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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Tickled Pink at Trader Joe's






A lot has happened today so I thought I would post another blog entry, After lunch and naps, which was basically around 4:30, we all headed to Chik-fil-a for dinner. Taylor was obsessed (I know that is a dramatic word, but it's an accurate description.) with the balloons. So after dinner, we walked out with a yellow and green balloon for the ride home. After dinner, we headed over to Trader Joe's so I could get more yummy pita chips and hummus. I never knew this until today, but Trader Joe's has miniature shopping carts for little kids to push around. You should have seen the four of us walking around the store. Hank was pushing Landon in the double stroller, the stroller that both kids were supposed to be in. I was shopping, taking pictures, and chasing Taylor around the store. She almost hit a few people because when she gets excited, she doesn't look up and just steam rolls past people and hopefully not into people. We let her push the shopping cart around for 20 minutes and then Taylor was a big girl and unloaded the groceries onto the counter. However, when it was time to bag up the groceries and head to the car, she had a meltdown that lasted a good 20 minutes in the car. Hank was commenting on how attached she gets to things she really likes. It's a like a tragedy when she has to part with them. Somehow I doubt she'll be crying her eyes out the day we drive her to a college campus and leave her on her own. I know I will be crying when that day comes!

It's been a BIG day for Landon too. He started eating rice cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner AND his bottom tooth poked through this afternoon. He is such a happy, content baby. I am so thankful that he is easy and allows me the time needed to tend to Taylor. I can tell a definite change in both kids within the past week. Although I am so excited for what the future holds, I'm a little teary eyed that my babies are growing up. The coolest thought ever is knowing how much I love my kids, and then realizing God loves me 100 times that amount. It's almost unimaginable.

Dadda Mows the Grass

Labor Day Weekend



I'm so thankful it's a 3-day weekend and that Hank will be home with me and the kids. Having that extra person around makes things so much easier. Besides our normal weekend chores, we don't have too much planned this weekend. In fact, I think this is the first time we didn't vacation anywhere on Labor Day weekend. So we'll have to think of some creative things to make this weekend fun even though we aren't traveling somewhere. Hank is mowing the yard and it is always hard for Taylor to stay inside and watch. In fact, she normally sits by the window and watches him the whole time talking to the window saying "dadda". I quickly opened the door to tell Hank something and she ran out (sneaky little thing) and grabbed her toy lawn mower and started cutting the grass too. Unfortunately she was quickly ushered back inside where she gave us her sad face and cried for daddy. Maybe after naptime we'll head over to the pool if it's not too hot. I picked up my night guard this past week, and I really think it is helping with my TMJ problems. I used to wake up in pain every morning but now I only feel pain once in awhile. Thank you God!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sweet Rewards



Today has been a great day! Taylor had Gymboree this morning and did really well. I think Hank and I will have to find money in our budget to allow her to continue to go every week because she really does love it. And it helps her learn to listen while burning energy.

Hank worked from home today so while the kids were napping, we were able to eat lunch together and talk about "living intentionally". We have started to create personal and family goals. Since we both like organization and consistency, getting on the same "wave length" and sharing together will help us keep each other accountable. Here is a link to the website if you are interested in learning more about living an intentional life.

Taylor's has been eating like a bird lately, but tonight she did really well. It's so cute to hear her say "avacado". This kid eats a whole avacado a day! So after dinner, we decided to get some ice cream at Baskin Robbins. Taylor loved eating ice cream with the sampler-size spoon. We got her a scoop of sugar-free ice cream in hope that it wouldn't prevent her from going to bed. Last night I gave her strawberry milk and Taylor did not go to sleep easily. My fault....
Sunday, August 24, 2008

Happy Strolling

I came down stairs and found that Taylor decided to upgrade from her play dolls to the real thing!! Don't ask me how she got her little brother in her stroller, but he didn't seem to mind. I'll tell ya if this wasn't a joke I would really have had a heart attack but I'm kind of afraid now because I gave her the idea.

Happy Strolling!

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Big Day

Today was a BIG day for Landon. He had rice cereal for the first time and really seemed to enjoy it. We will be giving him rice cereal for awhile and then slowly introduce baby foods. This is a big milestone for Landon and it reminds me that my little boy is growing up fast. As I was feeding Landon the rice cereal, daddy was taking photos and Taylor and her neighbor friend Katie were standing by cheering him on saying "Good boy Landon" and repeating things that I was saying to him.

