Friday, November 14, 2008

Been awhile...

Man, I was doing so good with the blogging and then...NOTHING! Sorry to my 1-2 loyal readers ;) Here's what's going on with us...

Perry & Ella LOVE preschool. They love to paint, they love to color, they love to play with their friends, they LOVE IT! If you ask them about school, they'll mostly just talk about "Nick". Apparently Nick is a pretty outspoken kiddo, so don't get any ideas about a boyfriend ;) Lemme see if I can name all their classmates...Nick, Alex, Sean, Diego, Yerik, Collin, Lily x 2, Paris. I feel like I'm missing a couple, but these are the ones they talk about most. "Two wiwwees". Obviously "L" is still a hard letter to pronounce. Hence poor Luca's name "Wooka" or "Wooky". And they also love Miss Sue...she is the teacher's aide. They have 3 teachers in total.

At their parent teacher conferences, we were told that they both smile and say "uh huh" a lot and that they're great cleaner-uppers. Dave thought they were probably a teacher's that are agreeable and help clean up...what more could you ask for?!?! :) Apparently Ella "mothers" Perry and needs to learn to let her do for herself. That being said, when we got home that day, Ella promptly told Perry "quit picking" at her chapped lips. I think I've lost my job.

So obviously the girls are talking A LOT more. Every day I feel like I say "Where did you learn that word?" It's amazing. Such sponges. And Luca too...he says quite a bit, including some 3 word phrases like "I did it" and "I got it". He's definitely learning a lot from his sisters. The other day he was being a bit of a stinker and I told him he was going to have to go to time out if he kept behaving like that (I was joking b/c he has never been to time out) and he went over to the area where P&E sit for TO's, stayed there a few seconds, and then came over to me and said "sawwy". Awwwwwwwwwwww. :)

They are all growing. I feel like the 2T pants I just bought for P&E are already looking short on them. We go to the pediatrician for the girls' 3 year check up and Luca's 18 month check up after Thanksgiving, so we'll see how much they've all grown. My bets are that Luca is within 3 inches of the girls and within 1-2 pounds of them as well. I'll also bet that we start getting a lot more "are they triplets" comments by Luca's 2nd birthday.

We're sad to say good-bye to the warmer weather...and the daylight hours. This is my least favorite time of year, when it gets dark at 5 PM. Blech. I suppose we'll be putting our basement to good use more often now.

I can't remember if I mentioned it on here or not, but last February, we were told about the possibility (the very likely possibility) of us moving to NYC for Dave to work in the E&Y national headquarters for a 2 year period. We were very excited about living in the city and experiencing all it had to offer and our excitement grew and grew for about 7 months. Finally we were told that we would not be moving afterall. We're sad (me moreso than Dave, or so it seems) but we're not ruling out the possibility of spending time there down the road. I'm not fond of the idea of moving the kids around when they're in school, but I truly think that's an opportunity that cannot be passed up.

But for now, we are here. In O'Fallon. For a few years at least ;)

In vacation news, we thought we'd go skiing this year (the first year the girls could take lessons) but with Luca wanting to do EVERYTHING his big sisters do, we thought we'd better wait a year. So instead, we'll go back to "Mickey's Castle". :) We are on our way to becoming certified Disney freaks!

Oh and one more worthy piece of information. P, E, and L have a cousin...and Dave and I have a nephew! Noel Martin was born on Perry and Ella's birthday. Speaking of babies, Ella has recently started asking for more siblings. Apparently she wants 2 babies...little sisters. We'll see...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Disney Do-Overs

So, now that we're home and can look back at the week, we thought we'd make a list of things we would maybe do differently (or things we'd definitely do again) for anyone who might be planning a trip...or for ourselves if we go again in the near future. Hindsight is always 20/20, right?

So for future reference...

*September in Orlando is H.O.T. The average high temperature was around 90 degrees while we were there, which is pretty consistent with their monthly average...but the humidity/heat index was terrible. I don't know if that's "normal" or if it was b/c of hurricane Ike, but it was crazy hot! Heat = tired + cranky

*Disney World in September is also fairly crowded. September is usually a slow time for them and I guess in an effort to get more people to vacation at this time, they offer a free dining plan with a booking at some point early on in the many people were there taking advantage of that. Getting reservations for character meals was like pulling teeth. The lines for rides and shows weren't *too* bad, but entertaining 3 small kids for 45 minutes while you just stand there is obviously not ideal. The 10 and 20 minute ride lines quickly became our favorites...and fast passes!

*8 days/7 nights is too much time at Disney World with 3 small kids. I think Wednesday was the day everyone "hit the wall" and it probably would have been a good idea to leave on the 6th day. The fatigue might have been the reason the kiddos all got sick, they were just worn were the adults. We kept joking that we now need a vacation FROM our vacation. It's a go-go-go kind of trip and shortening it a bit would have probably helped.

Those were the 3 biggest things we would change about a future trip...time of year for weather and crowds and length of the trip. So a January trip for 5 nights sounds like a perfect solution!

Another thing I would do before our next trip is spend some time on the Disney message boards. There is some serious information on there, probably more than you would ever want to know about a Mouse theme park. Since it had been so long since I'd been to Disney (2002), it was pretty overwhelming to plan our trip, and visiting this site might have helped (or overwhelmed me more, who knows?). There is a Disney for Families section and I know I'll be browsing it a lot before our next trip.

