Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Strawberries with sugar

In trying to get Owen to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables, we've had to get creative. When he said he didn't want any strawberries, I asked him if he would like some sugar on them. Of course he said YES! (We just did a tiny sprinkle of sugar which did the trick.) :)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Cute laughs from Vivi

We finally got Vivian to give us some cute belly laughs on camera. Just took a funny sound to get her going.

Sibling love

Owen and Vivian were playing with the Fisher Price stage this morning when I snapped this picture.

Thirty seconds later, it looked like this:
You guessed it, Owen pushed her over. He thought it was pretty entertaining.
Ahh, the joys of having an older sibling.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


We went to the pool for a little while today. When I say "a little while", I really mean it. We only lasted 30 minutes. But it was fun. Everyone who walked by gave Vivian a big smile. I think they liked her suit.
I love my little chubby baby in a bikini. Aren't her rolls adorable?!


Friday, May 27, 2011

Me and the kiddos

We decided to go out to dinner tonight and after a little debate we chose Red Robin since it's family-friendly and we knew Owen would love getting a balloon on the way out. When we got home I asked Ben to take a few pictures of me and the kids. Owen told me when I picked them up from daycare today: "I love your hair Mommy, I love it!". He's my mama's boy. :)
On my to-do list: take some family photos with all four of us this summer!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

How Owen eats apples

Ben took the kids tonight while I headed out to get my hair done. He had them for dinner, bath and bedtime and did a great job. I noticed Owen's highchair tray when I got home and just had to snap a picture.
Apparently this is how he's eating apples lately. :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Am I too big for this tub?

After bath time tonight Owen decided he wanted to squeeze himself into Vivi's tub. Made for a cute picture.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sharing toys

Before school today I put the kids in the family room with toys to entertain them while I ate breakfast. Owen got out his "Motor Works" Discovery Toy that Grandma Marshall got him and the next time I glanced over I noticed that he had set the motorcycle down in front of Vivi. He was sharing with his sister! For now. I'm sure this will change in the future, but for now I will treasure it.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Visit with Great Grandma Marshall

Great Grandma Marshall came from Wisconsin to visit with us and meet Vivian for the first time! I took a picture of Great Grandma Marshall feeding Vivi a bottle and it reminded me of when she last visited and fed Owen a bottle in the very same place on the couch.
We got to watch the Preakness and everyone picked a favorite. None of our favorites won, but it was still fun to watch. Ben cooked up a delicious "Paula Deen" lasagna which we all loved. We took some family photos before calling it a night.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Carrot stick

I gave Owen a carrot stick for a snack today after school. I wonder if Mike thinks of that old video our Dad took one Christmas eve when we were little when he sees this post. In the video (circa 1982?), Mike was sitting in his miniature chair chomping away on a humongous carrot stick while my dad taped and asked him what day it was. That video is ingrained in my memory. Mike wondered how he didn't choke on such a big carrot stick.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Vivi loves green beans

We started feeding Vivi babyfood since she wasn't the biggest fan of rice cereal. So far she has had sweet potatoes/apples, bananas and green beans.

This picture reminded me of one from when Owen started eating baby food.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A night in two ER's

This afternoon while at work, I received a call from daycare saying that Owen was holding his tummy and crying and they couldn't get him to stop. My first thought was that he was constipated and was holding it in, but when I walked into his classroom at school I immediately knew something was wrong.

He was sitting down on a chair at one of the small tables with his head down on the desk. He was obviously in pain and it looked as if one of his classmates had dumped a cup of water on his head - that is how much he was sweating. When I asked him what was wrong and what was hurting him, all he could do was yell out loudly in pain. We were going straight to the ER.

On the way I called the pediatrician to let them know what was going on, and they called the ER ahead to let them know we were coming. Owen was yelling loudly the entire drive there which took about 15 minutes. We were placed in a triage room fairly quickly and I told the nurse what happened. She left to get the doctor, and as she left the room Owen laid down on the bed, shut his eyes and was silent. I was so scared. It was as if he was shutting down. I ran out of the room crying and called out for the nurse that something was really wrong. Immediately she got the doctor, and four other nurses came into the room and immediately began assessing him. They noticed right away that he was dripping with sweat from head to toe as they undressed him.

