Monday, March 30, 2015

Out of the Gate

I'm not really sure what actually started this, but we now allow Bean "out of the gate" a lot more than she used to be.  Maybe it was the fact that she used to be content if just left in the gate; and now, she wants to be with us (or maybe more like find more things to get into).  Overall, she does very well when out of the gate, but she still has areas she gets into, even though she KNOWS she's not supposed to.  The main areas of concern are the stairs, my Jamberry stuff (I have it in a bag back in the corner that she loves to get into) and certain cabinets/drawers in the kitchen.  

I now typically spend most of my day in the living room with her.  It's too much of a hassle to take her upstairs with me when I'm trying to do something.  So anything I want to do upstairs - clean bathrooms, put away laundry, make bed, etc - I do right after I put her down for a nap but before I go run.  Her current favorite show is Sesame Street so I can typically be up and working around the house during that hour and she'll stay in the gate without a complaint.  

If I'm going to be in the kitchen (making dinner, doing dishes, cleaning), I typically open the gate and let Bean roam around.  Sometimes she'll stay in the living room and keep playing (or watching a show). However most times, she'll follow me into the kitchen, then find her "usual" toys and proceed to play in the foyer.  She'll slowly make her way up a couple steps before getting in trouble and most likely being locked back in the gated area.  

(Who says kids need toys??  These milk jugs provided hours of fun.  We had been saving them for sap season; however, the winter/spring weather has been to crazy to have a consistent sap season so we called it quits before the tapping happened.)

(And when the milk jugs are recycled, full Powerade bottles will suffice.  These had an extra element of fun -- getting them out of the cabinet and carrying them one by one to the steps.)

(For Christmas, my parents got Bean a little kitchen set! Unfortunately, the box was too big to fit into our car to get it to our house along with all our other crap after Christmas.  We finally made it back to Indiana and crammed this into the car! Hindsight, we should have assembled it and transported it that way, but oh well. Bean loves it!)

(My dream finally fulfilled -- Bean cooking along with me while I'm cooking!  I can't wait for her to actually be able to help me make stuff!)

(The kitchen set came with pots/pans, dishes, utensils, and a cell phone - ha.  The set itself has a fridge, oven, microwave, sink, stove, and built in storage shelves and baskets.  She always loves having the oven doors flopped open and the utensils/pieces are typically strewn all over the house.  One day while I was cooking, I knew she was getting into my little pantry cabinet, but wasn't paying attention.  Then I looked and realized she had been "grocery shopping" for her own kitchen. She is hilarious.)

(When things get really quiet while she's out of the gate, I know something us up.  Typically it means she's making her way up the stairs.  One day I found her attempting to do who knows what.)

(Caught ya!)


(Her favorite step -- also happens to be the highest she's allowed to go. Plus, it is also the step we sit her on so we can put her shoes on.

(Her toys have recently upgraded to an old cottage cheese container and my cooking spoons.  The container she pulled out of the recycling bin - a new issue we are having. One day while cooking, she came and stood by me while I was cooking and signed "please/more" and pointed to a spoon in the jar.  I had to cut her off at 4 spoons.)

(Someone has finally realized what the piano is.  I've been tinkering on it a little more around her, but recently Steve let her play it while sitting on her lap.  She is now in love and constantly begging to play.  She's finally figured out how to open the cover and will stand and play the keys silently until one of us turns it on or goes and plays with her.)

(Don't all pianists play with their socks on the keys??)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Indiana Visit & A Really Bad Day

A couple weekends ago, we headed in to Indiana for the first time since Christmas (which is too long in my book)! We were headed back so that I could judge in the annual piano contest that I've been involved with since I was young.  I've been back to be a judge for the past 4-5 years and always have a good time doing it.  

