and it departed with a bang!

It started with Lucky Charms. Not something we normally have for breakfast, but since we were on vacation, Aiden got to pick his own cereal. Even though he chose a Fruit Loops imitation, he quickly discovered Daddy's choice of Lucky Charms and nothing else would do. So on that fateful morning he had Lucky Charms.

Then came his 8 year-old cousin, who loves any excuse to feed Aiden, a desire that Aiden is all too happy to indulge. I found them munching Saltines (not even an hour after breakfast). At the time I didn't know how many Saltines they'd been munching...it wouldn't be long before I found out!

This was followed by a Lunchable. I felt badly because he'd only had cereal for breakfast and a few Saltines as a snack (or so I thought) and it would be another 45 minutes before we could get to a fast food restaurant on our 4 hour drive home.

When we reached good ol' Micky D's Aiden promptly requested a cheesburger happy meal. Actually, he probably requested french fries, and when prompted to choose between a cheeseburger or chicken nuggets he chose a cheeseburger. Hey! We all know that the french fries are the main course!

And so it was, about two hours into our drive (and two hours from home) that Aiden's food came back to haunt us. Poor kid...his first-time and it had to be in the backseat of a car...that had better be his only "first-time" in the back seat of a car! We quickly pulled off on an exit ramp and thankfully we had a change of clothes since we had all of our luggage with us. But that was one smelly 2 hour ride home! Poor guy. I climbed into the back seat (not an easy feat considering that we packed our Honda Civic to the roof in order to save gas on our drive) to sit with him for the rest of the ride, should there be a recurrence. At the time we weren't sure if he had the stomach bug I'd had a few days earlier, or just an abundance of food. He fell asleep, and when he woke up he announced with a big grin, "I all butter (better) now! My tummy not hurt anymore!"

An abundance of food indeed...Oink Oink!

Monday, September 15, 2008

New Shades

Aiden in his new shades. Daddy went on a business trip and brought back a present...Shades that look like Daddy's. Aiden says they make him "wook good". And trust me, he's not grinning from ear-to-ear because of the sunglasses...It's because of his favorite meal: "Noonels"

And I thought boys weren't supposed to be picky about wrinkled clothes? This morning he wanted to wear a button up Hawaiian shirt. No sooner had the shirt brushed his skin than he started screaming and throwing a fit because "It don't wook good!" So I had to iron my three-year old's shirt. Seriously?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Go Bucks!

And of course football season is upon us. Aiden is decked out in Buckeye style. He even cheered with us for the smashing of Youngstown State.

Septemeber is slated to be a very exciting month for young Aiden!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The First Day of Preschool...sniff snifff

Off he goes: And yes he's excited. In fact, as I type, (we were ready way before school starts), he is playing in his playroom with the bookbag that he refuses to take off. I anticipate a fit when he has to remove it for the ride to school. Never a dull moment around here!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Puppy Love

It's fun seeing his imagination take off lately. He carried this puppy around for days before moving on to a teddy bear. And before you say "awww, how cute!" you must know that it wasn't always a soft cuddly animal. He's been known to snuggle up to his "Blue One Car" in bed at night more often than a cuddly animal. Maybe he's realizing that cuddly is better when it comes to rolling over in the middle of the night.

And that was all the love Aiden had for puppy who was eventually left lying desolate in the middle of the driveway. Ah well, at least he has his tender moments, even if they are brief.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Water Restrictions?

Well, our board of supervisors was supposed to be implementing water restrictions on Tuesday, September 2. What you see below is a completely dry creek bed that is overflowing thanks to the remnants of Fay which dumped 7 inches on our area Wednesday and Thursday. Let's hope that common sense prevails and we don't end up with water restrictions because of red tape issues (when the city of Richmond has water restrictions we're supposed to follow suit since some of our water comes from the James River). However, with government being the way it is, I'm not holding my breath that they'll be sensible this time around.

Aiden had a good time anyway. Every time I went out to get a picture of the oh-so-exciting water, he nervously stood on our covered porch saying, "Mommy! Come inside! It's thunder mommy, come inside!" My little worrier.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Daddy's New Toy

We don't even call it a tractor at our house. Guests are left in confusion as Aiden greets them with "Hi!" points to the back yard and says "Daddy has new toy!"

