Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Good-bye (thanks Callie!) my beloved Pizza...

This is Haven when she was 1...you can sort of see the eczema rash she had on her face, around her mouth, etc. Once we eliminated all dairy from her diet VIOLA! the rash disappeared forever!

Sweety pie, Brighton, is covered in an eczema rash. It started, very suddenly, about 2 weeks ago and has gotten worse and worse. The pictures don't really show how bad it is. Poor little guy. After much thought and research and creams, I had almost decided to eliminate all dairy from my diet. Today, the pediatrician took one look at him and said "allergy." Then I knew...the answer to taking care of my sweet little boy's itchy skin rash was for me to try an elimination diet, since he is exclusively breast-fed. The Doctor said she only sees eczema this bad when it is an allergy. I knew that dairy was the number one culprit, so I anticipated her suggestion for me to go dairy-free. I felt like that was the right answer, too, since Haven had a diary allergy...it is likely Brighton would too.

Using the natural balms and lotions has helped his skin tons! (as a side note, most of the things that are recommended for eczema contain petroleum products which are not very good for skin and actually have a drying effect in the long run...things like Eucerin and Aquafor are petroleum based..and the ones that aren't petroleum based have water and/or tons of alcohol ingredients...again with the drying effect and not being good for your skin....) Luckily he doesn't try to scratch much and luckily it is still too cool for short sleeves and shorts since he really only tries to scratch when his sweet little skin is exposed. He does rub at his face and ears some, but he's just as happy to hold your finger. :) So far, it's been a wake up call about just how much dairy was in my diet before! It's been good to make me stretch and figure out alternatives and to expand my repertoire of foods. I also anticipate that a happy side-effect of going dairy free is going to be noticeable on the scale.... :) It will be a long 18 months or so without cheesecake, though!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Grama's visit!

My mom was nice enough to come out to hang with me and the kids while Dave is in China. :) What a nice mom! And what a fun Grama!! :) Brighton likes her! I just LOVE his baby-must-eat-your-face kisses! He is so sweet and snuggly and cuddly and lovey!! :) What a sweety muffin!!!
My mom suggested to the kids that they use a few grocery bags to make some puppets. They spent a few minutes drawing on them (with help from Grama with eyes, etc). Fiona started using her's as a puppet right away...with her hand in it and talking from behind the wall, etc. Scarlett and Haven had other ideas...(that's Scarlett's little eyes peaking out from the sack above!)
We finally got a decent snow storm (we've been waiting ALL winter!) and decided to have a little candle-lit dinner to be able to enjoy the falling snow outside.
My mom cooked some pork chops and we had we had mashed potatoes and gravy and I made the most perfect biscuits I have ever made...EVER!! (Thank you, Alton Brown, for the great tips! Cold butter and a food processor make all the difference!) Of course they were made from evil white flour, but we thought of them as desert and topped them with jam, so we felt okay about it. :) The snow storm didn't last nearly long enough, though!

We tried to get a good group photo of the kids. The pictures above and below are the best 2 we got...so obviously it didn't work out too too well..we will try again! Everyone was a bit too hyped up and silly....and I had been taking pictures of them for almost a half hour straight so they were getting sick of seeing the camera...they are all so adorable, though...it's hard not to want to catch every moment on film! :)

Best bro's Elijah and Sebastian. :)

A very common look from Elijah...the "I don't know, it's funny" type of look....

I bugged Sebastian for a good 15 minutes trying to get some good photos of him. He giggled through most of it, then got irritated, then giggled, then pulled silly/weird faces, then giggled...he's not too fond of having his picture taken. He's such a sweet son, though. He just walked through the room and asked me where the drawing bag is (the canvas bag we took to church with paper and pencils, etc). I pointed it out to him and, as he was walking back to his room, he patted me on the back and said "you're such a great mom...I wish I could clone you and have a bunch of moms just like you" giggle giggle giggle. :)

Now Fiona's "in the bag".... :)

Brighton with his "2nd mom," Fiona. Haven would be his "3rd mom" and Scarlett would be his "4th mom". :)

What a sweet, fun Grama! :)

Why we loved it when it flooded!

Last spring (of '08), Lake Monroe flooded pretty heavily. We had some nice warm weather after some very heavy rains and decided to go kayaking! It ROCKED!!! We basically drove down one of the side roads and just drove until we hit water. Then we got out, unloaded the 'yaks, loaded up, and pushed off the road with our paddles.

