Dean Family Blog

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Open Close Open Close
We've heard those words about a million times this weekend as Josiah played with plastic eggs. We've opened and closed a lot of eggs!

We had a good weekend at Nanny and Papa's house. Josiah played with his cousin Sadie so well that I've offered to adopt her. He will play with her for over an hour at a time, which meant Philip and I got to focus on something else for over an hour at a time. Amazing!

Mom and I had quite an adventure together. Erin had to work and called to ask if we'd bring Gracie up so she could show her to her new coworkers. She was talking about a doll that she had made that is used as a teaching tool so nurses can practice the birth of a baby with large shoulders (Erin is an L&D nurse). However, there was some confusion because there had also been a goat born the day before on their farm and Mom thought Erin wanted us to bring the baby goat up to the hospital. I was a little skeptical about being able to get into a hospital with a goat (and why Erin wanted to show it off), but Mom assured me Erin wouldn't ask us to bring her if she wasn't allowed. Imagine Erin's surprise when we come walking into the nurses station with a goat in a laundry basket! Of course, farm animals are not allowed in the hospital, so everyone had a good laugh at our expense and then we rushed back outside before the silly thing started crying again. Mom's not going to live this one down for a long time!

Other than that, and accidentally stripping the varnish off Mom and Dad's kitchen door, it was a pretty uneventful weekend. Note to self...Goo Gone cuts through more than dirt! Josiah got to wear a 2 piece suit for Easter and looked adorable. He still thinks Peeps are nasty and has learned he likes M&Ms. He also learned to count all the way to 4 this weekend (counting M&Ms seemed to inspire him to go beyond 3). He liked the Easter egg hunt and was completely content after finding 4 goldfish-filled eggs, which made his cousins very happy because they could start hunting.

Time to get some Bible study done and continue looking for the lost sippy cup. It was here a couple hours ago and apparently Josiah found a fun place to hide it. This is a slight problem because the only other cups he can drink from are NOT spill proof. I gave him one out of desperation and forgot to keep watching him. He came back very wet and I'm assuming there a very wet spot on the carpeting somewhere, but I can't find it. I'm sure I'll end up with a wet sock later today.

Here are the pictures from this weekend. There are a few too many to send in emails so here's the gallery. Love you!


'Poop, ewwwww'
The annual Easter box came yesterday and Josiah had a blast tearing it apart. Mama sent books, candy-filled eggs (that magically were empty before Josiah saw them, thanks to my distractions), Veggie Tale videos and marshmallow Peeps. The eggs looked like balls, so they were an instant hit and the book about tractors was pretty exciting. He was also thrilled to see his Elmo diapers (that wouldn't fit in the suitcase when we left so they stayed in Texas). We've been singing 'shake your Elmo' to the tune of 'shake your booty' because the diapers have a picture of Elmo on the hiney. He started shaking and we had to dance for a bit. The best part was when he pulled out the Peeps and I told him, "Those are peeps." He thought I said 'poop' and made a face. I got him to touch one and he realized it was squishy, said "Poop, ewwwww!" and wouldn't get anywhere close to it again. He's convinced that, for some reason, Mamama sent him a box of poop and he's having nothing to do with it. I told Philip he could take them to work to let his coworkers eat them and he informed me that not even THEY (the people who will eat anything) wanted them. How do millions of those things get sold every year when no one eats them? Are there really that many grandmothers?

It was warm enough yesterday to go outside without a coat! There was even sunshine! I felt like a new person being able to get out there and breath finally. Josiah got to play in his rocks and I vacuumed out the car. I can't wait for summer! I went out for dinner with some girlfriends while Philip and Josiah had a play date. It was great. I returned home to a clean kitchen (it was NOT clean when I left) and a picked up a house. It was only as I was getting ready for bed that I realized I'd had a Snoopy sticker on my hiney all night (thanks to Josiah decorating the drivers seat while I cleaned the car). Guess you can't win 'em all.

This fun day came after a really hard day, so maybe that's why we appreciated it so much. Josiah cut 2 molars on Tuesday and I had to keep reminding myself that I had control over how I reacted to the situation. I came to the realization that I would be in complete control when I killed him. Thankfully, the teeth seem to have either come through or stopped moving for now and the screaming is over. Philip was very sweet after hearing how the day was going when we talked on the phone and came home with a device that lets me make just one cup of (decaf) coffee at a time and some fancy beans. I've been craving coffee but just don't see the point in getting the whole coffee maker out for one cup, so it's been awhile since I've had a cup. This little straw has a strainer on the end so I can just put the grounds in my cup and drink through the straw. It's great!

Ok, Josiah is sleeping in this morning, which is great, but it's getting late and that mom-worry is starting. Better go check on him.