It was much needed. With a lot that is nearly an acre, it took way too long for Mike to mow the grass. Aiden would go out and follow him around with his lawnmower for about 20 minutes. Then he'd be done and I'd be left picking up the melting, bug-bitten child and taking him inside where he would stand at a window screaming that he wanted to be with Daaaa-dy.

Lawn mowing is much happier now that Aiden just rides with Daddy or watches from afar.

This is the point where it dawned on me that Mike may have a new way to get to work. I mean, it has to be more fuel efficient than even his Honda Civic...And as I pointed out to him, it's a very similar color. He didn't think it'd be such a good idea though. Bummer! I could have done a lot more shopping with the money we'd save.

There's nothing like a freshly mowed yard. As Aiden says, "Wooks good Daddy!":

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Does anyone else have problems getting their children to take a nap? It's not the nap itself, it's the prelude to the nap. It starts with whining on the way home from the gym (around 11am most days). "I don't wanna take a nap!" Now, naptime isn't until 1:30, but yes, the prelude itself starts 2 hours earlier...Then there is lunch. He has taken to playing with his food instead of eating it because the end of lunch signifies yet another step towards that dreaded nap...Finally after many reminders to eat, I throw up my hands and threaten to take his food away if the timer goes off before he is done. Suddenly he's oh so hungry and in about 3 minutes he'll polish off his plate. And then, when naptime finally comes, you'd think I was asking him to endure shots at the doctor's office by the melodrama that ensues. And does he sleep? You bet! Usually 2.5-3 hours of sleep, so I know he needs it, I just don't know why it's such a fight every day. So is it just me?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Yet Another Blog


This is a blog that I plan on maintaining daily with news tidbits and anything else I find interesting. Hence the title On My Mind...I anticipate the topics to range from weight loss and exercise to parenting and fertility...whatever I find in the news that strikes me as interesting and relevant. If you're interested check it out and leave comments.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Back to the subject at hand...

Because who really wants to hear about me, right? Where do I start with little man? Or should I say Big Man? Because that's what he insists that I call him now. No more Little Bug, Boosie, Buddy Boy, or Little Man. "Mama need call me Big Man. I a Big Man!" Sniff, sniff...He's growing up way too fast.

And he had his first bee sting last week. Sad! We sat on the back porch and Mike snapped these pictures from our bedroom window...Stinker was spying on me! But you can see the bowl of baking soda and his little hand held out with the baking soda sitting on it.

And last but not least, I have to show everyone the cornhole boards that Mike worked long and hard on (Thanks J.P!). As you can all see, Aiden was very excited about this new game! And yes, Daddy chose the shirt...don't ask where the shorts were at this point, I really don't know.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Where have I been?

I hope to be back soon with pictures, but before I leave you all panting for more news on life with Aiden, I wanted to tell you why I've been MIA. I've started working. Mike told me to get useful or get out...No, I'm just kidding, he's been extremely supportive of me because this is something that I wanted and needed. So what is this job of mine? Freelance writing. So it's perfect because I can stay home with Aiden, but I have something that I can do on the side during naps and early evening hours. Plus, my brain doesn't feel quite as mushy as it used to.

I hesitated to tell everyone about this until I was sure it was something I would enjoy and stick with. But it's really a lot of fun. There's no adrenaline rush like landing a job. When you realize that you have a commodity that someone else wants, wow, it's quite flattering. I finished my first job yesterday and God has already provided another one. This one may lead to more jobs. If anyone else out there is looking to start a freelance business, I highly recommend www.elance.com. and I'd be happy to talk with you more about it.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sugar Momma

Well, hardly...so my writing so far has earned me 16 cents. It's not much, but it's more than I've ever been paid to write before, so I'll take it. And as more people stumble across my articles, I earn more pennies. Hey, a penny saved is a penny earned, so it's exciting for me.

There will be more to follow on Aiden...it's just that I've, um, lost my camera. Sort of. I left it at my friend's house 2.5 hours away. She's going to send it to me when she gets a chance, but she's a first year doctor, so I have a feeling it'll be awhile. I have a backup around here somewhere, but I haven't really searched for it yet. Instead I've been grabbing my camcorder, and video clips are much more involved when it comes to uploading them to the computer. So yes. It boils down to me being lazy.