Before I knew it they had two IV's in his arm, heartrate monitors on his chest and toe, and they were inserting a tube into his nose which would go into his stomach to let some air out since he was extremely distended. He was a trooper through all of it. He wasn't putting up much of a struggle, which worried me, and he still wasn't talking which was highly unlike him. They gave him a very small dose of morphine for the pain and another med (Zophran, I think) in case the pain med made him nauseous.
They couldn't figure out what was going on, so the doctor ordered an x-ray of his belly to see if there was an obstruction. We had to wait for the radiology team to get to our room so they could do it, and in the time we were waiting the nurse put in a "Bob the Builder" DVD to entertain him. He finally began to come back - slowly started talking again and I started to feel a sense of relief.

The x-ray didn't show a whole lot and the doctor said she couldn't rule out an obstruction, so they wanted to transfer us to Fairfax Hospital since they have a more advanced pediatrics department in case he needed surgery. We then had to wait for the ambulance team to get to us and hook Owen up to be transferred. The two EMT's were really nice. One of them gave Owen a blown-up blue medical glove as a balloon to play with while they finished hooking up all his IV's and monitors to be transferred. We went "lights and sirens" as they say, which was a good thing since it was the end of rush-hour and we had to take the beltway to get to the second hospital. It was pretty cool - Owen stayed awake the entire time and felt pretty special that he got to take such a fun ride.

We got to our room at Fairfax and the nurses brought him bubbles and playdough - those were a hit. Had to wait about two hours to get an ultrasound, but Toy Story 2 was playing on the TV and Owen wasn't in pain any longer, so he was fine waiting. Aunt Hillary came to the rescue even though it was 10pm by that point. Since Ben was home with Vivian in bed, we didn't have a way to get home since my car was at the first hospital. So Hillary was so nice to come over and hang out with us until we were discharged. When he finally got the ultrasound at 10:30pm, it was pretty inconclusive. Both the tech and the doctor said they didn't see any blockages, and that it may have resolved itself while he was in the hospital.

We got home at 12:30am and went straight to bed. I was upset that after all that, we still didn't know exactly what happened, but they think it was a blockage (can't remember the medical term for it) that resolved itself. My feeling is that since he has been holding in poops for six months now, his colon is probably messed up. He has a follow-up ER visit with our pediatrican and then we're going to ask to be referred to a pediatric GI doc. We want to get to the bottom of this. (No pun intended.)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Visit with Aunt Hillary and Maggie

After swimming this morning we drove over to see Aunt Hillary to give her the cookies we baked yesterday. Owen had fun throwing the ball for Maggie and she just thought he was such a fun playmate.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Taste testing

Today we baked chocolate chip cookies for Aunt Hillary and Grandma Marshall to thank them for coming over last week and helping when everyone was sick. Owen tested one (Mommy did too) after they cooled off.
They passed the test. We deliver them tomorrow.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Eating pizza like a big boy

Owen loves the pizza that Daddy makes!

Vivian is 5 months old!

Vivi turned 5 months on Tuesday, but I was too sick to take her 5-month pictures. So we did them today since she was home with me.

Here's what she's been up to this past month:

* Drinking 5-6 oz bottles every 3-4 hours
* Wearing size 3 diapers
* Wearing mostly size 6-mo clothes, some 3-6 mo
* Taking 3-4 naps a day
* Sleeping from 7pm - 6/6:30am pretty consistently
* Can sit up unassisted for 5 minutes or so
* Always rolls over to her tummy when you lay her down on her back
* Started rice cereal but doesn't really like it, prefers sweet potatoes/apple and banana baby food (haven't tried the straight veggies yet)
* Takes her paci in her carseat and for naps/nighttime
* LOVES whenever Owen pays attention to her
* Loves reading short books and singing fun songs

Thursday, May 12, 2011

No one escaped

Vivian became the fourth victim of the stomach virus that ran rampant through our house this week. YUCK. Thank goodness she did not get the puking - it's coming out the other end, which, in my opinion is so much easier to deal with than baby projectile vomit everywhere.