Other little things that were nuisances but I'm not sure what can be done about them...

*Bus rides. The bus ride to and from the Magic Kingdom seemed like forever. Also there wasn't a "published" bus schedule so you never knew if you had just missed a bus or if one was coming shortly. Always a mystery. The day that Dave, Perry, Ella, and I went to MK, we waited 45 minutes for a bus. And imagine carrying 2 huge bags of stuff, 3 kids, and 2 strollers on and off the small feat, even with 4 adults.
-Now that I'm thinking back, we went to the Magic Kingdom 5 days while we were there...that's a lot of bus rides!!! Our easy walk to Epcot, short ferry ride to Hollywood Studios, and short bus ride to Animal Kingdom weren't bad at all though. And like I said above, there's really not much that can be done about this except to stay at 1 of the 3 resorts near Magic Kingdom...but then you'd have a long bus ride to Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom.
-This might be where the argument of going when your kids are older comes in...if you didn't need a diaper bag, changes of clothes, endless snacks and sippy cup refills, and strollers then the bus ride wouldn't be a bother at all ;)

*Groceries. We had a nice kitchen in our villa and brought along quite a bit of food, but unfortunately the Market Place in our resort did not have many grocery options for us. We made do...but towards the end of the week, we found out that we could have gotten groceries delivered to us. Without a rental car, we could not get out and shop the grocery delivery would have been great. Next time!

Changing pace here, these are the things that we will definitely do in the future...

*Advance dining reservations. For sure. No questions. We planned our trip about a month in advance and although we were able to score 3 character wasn't easy. And they weren't at ideal times nor were they are first preferences. That being said, the Ohana breakfast at the Polynesian and the princess dinner at Akershus Banquet Hall in Norway/Epcot were really good and I would certainly do them again. The breakfast at Cape May was good, but nothing to write home about ;)

*Plan to see more shows. I did not take into account that our kids would enjoy the shows as much, if not more than, the rides. Every show we saw, the kids were mesmerized. The other blog post lists the shows we saw, but there were still a few that we missed. The 3D ones are the best...even though Ella jumps every single time something flies towards her ;)

*Go to a waterpark. Our kids are most likely too short to ride many things at the waterparks, but I would still like to visit one with them. I guess I should do some research as to if one is better than the other for the "preschool" crowd.

*Take our own strollers. Stroller rentals in the park are around $15/day for a single and $30/day for a double. I was very glad we had our own strollers, although they always get put through the ringer when we gate check them. I do wish we had a sit n stand type stroller though. I think the girls might do well with a platform they could just jump on and off of...although they did fall asleep in their stroller a couple times and wouldn't be able to do that in a sit n stand.

*Spend more time at Epcot. Probably not with the kids...but with Dave. It was really nice to be able to just walk right over from our resort. The World Showcase is pretty cool, especially if you can drink your way through the countries. We started to after our princess dinner Sunday night, but stopped short in Morocco when we got the most horrible tasting Habibi daquiris you can imagine. Blech. Steer clear of those if you go!

*Visit Universal Studios. Disney is not really known for its adventurous rides and Dave and I still appreciate them, to a certain degree. We'll admit we are getting older and the jostling effect of wooden roller coasters does not appeal to us as much as it used to, but we do still love a good thrill. I would take an afternoon/evening and go check 1 of their 2 parks out.

*Use the Magical Express bus to/from the airport. It was nice not to have to claim our luggage and haul it to a taxi or deal with a rental car. We just waited a short amount of time for a bus and off we went! No carseats needed! Our luggage was brought to our room minutes after we were able to get into them. And we had the most friendly bus driver on the way back to the airport. At 6:30 AM, this guy was really workin' it for tips, but he kept us laughing :)

*Stick to my kids' schedule. We have created creatures of habit/structure/routine. They need naps at 1 PM and a bedtime at 8 PM. Yes, they can skip naps, take late naps, and stay up late occasionally, but not 7 days in a row. I think by getting up a little earlier (they usually wake at 8) and getting to the parks by 9 AM, we would be able to enjoy a good 4 hours before we would need to head home for naps. And then we could head back to the parks by 5 for the rest of the evening. We maybe wouldn't have to do this every day, but I think it would help tremendously with their moods.

*Stay on property, get park hopper passes, and do it up right! When you stay on property, you have access to the parks for extra magical hours, free transportation (bus, ferry, monorail), and you can use this super cool card (which is your room key and your park hopper pass) to charge anything and everything to your room!!! Awesome!

I'm sure there's much more and as soon as I publish this, I'll think of 10 more things. I'll add them in later if that happens ;) I hope this helps someone with their travel plans. And feel free to ask me any questions if you have one that was not covered here...

Thanks for reading!!

Disney Details

We're back!

