Friday, March 29, 2013

Haha Ouch

On a recent Costco trip to get Dan (for his birthday) the two kinds of alcohol he's been saying he wanted, but wouldn't just buy for himself, I remembered that we were also running VERY low on peanut butter. I had to laugh when Connor crawled into the cart and offered to keep everything safe. Two big jugs of alcohol and a double jar of PB. LOL!! (One of these things is not like the other...)
 photo mar1513JaredConnorCostco_zpsc5be74b8.jpg

At his first freestyle tournament, Connor went out onto the warm-up mat and started doing some neck stretches. I'm convinced something permanently damaging would happen to me if I tried this:
 photo mar1613ConnorFreestyleTournament2_zps42ff97b0.jpg

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Grandma's and Grandpa's house

We celebrated Easter this past weekend with my parents because my dad works this coming weekend, and also, the weather was gorgeous this past weekend, and for all we know, it will rain this coming weekend. We figured we'd take advantage of the good weather and Grandpa being off work!!

I didn't end up taking any egg hunting photos. The kids were running every which way and I figured we'd take a group photo afterwards, but then I apparently forgot...

I do have a photo of Grandpa showing off a card trick for the kids. I'm glad it's one I already knew how to do, or it would have driven me NUTS trying to figure out. LOL
 photo mar2313GMarleeGJeffs1_zps2925467e.jpg

Emily and Grandma ended up on the floor doing a hidden objects paper
 photo mar2313GMarleeGJeffs2_zpse49add6b.jpg

Connor talked my dad outside to mess around with the truck with the "bucket" lift on the front, and then the kids had to search a bit more to find the final three eggs (after counting all the found eggs, we realized three were still hidden). Some of the eggs had quarters inside instead of candy, and Connor LOVED that! He was obsessed with all of his quarters, and how it was an easy way to earn money. haha!

Pretty sure Jared somehow managed to eat about half his candy while the rest of us were clueless. That kid can inhale sweets in the blink of an eye. When we were unloading all the new treats into the treat bin at home, Jared's bag was full of lots of empty wrappers. He still ate a good dinner, and I guess the quicker he eats it, the quicker it's not sitting around my house tempting me!

Always a good time at Grandma's and Grandpa's.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bubble Wrap Dance Party

After recently purchasing a rather large roll of bubble wrap (so I could start wrapping up jar candles, breakable knick-knacks, etc in an effort to make our house look less lived-in so we can list it for sale soon), and the kids, of course, came home and saw the roll and begged to have a piece.

How could I resist letting them have a bubble wrap dance party?

 photo mar1313bubblewrapdanceparty3_zps1aa2fb80.jpg

 photo mar1313bubblewrapdanceparty2_zps7c26a35a.jpg

 photo mar1313bubblewrapdanceparty1_zpsbabed8fc.jpg

And yes, I had my own piece as well! *grin*

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Connor's Pet

As part of science class, the first graders got to "raise" Darkling Beetles, starting from the mealworm stage, and ending with bringing a Darkling Beetle home (with parent permission) to care for for the 1-3 months that they live.

We've had Connor's beetle for close to a month now, and it seems to be doing well! We give it a little chunk of apple or potato (this is how it drinks), and it came with a container full of bran flakes.
 photo mar1313Connorsbeetle1_zpsd6feadf8.jpg

I included this picture of me holding the container so you had a better size reference for the beetle and it's little container home. Hardly takes up any space at all, and just sits on a shelf where we'll see it and remember to care for it.
 photo mar1313Connorsbeetle2_zps3130e5b7.jpg

Last I heard, Connor still hadn't chosen a name for it, but I see him frequently checking on his beetle, and he's good about asking if his beetle has fresh apple or potato chunks. As far as pets go, this one is pretty darn easy!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Family Photo

There are very, very few pictures showing all five of us at once. And when we do end up with one, it's usually something like this:
 photo photo_zps71bbdf87.jpg

We're awesome!

