October 4, 2015

Weekend recap

Posted in Family news/Updates at 7:27 pm by Mel

It’s officially Fall.  The leaves are beginning to turn, the weather is cooler and rainy and generally overcast.  Hello Fall.

The kids are doing well in school.  Ajax’s teacher said he was a pleasure to have in class, though she noted that sometimes he was kinda of a glass half full type of kid.  Noomi is enjoying preschool immensely and had her first field trip last week to the Harris Nature Center.  She rode the school bus and learned about bugs.

On Saturday, I took the kids running to get a few things and then we headed to Brighton for Sebastian’s 9th birthday party.  Dave had to stay home with a migraine unfortunately, but the kids had a great time.   The kids ran wild and had a blast with the cousins and I had to practically drag Ajax home who was intent on helping put together a massive Lego unit.

On Sunday, I went grocery shopping in the morning and in the afternoon we took the kids to a Civil War re-enactment in Williamston.   At first the kids were shy, but soon enough they were trying out all the old fashioned toys.  We watched some soldiers and the kids weren’t big fans of the loud bangs when they fired the rifles, but overall pretty entertaining.

We spent the rest of the day making Halloween decorations and paper airplanes.  Oh, I also bought Noomi’s costume.  She insisted on being a monkey so that’s what I got her.  At dinner, however, she declared she was going to be a witch.  Darn kids.  Ajax doesn’t know what he wants to be and keeps joking that he wants to be an acorn.  I pointed out that I wasn’t the best seamstress and whatever I made would only make him look like a poo.  He thought that was hilarious.  I believe he went with an acorn because I vetoed all his other costume choices at the store.  All he picked out were scary- adult masks and I told him no to every one.

Here are some spirit week photos – last week was Homecoming in our small town.  And our tomato harvest from the garden, which is now cooking down into some awesome bacon tomato soup.

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September 29, 2015

Tough Mudder 2015 in the books

Posted in Family news/Updates at 7:45 pm by Mel

What a weekend!

Theresa, Tim and Baby Vivian are now Michiganders!  The family relocated from North Carolina and are now in the Ypsilanti area.  On Friday after work we headed down to their new house where the rest of the family was hanging and unpacking.  Because we got there so late the kids didn’t go to bed until almost 10 pm, which made for some very tired and cranky ninos on Saturday.

Dave and I weren’t around on Saturday because team Mitten Mayhem had a Tough Mudder to run in Brooklyn.   Dara, Lisa, Lisa’s boyfriend Doug, and Dave and I did wonderful and finished the 11 mile course in about 5- 5.5 hours.   Everyone did excellent and I am so so proud of us all!   Next year we’ll be even more awesome when we train appropriately.   Oh, and I will also avoid the shocking electrical run at the end.

After the TM we washed up at my parent’s house and then headed back to Ypsi.  On Sunday, we helped unpack and then headed home with some still tired ninos.

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September 20, 2015

Weddings and weekend roundup

Posted in Family news/Updates at 7:46 pm by Mel

What a weekend!

Yesterday we attended my cousin Beth’s wedding in Frankenmuth, MI, at the Bavarian Inn.  Ajax threw quite the fit about having to dress up and couldn’t understand why he needed to wear a tie when shorts should be more than adequate.  We had no trouble getting Noomi dressed up.  She declared that her dress made her a princess and we didn’t argue.  The ceremony was short and sweet and Ajax sat next to Grandma Mary telling her that it was his first time at a wedding.  We realized it was their first wedding as all the celebrations we’ve attended over the past few years have either been adult only affairs, or we’ve been unable to attend.

During the reception somehow the kids sat with my parents at a different table so Dave and I felt like we were on a date night.   It was wonderful.   The kids were very well behaved and Noomi could not wait to dance.  All the way to Frankenmuth she was talking about dancing.  We thought she would be too shy to dance on her own, but boy were we wrong!  As soon as the tables were cleared and the music started Noomi busted onto the dance floor like no one’s business.  As a matter of fact, when I tried to dance with her she said, no no- wanna watch something cool?  She then ushered me to a chair on the edge of the dance floor and made me sit there watching her run laps around the dance floor.   Periodically she would bend over and swish her arms back/forth like a locomotive and she would shuffle her feet, then blast her hands up over her head.   It was the cutest thing I have ever seen.

After a while Ajax went with Grandma Mary to the dance floor and said, grandma – I know how to dance- I mean, I really know how to dance.  I know how to break-dance.  Grandma Mary said, really?  Ajax – yes, really, wanna see?  He then bent forward, placing both hands on the ground and kicked his two feet straight out behind him, arching his back.  When he stood up he said, whoa, I gotta watch out, I could really hurt myself!  That didn’t seem to stop him as he continued break-dancing and running the entire night.