However, Aiden has learned to actually ride his tricycle (as opposed to pushing it) and now loves to ride down the street on his own. His favorite thing is to come to the crest of a hill, pedal as fast as he can and then lift his feet into the air and let his bike careen down the hill. Unfortunately he wobbles his handlebars back and forth as he does this (because he's so excited) and has come close to taking a good tumble a few times (Yes, my child can flip a tricycle...how's that for talent?). Thankfully, I've been jogging within arms reach both times it's happened, but let's face it. I won't be jogging within arms reach of him forever...Maybe it's time to invest in that safety helmet my pediatrician recommended. She said he wouldn't need it yet, she just thought it'd be a good idea to get him used to it, I'm thinking there may be a real need for it...And kneepads and elbow pads...hmmm, can I just strap a pillow to him or is that overkill?

And it isn't so much that I'm afraid of him getting hurt, I mean, of course I'm concerned about that, but the bigger concern is that he'll skin his knee and we'll be hearing about it for the next month. About two weeks ago now he stubbed his toe on the pavement and took off a nice layer of skin. It has pretty much healed over, but any time he wakes up, takes a bath, goes swimming, or breathes, he reminds me of his "owie". I suppose turnabout is fair play as I remember my parents telling me to stop whining about my aches and pains when I was a kid, but seriously...The kid comes up with owies that are invisible to the naked eye. And then he wants a Popsicle to make it feel better. I'm not against giving him a Popsicle for a mouth wound (it's a great way to ice that down), but for the hangnail on his index finger? Really? C'mon Aiden! So if he were to fall off of that tricycle and skin his knee, I have a feeling I'd have to buy the kid an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen in order to get over that "owie". That's why I'm considering ways to strap pillows to him...It's purely for my own survival, not his.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I've found a way to write and get paid for it. Wow! I'm still checking things out, so I'm not sure how much I'll really make from this, but if you click on the link to the right you can see my articles that have been published (and it helps me get paid if I have more viewers). At the time of this post, there is only one article, but I hope to add more. I have all kinds of things I can write about.

If any of you are interested in doing something like this, check out www.triond.com. There are all kinds of things you can upload and get paid for. Pictures (Joel and Jesse--are you guys reading?), movies, writings, etc.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Happy Birthday to Aiden!

3 years old! Wow! Where has the time gone?

Here is Aiden showing us how old he is:

This is Aiden's birthday present. We bought it hoping he'd figure out how to pedal, but instead he's stubbornly insisting that he push himself along with his feet. Ahhh, 3 year-olds...They remind me of the middle schoolers I once taught.

In fact, he finally gave up altogether as you can see from the pictures below:

And of course, like every 3 y/o who gets to choose his own dinner, Aiden chose...Wait! That's not pizza? Sushi?! And yes, he ate all but 2 pieces of that. (And it is California roll so there was no raw fish, don't panic people!)

And it was just mommy and daddy singing happy birthday this year, but that didn't seem to taint his enjoyment of the moment. Just look at that grin!

Happy Birthday little man! We're so glad you're here!

The Hospital Bill

So I did call and argue the invisible IVs that I was given. I was told that my account would be put in "dispute" and I could call back in 30 days to find out what they decided. Yeah, right. At that point I was thinking that I wouldn't be getting any kind of news about the account and it made me mad because how was I going to prove that I never received an IV?

Two weeks after my complaint I got a call from the hospital. Yes, they called me! And they had looked at my paperwork and saw that I hadn't had an IV. Yay! So they were removing those charges from the bill. I was shocked that it was actually that easy, but it was.

I didn't bother arguing the pregnancy test. I figured they'd just tell me that they had given me one so they needed to charge for it...although the stupidity of giving someone who is visibly pregnant a pregnancy test...wow. And $60 for a pregnancy test? Maybe next time I'll bring them one of my internet cheapies from home and let them use that. They obviously don't know how to shop for good deals on pregnancy tests.

Ahh, the craziness that is our health care system.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Doctors or thieves?

The hospital bills are coming in after losing our baby nearly 7 weeks ago. Here's a lesson we've learned, always ask for an itemized bill. M. requested one and it came today. We found some interesting things on it.

