Thursday, August 30, 2007

The State Fair!

We made our annual trip to the state fair today. I remember that the second post I ever made on this blog was for our state fair trip last year, so it's officially been a year since I've started this blog.

We didn't get rolling out of the house until almost 11:00, though we'd been up since 7:00 (typical, if we don't HAVE to be somewhere). So by the time we got there it was lunchtime and tummies were rumbling -- what a great place to be to be hungry!

We immediately made some food stops -- a barbecue pork sandwich that Wayne shared with Marissa, some deep fried cheese curds, cotton candy, Sweet Martha's cookies, the list of awful, fatty, sugary foods goes on and on.

Once we were sufficiently stuffed, we had to check out the animal barns. We saw the biggest boar big in Minnesota, "Pretty Rick" weighing in at 1,200 lbs. We also saw a sow with a litter of new piglets, 10 of them. Then off to the cattle barn to visit the cows. Marissa and Lindsey got to pet a gentle but large cow (larger than others in her breed). They also got to pet a sheep and a goat.

Then, off to the kiddie arcade for some rides! Marissa did not go on a single ride -- I don't know if she'll ever warm up to rides or not, but she definitely did not want to go on them, though she thoroughly enjoyed watching them.

For a while Wayne took Marissa to go see the tractors on machinery hill (just across from the kiddie rides), while I took Lindsey around to ride after ride. She went through about $30 worth of ride tickets; I'm not quite sure how many rides that is, as some rides called for 5 tickets, others for 4.

On our way out we had some more goodies -- pretzels, a sno cone, and a meltdown by Marissa. Wayne ended up carrying her out and she was asleep on his shoulder.

We got home and everyone took a VERY loooong nap. Marissa slept for a little over 2 hours, we finally woke Lindsey at the 3 hour mark, and I couldn't believe it when I opened my eyes and read 5:45 on the clock! (I still woke before both girls, too).

I may have some more thoughts on this later, but I can't tell you how much I enjoy the State Fair, and how much I enjoy watching the girls enjoy it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

All Fish Go To Heaven

Today the beta fish that has been a pet in Lindsey's classroom finally died. I checked in on it on Monday, it wasn't looking so hot and I was wondering how long it would be before it finally took its last gasp.

So tonight Lindsey was telling me somberly about the fish that died. This event really stuck in her head.

"Mr. Anderson took the fish and we flushed it down the toilet," she told me glumly.


"And Mommy, do you know what's in the toilet?" she asked.

"No," I said, wondering what her answer would be, "What's in the toilet?"

She looks at me very solemnly and says, "Heaven."

After stifling a smile, I say, "Wellll...maybe fishies heaven is in the toilet, but only their heaven. People have a different heaven."


"Because people don't fit in the toilet, honey."

I think we just covered Genesis. Or was that Revelations?

More Cowbell

In the last couple of weeks this skit has come up in discussions with different people, so I had to post it to share.

Today in a meeting someone said that a mailplan needed "more cowbell."

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Day Out of Doors

We spent part of the day today at the Landscape Arboretum in Chanhassen. Here's a gem we never knew about before! It's 1,000 acres of plants, fountains and this summer, art.

They showcased different kinds of landscaping. I got a kick out of the "suburban landscape," as if that isn't all around! But it had great examples of awesome plants to put into some small spaces like our backyard.

The Japanese garden was a hit, for one very special reason -- FISH!

Wayne and girls also took a little woodland walk, next to some wetlands. Hard to believe that there were reeds and cattails only a few feet away on the right.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A toddler pooper scooper?

Going on a walk with Marissa is always an interesting adventure. I'm sure Lindsey did many of the same things: refusing to walk the way you want her to, running away and giggling, walking toward the street while looking at you out of the corner of her eye with a devilish grin on her face, waiting for you to run after her.

But tonight was an especially interesting one.

First, Marissa bent down to touch what I thought was a stick on the sidewalk, only to discover that she had stuck her finger into a flattened out piece of wet dog poop. She immediately pulled up and said, "Yuck! Poop!" and tried to wipe her finger on her shirt. Being the wonderful mom that I am, I pulled out my Wet Wipes and...oh wait, I'm not that wonderful, I don't carry those when we go on walks. Instead I let her wipe her finger on MY shirt.

Later on she decided to stop and crouch down and stay that way for a while. I said, "Marissa, what are you doing?"

She said, "Sassa poop," and grinned at me.