Around 10 pm we finally bundled the kids up and headed home. At that point Noomi was so exhausted that she couldn’t dance any more, but did not want to leave the dance floor and was insisting that someone simply hold her on the dance floor.   The kids stayed awake just long enough as we left Frankenmuth to see the holiday lights and then they passed out.

Tonight after bath, I was brushing Noomi’s hair and I said, yesterday we got home so late we didn’t get a bath… where did we go last night?  Noomi said, oh we went to a dance party with a dance princess!  Noomi loved Beth’s dress and kept calling her a lovely princess.  What good times!

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September 8, 2015

First Day of School!!

Posted in Family news/Updates at 7:58 pm by Mel

Today was the first day of school for the kiddos!  Unfortunately Dave had to go into the office, so it was just the three of us this morning.  I got the kids up and both were pretty excited, jumping right out of bed.  Noomi was so excited that she couldn’t finish her breakfast and immediately put her backpack on declaring that she was ready to go.  Both kids stood well for pictures and then we were out into the rain and headed to school.

When we got to school we waited outside with the throng of other parents/kids until the doors opened at 8:10 am and then Noomi and I walked Ajax to his class.  We helped him get settled in, found his seat, and then we were off.  He did great and Mrs. Masinda seems like an excellent and patient teacher!

Next I walked Noomi to her class.  We hung up her backpack (which I had to periodically carry for her as it’s as big as she is) and then headed into her class.  We signed in, talked to the teachers about her hands (again), and then I helped her find a place on the reading carpet with a book.  Then she said goodbye and I left.  No tears from either of us.

After dropping off Noomi I helped man the PTSA table with some other moms till about 10:30 am and then headed into work.

Dave picked up both kids who said they had a great day at school!  At dinner we tried to get Ajax to talk about his day, but the most I could get from him was that he had a good day, really liked math (they worked on addition) and he had fun playing with his friends at recess.  We couldn’t really understand about Noomi’s day – she said she played and really really enjoyed bringing her own lunch to school, but other than that I’m at a lose as to what she did.  I do know that they do not nap and I’m extremely worried about that and feeling quite anxious that maybe she’s too young for this program.  Dave say’s I’m overreacting.  We got both kids into bed early tonight and they passed right out after such a busy first day!

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September 7, 2015

Labor Day/Last day of summer!

Posted in Family news/Updates at 8:50 pm by Mel

We spent today bumming around the house and getting ready for school tomorrow!  I spent my day in the kitchen prepping sausage muffins, monkey bread, and lunch preps!  Actually the kids did help me make monkey bread, they were pretty excited.  Dave cut the grass and did some work outside.  The kids joined him for a bit, but it was incredibly hot and muggy, so it finally drove them back into the house where chores awaited!

When I was getting their “first day” signs ready we were asking the kiddos what they wanted to be when they grew up.  Ajax had a very long answer about building and designing things.  Dave explained the difference between an engineer and architect, and Ajax latched onto the idea of an engineer right away.   When we asked Noomi she stated she wanted to be a monkey.  You see Noomi has been obsessed with Halloween.  We have been reading her the same Berenstain Bear Halloween book for weeks and she wants to be a monkey (again).  We couldn’t move her beyond being a monkey so we let her have it.

Here are the kiddos trying on their gear for tomorrow!!

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September 6, 2015

Fun at the farm

Posted in Family news/Updates at 7:38 pm by Mel

Today we headed to Brooklyn for a cook out with the family and to celebrate some end of the summer birthdays. My cousin, Wendy, and her family came out as well and our kids ran wild for hours.  They played with the dogs and cats, they played hide and seek, and of course ran up and down the hill a dozen times.

Both kids are in bed, exhausted, and enjoying their last days of summer!

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September 5, 2015

Gearing up for school!

Posted in Family news/Updates at 7:57 pm by Mel

I can hardly believe that summer is at its end!

Last week we took the kids up to the school to meet teachers and visit classrooms.   Noomi was feeling a bit grouchy and was not interested in exploring her class or meeting her teacher, lol.   Her teacher was incredibly nice and I think Noomi will really enjoy a formal preschool.  After reviewing the materials sent home from the teacher, I see the difference between a structured preschool program and a daycare program.  It’ll be rough for Noomi but we know its for the best, plus it’ll make drop off and pick up so much easier on Dave and I.

