Sunday, August 31, 2008

You Might Have a Girlie-Girl If...

...she insists on camping and rock climbing in a ballerina outfit.

We had a great Labor Day weekend camping with the Banaitis Family outside of Colorado Springs. Since our last camping trip was rained out, we promised we would take Morgan to The North Pole this time. So, on Saturday, we took the kiddos and we were there for six whole hours. I was expecting a really cheesy place, but honestly, I really liked it and we had a great time. The kids are at the age where us adults can drag them onto the rides that we really like too. One of the more adult ones which was pretty intense, The Paratrooper, was her favorite one but her least favorite was the Tilt-a-whirl. We had it going pretty good, to the point that I was worried about being sick. The whole time Morgan was screaming "I don't really like this ride. No! I don't like this one!".

Before we got to The North Pole, Morgan talked a pretty big game about how she was going to give Santa a hug. Once we got there, we saw him out in the park and she hide behind my legs. The second time we saw him, she at least waved to him, but she wasn't stepping foot inside his house no way no how. Out of the four kids, only Keaghan - the seven year old - would go and see him in his house.

The kids were so worn out that night, Morgan actually Mark "would it be alright if I went to bed right after the s'mores".

And she did.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cheyenne Update or Why I Hate Banfield

Don't ever go to Banfield Vet. Seriously. NEVER. I'll try and give the condensed version.

We've been taking Cheyenne, our 14 year American Eskimo dog there for a while. They have been fine for the basic stuff, but now that she is getting older and having issues, Banfield is HORRIBLE!! It started back in April. She was limping on her back leg and it was getting worse. They took x-rays and said it was severe arthritis - the ball of her bone has rubbed down and is flat. They referred us to a specialist. Specialist couldn't figure out what Banfield was talking about. Bone looked completely normal. They thought the problem was in the meat of her leg. We were going to wait and see how she does, and bring her back in a month. When it came time to bring her back, the specialist was gone from the clinic. Chey was doing better, so we left it at that.

Fast forward to yesterday. Chey has been biting at her leg to the point there is a sore. Also, her leg has gotten much worse. Not knowing where else to go, and since Banfield knew about her history, made the poor choice of going back. They wouldn't even look at her back leg or discuss the specialist diagnose that it was not arthritis. They were 100% focused on the fact that her teeth needed cleaning. Ummmm... hello! That's not the main problem here. The took a quick look at her sore and said it needed to be removed with surgery. Tried to pressure us into a $660-820 procedure. Looked at me like I was scum of the Earth when I told them no.

Thank goodness Sara gave me the name of her vet. I went this morning and LOVE him!! His recommendation for the sore - put some cream on it, keep Chey from licking it and and see how it does. At Chey's age, putting her under for surgery can be dangerous. He couldn't believe it was Banfield's first/only option. Told us that although her teeth could use a cleaning, it's the least of his worries right now. More concerned about the back leg (thank goodness!). He did some tests on it and validated my concerns. It appears that Chey's body is no longer recognizing her back leg. Referred us to a specialist to see if the problem is pain or neurological. At least we have some better direction and new hope.

And we don't have to pay an exorbent amount of money for something that wasn't even going to fixing the main problem. Stupid Banfield.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's a Bird, It's a Plane... It's a Kid with a Cape was having a contest sponsored by Little Ones Baby Gifts for the most adorable cape shirts I have ever seen. If I don't win one, I am going to have to buy one of these for Morgan. She would absolutely love flying around with one. They even have a line for boys (see the bat one below).

Check out all the styles at:

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Clever, Clever Little Girl

We were at a friends house when Morgan started to complain that her stomach was hurting. I told her if it really hurt, we needed to go home. A little while later she started groaning "aaaahhhh". I gave her "that" look - the one that said, if you hurt we need to go. Without skipping a beat she finishes her "aaahhh" with "Apple - aaaahh is for apple. That's all I was saying Mom".

Friday, August 22, 2008

Four Year Checkup

Yes. I'm a little late on this. I remembered to make the appointment at the end of June, but they didn't have anything available until now. Better late then never.

Morgan measured in at a whooping 30 pounds and 28 3/4 inches. She is right on track on her growth chart, staying in the 10 and 20%. I had a couple of concerns that the doctor addressed:

1) She runs with her knees locked and throws her legs out and around. Doctor had her run up and down the hall so he could see it in action. She loved this part. He said that this is because of her hip width. There is no problem with it - it's just how she is. It can be minimized by strengthing her inner thighs through lots of swimming and biking.

2) Her recent sleep issues. We put her down consistently at 8 pm. She stays in her room playing quietly arranging, re-arranging her stuffed animals until 9 sometimes 10 pm. She doesn't sleep in and only gets about 9 hours of sleep. He said that she could be going through a growth spurt. During growth spurts kids don't produce as much seretonine. As long as she isn't coming out of her room constently, she is fine. We aren't supposed to keep her up later. Within time she should start falling asleep at her normal time.