I'm planning to make a couple different posts about our trip, but in this one I'll focus on the details of our trip. We went Saturday to Saturday, leaving St Louis on a 7 AM flight and arriving at our resort (by way of the Magical Express bus) around noon. We chose the Beach Club Villas b/c they had 1 bedroom villas with kitchens and a pretty cool pool area. We had planned on not being able to get into our rooms until 3 or 4 PM, so we packed our swimsuits in our carry ons and headed to the sand-bottom pools. Ella and Luca enjoyed the "beach" very much, but Perry still hates sand so she floated in her innertube without putting her feet on the ground ;)

We got into our room around 3:30 PM, threw the kids in the tub to get the sand off of them, and put them down for a nap. Around 6 PM, we headed to the Magic Kingdom b/c we thought there was a parade at 8 PM and fireworks at 9 PM, but they were really at 9 and 10 PM. We stayed for the parade (and rode a couple rides while waiting) and then went home. In retrospect, we should have stayed in that night and rested since we were in the car and on our way to the airport by 5 AM that day, but what are ya gonna do?

Sunday we had breakfast at the Polynesian with Lilo, Stitch, Mickey, and Pluto. We rode a bus to the Magic Kingdom and then took the monorail to the resort. All the kids enjoyed the breakfast VERY much. They absolutely adored all the characters and the girls and I marched in the "parade" too. We headed to the Magic Kingdom afterwards and were able to fit in a few rides before the crankiness set in. Instead of fighting it, we decided to go back to the room and get a quick nap in b/c Dave, the girls, and I had reservations for dinner that night. We were able to walk to Epcot from our resort, but of course our restaurant (Akershus Banquet Hall) was in Norway, which was on the opposite side of the world showcase from where we entered. After a bit of a wait in the hot sun, we were ushered in to meet Belle...and Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Jasmine, and Ariel were circulating throughout the restaurant as well. The girls were in heaven and instantly fell in love with "Sipper Bella" (aka Cinderella). After dinner, we walked through a bit of the world showcase and then headed home. We found out that night that we could see the Epcot fireworks from our balconies...very cool!

Monday we headed to Animal Kingdom. There isn't a whole lot to ride there, but we rode a few things and saw a very cool Nemo show and the Bug's Life 3D show. We headed back to Epcot that night (after naps) and saw the IllumiNations show at 9 PM. It started to drizzle a bit at the end and then turned into a full-on downpour on us. Fortunately, that was the only rain of the week, even though they were forecasting t-storms every day.

Tuesday we cancelled our plans to go to the waterpark and just hung out at the pool again. We thought it was important to get good naps in this day b/c we had tickets to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party that evening from 7 PM to 12 AM. The girls dressed up as princesses, Snow White and Belle...although they both thought they were Cinderella ;) We were able to ride quite a bit that night b/c there were not many people there. Dave and I rode Space Mountain twice in about a 15 minute time period. We stayed for a 10:30 PM parade and then rode the Haunted Mansion ride (which had been closed earlier in the night) and then headed home.

Wednesday we slept in and then took the ferry to MGM (which is now called Disney's Hollywood Studios). Kind of similar to Animal Kingdom in that there isn't much to ride, but they loved the shows. We tried to make it to a 3 PM Block Party Bash (parade) but only caught the tail end of it. This was the day that everyone pretty much hit the wall...heat exhaustion, crankiness, and fatigue caught up with all of us. We spent the evening in that night to try to rest up for the next 2 days. And unfortunately, all 3 kids caught a 24-36 hour fever/virus while we were there. Perry was sick on Tuesday/Wednesday and Ella and Luca were sick on Thursday/Friday. We think Luca's might have been teething-related, but aren't sure.

Thursday we had breakfast at Cape May at our resort with Goofy, Minnie, and Chip. Luca missed most of it b/c he wasn't feeling well and then he spent the rest of the day sleeping in our room with Grandma and Grandpa. Dave and I took the girls back to Magic Kingdom and tried to finish up all the rides/shows we wanted to do/see. We came home around 3 PM and spent the evening in since everyone was still feeling under the weather.

Friday we decided to skip the waterpark again and go back to Magic Kingdom. We rode the train from the front of the park to Toon Town and then did a meet and greet with Cinderella, Belle, and Sleeping Beauty. The girls were so cute chatting with each of the princesses. Cinderella asked if the mice helped make P&E's dresses and the other 2 princesses asked a few questions too. Ella did most of the talking...I think Perry was too in awe to say anything. We were able to ride a few more things and then had to head home to rest. We ended up staying in again to pack up for our plane ride home the next day. We had to be packed up and down in the lobby by 6:30 AM.

That's pretty much the gist of our trip. As far as rides and shows, here's what we did...

Magic Kingdom:
Tomorrowland Transit Authority
Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
Space Mountain (not the kids)
Indy Speedway
Goofy's Barnstormer Roller Coaster
Snow White's Scary Adventures
It's A Small World
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Peter Pan's Flight
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
The Haunted Mansion
Magic Carpets of Aladdin
Jungle Cruise
Pirates of the Caribbean
WDW Railroad

Mickey's PhilharMagic
Monsters Inc Laugh Floor
Enchanted Tiki Room

SpectroMagic Parade
Boo to You Halloween Parade

The Seas with Nemo and Friends
World Showcase

IllumiNations fireworks show

Hollywood Studios:
Toy Story Mania
Honey I Shrunk the Kids play area

Voyage of the Little Mermaid
Muppet Vision 3D

Block Party Bash

Animal Kingdom:
Kilimanjaro Safari
TriceraTop Spin

Finding Nemo the Musical
It's Tough to be a Bug

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade

Stay tuned for more posts on Disney!!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Weather, Disney, and Updates

Looks like Gustav, Hanna, and Ike are causing a stir in more than just the SW coastal states. Can you believe this weather (if you're in St Louis)? Low 70s/high 60s...and ALL THIS RAIN!?!? I'm not ready for summer to be over yet but the 10 day forecast only calls for highs in the mid to high 70s. Weird.