So Hank and I watched Katie today and it gave us a glimpse of what it would be like to have three children. It seemed manageable and everyone got along well. A quick funny story of Taylor and Katie (Katie is a year older than Taylor) , as we were leaving Rubio's after lunch Taylor found a cup outside with "liquid" still in it. I caught her attempting to drink it and quickly stopped her and said, "No, Taylor honey." The next thing I hear repeated several times from Katie was "No Taylor honey". It was the cutest thing!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

"Airplane Up"



What a night we had last night! Taylor decided it was playtime in the middle of the night. The kid would NOT go back to sleep no matter what Hank or I did to help her fall back asleep. I even jumped back in her crib with her, and I think that made matters worse. Taylor has not been eating like normal for the past couple of weeks. In fact, she barely eats at all. So Hank and I have been chalking up her midnight wake-ups to being really hungry. But who knows! We even asked the doctor today, and he said the waking in the night is probably from all the sickness we've had in the house. We don't know if that's the real reason why, but he didn't seem concerned. So needless to say, Hank and I both were total zombies today.

Thanks to one of my wonderful neighbors, Grace, who picked me up a Big Mac meal and literally saved my day! I think she saw that I was in zombie-state and had pitty on me :-)

So we went back to the pediatrician this afternoon. Good news and bad news. Good news is that Landon's ear infection is gone. Bad news is that he still has thrush and his shots were once again postponed (since he has recently been on steroids due to the croup). Another good thing is that Taylor will get her shot at Landon's 6-month appointment instead of today. Nothing like pushing off the inevitable.

On the way to the doctor appointment, Taylor saw a plane flying in the sky. She put two words together and said "airplane up" as she pointed to the plane and showed me where it was. Taylor can always find those tiny little airplanes up in the sky. And she's always looking for the moon and pointing to it.

Tomorrow will be a good day. We have a playdate in the morning, and I am taking the kids to see my parents who are in town for a few days. Here is a fun little clip from tonight as we were getting the kids ready for bed.



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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cramming It In

These photos were all taken today! The four of us started off our morning at Dunkin Donuts where Taylor was cramming the donuts in her mouth like she was a squirrel. She actually started gagging at one point and didn't want me to take the "excess" donut out of her mouth. After our breakfast at DD's, I took the kids to Gymboree. There were at least 10 kids in the class so Taylor couldn't participate like normal due to the class being extremely full. So we decided to move our class back to Tuesday mornings. The next photos in the slideshow are of Taylor enjoying the Taco Soup that I made for dinner. It was good! Then Taylor had a bedtime treat where she crammed a cranberry muffin in her little mouth. She is starting to shy away from the camera due to my overkill of taking photos. I think Hank is soon going to start banning me from taking photos or least giving me a quota. On a side note, I can't show you any photos of Landon gorging himself, but he does the same thing as his big sister.

Tomorrow the kids go back to the doctor to get their immunizations. Poor little Landon will get four shots, and Taylor will only get one.
Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday Mornings

We have a little tradition in the Schepemaker household.... Almost every Monday morning, we drive into town and enjoy breakfast at a little bagel joint called Hot Bagel. Hank is able to join us so the whole family is together. The food is yummy and it helps start the week and pass the early morning hours. Once we get home, naptime is close around the corner. Today was a good day all around. Taylor is showing signs that she understands what we say and is able to communicate with us more and more. Today as I was folding laundry upstairs, I gave Taylor all of her clean pj's and asked her to put them away. She went straight to her dresser drawer, opened it up, and stuffed the drawer full. I was so proud of her! I kept on cheering her on and she probably thought: "Mom, it's no big deal. I just put clothes in a drawer. Calm down."
Sunday, August 17, 2008

Our Weekend

This weekend wasn't one of our best, but we got through it and are looking forward to a fresh new week. The kids and Hank are still recovering from their sickness, and I am pretty exhausted spiritually, emotionally and physically. I say that taking care of two sick little kids is like taking care of four healthy kids. Anyway, enough of my complaining. On Saturday morning, driving an hour to and from my hairdresser's house, I had a one-on-one with God. I have been thinking of lot lately of concepts like living more intentionally and having less chaos, more peace in my life. Anyway, I will share more about this revelation in a future blog.

