Monday, December 29, 2008

Sorry California Cows...No More Dairy for Me

The day after Christmas I toke to a NO DAIRY diet at the request of Braden's pediatrician. It is really hard since I LOVE chocolate milk, chocolate, cheese, and pretty much anything else with dairy in it...which happens to be pretty much everything I ate.

I have not been feeling well for months now. I have an upset stomach/nausea about 80% of the day everyday. I have taken numerous pregnancy tests thinking, could this be why I am feeling so sick...all negative. (Side Note: We are not necessarily trying to get pregnant right now.) I have thought maybe I'm allergic to a new food, but haven't really given it much effort to find out what.

Well, Braden took care of it for me and I am loving it! I have felt so amazing these last three days. I forgot what it felt like to really feel good. So I think it is safe to say, I have a dairy intolerance. Which I do think was Braden's problem as well. He went from 10-12 dirty diapers a day (at least two of them being complete blow outs), to only 3-4 dirty diapers a day. I wouldn't have given up dairy for myself, but I would do anything for my kids. In this case it was a blessing for the both of us!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Day!!

Christmas day was so fun and relaxing. We woke up and opened some presents before going to Kim and Kevin's for brunch. We were joined there by the Barron family and Hodges family. It was fun watching all the kids play and spending some more time together. Afterwards, we came back to our house and had a birthday cake and sang happy birthday to baby Jesus. Ellaina really enjoyed that!

Once Ellaina woke up from her nap, we opened some more presents and ate a turkey dinner that Brad prepared. Ellaina enjoyed playing with her new toys. It was hard to get her to open up her presents. She would open one and just want to play. Braden had no problem opening presents. He would get his little fingers on the wrapping paper and pull it until it was up to his mouth. He just wanted to chew on the wrapping paper. It was quite funny to watch.

It has just been such a wonderful Christmas! I really missed my Minnesota family and friends, but I had such a great time with my family and friends here. Hope you all had a blessed Christmas too!!
Braden in his chair from Papa & Jeanne
Ellaina in her chair from Papa & JeanneEllaina getting her stocking gifts from SantaBraden all smiles at Kim and Kevin's
Kim and KevinGreg, Cathy and baby Juliette in her bellyLaura and Keith Mason and Connor

Gavin and Wolfie playing peek a boo

Courtney & Santa Paco

Christmas Time!

I LOVE Christmas time! It is such a wonderful time and only gets more magical as my kids get older. This year we spent Christmas Eve having an early dinner at Laura and Keith's house. We were joined by Kim and the kids, and Dave and Jeanne. Unfortunately, Kevin was on shift at the firehouse and was not able to join us. We had a delicious meal and a wonderful time visiting and opening gifts. Afterwards, we had everyone over to our house for dirty eggnog drinks. Our friends Greg and Cathy joined us, so we decided to play some Texas Hold em into the night. We made sure to be in bed before Santa was near our house though :-) It was a wonderful Christmas Eve!
Jeanne, Dave, Braden, Brad, Ellaina and KymKim, Laura and GavinEllaina and her new babyBrad and KymJeanne and Braden Braden in his new chair from Papa and GigiGavin looking so cuteCourtney, Mason and Connor playing Rock BandCourtney holding Braden

Tubes is the Word

On Dec 23rd, I brought Braden to the doctor to make sure he didn't have another ear infection before the long holiday weekend began. My suspicions were confirmed that YES, he indeed has another ear infection. Being this is his 5th and he is not yet six months old, they suggested I go see an ENT. I scheduled his appointment right away, and was seen on Christmas eve.
The doctor could not believe how smiley he was. I guess his right ear especially was so terribly infected. Now after exhausting all other avenues, it looks like Braden will be getting tubes in the New Year. I am a little nervous, but this doctor comes highly recommended and I don't want Braden on antibiotics anymore. Through all this, Braden still smiles all day long. He is my little sweetie!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Santa Take TWO

All week Ellaina has been saying Santa, Santa, Santa. We have a wood Santa and slay decoration on our lawn, and she loves it. I hated having her experience with Santa so traumatic, so I decided to bring her and Braden for a second round with the big guy. This time I went when I knew it was not going to busy and it paid off. There was only one person sitting on Santa's lap when we got there and no one else waiting. Ellaina bravely ran up to Santa and gave him a hug. It was really sweet! She liked Santa, but did not like him picking her up. All in all it was a nice experience for Ellaina, and that was what I wanted. There is a picture of the visit, but it is only because they gave it to us for free. While we walked away, Ellaina kept saying "Bye bye Santa, miss you"! It was toooo cute!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Kid Care Party Time!