The most shocking is that they gave me a pregnancy test. I was 18 weeks pregnant and showing. I was in the ER because I had started spotting and was there for a "threatened miscarriage," but yet they had to do a test to prove it. Anyone want to guess how much a pregnancy test costs? $5? $10? Yeah, in a store...But go to the ER and they charge you $65.77 for a urine, pregnancy test.

I was also charged $94 for an IV that I never received.

They tested me for STDs too. It doesn't matter that I've been tested many times, in the course of my fertility treatment, for STDs and have a mutually monogamous relationship with my husband. But while testing me for STDs, did they bother checking for an infection? Of course not (since that's what was really wrong). Wanna know how much it cost ME for them to find out what I could have told them? $165

Another test that they ran could have been spared with a simple question to the patient...They checked my RH factor. This is something that I was tested for with Aiden, so I could have told them what they'd find. But they chose to just charge me $53.75 instead of asking me.

No wonder insurance costs are on the rise with all of this frivolous testing being done! I feel violated. All of these tests that were done, all of this information that these doctors found out about my body, and I didn't even know they were doing it. They didn't tell me. It just feels as though someone went through my underwear drawer when I asked them to find me something that was on top of my dresser.

How are we supposed to trust our doctors if they don't trust us? I wanted to post this for all of you. Learn a lesson from this and next time you're in the hospital make sure you ask for an itemized bill so you can make sure it's right. I never thought to do this before, but it makes sense. You always walk out of a store with a receipt. You should know what you're being charged for in a hospital too. It's your money. Make sure you guard it wisely.

My rant is over for the time being. We'll be calling our hospital in the morning!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Changes are coming...

I'm changing the design of my blog a little bit so you may see some changes as you stop by for the next few days. I want to give credit for the background to my header to my brother, Joel. He is a phenomenal photographer and I'm going to include a link to his and my other brother, Jesse's public Picasa web site. I know if anyone is interested in buying any photographs they'll be happy to oblige :-).

Joel recently won a Ritz Camera contest. This is the link to his prize-winning photo: http://www.ritzcamera.com/help/Scenic+Runner+Up+5+2007.htm?bct=sPhoto+Contest;sScenic+Photo+Contest+2007

I was so proud. And I'm hoping he'll let me keep my cool header...

Puppy Woes

So today we took Nappy, commonly known to Aiden as "puppy" to Petco. Yes, Aiden has inherited my creativity when it comes to names...Not! But use a fire-starter once in his line of vision and he'll have figured out how to do it on his own. Of course momma won't know that he's figured this out until the fire alarm goes off, but I digress.

So we took Nappy to Petco. Fun, fun. She was desperately in need of grooming. She has those black, black, nails where you can't see the quick, so I rarely clip her nails because I'm so scared I'll hurt her. I've always wanted to take her to Petsmart to be groomed, but the price there was just so steep--nearly $75. We just couldn't bring ourselves to pay that much...after all, we have a college education to save for.

A few weeks ago, a co-worker of Daddy's pointed us to Petco where it is only $45 for a full grooming session (and we even splurged this time and paid $10 to get her teeth brushed too). She is looking spiffy-but her breath isn't as fresh as I thought the brushing would make it. I guess there is only so much you can do with dog breath.

So the grand adventure began around 9:40 when I loaded up Aiden and Nappy. That's always fun because Nappy begins jumping all over the car while Aiden laughs hysterically at her panic. Once we get moving she's fine, but it's always a rocky start to a car ride as I wrestle her off my lap and attempt to navigate the car.

We arrived at Petco and I dropped her off. They said it would be 3-4 hours. I thought that would be a good time for Aiden and I to hit the mall so that I could find some new clothes for the season.

So off we went. We'd barely been to the first store when Aiden began informing me "I'm done mama, go car ride now". Um...how about no?

Then he finds a new tactic: "Aiden have to go pee-pee"...That's the one thing I hate about our mall. I only know of ONE bathroom there and it's at the front of the food court. So off we headed to the food court (and no, it wasn't near the store we were in, so it was a hike).

Anyone want to guess what happens when we hit the food court? Yep...that's right..."Aiden NEED dinner!" (we're working on the breakfast/lunch/dinner concept...for now, they are interchangeable in his vocabulary).