We got in Friday evening to a pretty quiet house. Just mom and Sara were home (dad was due to arrive back from a business trip later that night).  After dinner, I took mom (along with Bean) to the grocery store to pick up a few items.  My mom hurt her foot about a month ago (fell off a stage) and isn't allowed to drive.  She was going a little stir crazy and needed an outing (and groceries).  After our quick trip, we got back home and got Bean to bed.  We were all soon to follow!

I had to be up early on Saturday to be at the church for judging.  There's a meeting for judges at 7:30 with events starting at 8.  It's the same thing every year and every year it isn't needed. Oh well!  Usually, my brother and sister judge as well, but this year it was just my sis and I.  I was placed in my usual room by myself.  Kids from beginners to intermediate levels would come in the room, play a couple songs they had prepared, and then leave.  My job was to listen and critique their playing -- point out what could be done differently and praise what they did right.  I wrote my comments on a paper, assigned numbers and awarded them whatever placement they earned.  My sister got placed in a room with one of the worst judges (worse as in she wrote a novel for each student, was super nit-picky, and didn't encourage the kids).  We were both done by mid afternoon.

We all rendezvoused back at my parents house for the evening. While I was judging, Ahm (my mom) took over duty of Bean with the help of my nieces.  I'm not sure what all they but I know Bean had fun regardless! She loved all the attention! 

That night, Bean had some trouble going to bed.  She went down okay, but cried out a few times when Steve and I went to bed.  I had to go and rock her some, and then got to sleep.  Early the next morning (5:45am), Steve and I woke up to a couple bangs.  He said it sounded like a bird hit the window.  We sleep over the garage, and to me it sounded like the house door banging shut, but without the vibration.  Then we heard silence.  I was paranoid so I went in search of the noise.  I got to the upstairs foyer to find my sister walking into the bathroom kind of zombie like.  I asked her if she was okay.  She slowly turned her head to look at me, but her body continued to go forward.  She went head first over the toilet and smacked straight into the wall.  I grabbed her and got her to the floor to find her unresponsive.  I ran downstairs to yell for help from my parents.  

The next few minutes were a blur.  I know I ran back upstairs to check on Sara (just staring and not responsive) and told dad he might need to call 911 (okay, dad claims I shouted CALL 911 -- you be the judge).  My running up and down and getting help woke Bean.  So Steve was dealing with her, when I was with my sister.  She finally came to and was slowly talking to me.  She knew who I was, but was still really out of it.  My mom finally came on scene and took over.  I went and got some supplies to clean up the mess (I'll save you all the details on the mess, ha) and get stuff for Sara.  My mom finally pieced the story that Sara needed to go to the bathroom, so she got up out of bed and felt woozy.  She must have bumped into her door/desk by all the pens on the floor (those were the bangs we heard).  Sara knew she was passing out when she got to the bathroom, but thought if she could just sit down she'd be fine.  I just happened to be there right as she fainted.  Once I knew mom was in control of the situation, I went to tend to Bean.  

I was too hyped up to go back to bed, so I sent Steve back to sleep (he really wasn't involved in what all happened and was sort of out of it himself - he just new something had happened with Sara).  I rocked Bean a little bit, but she wasn't settling.  She kept crying when I put her in the crib, so we went and laid in another bed together.  She started talking to me, so I gave up and went back out (carrying her) to check on Mom/Sara.  Sara needed a bandaid, so we went to go find one.  Mom got Sara taken care of and back in bed.  While mom was finishing up cleaning stuff, Bean laid her head on my shoulder so I knew she was still tired.  I went back into the room she sleeps in and laid her in the crib with her singing glow worm.  She grabbed her blanket and quietly rolled over.  

There was no way I was going back to bed, so I just went downstairs and binged on Duggars while everyone else went back to bed (well, my dad had to be at church early, so he didn't go to bed).  My brother and his family were going to come over after lunch, so we made the decision to stick around a few extra hours than we normally do.  My sister and her family came over, too.  So it was quite the houseful.  Sara woke up and was normal (except for feeling sore).  She didn't totally grasp what all happened.  She knew she had passed out, but didn't really understand placement in bathroom and what all the commotion was. 