"Marissa, are you pooping?!"

No response but a strained grimace.

In the meantime, here comes a father and son duo, coming back from a summer picnic at Pershing Park, walking past us as I wait on the sidewalk for my crouched down pooping toddler. I felt like a dog owner, waiting for my dog to finish a job.

I said loudly to Wayne and Lindsey who were ahead of us, "Hey Wayne, do you have a little doggy bag we can use for Marissa?" I thought it was funny; I don't think he heard me, or he was so appalled he pretended not to.

After about 30 seconds, which I thought for sure would result in an immediate trip back home to change some pants, Marissa stood up, said, "Wet!" and we kept on walking. Apparently she only had to pee.

Last thing, later on she got a runny nose. She looks at me, says "Uh-oh!" and points to her nose.

I promptly use my shirt to wipe her nose, the same shirt I had wiped dog poop off her finger with. I hope I didn't use the same area of the shirt.

It's a wonder our children aren't sick more often.

New Meaning of "Plain Jane"

Tonight we were on a walk and asked Lindsey about the kids in her class, if they listen to the teacher, does Lindsey listen to the teacher, etc. And Lindsey came up with this one, "There's a Maria in our class. She's a black Maria, and then there's a plain Maria."

Apparently white people are plain. I'm not sure if that's better or worse than being vanilla.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Lives not our own

I think about how pre-occupied we've been lately with preparing for Marissa's surgery, then the two girls being sick, and then I remember about things that other people have going on in their lives, and I feel terribly selfish.

So please, keep Rhonda Zweber in your prayers, she is the sister of a friend of mine who was diagnosed with breast cancer in May. Her lumpectomy biopsy showed the cancer to be quite aggressive and this Wednesday (8/22) she is undergoing a double mastectomy, at the young age of 40. You can visit her Caring Bridge site by clicking here.

Or pray for Sally Johnson, mother to a high school classmate of mine and one of my parents' good friends. She was diagnosed with breast cancer years ago, battled it successfully, and now it has returned. She also was scheduled for a double mastectomy which was to happen today, only to have it postponed as they've found some spots on her sternum and shoulder blade. She is undergoing a full day of testing (MRI, Catscan, etc) on Wednesday to find out more.

There are lots of other people who need prayers and good thoughts more than us, a list that could go on and on. But those are the two that are high on my list of late, and I would appreciate it if they were high on yours as well.

Makes a little tiny procedure like an adenoidectomy seem like a cakewalk, doesn't it.

Marissa's Adenoidectomy

After an interesting morning getting out of the house, Marissa finally had her adenoidectomy today. We'd been on the surgeon's schedule for 8 weeks -- when we first made this appointment back in June August seemed so far away.

The most nerve-wracking part of surgery on little peanuts her size has to be how well they will take being told they cannot eat/drink for hours before, and how they will adapt to the recovery after. Marissa's last food was her dinner Sunday evening, and her last drink was supposed to be a clear liquid (water or apple juice) around 7:30 am.

She woke a little after 7:35 am, all happy, and her first words were, "Milk! Hot!" (This is how she asks for a bottle of milk, warmed up in the microwave. Yes, we still indulge her with a bottle in the morning; I don't care, don't judge.)

I said, "Oh honey, I'm sorry, you can't have milk today." She fussed about this and didn't like it so much for the longest time. I tried to coax her into some apple juice or water, but she refused to have anything but hot milk. Finally, well after the time when she is supposed to have anything to drink, she finally agreed to have some apple juice. Of course I gave her some, how can you refuse a child who hasn't had anything to drink for 12 hours and won't have anything for several more from even having a little bit of apple juice?

We got a call from the hospital at 8:30, saying that we were supposed to have been there at 8:00 (our surgery had been moved up but we hadn't known that). So we bustled out of the house as fast as we could and got there at 9:10.

This actually made the rest of the pre-surgery stuff go very quickly. We were checked in quickly, sent directly to pre-op, had a history taken, got her changed into pajamas and were seen by the doctor, the anesthesiologist and the nurse within half an hour.

When it came time for her to go to surgery, the anesthesiologist came up to her and said, "Hey Marissa, do you want to come with me?" She immediately put her arms out and went right to him with not a protest, God bless her. She knows I couldn't have taken a crying scene with as little sleep as I'd gotten the night before.