3) The last couple of months she's been complaining that her stomach hurts. In the past couple of weeks she's been throwing up a little bit in her mouth. She had reflux as a baby. The doctor is concerned that the reflux has come back. He gave us a prescription that should help the problem. If it doesn't, we need to contact him again. If it does, then we need to keep her on the meds for a while.

She also had to get four shots today. We talked about the shots before the appointment so she was prepared. She hopped right up on the table and laided very still. She was so brave. She wanted to watch them put in the shots and she didn't cry or whimper at all. The fourth shot was a bad one, but all she did is suck in some air. She's one tough girl.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Word About Status Reports

One of the main reasons work has become so awful is our new inforced daily status report. At noon each day we are supposed to send a report to upper management outlining: Planned accomplishments - what do you plan to complete in the next 24 hours giving very very specific details. Accomplishments - what did you complete in the past 24 hours giving specific details. If you didn't complete something you had in your previous planned accomplishment list you need to justify why it wasn't finished, what percentage of it is finished and a plan for how you expect to get it finished.

We are system engineers. It's not like we have work that can be or should be bean counted. Now I am in no way saying that I nor anone in my group does the following, but merely reporting what I see as a possible fall out from this micro-management. It may just be possible that this daily status could cause otherwise very productive people to be even less productive. People might not want to over produce one day and not have as much to report the next. They might want to start dragging out their work so they have a list in their pocket for the next day. Instead of centering their work day around, well, work, they will start centering their day around what would look the best on my report. Not to mention the amount of time it might take to fill out such a report.

Again, not saying this is occuring within my group. I'm merely thinking out loud.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Be Careful What You Wish For

Yesterday I was having a terrible day at work (or should I say worse than usually). I commented to Sara that I should check my sick time and see what I have and then use it.

Fast forward to this morning. Morgan wakes up this morning. Her eye is matted shut, red and swollen. This isn't what I had in mind. I was hoping to use sick time for some me fun time. Instead I ended up taking Morgan to the doctor to get a prescription for red eye. The doctor said that she could go back to school after the first drops. This is new and I'm not 100% sure I buy it. I decided to stay home the whole day with her anyways. We had a wonderful mother-daughter day and did so much stuff: she dragged out the playdough that we haven't touched forever, played lots of board games, did several art projects including the real cool window decal making kit Grandpa John got her for her birthday, and even made it to the park for over an hour. Turns out the sick time did end up being fun time.

Days like today really make me wish I could be a stay-at-home mom.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Instant Journal - Compassion

Wondertime magazine has a section to fill out called "Instant Journal". I thought I would start recording Morgan's answers here.

Whether she's offering her hot dog to the black Lab or flashing her toothless smile at your elderly neighbor, your child's act of kindness are anything but random. Even if her compassion comes (and goes) in fits and starts, take a moment to record it here:

List your child's favorite way to:
cheer someone up - Patting their back
be taken care of - Nicely
offer a helping hand - helping carry my friends

Ask your child: "If you were in charge, what rule would you invent to make the world a better place?" I would be king and say cheer up you'll get better soon.

Sad and Angry Day

I was so exited that Morgan was moving into the Pre-K room. 90% of my exitement stemmed from the fact that one of our favorite teachers, Ms. Adrienne was in this class. When I dropped Morgan off this morning, Ms. Adrienne pulled me to the side to let me know today was her last day. She took a new position with a new school. When she gave her notice, they immediately let her go. I've never been very happy with this school but due to our home and work locations our choices are limited to say the least. I was absolutely appalled to find out that Ms. Adrienne, who's been with the school for over five years and is a head teacher gets paid a measely $8/hour with no vacation or sick time. I am outraged. This is another reason why I really really really want to have Morgan in a different school!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Point and Shoot

We finally had a break in the weather this afternoon. It was still overcast and a bit chilly, but good enough to get outside and get some fresh air. We headed to the zoo. Morgan wanted to bring her camera and take pictures of each of the animals. It was a whole different experience. She waited so patiently to get the perfect shot she had in mind: the animal needed to be looking at her, that animal was too big to get, that one was too far away, learning that a flash doesn't work so well against glass. I posted some of them here. While the Fisher-Price camera is so much fun for her, the picture quality is a bit lacking.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Rain Rain Going Away

We've been having record high temperatures and absolutely no rain until Friday, the day we were supposed to go camping down in Colorado Springs for our mini-vacation. We were going to do the whole tourist thing: Pikes Peak, The North Pole, Seven Falls, Manitou Springs. It's Colorado and it never rains for a full day, let alone two in a row so surely we would still be able to go up Saturday morning and have two good days. I guess you should never say never because sure enough, it has been raining with a high of 58 today as well. We nixed our whole weekend plans.

