Sunday, July 26, 2015

Visiting the Kansas Family

We promised my grandpa that we would come visit as soon as Paige was born and we had some time.   Summer seemed perfect, so we headed up there the last week of June.  A few days before we left, Cody got the genius idea to ask Taylor or Carleigh to go with us.  Taylor had to work but Carleigh was free so she came with us.  What a God send she was!  I'm not sure we would have been able to do it without her.  Plus, we love spending time with her, even if she doesn't help (which she always does).  It was a great trip and I'm so glad we went to visit!

Carleigh came up on Saturday evening and we hung out Sunday and packed.  We decided to head out after an early dinner and get to Aunt Pat's house around midnight.  We drove and Paige catnapped and Harper and Carleigh played with toys.  It was pretty uneventful.  I'm not sure what happened, but we lost a little time and then the gps (which is old) sent us to the wrong address, so we didn't get there until almost 1am, but we made it.  The next morning, Paige and Harper both got up pretty early, so we went downstairs and hung out with Pat.  They are early risers too and I love that they are always up.  She has lots of great toys, especially ones from when we were kids and they are super fun to play with.  Harper loved them and wasn't ever bored.  

We got ready and headed out to see Grandpa.  He lives in an assisted living apartment in Paola.  He knows lots of people there and even has family in the building.  We hadn't been back since my grandma passed away and it was definitely hard.  But it was so good to see him.  His new fascination is birds.  He likes to go out front and feed 3 bird feeders and then spend the morning watching the birds come and feed.  He said he sometimes gets close to 100 birds in a day.  He loves them and they make him happy.  So he took us out that morning and Harper got to help him feed the birds.  Paige needed her morning nap, so we laid her down on a blanket in the floor and that didn't work at all. We ended up just rocking her in her carseat and she slept for a bit.  

We went back to Pat's house for lunch and nap time.  We just sat around and hung out; Carleigh and Cody napped.  We were all pretty tired from going to bed late.  That afternoon, we went back to Grandpa's and just hung out at his place.  Then, we went to dinner at Applebee's and just talked and ate.  It was fun and a nice evening.  The next day, Pat and I went and picked Grandpa up and brought him back to the house.  It was nice to just hang out and have time all day to chat instead of going back and forth.  Harper got to play out back and Carleigh and Cody kicked the ball around.  It was perfect weather and we had the best day.  I got to hear Grandpa tell me about his war story and it was inspiring.  We played Nickels before dinner and it was Carleigh's first time.  She did good, Cody did well for not liking card games, and Grandpa won.  At 91, he beat us all.  That man has played more Nickels than anyone ever.  I miss playing with Grandma because she always made it so much fun!  Later, Barb came over for dinner and then Grandpa got to see Kristen and Ellie on FaceTime.  I think he had a great day and I'm so glad.  He went home after dinner and we all relaxed till bedtime. 

That day, during nap time, Pat, Barb, and I headed out to visit Grandma and Jim.  They are at the same cemetery.  I missed seeing it at Jim's funeral because I stayed back with Grandma, and then it was snowing during her funeral so we never got to see it.  It was nice to know where they were so I can go back later in life.  It was a beautiful headstone and it was even better to know that she picked it out and loved every detail.  It is supposedly a perfect combination of her parents' and Grandpa's parents'.  We also saw some Klusman family members.  Louis they weren't sure who he was.  But Clarence and Sophia were Grandpa's aunt and uncle.  Jim's headstone was beautiful and a fabulous tribute to his service.  It was definitely bittersweet.  

The next morning, we packed up and said goodbye to Pat and Don.  We stopped by Barb's to say goodbye as well.  Then we headed to Paola to spend the rest of the morning with Grandpa.  It was nice to just sit and chat.  He was feeding his birds and then it was lunchtime.  We sat and ate with him and fed the kids.  One of the nurses even recognized that I was Kathryn's daughter.  Paola is such a small town!  It was really hard to say goodbye.  I know he's lonely but I hope we can make it back soon.  

The drive home went well.  Paige slept for almost 4 hours and was so good.  We had to be quiet, but that was ok.  Harper watched a movie and we just relaxed.  We took a back way home and ended up on the old Route 66, which was fun.  We stopped and got snacks and spent more at a gas station than if we had just gotten dinner.  But it was a road trip and that makes it more fun.  We made it home around 6pm on Wednesday and got the kids bathed and in bed.  It was a long three days.  