(Cousins! Oliver - 15 months, Emily - 11, Allie - almost 9, Bean - 17 months, 
Gabbie - almost 6, Charlotte - almost 5)

Bean took a good nap (even with the houseful of people) and woke up with a little bit of time to play with cousins.  We loaded up the car and said our goodbyes.  The drive was going smoothly and we had already decided we'd stop and get dinner on the way home.  About an hour into the drive, though.  Bean started sort of coughing, then all of a sudden projectile vomited! Steve pulled the car over as we both watched her just throw up a ton all over herself.  She was crying and really upset.  I got her out of the car and sort of held her over a field in case she was going to throw up more.  It was warm enough outside that I stripped her down to get her out of the smelly clothes.  Steve got out our suitcase and I found clean clothes to put her into.  

Next up -- clean up all the vomit.  Boy was it awful! Steve held Bean in the front seat while I cleaned it up. I had like 3 baby wipes, a couple disinfecting wipes, and that was about it.  I used her puke clothes to clean out all the blueberry bits (just what you wanted to know! She ate blueberries and drank milk in the car as we left my parents' house).  I wiped the seat and belts as much as I could, but there was no getting the smell totally out.  Poor girl had to be strapped back down in that seat.  She cried when we first put her in the seat, but I crawled in the back with her and turned Frozen on.  She was a happy girl after that.  I was poised and ready to catch any more vomit in a plastic bag, but she never threw up again.  

(For some reason in my head, there was like 10 times the amount of vomit shown.  Maybe it's just that the smell was so much worse than this picture can capture.  I washed the lining of the car seat n the washer and got the smell out of it; but I can't get the smell out of the belts/buckle/plastic seat.  I've wiped it all down multiple times with Lysol, Febreezed it, and even set it outside a couple times.  I need to rewash it all again.  Problem is the part that the belts snap into.  Vomit got down in the crevices and I can't get it out.  Ugh. The seat still stinks up the car.)

I wanted to just get home, but Steve needed a break out of the car (he was sort of zoning and also just the smell).  So we stuck to our plan and stopped for dinner.  I didn't know what to do with her -- do I allow her to eat?? What do I feed her, I had planned to feed her a fruit pouch, ravioli and yogurt prior to the puking.  Definitely not a good combo if it were to come back out! So I figured she'd ask for what she wanted (trust the 1.5 year old, right??).  She ate some applesauce pouch and a couple yogurt chips.  Then when our food came, she wanted some fries.  I let her have some, but what she really wanted was the ketchup.  She loved sticking the fry in the ketchup, and licking it off before sticking it back in.  She had a couple moments of gagging and I feared vomit.  So we called dinner done and got back on the road (okay, so maybe I had a little meltdown and completely shut down.  Steve had to just step up and say, okay - we're going home now!).  

We got home without any more problems.  As Steve unloaded the car, Bean and I got in the shower.  It was already passed bedtime, so she went right to bed.  I was worried over every sound I heard in the monitor just waiting for more puke, but none never came.  She never really acted sick after that, but she did have some issues with diarrhea and random fevers for the rest of the week.  (Side note -- my mom ended up puking all the next day and having a high fever for a few days).  So maybe Bean did have something?? Or maybe just her final 4 teeth coming in??

(One clean & happy girl with a very tired momma! Remember, my day started with my sister fainting in front of me and ended with a puking kid. If only I could tell this Lindsey what the rest of the week would look like. Probably best she didn't see it coming!)