So after telling him that we'd have lunch in a little bit (it was only 10:40 at this point), I got him to the bathrooms and we took care of that issue...And then off to find another store for mommy to shop...Yay!

And once again the chorus began "Aiden need wunch! Aiden go car ride! Aiden go home! Aiden go play! Aiden push stroller!" Ay yi yi!!! So in between the complaints I did manage to snag a couple pairs of shorts that fit and we checked out and headed to the food court. I figured if I fed him maybe he'd be a happier camper.

Wrong! We ate and then when we got up to continue our shopping, I still had to find myself some lip gloss, of course, Aiden decided he should be pushing the stroller. I said no (I had visions of Aiden plowing down everyone in his path and ramming into displays). He said, "Waahhhhh". At which point I had to plop him into the stroller. I start pushing the stroller and guess who is dragging his feet on the ground? That's right...Lil' ol' innocent Aiden. We had a quiet discussion about how he needed to put his feet on the foot strap or he was going to be unhappy when we DID get home. He decided it would be wise to comply with me. Momma ain't raisin' no fool!

So we made it to another store and of course he hops right out of his stroller as I'm browsing for Mother's Day cards and decides to push the stroller. I decided that him pushing the stroller in a confined area within a store was a good compromise so I gave him directions about how far he could go in the store and let him go. We had peace for a few minutes...Until he decided to lay the stroller down in the middle of the aisle to explore the wheels...That'd have been fine if no one else was in the store, but of course, there were other shoppers. Aiden wasn't happy that that game was ended so quickly.

This was the point where I decided that we should go to the kids play area in the mall and let him blow off some steam. This worked well until he announced that he had to go poo poo...and then when I tried to get his shoes on and get him loaded into his stroller he threw a fit--he didn't want to stop playing. (I'm rolling my eyes at this point).

So I strap my thrashing, screaming child into his stroller and head back through the food court. The screaming stops at this point and Aiden begins declaring again that he needs French fries. I swear the mall is set up with the only restrooms in the food court for precisely this type of situation.

They have some cool potties at this mall. They have a family restroom with big potties and little potties. I was really glad at first that it was a pint-sized potty--until he sat down to do his business. Aiden tends to sag his little bum into the toilet when he goes. I guess he doesn't want to miss the toilet and figures the closer he can get to the target, the better...Well, with the pint- sized potty Aiden sagged his butt in there and announced "Oh no, bottom all wet!" And that's when my excitement over the pint-sized potty ended.

At this point I look at my watch. Nappy is supposed to be ready between 1 and 2. It's only 12:15. So off we go back to the play area...1pm we leave, with more kicking and screaming. I swear people thought I was kidnapping the child. We got a lot of looks.

We arrive back at Petco around 1:20 and I'm told it'll be another 45 minutes to an hour. I wanted to cry. How was I supposed to entertain this child who was already well past naptime for the next hour?

Chick Fil-A! brilliant! So we went and ate again and Aiden got to play some more while I sat in a booth and attempted to keep my eyes open (I'm running on about 3 hours of sleep thanks to the lightning and thunder show that lasted all night last night). It was nice for about 20 minutes, until Aiden decided that it was much more fun to come in and out of the door to the glass-enclosed play area than to actually play in the play area. It started with him wanting a drink, then he had to poo poo...another fit as I forced him to put his shoes on to go to the potty (which ended up being an unsuccessful trip anyway), and then back to the play area. All of this time I'm waiting for Petco to call...and they don't. After an hour and 15 minutes and the frustration over Aiden's "the other side of the door is greener syndrome" mounting to the boiling point, I decided that enough was enough. I stuffed Aiden's shoes on him (as he screamed, and once again I had people taking mental notes of my face and my child's-- just in case an Amber Alert came out later today). And dragged him to the car. He was so tired, I was tired, I was ready to go postal on Petco and reclaim that dog...At this point I was thinking that there'd better be some bows in her hair for this to take 5 HOURS...

And finally, finally, the dog was ready...I swear, I need a 5 hour spa treatment after today! Why does my dog get one? Oh yeah, she's a bit less expensive...still!