5 Months Big

Paige is 5 months old.  She is getting big, finally turning into a baby and not just a little, unstable, creature.  She is closer to sitting up.  She can almost hold things, which means that she is getting better at controlling her hands and arms and not just flinging them around involuntarily.  She loves to stand up and look around.  She doesn't like to play laying down as much anymore because she can't see what's going on.  She will play on her play mat because she likes the toys, but otherwise she wants to be standing.  She is finally big enough to be in her exersaucer and she likes it a lot.  It's nice to sit her in it while we get dinner or her bottle.  She likes to turn around and around while playing but gets mad that none of the toys reach her mouth.  That's her big thing these days - everything goes straight to the mouth.  Her hands are still always in there, but now she likes to chew on blankets, her clothes, all toys, and even our fingers.  She is teething, which she has been doing for over a month now.  We keep thinking that she will have a new tooth every day, but we keep waiting.  She just keeps gnawing on everything in sight, poor kid.  I think it will be her two center bottom teeth, so we shall see.  

 We started food this month.  With Harper we were perfectly on schedule.  Poor Paige had to wait an extra month because we were a little busy and I honestly didn't even remember what to do.  We finally did about a week's worth of rice cereal (it took almost 3 weeks to get that one week done).  Now we will start some fruits and vegetables.  She is drinking about 5 ounces in each bottle.  She takes about 5 bottles a day, give or take.  That mostly depends on what time she wakes up, because this baby is sleeping through the night!  She started a few weeks ago.  One night, she just didn't wake up, so the next few nights when she would cry out, I would give her the paci and she would immediately go back to sleep and not wake up again till morning.  It worked like a charm and it was pretty easy for her.  Then, we hit a rough patch a week or two ago.  She still doesn't need to eat in the middle of the night, but she stopped sleeping as well.  She has been waking up each night around 3am and being awake for about an hour.  She doesn't cry, she just talks, babbles, and whines.  Her room is close enough that it keeps me up and I've been pretty exhausted.  Since she isn't eating in the middle of the night, she is also waking up suuuuuuper early.  She wakes up about 6am and honestly can't make it to her afternoon nap.  It's been a struggle to try and get her back on a schedule.  If she eats at 6, she eats again at like 10 and then is tired enough for her long nap then.  Plus, she likes to cat nap at 9am.  This doesn't bode well for our routine since we are usually at the gym at 9am and we don't get home from morning stuff until 12.  Poor kid doesn't make it.  We are hoping to find a way to get her to sleep a little later in the mornings, but for now we just make it work.  Other than that, she still cat naps for about 30 minutes between feedings, other than her long nap in the afternoon which lasts between 3 and 4 hours.  Love that one.  

She is taking big baths with Harper now in the tub instead of her little mini one.  She likes to lay down with a towel and she kicks her feet and waves her arms like crazy.  She loves to splash and make water fly everywhere.  It makes us all laugh.  Her hair is getting a bit lighter and slowly growing a little longer.  She is getting to the end of her 3 month clothes and about to start the 6 month clothes.  She still loves her newborn paci's best of all.  She has a doll that has some crinkle to the skirt and lots of limbs to move around.  She loves it best and likes to chew on the arms and legs.  She has discovered her mobile and loves to sit and look at the owls.  She can scoot herself around quite a bit.  She usually turns herself around in a circle and sometimes when she's mad, she can scoot herself forward.  

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Flooded Plains of Texas

The extreme amount of rain we had in May caused the spillway to go over.  We finally got to go see it in the beginning of June.  It doesn't look like it, but this space is massive.  It's about 4 football fields across and drops 10 feet, then about 30 feet.  It was just pouring with water, like a wide waterfall.  It was pretty breathtaking to go see.  The water was about a full foot over the spillway.  And at the time, it was still coming into the lake faster than it was going out.  All this rain has made life cooler this summer but also a little weird.  We have major bug problems.  Spiders and flies are the worst.  (See the picture of the tarantula that is the size of my fist that I almost stepped on, that Cody says lives in a hole by our mailbox.)  The saddest part has been no one being able to use the lakes almost all summer.  Most boat docks are inaccessible and even most of the housing areas around the lake are surrounded by water.  

Father's Day was supposed to storm and we noticed some rain before we left for Frisco.  However, we honestly thought it would blow over and just leave us with more rain.  We found out later that it was a pretty bad storm that ended in more tornados.  Our land got torn up pretty bad.  We had tons of trees get ripped up and thrown in the creek.  The land was so wet already that it was pretty easy to do.    Our creek was flooded with all the trees and debris and water in it that it came up out and over the banks almost 6 feet high.  Cody found creek debris in the low branches of trees near his head the next day.  It was pretty crazy and we definitely have had our fill of rain.  When we went out the next day and took the four wheeler out, it was fun to have all four of us on it this time.  Paige's first ride - she seemed pretty content with it.