Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Confession time

Well, Audra wanted know if I have cheated yet, so I am here to confess that yesterday was a very bad day. Gabe was surly all morning and even while it was just the two of us, he whined about absolutely everything - getting dressed, eating breakfast, getting into the car, going to the library, leaving the library...you get the idea. I finally couldn't take it and ripped into a bag of unappetizing candy that I had just bought at Target. I ate, of all things, a multi-colored Twizzler, when I don't ever like Twizzlers, and this one was especially gross. I have eaten a peanut M&M here and Skittle there since starting, so I wouldn't have been too mad at myself if I stopped there. But I didn't. When we got home I broke open the OTHER bag of candy and ate about 5 little bags of Skittles and just as many Starbursts. Then last night, after the kids went to bed, I had a cup of hot chocolate, and it was soooo good.

And I consulted Mr Scale a few days ago, and he and I have grown even further apart than we have been in about a year and a half, so I really really really need to do better.

The good news is that even though I did cheat yesterday, I have gotten out of my rut, and I have been making sure that I am actually hungry before eating instead of just doing it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What do you Google?


Gabe likes to line things up. He started doing this at around 14 months - shortly before the above picture. He will line anything up. They don't have to be in order of size or color or anything. No sorting, just lining. He stopped doing it for awhile, but recently began again in full force. He does it with cars. He does it with shoes. He does it with sheets of paper. Sometimes in the toy section at Walmart, he will get every toy of one kind down and just put them in a straight line.

It's one of those things that I laugh at, and it is fun to see him doing something totally seperate from anything Big Brother ever did. Mostly, I think it is cute. At the same time, I am a mom who likes to be prepared for the worst, so even though my mother-in-law told me that her oldest son did the exact same thing (and he is intelligent and successful), I still found myself googling "lining things up + 2 years old + autism." Turns out that a lot of kids with autism like to lines things up, but it isn't a sign of autism. And Gabe doesn't exhibit any of the true signs of autism - which I pretty much already knew, but had to be sure of - and it turns out that a lot of two years in the general population like to lines things up as well.

Last winter I remember googling "stuttering + preschoolers," because Colin was getting stuck on words quite often. He could take twenty seconds to say one sentence, and I was doing my best not to draw his attention to it or make a big deal out of it. It got really bad when he was excited about something, so the the word "Christmas" seriously became "Chri chri chri chri chri chri chri chri chri chri chri Christmas." Chad and I talked about how sad it would be if our confident and social little boy had to deal with a challenge like stuttering. I had heard that kids his age, especially boys, go through this stage, but it still freaked me out enough to investigate. I found out that it was so common in boys his age that it wasn't even called stuttering, it was called "pseudostuttering." If it lasted more than a few months, got worse, or if he started to be self conscience about, I needed to worry. I remember leaving to go to Aaron's wedding the day after Christmas, and when I returned a week later, after not seeing Colin for a week, all of the sudden the stuttering had almost completely disappeared.

Sure, I have done the usual fun things with Google, like typing in my name or Chad's name. Last time I looked, you could still find an article I wrote about Survivor. What a dork. Chad's name is a little more common and there is even a ChadColeman.com that belongs to a photographer.


Most of my googling though, besides the everyday surfing, is similar to the two previous examples - the googling of a slight worry wort. It probably all started with "jaundice " when Colin was a tiny yellow baby, and I imagine it will continue long past the next 16 years. So far my search results have always brought a sense of relief and assurance, so I consider myself one fortunate mama.

Colin throws caution to the wind






Colin has always wanted to try skateboarding. Today he met a friend at the playground who let him try his skateboard. He was very excited, and he did a pretty good job. No big falls because he took it slowly. Gabe enjoyed full use of Colin's car.

