Monday, November 26, 2012

Well THAT'S outrageous...

I've already blogged a few times about how difficult it was to get things lined up to have a VBAC delivery in Pueblo -seriously, SO DIFFICULT. Obviously wanting to avoid a c-section I a little bit wanted to avoid an epidural, where labor can stall or whatever; "if it's not broken, don't fix it" mentality. Still, the hospital required me to have a preregistration consultation with the anesthesiologist because I'm "high-risk" for a cesarian, and apparantly my doctor requested an anesthesiologist present in case things turned ugly and they needed to cut me open and whip him out.


We got a bill last week for $720, of which the insurance paid $580, leaving us with $140. Didn't a I mention I did NOT get an epidural? You are charging us $720 to NOT have an epidural?! So I called the anesthesia offices and, sure enough, that was what it cost to have someone stand in the room and do nothing.  WOW.  Even LESS impressed with you, Pueblo, and all the ways you make my life difficult with having a baby.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving friends

We were SUPER lucky to have my parents in town for Thanksgiving this year, and also to have my sister and her family in town (okay, that's because they LIVE here, but it was certainly nice to be together!), and then on a whim Joe suggested we invite my neice Kalena to come with my parents because she and Patrick are very good friends.  Besides, her parents weren't going anywhere anyway. We thought it was just a nice gesture, but Kalena thought it was the BEST DAY EVER
She was so excited, she COULD have swung here on her hair... if it hadn't been recently chopped.

She and Patrick played together, ate together, slept in the same bed together... the only time they were apart was when she napped (Patrick doesn't nap), and the only two sentences she said to me the whole 4 days she was here were "can I have some juice?" and "where is Fafa?" (that's our nickname for him).  And pretty much any time they were together (sooooo, ALL the time) they hugged. Like so.

They even hugged while they slept!  It was adorable.  It really was sad to see her go, and while I initially thought Elsha was exaggerating about how excited Kalena was to come, or that she would probably live with us if she could, I now know that she is completely serious.

Monday, November 19, 2012

How to Clean Your House (with kids)

1. Make a pan of brownies.

2. Grab a timer.

3. Give each kid a chore per room. Hopefully it's something meaningful like picking up clothes or toys, but if the room is pretty clean resort to the wet-wipe method: grab them a wipe and show them something to scrub! Doornobs, wall spots, mirrors, etc. Anything to keep 'em busy while you ACTUALLY clean.

4. Set the timer for 10 minutes per room....aaaaaaannnnnnd... GO!

5. Clean as much as you possibly can in 10 minutes and demand that the kids do the same because if you work really hard, when the timer rings, you get...   BROWNIES! (really little ones)

6. Repeat 3-5 for as many rooms will hold their attention, or as many brownies as their tummies will hold.  You could sub cookies or M&Ms, too.

This saved me tonight when I needed to clean house but often find that I clean one room, move on to the next, only to walk back in and find that room #1 has already been destroyed.  This way the kids did NOT destroy as I cleaned AND they helped!  Chocolate-y motivation never fails :)

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Update on play-doh: I mentioned we've gone through jars and jars of it because it dries out from being played with so much, but Kari pinned a GREAT play-doh recipe, which I re-pinned on pinterest.  We've made 3 batches and it's SUPER soft but not sticky and it doesn't dry out NEARLY as fast as store-bought stuff.  As in, we've had it for 2 weeks and it's still going strong, which none of the other stuff (even name-brand Play-Doh) could boast. So if you're in need of "doh," check my Pinterest!