After a long week of babysitting nearly every day (really, the babysitting was fine, just made for some long days!) and continuing on my mini-marathon training, Steve woke up on Saturday feeling very achy and had a fever - which is how my mom felt the day before she puked.  I was prepared for him to bring puke-fest back to our house, but he didn't.  He just had a fever, slept a lot, and complained of feeling crappy all weekend.  I was a freak about germs and sickness in the house again, so he wasn't allowed to be around Bean & I; meaning, Bean and I have had a lot of 1 on 1 time and I haven't gotten a "mom" break in quite some time!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Outside Freedom

The weather has finally been showing some signs of winter coming to an end, and we couldn't be more thrilled!  I'm so looking forward to having daily outside activities planned!  We've only been outside a few times for some fun, and Bean has already caught on.  About mid-day, she will go on the hunt for her "tschoos" (shoes) so that she can go "bye-bye".  She'll stand at the door and wait until I give in.  She even has gone to find her jacket and carried it around for awhile before giving it to me and signing "please".  

(As much as I want to say Bean is advanced and already making smiley faces, she can only claim the scribbles with the chalk.)

(She loves playing with the chalking, roaming all around the driveway and making little marks all over.)

(I have to now hide the chalk box and just give her a few pieces.  She likes to hoard them and walk around with them all.)

(We also play with bubbles outside!)

(Notice the white on her lips -- she snuck a few licks of the chalk.  Haha.  She doesn't do that anymore, she finally realized it was never going to taste good!)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Running Update

A few weeks ago, I bit the bullet and bought a treadmill.  I hadn't ran since the middle of January and with the longest winter ever happening, I decided it was needed to get my half marathon training started.  I was able to buy the treadmill with my Jamberry/babysitting money (which I'm pretty proud of!).  Since it was bought with my "hard-earned" money, I have more motivation to get down there and use! 

We bought the treadmill off Amazon.  It was the #1 best seller and looked like it would fit my needs.  It is a little smaller than I would like, but it works well for me (just maybe not so much for Steve).  We decided to place it in the basement and so far it is working great!  I run down there during Bean's nap time.  Even though I'd rather get up and run first thing (but I'm not motivated enough to wake up before Bean does, haha), I've gotten into a nice routine and enjoy the mid-day workout.  

(Running gear - Check! Treadmill - Check! Cute cheerleader - Double check!)

(She wanted to stand with me, but definitely didn't like it being on!)

I looked online and found a training plan from Hal Higdon's website (he was recommended to me from a couple different people).  I took his novice 1 half marathon plan and tweaked it a little bit for my own schedule.  I run 4 days a week -- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday.  The current plan is to do treadmill during the week and sneak an outside run on the weekend.  However, so far, that hasn't happened. Ha!  I ran with Bean outside one Monday (but it was really tiring to push her in the stroller!) and then I also got in another run on a weekday all by myself! I did a "run swap" with my friend Sara.  I watched her baby (well, I watch him a few days, but she added on some time with him at my place one day so she could go run).  When she came to pick him up, she stayed with him and Bean so that I could go run.  It was great!

(My training plan. Week 4 starts TODAY.  Yikes!  Only 5 weeks til the mini.  I'm so terrified!)

The training is going really well and appreciate everyone who is helping to keep me accountable.  This is the 1st time I've really set forth a goal of this magnitude and have stuck with it.  I'm one to usually come up with some sort of workout plan, and then quit after 6 weeks.  Even though I had a couple months off in the winter, I've been pretty consistent in running for almost 8 months now! Whoa.  I guess some may actually call me a runner (although I still call myself crazy).  My mile times were pretty rough after the winter break, but I'm now shaving off time and am back to my 10 / 10:30 min per mile pace (outside is more like 10 min, treadmill more like 10:30).  

(My little training coach helping me with my plan.  How can you not trust someone in a Broncos jacket?)

(I've also replaced some of my daily soda with Powerade.  Mainly just to feel better about my other eating options.  I am not a dieter and in no way will give up my oreos, chocolate, potato chips, etc from my day, haha! But with just the small changes I've made, and running 4 times a week, I've dropped a few pounds.  I'd love to lose some more, but my real goal is just being more active and making healthier decisions.  Plus, with as fast as this little cutie walks, I'll have to sprint to keep up with her when she runs!)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

International Dinner -- Galushta making!