Poor little girl got sent home from daycare this afternoon. Every bottle she drinks just comes out the other end ten minutes later. The pediatrician said that we just need to make sure she's producing enough wet diapers and we only need to bring her in if it lasts more than 10 days. If it does we'll probably need more than a case of Pampers. We're going through one every hour practically right now.

Even though she must have been feeling like poop, she was in good spirits when we got home.

This morning I caught Owen reading "The Very Hungry Caterpiller" to his sister and had to take a picture.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Stomach virus victim #3

Aunt Hillary is amazing. She is definitely going to be one heck of a nurse when she finishes nursing school. We all know that nurses have to deal with many bodily fluids. Well, unfortunately last night Aunt Hillary dealt with Owen puking in the middle of the night. :(

Ben and I were so dead asleep we didn't hear anything. Hillary had the monitors with her in the guest room and heard Owen wake up. She was able to calm him down, clean him up, tuck him back in, and go back to sleep. She is our hero and we can't thank her enough for the help she continuously gives us.

This morning we got the sheets and blankets and everything all cleaned up. Aunt Hillary was able to stay for most of the day today so that I could work from home and Ben could rest. He was still feeling like he got hit by a truck.

It was incredible how fast Owen bounced back. He was running around, happy and full of energy, all day long. He's headed back to daycare tomorrow.

Fingers crossed that Vivian does not catch this obviously highly contagious bug.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Stomach virus hits Ben

Unfortunately there has been another virus victim. Ben caught it this afternoon and he was able to somehow manage to make it through a job interview. We were both feeling so awful that we asked Aunt Hillary to come over to take baby/toddler night duty in case one of them woke up in the middle of the night. She graciously accepted and was here by 10pm so that we could rest and be able to go to work the next day.

Aunt Hillary is a lifesaver. :-)

Stomach virus = YUCK

I don't know how to write about this eloquently. Basically, at 11pm last night I woke up and ran to the bathroom to puke my guts out. Thought I was better once it was all out, but I kept waking up every 30-45 minutes to do it again. UGH. Every time it happened I just kept praying that Owen wouldn't wake up throwing up since we had eaten the exact same thing for dinner.

Luckily that didn't happen. I was up until 4am when there was just nothing left in me.

I had zero energy today and after Lysol'ing the house, all I can do is pray that no one else gets it.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cute dress from Aunt Lindsey

Aunt Lindsey sent Vivi this dress before she was born. That seems so long ago now, but it fits perfectly now and we love it.

Thanks Aunt Lindsey!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

We kicked off Mother's Day this year with Owen's 8:30am swim class. On the way Ben treated me to Starbucks and biscotti which I enojoyed while watching Owen swim. When we got home, the kids gave me their gifts that they made at school. Vivi's teachers made an adorable little plant with a sign that said "Happy Mother's Day from Vivi" and Owen made me a picture frame magnet out of popsicle sticks which he decorated with buttons, poms and gems - perfect for the fridge. I love both gifts, but more than anything, the fact that my two kiddos made me a mom.
Ben let me pick my gift and I chose tickets to a Broadway show which is on tour this summer and coming to DC - Next to Normal. Looking forward to seeing it together in July.

Curt took us all out for brunch and we all enjoyed seafood at Ford's Fish Shack here in Ashburn. It was a lovely afternoon and the weather was beautiful too. We spent the rest of the afternoon taking naps and then played with the kids before bath and bedtime.

Being a mom is the best job in the world and I am so lucky to have such a wonderful family to share it with. I never would have thought that I would be where I am in this moment years ago, but there is no where else I would ever want to be. I would not trade the sleepless nights when they each came home from the hospital...the hundreds and hundreds of diaper changes...the giggles and the tears...the walks to the playground...the stories at bedtime...the bottles and sippy cups. I love each and every single moment of being a mom and I never want it to end.