Friday, November 16, 2012


Although I love going to the gym (love it!) it seems pretty silly to sit on my butt all day at home just to go to the gym and work out.  Sometimes I catch myself doing things at the gym that are ridiculously simple, like calf raises - I can do that while I brush my teeth! Move on to bigger and better things! So I've been trying to incorperate "fitness" into my everyday life by doing moderate goals each day.  For example, one day my goal was to eat 4 servings of veggies. I NEVER eat veggies.  Then one day it was to drink only water, no juice or milk or soda (it was surpringly tough to skip juice, I love my pink lemonade).  One day was 3 servings of fruit.  Thanks to these little goals I'm now more conscientious EVERY day about water/fruits/veggies! And every day I try to find some way to be active so I'm not 99% Couch Potato, 1% Gym Rat.  Luckily it's fall, and that means lots of raking leaves! LOTS of leaves.  We have 3 mature trees, and 2 of them have giant leaves (the other is a willow), and our neighbor has a MASSIVE sycamore that also drops leaves into our yard.  All summer I sat outside while my kids rode bikes and I'd read my book, sitting on my bum, but now I make it a point to DO something - typically, rake.  I don't have any cute pictures of the kids in the leaves, or of *how good* I look doing yardwork in my pajama pants and a sweatshirt, and I bet you're not particularly interested in how many mature trees we have, but I AM curious: what other fitness suggestions might you have?  Lay it on me.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Caroline got in a fight with the sidewalk at the end of the driveway.  I think the sidewalk won this round.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


We have an odd space in our house, past the kitchen but not part of the kitchen, nor does it lead to any other part of the house OR outside! Totally weird.  We titled it the "breakfast nook" and painted it a sunny yellow and haven't touched it since. Wow! We were right on that project :)

With family coming in the Thanksgiving, though, we knew we'd need extra seating so we've finally gotten in gear and started outfitting the nook.  Joe stopped by ARC and found these chairs - EXACTLY the style I was imagining, for only $10! I'll work on slipcovers later....

Then we saw an awesome idea in "This Old House" magazine (the one I hoard and will never throw away) to use short upper kitchen cabinets for benches in a breakfast nook... it seemed the idea was MEANT for us since we had recently removed our short upper cabinets to accommodate our new fridge! Here's our old cabinet:

The same day Joe found those chairs he stopped by the Re-Store (like Habitat for Humanity Store) and got a second cabinet to match into the corner,

plus a corner cabinet for storage to butt the benches (upper cabinets) into. 
That's not what we ended up doing, but that was the original thought.  Anyway, here's how we ended up...

You can't see the benches, but they're there.  Trust me.

Also, the table was from Goodwill for $34.  It has 3 removable leaves, which is what led us to re-evaluate our floor plan.  We were going to secure the benches to the walls but what we want to put in the table leaf? What if we want to turn the table 90-degrees? What if we're Joe and Kirsta and can't leave a piece of furniture alone for more than 6 months?  So we left everything freestanding.  Still to come: painting the cabinet white, painting the table something interesting, upholstering the benches, slipcovering the chairs, sewing some cafĂ©-style curtains, and getting some dang art on the walls! Sheesh, it looks bare (and un-matching) in there. We'll see how far we get by Thanksgiving, eh?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Gross, Continued

Ethan reached a new level of gross tonight.  He was laying on his back on the floor and Patrick was laying down, snuggling him, and they were pretty much face-to-face.  Ethan projectile spit-up into Patrick's mouth.  Seriously.  I was glad it happened to a kid, pretty sure any adult would have thrown up right back at him!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Girls day

Prior to Halloween I sent Joe with the boys to the movie theater (Eli's first time!) to see Hotel Transylvania, so I had a little girls time with Caroline.  We read lots of books (her favorite activity besides singing) while we ate chocolate (check out the mouth ring)
and painted our toenails.
And then I put her down for a nap so I could enjoy mom time and eat my OWN chocolate and read my OWN book! Now that's a good time while the boys are at the movies.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I am.
Then again, I'm his mom. Then again, it's a velociraptor on an Etch-a-Sketch from a 4-year old...

Monday, November 5, 2012

Obsession #2

Obsession, meet Obsession.
Are you tired of me mentioning the dinosaur obsession yet? Well it's been melded with the newest obsession, Play-Doh. Caroline likes it fine, but the boys get serious, they play play-doh... at least one hour every day. I've gone through so many jars of this stuff because it gets all dried out, not from them leaving it out, but because they play with it for so long!  It's ridiculous in such an awesome way, and I seriously love coming to the table and finding scenes of chaos and destruction such as this.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


When Ethan was one week old our friend Cami from church generously offered to take newborn pictures of him. I took Joe along and we got a couple with the three of us and, of course, tons of our sweet little guy. I am SO EXCITED to get some prints of these, they turned out GORGEOUS! Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou....

Saturday, November 3, 2012

You've had a birthday...