Of course, that couldn't be the end of the story. There had to be one final blow...As I'm heading out towards the car, I have Aiden in one hand screaming (of course) because he wanted to hold puppy's leash, and the puppy on the other hand running willy-nilly nearly wrapping me up in said leash and my purse falls off of my shoulder and into the middle of the main traffic area of the parking lot. I manage to scoop it all up and drag Aiden the rest of the way to the car. As I open the door for him to get in, the dog jumps in past Aiden and the leash catches Aiden square in the back and throws him into the edge of the door...and now we have a real reason to cry as the welt rises up immediately and he screams, "Puppy hurt me!" through his tears...Sigh...And no, there were no bows for the dog.

But she does look much better...I'm still not sure if it was worth it. Ask me tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Aiden's new snack

For a few days now I've noticed Aiden chewing on something. I didn't know what it was, but I didn't check it out either because with the potty training comes treats. Aiden does tend to savor his treats by letting them melt in his mouth.

Yesterday he was sitting on my lap chewing. It occured to me that if he was still eating a treat, he had really made that sucker last. I asked him to open his mouth and I saw something whitish in there. Did I think something was askew at this point? Of course not, I figured he had a nougat (all of the treats are chocolate) of some sort. Then I caught a whiff of his minty-fresh breath. Hmmmm...Just as I did that, he swallowed and announced "all gone, Aiden go get more". This is the point that I realized he had somehow helped himself to my Extra peppermint gum.

So I had my unwitting child (he's going to catch onto this soon enough) lead me to his stash. And there it was, a half-eaten stick in the playroom and another 3 sticks lying in wait on my Bible which was by our stairs.

I called Mike to tell him, because of course it was hilarious that he's been walking around snacking on gum lately. That's when Mike told me that he'd seen him chewing and chewing on something white last week.

Little stinker!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Training, training...

Well, this is day #4 w/ no accidents and yesterday we had a second successful trip to the potty for #2...Yay!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Potty Pooper!

That's right folks...after 12 repeat episodes of "Aiden have to poo-poo" and mommy drops everything to run to the bathroom w/ Aiden only to be rewarded by being told "Aiden poo-poo all gone". At which point mommy replies, "o.k. you tell me when you feel like you have to go again and we'll try then". And yes, we must have repeated that 12 times today. Some of the episodes were mere minutes apart. We read books, mommy gave him "privacy," mommy sat on the floor with him. Mommy tried everything in a desperate attempt to get him to go. Just as mommy was leaning her head on the door of the bathroom in defeat and thinking "I'm giving this two weeks, and if it still doesn't work, we're giving up for awhile" Aiden did it. Yay!!! And yes, we took him swimming as a reward. I'm not about to say that he's arrived, but I think we're getting awfully close.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

New Blog

I have a new blog that I'm doing to journal Chase's life and all that I'm learning about God through the grieving process...Feel free to check it out. http://chaselukens.blogspot.com

My flexible boy

Aiden is no longer a baby. A few weeks ago, when we lost Chase, this became all too apparent to me. We shipped Aiden from person to person, and thankfully had some friends from our church who live nearby who were more than willing to keep him on a moments notice. And after a trip to the ER, and then my water breaking and a trip to my OB, they proved that they really mean a "moments notice".

In all of the tumult, Aiden never complained. We had friends from our home group putting him down at night and staying with him. He spent another night with my mom. And a couple of his days were spent with his friend "Baby Alex". Baby Alex's parents were the ones who were so kind about taking Aiden in on a moments notice.

Most kids would've had a rough time with so much upheaval. Especially kids that are used to a stay-at-home mom who has always been around. I think the most I've ever been away from him before this was a night that we left him at my mom's last year. Not Aiden though, he was just thrilled to be playing with his "friends".

I'm thankful. I think the ordeal of losing one son would have been so much worse if I'd been worried about my firstborn son.

Today he showed one of the first signs of clinginess when he wouldn't let me put him in the nursery at church. I think it's a result of the tumultuous 3 weeks we've had. Instead of going to nursery, he chose to sit quietly on my lap throughout our entire service. I couldn't believe how well-behaved he was. In some ways, I'm glad he's growing up and I'm excited to see what his 3rd year of life will bring, but I'm sad to see this first stage end.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

About our son, Chase

This is the Eulogy from Chase's memorial service, the picture below is Chase's hand and Mike's finger:

Mike and I wanted to give you all the opportunity to know our son, Chase. He is the baby that we'd yearned for for two long years. We fell in love with him under a microscope--because we had to undergo IVF to conceive him. We saw him at 6 weeks with his heart beating strong. We saw him again at 8 1/2 weeks when his arms and legs were just forming. At 10 weeks we got another peek into the womb where those arms and legs were fully formed and he waved them around in a special baby dance. At 14 weeks we heard his sweet heartbeat for the first time--the special swishing made our hearts fill with joy because at last we'd made it through the treacherous first trimester and we could make plans.

