Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Wednesday Write-Up

 -I received notification from Greta's preschool that she will be attending the afternoon class this fall. I think it just dawned on me that I will be completely childless for a whole 5 hours a week starting the beginning of September. This will be the first time in some six years. I'm a little giddy.

-Wesley casually informed me that on occasion he tries urinating into the trash can (next to the toilet) instead of the toilet itself. I had to manually close my mouth when he said this. This might explain the urine smell in the toilet off of the laundry room. I've flushed the toilet constantly, mopped the floor, washed everything (except the trash can) and still can't explain why that bathroom always smells like urine. I don't understand the male species.

-Last week during some massive storms I was picking the kids up from VBS while listening to the weather reports on the radio. They reported grapefruit sized hail in a town about an hour away. Let's all just take a moment to think about what it would be like to experience hail the size of grapefruit falling from the sky. That scared the crud out of me.

-Well it finally happened. Black widow spiders have officially moved into our region. I found one living in our shop about a month ago and have found three more since then. I treated the perimeter of the house and shop with a Home Defense bug spray and immediately found one dead hanging on a web. We've lived with brown Recluse spiders (another poisonous species) forever but finding black widows just freaks me the heck out. Ick.

-I've decided to start running again. I'd taken the spring and summer off because I switched gears and started weights, which I love! Been hitting the weights three times a week pretty hard and am kind of liking the results. But I need to start incorporating cardio again (which I really didn't miss). So I've decided to run the 5K at our little towns fall festival. This might keep me going. I don't want to just show up like I did last year without any training. So twice a week I'm going for a run in the evenings. So far it's been easy to get back in the swing of it, in fact it feels good. Turns out I did miss running!

 -I've been needing a new show to watch in the evening while sculpting and working out and find it very hit or miss with Netflix shows but I took a gamble and started a show called "Damages". It's from back in 2007 and stars Glenn Close. I am totally hooked. What a thriller! I'm on season two now and am looking forward to getting through all five seasons. If you need a show, check it out!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lay My Laydies

We came back from vacationing over the fourth of July to a wonderful surprise. Eggs! Lots and lots of eggs. Those baby pullets finally grew up and started producing eggs. Yea! I've been having to buy eggs from the grocery store again (think of it!) and am so glad to halt that. Now something I don't remember with the first batch of hens was how small the eggs are when they start laying. These are tiny little eggs. I'm guessing as they grow so do the eggs. It's ok with me, I just have two tiny fried eggs in the morning rather than one large egg. I've been thanking my "laydies" by giving them a head of cabbage a week plus all the kitchen scraps I can stockpile.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Summer Wind Down

Guess what I'm doing this week? I'm enrolling Wesley into first grade! It is already that time of the year again. This summer is just speeding by like it does every year. I need to slow down so I can enjoy it. It's been go go go! Last week was the final week of the reading program at the library. The kids really enjoyed going to that every Tuesday morning. Greta came out of her shell and showed me that she could detach herself from my leg and go sit with the big kids during reading time. She's really grown up a lot this summer and I'm super proud of her. They got to do arts and crafts like making pet rocks and creating a worm farm. We wrapped it all up last Thursday with a pool party at the city pool which the kids thoroughly enjoyed.

Then all last week the kids attended vacation bible school at a local church. I wasn't sure how they would do with it since it ran pretty late in the evenings (6:30-9) but again I was pleasantly surprised. They came home the first night so excited to go back the next evening. Greta trotted into her preschool age class at VBS with not much more than a hug goodbye. I was impressed she let me go home. I think this all will help tremendously with preschool that starts in September. I was a little worried about actually leaving but this just showed me that she has, indeed, grown up a lot this summer. Wesley also had a great time at VBS, mainly due to the fact that his buddy Andrew goes to that church and he hasn't seen much of him this summer. Overall it was a great experience and one I hope to do again next summer.

The weather has kept us indoors off and on this week. It's been freakishly cool and raining. We are currently in a flood watch due to the huge amount of rainfall. I actually wore a fleece jacket outside to feed the animals this evening. How many times can I say that in July? The rain has made everything grow like crazy, it's like a rainforest out in the walnut grove. So lush! The garden is overgrown, everything creeping into everything else. I've gotten behind on my weeding and mulching so I actually took the weed whacker to portions of it yesterday. Like usual I'm drowning in squash. I've started just leaving the patty pan squash on the vine to promote the plant to stop making it. The pile I have in the fridge has started to be dispersed among the livestock. Better someone eat it than it go to waste. I've taken to chopping up a few each day and feeding them to the goats and chickens. The horses and "baby" goats don't seem to have a taste for it but Dym (the black goat) will eat it like crazy. She is not a picky goat.