A Time Out
I got a time out this weekend and it was great! I dropped the boys off at Philip's parents house and went to the Hearts at Home conference for 2 days. It was not the restful weekend I had envisioned, but I learned a ton and was encouraged to come back and do my job better. I also enjoyed the silly parts of being without a kiddo for a short time...wearing a white shirt and keeping it clean, using a public bathroom (alone!) without having to explain why we don't touch anything, eating a cookie without sharing, being out of the house at nap time and being able to jump in the car and GO! No car seat for 2 days!It was a wonderful break and I was so busy that I wasn't really even missing Josiah until the singer did a song about her little boy. All of a sudden I was a pile of goo and wanted a hug so bad! Philip did a great job of being Mr. Mom and looked a little relieved when I came back. Josiah is still cutting molars so he didn't have the easiest job!

I am excited to start trying some of what I learned. Some of it was just practical help about how to run a house better, but some of it was about how to be more purposeful in raising Josiah and Grace to be godly people. It was wonderful to hear from women at all different stages of mothering and to be reminded to have perspective on this very tiring time of life. While I was gone Josiah learned to bounce a ball high, not to walk off picnic tables, that he loves ragtime music and that he doesn't like brussle sprouts.

Now we're back at home and trying to get back into our routine. I had the glucose test for Gracie this morning, which meant I couldn't eat anything until about 9 and I was starving! I had to drink the stuff that everyone says is gross, but really tastes a lot like 7Up and wait around the doctor's office for an hour with Josiah. Thankfully his teeth weren't moving from 8-9 this morning so he was really good (they started hurting soon after and things got a little ugly). He even kissed my arm after the blood was drawn to make it feel better.

To wrap up, I have a question. I am very obviously pregnant now so I'm getting the question, "How do you feel?" a lot. People expect you to start glowing and say you've never felt better...which is a complete lie. I realized I was lying when I said, "Great," so I started telling the truth and then I get surprised looks and sort of awkward silences. I think I've stumbled onto a pregnancy taboo or something. I can't sleep more than an hour without waking up, I'm having Braxton Hicks contractions, I can't breath, I have no energy and I have a 19 month old constantly wanting to be picked 'uppies' (it's supposed to be 'up please,' but he runs it all together). Under the circumstances, I don't think it's unreasonable to be feeling kind of gross. So, should I just say 'fine' and leave it at that or tell the truth?


Ba Ba Boon
This has been a looooong week! On top of the croup I realized Josiah was also cutting at least 2 more teeth, one of which is a molar. For the past 2.5 days he has been on a strict Tylenol/Advil regime, which really didn't do much but made me feel like we were at least trying. He wouldn't eat, wouldn't let me put him down and screamed at pretty much everything we did...until Philip came home. It's amazing (and frustrating) how much better he acts about that time of day. I know Philip believes me when I tell him how rough it's been, but it still makes me feel like I'm exaggerating or something, even though I'm not! At any rate Josiah woke up this morning smiling and ate breakfast, so I know we're on the mend! He's actually played by himself today and it's so nice to have my little boy back. On a funny note, we learned that the lady bugs that manage to infiltrate every home up here REALLY like liquid Tylenol. I kept finding them on Josiah's medicine dropper. The bugs in our house have been feeling no pain this week.

Because of the circumstances the TV has been on a lot the past few days...pretty much all day. It's my only form of communication with the outside world and there are only so many things you can do with a 27 pound weight attached to you. So I was feeling like a horrible mom because Josiah was watching WAY more than the recommended 1 hour/day and wondering what subtle things he was picking up that would scar him for life when he started saying, 'ba ba boon' over and over again. I realized Oprah had just said 'va va voom' and Josiah was translating it into something he understood ('ba ba' is sheep and 'boon' is balloon). So he was absorbing something, but at least it was pretty benign.

We have been above freezing for a full 24 hours now and big patches of grass (it's dead, but it's grass!) are showing through. It is giving me hope that this nasty winter will eventually end and life will return. The deer and turkeys seem to be rejoicing as well...they're everywhere. They usually only show up at dawn and dusk, but they're in the fields all day long right now. I think they all suffered brain damage from the weather this winter. Poor dumb animals.

Well, we are headed out this afternoon. Philip and Josiah will be staying with his parents and I'm going to a stay at home mom's conference....ALONE! I get a whole motel room to myself. I can't remember the last time I was alone for more than a few hours and I'm really looking forward to it. I love my boys and I'll be glad to see them Saturday night, but I'm really going to enjoy some down time. Time to finish packing!

PS Today's lunch prayer was for Daddy, Clifford (the big red dog), Memama, and toast. These prayers are reminding me to be thankful for the little things. Yesterday we prayed for dots...I've never thought to thank God for dots before.