Ajax was apprehensive and a bit nervous about seeing his class and meeting his teacher, Mrs. Masinda, but she too seemed warm and pleasant.   We think he’ll have a great year in the First Grade!  Wow, I cannot believe we have a first grader.  Both Ajax and Noomi will go before-school and after-school care.  I’ve talked to a few other parents who also use the before/after school program who say their kids really like it.

Oh, Noomi’s arms look perfect!  They are pale and very soft, but perfect.   We keep her arms covered with long sleeves and apply lots of sunscreen.  Ajax is doing ok, but he’s feeling a bit stressed – between the accident and starting school.  We’re trying to help him enjoy the last few days of summer and prepare him for class.  Although I remember being stressed as a kid starting class, as a parent this is way more stressful!  Watching your kiddos make their way in the world – exhausting!

August 24, 2015

Second trip to the ER

Posted in Family news/Updates at 8:35 pm by Mel

Well a rush to the ER does seem inevitable with children.  Though in our defense we have gone 6 years accident free.

On Sunday, August 9th my dad had come over to our house to pick up Ajax for a few days since he was feeling under the weather and Dave and I both had to work.  After they left Noomi and I played in the garden and then came in for bath time around 6:30 pm.  Dave had just finished straining the bones from my homemade chicken stock that had been simmering all day and the broth was sitting in a large bowl on the counter.  In the two seconds it took for me to open the door for Dave to take the bones to the trash can Noomi reached up onto the counter and asked what was in the bowl.  I couldn’t get to her fast enough before some of the broth spilled onto both her arms.  As I went running toward her I slipped in the broth and we both went down.  I then scooped Noomi up, stripped off her clothes as we went sprinting to the bathroom and I put her straight into the tub under cold water.

Dave came into the house and sat with her as I ran next door to get our neighbor, Mrs. Oliver, who was a nurse.  As soon as Mrs. Oliver saw Noomi she said, you guys need to get to the emergency room.  Mrs. Oliver wrapped up Noomi’s hand as we buckled her into her car seat and we sped off through a terrible thunderstorm to Sparrow Hospital in Lansing.

The doctors looked at Noomi’s poor little blistered hands and arms and said, you need to be transferred to the burn unit do you want to go to Grand Rapids or U of M?  What kind of question was that?  U of M of course!   Dave hustled back home to collect some clothes (as they told us we could be in Ann Arbor for 2-3 days) and I rode with Noomi via ambulance to Ann Arbor.  Now at this point Noomi was heavily medicated and pretty doped up.  She was pretty loopy on the drive down and talked throughout the entire hour drive to Ann Arbor.  She was fascinated by all the lights inside the ambulance and the paramedic who sat in the back with us was the nicest guy.

Around 11:30 or so we rolled into Mott Children’s Hospital and received the best care.  The nurses and doctors were all wonderful.  The burn nurse cleaned Noomi’s hands and arms which was extremely difficult to watch and I’m still surprised that they let Dave and I inside the room while it was happening.  Dave ended up getting sick and almost passed out.  Afterwards they wrapped up her hands in little mittens.

Around 7:30 am on Monday we were released from the hospital.  By the time we got home Grandma Dara and Papa were over with food and hugs.  We asked Grandma Mary and Grandpa Gordy to keep Ajax so that he wouldn’t be too upset.

Over the next week and a half we took Noomi to the U of M burn clinic three times for debridement treatments which were also pretty terrible ordeals.  Aunt Emily accompanied us one visit and Grandpa Gordy another time.  Grandma Dara and Papa also came back down to babysit as I had to go into the office two days and by Friday Ajax was pretty homesick.

Noomi got her bandages off on August 19th with the doctor’s saying her arms were “all healed” – meaning she no longer had any open wounds, though her hands/arms still looked painful.  The doctors told us to keep her hands lotioned and apply lots of sunscreen and to keep her arms covered for at least a year.  After just four days of being bandage free her arms and hands look wonderful!  She’ll have no scars and no surgery needed.

Today was her first day back at Kindercare and she did wonderful!  She was so happy to be back at school and really missed her friends.  She had a great drop off and was doing well when I checked on her after lunch.

We were so fortunate to have family and friends sending us well wishes and support and Noomi loved all her get well gifts.  Thank you very much!

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July 12, 2015

Family Road Trip 2015

Posted in Family news/Updates at 10:52 am by Mel

We just got back from our first family road trip making the trek all the way to Elizabeth City, NC to visit our newest family member- Vivian Ann Murphy -who made her debut on June 30th weighing in at 8 lb 9 oz and was 20 inches long!  Both baby and mom are well and hanging at home.