FHE


We carved pumpkins last night for FHE. I was really surprised because Chad really got into it this year. He did the cat (on the left) and the guy on the right. Gabe lost interest very quickly and colored instead.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Slick Deal


Family Video has Ratatouille on sale this weekend for $15. If you sign up as a new customer and use coupon code NEWPGMEM or NEWMEM5F, you will get $5 off that price. Shipping is only 99 cents, so that makes the total cost of your just-released Pixar DVD $11! Can't beat that. They also have the same deal for Meet the Robinsons. Just in time for early Christmas shopping!


The party never ends







Three more pictures from Friday night.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Trunk or Treat




Our ward had a potluck and trunk or treat last night, so the boys got to wear their costumes. Gabe wore the king costume that my mom made for Colin two years ago when she came over for Gabe's birth. I felt kind of guilty having him wear big brother's hand-me-downs instead of getting him a new costume, but look at it! It is too cool a costume to only use once! He got so many remarks about it last night.



Colin decided about a month ago that he wanted to be a scarecrow and has been very excited about it ever since. He points out scarecrows wherever we go. I think he was pretty happy with the way his costume turned out.



I stopped raining last evening so we got to do it outside. Hooray! It had been raining since Tuesday and we are so glad for the moisture.






Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Free Martha Stewart Greeting Cards


If you hop on over to Kodakgallery.com/marthacards, and use the code MARTHACARDS, you can create two free greeting cards. Take note that it only applies to the accordian fold cards and you still have to pay for shipping, but if you were already planning on making a special card for the grandparents or your spouse this holiday season, it is well worth it. They are super cute too! You can use up to eight pics!

Can I do it?


Have you ever been in a rut? Well, I am in a health rut right now. I have basically been eating whatever I want, when I want it, for the last month or so, and I am feeling the results. My body is not happy, and neither is the mirror (I haven't even had the courage for about three weeks to ask the scale if he is happy - and yes, it is a he).


But when is the absolute worst time to diet? How about Wednesday, Oct. 24th? All of the Holiday festivities about to burst forth and the air is just crisp enough to make me think of creamy soups. Plus, I hope to be, uhm, with child in the not too distant future and of course dieting is a no no then.


I have decided that I really don't have the power to avoid going overboard with the sweets this year, so I am going to avoid them altogether.


I, Katie Coleman (legally Jeppson), will give up sweets until the end of the year. I will be allowed one helping of one "treat" per week. If I fail at this endevour, I will be required to post about it here.


In addition, I will be requiring myself to participate in some form of exercise for at least twenty minutes every day.


I won't torture myself with calorie counting, and I'm not sure when I will even hop back on Mr. Scale, but I WILL get out of the rut.


By the way, the Lindor truffles are there because that was my final treat last night. Six of them. Boy oh boy, those things are good.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Help!

N
I am in charge of preschool this week, and today we did the letter M. It was easy.
Maracas, Muffins, Mooses, Moroni, Mommy, Music, Mail.
On Thursday, we are supposed to doN. Can you think of any fun words that start with N? Snacks that begin with N?
Maybe an animal?
Picture books that begin with N?
All I can think of is Nachos and Nephi. Seriously, I am going to Walmart tomorrow to buy supplies, so if you can think of anything before then, please let me know!

Another thing to love about Autumn



Long and snug new pajamas on two adorable boys.

Rematch!


Sunday night - and the win goes to Katie!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Why I love Autumn


Sure, the leaves are pretty, the air feels great, but what I really love is the earlier arrival of darkness. The kids were both asleep by 7 pm last night - a feat I could only occasionally accomplish during during the summer, and even then only with the help of a black curtain on a spring-rod and no naps.


Chad had me creep in to see how Colin had fallen asleep in his bunk bed and I managed to take this picture without disturbing them. On our way out, Chad tripped over a blasted toy and woke Gabe up! He didn't go back to sleep until 8, but we still had enough time in the evening left to get in a game of Scrabble. Chad beat me in the last two rounds and I am still steaming about it.

Who needs Curious George?