Daddy had to go to Montana for a work trip so we were FaceTiming him and he took a picture of the screen. :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Science Fair

Emily Grace with her finished Science Fair poster ("How does dye in the water affect the color of a white flower?")
 photo DSC_0079_zps5eac9189.jpg

I shared the results of Emily's science project here

Jared with his finished Science Fair poster ("Is there really iron in your cereal?")
 photo DSC_0081_zps9bb36fa0.jpg

Jared tested four cereals (Cheerios, Corn Flakes, Life, and Apple Jacks), but was only able to find iron in two of them (Life and Apple Jacks). We used two different magnets, both quite strong (hard to remove from the fridge!). Both magnets found iron in Life and Apple Jacks, but NEITHER magnet found iron in Cheerios or Corn Flakes. It's possible we still didn't have a strong enough magnet, but Cheerios and Corn Flakes were both supposed to have MORE iron in them than the other two, so it leaves me wondering...

Iron Particles in the bag of ground up Life mixed in water:
 photo DSC_0051_zps1b510979.jpg

Iron Particles in the bag of ground up Apple Jacks mixed in water:
 photo DSC_0052_zpsd11dc96d.jpg

I may never be able to look at Apple Jacks again without the image of the bag full of what looked like vomit. *gag*

Connor, who adamently did NOT want to do the Science Fair, was feeling very sorry for himself this morning and wishing he'd opted to do it. Live and learn!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Quote of the Week

Connor found a penny at school today, and very excitedly started telling me all about it once we got in the house from the bus stop:

"I found a penny today, and it's from the EXACT SECOND I was born. It even talks about the Year of the Dog on it, just like my Chinese sign! See, look! It says, 'In Dog We Trust'."

Totally adorable and innocent reading mistake by a 6 year old, but it warmed my heart and made me smile. Until meanie-poo siblings burst out laughing and told him it's 'In GOD We Trust' on the penny. Thankfully, he laughed at his own mistake along with them. And then we also discovered the penny was from 2008 (he was born in 2006). *grin*

For a short moment in time, he'd found the COOLEST. PENNY. EVER. How many of YOU can say you have a penny from the EXACT SECOND you were born, and even have it talk about your Chinese Zodiac sign???

Friday, March 8, 2013

Ear Tubes

Several years, numerous hearing tests, several different doctors, and we FINALLY reached a point where it was agreed that Connor was experiencing some hearing loss, which was determined to be the result of chronic fluid build-up in his ears. After 2 rounds of high strength antibitiocs and no real change in the fluid build-up, along with several weeks of "let's give it some time" (over the course of 3.5 months!), Connor was scheduled to get tubes in his ears.

Our check-in time was 11am, and we were put into a room around 11:30am. There was a fairly steady stream of nurses coming in to intruduce themselves, check Connor's name/birthday/procedure, explain different things, etc. prior to the 1pm surgery. They had this tiger gown already laid out for him before we even arrived toting Mali the tiger, so although Connor wasn't super enthused about the gown, he was impressed that it matched Mali. LOL
 photo IMG_3288_zps7bfc5423.jpg

We spent the time in-between all the nurses coming in playing some games on the iPad.
 photo IMG_3291_zps32665910.jpg

At about 12:40pm, the anesthesiologist came in and fitted Connor with a face mask which would be used during the surgery. He gave Connor the choice of having a scented spray put in it and Connor chose bubblegum. Connor spent the next 20 minutes happily sniffing the bubblegum scented mask while the nurses rigged him up with heart rate monitors, blood pressure monitors, IV lines, etc. Connor was really proud of the fact that he let them put in the IV without a fuss (they did use a bit of numbing cream first, but I saw him wince a bit when it first went in and he said he felt a pinch, but he sat there and held his arm still)
 photo IMG_3289_zps6f38de02.jpg

At 1pm pretty much on the nose, two nurses came in and squirted something into his IV line to relax him. They said it would take about a minute to start working and I should hurry up and give him hugs and kisses because he wouldn't remember much of anything very shortly. I gave hugs and kisses and told him I'd be waiting for him, and he was right in the middle of saying "I still don't feel anything" when he started slurring his words and had a blank look on his face. Pretty funny!!! I asked for another kiss and he looked down at my lips, but his lips didn't move at all in response. Dan had gone to work ridiculously early in the morning (left the house at 1:30am!) in order to get a day's work in and still make it to see Connor in the recovery room. He ended up showing up JUST after Connor zoned out, but he got to see Connor before he was wheeled away to surgery.