Most of the garden has been eaten up by the grasshoppers. This year will officially be known as the "Year of the Grasshoppers". It's been bad. Very bad. It's ok though. I tend to lose interests in the garden around this time of the year so I'll let them have it. The tomatoes and bell peppers are just starting to ripen up so I'll harvest those and then leave it to the grasshoppers.

That's my update. Hope you all are having a nice summer! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Adventures in Van Land

I ran across some pictures from the trip and realized I didn't talk about the van at all due to the rather exciting Wesley event. Taking the van on vacation was a hit. It handled the mountains just fine, the kids were comfortable and the toilet was well used. I realized last year we were still potty training Greta and she wore a pull-up throughout the whole trip. This year was a whole new ballgame. We had two kids that chimed in at nearly any moment with "I have to go potty!!" And this wasn't just a "hey, I might need to find a toilet in the next half an hour", it was a "you'd better find a toilet in the next 30 seconds or I'm going to soil the seats". Luckily, we had a toilet on board! Sean would find the nearest exit and pull off to the side of the road. It saved a whole lot of time not having to stop at gas stations. I have to admit I used it quite a few times too.

We all managed to fill up the waste water tank in no time. So then the hunt for a place to dispose of the waste water began. Apparently most rest stops have black water dump stations somewhere so we stopped at a few before finding one. Now since not a single one of us had ever dumped the tank before it proved to be a learning experience. In theory you just take the hose and hook it from the van into the ground and then open up the lever on the van to let all the nasty stuff go into the ground hookup. That worked fine. Then, since you don't want to stow the nasty poo hose, you wash it out. There was a water faucet right next to the dump station so we attempted to wash it out. I held the hose while Sean pushed the lever. It was going fine until I adjusted the hose and caught the rim on the high powered jet of water and proceeded to soak us all with what I'm going to say was water. In reality it was probably not water. We got a good (well needed) laugh out of the experience and are having fun learning the ins and outs of RVing.

Monday, July 22, 2013


Last Thursday morning, bright and early, I took Wesley in for his EEG. It took about an hour to get there and I had to leave at 7 in the morning. I suppose it's because I've never driven into town at that early of an hour, but there is apparently a rush hour! Holy cow were there a lot of cars on the road. I'm just happy I don't have to travel at that hour of the day hardly ever.

I got to the hospital and checked him in and then they led us to his room. This was initially intended to be a sedated EEG but after talking to him and seeing how calm of a child he is they decided he wouldn't need to be sedated (yeah!). The nurse brought in a picture booklet that showed Wesley what an EEG looked like. It was sorta funny because the booklet was full of all these sedated children with piles of wires attached to their heads, not a single awake child in the whole booklet. The nurse made the comment that they needed to make a book with non-sedated children and then she asked if she could photograph Wesley throughout the EEG and make a new book. I said sure and so she took a ton a pictures with a smiling Wesley. I think it will be a lot more inviting for these uneasy children coming in for this procedure in the future.

Wesley got to play with some really fun toys called "Magna Tiles" while we waited for the EEG tech to come in. Then he got to pick out a movie to watch during the procedure. I told him he'd have to sit really still during the EEG or they'd have to put in another IV to sedate him. He looked at me with wide eyes and said he'd sit really really still. Which he did. He did a wonderful job and did everything they asked. We were there for about four hours and then headed home.

They called this afternoon to let me know the EEG came back normal. They said they will run a full neurological exam if he has another seizure. Here's hoping they never have to do that.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fun with Grandy Randi

Well the insanity of the trip is done, the party is over and the house is quiet once again. Granny Randi (or Grandy Randi as Greta calls her) left Sunday and we all miss her. We had a nice time having her here last week, the kids thoroughly enjoyed having Granny here 24/7. She got used as a giant pillow a few times:

Her friend Connie asked her to gather a few bags of walnuts while she was here so out she went one evening into the grove and gather she did. I believe Connie wanted them for dying wool. I'm just glad someone is using them!

But my favorite picture of the week is brought to you by the Stomp Rocket that Aunt Stacy and Uncle Nate got Wesley for his birthday. It's a great toy that the whole family enjoyed (enjoys!). The harder you stomp on the air pad, the higher the rocket shoots. So we got fancy with the effort we put into jumping and stomping on the air pad. Randi perfected the "Run and Jump" method while Wesley stuck with the "One Foot really high in the Air" method. We aren't showing you my method because I'm the keeper of the blog and decide which incredibly bad photos are posted and which are silently deleted. Hehehe.