The surgery lasted around 45 minutes. The doctor told us her adenoids were only mildly to moderately inflamed when he removed them, which actually has me a little frustrated that perhaps this won't help to cure her chronic sinus infections. He did do a nasal scope and cleaned out her nasal cavity, and noted that he got "a lot of junk" out of there. Really? We could've told you that.

We waited and then were finally brought our little girl. She snuggled right on Wayne's shoulder and did not want to move, for at least an hour. She didn't want juice, she didn't want water, she didn't want anything but to sleep and snuggle. Okay, Daddy can do that.

Finally she seemed to start coming around more and finally took a little apple juice, which meant that she could be given her medicine (Tylenol with codeine), as they didn't want to give that to her on a totally empty stomach. I was afraid she would react to it as I react to codeine, but happily she did not.

Her lip was quite swollen, which we found out was from the local anesthesia they had given her for the nasal scope. She kept rubbing at it and at her nose, which, I have to say, I have never seen as CLEAN as it is today. Even when it wasn't running before, she always has a layer of mucus around the inside of her nose that we had just become accustomed to. Now it's evening and it's still just as clean, so hopefully it'll stay that way.

She came home and took a 4-hour nap, right along with Lindsey, our other sickee. I had bought balloons for both of them at the hospital and about 7 pm they both finally became enamored with them and had a good time playing.

By bedtime this evening Marissa was running around, smiling and playing. She ate some approved foods (applesauce, yogurt) and some that aren't (pasta) but she seemed very hungry and has kept all of it down. I'm sure she will have some ups and downs the next few days, but so far the outlook is good for a speedy recovery.

The Night Before Surgery

Today was Marissa's surgery to get her adenoids removed. And before the day even began we had an interesting time of it.

As mentioned previously, both girls were battling some sort of virus and had had fevers earlier. Both of them seemed just fine on Sunday -- they both ate normally (voraciously, actually), took good, long naps and seemed to be just fine.

Then about 9 pm, Lindsey said her tummy were hurting. Within 10 minutes it was hurting so badly she was crying and clutching her stomach. She got such a hot fever she actually broke out in a sweat (our little girl who never sweats, that we've seen).

Clearly we couldn't send her to daycare the next day, yet Wayne and I had both wanted to take Marissa to the hospital for her surgery. With no immediate family in town, and all our friends with kids who clearly do not want to be infected, we didn't have many options. Thankfully, I called Elizabeth at 10:45 pm, left her a message on her cell, and got a call back from our nephew Travis about 15 minutes later. He said he wasn't sure if Elizabeth would be able to get off work to come, but he was able to be there if she couldn't. God bless them both!

I ended up lying in bed with Lindsey all night, holding her tummy firmly and pushing down all the burbles and bubbles that I could feel. She said it felt better when I put pressure on the bubbles, and that was the only way she was able to fall asleep. So I laid beside her, applying pressure to her tummy, unable to sleep myself for this task.

I must've fallen asleep eventually, then woke around 4 am to some major jumps and jiggles in her tummy. I decided that my actions must've been keeping her tummy settled enough that she never did throw up, something that probably would've helped her, so she woke up from the pain and was crying and upset. She eventually settled back down and I got back to sleep around 5 am. Only to be awoken at 7:25 am by Lindsey, who was now awake and apparently feeling better.

Travis and Elizabeth both came over around 8 am. (As luck would have it, they could both come.) Wayne had thought we needed to be at the hospital around 8 am, but I had called on Sunday evening because my paperwork had said it was a 10:45 am surgery and that we needed to be there at 9:15 -- the hospital confirmed that our surgery was at 10:45, we were good to go. Then, at 8:30 am, we got a call from the hospital, wondering where we were. Apparently the surgery had been moved up in the schedule, thus the reason for the call confirming our time. Why it wasn't changed in the system when I called back to confirm I'll never know, but we were in a sudden rush to leave the house with Marissa.

Thankfully by then Lindsey was feeling better and was all set up with her pillow and a blanket in the basement, watching Cars with Elizabeth and Travis.

The surgery itself deserves its own post.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Swedish Chef - Making Meatballs

I'm posting this in response to my sister's hope that Marissa does not turn into the Swedish chef. (See posting titled "Our Little Swedish Girl.")

Based on the linguistics involved, I believe that she will not, amusing as it would be.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Wedding a Bust

My little avatar over there is all dressed up to go to a wedding that we didn't end up going to.