We were told it would be a ten minute procedure and the surgeon should be out to talk to us within about twenty minutes. I'll admit to feeling a bit anxious when it was hitting the 30 minute mark and the surgeon hadn't come out yet, but thankfully I had my very dear friend Stephanie, along with Dan, to help pass the time while we waited! The surgeon ended up coming out after 35 minutes and said that they'd had to spend a lot of extra time suctioning out his right ear because the fluid in that ear was so thick is was more like glue. He had they had to bring in the big suction machine (not sure if he was joking or serious...)! Otherwise, things went fine and we were given recovery/treatment instructions and asked to wait a bit longer for Connor to wake up some more before they took one of us back.

It was probably another 10 minutes before a nurse came and took me back to Connor. He was curled up in a ball on his side, layered under blankets and surrounded by pillows, and was a very pathetic sight. He glanced up and gave me a quick smile before tucking himself back into a ball. The nurse had me climb in the bed with him and snuggle him. It's hilarious to me that he's smiling and looking alert in this picture because he was SUPER out of it, still. Rallied for the two seconds it took me to hit the camera button on my cell phone then slumped down again. ha!
 photo IMG_3293_zpsd7440920.jpg

He was really trying hard to wake up, but it was slow-going! He was slurring when he tried to talk, and was really restless. The more restless he was, the more agitated he got because of all the wires/cords all over him getting tangled and pulling at him. He was definitely more asleep than awake at the point he started slurring in a fairly loud volume that he just wanted to "GO HOME!" and "WHAT IS THIS STUFF ALL OVER ME?!?". (He was acting drunk and disorderly! ha!). This picture got taken accidentally (I was trying to shift the screen to send the previous picture to Dan but snapped a new one on accident), but shows how he kept looking down at himself and trying to see what was all over him.
 photo IMG_3294_zps07645daf.jpg

Then he was really crying about his right ear hurting. It concerned the nurses because he wasn't even very awake yet and already complaining about the pain, so they tracked the surgeon down in another surgery and worked out an oral dose of pain meds, in addition to what he'd been given in his IV. They also got him set up with a heat pack for the sore ear, and I asked if it was okay to give him a few sips of water (anyone who knows Connor knows he needs to be fed and given fluids at fairly regular intervals or behavior/attitude take a nosedive and he hadn't had anything pretty much all day). The nurse came back with some ice chips and I spooned small bits into his mouth at a time. He was definitely coming around a bit more at this point, and perked up quite a bit after getting through the cup of ice chips.

He was happy to see that Mali got to wear a mask during surgery, just like him (they even let him keep it!)
 photo IMG_3292_zps78b14def.jpg

It was probably 2:15 when they felt he was ready to move into the room we started out in, where Dan could join us to finish out CJ's recovery. At this point, he was fully awake and no longer "yelling" or crying. Hard to be upset at the yelling/crying behavior when the kid wasn't even really awake at that point, and was clearly disoriented and stressed. It was hard to see him that way, but definitely had a humorous side to it! Once we were in the other room and Dan joined us, they gave Connor apple juice, some graham crackers, told him he could get dressed, and sent us on our way. He enjoyed the wheel-chair ride out to the car!
 photo IMG_3296_zps136dc096.jpg

We were home around 3:15pm and you'd never even know anything had happened at that point. He ate half the house once we brought him inside and would have kept eating, but I made him take a break so he didn't overwhelm his stomach after it was empty all day!

Doctor said there may be a little swelling for another couple days so we might not see results in his hearing ability immediately. My fingers are crossed this does the trick!!!! Will be nice to have no more "what??" a zillion times a day!!!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Fun with Flowers

Emily's science experiment question for this year is "How does dye in the water affect the color of a white flower?" As you may have guessed, dye in the water affects the color of a white flower by turning it the color of the dye! There were visible results in her experiment within three hours. This picture was taken after four days (they've been the same for the last two days, so it appears they max out in color after about 48 hours).
 photo DSC_0072_zps91c9d817.jpg

The exception to our conclusion (flowers turning the color of the dye in the water) would be in the instance of the two different purple dyes we tried. Both flowers turned BLUE, not purple. Your guess is as good as mine... The two "purple" flowers are in the very center of the bouquet; the big light blue one, and the one immediately to the right, which is a little darker and you can't see much of it.