Shout "hooray!" You've been alive 3 years today.  One year older and *wiser?* too... happy birthday to Boo!
We celebrated Eli's 3rd birthday on Friday (his actual birthday, so that worked out) by having dinner, cake and ice cream, and opening presents with his cousins here at the house.  Low-key, but I was torn about throwing a party - we're new in the area so I have no idea who he plays with at church, he celebrated with his joy school friend at joy school, our neighbor friends are more Patrick's friends that Eli happens to be playing near... but would he feel gypped without all the party hoopla? I decided no and just had Kari bring her kids and hubby over, and that felt like plenty of action for me for one night! And Eli didn't seem to mind one bit.
 Eli's more into cars than dino's, which was fortuitous since I happen to have a car cake mold.  I also have super awesome car cupcake molds, but then I took a 2-hour nap Friday afternoon when I should have been baking.... but I was pleased with the cake.  I got smart this time and didn't try for red, since it took the entire food coloring bottle last time. I am STILL out of red from that incident.
Eli had chosen sprinkle frosting, which I figured would totally ruin the awesomeness so I took a picture before...
...and then let them sprinkle to their hearts' delight.  They said it was rain on the car.

Eli had requested hot dogs for his special dinner so we obliged and then made bratwurst for the adults. After dinner we enjoyed masticating that car, then moved right on in to presents.

First some serious dough from great-grandma.  Make it rain, Eli!

 Then an awesome gift from the Jacobs grandparents (a book, which one can never have too many of)

Then a giant floor puzzle from aunt Kari... I mean, his cousins....
 ...And finally, from the Gustavson grandparents and mom & dad, the piece de resistance: a Tonka transporter truck!  Like I said, he's into cars.
I actually picked this out because of the cars the transporter carries. Randomly, we used to have one of them! Bought it at a garage sale for 10 cents 2 years ago and it was the most beloved of all their toy cars; it went in the sandbox, the bath, and took a serious beating where others died.  Eventually, though, it died too and I had to squirrel it away to the trash in the dark of night because they would play with all the little broken peices... so now we have THREE of those awesome cars AND a truck to transport them. Luckily (*good parenting moment!*) he's been surprisingly willing to share his cars and the enormous gift hasn't caused enormous sibling fights.  Yay for mom :)
Of course, after the party was over he was overwrought and over-tired and screamed and threw tantrums like he was turning 2 instead of 3 (*sigh, bad parenting moment*) BUT FOR THE MOST PART his birthday was a great success.  Happy birthday, Eli!

Costume Party

Recognize any of these characters? We didn't have anything witty or funny or any sort of theme going, we just went for the obvious.
a Pumpkin - OBVIOUSLY 

Tinkerbell - OBVIOUSLY

Diego - OBVIOUSLY. Say click, take a pic!
A pterodactyl - OBVIOUSLY (well, obvious if you know his obsession)
Batman - coming to the obvious in a second... 
Batman and his crazy kids - OBVIOUSLY!

 Then we had my sister's family who showed us all up like cuh-RAZY...
Luckily the neighbor's didn't discriminate in their candy distribution based on coolness and thematic content of the costumes, because we went together and pretty sure they would have swept us in candy redemption. After trick or treating we had some dinner together and stole all the good chocolate out of our kids' treat bags, like any *totaly awesome* parent would do :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

ready for the big night

Like I said, Happy Halloween! We had lots of fun carving pumpkins this year, and by "we" I mean Joe and I.  I feel like when we were young we totally scooped out the pumpkins ourselves, but based on how the past 2 years have gone I think maybe my memory has exaggerated how much we kids actually helped. 

Eli and Caroline scooped for about 60 seconds. Patrick scooped the entire time but made very little progress so in spite of his efforts I'd say we scooped out 80% of it.

Luckily these pumpkins were totally easy to scoop out and we hadn't kept them outside so they weren't even cold and slimey, just plain ol' slimey, so the whole carving evening was pretty quick.  We had the kids draw on paper what they wanted on their pumpkins; last year Patrick's looked pretty similar to Eli's this year (all circles), Patrick chose to go very scary and base it on the pumpkin Kari
carved with the kids at Joy School, and Caroline drew on herself instead of the paper so Joe just carved her your classic Jack-o-Lantern face.
No matter who did the work, everyone had fun and it made Halloween seem even more exciting (for us parents, too).  Now to post pictures of Halloween night!