I would say at least we get to escape it in a couple weeks and go to Orlando, but who knows what the weather will be like down there in the middle of all these hurricanes? Eek!

Yup, like the website says, we're going to Disney World!! Grandma and Grandpa Bast will be making the trip with us. We're staying at the Beach Club Villas so we'll be a bus ride from Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, a ferry ride from MGM (or Disney/Hollywood Studios), and a walk from Epcot. We have 2 character meals planned (a breakfast at the Polynesian with Lilo, Stitch, and Mickey...and a dinner in Epcot with the princesses). The kids seem to love all the characters we've come in contact with at Worlds of Fun and Six Flags so we're assuming they'll love the Disney characters as well.

We've got park hopper passes for all the days we are there and we should hit each park at least once. So far we've planned to go to Animal Kingdom, MGM, Blizzard Beach, and Typhoon Lagoon once each...probably 3-4 trips to the Magic Kingdom, and 2 trips to Epcot. Maybe we'll get to visit Downtown Disney or Universal Studios as well. It's starting to sound like one of those vacations you need a vacation from when you get home!! Hopefully the kids will make due with napping in the strollers if they're tired or early bedtimes, but we're prepared to come back to the room in the afternoons for naps if needed.

In other news, P&E are doing very well at preschool. No word on if we'll get transferred to the Dardenne Prairie location anytime soon. I think Perry has already made quite the impression on one little boy...his mom told me that when we all got out of the car in the parking lot, he said "There's Perry!" Oddly enough, I don't think P&E have a clue who any of the other kids are, but I could be wrong.

They are definitely talking A LOT more now. Everyone who sees them comments on how much more they are saying. But I'm starting to understand why some parents told me to be careful what I wish for. I'm glad they're talking, don't get me wrong, but is it really necessary to repeat something overandoverandoverandoverandover again?? Oy vey.

Gymnastics class ended a couple weeks ago. I don't think we'll be enrolling in anything else for now. We have a credit at the rec center from the dance class that P&E got "kicked out" of so we can use that towards open swim. I might do a swim class with Luca at the Y, but probably not till later in the season. The kids seem to like going to the Y childwatch so if we do that 1-2 times/week plus P&E's preschool 2 mornings/week, I think we're covered in the activity department for now. The girls can start soccer and/or basketball when they turn 3, so we'll see!

Luca is doing well...getting teeth constantly. He has his 1 year molars, but still no canines on top and no lateral incisors or canines on bottom. So I'm sure some of those are starting to make their way to the gums. He has actually bitten (that doesn't sound right...sorry to the grammar police!) me on 2 different occasions. Mommy is NOT a teether!!! He's also had some nightwakings, which are not fun when you're used to 3 kids who sleep 11+ hours through the night. But he's cute as all get out and Dave and I think he's very smart for his age. He will follow verbal instuctions pretty well, he knows P&E apart (don't ask me how), and he repeats lots of words (the 2 newest are pepper and Ella).

Well, everyone is asleep in the Rogan house. Luca actually went down at 10 AM b/c he woke up at 6 AM, so I'm expecting him up any minute now (it's almost 1)...which is ironic b/c P&E just went to sleep. Ha!

Monday, August 18, 2008

1st day of school

Today was P&E's first day of preschool at United Services. They did VERY well...thanks to a year at Parents Day Out. We walked in, put their backpacks in their cubbies, I took Ella to the potty (she wears panties now), and said goodbye. Perry seemed a little sad for a second...I think it was because Ella and I disappeared to the bathroom for awhile...but she cheered up again when I suggested she go color with Ella.

Their schedule for the day is as follows:

9-9:20 - Arrival
9:20-9:35 - Opening (sing a song, go over the schedule for the day, etc)
9:35-9:45 - Fitness
9:45-9:55 - Small group activity (centers)
9:55-10:10 - Snack
10:10-10:30 - Outside time
10:30-10:45 - Story
10:45-11:35 - Activity time (trampoline and finger painting)
11:35-11:55 - Music and movement
12 - Dismissal

What a busy day! Their teachers are Miss Patty, Miss Natalie, and Miss Sue and they send home a weekly news bulletin which explains all the activities and skills they work on for the week. Seems very nice...but we are very much hoping to be transferred to the Dardenne Prairie location for convenience. Luca and I just barely had time to run to Super Wal-Mart and drop off the groceries at home before we had to go pick them up again!

Tomorrow is the girls' last day of summer PDO. We had considered putting all 3 kiddos there on Tuesdays throughout the year, but decided to go with preschool instead. So this will be their last time at FBCH (First Baptist Church of Harvester). Kind of sad :( But I have no doubts that this is the right thing for them. So we'll say goodbye to Miss Jamie and Miss Anita.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The busy life of a SAHM to 3 kiddos ;)

It's Thursday and I'm pooped. Seriously. Exhausted.

It's been a very busy, exciting week for us...but I can't help but wonder if it's the anemia. One of the many *fun* things about celiac is that anemia can accompany it. I *should* be taking 1 million grams of iron/day says Dr Zafar. I *am* taking 0 grams of iron/day. I mean, c'mon...the #1 side effect of iron pills is constipation. I'm a GI patient and you want me to take something that's gonna interfere with that system?!? Yeah, not gonna happen. BUT...I'm really starting to consider it to get some energy back.

