Sunday, July 27, 2008

Railcats Again...

This is today's last post...and I think I'm staying home for a few days. This on-the-go stuff is wearing me out!

On Saturday, Keith came home from breakfast with the guys & reminded me that Wheatfield's town garage sale was going on. We hopped in the car, headed out, and spent a few hours finding bargain clothes for Alex. It was much hotter than we expected, but I guess it was worthwhile. We have a church full of bargain shoppers, I think, because we spotted an awful lot of familiar faces!

We spent the afternoon at home, then grabbed McDonald's and headed up to the Railcats game with the Huppenthal family. This was another $5 game for US Steel employees, so we decided to ask Dave & Christy to come along. We had a pretty good time! The game was rather boring, but we enjoyed just chatting & enjoying time together.

We're horrible about asking friends to do things with us. We always feel like we're intruding on other people's free time, or that they'll only come because they feel obligated. As a result, we don't often ask friends to do stuff with us. We really need to get over that & ask more often...because we have fun whenever we do! :)

Here are some pics...

The Huppenthals: Dave, Christy, Hope, Jonas, Joshua, Jovi

Us, obviously (we had all had seats, but finished watching the game in the grass)
Alex's first time laying in the grass...he wasn't so sure about that!
Hope with all the nachos
Joshua and the remnants of his cotton candy (look closely at his shirt!)
Alex meets RascalJovi's Nerd candy rope...she loved that!

Nana!! :)

Well, you're probably getting the idea that we had a rather busy week! I didn't get many pictures on Friday, but it was a fun day.

We started with breakfast at Grandma & Papa's house. Kevin & Leanne spent the night on their way to Wisconsin Dells, so this was a chance to visit with them and allow them to see Alex.

Alex & I headed home after breakfast so he could get a good nap, then Grandma picked us up & we headed up to Griffith to see Nana. We went for lunch at Chili's, then returned to Nana's apartment to visit for a while.
Nana has the kissing bears from Hallmark, and she shows them to Alex every time he visits. When you put the bears' snouts together, they make a kissing sound & the wings flutter. This was the first time Alex really reacted to the bears. Now we owe Nana some new AAA batteries, since Alex is wearing them out! :)

Time With The Schurmans

(I didn't proofread...sorry for any typos, but it's hard enough just keeping up with the blog, let alone proofreading this many new posts in one day!)

Last week Monday, Mom, Deb & Emma came to go blueberry picking. This is becoming an annual event, and it's fun! This year, it rained and rained in the morning. We waited until the rains passed, then headed out to pick. Since the blueberries were cleaned by the rain, it was even more tempting to eat them right off the bush! :)

Alex did well for a little while. He "helped" us by picking leaves and dropping them right into my bucket. Oops! After a while, he got bored & sleepy. I managed to get him to sleep, then Grandma took him to a picnic table for a nap in her arms. We finished picking, then headed back to my house for lunch and a little more time together.

I didn't get many berries this year, and I'm thinking about going to buy more soon. I've already been back for more of their fresh produce: corn, peaches, beans, green peppers. It's good stuff! The peaches and blueberries have both been used to make baby food. Alex has loved it! We've been mixing blueberries & peaches, peaches & bananas with cinnamon, bananas & blueberries. He's never really cared much for baby food fruit, just veggies...but he's devouring the fresh fruits. I wouldn't think it would be that much of a difference.

On Thursday, I headed up to Lansing for a day at Grandma Schurman's house. Alex & I spent about 1.5 hours with Grandma, then Grandma & I went to the grocery store while Aunt Donna & Emma babysat. It was so strange to be away from Alex while I did everyday chores. I felt like I was "using" Aunt Donna. I'm hoping she really did have fun...because it was nice to have time just for Mom & me, even if it was just a trip to Ultra and the health food store.
The health food store!!! That means dairy free ice cream, a dairy free ice cream sandwich, and dairy free soy cheese & soy yogurt. The ice creams are good, but I haven't tried the cheese or yogurt yet. I'm used to eating yogurt & cheese every single day. I miss them sooo much! I'm just afraid to try them, for fear they won't taste anything like the real stuff.
In the afternoon, Aunt Janice came over with Kate & Josh. They brought their foster puppies along, so Alex got to play with 6 week old Reeses & Peanut. (Peanut is the lighter one.) They are so adorable! The puppies are just too sweet! If I was crazy, I'd adopt one of them. I think one dog and one baby are enough for now, though! :)
It was so nice to have a lot of time with my family this week. I feel like they all lose out by living an hour it was nice to spend 2 days with them this week! :)
The pictures below are not in any order.