Ellaina had her Kid Care Christmas party on Wednesday. Ms Toni took Braden for me at lunch time, so I could go and help out. It was a lot of fun and made me even more excited about her going there. When I dropped her off in the morning, a little boy in her class got all excited and said "Ellaina's Here!" Without a goodbye, she went running to her teachers and gave them big hugs. I walked to my car with the biggest smile on my face.
When I went back to help, they were playing in the indoor park. That was when I realized her more aggressive nature is common for her age :-) All toys belong to them and them alone.
Once we went back to the class for lunch, it was cute to see her eating with the rest of the kids. Of course ALL the kids ate the Cheetos first. Ellaina was OK when they were all gone, but threw a fit when her juice box was gone. She doesn't get juice at home, so she REALLY enjoys it when she does get some. The teachers told me she was putting on her own little program for me, because she has never done that for them. After lunch, they sang Happy Birthday to baby Jesus and had a birthday cookie. Then they did a little craft project, sang a couple songs and had a book exchange. It was really fun and great to see her interact with all the kids. She is growing up so quickly. How do you slow time down?
During all this, Braden had a great time with Toni. Once Toni realized Braden loved to be smooched on and cuddled, the love affair began :-)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ho Ho...Oh No

Brad picked me up from the birthday festivities on Sunday to attempt the joyous Santa picture! Yes, we chose to go on a weekend and we chose wrong. After waiting in line for about an hour with Ellaina running around, Braden hungry and Brad dehydrated from the flu the day before, it was our turn to see Santa...YEAH. At this time Brad had given Ellaina her pacifier since it was close to her nap time and she was loosing it. Do we try to take it out? Yes, but not a good idea. She was crying before we even got to Santa. Enjoy the picture!

Braden was having a good old time. He had his hands all over and in Santa's beard. At one time Santa had to pry Braden's fingers out. Santa was a trooper though and posed with just Braden for a few more shots!
Oh, PS how cool was this Santa setting. Santa actually brought two of his reindeer with him. Ellaina thought that was fun...for about three seconds.

Ladies Night!

On Saturday we went out to celebrate Laura's 29th birthday :-) It was such a great time and Laura was surprised! Kim brought her to their new office to pick something up, and we were waiting in there to surprise her. Afterwards we went across the street for some Tex Mex and quite possibly the best margaritas I have ever tasted. Needless to say, I am a lightweight now when it comes to alcoholic beverages, so I shared a little of mine with Toni to be able to walk straight. Than pregnant party lady Cathy drove us to our hotel where we got to do a little hot tubing, shopping and more celebrating. It was such a blast!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sealed with a HUG

It is official, Ellaina is loving school! Today when I dropped her off, she gave her teachers a hug and didn't look back. What a refreshing change from the tears on her first days drop off. After adding a top layer of fleece to her nap mat (as a blanket), she is now even napping there like the rest of the kids. This has just been an all around wonderful experience for her and me.
I am enjoying my alone time to love up on Braden. Now he never wants me to put him down or be out of his sight. I remember Ellaina going through a similar phase around 6 months. Hopefully this is just a "phase". It makes it hard for me to get anything done. This being my busy season and trying to get everyone's orders in before Christmas, I could really use free hands. I can't complain though, I LOVE to cuddle too. After all, my nickname was "Kymmie Cuddles" as a kid :-)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

First Day of School!

Ellaina had her first day of "school" on Monday December 1st. She has begun a kids day out program at Cottonwood Creek Church Mondays and Wednesdays. The first day was defiantly different not having her around. When I picked her up, she had the biggest smile on her face. The teachers told me she really enjoyed herself and was very friendly. I guess she did not want to nap when it came to nap time. I had made her a fleece nap mat the night before and she was having fun laying on it while I was tying the ends. When it came time to nap at school, the teachers said she insisted on covering up with the mat instead of laying on it. All I could do was laugh. Ellaina loves laying under blankets, and I should have known better :-) Needless to say, on Wednesday she had a blanket to cover up with as well. How quickly they grow!