Each year, our church celebrates missions week with an international dinner kick off.  All the classes decorate a table according to a specific country and everyone is encouraged to bring ethnic foods for a pitch-in style meal.  Our class decorated our table as Russia (we have a couple ladies in our class who are originally from there, so our table was authentic!).

The dinner was originally set for Sunday evening; however, a big snow storm was supposed to blow threw.  I really wanted to make Galushta (pronounced ga - looosh - ta) -- a Romanian meal my grandma taught me and made every Christmas.  Steve is not a fan of it; so I wasn't willing to gamble making a big pot, and being stuck with it if the dinner was canceled.  So I decided I wasn't going to make it.  On Sunday morning, they snow hit and they moved the dinner from Sunday night to Monday.  I decided I could make it happen!

On Monday morning, as soon as Bean woke up, we rushed to the store.  Galushta takes all day to cook, and can take awhile to prep as well.  Since it was just me doing it (plus having to watch Bean at the same time), I wasn't sure how long it would take me and felt like I was in crunch mode.  We rushed through the store and got home in time for Sesame Street.  I knew I had an hour to speed through the prep work while Bean was entertained with Elmo (that's one of her new loves).

I only had to call my mom and sister each once to answer a couple of questions.  I've helped in the Galushta making process since I was young, but never have had to do each part by myself.  I was nervous (especially since I had to substitute a main ingredient) about doing it all myself, but I found a rhythm and quickly got all the cabbage rolls made.  It took me a total of 1.5 hours to go from raw ingredients to Galushta cooking in the pot!  Bean was a trooper and even played in the kitchen during the last 30 minutes.

(One of the prep steps is mixing raw beef, rice and water together.)

(Another prep step is -- mixing onion, the "secret" ingredient,  and salt & pepper together.  The secret ingredient is called intuda - or at least that's what my grandma called it.  It's the fat of the neck of some animal.  My grandma always had a chunk in her freezer so we never really needed to know where to get more.  But that supply has run out and it's taken some time to figure out what it actually was.  My mom told me to just find some pork jowl.  I couldn't so I substituted bacon fat.  It worked for me!)

(Next came coring the cabbage and placing the hole head in boiling water.  Then you peel the leaves off one at a time.  Next you put the meat mixture into the cabbage and roll it up.  I ended up using 4 pounds of beef, 2-3 heads of cabbage, and got around 50 rolls.)

(Once the cabbage rolls are done, you start filling your pot! You put a thin layer of the onion/intuda mixture on the bottom of the pot.  Next comes a layer of sauerkraut.  Then you neatly tuck a layer of cabbage rolls so that you can easily scoop them out.  Cover with more sauerkraut and and some mini sausages.  Another layer of rolls, sauerkraut, sausage, etc until the pot is filled with an inch of clearance.)

(You then fill the pot with water till you can just see it in the top layer.  Then you put on the kid and start cooking!  As it cooks, the liquid swells and you have to take some out to keep it from overflowing.  Then the water level goes back down and you add it back in. It only took about 3 hours to cook.)

I may or may not had a couple helpings of it before we made it to the dinner.  I made it last year and it all got eaten up.  This year, the attendance was a little lower so not all of it gotten eaten.  Oh well, more for me!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Snow fun!

I don't mind winter (I hate it when it drags on, though).  In fact, I like it when it's cold and I get to burn candles and snuggle under blankets.  However, I only like the cold when there is snow outside! It's just so pretty and clean looking, haha.

I really want to say we've had our last snow for the year, but unfortunately, I've heard the dreaded S word brought up again.  For now, I'll choose to ignore it and instead look outside at the sun shining in the 60+ degree weather outside!