Anyway, here's our busy week in rundown form...

MONDAY - YMCA day. I go to Zumba aerobics class while the kids play in the child care. They absolutely love it. The girls color and do other "big kid" projects while Luca explores and plays with all sorts of new toys. When I came to pick them up this week, Luca turned the other way when he saw me b/c he wanted to keep playing.

TUESDAY - PDO day. P&E went to PDO while Luca and I went to United Services to drop off P&E's forms for preschool enrollment and then we headed to Super Wal-Mart for grocery shopping. Doubled back to pick up P&E and headed home. I also have pilates on Tuesday nights, but as much as I dread it the entire day...I really do enjoy it. Plus our class went out for cocktails afterwards. The way I felt that night and the next morning confirmed that I am too old for mid-week partying ;)

WEDNESDAY - Grandma Rogan day. Grandma came to sit with baby Luca while I took P&E to the free movie again. We saw The Bee Movie with Kelly and Jakob. Then the girls and I walked across the parking lot to Red Robin for lunch. We had a balloon incident on the way out. Let's just say, 1 floating away and 1 popped balloon later, we were on our way home. I also got the distinct pleasure of helping Aunt Angela register for her baby (due in November) that evening, which was great fun, but walking around BRU all night wore me out and I'm not even pregnant!

THURSDAY - Grandma Bast day. Grandma came to sit with Luca while P&E and I were supposed to go to the Tot Swim at Wapelhorst Park in St Peters, but the weather had other ideas. With a couple phone calls to Kelly and Jakob, we changed our venue to Monkey Joe's.

Enter exhaustion.

TOMORROW - YMCA day again. We'll go for gymnastics class at 9:30 and then see where the day/weather takes us.

WEEKEND - Most likely a trip to Six Flags. And then it all starts over again. :)

Maybe it's not the anemia? Maybe it's just life with 3 kids?

Whatever it is, I'm very thankful to be this exhausted b/c it means I have kids to love. Kids who are healthy, active, energetic, and fun. Not everyone is this lucky.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Six Flags by the Numbers

Times we've been to Six Flags this summer: 3
Routes we've taken to get there or back: 3
Fastest route thus far: 44 to 141 to 40 - 40 minutes
Degrees: Low 90s
Train rides: 3 (2 little kid train rides + 1 big train ride)
Carousel rides: 3 (2 little kid carousel rides + 1 big carousel ride)
Rides ridden: 9
Times we filled up our $1 refill cup: 2
Funnel cakes eaten: 1
Frozen lemonades eaten: 1
Times Ella used the potty: 3
Times Perry needed her diaper changed: 3
Times Luca needed his diaper changed: 1
Happy/exhausted kids: 3

Gymnastics and Hemangiomas

We started gymnastics class at the Y today. It's P&E's 2nd time (we took them when I was pregnant with Luca in January/February 2007) and Luca's 1st time. They all seemed to enjoy it. P&E are much more "masterful" (if that's a word) on the equipment. I was able to snap a few pics, so look for those on the website in the next day or 2.

After gymnastics, we had to hightail it to Creve Coeur for an appointment with a new pediatric doc for Perry's hemangioma. I called Dr. Hagan's office a few weeks ago about doing a follow up appt and the secretary said they are no longer doing pediatric plastics there, so we were referred to Dr Borschel at Children's. Luckily, they have a west county office so we didn't have to go all the way in to Children's.

Anyway, we took in some pictures of when the hemangioma was at its worst and he took pictures of the pictures and new pictures of her hand today. He agreed that there seems to be some loose skin and discoloration still, but otherwise feels that the steroid treatments worked wonders. The solutions to the 2 "issues" though are 1) laser treatment that would require her to be under anesthesia for a few minutes with no down time and it would hopefully help the pink color to go away, and 2) surgery to remove the excess skin which would leave her in a splint for a couple weeks.

While we don't feel either option is *neccessary*, we are definitely keeping them in mind. I'd hate for her to wish that we had done something...if it ends up bothering her down the road. And in my experience in working with kids, they do notice even the smallest things. We'll see. Nice to have options.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

New Look

Just wanted to say that I revamped our blog site. I realized it didn't include Luca in it...after almost 15 months :) And hopefully this will be the start of more frequent blogging.

AND...Ella stayed completely dry again today! I think this is the 3rd day in a row! We even had an outing today...a movie date with Kelly & Jakob and a trip to Wal-Mart/Subway. She used the public potties twice and stayed dry (with a pull up).

Tonight I told her to try her best to keep her night time diaper dry. We'll see how it goes!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ella's Potty Training Update

Ella is doing SO well with the potty training, I thought it deserved another blog entry!

So I posted last Thursday that we had one pee accident. About an hour later, we had a poo accident and I think that was the turning point that we needed. It was pretty upsetting for her but I think it helped her realize how important it is to keep her panties dry and clean. It was naptime so I put a diaper on her, but after her nap, she was very good about telling us when she needed to go potty and no more accidents.

