Dean Family Blog

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One More Thing
I have to brag on Philip because he really did awesome this year! Not only did he send me for a massage, but he did it on my monthly night off so I could have the rest of the evening to do whatever I liked. I got to eat a relaxing dinner, which was actually somewhat challenging at first because I'm used to having to eat faster than Grace to head off the worst of her messes. I poked around Barnes and Noble and used my coupon for free ice cream to Cold Stone. It was great and I was so relaxed by the time I got home...but the best part was yet to come. Philip had the whole house clean! The laundry was finishing and put away, the dishes were cleaned and put away, the kitchen was spotless, the toys and books were all in their places and both kids had had a bath (and he'd blow dried Grace's hair so it wouldn't be too crazy the next morning). He even did the ironing! As if all that weren't enough he'd ordered me a new pedometer to replace the one that I'd quite literally beaten into the ground and this one is so cool, with software I can use to see how I've done each day. I'd have to say my best birthday gift was such an awesome husband.

Things To Be Grateful For...

  • Getting to take Josiah to buy his first pair of new shoes from a store. We've always borrowed or found them at garage sales before. He got so excited he wanted to buy them all.

  • Taking the kids to the mall and having BOTH of them walk. No huge stroller and no baby in my arms. It was so liberating.

  • Getting to spend my birthday with many of my friends and hearing Josiah sing Happy Birthday to me.

  • Watching both kids enjoy their first parade and laughing at Josiah, who was the only kid who didn't lunge every time candy was thrown. If it landed in his lap he loved it, but he wasn't about to get out of his chair to get it. Grace attempted to inhale Tootsie Rolls with the wrappers on.

  • Sunny days spent at the splash pad...watching to see how much water the kids' diapers can actually hold before they lose their balance and fall over. Some day I might remember to buy swim diapers, but until then this is much more entertaining.

  • Looking forward to my birthday gift tonight...a massage and the night off to do whatever I want. You're the best Philip!

PS Thank you for all the cards, flowers, calls and emails I got this weekend. They helped make the day extra special.

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And The Verdict Is...
I want to start off by gloating...I did win the poll and, yes, we were stuck. Don't feel too bad for Philip; he didn't actually 'owe me' anything and he had a good time watching the poll results.

So, after 2 urinalysis tests, 2 blood tests, a strep test and several visits with a pediatrician we think we might have the answer to Grace's fevers...teeth. Believe it or not she did NOT enjoy all this attention and while she was screaming bloody murder I was able to tell that her bottom molars came through the day of the first blood test and the top ones came in the day of the second urinalysis. Even though the fevers were around for about 6 weeks before the teeth showed, apparently when all 4 come in within a week it can do weird stuff. The current game plan is just to wait several more weeks as they continue to move and be grateful that we have such a healthy little girl (who will hopefully someday no longer scream at the sight of scrubs).

By the way, we had an OB appointment this week and Cinderella is looking good, sucking her thumb and doing flips.


Not Quite What We'd Planned
We've all been enjoying having Philip home for the long weekend and had planned to spend the morning in Mt. Vernon looking around the arts festival and walking around town...and then this crazy weather came back. Seriously, who even knew it was possible to have 60 degree days in July? And it's raining. Instead of giving up we loaded the kids up and headed out anyway. The festival was a bit of a bust and people kept giving us horrible 'why do you have those kids out in this weather!' looks, but it was fun anyway (the kids were in a covered stroller and I kept an umbrella over most of it). As we reluctantly headed for home Josiah kept begging to go some place special, anywhere but home (when we asked for ideas he just told us, 'You drive and I'll tell you when we're at a special place'). With cold, rainy weather and almost everything closed for the 4th we were coming up with nothing so I threw out the idea of a car picnic. Philip and Josiah immediately jumped at the idea so we went home to make a lunch and clear out the back of the van. A few minutes later we were wandering around the countryside looking for a pretty place to eat. Philip decided we had to go to a silo in the middle of a corn/soy field at the end of an old dirt road...with me telling him the whole way that if we got stuck he owed me! We had a great picnic in the van with the back door open, listening to the radio and watching it drizzle outside. Philip let Josiah yell into the old silo so he could hear his echo while Grace climbed all over the van. All was great until we tried to leave...and we were stuck. The battery had died while we ate and we ended up calling a neighbor to come find us and give our car a jump. I suppose in the end everything turned out fine...we had a good time and got home for naps....the neighbor got a good laugh...and Philip owes me for getting us stuck! Here's to hoping the rest of our 4th is a little more traditional.