After paddling around for awhile, we floated down a road we usually took to drive to the lake. We landed on a road that led down to this road and got out for a snack. (Snackage always makes the kids last longer on any outing!) We then loaded back up and back down the road and got such a huge kick out of the sign: "Do not cross when flooded." And "High water".

This was when I was about 4 months pregnant with Brighton and was my life jacket (squeezing my growing tummy) was very uncomfortable...but safety first!

This is on dry land while partaking of the afore mentioned snackage. Scarlett thought it would be fun to share with her sweet daddy. :) What a nice girl. :)

Here's Elijah and Haven getting all loaded up and ready to go back out on the water! This kayaking trip was one of my favorites...smoothly floating in shallow water; maneuvering through the trees and brush; paddling down the "road"; it was just so awesome! :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Our second kayak!!

We found a really great Old Town tandem kayak on Craigslist shortly after we bought the first kayak. We drove up to Indianapolis to pick it up. We fell instantly in love!! The first chance we got, we (meaning Dave, mostly) loaded the kayaks on top of the van and headed out to Lake Monroe.
About 15 minutes into our new family adventure, there needed to be a potty break...already! We pulled up to shore and Haven and I traipsed through some underbrush to find her a "potty". The other kids took advantage of the time to explore...and, of course, ended up getting a tad bit muddy!

Here is Scarlett "helping" to paddle. In the new sit in tandem, I had Elijah in the seat in front of me with Haven sitting on a little stool in front of him and Scarlett sitting on a little stool in front of me. We all fit perfectly!

Does it get much cuter than a little sweety pie with a top knot in a life vest????!!!??

The kids all had a lot of fun, for the most part. Scarlett "needed" a few dum dum pops to keep her still and "safe". But other than that, (oh, and people fighting over the paddles...) it was a lot of fun! The first time all 7 of us were able to be out on the water together!! This was the arrangement for the sit on top kayak...Sebastian is just hanging out on the bow. He and Fiona took turns there. I wish I could remember what he was talking about and what's with all the pointing...

Here they are, riding off into the sunset! :)

Picture tag!!

I was tagged on Sarah's blog!! How exciting and fun! :)

The rules:

1.Go to your document/pictures file on your computer

2.Go to the 6th file

3.Go to the 6th picture

4. Blog about that picture

5. Tag 6 other people

The above picture was my result!! A little on the blurry side....it was the day when the kids were playing together, pretending to dig up dino bones. This is the dino they "dug up". Pretty imaginative, I think. Sebastian looked up this dinosaur in a book about feathered dinosaurs and he concocted the whole game. All the kids thought it was great fun. Sebastian has been into dinosaurs since he first started learning to talk! He was walking around as a two year old telling people all about dinosaurs like pachycephalosaurus, ankylasaurus and styracosaurus. When people asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, he would perfectly enunciate the word "paleontologist". When we lived in Boulder, we went to Barnes and Noble a lot since Dave worked there and we could hang out in the kid section for hours reading books, playing with the trains and seeing glimpses of Dave now and again. One time when Fiona was a baby, we ventured in and, on our way to the kids section at the back, we spotted a very special person! There in the "mystery" section was Dr. Robert Bakker, a very famous paleontologist whom we all recognized right away! He was in almost every documentary we had watched about dinosaurs!!! I felt a little star struck but Sebastian was too young to feel inhibited by such things. I got up a bit of courage and walked over and said "excuse me, are you Bob Bakker the paleontologist?" He turned and smiled warmly and said, in only the sweet, excited, animated way Bob Bakker can, "why yes, I am" and he looked down at the two little boys with me and smiled at them warmly as I explained that he was looking at one of his biggest fans. He talked to Sebastian and asked him what his favorite dinos were and they chatted a bit. Sebastian was not quite even 4 years old yet, so it wasn't the deepest of conversations, but it was so cute and so much fun talking to a real live paleontologist! We saw Bob and his wife several more times at Barnes and Noble (almost always in the "mystery" section) and they always took the time to speak to us. He also autographed his book, Raptor Red, for Sebastian. Of course it was a few more years before Sebastian was old enough to read it (it's a novel about a raptor), but he loved it all the same. :) Sebastian is still very interested in paleontology (as is Elijah), but Sebastian is more focused these days on DNA and the genetics of dinos and ancient creatures. He would like to someday help in the research of cloning to bring some of these animals back. I just hope they only bring back the cute and fuzzy ones....