On Friday, we picked up where we left off but we had a small poo accident. Saturday and Sunday had one pee accident each day. But Monday and Tuesday, no accidents!!! And today, they went to PDO. I put a pull up on her but she kept it dry and she used the little toilet there 3 times! Woo hoo!! She was dry after her nap too.

Hopefully she'll keep that up for the rest of the week and we can go to panties all the time during the days! And I think we'll be able to get rid of the night time diaper soon after that.

Oh and we started using Smarties candies as a reward for pottying, but then it got to the point where she was going ALL the time to get candy...and of course Perry and Luca wanted some too ;) So we moved onto a sticker/chart reward system. Luca and I visited the dollar store today and picked up some "prizes". Good thing b/c she filled up her upstairs chart today. She picked the "red" present, which was a Strawberry Shortcake figurine. It wasn't easy explaining to Perry why Ella got a present and she didn't, but somehow, we managed.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Summer Summary

I feel bad when I don't blog, but then I think about the fact that no one probably reads this anyway :) I promise to do better. In the meantime, here is a summary of our summer thus far:


We went to Pensacola, FL for a week with Dave's family and to Kansas City, MO for about 5 days for Dave's cousin Justin's wedding. I'm sure you all saw the pictures so there's not much to recap on those trips, except that I am SO thankful that P&E actually walked down the aisle :) Woo hoo!

We would like to take another trip sometime in August - October, but we're not sure. We priced out a week at Beaches Turks & Caicos for the low low price of $12K...uh, that's not gonna happen. Club Med is an option since they are geared towards families as well. We'll see. Of course Dave would like to go somewhere sans kiddos. Dream on hubby ;)


In my last blog entry I said no more appts for the girls until age 3, but then I called to check in with Perry's plastic surgeon (for her hemangioma on her hand) and they are no longer seeing hand patients, so we've been transferred to a new doc at Children's. So of course he wants to see her to do an "assessment" so to speak. Shouldn't be a big deal, I think it is healing quite nicely.

Ella's ortho appt went well. They did x-rays and had her walk around and she was such a big girl! I was so proud of her. She IS knock-kneed (and that's the medical term) but not to the point of it being a concern right now. He said it may get worse before age 3 but then she should start to *straighten* out. He does want to see her next year though to check in with us...which is good. And he said Crocs are a great shoe b/c of their supportive arches...sweet!

Luca has his 15 month appt coming up at the end of this month and we need to get him in with the pediatric GI doc to do the celiac blood test. Not that we think he has it, but they recommended all the kids be tested since I have it.


We got put on the waitlist at United Services but they said they don't think they'll have 2 openings before school we got recommended to the Saint Peters branch. It's a lot further than I wanted to drive, so we're not sure what we'll do. For now, P&E are still at PDO in Harvester (for the summer) and are registered for the year as well, but we'll see. They have a preschool there too, but most schools want kids to be 3 by August 1st and unfortunately, we're not. :(

Oh and a cute story from PDO. I asked if P&E play with other kids or if they gravitate towards each other all the time and the teachers said they do a little of both. They have the kids hold hands to walk to the playground and the teachers have been making an effort to get P&E to hold other kids' hands, but on the way back in that day, Ella grabbed Perry's hand and when the teacher came over, she said "I hold Perry's hand"...and that was that :)


We are now official members at the YMCA here in O'Fallon. In addition to becoming members, I signed up for an aerobics class and signed all 3 kids up for a gymnastics class. They can all go together b/c it's 12-36 months. We'll get discounts on classes for the kids now and a lot of the aerobics classes are free, along with the nursery/child watch. So maybe P&E will be back in dance class soon?

We are also season pass holders at Six Flags. After our great experience at Worlds of Fun, we thought we'd give it a whirl. It's fun, but not as kid-oriented as WoF was. Dave and I hadn't been in years so it took us awhile to get reacquainted with the park. The kids' area is very spread out too. And I forgot how hilly it is...pushing 2 strollers and 3 kids around is quite the work out. Maybe we don't need that Y membership?? LOL!


The girls are talking more and more, which is great! They know lots of, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, white, black, gray, and khaki! Yup, khaki! And it is SO cute to hear them say it. Ella loves the number 2. Everything is 2. 2 trucks mommy? 2 monkeys mommy? 2. 2. 2. Of course we hear a lot of grunts, groans, and moans still too. It's a process.

Luca still mumbles "da da" all day long, but occasionally if you ask him to say things, he will repeat you. Especially "dog" and "no". And he's working on molars right now so he's a big drooly mess ;)

Potty training...

Yup, we've started. Today is actually the first official day. Ella is in big girl panties. I decided Perry's not quite as ready as Ella is, so Perry is in a holding pattern right now. She'll wear pull ups occasionally and her big girl panties OVER her diaper/pull up and she'll watch Ella in the bathroom, but no potty training for her yet. Ella has gone pee on the potty about 5 out of 7 or 8 times. The other times, she says she needs to go, but really doesn't. I figured as much. We just had our first accident. It was about 5-10 minutes before I was going to have her try again and she her panties, in her shorts, down her legs, in her sandals, on the carpet. Of course it couldn't be the tile or the deck. Ah well. At least the first accident is out of the way. I thought for sure she'd be upset about it which would work to our advantage, but she wasn't. So we'll give this whole thing a few more days and see how it pans out. If it turns out that she's not ready, so be it. Cuz Mommy's certainly not ready ;)

I think that's about it on our end. I won't dare say that we're not exciting, b/c every minute of every day is a thrill ride. Till next time!