We also split the stem of one flower and stuck the pieces into different colors of dyed water:
 photo DSC_0070_zps1450bf6b.jpg

I couldn't take a closer picture because the flash kept washing away the colors, and no flash was too dark. You can see a spot of bright yellow near my thumb joint, and then the left part of the flower is green, and the right part is blue.  The colors of the multi-color flower never got as vivid as they did in the non-split-stem flowers, but still pretty darn cool, if you ask me!!! The stems were too hard to split more than three times, but we REALLY wanted to figure out doing a rainbow flower.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Disney Animation Academy

One of the reasons we opted to do 5 days at the Disney parks this trip was because last time, three days was BARELY enough time just to ride all the rides, and so then forget about all the parades and shows, and little "stuff to see" along the sidelines. We really wanted to fit in all the "extras", while still having time to get our fill of rides. We still managed to keep VERY BUSY, and I would probably never do five days again (OH, MY ACHING FEET!!!), but in doing so this time, we had time to attend a course from the Disney Animation Academy in Disney California Adventure, among many other fun things! The kids all REALLY wanted to take the "learn to draw Goofy" class, but the class available at the time we were in the area was Phineas and Ferb (which they all ended up liking just fine!).

You sit down in a "classroom" with a large piece of paper on a clipboard, and a pencil with no eraser. The idea is that it's a sketching class, and you don't need to erase anything. You make a series of light lines in the general shape of what you're drawing, and then darken what you plan to keep. We weren't told how big or small to make our sketches, so all 8 of us ended up with different sized drawings in various positions across our papers.

Connor's is my absolute favorite, purely because he couldn't draw a light line if his life depended on it (one of his classroom goals by the end of the school year is not pressing so hard with his pencil when he writes!!). Despite the fact that his sketch lines and his "keep" lines are all super dark, you can still totally tell it's Phineas and Ferb.
 photo DSC_0075_zps45142b25.jpg

Jared has been drawing Phineas and Ferb over all sorts of paper scraps around the house since taking this class. Here's his drawing from our trip
 photo DSC_0074_zpsbe1de432.jpg

 photo DSC_0076_zpse61f0eaa.jpg

Dan had to be the funny guy giving the character on the left Cookie Monster eyes (I've never seen the show so I don't know which character is which! ha!)
 photo DSC_0078_zpsf7ec6261.jpg

And I ended up drawing the one on the right with a really fat neck. haha!
 photo DSC_0077_zps1c3a860b.jpg

I consider myself as having ZERO drawing talent (I joke that even my stick figures look bad), so imagine my surprise when I turned out a fairly decent drawing of Phineas and Ferb! I think all 8 of us had a good enough time attending the class (which maybe took 20 minutes??), and at least the four adults were just happy for the chance to SIT DOWN!

I wish I'd thought to take a picture of the four kids with their drawings, but we pretty much rolled the drawings up, stuffed them into backpacks, and headed out the door to do more exploring...

Monday, March 4, 2013

Wrestling Banquet

Connor's wrestling team had it's year-end banquet Friday night. What a GREAT night for the team! The head coach created a 30 minute video full of clips of the kids's matches throughout the season set to fun music. Fun to see the highlights from each kid!!

Then, the coaches gave some nice speeches about each kid as they presented the participation trophies. Coach Kevin talked about how Connor was probably the strongest kid this age he'd ever seen, and mentioned how much Connor had grown in ability and confidence by the end of the season, rounding out the speech by mentioning the COOLEST moment during a match Connor was in (where Connor was nearly getting pinned and suddenly bridged out with head and feet so hard and fast he flipped the other kid right over and ended up on top of him!)
 photo DSC_0038-1_zps31da62c5.jpg

 photo DSC_0039_zps39669a8e.jpg

Then they gave out "Best of" medals.

Connor got a medal for "Fastest Pin" with a time of 13 seconds:
 photo DSC_0040_zps0fbf895d.jpg

He got a 2nd medal for "Most 3pt Near-Falls" (which is when you've almost pinned someone, and they get a shoulder loose at the last second or something, but you get points for having them on their back so long)
 photo DSC_0041_zpsdf6f6221.jpg

Then he got a certificate for being on the "100 Point Club" (earned 100+ points in his matches during the course of the season) with 175pts
 photo DSC_0042_zps3aab2845.jpg

Coach said about 2/3 of the team made it onto the 100 Point Club this year; Connor had the 3rd highest Points (two kids weren't able to attend the banquet and should have been in this photo as well)
 photo DSC_0045_zpse6894f3f.jpg

Connor ended up as one pretty decorated little kid!!
 photo IMG_32591_zps198e36e5.jpg