On one of our last big snows, Bean and I bundled up to play outside while daddy used the snow blower! Unfortunately, it was one of those heavy dense snows that was tougher to plow than shovel. It took a little longer than normal, but Steve was finally able to clear off the driveway.  Bean loved trying to help and even played with the shovel (and car scraper).  She ate some, laid in it, and overall squealed with joy. Her cheeks got super rosy and I had to make her come inside

(Checking out daddy's shoveling/plowing)

(Stomp! Stomp! Stomp!)

(Are you sure I can just walk around on this?!)

(Here's some snow for you! She's laughing, not crying - ha.  She thought it was funny having snow all over her mittens.)

(Look guys -- I can do this myself!)

(Daddy showing her how to do it with the shovel)

(Look at those rosy cheeks!  She also just discovered the Bumbo seat in the corner -- I use it when I watch Baby J a couple times a week -- and thought it was hilarious to sit in it.  But then, she got stuck and it wasn't so funny -- but I was sure laughing!)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Birthday Surprise!

(For the record, I started this post about a week after our visit, but never went back to finish it.  Yikes, I've been busy!) About a month ago, we headed South (to Cincy!) to celebrate my aunt's 60th birthday! The day of the party, we were do for a ton of snow.  We only got a couple of inches and it wasn't snowing when we got up.  My family was all heading to the party from Indiana and they decided to brave the weather (they got more inches with it still snowing!).  If they were going, so were we!

The weather was fine for us as we headed towards Cincinnati.  Around the time we reached Dayton, the snow started to pick up. We questioned our decision, but everyone else was still driving so we went with it. As we got off the highway and onto the city roads to get to their house, the roads weren't plowed the best.  We slid a little but figured the plow would go through again later in the day and we'd be fine heading home.  We got to my Uncle/Aunt's house first.

Later a few more people showed up; as well as my other aunt and her family.  A lot of the other guests who were invited had to cancel from the weather.  My Aunt still had no idea about the surprise and was out shopping with her daughter.  My uncle did  great job getting all the food ready and setting everything up.  My aunt finally came home and was shocked to see all of us in her house!  My family missed the surprise part, but arrived an hour later.  I hadn't seen my family since Christmas so it was nice to see them and hang out with everyone.

(Bean was spoiled by attention, playing with cousins, and stealing Ahm's tablet to watch Frozen.)

(It's hard to tell, but my aunt is in the back of the kitchen blowing out her candles!)

The snow continued on throughout the whole day and finally stopped in late afternoon.  We said our goodbyes and were going to head back home.  With Ikea so close by. . . Steve decided to throw out an impromptu stop for shopping and dinner.  I of course couldn't say no!  We pretty much had Ikea to ourselves.  Bean loved running around the store.  We bought a few items (storage bins and some jars) and then feasted on some hot dogs.

(Little girl loving her ability to run all over!)

(She especially loved walking over those light up arrows.)

It was dark by the time we loaded up the car and hit the road.  The roads were pretty clear and we were moving along the highway without an issue.  Until we went under an overpass and slid on some black ice! There weren't any other cars, so it wasn't a big deal.  Steve slowed down and watched out for the ice (especially under the overpasses!).  Every now and then there'd be some cars that would be around, but mostly it was all clear.

One car had passed us at a pretty fast speed.  He was several car lengths in front of us when he went under an overpass, hit a patch of ice and immediately started sliding, did a couple of 360s across all traffic lanes and finally ended up stopping, facing us.  Steve handled our car great! We also slid some, but was always in control.  I was freaked out as the other car swerved and looked like it would hit us a couple of times.  Steve was able to slow our car way down and put his flashers on to warn the oncoming cars behind us.  Luckily, no one was hurt and we were able to continue on.  The other car slowed way down after his ordeal!

I was pretty shaken up (just scared about not making it home, haha) and I'm sure Steve was, but he seemed cool about it (other than bringing up the incident a lot, even to this day, ha!).  Bean was oblivious to everything going on - ha!  We made it home in time to get Bean into bead.  What a fun & eventful day!