We have had our satellite back for what, a week now? (We cancelled our original appointment that I previously mentioned). Already, Gabe is a major Diego addict. He walks around the house singing "Dieeeoh! Doh Dieoh Doh!". He sits in front of an entire episode and answers the questions - "Noooh! Noooh! Nooooh! Dah!" He always get the third question wrong (because it is yes and he always says no first) but corrects himself when the right answer is revealed. I guess I should have realized Gabe would be like this - when he was just a year old he would pat right along and raise his arms to the Little Einstein's blast-off.


Like any mom, I don't want to my kids to be TV addicts, but there are certain times of the day when it has its benefits. Like when it is 4:30 and I am trying to start dinner. The kids have had enough of each other, and of me, and we are all just waiting for Daddy to get home. The TV really saves me then.


Does putting the picture of Gabe in black and white make TV watching look like a more wholesome activity? Okay, I tried.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Way I Am


Have you had that song from the Old Navy sweater commercial stuck in your head lately? Chad and I have. It's by Ingrid Michaelson and here is a link if you want to hear it. It's sweet.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It's 2 am, what's up with your friends?




Before last night, it had been a year since I went out at night without Chad or the kids. The last occasion was Oct. 11 of 2006, when I went to see the "So You Think You Can Dance" tour with my two sister-in-laws, Sabina, and Audra. It was a night to remember and we giggled like school girls when we got to meet the top ten afterwards and take our pictures with them.


This is the TV show I hold dearest of all. During the summer, I sit enraptured though every show and Audra and I have hour long conversations after each episode about the performances and choreography.

When the tickets went on sale for this year's tour, Audra and I were online the second the presale started, brandished with our passwords. That was in August, and we have been looking forward to it ever since.

The three of us went to the tour again last night. The dancing was spectacular and when the last number was over I was so sad. I really wanted more. We made our way out of the arena determined to meet the stars again and get our silly pictures. As we rounded the corner and discovered that they had again set up an autograph area, we were excited and good ol' Audra found us a spot right against the barricade where we would be able to snap shots with everyone. I pulled out my cell phone and discovered that Chad had called three times. That alarmed me because he told me before I left that he wasn't going to call and bother me. When I checked my voice mail, I got a message that no mother wants to hear - "Katie, this is Chad, call me as soon as you get this." If Chad calls me Katie, I know it something is wrong.




I called quickly and Chad said that Colin woke up, vomited, and was now having a really hard time breathing. I immediately thought of croup because of the boy we babysat on Monday. I told him to look it up online. Chad was frustrated and I could tell Colin must be bad by the sound of his voice. We talked a few more times, with me giving him suggestions, and him getting more and more frustrated. Chad kept telling me to stay where I was, but I could tell that he was not feeling good about the situation. He finally called and said he was going to the ER, and again told me not to leave. Chad was on his way out the door but couldn't find Colin's sandals, which is a perpetual problem for us, and he was pretty much yelling with frustration at this point. I was torn. Maybe that isn't something I should have been torn about, but I could tell it was croup, and I have read all about pretty much every childhood illness out there, and I could tell Colin was going to be okay, and he had his Daddy taking care of him. And I was frustrated myself - this was the night had been waiting for all year. I knew that Chad was panicked, but I knew that he would handle it. If I left it meant that Sabina had to go too (because I had given her a ride) and it meant Audra would be left to meet everyone by herself. Then I thought about taking pictures with everyone, and I knew it really wouldn't be fun for me, and that every time I looked at those pictures I would think "I took that picture while my little boy was in the ER." As soon as I thought, that I knew what the right (and what should have obvious) decision was. Really, I know, I am a horrible mother for not coming to this decision earlier. You don't have to tell me.

When I got there and saw Colin in his PJ's, laying on the bed, and heard him wheezing with every breath, I couldn't believe I had thought about not coming (but still wondered if Audra had met anyone yet :o). Colin gave me a little smile. He wasn't talking at all because he was having such a hard time breathing, but he was being so brave, and Chad said he was already improving. They had declared it croup and were now waiting around for some sort of treatment that, of course,was slow in coming. Chad decided to take Gabe home.