My favorite moment of today was when I went into Owen's room this morning and said, "Happy Mother's Day!". He said "I'm going to be really nice to my mother." I said, "I'm your Mother!" to which he replied, "You're not my mother. You're my Mommy!" :)

I prefer Mommy over Mother anyway.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Kentucky Derby

We had the Taeschners over to watch the Kentucky Derby today. The weather was pretty nice, so the big kids ran around in the backyard while Ben cooked up some chicken wings and hot dogs on the grill. The little babies had bottles and the adults enjoyed some Mint Julips before the big race started.

Kayla brought over her stuffed horse for the occasion and the kids pretended they were racing too!

Kel and I took some pictures with the babies since the toddlers wouldn't cooperate. We all ate until we were stuffed and called it a night in time to get the kids to bed before 8pm. Such a fun way to start Mother's Day weekend!

Friday, May 6, 2011

I play hard

Owen got a big bump on his head today at school. More like rug burn. The incident report sent home said that he was playing and fell on the carpet. Poor little guy.

When he was eating dinner tonight I asked him if he wanted me to kiss it to make it feel better. Then he asked me to two more times before bedtime. My little tough guy.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


We never let Owen sleep in our bed. He was always in his crib and ever since he transitioned to his toddler bed, he's always slept in his own room. Not true of Vivian.

When she is sick I have found it much easier to stick her in bed with us versus having to get up every two hours when she fusses to give her the pacifier again. I'm making a promise that as soon as she recovers from this ear infection, she's back in her crib because I want to instill good sleep habits. For her and for us.

But I just love waking up and seeing her adorable face right next to me in the morning. This may be tough to change....

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sick baby

Vivian had been fighting a cold for over two weeks when she finally recovered and was doing really well. She started sleeping through the night and it was so wonderful to be able to put them both to bed at 7pm and have a few hours to ourselves to watch TV and have a nice quiet dinner just the two of us.

Unfortunately it didn't last long. Owen caught something at school right when Vivi started feeling better and he had a runny nose for a week. She must have caught that again, or else it was just the tail end of her original cold catching up with her, but she spiked a fever on Monday and we had to take her to the pediatrician who told me right away it was an ear infection. 10 days of antibiotics and she should be good as new.
(this is her fussy face. in case you couldn't tell.)

Baby girl was so fussy all day for me while I tried to work from home. Didn't get much work done. Instead I spent most of the day snuggled up with Vivi trying to give her lots of extra love and kisses to hopefully make her feel better.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

New swim school

Owen's first lesson at Carlile Swimming was this morning. We were up at 6:45am, had breakfast and were dressed and ready to go (all 4 of us!) by 8am. It's less than a 10 minute drive to the pool, but we wanted to get there a little early to get him settled in and to meet his new teacher before his 8:30am lesson started.

He was a little shy at first, but once he got into the water he became Mister Swimmer Man within a few minutes. His teacher would take turns with the two of them (there can be up to 4 in his class at a time, but there was only one other little boy this morning). Once when she took the other boy to have him kick while she held him, Owen jumped right in and started swimming towards her. I think it took her by surprise. Guess I should have warned her that he just finished his ISR course and he's pretty brave in the water now.

All in all, he had fun. I think he probably could move up to the next level and we'll see what they say next week. Because at one point his teacher was having him float while holding him and he was playing with a toy in his hands while he floated - it's a piece of cake to him now.

Looking forward to seeing his swimming skills blossom over these next couple of months.

Carlile Swimming open house

After our winery picnic we headed over to the Carlile Swim School open house so that Owen could meet Tom Dolan and get an autograph and picture with him. We got a chance to tour the facility and see where his lessons would be held. It is such a neat place! We are so excited for Owen to start his new lessons tomorrow! Can't you tell how excited he is?