Over the next four weeks I felt Chase flutter and roll inside of me--he was so active and alive! when Mike was around I'd greet the flutters with a loud, "Hi baby!" so he could know our baby was awake. Then came our first emergency ultrasound. We were so worried, but there was our little boy--we could see that now--lounging in my belly. We could see Aiden in the profile and Chase sucked on his fingers--even flipped around to moon us (just like daddy!). We were so relieved that he was o.k. And then my water broke, and we knew something had gone terribly wrong for our little boy.

For the next 36 hours he clung to life, and we fought for him for as long as we could. When he was born it was so silent. They cleaned him for us and brought him back in all swaddled up. He was precious! From his dimpled chin (just like daddy's) to his sweet little nose, lips and ears. His fingers and toes were perfect in detail--down to the nails that covered them. Those hours we spent holding, studying, and kissing Chase were the most bittersweet hours of our lives. The grief is raw, and there will always be a hole in our family and our hearts.

There is one prayer that I constantly lift before God on behalf of our children. When Chase was in my belly I prayed it often over him. That prayer was that his life would glorify God.

What happened to Chase was a surprise to us, but not to God. And I believe that God will use Chase's life and death to bring Himself glory. I did not want my son to die, but when I knew that death was inevitable, I still had hope, because we serve a God so in love with us, that he gave his own Son up to die in order that Chase and any who call on the name of Jesus would have eternal life. We can trust our son to a God like that! I know, I could never give my son up to die voluntarily. God did, and now our hope is that we will see Chase again one day--and better yet, we will see the One who gave us all eternal life. And that is what comforts us today. This isn't a goodbye, but a "see you later". We love you, Chase!

Monday, March 24, 2008

March Madness

After a weekend of watching basketball, our monkey has come up with a few moves...I swear, he mimics everything he sees right now. It's so much fun!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Scarlett O'Hara Syndrome

For those of you familiar with Gone With the Wind, you'll know what I mean when I say "I'll think about that tomorrow". Tomorrow never comes. It's a way of pushing things off that you don't want to deal with today. Aiden has Scarlett O'Hara Syndrome. It comes in the form of "After wunch". In Aiden-speak that means "after lunch". Of course, after lunch never comes. A normal conversation goes:

"Aiden, do you have to poo-poo on the potty?"
"No, Aiden poo-poo potty after wunch."
"But you just ate lunch."
"Aiden poo-poo potty after wunch."

Inevitably "after wunch" never comes...I hear this is normal at this age, but at some point he'll have to deal with reality. After lunch comes, tomorrow comes, and we're held accountable for our actions, by God, even if those around us choose to let us slide. Just something to think about on this very Good Friday.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Building Frustrations

Aiden is NOT known in this house for his patience. It's a minute-by-minute lesson for him some days...and a daily lesson for me as I attempt to patiently deal with the fits he throws over the smallest (in my eyes) things.

Right now he is learning to build with his blocks. It's great fun, until Aiden accidentally knocks down one of his "towers"...Then it's a full-blown fit.

Notice the green block beginning to fall. This was an accident instead of a demolition.

Now Aiden leans forward and knocks down the rest of his hard work as he proceeds to wail like a banshee.

And of course, we have to look up and see how mom is reacting. He wasn't happy to see that I was so unconcerned that I had the camera out and was snapping away.

In this picture, he is actually still voicing his extreme distress over the destruction of his building, but now that the camera is out, he's torn...Should he smile for the camera, or continue the fit so that mom is made completely aware of how upsetting the whole incident was for him?

Eventually, his love for the camera won out and he made another, bigger building and commanded me to document the builder along with the building so he could, "watch Aiden, mama".

And we're back in good spirits, for the benefit of the almighty camera.