Thursday, November 21, 2013


 One of my fave things about little hawks, is the fact that many other students live super close by. Now that's one of bears favorite things as well, especially since we adopted a kitty cat on the way home from dropping off one of his little neighbor buds. Ever since Weston's kitty, tiger, "went on vacation" last spring,  he has pleaded on and off for a replacement.  We failed at one attempt due to the major problem that the new ones were to meowy.

With new pups to distract bear this summer, his  demands were quieted. Recently, he has ramped up the kitten whining once more. So there we were, driving home, when I spotted a small gray cat on the corner of our field,  precariously close to the road. I stopped the veen and pointed the feline out to wes so he could appreciate the proximity and furry of the surprise sighting.

The moment I had the veen in park, bear somehow launched himself to the door and wrenched that thing open to catch a closer look at the cat. Well,  this cat must have come from a family.  Like a human family who frequently took kitty for rides in their vehicle. For  instantly that gray little bundle hopped into the veen and made itself comfy. Purring loudly,  it snuggled by bear as wes sat back down in his seat and buckled himself again saying,  "we r taking him home I guess! "

I felt that I had no choice but to comply. Once the cat, kids, and I arrived home, I set some rules. No cats in the house. If an adorable takes kitty into the garage or porch , the child is assuming responsibility for any and all accidental poops.  both babes agreed to my terms.

And theloving began.

I love this pic of  bear because his face is so innocent,  like huh, I don't know.... this kitten just wants to live here.

So, I am not a really huge animal lover? I maybe don't really keep track of which animals have food or water and which are going hungry. This is not a flagrant disregard as much as me just being so distracted feeding the humans among us that the animals are sometimes overlooked.  We are all thankful Bradley is the farmer or chickens and pigs would suffer. So, when brad returned from deer camp this Sunday,  he immediately observed that the new cat, named kitty power, looked awful. Once he mentioned that fact,  I took note and sure enough,  kitty power appears to be lacking in power. Woops.

One more Weston story completely unrelated: when out and about running errands,  we saw a homeless man with a sign asking for a job and stating his hunger. We were heading to Wendy's anyway,  so I purchased a few extra cheeseburgers and ran them over to this man. Bear questioned why I was giving that man our lunch and I gently explained that the stranger was  sadly without a home or food to eat. My emotions were running quite high as the hormones continue to course through my body at record amounts.  Bear was quiet on the ride home. As we pulled into the driveway,  a good 30 minutes later,  wes announces,  "mom! Remember that old house the Indians used to live in at my school? Maybe that homeless man could live there and hunt for his food!" Aw, buddy.  How precious that he was working on a solution and using what he knows to help that man. love that boy!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


The sugar high has been happening for days. Halloween was good to us.

Bopa invited us once again to his in office trick or treating event. We love this adventure as it is inside,  before the actual holiday so we don't have to wait so very long, and it provides some much needed entertainment while daddy wraps up harvest.  even though we got candy early,  the fun could not come soon enough,  especially for bear. The secret is to wait until mere mmoments before a fun experience before telling Weston about it. Otherwise he is tortured waiting for the activity.  For example,  we have discussed Christmas no less than 19 times. Today.

Clearly the anticipation was extreme. And rightly so, jci is very generous with the doling out of goodies. At the first stop, wes grabbed about as many peices of candy his two hands could hold. The lady distributing the goods was very taken aback at bear's assumptions and the resulting reprimand sort of polluted Weston' s night.

As the above ppicture shows, bear couldn't get a happy heart back.

The ladybug and soccer player had a super time.

Blues costume was especially endearing to me as when she was super tiny, and i could just get her cute little hairs into a form of pigtails, max and wes thought their sister looked like a little ladybug. the boys would call her that whenever i could get her hairs to stay in a piggy tail position. Aw. We have had some growth in the hair realm, but not a lot...

Maxwell decided upon the soccer stud ensemble after being inspired by his buddy dakota. Kota's mom put an adorable pic on instagram which i showed maxer and he immediately decided to follow dakota's lead. After maxwells amazing season this fall, i thought the decision an excellent one. Not sure if i mentioned maxers one goal. Though he is more of a defensive player and enjoyed being goalie, during one game, max booted the ball right into the goal from about half way between the mid field area and the goal. So proud!

Bear is the best spiderman ever. He really loved having his costume on, and takes saving things seriously. Some days, he plays this game where i place lots of stuffed animals high on couches and chairs and shelves, and bear drives his toy firetruck to rescue each individual animal. So cute. 

One more spooky story. We were recently reminded that maxwell is scared of heights. While brad was ramming around with the adorables, he proceeded to carry max upstairs on his shoulders. Maxer flipped out. He was terrified to be high up and over the steps.  That experience  generated lots of discussion about max. So bear decided he was also afraid of heights. To wes, the word heights encompassed a myriad of fears: going upstairs alone, the dark, being shy.  so the other day, ayla and weston went downstairs to collect some random craft aupplies and blue raced upsgtairs to scream, "there's heights down there!" Presh

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

echo take 2

Part of the Kawasaki syndromin treatment plan is to have follow up echocardiograms . We had the first one last week. This involved another trip to Helen devos children's hospital.    this also involved the brothers as they were home from school due to the conferences situation.  as you may have expected, none of the adorables were terribly excited at the prospect of driving to gr for a drs appt.