One Sick Kiddo
Josiah has croup...again. This is number 3 for this winter. I realized something was wrong when I left him on the couch with his snack and he didn't eat it and he was still sitting 5 minutes later. That's not a good sign. Thankfully we know not to waste our time and money going in to the doctor this time, since there's nothing they can do anyway. Which is actually a good thing because when I called to talk to a nurse they told me they are so booked because of all the things going around that they couldn't see us anyway and referred us to an urgent care clinic. I am getting really tired of having a sick child every time we leave him in the church nursery. I'm thinking it'll be worth it to just keep him in the foyer and listen to the sermon over the intercom for the next couple months. Thankfully the Tylenol and Advil have kicked in so the fever is gone for now and he's happy to be wrestling with Philip. I'm just hoping we get to sleep tonight.

One Stubborn Kiddo
Today was supposed to be our last ultrasound for Gracie, but she pulled another one of her stunts and we'll be headed back in a few weeks for another one. She is still laying upside down in me, hiding her head. The sonographer was able to see her lip and check that off the to-see list, but Gracie absolutely was not cooperating as far as her brain went. She had me roll on my left side, then my right, then she jiggled me and had me sit up...that kid wasn't going anywhere. We got desperate enough that we inclined the bed more and I laid on it upside down, trying to use gravity to pull her out of her hiding place a little (the sonographer admitted she'd never tried this before and wouldn't forget our visit). She found something to hang on to and stayed put. So we gave up and got checked by the doc and tried again before we left. That time we were able to see the left side of her brain, but the right side is still a mystery. So we know she has a lip and half a brain. We were assured that the other half IS there and is probably just fine, but they need to see it so we know for sure. Josiah cooperated very well and we only had to have one ultrasound. Gracie will have at least 4 before this is all over...I'm starting to think this might be a high-maintenance kid.
On the bright side, she's putting on some fat and doesn't look like Skeletor any more. She also has some hair so I'll have something to put a bow in so she looks like a girl even though she's wearing Josiah's hand-me-downs.


In the Land of Cowboys
Josiah and I are back from our trip to Texas and transitioning from daffodils to snow drifts. Thanks to the freak snow storm in Texas yesterday we were already used to the snow again by the time we got home. We had a great time and Josiah learned lots of new tricks to show off. It only took 48 hours for him to learn to say 'big truck' and he had plenty of opportunities to practice saying it as just about every vehicle down there IS a big truck. He loves wearing cowboy hats and thought boots were fascinating. He also loved pointing out all the pictures of cowboys he saw everywhere.

I was sick the first week we were down there, but Josiah didn't seem to notice as long as I'd let him play outside. He was thrilled to be out without a coat and loved stomping on acorns and playing in the leaves I was raking. Thankfully the cold/flu-like stuff/bronchitis finally subsided and I was able to sleep laying down (3 weeks of sitting up at night makes you REALLY grateful to lay down) and has left me with only a pulled rib muscle from coughing so much. I'm guessing these things take a really long time to heal because it's not getting better, but I'm still grateful to be well again.

Josiah became a Memama's boy while we were there and would yell for her anytime I was doing something he didn't like (like changing a diaper or putting him to bed). She taught him how to do eskimo kisses and provided tons of goldfish crackers and mandarin oranges, much to his delight. We all went to the zoo together and managed to see the whole thing in an hour. We would stand in front of a cage and he'd look intently at whatever was in it for about 20 seconds and then say 'bye bye' and we'd move on to the next cage. He had a blast and despite the fact that there were elephants, giraffes and monkeys to see, he liked the rocks in the parking lot, the bubbles in the water exhibits and the snakes the best. He certainly is cheap to entertain. One of the other highlights of the trip for him was parking outside the bus barn so he could watch the school buses get parked. He decided school buses are one of the coolest things ever and we have to look for them constantly now.

Actually, he seems to love anything with wheels right now, so the airport was pretty neat too. It's a good thing, because we ended up staying there a long time yesterday. After one missed flight, 3 changed gates (which is why we missed the 1st flight), and having our tickets for the second flight revoked, we finally talked our way back onto the flight and got home last night. I think the fact that I'm pregnant and was carrying around an 18 month old, a stroller, 2 carry-ons and a car seat made her take pity on us. If that hadn't worked I was getting ready to pretend I was having labor pains...we were getting desperate. Thankfully our flight was great and several people mentioned how well Josiah did...whew!

We arrived to a balmy 12 degrees in Cedar Rapids and a smiling Philip. I didn't miss the cold, but I sure missed him! Josiah was excited to see his Daddy and doesn't want him out of sight yet. He's also asking for Memama and MimiBompa (he says it all together) every few minutes and wanted to look at their pictures in the albums this morning. He's having a blast bouncing from room to room finding all his favorite things and I'm working my way through loads of laundry.

Time to go take a nap. Josiah just went down and my bed is calling me!

PS. He's still into praying all the time for the weirdest things. He loves praying for Daddy, but socks, cups, choo choos (trains), wheels and school buses make the list quite a bit too.


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