Monday, September 27, 2010

Weekend Project

Jason thought it would be fun if I blogged about things I do when I am not pulling out my child's tummy tube or cloroxing school lockers. I really enjoy crafts - mainly those involving material.

This weekend I had a chance to refinish some chairs. I have been wanting a new chair to put Callie's booster seat on, and I thought a matching chair for Sadie's seat would nice. A week ago we were leaving our house and noticed that our neighbor had 4 chairs on her lawn with a sign reading "FREE - Please take all 4." So I did.

Using leftover paint from a previous project, material remaining from the kitchen curtains I sewed and less than $5 worth of materials from the hardware store, I made the chairs quite functional for our house.

This is one of the chairs right off the neighbor's lawn.

It was a little worn from years of use.

Here is a finished chair with a fresh coat of paint, new foam, new material and a few extra screws to make it more sturdy. What you might not be able to tell is there is also vinyl covering the new material. Not the most aesthetically pleasing thing, but highly practical considering two little girls are going to be learning to eat in these chairs.

Callie looked at the chairs and said, "I like. Eat." I guess that works for me.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What a Day!

Do you remember the book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? Well, I had one of those days this week. Like Alexander, I was pretty convinced that Australia was the place to be, rather than Fargo, ND.

We started the morning by walking Wyatt to school and then getting home to get Callie and Sadie fed and dressed for the day. We drove to speech therapy and due to massive amounts of construction around town, I tried a new route. Bad idea. It was a stretch of road where if you were stopped at one stoplight, you would be stopped at all the stoplights. Even though I left home in plenty of time to get to therapy, we arrived right when the session was supposed to be starting. I went to get Callie out of her carseat and she puked. Thankfully it was mainly on her jacket, which I just took off. During Callie's session, while I was talking to another therapist, Sadie decided to spit up. Lovely, considering this is the child who hardly ever spits up. At least in true Sadie form she laughed after she did it.

After Callie's session, she told me she wanted to be fed. Since she hardly ever tells us this, I most definitely agreed to feed her on the way home by way of her feeding tube. I had the feeding pump sitting beside me for the drive home and everything was going well until a UPS driver tried to pull over on top of me. Scary. I had to stop the feeding early because air got in the line and it the pump quits working and alarms when there is air present. We arrived home and as soon as I took Callie out of her carseat she started crying. It took me a second to realize why. My child was losing massive amounts of milk out of her stomach. I looked back up at the carseat and yes, sure enough, dangling from her feeding tube was her Mic-Key button. Oh wonderful. Apparently it IS possible to jerk that thing right out of her stomach.

I didn't panic because I have changed out her button numerous times after the old one wears out, but this was clearly not a "scheduled" change. I was little ticked with myself. I grabbed Callie and put pressure over the hole in her stomach to try to keep some of the milk in and to keep air out. I grabbed the no-longer-in-her-stomach button, then tried to gather my thoughts to figure out what to do next. You see, Sadie was still contentedly sitting in her carseat and I needed two hands to get her out. Unfortunately, my hands were kind of full at the moment. So, I went next door and got our neighbor to see if she could watch Sadie while I replaced Callie's feeding tube. She and her grandson came to help and I took Callie inside to replace the button.

I was a little frazzled and for some reason did not have everything I needed in one place so it took a few trips up and down the stairs to get all the supplies needed. Once I had everything, the button refused to go in. Callie was stressed and had tensed up her stomach muscles which made it practically impossible to replace the button. I couldn't get her to relax, but at this time I hear Sadie outside screaming like I have never heard her scream before. Nice. I run downstairs and outside only to realize Sadie, "Little Miss Happy Pants" has stranger anxiety. What a wonderful way to find out. But I still can't get her because I have to get the hole in Callie's stomach plugged up.

So I call my mom, the RN, to see what options I have. One is the emergency room, but I really don't like that one. The other is to try to get Callie to relax so the button will go in. My mom gets on the phone with Callie and she relaxes and within a few seconds, the button is in. So now I can go rescue Sadie. As soon as I take her from the neighbor, Sadie laughs. It took me a while to settle down but both girls went down for naps pretty easily.

So after a couple of hours of down time, we walk to get Wyatt. I pick him up and he is wearing short sleeves. When he goes to get his long-sleeved shirt out of his backpack, little twigs start falling on the floor. I just assume he picked them up while outside playing until there I notice a piece of his shirt is matted around a larger twig. I then realize this twig is actually a grape vine. So Wyatt and I engage in the following conversation.

Me: Wyatt, where did the grape stem come from?
Wyatt: Snack time.
Me: Did you not eat the snack I packed for you?
Wyatt: Yes ma'am, I did.
Me: But, Wyatt, I didn't pack you grapes.
Wyatt: Yes ma'am you did. Remember? Like the first or maybe the second day of school.
Me: Wyatt, you did NOT eat those grapes today, did you?
Wyatt: No, ma'am.
Me: Well, where did you get them from?
Wyatt: My locker.
Me: Wyatt, do you have more food in your locker?
Wyatt: Yes ma'am.
Me: Wyatt, show me your locker.

At this point he takes me to his locker and pulls out the blanket he uses for rest time. Sure enough, there on the bottom of his locker, is a handful of smushed, moldy, wrinkled grapes, a moldy half of an apple, and an open baggy of stale trail mix. Wyatt's teacher thankfully had a clorox wipe I could use to clean his locker and we had a lovely discussion on how moldly food can make us very sick and we never store leftover food in our locker.

Wyatt's excuse for the stash of food? "Mom, you've been packing me too much food." Well, then Son please bring it home so I can see I am packing you too much.

The rest of the evening was pretty uneventful but bedtime could not come soon enough this day.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Catching Up

It's been a couple of weeks since the last update, but we've done several fun things in that time span, and Kelli's been pretty busy, so I thought I (Jason) would take a few minutes and be the blog updater-person for a bit. Here's a quick rundown of the highlights:
On August 29, Fargo hosted "Streets Alive." It was a citywide opportunity for families to walk, jog, ride bikes, rollerskate, propel wheelchairs, or otherwise commute throughout the city sans automobile. Five miles of main streets were blocked off throughout Fargo and Moorhead. Since Sadie was too small for the bike trailer, we let Wyatt be the only one to ride his bike while the rest of us walked. (Sadie's not AWOL; she's stretched out in the back of the double stroller in the photo.)

Along the route, there were a variety of stations to learn more about health, wellness, and physical activity. Wyatt gave the art of hula hooping a try.

He decided that it looked much easier than it really was.

It was a gorgeous afternoon, and we all enjoyed walking/biking/strollering around town together. There were hundreds of people out and about that day.

My parents came to town last week, and we spent lots of quality time together. Kelli decided that she wanted to make some homemade marshmallows, so we gave that a go. They made a HUGE, STICKY mess, but once they got into the pan and sat for a few hours, they actually turned out quite nice. The only problem is that they were so tasty, we ate them all before snapping a photo. Trust me, though - topped with a little toasted coconut and dipped in some semisweet chocolate, they were amazing.

Amazing, yes. But also very sticky and messy to clean up...

We also took advantage of the weather with Moms and Pops and went for a long walk last weekend. Passing by the playground, we had to stop and let Wyatt and Callie check out every swing and slide in the area.

Then, on Labor Day, we partied hard with a good old fashioned shrimp boil - potatoes, fresh corn, onions, sausage, and shrimp all cooked together in a big pot and dumped on a table covered with newspaper. It was delightful!

A lot of goodness packed into the past two weeks, if I do say so myself.