The nurses gave Colin a nebulizer, which is basically a concentrated and portable humidifier. Then they took X-rays. After that we waited over an hour to have the Dr. come in and tell us that it was a mild case of croup, and that if his breathing got bad again to put him in the bathroom with the shower on, or to take him out into the night air - both tips that I already knew, by the way. I know that Dr.'s are doing their best in ER's and that it's not an ideal working situation, but it is really hell to sit there for hours on end, and after Gabe's spinal-tap, RSV incident in the ER when he was five weeks old, I have had a certain, more extreme, loathing for the whole experience.

Colin breathing got better and better, and he got more talkative by the minute. He starting messing around with me, purposely making his breathing sound like a pig, and sticking his knee through the (embarrassing) hole in his PJs. Towards the end, he actually said, "This is fun!"

We got home at 2 am, and Colin was wide awake. He ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and I brought him into our room, where Chad had already set up the humidifier and Colin's old toddler bed. I opened the window to let some night air in. Colin and I both tossed around in bed until almost 3, when we finally fell asleep.

Gabe insisted on getting up at 6:30, despite his very late night, and Colin woke up, feeling just a little wheezy, at 8 am. Chad got up at 8:30 and is working from home this morning and going in later. I am hoping that I can get both the boys to take a nap at the same time at some point today so that maybe I can catch a little sleep, and I am praying that Gabe doesn't get croup .


And I can't wait to see if Audra got any pictures.

Monday, October 15, 2007

My lot in life? (not for weak stomachs)


Today I watched a little boy from our ward. He had croup over the weekend, but seemed to be recovering. His mom metioned that he had said this morning that he just wanted to lie down, so we sat him on the couch in front of the TV right when he got to my house. After just a few minutes though, he was up and playing with the boys. I was on the computer when Colin came running in and told me, "Matt is throwing up in the kitchen!" Poor poor boy. It was everywhere and he was miserable, soaked and stinky.

Now, this wasn't that big of a deal - something that all moms have dealt with. And at least it was in the kitchen, where I could just mop the floor repeatedly. However, this is just one incident in a long line of similar stories.

Sorry to my nephew Evan for telling this story but I need it to prove my point - Evan has been having some accidents since I started watching him. He is three, so it is understandable. The only bad accident was the day he tried to go number 2 and didn't quite make it, and it ended up not just on the floor of the bathroom, but on the walls. Again, I feel sorry for the boy, and really this is another thing that most mommies have to deal with....

But this is where it all started.....

When I was a freshman in college, I took a job at BYU Bookstore as the daytime custodian. This was actually a great job because I mainly washed the glass doors at the entrance and cleaned up spilled Jamba Juices. My first day though, was not so great. I was just being trained, and it was Education Week, when women from all over the nation gather to buy BYU Bookstore fudge. It was quite crowded and we got a page saying someone had thrown up on the top floor. My trainer led the way up the service elevator with a mop and bucket, and when we arrived, we saw that the mess extended from the customer service desk, down the hall, and into a bathroom stall. And it was brown. And it didn't smell like vomit. An elderly lady had had an accident (how sad is that? the nice thing is that the bookstore donated her a new set of clothes) At this point, my pregnant trainer told me that she was really sensitive to smells and asked if I could clean it up. Thus begun my career as a custodian.

Valentine's Day, 2000. Chad is on his mission, the Bookstore is drenched in pink, and I am dressed in black. I get a page saying that there is mud in the aisle on the second floor. As I make my way up there to evaluate the situation, I get two more pages from two more people about the same incident, only they aren't as sure that it is mud. I arrive to find that Sharkie, a well-known seeing eye dog on campus, has had an accident in front of the Women's Section. Then I realize that I have locked my custodial keys in the office, with all the mops and buckets. While finding someone to unlock it, class gets out, and of course hundreds of students beeline through the Bookstore into the Wilkinson Center, through the dog poo. I cannot tell you the dirty looks I got while cleaning that one up. Happy Valentine's Day.

I also once had a pregnant cashier page me to tell me that she had just vomited on the floor in the Women's bathroom.