Monday, May 19, 2008

So busy...

As you can imagine, life with 3 mobile toddlers does not leave much time to blog. I do keep the website updated though...which I'm sure is most important to all our "fans" out there :) Anyway, quick recap of the last 3 months...

No more major sicknesses, thank goodness! Ella had what appeared to be a 4 hour stomach bug in the middle of the night a few weeks ago and both girls ran fevers this past weekend, but other than that...pretty healthy. Knock on wood.

Luca just had his 12 month appt and is still growing growing growing. He's thinning out though, at 97th percentile for height and only 75th percentile for weight. Still has "Albert Pujols" thighs though...big and meaty. Ha ha.

No doctor's appts for the girls until age 3, but we do need to get them to a dentist sometime this year. Of course I'm in NO hurry to do that. Eek. Ella has an appt with an orthopedic doctor this week b/c we noticed she was standing on the insides of her feet. I don't know if she always does that or if it's something that will require shoe inserts or what? So we're going, just to be safe.

I had a GI doc appt last week and all is well with that. My last glutening was on our vacation in Vegas. My iron is still really really low, but stubborn lady that I am...I still won't take my iron pills. Who wants to be constipated?? Not me. I have enough bowel issues, thank you very much.

No news in the preschool/PDO department. Luca and I will be touring United Services tomorrow while P&E are at PDO, and if we like it, we'll put P&E on the waitlist for their Young 3 Preschool program for the fall. I'm sure the chances of getting 2 spots are slim to none, but we'll see. We also need to stop by the Dardenne Presbyterian Church and check out their PDO and preschool. We have spots where we are now, but it's a 20-25 minute drive which means Luca and I spend a good hour and a half to 2 hours driving back and forth every Tuesday. Not ideal.

P&E tried a new dance class at the rec center. It's for 30 to I think 48 month olds. The difference was the price...and the very important factor of "no parents allowed in class". Yeah, you can imagine, P&E did NOT do well. I ended up going in with them for most of the 1st class and then the teacher brought them out to us after 5 minutes in the 2nd class. She said they weren't ready, which I totally agree...but in their defense, while I was in the room during the 1st class, I did not think she was very good with the kids. Probably very good at dancing...just not good with toddlers. We got a pro-rated credit towards open swim or other classes there at the rec center. Good enough.

The verbal explosion has finally occurred. They are talking a lot...still whining a lot, but talking a lot as well. Perry says "AL-LAH, WHEREAREYOU?" all the time. They still call Luca "Uckey", poor guy. Riesy sounds like "Eesey". They say all the colors and know them *most* of the time. Occasionally we get some 2-3 word sentences and questions. It's very cool.

Luca has turned into a toddler all of a sudden. He started walking about 2 weeks ago and is very quick. He doesn't listen to "no", just turns around and flashes a big toothy grin (6 teeth now). He eats "big boy" foods, usually what Dave and I eat, but also some "baby/toddler" foods too. Cheese crackers are his absolute favorite. He's been on milk for a month or so but still uses a bottle. He'll drink from a sippy cup, but we're not pushing it right now.

If the weather would ever get and stay nice, we'd be outside nonstop. Our new deck was finished in late April and we couldn't be happier with it. Love it as much, if not more, than the basement. It's wonderful! For now, we can open the door and the kids go in and out as they please. I'm sure once it gets hotter, we won't be able to do that. The backyard neighbor kids love coming to play with the "babies" still. They are always amazed when P&E talk.

Our Vegas trip was a BLAST. Loved every second of it, except the 6 or so hours I was sick. But even with that, it was a great trip. We're headed to Pensacola, FL in June (6-13) and then Kansas City, MO for a wedding June 18-22. Hoping for another trip in August/September, but we'll see.

Have a great summer!

Monday, February 25, 2008

February Follow Up

Hello! Well, 2008 has not proved to be a healthier year so far :( Dave brought home the flu in mid-January, then Luca and I got it about a week later. Perry had our first ever ear infection and Ella ran a fever one night and had a bit of a cough, but otherwise, the girls stayed clear of the flu. Poor Luca was too young for Tamiflu so it lingered around for him the longest...he was out of sorts for close to 2 weeks. Everyone is relatively healthy now though. Not sure which is worse, the flu or the stomach bug. At least we didn't have to clean up puke though ;)

My new GI doc agreed with the celiac diagnosis and I confirmed it by accidentally having some sugar cookie with P&E at Barnes & Noble. I was nauseous almost immediately and spent the next 6 hours in a food poisoining state. Since then, I have been feeling very good though. I had a follow up with my original GI (who I will be staying with) and my iron was low again. Of course I'm not taking my supplements like I should be...whoops.

I registered the girls for "summer school"...they will continue with their PDO class through August. We're hoping to get spots at Dardenne Presbyterian for next year. It's a similar program but will only take about 5 minutes to get to as opposed to the 25-30 it takes us to get to Harvester. They also have a preschool, so eventually P&E can do that while Luca goes to PDO. We're gonna wait awhile to start Luca. The girls were 22 months old when they started and they had each other. Luca won't be 22 months until March of 2009 and he'll be all by his lonesome.