I tag the following six people: Shan, Kim, Maggie, Katie, Jenn and Michelle!! :)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Who needs to take a bath when Owl is near?

This video was shot in December. Sebastian (10 yrs) may not have been any cleaner after this "bath", but that patch of hair was definitely shiny and lint-free!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Camping trip

We went camping in the fall of 2007 with our friends, Nate and Jen. We stayed in this area of S. Indiana where there are literally 80 little lakes all around. It was so awesome. We camped next to the lake pictured above and below. Dave woke up bright and early to fish. He didn't catch anything, but the lake was so gorgeous with the mist rising!

After we packed up campe later in the morning, we drove over to another little lake (passing many, many little lakes along the way) to play and fish at. This lake was full of stumps and old, dead trees. It was really cool. But while kayaking, you had to really watch out for the stumps under the water because they would make you bottom out.

The kids really enjoyed playing on the shore and exploring in the water and mud! Below are Fiona and Elijah as little swamp monsters, covered in lake plants.

The kids are ever ready for an adventure, armed with nets and sticks and containers to store little creatures in. There were plenty of little minnows and frogs and bugs for the kids to chase after. In this particular part of the lake pictured above there is still, somewhere in the layers of mud, one of the boy's sandals...lost forever.......

A better picture of the butchered hair.

All scissors were put away for a long time after this incident!! This is when Fiona was 5 and Elijah 7.

Kayakers in training.

Here's a better view of the kayak. And two little cutie pies practicing. :)

Our first kayak!!

Dave and I decided on a sit-on-top tandem and got one on a great sale! My parents came out to visit shortly after we bought it and Dave and I got to take it out for a date...well, we took each other out for a date, the kayak was the date. :) Here are my feet. :)
Here is my finger. :)

Here is a great view. :) We had a lot of fun and this trip helped me realize how safe and awesome this hobby will be for our family. I have always loved being out in the water (as long as I don't think about the many fish that could be swimming under me!) When we lived in Laclede, we used to float around in a little raft on the water. My parent's house was on a slough of the Pend Orielle River. Beaver lived there and we would see them swimming around. It was so beyond fun! This kayaking trip brought back all those great memories. And made me fall in love with kayaking!

Dave wasn't quite ready for me to take this picture. Huh. :) He was hot (well, he's always HOT..but he was uncomfortably warm and shortly after I took this picture he dove into the water to cool off...) Way to go, Dave, for turning 32 and wanting to take up kayaking!!! :)

In the beginning...

Cutie pie Scarlett...she was about 18 months, I think...
there was life without kayaking. Then Dave turned 32 and our wonderful life of kayaking began! He decided to rent a kayak from IU. I was not all that thrilled. Sometimes it takes me some time to warm up to new things and activities. He rented a long, touring type kayak. We (meaning Dave) strapped it onto the van and headed for the lake. The above picture is Dave out on the lake.

Each child got a short turn in the kayak (it was a tandem) with Dave. In between turns, Elijah, Sebastian and Fiona were well equiped with nets and a big bucket for catching cool critters and bugs.

That little person barely sticking out of her life jacket is Haven! She was almost 3. She thought it was great fun! Her mom, on the other hand, was worried sick and just knew she was going to drown at any moment! She didn't, though (huh, obviously...) and it helped me loosen up a bit. :)

Here is Haven about ready to disembark. :) I took it out for a little ride at the very end of our excursion. It was a windy day on the lake. I couldn't quite figure out how not to let the wind take me out to "sea"...this was a smaller inlet area of the lake...the lake itself (Lake Monroe) is HUGE. I was unsure after this experience whether or not I liked the whole idea of a kayak and doing it as a family....but my attitude soon changed....

Dave and kids kayaking/fishing fun

Dave and Sebastian and a few friends from church kayaked a local creek near Bloomington. Here is a spot where you can swing off a rope into the water. Woohoo!

Here is sweety pie Fiona holding a cicada. Her bangs are reminding me now that this is after she and Elijah had a little cutting of their own hair experiment....

Here's Elijah with a blue gill. His cutting of your own hair experiment was remedied by a buzz cut...

Here's Sebastian holding up a blue gill with Fiona looking on. :) We had sooooo much fun in Bloomington kayaking and fishing!! There were some really terrific places to go and never a shortage of water to kayak on! Here in Colorado it's a different story! We are going to have to hunt down some good spots (if you know if any, let me know!).