This was not normal. My brother worked this same job for twice as long as me without ever cleaning up body waste, human or animal, and none of my coworkers did either.
Some people save lives, some people create masterpieces, and some people......

Should we sue?




Yesterday Chad stepped on a carpet tack that was not nailed down as it should have been by the builder of our house. This picture doesn't do it justice, but he bled all over the kitchen floor. Of course we didn't have a first aid kit, so I taped a clean rag on his foot with packing tape.


As soon as Bobby walked in and saw the bandaged foot, he asked if Chad stepped on a Foreman. Then Levi came and made the exact same joke! Then Audra walked in and asked if Chad liked the smell of bacon in the morning. So funny. (All allusions to "The Office, in case you don't know. Funny funny funny episode.) I wish we had some bubble wrap!


Don't you love the look on Audra's face?

Some pics from the birthday




Happy Birthday to Gabe!

Wearing his beloved hat, Gabe celebrates turning two!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Two pictures (I hate my camera)



First things first- my camera's screen broke about a month ago, and it was not at all my fault. One minute I was using it and it was working. I turned it off, turned it back on again a few minutes later, and the screen was white. I have put off sending it in to get it fixed because I knew I wouldn't have it back in time for Gabe's birthday, and I absolutely have to have it for that. In the meantime, I have been guessing at whether or not I am getting what I want to in each shot and taking a lot of bad pictures. This is my third camera in a year, and only one of those loses was my fault.


Yesterday, the camera completely broke my heart. Gabriel's second birthday is tomorrow, so Chad took Friday and next Monday off so that we could have a big weekend as a family. On Friday, we left Charlotte in the morning and drove to Asheboro to go to the zoo there. Then we went camping nearby. I charged the camera battery the night before and packed it. At the zoo, I took two bad pictures and then heard the beeping sound telling me that the battery was dead, and it turned off. I was devastated! There are few things that bother me more than not being able to take pictures on special occasion. A little silly, I know, but it feels like if I don't have pictures of something, it never happened. I actually had to take some deep breaths and remind myself that I don't have pictures of most of our family trips growing up, but I still have wonderful memories of them. I don't have to have pictures for it to be a success (yeah right!)


I won't deny that having a camera did dampen the day for me, but it was still beautiful. The weather was perfect. Both of the boys stayed happy the entire time. We saw a baboon balancing a ball on his head and climbing branches, and the seal lions were as graceful as ever. This is our second time at this zoo, and we really like it. The animals are not in miserable little cages, which makes all the walking you have to do worth it.


The camping went perfectly. We hadn't even seen the campsite before we went, and to my relief, it was turned out to be "real" camping instead of lawn camping - we were surrounded by natural foliage, far from any other campers, and perched right above a lake. Our foil dinners were cooked perfectly (I remember them taking so much longer when I was a kid) and Colin got almost all the marshmallows that he wanted (we made him stop after four marshmallows and a s'more because he once barfed about eight of them up after going a little crazy).


We had to pack up at the crack of dawn this morning and come home in time to shower for Colin's soccer game, but the kids were total troopers. It was such a great little trip!


PS - I am hoping that something just went wrong in the charging stage with my camera battery - like maybe I didn't plug it in all the way or the outlet wasn't working. I am trying it again right now and crossing my fingers that I will have a working camera for the big boys' birthday.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Pumpkin Huntin'


















My sister-in-law Audra was kind enough to invite us to go with them to visit her parents last weekend. They live right off of the Blue Ridge Parkway just over the Virginia border, about two hours from Charlotte. Audra's parents have retired on their farm in the mountains, and they are kind, down-to-earth, and extremely gracious people. Chad and I have been there six times now and we love love love it there. The minute we reach their house, with it's huge porch, amazing views, and fishing ponds, the stress just magically begins to melt away. I could just nap away my life if I lived up there.