The girls enjoyed their dance class at the YMCA. They spent the first 2 classes pretty much just running around in circles, but towards the end of the session they were following the teacher. Ella more so than Perry. Our last class was cancelled b/c of the weather and I think we're gonna hold off on anymore dancing until they're 3 and can take it at the rec center where it's half the price. Unless we make a few trips to Great Aunt Carole's studio in Bethalto. We start swim class this Saturday I'm sure they won't miss dance too much.

We bought some preschool prep videos to help the girls learn their colors, numbers, and letters. During the 2nd viewing of Meet the Colors, Ella was identifying and repeating almost all of the colors. I have a feeling Perry knows them too, but was more interested in eating (we watched it during breakfast). She's my silent learner ;)

They definitely have a twin language b/t the 2 of them. They are VERY verbal lately, but it's mostly "jibberish". "USE YOUR WORDS" is the most common phrase said in this house.

Luca is crawling!! He only army crawls but he can definitely get around. Perry and Ella eat breakfast and lunch in booster seats on the floor in the bonus room, so he is quite the annoyance to them when they're trying to eat. He has also interrupted craft time and puzzle time. Good thing he's so cute :)

He is also expanding his eating habits. He's eating Puffs and Cheerios (picking them up himself) and has tried and liked a few different types of baby food lately...veggie chicken, sweet potatoes and corn, a tropical mix of guava/mango/banana, and pear/raspberry. He also eats YoBaby yogurt and tried diced peaches last night. We'll probably start giving him milk in a sippy cup within the next couple weeks. Such a big boy!!

The basement was finished up in mid-January and while we were all home with the flu, we moved most of the toys down there. It is very nice to have a place, away from the rest of the house, to keep all the toys...and the girls enjoy going down there. We still have some things in the upstairs bonus room, but it definitely looks more like a living room now instead of a playroom.

We are going to Las Vegas at the end of March, with Grandma and Grandpa Bast. We're staying at the Signature MGM which has suites with bedrooms and kitchens...and several pools. We're hoping it's warm enough to go swimming once or twice (most the pools are heated) and maybe take a gondola ride or a trip up in the Eiffel Tower. Lots of animals to see too!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The neglectful blogger

I cannot believe it has been nearly 3 months since I last blogged. That is unacceptable!

Since our last post, I think we had another round of the stomach included. That makes a total of FOUR times for 2007. Let's hope 2008 is a healthier year. I'm also seeing a new GI doctor to help figure out my ongoing digestive issues. He is requesting my records from my previous GI doc and had my liver enzymes re-tested...I should hear something back by tomorrow or early next week. Besides a sinus infection (me) and some runny/stuffy noses (the kids), we have been relatively healthy the last month.

The girls had 2 weeks off of PDO for Christmas break and Dave was also off for 2 weeks. We had Christmas with both families on the 23rd and 24th and celebrated at our house on the 25th, had a delayed Rogan get together on the 31st, New Years Day at Great Grandma Teppie's, and a birthday party on the 5th. With all the events, Daddy being home, and chaos...the lack of routine has done a number on the kids. We are just starting to get back to "normal" around here...and Ella is having the most trouble with her naps and bedtime. I hear her bouncing around in her crib, talking to her dollies as I type this...about 1 hour after I laid them down for nap. Perry and Luca are both sawing logs.

P&E are starting to talk a lot more. They are grouping words together, picking up new words, understanding what we ask or tell them...but still grunting and getting frustrated as well. 2 is a hard age. On the other hand, they are both very physically inclined and are taking their first dance class later this afternoon. Tap and ballet. They loved tapping around on the bathroom floor last night ;)

Luca got his first tooth on his 8 month birthday, after what seemed like months of teething. He is out of his infant carseat...we measured him at around 29 inches over Christmas break. Not sure of his weight, but I'd guess close to 25 pounds?? He's still miraculously in mostly 6-9 or 6-12 month clothing though, so he can't be *too* huge. He's been a better eater lately, although squash and banana are his favorites...not together. He has also tried a few Puffs from his sisters..and stolen a few sips out of their sippy cups. I suppose getting him off the bottles won't be as hard as it was for his sissies. Luca can roll to his left and right now, but doesn't seem to roll from his belly to back...he gets stuck and then becomes very angry! This results in some sleep issues. No crawling yet either, which surprises me. He's still very easy going, although he's had some cranky moments with the teething. I remember Perry being like that too while teething. We could never tell when Ella was teething because she was cranky all the time...LOL!

Our schedule is quickly filling up and makes me wonder what it will be like when they are all older with 3 (or perhaps 4 or 5) different classes, sports, recitals, lessons, etc. We have PDO on Tuesdays (Luca and I took a swim class in November/December on Tuesdays and Thursdays and may sign up for another one), dance class on Thursdays, and have started going to story time at the library on Fridays. The girls are registered for a Saturday swim class starting in March since January and February are Daddy's busy months. We may sign up for gymnastics at the Y again after dance class ends. Luca will be eligible at 12 months...but maybe we can sneak him in a little early since he's so big ;)

Not much else to report except that we are anxiously awaiting the completion of the basement and new playroom. It will be nice to de-clutter the house and move most of the toys down there, not to mention put away all our Christmas decorations :) Our bonus room (current playroom) carpet is in desperate need of a professional cleaning and we will be able to re-claim the room as a bonus/living room.

Till next time!