Wayne's niece Nicole was married today in Brookings, SD. We were planning on driving over starting out early this morning (early meaning between 8 and 9 am), get there in the afternoon in enough time to maybe take the kids for a dip in the pool (depending on how well they napped on the way over), then get ready for the 5:30 pm ceremony.

Instead, we ended up staying home, taking care of two girls with fevers. Yes, two.

It started Thursday, when I got a call around 4 pm from daycare, saying that Marissa wasn't feeling well and was running a low grade fever. They then called me less than five minutes later saying, "Her lips are blue and she appears to have trouble breathing."

My response was, "Should you be calling 911 and not me?!?"

The director said, "Well, when she's sitting upright she seems to be OK, so we're just going to keep her here in the office with us until you get here."

Of course, the way my day was going Wayne was already on the other line, wanting to talk about something else, and I had to break in and say, "We're leaving now to go get Marissa," and off we went.

I called the pediatrician on the way there, called our neighbor Amy to ask if she could watch Lindsey, then we got to KinderCare and picked them both up. By the time we arrived Marissa's fever was 101.4, up from 100.2 just half an hour earlier.

Marissa lips were no longer blue, but when we put her in the carseat I could see where they thought she was having labored breathing -- she was in so much pain she was grunting, poor thing.

We took Lindsey straight to the neighbor's, took Marissa straight to the doctor's office, and he deemed her simply sick with a virus. His explanation on the blue lips was that sometimes if children's temperatures rise very quickly, your body reacts as if you were out in cold weather, thus the chills and, in some children, blue lips. She was clearly not having a problem with oxygen deprivation when we were there, as she was crying at the top of her lungs. He did give us another round of antibiotics for her always nasty nose, which has been particularly nasty again lately.

Wayne and I did the coin toss for the day off, turns out I only have a half-day of vacation unaccounted for, so he took Friday off. Only to get a call from daycare around 11:00 that Lindsey was running a fever and we needed to pick her up.

Both girls had times when clearly their tummies were hurting them. Lindsey was able to tell us, but Marissa was clearly in pain but couldn't articulate it.

We had thought that perhaps if they were better by Saturday, if it seemed to be a 24-hour bug, that we would still go to the wedding, but the thought of 5 hours on the road with two potentially sick little girls was just too much. And it's a good thing we didn't go; they both spiked fevers again in the afternoon.

The only good thing about little ones being sick is how snuggly they are. They just want to sit and be held, and have their backs rubbed, etc. Okay, I can do that.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Our Little Swedish Girl

Marissa has been steadily adding words to her vocabulary with regularity. She can repeat most one or two syllable words that we say, though she won't always remember what to associate them with. But she does know the word "yellow," understands that it's a color, and lately has taken to saying her own name, which comes out "Sassa." I love it.

But this weekend a new word entered her world, the opposite of which she's been saying for some time. She's been saying "no" for a while, but of course it comes out "D'oh," as in Homer Simpson "D'oh." Sometimes it's a quick, quiet, "Doh" and other times it's a yelled, drawn out "Doooohhhhh!" But it means "no" in Marissa's world.

This weekend she began saying the opposite of "no" -- "yes." But in typical Marissa fashion, it isn't quite "yes," it's "Ya." As in the German "Ja."

"Marissa, do you want some pasta?"

"Ja! Sassa pasta! Ja!"

"Marissa, want to take Dax for a walk?"

"Ja! Mommy walk. Daddy walk. Dax walk. Dinzee walk. Sassa walk. Ja ja ja!" (All this said while walking around looking for her sandals, followed by hopping and jumping upon finding them, thus the "ja ja ja.")

She is getting to be quite the talker, if you watch the Simpson's and understand Swedish or German.

A Milestone!

I wrote a while ago about how Marissa went peepee on the potty. We reached another milestone tonight in that she went poopy on the potty!

Be forewarned: For non-parents and those not accustomed to the direct discussion of bodily functions that come with being a parent, just skip over this post and know that a milestone was reached. Yeay Marissa!

Tonight we were downstairs finishing up dinner and she and Lindsey were already out and about playing. Suddenly Marissa stopped what she was doing and said "Poop!" Lindsey was headed upstairs anyway to use the potty, so Marissa trekked up with her.

After about a minute, I heard Lindsey say, "Mommy, Marissa has a poopy in her diaper." I run upstairs and sure enough, Marissa had disrobed and ripped off her diaper, but clearly hadn't finished the job in her diaper. I said, "Marissa, do you need to go poopy on the potty?" to which she replied "Ya!" So I quickly popped her on and she went poopy on the potty!