The Doctor Adventure
When we're trying to convince Josiah that something is going to be fun (even if it's lame and we know it probably won't be much fun) we tell him we're going on an adventure...and it works. So yesterday we had to go to 2 doctor's visits for Grace and I told him it was our 'Doctor Adventure' day. Not even he bought that one. We spent the morning trying to get a blood sample. After a meltdown in the waiting room and 45 minutes of positioning and poking both arms the nurse finally found one of her veins and we got enough blood to get out of there. Grace was fairly traumatized, as were Josiah and I, so we headed back to the coffee shop for our cookie fix. After naptime we headed over to a pediatrician who thought she looked just fine, but really wanted that urinalysis that we just can't seem to get done. I was feeling dumb for not being able to get enough of a sample from her...until it took them 3 hours to do it...sort of. They cathed her and, you got to love when the doctor says this...'well, this never happens, but...' She was completely dry and they couldn't get anything either. After filling her with so much Pedisure that her belly looked like it would pop we had to wait 3 hours in that little examining room staring at her, praying she would urinate. Every 15 minutes a nurse would stick her head in and stare in disbelief at our little camel...and Grace would scream because she'd long ago learned anyone in scrubs was going to hurt her. So after reading every book in the room multiple times, 2 poopy diapers, 1 throw up and thinking my own bladder would explode we finally got a teaspoon from her. And then came the call this afternoon that we get to do it all again because the sample was contaminated. Sometimes it feels like God is just picking on you to see how much you can take.

Since It's Unacceptable to Punch People...
...we've tried to be a little creative in our scheduling since the grocery store incident. The weather is beautiful and we can get outside (thank you, Lord!), but we seem to be in one of those friend vacuums lately. Between schedules not meeting up and having very few kids Josiah's age around we have more interaction with the Walmart greeter than any friends these days. I know it's getting me down and I think the kids were feeling it too. We've adjusted nap times so we can make afternoon library runs and we've been trying to fit in some random 'adventure days,' just to shake things up a bit. On a complete whim I shoved the kids in the car Friday and drove over an hour away to the strawberry farm. I set the expectations pretty low and figured even if we didn't pick anything, at least we'd be out of the house. Josiah and Grace totally surprised me by doing awesome! We had 4 hours without ANY whining, complaining, screaming or crying (this might be a record). The farmers are obviously not used to people showing up with a kid in a stroller, but they let me hang on to it and Josiah for dear life as they drove us out to our spot in the field. Grace happily munched on Cheerios and played with the fuzz ball while I picked and Josiah 'tested.' He refused to put his beautiful berries in the box and insisted that each one needed to be tested. An hour later I had 12.5 pounds of berries and he had a juice-smeared face. After a really quick lunch we headed home and completely ruined their naps. The rest of the day was actually really rough because of this and proved to me that I'm right in being so strict with their nap times.

Yesterday Philip took us all to the Coralville mall for the morning on a 'family adventure.' The kids had a great time at the play area, the carousel and the sporting goods store (that has really neat stuffed animals all over the place). We even got to go out to lunch and made it out with only chocolate cake in Josiah's hair and cantaloupe juice on Grace...not bad. I suppose it's time to start scheming about what we'll do this week. It's fun to have our adventures, but I'm wondering when the days of 'go outside and play by yourself' start.


Word To The Wise...
...when you see a woman at the grocery store pushing one of those monster kid carts (you know, the ones with a car or some other enormous piece of plastic added to a regular cart), fully loaded, with a toddler in it who is begging for snack and carrying a screaming baby on her hip, it does NOT help to smile and chuckle as you pass by. We do not find this amusing nor do we appreciate you finding amusement at our expense. If I'd had a free hand I might have tried out one of my Tae Bo punches on her.

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