Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cutest Peanut in the world!

Amy's turn! This little girl is full of mischief, but she is just so darn cute! She definitely keeps me on my toes. Won't be long before she'll be teaming up with David against me, I'm sure!

I honestly can't remember, but I think she'd been in time out and got her head out of her shirt. Way funny:

Helping to feed baby David. She's such a little mommy, and so helpful!

Showing some interest in the potty (yes, book in hand):

"Wait, what? I have to SIT here? For HOW long? I'm out, lady."

At the doctor's office. This is Amy's "Ewok speech". She totally sticks her tongue out while "talking":

Playing with some dry beans:

A little fuzzy, but I love the determined look on her face:

"What are you DOING, Mom?" Why, following you around with the camera, of course.

Some fun pictures!

After all that writing, it's time for some cuteness. And, throwing modesty to the wind, we have cuteness in spades in this house. :) And yes, this post is pretty much all about David.

A couple of shots on his blessing day with Grandma & Grandpa Minster:

Daddy and 2 of his 3 favorite people:

David at 3 months

Some way cute shots of a very cute little guy

With big sister Amy

With Mama and Amy:

Getting smooches (how can you resist?):

Big smile:

Spikey hair post-bath:

Fun with Daddy:

David at 4 months:

Upcoming Summer/Fall plans

I was planning on doing a couple of separate posts on this, but then I realized that since none of this has happened yet, there really wasn't a whole lot to say. I'll have to post, obviously, as things happen.

This weekend, over Memorial Day weekend, we're having a small family reunion. Grandpa Zimmerman, my mom's dad, turned 90 this year! I always have such a hard time remembering that Grandma and Grandpa are "that old" because to me, they've never really seemed "old". I mean, yeah, they're my grandparents, but they're just...not old. They're too active! I don't know. I guess, when I think of "old" people, I think of people with health problems that keep them from leading a normal life. That's definitely not the case with my grandparents! I've always enjoyed seeing them, and have so many fond memories of trips up to Minnesota to visit them. I'm excited to celebrate with them! So, we have a couple of my sisters coming in, my grandparents, and my aunts & uncles with their kids. I haven't seen most of them (at least, my cousins) for YEARS. Like, since the family reunion for G&G's 50th wedding anniversary. So I'm excited!

Let's see, what else? Brett and I are planning our vacation for July and trying to nail down some dates. We'll be driving to Ohio, staying with his parents for a couple of days, then going to Pittsburgh to visit his side of the family before returning to St. Louis, again via Ohio. I'm really excited. I've only been to Pittsburgh once, and that was only for a few hours for a hockey game. :) It'll be awesome to see the city and spend time with his family!

I'm also planning on going to Missouri Children's Burn Camp again this year as a counselor. I haven't been in a few years, since Brett and I started having kids. But this year, I'm actually available to go again! I'm really excited. I loved attending camp as a teen, and I really learned a lot about myself. It's one of many ways I try to give back to the burn community. I've also been involved in a couple of fundraisers this year, and will continue to volunteer to raise money for this cause I'm so passionate about.

Also exciting: I'll be going back to school in the fall! It really bugs me that I haven't finished my degree. We'd planned on my going back last fall, but then we got pregnant, and that certainly wasn't going to work! So this fall, I'll be finishing up my associate's at the community college, then transferring over to UMSL for the spring semester. If all goes according to plan (fingers crossed, since it so rarely does), I'll graduate in a couple years with my degree in English, emphasis on creative writing.

That's pretty much it for now! I'll try to be better about updating. Yikes.

Caution: Falling Ice!

One of the most stressful situations we've been put in recently came about because of a fun little thing called a hailstorm. Living in Missouri, hail is fairly commonplace since the temperature changes so rapidly so often. Generally speaking, they're tiny little things, from a little speck the size of a peppercorn, to maybe pebble-sized.


April 28th, we had a DOOZY of a hailstorm. I know that sounds so corny, but that just is the best way to describe it. Amy and I were on our way home from helping out down at Mom's. We stopped in at Schnucks, then proceeded down the road to our apartment. As we pulled out of the parking lot, little hailstones started bouncing off the windshield. I didn't really think anything of it, since it's not really anything strange. And then they got bigger. And bigger. And bigger. And bigger.

The road from Schnucks to my apartment is a 2-lane road with no shoulder. There is no place to pull off, and no cover. It's usually about a minute, maybe a minute and a half to make that drive. The closer I got to our complex, the bigger the hailstones got, and the harder they were hitting the car. When the first big stone whacked into the windshield, I screamed. Seriously, it looked like a massive ball of ice was coming for my head. Which, it pretty much was. Amy started crying. It was truly terrifying. I had no choice but to keep driving slowly and hope that maybe there was an available spot in the covered parking scattered around the complex.

No such luck. So, we pulled up in front of our building. No way was I getting out of the car until the hail stopped. So, I climbed into the back seat (no small feat), unbuckled Amy, and pulled her into my lap. Poor thing was shaking she was so scared. She clung to me like her life depended on it. In the meantime, it sounded like the car was being attacked by a mob with sledgehammers. I kept seeing hail striking the windshield and watched as it cracked, over and over.

A few minutes later, it stopped. Brett came out to help us, and we ran inside, as it was still raining. Later, we went out to inspect our cars. Both of them ended up being totaled.

The video of my car post-hail is uploading right now to youtube. I'll update with that video when it's done and I have time.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

(Another) Apartment Search

I HATE apartment living. Really. I despise it. I loathe it. I pine for the day when I can actually own a home.