Giving Thanks!

This year at Thanksgiving we found ourselves at our good friends Greg and Cathy's. Ellaina had such a wonderful time playing with Wolfie! It was very relaxing and a lot of fun! It was really what I needed, since I found myself longing to be back home with my family in Minnesota. After living in Maple Grove for 25 of my 29 years, it is still called home. Now, I am a lucky one who gets to have two great "homes". Unfortunately, over 1,000 miles separates them.
This thanksgiving gave me an opportunity to really think, and I am so blessed for everything God has given me. An incredible husband who is supportive in everything I do and I completely adore, two amazing children who bring me so much joy and love, a beautiful roof over my head, a talent which allows me to give to others and enables me to make some money while staying home with my children, two loving parents alive and well, all these amazing family members who bring me so much support and love, so many wonderful friends, and mine and my loved ones health. God has blessed me beyond anything I could have dreamed. This Thanksgiving was a day I really realized what it was about. To all of my family and friends, THANK YOU!

Hello Again!

Sorry it has been so long since I have last blogged. Needless to say I have been crazy busy. Over the last 2 weeks, we have been struggling with the flu (everyone), double ear infections (Braden again), single ear infection (me), sinus infection (me) and explosive diapers (Braden...thanks to the antibiotic). It has been a mad house :-) Poor little Braden is getting over his third ear infection. If that wasn't hard enough, the medicine always gives him explosive diarrhea. His entire bottom is red with rash and I can not keep it away. I never thought I would say this, but bring on the tubes. I do not like him being on antibiotics so often, so I am starting tho warm up to the alternative. My chiropractor says his is aligned and his "C1" is perfect? She comforted me by letting me know her son needed tubes too.
After all this sickness in our house, I have come to one solution to help the problem...get my house deep cleaned. A cleaning crew is coming on Saturday! Since being a home owner, this will be the first time I get my house cleaned. I am soooo excited. They clean every nook and cranny. Both my sister-in-laws have had their houses done in the past, and say it is the best thing. This will leave me to only have to clean/disinfect the kids toys. Merry Christmas to me :-)
What else have I missed? Oh, Braden is taking these drops of healthy bacteria thingys to help with his diarrhea while on antibiotics. We give it to him in rice cereal. Ellaina has taken an interest in helping out with that. I have attached a picture of her feeding him. It is so cute and messy! They are so cute together. I completely adore them and the relationship they are already forming. Ellaina's silliness and great spirit makes Braden belly laugh.
The other day I left Braden laying on Ellaina's bed to hang up cloths, the next thing I heard was him laughing so hard. I peeked in her room, and Ellaina was laying on the bed next to him blowing on his belly. It was so funny. This is LIVING!
P.S. Special thank you to Toni, Laura and Kim for helping me out with Ellaina while I suffered through the flu.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Let There Be Teeth!

Braden has gotten his two bottom front teeth in. The second one just showed up today. His first tooth punctured through his gums on Friday November 14th. All and all he has been a pretty happy teether. Hopefully that continues!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Great Grandma & Grandpa J!!

We spent the day with Great Grandpa & Great Grandma Jackson yesterday! It was such a nice day. I always love to hear their stories of Brad and his family when they were young. Especially the stories they share of Brad's mom Janet. I knew, from her battles with constant illnesses, that she was a strong women, but it is nice to also hear stories of her strength and determination when it did not have to do with her having been sick.
It didn't take Ellaina very long to warm up to her great grandparents. She was calling Grandpa J "papa" after about an hour and had fun destroying Grandma J's flower basket. Grandma J said she allows the kids to play with it, but I don't think she meant take it apart like Ellaina was.
Braden was his usual happy self. It was funny hearing Grandma J comment on how much he looks like Brad. I think that every time I look at him and it makes me think about Brad's mom and what she was feeling when she would look at Brad. I can only hope he was as good for her as Braden is for us. Every time I hear someone say he looks like Brad, it reassures me that we did the right thing when we changed his name before leaving the hospital. Anyone who doesn't know the story, Braden was named Nolan Allan the first three days of his life. After we found out he had the same blood type as Brad, we realized the angels are yelling in our ears to change his name to Braden Edward. "Braden" after Brad and Edward after his great grandpa J. Let that be a lesson to us, the name we pick before seeing our baby may not fit once the baby is born. Well that is totally off the subject. Anyway, it was a great visit and hopefully we can get there again...sooner.