First off the "One Foot" method:

And lastly the "Run and Jump" method including my favorite Granny Randi picture ever.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Happy Birthday Wesley!

Happy birthday my little dude. You aren't so little anymore but you will always be my little man. Three days ago you turned six. Yesterday we had your birthday party and I must say, it was the best one yet! We bit the bullet and rented a bounce house. Not just any bounce house but a giant monster truck bounce house. I knew you kids would have fun in it but I didn't know just how much fun the adults would have in it. We had a ball! Made me feel like a kid again.

This year we invited friends from school. You listed off your favorite people and we invited them. In the end all but one showed up and it was a full house. We had Granny Randi and Papa Rich here, Noni and Papa, Aunt Betsy and Uncle Blake, Bennett and Emery, Aunt Jessica and Alex and Abby, Dru, Charity and their girls Serenity and Isa, and your friends from school: Andrew (your best friend), Kyler and Riley.

Granny Randi and I sculpted the bugs out of fondant, and had a blast doing it!
You kids had a great time bouncing in that monstrosity of a bounce house. It was a typical middle of July day with temperatures of 101 in the shade. Little faces were red but happy. Lots of drinks kept you all hydrated and many trips back into the air conditioning helped keep everyone happy.

One of the funniest parts was watching your grandparents jump (and get stuck). Papa somehow got himself stuck in the corner and needed help out.

I hope you had a great birthday Wesley! It will be hard to top this year, but I'm sure we can try.

Can't forget the hat picture every year.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Vacation Part 3

Here is the last part of the Colorado vacation. Here is Part 1 and Part 2. So after the scenic hike we headed back to the mine for the tour. I gotta say I wasn't expecting a whole lot. It was, after all, a giant hole drilled into the side of a mountain. Well I was wrong. It was a guided tour, our tour guide being a younger gal who's family owns the mine. She did a great job explaining how the mine was created, what they used back in 1901 to drill it and what it was used for. They even had some great displays along the way. For instance here is Wesley on a "honey pot," or mine toilet.

 And here is my father playing cards with some fellow miners of the time. It was an interesting experience to say the least.

We went back into town and indulged in some ice cream cones which has become sort of a tradition. Greta particularly loved her cone.

And then the vacation ended and we got a frightening wake up call.

We were awoken Friday morning at 5 am to Wesley gurgling and gasping for air. We flew out of bed and climbed up to the top of the bunk where he was sleeping. We tried to wake him and he was completely unresponsive. Still gasping we drug him down to our bed where he went limp. I couldn't tell if he was breathing or even alive for that matter. It was freakin scary. I went running from our room into the main lodge yelling for help. Nobody was awake at that early hour. I finally found the door to the upstairs apartment in which the owners lived. I just barged right in like I owned the place yelling for help. The sweet people ran  out of their bedroom and called 911. When I got back to the room Wesley was still unresponsive, completely out. We checked his pulse and decided he was alive so we put him on his side while we waited for the ambulance. They got there in no time, maybe less than 15 minutes? By that time he was twitching his fingers but not doing much of anything else. The EMT came in and checked him over and put him on the gurney. They said he had most likely had a seizure and was in a postictal state. This is considered to be the period shortly after a seizure where the brain is still recovering from the seizure. The poor little guy slowly began to wake up while they were strapping him in. They asked who wanted to ride with him and I volunteered (since the alternative was to drive behind in the van, to which I had no experience driving in the mountains).

Once in the ambulance they hooked all sorts of things up to Wesley. He got an oxygen tube under his nose and several diodes all over his head and body. They took him into Lake City and then made the decision to take him along into Gunnison. While stopped in Lake City in hopped a lady that I recognized. It was our tour guide from the mine. Turns out she's an EMT too.  It was nice to see a familiar face. She asked all sorts of questions and reassured me that his behavior was quite normal for someone that went through a seizure. They thought it could be high altitude related but pretty much dismissed it after I told them this was our fifth day in the mountains.

We headed out to Gunnison, which is about an hour and fifteen minutes away if traveled by a normal vehicle. This was anything but a normal trip to Gunnison. We were in an ambulance with the lights flashing going at least 80 mph around these tight mountain curves. I'm not sure if the trip was more frightening or the seizure. It's a toss up. I might add that I can get car sick when traveling in the back seat of most vehicles. Apparently so does poor Wesley who threw up twice. It was hard to tell if the poor guy was reacting to the intense drive or the stress his little body went through.