Taylor is finally into puzzles! I was afraid that my child was ADD. But now I am a bit relieved to see that she can sit down and play with puzzles. It doesn't help that I am always interfering by trying to take a picture. We pretty much laid low this weekend. Today Hank really wanted to go to the Apple store to drool over the Ipods. His Ipod broke several months ago, and he is really missing it. I told him maybe he could get a new one in a couple of months for his birthday. He replied, "That's OK. I really want a shofar for my birthday." All of you who know Hank well, know that he has a passion for Jewish culture. Only my husband would want a shofar rather than an Ipod for his birthday gift. That's like offering your children yummy fruit snacks, but they say "no thanks, I want spinach." But that's why I love him so -- we are 100% different! The last photos in the slideshow are of Taylor playing in the water feature outside the mall.

Many of you commented on my climbing into the crib act, and I just want to tell you there are more crazy mommy acts to come so stay tuned. Have a great week!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

"Thank You Mama"

This week has been pretty slow. It's hard when we are confined to our home and I can't take Taylor to her usual playtimes. Hank went to the doctor this morning and got his prescription. I just feel weak and have a sore throat. And both kids are slowly getting better. It's just a lot of runny noses and coughing around here. Last night I gave Taylor a "taste" of my yummy hot chocolate and the kid was wired. She didn't go to bed until 9:45 and you should have seen what it took me to do to get her asleep. I finally jumped my 5' 10" body into her crib and slept with her until she fell asleep. You know how there are those moments that just totally warm your heart? Well two of those moments happened last night. The first one was when Taylor wouldn't stop giving Hank goodnight kisses. She gave him like 10 kisses within a minute. It made Hank and I chuckle which made Taylor chuckle and then she kept on doing it. The other sweet moment was when I was laying in Taylor's crib with her and she wanted to sleep on top of me, not next to me. We cuddled for a few moments which is rare due to her fast-paced personality. Also, Hank and I have REALLY noticed Taylor talking a lot more. We still can't understand half the stuff she says, but I am surprised at how much we can understand.
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sick Puppies





Last night Landon spent the night in the hospital. Both of my kids caught a virus last Friday at Story Time and they started showing signs of being sick Sunday late afternoon. Monday morning I took the kids in to get their immunizations, but since they were "under the weather" the doctor is waiting to give them their shots. Here are the stats from the doctor visit:

Taylor weighed in at 23 pounds and is 34.25 inches tall
Landon weighed in at 16.5 pounds and is 26.5 inches tall

Landon is a big baby for only being 4 months old compared to his 18-month-old sister.

After talking to the triage nurse who listened to Landon over the phone, she said "Rachael, you need to get Landon to the E.R. as soon as possible." I broke down in tears, tried to get my act together, and threw both kids in the car as we headed off to John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital. Long story short, the virus that Landon has turned into a severe form of croup. He had a few breathing treatments and was observed overnight. He is doing much better. Hank now has a cold which will turn into a sinus infection and I have had three nights with very little sleep. It probably doesn't help that I am staying up to blog about this :-) BTW, Landon (poor guy) also has an ear infection and thrush (yeast infection in the mouth). You should see my medicine cabinet stocked full of treatments for my babies.

The lesson to be learned from this is we need to keep our sick kids home so that they don't get others sick. This most recent experience for us has not only been hard on our kids physically, it's also been very expensive.


A little fun before bedtime tonight!
Friday, August 8, 2008

Story Time



Story Time today at the Berean Bookstore was not so wonderful. In an effort to get Taylor acquainted with books and reading, I thought Story Time would be the answer. Instead, she whined, ran around the store, and tried to push someone else's baby, who was in a stroller, around the store. After I alerted the "Taylor Patrol", which consisted of neighbors Bonnie and Nikki and my friend Stephanie, we caught her in the act of "running away". See Taylor thinks it's a game when you call her name and she purposefully runs away. I always end up chasing her and she thinks that is really cool. After we caught her for the tenth time, I wised up and locked her in her stroller. Sweet revenge! Ha ha -- just kidding -- well sort of! Anyway, Taylor did enjoy the 3 or 4 songs they sang before Story Time actually began. And to tell you the truth, I don't even know what book they read. So bottomline, I don't think we will be going back any time soon. It's a great idea for older kids or for kids who have an attention span. Landon was once again an angel. I know I keep saying that, but he really is a good baby. Plus, in a year from now I will be posting "Landon Patrol" stories. So until then, let me just enjoy my angel.