FAQ: Is He Always Smiling?

The answer to this frequently asked question is...YES. When Braden is not sleeping, he is pretty much always smiling! If he is not smiling, he is waiting for you to look at him so he can give you a big flirtatious smile. He is our happy little boy and we could not enjoy him more. People always said we wouldn't have another good baby, but they couldn't have been more wrong :-)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Prayers for Natalie

Hello blog readers, I wanted to put out a special request for you all to add my cousin Natalie to your prayer lists. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 25 and has been fighting it for over a year now. She had her CT scan today and found out the spots on her lungs are growing again. She needs every one's prayers as she starts a new round of chemo meds. I have attached a link to her caring bridge site if anyone wants to know more about her She has such an amazing attitude and is a true inspiration. Thank you for your prayers!

Sealed with a Kiss

Lately my sweet baby girl Ellaina has been pointing out "owies" and kissing them. It is the cutest thing and so precious. With that said, I had to laugh when she said "owie" and kissed my forehead. It was not an "owie" she was pointing was a "blemish". My preferred term for a pimple once you are no longer a teenager :-) It is true, kids say the darnedest things. She makes me laugh all the time!

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Movie to Remember!

Due the the rainy weather today, Brad came home from work early and we decided to venture to the McKinney theatres for our first family movie. It was such a blast! We arrived to Madagascar 2 just in time, with popcorn and beverages in tow.
Ellaina sat on Brad's lap for the majority of the movie enjoying her popcorn. While Braden slept in his car seat for a little while before sitting on my lap staring at the screen. Half way through the movie, Ellaina decided she wanted to sit like a big girl in her own seat. She sat for the entire movie and made some cute animal sounds throughout. She does the best elephant noise. It was such a great time! Thank you God for the rain day! We have both been burning ourselves at both ends, and really needed this family fun day. PS Madagascar 2 was a cute film and kept Ellaina's (2yrs old) attention well. Two thumbs way up!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Rock Star!

My daughter is loving the new Pink song "So What I'm Still a Rock Star" and starts a dance marathon every time she hears it. I listen to Kidd Cratick (pretty sure I spelt his last name wrong) morning show. No matter what we are doing when the song comes on, Ellaina immediately gets up and wants to dance...even if we are eating breakfast. It is the cutest thing ever.
I love to dance and sing around the house and have danced with her as soon as she could hold her head up. Once she could stand, I began dancing with her by holding hands. Now Ellaina thinks holding hands is necessary to dance. She comes and grabs Braden's hand and my hand when she wants to dance. I hold Braden up under his arms so he can dance with her and they both giggle so hard. We have tried to get it on video, but so far have not been successful. Once we do I will figure out how to post it. It is the cutest and sweetest thing.
Last weekend when Wolfie was over we were listening to Choo Choo Soul kids CD and a song Ellaina liked came on. She went running up to him holding her hands out so they danced and laughed together. Wow, kids are the best!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

America the Beautiful!

As you can tell by reading my blog, I am a person of many convictions. I try to stay positive, upbeat and see the best in everything. I am passionate about our country and the world as well, and have chosen to keep my political beliefs off my blog. I think voting is such a wonderful gift we have been given at the sacrifices of so many and it is everyone’s responsibility to vote, no matter whom they are voting for. If you have had a conversation with me regarding the recent election, it probably would not be too hard to figure out who I voted for president.

With that said, it was quite impressive and moving watching the candidates speak last night. I felt great pride in being an American and the leaders we had before us for presidential candidates. It made me very hopeful for our future and what we, the United States of America, can accomplish when we are united. President elect Barack Obama’s speech was especially inspirational to me. To hear an intelligent speech transcend all expectations and reach out to every American was very refreshing. It was a great moment in our history and I feel so blessed to have witnessed it.