Morgan wasn't too disappointed because one of her good friends Ellie was having a birthday party. I called up her mom to see if we wouldn't be imposing if we came. Ellie was very excited that Morgan would make it after all. The party was a dress up tea party so Morgan wore her tinkerbell outfit. The girls drank lemonaide "tea" and had strawberries, cookies, crackers and sandwiches cut in the shape of butterflies. It was a 100% girly-girl party so of course Morgan loved it.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Tiger Girl

To close out the summer program, Morgan's school had face painting today. All I can say is "WOW!" The lady who did them went all out. Morgan looked like she could be in the Broadway production of Cats. I couldn't stop staring at her because she totally didn't even look like herself. Check it out:

Follow Along

Here is some video I captured of our future Olympian. It's the highlights of two performances. Notice the concentration. Notice the stellar cartwheels. And of course that's only her underwear she's wearing. Every good gymnastic knows that pants and shorts hold you back.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Going for the Gold

Sorry I haven't blogged for a while. I've been in California for work. The trip went very well, but I don't want to talk about work. Let's talk instead about the Olympics. Morgan is enthralled with it. We watched the girl's gymnastics before I left and she couldn't get enough. She was asking all sorts of questions: Where are they from, which country is that girl from, what are they putting on their hands, how can I get in the Olympics. Then she started to imitate everything they were doing. It was so cute to see her throwing her arms and legs all around. She kept going over to her play kitchen, putting her hands in the sink and informing us how she is putting chalk on her hands. We recorded the rest of the events, so I'll have to video tape her watching some of it.

She also informed us that some day she will be in the Olympics for gymnastics. I told her the Olympics is for the best of the best - that there are other competitions/teams she could be on as well. To which she replied that some day she will be best of the best - if she practices enough she will be in the Olympics. At least she has determination.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Baby Fever

Today I threw a baby shower for my dear friend Joann. I was a bit nervous about the whole thing as 30 people RSVPed to come and I had no idea how the heck we were going to fit that many in our house. Thank goodness Jackie came over and help me get things ready and Mark was also a great help. As it turned out, only 20 people actually showed up so there was no need to worry. The shower went quite well and Joann was very surprised and happy with everything we did for her. We had the girls decorate fabric squares that are going to be sewn into a quilt for the baby, I made a diaper cake decorated with her nursery theme (ducks), we played the ever popular guess the poop (candy bars melted in diapers) game and just for Joann (who's favorite game of all time is the Price is Right) played the Price is Right Baby Style.

I'll have to confess that seeing Joann pregnant really makes me miss being pregnant. I absolutely LOVED being pregnant. Sigh. But then I think about the labor part (for us it was a nightmare - almost lost Morgan and/or me!) and the new baby part (can you say colic) and that fever starts to fade.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Day According to Morgan

When I asked Morgan about her day this was her response:

I didn't nap at school today. Instead I played in one of the centers (editors note: what they call the different play area at her school, such as science, art, reading centers). They had dinosaurs. REAL dinosaurs. Yep, they were alive. There was a T-Rex and it tried to eat all of us. But then all the other dinosaurs came and saved us. They got him with their tails. Really.

Wow. That's a pretty intense day!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Water World

With record days of 90 degree weather, we decided to spend the day in cool water so we headed to Water World. They offer a huge discount if you come after 2 pm, and since Morgan would only probably last a couple of hours, we decided to make it a late afternoon/early evening thing. Right after we paid for our ticket and we were in the first play pool it started to pour. Morgan was extremely patient and waited without a single complaint for a half hour until the rain stopped. At least the rain scared away a lot of people. We went on a couple of tube rides were the three of us could go together. They were pretty fast and the tubes rode up pretty high on the side, making us feel like the tube was going to tip over, but Morgan loved it. What Mark and I didn't love was having to carry the tubes up the side of the hills to get to the top of the rides. You would think they could get a conveyor belt or something! Morgan was so excited that she barely noticed she was climbing up steep hills over and over. She even attempted to "help" us carry the tube.

One of her favorite things wasn't even a water ride/feature - it was the gondola that ran from the top of the park to the bottom. We rode that thing six times!

Even though Morgan loves the tube rides, she still isn't the most comfortable playing in water. In the first play area, they had a bunch of toddler slides but she wanted nothing to do with them. At the end of the day, she wanted to go back to that area. She VERY hesitantly went down one of them after tons of coaxing. Then it all clicked for her and off she was running from slide to slide going down each over and over. She even went on ones that had water spraying over them. She HATES water spraying at her.

At the end of the day she was shivering like crazy. I told her she was so cold and she said, "but I still had lots of fun!"