Grandpa's Birthday



Last night we went over to Grandma and Grandpa Schepemakers house to celebrate Grandpa's 55th birthday. Grandpa is now officially a senior citizen :-) Taylor loves her grandpa. Every time she goes to their house, Grandpa will play the piano with her. She is definitely Papa's Girl. Grandpa (Papa) was kind enough to let Taylor blow out his "Aged to Perfection" candle. Somehow the party always turns out to be about her. Landon enjoyed his snuggle time too with the great grandparents. I hear at least 3x day, "I can't believe how big he is!" Landon is extremely long and is "filling out" nicely. If you saw me during my last month of pregnancy, you could already tell we had a big bun in the oven.
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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Security Blanket




Taylor has really changed A LOT within the last month. She is learning new words, experiencing a little separation anxiety, more content when playing by herself, and has discovered the comfort of her beloved pink fuzzy blanket that now goes with us EVERYWHERE. I will being telling Taylor, "Let's go! Let's get in the car." And she always runs upstairs to get her blanket to bring along with her. The rule is though that no matter where we go, the blanket has to stay in the car. I'm a hardballer I know :-) Sometimes we'll find Taylor dropping to the ground, even on the tile, to lay and snuggle on top of her blanket. I wish I had something that was tangible like a blanket to comfort me throughout the day. It would be pretty funny though to see a grown adult whip out a blanket or carry around a favorite stuffed animal. Hank and I were talking the other day about how we both held onto our security items -- Hank had an orange blanket and I had a pillow -- until adulthood. We finally parted with these items and now wonder why we did.
Monday, August 4, 2008

New Pool






We took a walk to the pool tonight. It's so nice that we can just walk there now. It's the perfect thing to do before bedtime since it gets the last little bit of energy out of Taylor. Taylor enjoyed swimming but when she saw her Mommy sitting on a chair and saw there was another chair open she had to go position her self on the other chair just like Mommy. And that was it for swimming. She just sat their and then cuddled up with Mom and watched me bob. Landon just chills wherever we go and I can't wait to see how he will express himself in life. He is always full of smiles. I have a feeling he will keep us runnin just like his big sister.
Friday, August 1, 2008

Amidst the Chaos

In my last post, I mentioned how much I love being a mother. Nothing has changed in that regard, but here is what I don't like about being a mother....

1) I have to discipline my child even though I don't want to. I hate to spank her and make her cry. But if I don't do it, she will become "that child" whom no one wants to play with.

2) I have to watch her cry in pain when she hurts herself. And sometimes I have to pin her down so she can be treated with immunizations or like today, gluing the skin on her chin shut.

3) I'm constantly making mistakes. I don't care if I make mistakes on the job or with friends, but I don't want to make mistakes with these two precious babies who God has allowed me to raise.

Oh well, that is life! Now on to our last few days....

On Wednesday, I took the kids over to Stephanie's house (Taylor's future mother-in-law) and found Taylor up on their kitchen table instead of sitting on the chair like a big girl. That's OK though. Bennett was keeping a careful eye on his girl.

Thursday evening, Hank's Oma came over to visit and stayed for dinner and a good game of Rummikub. Taylor even played a few hands :-)

Today Hank worked from home so we were able to spend lots of time together as a family. We took Taylor to Open Gym at Gymboree and 10 minutes after we were there, Taylor cut her chin open. The gash was a decent size and the blood kept coming. Luckily there was a pediatric nurse there who advised us to go to the hospital or urgent care. We opted for urgent care and that is where Taylor had the skin flaps on her chin glued together. But first we had to make a necessary stop at McDonalds to buy Taylor a strawberry shake to take her mind off the pain.

At the urgent care, Taylor did pretty well and only fought the doctor until mommy sang the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "I'm a Little Teapot" with the actions and all in front of the nurse and doctor. The doctor told us to not let Taylor pick at the glue or she might have to come back in and have it redone. Within one hour, that glue was picked off her chin even though Hank and I took turns watching her like a hawk.

PS -- Landon was a little angel all day!