Big Boy Bathtub

It's official: Alex is a big boy. He is no longer taking his baths in the kitchen sink. After the "baby overboard" incident involving a wet, slippery Alex trying to dive out of the sink, I started to think about moving him to the big tub. So, he's now in the quacking inflatable tub from Grandma. He loves the freedom to wiggle around & play with tub toys! I love that the sides are padded & spare him from whacking his head if he wobbles!

After far too many nights of very little sleep, we decided to try adding a bath into Alex's bedtime routine. He just went through a really rough couple of weeks, and nothing we did seemed to make a difference. I sat down & reread Babywise, then reviewed a lot of information from another book called No Cry Sleep Solution. We created a new bedtime routine with a warm bath, lotion massage, pajamas, nursing, cuddle time, and then down to bed by 8:30 PM. He's actually been sleeping sooooo much better since the first night we tried this. Thank goodness! We went from being up every 1.5 - 2 hours during the night to sleeping from 8:30 PM until at least 4:30, nursing, then sleeping until 6 or 6:30 AM. That's fine by us...everyone in the house is much more rested & happy. Alex is now napping much better, too. We're cautiously optimistic that we've "fixed" the problem. Of course, there will always be bad nights, but I think we've broken the habit of waking so often. We'll see, I guess!

Local entertainment, finally!

Getting caught up...

Last week Saturday was a dreary, rainy day. With not much else on the agenda, we decided it was a good afternoon to head to the new bowling alley in Wheatfield. Keith had been there on Monday night with Kyle & Jessica, and he wanted me to check it out, too. It's pretty nice! We finally have something fun to do without driving to Merrillville or Rensselaer!

Alex was good boy, and he just sat in his stroller with a big smile on his face. He seemed to enjoy watching all the activity around him.

Keith bowled pretty well. I did not. My two games added together did not equal one of his games. I really have no bowling skills. Sometimes, I am a pretty good bowler. I've scored over 200 before. Most of the time, my bowling is pathetic. If only I could figure out what I do when I happen to bowl well!

Afterwards, we went to Luke's for an early dinner. We've eaten there often enough lately that we should see if they'll give us a frequent customer discount! ;)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Mama In The Kitchen

If you know me well, then you know that sometimes I am a good cook. Other times,' (Fried kitchen, anyone?!) Today, I managed to be both a good cook and an awful baker.

The good stuff first: I realized that it's costing us about $1 per day to feed Alex solids right now. That's up to $31 per month, and the cost will only grow as he eats more. Yikes! We can afford it, but WHY? So...I decided to try making homemade baby food. I started simple...with a free bag of frozen peas & carrots. (Meijer had a sale - 2 bags of frozen veggies for $1. I had coupons for .50 off per bag. Free!) I cooked it up, pureed it, added a little rice cereal & a pinch of spice...YUM! Perfect consistency, great taste (Alex inhaled the stuff from the spoon...and I thought it was pretty tasty, too). It was just what I'd hoped for. Yay! I froze 5 servings and fed him what was left (about 1/2 serving). So, for the cost of a couple tablespoons of rice cereal & rice milk, I have 5 containers of food. That would be $2.50 with store bought food. Score one for Mama!

Now, to admit the bad stuff: I figured that the peas & carrots went over well, so why not try for another success in the kitchen? Dairy Free teething biscuits are kind of pricy: $3.00 for 12 biscuits at Meijer. I found a website with recipes for homemade teething biscuits. It's a website I trust, and they label this as their favorite teething biscuit recipe. I figured that was the best recipe to try. Obviously, I did SOMETHING wrong. Now, if only someone could tell me just what it was...because I thought I followed the recipe exactly. If you want burnt rectangular sugar cookies, I did a great job. If you want dairy free teething biscuits for your baby, well...have someone else try this recipe. I can't do it! :)

I'm going to try a different teething biscuit recipe next week. If I don't succeed, then I give up. Buying store-bought biscuits is probably cheaper than throwing away all these homemade batches before I get it right!