We hit the road on Tuesday morning (July 7th) at 5:30 am with the the kids, Dave and I in one car, and Rod and Mabel in another car.  The kids did surprisingly well on the way down, with not too many stops – maybe 5 or so.  Ajax ended up riding with Rod for almost 1/2 the trip.  We had walkie talkies in each car and Ajax found it fun to give us periodic updates with things he found interesting on the drive.  Noomi was pretty entertained with a pack of stickers and spent a good deal of time filling up a blank white book with Dollar Store stickers.  We made it to Elizabeth City around 10:30 pm after one full day of driving with minimal melt downs.

On Wednesday, we hung around the house visiting family and snuggling the baby.  Uncle Tim filled up a small baby pool and the kids had a blast playing in the water in the backyard.  It was crazy hot, hovering in the high 90s/low 100s.  We did a tour around Elizabeth City and got ice cream and overall just had fun visiting.  Baby Vivian seems to be one of those magical babies that sleep a ton and are generally very content!  She was the cutest little baby with a tuft of sandy hair.

On Thursday, we took the kids to the beach – the Outer Banks (or OBX).  We made it to the beach around 9:30 am and it was already ridiculously hot (I think the weather topped out at 104).  Aunt Lisa came with us and having three adults to keep track of the kids was much appreciated.   Ajax and Noomi absolutely loved loved the ocean.

Ajax spent the entire day running in the surf and collecting sea shells (we now have 3 big ziplock bags of shells).  A few waves knocked him down, but that didn’t even phase him.  He wasn’t bothered by the salt water and only a few times wiped his eyes with a towel.  I could barely get Ajax to come out of the water and had to force him to take breaks to drink water and get a new layer of sunscreen.

Noomi spent the first few hours playing in the sand and building castles.  She wanted nothing to do with the water and for the longest time refused to even get her feet wet, forcing Lisa and I to hold her.  Toward the end of the day, however, she realized she loved the water and then we couldn’t get her out.  She held onto our hands and loved standing in the waves.  For the past 2 weeks there have been an unprecedented number of shark attacks along the NC coast so no one went out past their knees… except for Mr. Dave.  We didn’t see any sharks, but saw a bunch of dolphins and that was pretty cool.

We headed home around 3:30 and got cleaned up and then had a second birthday party for Noomi, as well as a combo party for Grandpa Rod!  Noomi got very shy when everyone was singing happy birthday, but was very excited to open her presents.

On Friday we hit the road for home around 10 or 11 am after breakfast and more baby snuggles.  It was pretty rough getting through the Newport News, VA area as traffic was very congested.  We ended up stopping in Winchester, VA for the night and got a hotel room.  We made sure the hotel had a pool and took the kids swimming. Unfortunately, the pool was so chemically that Ajax started coughing and coughing and after 20 minutes I called an end to swimming and we got showered up and went out to dinner.  After dinner we let the kids lay in bed and watch cartoons before bed and they thought that was pretty cool.  Both kids zonked out and then we were up and on the road by 7 am.

Overall, the drive was pretty smooth and I really can’t complain.  Both kids were obviously antsy and things began falling apart when we were about 20 minutes from home, but overall not too bad!  I had spent a ton of time on Pinterest preparing to the trip and I’m glad that I did.  This was the most organized road trip we’ve ever taken and the car is still cleaner than it was last week.

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Fourth of July 2015

Posted in Family news/Updates at 9:34 am by Mel

So I’m going to back-track a bit and try to recreate this post from the Fourth of July which I didn’t publish due to a computer glitch and for some odd reason didn’t even save.  Argh.

Over the holiday weekend we did yard work, straightened the house and did general packing/prepping for our trip.   On Friday night (the 3rd) we took the kids into town for the fireworks, which were lovely and the perfect length for the kiddos (about 20-30 min).  Ajax was a little nervous leading up to the show (as he’s still a bit skittish around loud noises), but both kids ended up loving them with lots of Ohhs and Ahhs.

On Saturday, my parents came over and we did an early birthday party for Noomi.  For dinner Noomi requested spaghetti with meatballs.  She also did not want a cake, but requested cake cookies – like I had made for the baby shower.  Ajax was very confused on why someone would chose spaghetti for their birthday meal and not chicken nuggets and mac/cheese – which has been his standing requested birthday meal.  We also did sprinkle pancakes for breakfast and both kids loved those.  My parents also brought over a little blow up pool which the kids loved and played in all weekend.

On Sunday, we packed and did some last minuted shopping for our North Carolina trip.  Rod came down to babysit on Monday so that we could all get an early start on Tuesday.  Oh Ajax also lost another tooth!  He is now missing his two front teeth and is speaking with a slight lisp.

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