On the day we arrived, we went to a pumpkin patch that a neighbor of their's owns and they let us do all the pumpkin huntin' that we wanted. I love to look at pumpkins, with their different shapes and hues of orange. The kids had a great time and we came home with five pumpkins of varying sizes. Gabe thought that they were for throwing, so we had to keep an eye on him. What a rascal.

By the way, the all red thing was on purpose, but not for the picture. Colin had a game earlier, and we always wear red to show support for the "Red Dragons" and then when I changed Colin after the game I dressed him in red without even realizing it.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Okay, so I love TV


If you haven't seen the deleted scene from last night's episode of "The Office," check it out here. It is good for a few more laughs.


I wasn't sure how I would like Ryan getting Jan's job because it was so over-the-top and unrealistic. However, I am impressed with the humor that the writers have created from the situation. And although I think B.J. Novak is a funny person himself, I have never really liked his acting in the character of Ryan, even when I thought the character was funny. B.J. always seemed unnatural to me, and maybe that was just me. However, I really think the acting has become more believable with this development. I don't know how much sense I am making, but B.J.'s acting has always seemed like someone who has taken on more than they can handle, a little akward but still denying in any way that they can't handle it - which is why he always seemed at his best during scenes like the one where Ryan went on a sales call with Stanley, and which is why I think this direction is good for him. He is so perfectly pompous and self-centered and just such a jerk, but also so easy to see through and so obviously what Chad and I refer to as a "business spanker", which is a term that won't make sense to most of you, but MBA programs are populated with them (think Tanner building at BYU), they like to "network," and you probably even have some of them in your ward (possibly in positions of "power"). Chad would be in grave danger of becoming a "business spanker" if he weren't so aware of them and ready to laugh at them. And if he hadn't once worn a swimsuit (with a jacket) to work. Anyway, that's a whole 'nother topic.

Oh, and wasn't it great to see Toby acting out a little last night? Now there is an actor that is PERFECT in his role..


Oh, and Creed asking for Red Bull! So funny.

I love Tina Fey




Have you seen 30 Rock? We stumbled upon it towards the end of last season, and found ourselves laughing and asking "Why haven't we heard more about this show?" Since then we have been renting the DVDs of Season One to catch up. Last night's season premiere didn't disappoint - especially since Jerry Seinfeld appeared, as himself, to protest "Seinfeldvision." It was great, and after it was over, Chad even said something to indicate that he thought it was funnier that "The Office". Holey Moley! Check out NBC's website to watch the episode.




BTW, Thursday nights are such a Chad and Katie event. Maybe this sounds a little pathetic, but it is so refreshing to have our shows back for the season. You all know that Chad and I love to laugh, especially together, and Thursday nights are like little happy bonding sessions for the two of us. It is rejuvenating. Honestly, everything that I find funny is way funnier when I am sharing it with Chad. I never even watch The Simpsons by myself, but I love watching it with Chad. Just knowing that he gets the humor in the same way that I get it....it works the other way too - have you ever shown someone something that you think is hilarious, and they totally don't get it and you really can't bring yourself to laugh either?




Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Oh, the wonders of the universe.





The kids found a really pretty grasshopper last Saturday. It kept them busy for a good twenty minutes. After admiring from a distance for awhile, they got more hands- on, and in the end they had it inside the car, driving it around. Poor thing.

Monday, October 1, 2007

What Saturdays are all about















On Saturday, all the Charlotte
Jeppsons and Colemans got together and went to Copperhead Island (which, btw, is actually a peninsula). It is a really cool park, with boardwalks and trails around the waters of Lake Wylie. The kids all ran ahead and laughed with each other, and we adults got to stroll at a leisurely pace. It was a nice cool day, and it was wonderful to spend some time outdoors. Aunt Audra made crowns for all the kids from various weeds and leaves. They were quite proud.


Afterwards we all went to our house and had pizza around the new TV. The men watched football while Audra and I went off to view Ethiopian adoption stories on YouTube. If you ever feel like a good cry, look them up. Audra and I are both suckers for any good adoption story.



It was a really nice visit, and besides Gabe dumping Lettie's pie over to spite her, the kids all played together well.