What I have not felt so blessed about witnessing was all the hate spread during the campaign. I heard so many people say they were going to be happy when the election was over, and it got me thinking…Why does it need to be this way?

We teach our children not to spread rumors, but during an election year we do so by forwarding e-mails and reciting words we have heard dramatized from the 24 Hour “NEWS” show. We teach our children to see the good in people and not treat people badly, but we spread words of hate and speak dehumanizing about the candidates we do not believe in. This is not how we treat the people around us. If we want campaigning to change, we need to be the voice of change and really watch what we say and how we behave when discussing the candidate we do not believe in. We can and need to eliminate the majority of the hate and prejudice that exists. This is not a healthy thing to teach our children and grandchildren. People can disagree with each other and still have love, respect and compassion for one another. That is what makes America so great! The American people is what makes America great, so lets make ourselves proud by being respectful to others at all times no matter our beliefs.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!

What a great Halloween this was! The Grubb's hosted a block part at the end of the "Brooke". It was so much fun getting to visit with everyone and see all the wonderful costumes. Star War/Clone War costumes we quite popular among the boys. Ellaina went as a panda bear and Braden as a Puppy. We had kitty cats, monsters, witches, a monkey or two and a brand new chili pepper only five days old. That was my friend Stephanie's little baby.
Once it got dark, we took the kids trick or treating. We started off good all together, but once Ellaina decided she wanted to walk and not ride in the wagon, we fell behind. It was nice though, since Brad was able to be with us. Ellaina held my hand and walked up to the doors for candy. The 1st door we went to, she walked in and made herself comfortable on the random persons staircase. That was pretty funny! After that she figured it out and really enjoyed herself. Once we got home we went to our neighbors Bruce and Joann's house, since their door was still open. There she said..."trick or treat". It was a great ending to a FUN FUN night!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Poopy in the Potty

She did it!! Ellaina pooped in the potty this evening. Lately Ellaina has been telling me "poopy" before she goes. With a bathroom under construction, I haven't even begun to try pushing the issue. Tonight though, I thought what the heck she is telling me ahead of time, I should try it. She said "poopy" so we went to the bathroom and she sat on the toilet. I read her a book or two and realized this was probably just a false alarm, so we went back to the table and kept eating. Then she said it again and went running to the bathroom on her own. I followed her, helped her with her big girl undies and started reading to her again. Before I knew it, she had done it. My little girl went poopy in the potty for the first time. I am soooo proud of her. We called Grandma and anyone who would listen to share in our excitement!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Growing too fast!

Braden (4month) and Ellaina (2 year) had their well checks yesterday, and I concluded that they are growing up too quickly. Braden weighs in at 17 lbs 1 oz and 26 1/2 inches. He is in the 84% for his weight and 91% for his height. Ellaina has remained steady eddy in the 98% for her height at 37 1/4 inches. She has thinned out quite a bit though at 28 lbs 13 oz (73%). All in all their check ups went well. Braden has another double ear infection. Sweet little guy has such a pleasant nature about him, that he wasn't really even fussing. Ellaina enjoyed her doctors appointment since she got her "lol pop" at the end...and at the beginning. Wow, they grow so fast!

Monday, October 27, 2008's fall

We went to the Pumpkin patch yesterday. Like we have done every year since we have moved here and always enjoy ourselves. This year was fun too, but it got me thinking that maybe are family is too young for it. It was exhausting and really quite hot. Ellaina had a lot of fun feeding the goats and Long horns. For a while she would try to give them one little piece at a time. Brad showed her how to feed the cow out of the cup and that was a big hit as well. She also loved the pumpkins and flowers in the pumpkin patch. Picking flowers is her favorite thing to do around the house, so I wasn't surprised when she kept picking the yellow flowers in the patch.
Ellaina has grown this fascination with bugs, thanks Grandma, and was making a big deal every time she saw a fly. As you could imagine there were a lot of flies where we were eating and her fascination became freak outs. It was funny watching her get so upset at the flies, but we were getting frustrated too because there were a lot of bees.
By the time we went on the hay ride, Ellaina was done and ready for a nap. Yes Mom, I said hay ride...and I paid for it overnight by not being able to breath. Both Ellaina and Braden were so good. In the past, we have always gone with Kim and/or Laura's families and I defiantly like it better that way.