Brad hatched the master plan to reward the babes with a trip to crazy bounce following the hospital.  Everyone was super excited about the crazy bounce portion of the day and promised to be on their best behavior.  their efforts were so preshie. And sometimes absolutely and genuinely helpful.

Maxwell had my phone and was seriously committed to his task of taking some pics of the parking lot  signage so I could relocate the veen after we completed the echocardiogram.  Bear repeatedly shouted,  "o, I hope I'm being good and listening to you mom! I'm trying so hard!" Well, the good news was he really did obey me with a happy heart most of the time. The bad news was that Weston did not recognize his own good behavior.  Hmm.  Ayla asked lots of questions,  and despite my reassuring answers regarding no pokes or hugs, she grew more agitated as we entered the hospital.  I totally don't blame her! Scary memories.

Due to my own panicky planning,  we arrived with plenty of time to spare. Once we were registered and equipped with the correct badges, I strolled the babes to the gift shop to look around and spend some of our extra time. Unfortunately,  we had more time than money,  so some of our extra time was used to explain why I would not be purchasing an $80 stuffed wolf for bear that day. We left without making a purchase,  and ventured upstairs for the main event.

In a determined effort to win the crazy bounce reward,  the brothers were so encouraging to Ayla as we checked in at the cardiologists office.  Everyone was distracted by the puffy stickers available there at the registration desk, so things were off to a happy start. we settled in at a cute little table in the waiting room and I took out the tablet to distract us all.

Didn't take long until our turn came. At the mention of her name, blue became very upset. As in terrified.  I began undressing her for the procedure and the hysterics escalated.  nurse ann seemed overwhelmed by this response despite her career as a pediatric ultrasoundist. finding nemo was playing on the tv, so bear was content watching the show, and occasionally blue would setlle enough to watch some show as well. Whenever nurse ann moved the wand to a new location on Ayla's tiny chest, cupcake would whimper or scream. I laid next to her on the itty bitty cot and tried to comfort the fears and tears. Stressful.

Thankfully, nurse ann determined to wrap things up as quickly as possible, so the echo lasted maybe half an hour. As we were checking out, the boys sneaked some more stickers in their plckets and i bumped into a nurse that previously worked at dr lunds office. Comforting to see a familiar place in that place. 

Soon we were back locked and loaded in the comfort of our messy van. As i started the show, i took a minute to thank god we were finished for now and dealing only with some residual kawasaki symptoms of which he is in total control. A few more deep breaths and i searched for the parking ticket, our way out. Well, bad news. Somehow between ramp 3 and floor 10, i lost that miniscule piece of paper. So i humbly called for help and the attendent graciously allowed me to pass. During our stay at helen devos, brad often struggled with the departure portion of the parking garage area and i would giggle and think that silly. Turns out, it is a real problem for us both. 

The afternoon included craziness and bouncing and exhasution. about a week later, we went back to dr lunds office for a diagnosis of hand foot and mouth disease. during that super fun adventure, we learned that ayla's echo came back completely normal. Praise the lord! We have another echo scheduled for for december. Until then, the aspirin regiment continues. 

Friday, November 1, 2013


We were all ready for relaxing down day after the business of the previous day. So in an effort to keep the adorables as content as possible for as long as possible, I kept tucking them in  my bed when they awoke,  whispering it wasn't quite morning.  Well the king size bed only accomodates so many wiggly babes. Eventually I relented and answered their wonderings about the morning with an affirmative.  At once, bear sat straight up and said "theres snow mommy! ".

Well that's all it took to get children of all ages to quit the coziness and run to the window.  Sure enough, snow covered the ground and was still falling from the sky. The boys had off for conferences so we quick ate  breakfast and began the quest for snow gear.

There has been lots of growing since the last time it snowed. We were able to scrounge together tops and bottoms and hats and mittens for all the darlings.

They were so cute.

Maxer immediately got to work shoveling the haf inch of wet snow from the ground.

Wes donned his new coat we bought last spring from peebles in cadillac. A great $7 purchase he is proud to wear.

Ayla wandered about aimlessly, but enthusiastically. Running around with a big smile and no idea what to do.

In other ayla news, somehow she has contracted hand, foot and mouth disease. Of course this required another drs visit and lots of concern. im thinking brother bear brought this home from preschool. Either that or crazy bounce is the culprit. either way, we are never leaving the house again.

The snow was wet and heavy.

Perfect for packing. Maxwell found a new occupation, snowman.

bear enthusiastically joined forces.

I think now would be a good time to pause and appreciate how extremely beautiful my babies are.

Blue really tried her best to participate.

Didnt take long to make a bear sized ball.

The finished snowman, complete with carrot nose and proud maxwell.

What a blessing this snow day was! Entertaining and then melting right away. The adorables went through every piece of winter gear we owned . Each time they would venture outside,  they would come back inside dripping wet. The corn stove worked hard to dry out the assortment of warmth before the next adventure. Happy to see thesnow come, and happy to see the snow go!