(By the way, yes, I do know about nitrates & homemade baby food carrots. I did my research. I'm comfortable with what I learned & what I did today *Ü*)

Thursday, July 17, 2008


(I've asked Keith to post about our camping trip, so you'll have to wait to hear about that adventure until he has some free time. Sorry!)

Kyle & Jessica stayed with us from Sunday night until Wednesday afternoon. They caught the tail-end of the Avenue at Tysens on Sunday evening.

(That's Hayden Kerns, who was born 3 days before Alex. She has hair. Poor Alex!)

Keith took them bowling at the new lanes in Wheatfield on Monday night. The bumpers are programmed to go up/down to meet each player's needs. Cool! They seemed to have an excellent time, and Keith said it was pretty clean/smoke-free in there. He has pictures on his cell phone. I don't think it's worth 25 per pic to get them off of the phone, so you'll just have to imagine the bowling alley.

We spent a lot of time playing with the VanDeel kids. They were here all day on Monday, playing softball & kickball, having a picnic in the backyard, playing Keith's drums, playing sidewalk chalk games on the driveway, and the list goes on...

On Tuesday, I went to Bible study & the kids played water games at church. We came home for a few hours, and then Dan VanDeel was sweet and took the whole bunch of kids to swim at Deb Wood's house. All I'll say about that is...never send them with chocolate as a snack on a 90 degree day. What was I thinking?!

Keith & I took the kids to KFC for dinner - Kyle's favorite! Kyle's a big eater...that $3.99 kids buffet doesn't factor in the kids who eat like garbage disposals! :) Kyle made a deal with Keith that if he ate 20 pieces of chicken, Keith would give him $5. I think he made it to 9, but still...I was stuffed after 3. Where does that kid put that food? LOL!

We came home & watched Spiderwick Chronicles. The kids own the movie, but this was our first time seeing it. I think both Keith & I dozed on and off through the movie. (Thanks, Alex...) What I saw was intriguing, though. Interesting concept.

On Wednesday morning, we did a photo shoot at home since our plans to go to Picture People didn't work out. More or less, I let the kids pick the poses & just have fun. We had lots of giggles here, especially when our "photo studio" came crashing down on their heads. Here are the results:

Saturday, July 5, 2008

4th of July weekend (part 2)

Keith let me sleep in today! Alex woke up at 5:30, ate, and went back to sleep. Keith got up with Alex when he woke for the day, and I slept until 8:00. Ahhhh! :)

Keith decided it too nice of a day to stay home, so we called up Grandma & Grandpa Schurman to ask if they wanted to come with us to Indiana Beach. They were watching Emma today, so she came along, too.

Thanks, Grandma & Grandpa, for taking care of Alex while we did the "big kid stuff". We know you enjoyed it, but it must have gotten a little boring at times. We really appreciate it! Thanks for the funnel cake, too :)

Um, Alex, your daddy's hair is thin enough without your help!
Emma & Keith went on the Flying Bobs together. I love big roller coasters, but the little spinny things are not for me!
Keith also took Emma on a water ride. They got a little bit wet. Here's before & during...Then Emma & I went on the little submarine water ride. Here's before.
You can use your water guns to shoot at things around you, including the people waiting outside the ride. There are water guns along the fence next to the ride that others can use to shoot you while they watch the ride. Keith was standing near these guns, and he told the guy using it that the lady in the brown shirt was his wife. Thanks, Keith. Next time, I go on the log ride. You go on the submarine. ;)

Here's during/after:

Grandpa snuggled Alex to sleep while we were in the Lost Den of Thieves. Keith promised us a funnel cake if Emma & I could beat his score on this ride. Emma & I together didn't score as much as Keith scored alone, darnit! But Grandma bought us a funnel cake, anyway. Good Grandma! :)
Alex is finally starting to understand the purpose of a sippy cup. He's not too excited by it yet, but he loves to teethe on it. He seems to be okay with swallowing the water now instead of drooling it.

Oh, Alex got a free monkey today! While we were waiting in line for a ride, he must have charmed one of the workers at a game booth...because the guy gave him a free monkey. It's fucschia, rather girly, but Alex loves it. There's one more way to score free stuff...have a cute kid! ;)
Thanks, Grandma & Grandpa, for joining us in our last-minute fun! :)