This was followed by a great deal of clapping and cheering. Lindsey decided that Marissa needed a sticker, so she pulled out her secret stash and gave one to Marissa, who promptly put it on some furniture in celebration.

I think it's time to break out the pull-ups.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

This was too fun!

I just had to share this one, for those of us who grew up on Sesame Street and The Muppet Show.

Marissa's Ponied Hair

I hadn't realized that Marissa's hair was long enough to put up, until we got her home from daycare one day with her hair in three little ponies, compliments of one of the workers.

I'm sure she was hot and damp, and they thought she would be cooler if her hair was up.

She really is not a baby, she looks like a little girl with her hair in ponies!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

a New York City Storm

This past week found me in New York City again, this time for the DMA nonprofit conference.

On Tuesday night, while I was sleeping unaware, a storm came through the area and dumped 2 to 3 inches of rain on us, while a tornado hit Brooklyn that same night. I woke up not having heard a thing, only to turn on the TV and find that 2.5" had fallen in Central Park (not too far from where I was staying), and that subways were flooded out, etc. It was going to be a nightmare commute for some people, and as it was I had two meetings get canceled that morning because the people I was supposed to meet with couldn't make it in to the city.

I couldn't believe that such a storm had gone on and I had slept through it all. Some of us were comparing notes after, and one of my co-workers said she thought she had heard a dump truck going by near her hotel, but othewise she didn't hear anything else. Then a native New Yorker chimed in that what she mistook for a dump truck probably was thunder.

Apparently thunder in the city sounds very different from thunder elsewhere. Unlike thunder in the plains states, you don't hear a big CLAP at the beginning and rumblings after. Usually you don't hear the beginning of it at all -- it starts as a low rumble and gets louder, but never too loud, and then simply fades away. The sound is absorbed and bounced around by all the buildings, so it doesn't sound the way thunder does for us who don't live in such dense urban areas.

I was fascinated by this, and realized that I too had heard what I thought was a truck but apparently was actually thunder. Amazing!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Lindsey's ambitions

Yesterday I was painting Lindseys' toenails and fingernails (by her request), and the two of us were sprawled across the kitchen floor in this endeavor. Marissa was off playing nicely with some of her toys, giving Lindsey and I a chance to talk.

Lindsey began the conversation by saying, "Mommy, you have big toes."

I said, "Yes, my toes are bigger than yours."

She said, "When I get bigger and bigger and bigger I'm going to be a mommy and I'm going to paint my little girl's toes."

I said, "You are??"

She said, "Yep, and some day I'm going to be a mommy and I'm going to have a baby in my tummy."

I said, "Aww, Lindsey, that's really sweet."

She said, "Yep, and I'm going to grow boobies! And then when I have a born baby I will feed the baby milk from my boobies."

I said, "Oh!" as I tried not to laugh. And then it was on to some other topic.

Then later on, she continued, "When Marissa gets bigger and bigger, she's going to have boobies, too."

I said, "Yes, she is."

She said, "But not Daddy. Daddys don't have boobies."

That's right, Daddys don't have boobies. Amen for that.

Poll Closed: Final Tally

The final tally on the voting for Lindsey's favorite color (currently):

2 votes for pink
2 votes for purple
3 votes for red

And the winner is....


If you asked Lindsey today what her favorite color is, she would tell you "purple." Then she would say "pink" after it, and then she would say "yellow." (That's a new one, sorry, I didn't know to put it as an option!)

So congratulations to those who selected purple, you get to help us re-paint her room a different shade of purple some day.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

My Coffee Cup

I have a coffee cup here at work that I got at Christmas from my sister Kristi and her husband.

It's from a restaurant called "Schloegel's" that we've always stopped at on our way up to the Upper Peninsula when we're vacationing. Our family has many memories of stopping there over the years, having various breakfasts and/or lunches on our way up to family fun.

My coffee cup made its way into the kitchen and has been MIA for the last week or so. This morning I peeked into the cupboard only to find it again.

I can only imagine that some other person was using it for a week or so and decided two things about it:

1. What the #*%! is Schloegel's and why is it printed on this cup?

2. This only holds half the amount of coffee that I'm used to so I have to fill up more often. I think I'll pick a different cup.

Thus I've got my cup back again.