Our limit seems to be 2 years in a given apartment complex. Legitimately, we're usually looking for more space, but it also has a lot to do with how much we end up hating the lease office and its employees. We were actually pretty happy the first year, and then the complex was bought out by another company. Enter tons of problems, maintenance orders not being put in, MAJOR attitude from anyone and everyone we ever spoke with, and not ONCE receiving a call back, despite innumerable promises.

We knew we wouldn't be resigning our lease here, which is up June 15th. Our apartment, despite being a 2bed/2bath, is really pretty small. It's small with just Amy running around, and by the time next year comes around, I would be trying to keep 2 small kids in check here. So, we decided to look around. We looked at townhomes and a few houses, and we were getting kind of discouraged. It was a bit difficult, because most of our income comes from student grants/loans, so we don't have a high "monthly" income, which is what places look at.

After a lot of hard work, and a lot of hard praying, we found an awesome place. It's a townhome, and the complex is managed by a woman we know from church. There's no big clubhouse with all the extra "amenities" that we never use. That means that rent is way lower than any comparable place! We'll be paying just $15/month more than we are now for twice the space with a finished basement and washer & dryer. No more laundromat. No more hearing elephants thundering around above us at all hours of the night (although we do have really good neighbors--they just walk really loudly). No more attitude.

We'll be moving the first weekend in June, and plan on staying in this new place until Brett graduates and gets a job, at which point we'll look to buy a house.

Pictures will come when I have them!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Poor Baby David

David gave us quite a scare at the end of March. He's been on formula almost since birth--he could never really get down a good latch/suck, and despite trying and trying, and then trying to pump, he was never particularly interested in nursing, and my milk started to dry up. We started him out on Enfamil ProSobee, which is what Amy was on once I stopped nursing her. She never had any difficulties on it, and for the first while, neither did David. (Our ped. recommends soy formula because the protein more closely resembles the proteins found in breastmilk, making it easier on their digestive systems, for any curious parties.)

We started noticing some change in his bowel movements a couple days after Mom got home from California. They were more frequent and watery. By Wednesday night, he had full-blown diarrhea. Then we started noticing some nasty stuff in it. What, you may ask? Um...that would be bloody mucous. Yeah. Delightful.

We went to the ER after calling a 24-hour nurse line and being told to go in. Despite being told what he was in for, the nurse in triage didn't even want to look at his diaper when we changed him there, and told us we didn't need to save it. Eventually we got back to a room in the ER. He was a champ when they came and drew blood. All of his labs came back normal, and he wasn't dehydrated, so they sent us home and told us to just give him Pedialyte, no formula, and follow up with his doctor in the morning.

The next morning the pediatrician said pretty much the same thing, and ordered a set of stool cultures for David as well, to be done overnight and dropped off the next day at the lab. THAT was fun.

Friday afternoon I took the cultures back to the lab and called Dr. Laycob's office on my way home to let them know I'd turned them in, and that oh, by the way, he's had bloody mucous in every diaper for over 24 hours now.

Go figure, that worried him. I wonder why? He was concerned enough that he told us to go back to the hospital and that we would be admitted. I wish he (and we) had known that he could've admitted us directly to the hospital. As it was, we spent seven hours in the ER before we were finally moved upstairs. We were so grateful for friends who took Amy, no question, and took care of her for us. Thank goodness for great friends!

Long story short, they had no idea what was wrong with him. He definitely perked up after several hours of getting fluids. Other than that, his vitals were fine, his temperature was normal, he wasn't vomiting, and once he was more hydrated, he was his usual happy self. The stool cultures came up negative, too. So, still no clue what was up. They had us switch him to a different formula. Alimentum is a special formula with the proteins and sugars broken down about as much as possible, so it's a lot easier on the digestive system.

He was on the Alimentum for a little over a month, and was doing so well that the pediatrician told us we could step down to Nutramigen. Nutramigen is basically a step between Alimentum and the soy formula. He was on that for maybe 3 weeks, and a few days ago he started having issues again, so we're back on the Alimentum. At the very least, he's still gaining weight really well, so despite the much stinkier formula and the nastier diapers, I'm happy!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Life is busy!

Wow! Things just keep bombarding me, and it's been almost 3 months since I updated my blog. Shame on me. And now it seems like I have so much to write about, it's a daunting task. I guess that's what I get for putting it off all the time, right?

So, I'll be updating on the comings and goings of the last few months over the next few days. Here are some things I plan on covering:

-David's health and brief hospitalization
-Brett's semester
-Apartment search
-Hailstorm and its aftermath
-Upcoming family reunion
-Summer plans
-Fall semester

So, be patient with me! I'm a very busy mama. Part of the reason I've not been writing lately is that Brett and I decided we were spending too much time on the computer. Totally guilty. I readily admit that I pop online for "a quick look" and end up wasting way more time than I intended. I get easily engrossed in things, and don't realize how much time has passed. Admittedly, some of it is necessary, but a lot of it wasn't. So, I'm down to an hour of recreational usage, which is not very long for me since I love catching up with people via Facebook and looking for new recipes and crafty ideas. It's been hard work, but I'm doing really well! I usually just leave the computer off now. I know that if I get online to check email, or something else, that while intending to only do that one thing, I'll pop open a couple more tabs and then get distracted. So, better to remove the temptation. My house is cleaner, I'm doing more with my kids, and Brett has had a homecooked meal nearly every night for the past several weeks.

Definitely worth it.