About half way there our tour guide looked up at me and declared that she'd like to put an IV line in. I thought she had to be kidding since we were all practically flying around the inside of the ambulance as the driver took these tight turns. She wanted to be prepared in case he had another seizure along the drive. That way they'd be able to administer medication directly. I gave my blessing and prepared Wesley. He didn't seem to care and was a trooper through this whole ordeal. So that awesome EMT yelled to the driver "Andy I'm putting in a line!" to which he (the driver) immediately slowed down to 112 mph 70 mph. She popped that IV line in with no problem, Wesley just shut his eyes and didn't even make a peep. Did I mention he as such a trooper?

Finally got to Gunnison Valley hospital and was so relieved to have made it there alive (and with shorts and shoes on! I'm so happy the lodge owner reminded me to throw on some shorts and shoes.....these are just things you don't think of when your baby is in trouble).  Now at this point Wesley is awake and pretty much back to his normal self. He was rather sleepy and once they got him a warm blanket he zonked back out. The doc came in and we talked a bit about what we did the day before, any head injuries and family history. Turns out there is a family history. It took Sean getting there to inform me that there is a family history of epilepsy. I think somewhere deep inside I knew that but certainly didn't remember when the EMT's were asking me that. They did some lab work and we discussed getting him and MRI or a CT scan but in the end we all decided (doctor included) that we needed to head home to a lower elevation and talk to our own pediatrician about further testing. We were released a few hours later and we went home.

So yesterday he had an appointment with his pediatrician and she did quite a few physical tests and set us up with an EEG for next week. He'll be sedated and they'll read what's going on in his noggin. We will go from there.

It was a great vacation up until Friday when it abruptly ended. We were going to head up to my parents cabin but obviously decided it was time to get home and get everything checked out. I sincerely hope this isn't altitude related, it would be sad to think we wouldn't be heading back there. I guess we'll just wait and see what happens. For now our little dude is back to his normal sister hitting, computer game playing, couch jumping, goofy self. And that's exactly how I want it to stay.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Vacation Part 2

So from Pueblo we drove to Gunnison Colorado with a pit stop on top of Monarch pass. It's a rather sleep climb and it was nice to pull over at the top to see the gift shop and stretch our legs. While there we saw what appeared to be a tram ride up the mountain. Since we were stopping to do fun things along the way I figured a tram ride would fit the bill. So into a little blue tram we hopped and up to Monarch crest we went. The top was 11,315 feet and cold and windy but fun! The kids enjoyed it and we got some nice pictures.

We headed to Gunnison for the night, staying in a pretty decent little Comfort Inn (with it's equally decent pool I might add). Once again the kids swam while their exhausted parents tried to stay awake. That's the thing with taking vacations with little kids, there is no down time. Usually at home we put them to bed by 8 pm and then have a little time to relax and watch a movie or something. None of that going on. It was lights out by 9 pm. We all hit the hay. 

We asked the front desk lady where was the place to eat in Gunnison, Colorado and she relied "The Gunnysack!" quite enthusiastically. So off to the Gunnysack we went where we ordered the most fantastic grilled salmon salad we'd each ever had. It was wonderful and we will remember to stop there next time we go wandering through that town. 

Wednesday morning we got up and headed for our destination. This year we booked two nights at a quaint little lodge on Lake San Cristobal outside of Lake City. It was a real treat to be in such a beautiful place and it brought back a lot of memories from my youth. 

 Thursday was the fourth of July so we got decked out in our red, white and blue clothes and headed for the parade in town. It's never a disappointing parade and this year was no different. The kids officially have parades figured out, they wave and look cute and they get showered with candy. We came away with a bag full of the sweet stuff. Like they need more sugar to drive their craziness. My parents met us there from their cabin to which they had just arrived the night before.

My parents had been told there was an interesting mine tour a little ways out of town towards Engineer pass. So off we went in search of this mine. We found it but it was closed, which was a total bummer. This is what we thought of that:

Then right about that time a man comes riding up on a ATV to open up the mine. Yippie! Mine tour was back on. He told us it takes about half an hour to get it all up and running so we decided to head over to a trailhead a couple hundred feet back and go for a hike in the mean time. That turned out to be super fun and it was so nice getting the kids out of the van and expelling some of their boundless energy. 

My dad investigating an old mine with all its pilings. Oh how Wesley wanted to follow. I was so steep!
  Next post I'll write about the mine tour which was really cool and then our frightening day after the 4th adventure.