Monday, June 22

First Bike

Here are some pictures of J....h riding her first Bike. Our wonderful neighbors Bonnie and Rick gave J....h their daughter's old Barbie bike and it couldn't be more prefect. She is excited to learn how to ride without training wheels so she can go to the store and pick out any new bike that she wants.

Help!! How do I stop this thing?!

I think those training wheels are going to be on for a while. Once the camera stopped J....h took her first tumble and scraped her elbow. It took a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads and bike gloves to convince her that her bike was safe and if she fell it wouldn't hurt so much. Right now we are averaging a ten minute bike ride, with Mommy by her side, once a week.
I did not learn to ride my bike until I was eight. My Mom had to lock the door to the house and declare that we were not going inside until I learned to ride my bike!!! After hours of tears, numerous scrapes and far too much drama I finally got it. I think J....h is going to need similar encouragement and I sure wish Grandma were around to lend me her iron will!!!

Potty Queen

**Warning! Super Long Blog Entry. Short on time?
Here is the Summary...**
S......a is Fully Potty Trained!! No accidents for five days!!
Success with #1 and #2!! Goes on the BIG Potty!!
Way To Go S....a!!!!!

The Story: S.....a still being in diapers has been a real sore spot for me. I had lofty aspirations to have her potty trained by 30 months but Biddy's arrival put things on hold. Once life calmed down again we got out the potty but had little success. Three months later and not one drop of pee pee in the potty I decided to get serious. I researched dozens of methods and finally settled on the Three Day Potty Training Method. I picked the weekend and started getting prepared. Lo and behold I broke my foot so my potty training plans were a wash. While vacationing in UT S....'s third birthday came and still no potty. I was determined to start as soon as we got back to MA. Gall bladder Surgery dashed my hopes and another three weeks passed by. On Fir 12 June, just one week after surgery, I could not stand it one more day. I took away her diapers and that was the beginning of the end.....

The Challenge: S....a did not want anything to do with the Potty and she has unbelievable bladder control. She can hold her pee in for five or six hours. On top of that she has an absolute meltdown if we even walk by the bathroom. Despite the screams of terror we kept at it and eventually she got half her "accident" in the potty. We battled it out for three full days and by Sunday night I was at the end of my rope. The carpet saw far more action then the potty. The three day method had failed and I had no idea what I was going to do. Some sage advice from my Mom and some brain storming with Burke helped me develop a new plan. It was clear that S.....a needed to know that going pee pee on the potty was not an option. She had to do it no matter how unpleasant. She is three and perfectly old enough to understand consequences. I just needed to find some logical consequence (not punishment) for when she refused to sit on the potty. The reward part was easy, lots of candy:).

The Solution: When S.....a needed to go pee pee I would ask her to sit on the potty. If she refused she was not allowed to be in the family room because there was carpet in there. This worked for me because I refused to have any more pee on my carpet and bad for Susanna because all the toys and movies were in that room. It didn't take long for her to figure out that when the door locked I was serious. No amount of crying, screaming, begging or pretty please was going to get that door open. It was pee in the potty or no fun. Guess what she chose? By the middle of the day the most amazing thing happend she came up to me and told me that she needed to go pee in the potty. From there it was pretty much smooth sailing. We had #2 in the potty the next day. On Saturday she went pee pee in a public restroom!!! Today she decided the big potty was not scary anymore and I took the training potty downstairs. She can pull down her pants, sit, wipe and pull everything back on again all by herself. It is fantastic. I still get resistance when I suggest she goes on the potty so I have stopped suggesting and let her take the lead. She has not had an accident for five day so I feel like I can trust her. It is awesome and I am so proud of her for deciding to be a big girl and go on the potty!!! I can tell she is proud of her accomplishment too as she tells everyone that she is a a big girl now.

Finally Crawling!!!

After months of scooting and rocking Biddy finally learned how to crawl. She started slow but now she has gotten pretty fast. It is so cute to see her following her sisters around the house. With the crawling came pulling up to her knees. I don't think pulling to a standing position is far off.
We are so excited that she has reached this important milestone!!!
The New View

Go Get that Toy...

Good Job Biddy!!
Watch Out Mom the stairs are next!!!
Pulling up on everything!!!

Sunday, June 21

Fathers Day

Burke is a pretty amazing guy. He is successful in his career (recently awarded Hanscom AFB Civilian of the Quarter). He is super smart (completing his MBA). He is a great mechanic, hunter, woodsman and handy man. He is an awesome dishwasher, floor mopper and pancake flipper. He is a loving and supportive husband but above all Burke is an AMAZING DADDY!! Enjoy these pictures of Burke doing what he does BEST....

Saturday, June 20

Saturday Adventure

We have been suffering from Spring like weather her in MA. Last week posted record cold temperatures for June. To our surprise we woke up to sunshine on Saturday.

Burke has been planning a canoe rip for his Boy Scouts on the Connecticut River. Their ending point is at at town called Turners Falls. There is supposedly a Public Boat Ramp and some Falls located there. Determined to take advantage of the dry weather we hit the road to go scout out the area.

The Public Boat Ramp was easy to find but we had a much harder time finding the falls.

We ended up walking down a bike trail that followed a branch of the CT River past long abandoned factories, a power plant, a whole bunch of "do not trespass" and Danger!! High Voltage" signs, across a treacherous looking bridge (the water was sure high!!! ) and finally we got a glimpse of the falls. The girls were so excited and I was relieved that we could deliver our promise of a waterfall.

As we headed back on the trail we found a turn off that led to a little museum. It was a great find. The girls were fascinated with the displays of wildlife on the Connecticut River.

It was a great adventure!!!

Thursday, June 11

We Always Knew She Was a Little Crazy......

Burke went to check on Jennah last night
and this is what he found......

It brought to memory another time
when we caught Jennah.......


Funny enough for the Digest?

I love reading the hysterical and true to life antidotes people send into Readers Digest. I have always wanted to send one in and finally had an experience that I thought might just have a chance. Tell me what you think. Oh and I think Susanna is the funniest!!!

Yet again my daughters ages five and three were racing each other to the car. To no surprise my oldest tagged the van first and touted "I'm the fastest." My three year old continued to huff and puff her way to the finish line where she declared with triumph "I'm the cutest!!!"

Wednesday, June 10

A Lot More then Stress

I have suffered from a strange type of stomach ache for years. Out of the blue I will get these twisting, knotting, and cramping stomach aches on the the right side of my abdomen. I even asked my Doctor about them and we were able to link them to Stress. It seemed that before,or right after some stressful event in my life I would get these stomach aches. I got a stress stomach ache the day before I flew out to UT that had me lying on the couch with a heating pad while my dear friends helped me pack my kids for the harrowing trip. I got one the night before we headed out on our vacation to Kanab UT to see the Grand Canyon with the Craven Clan. Then the very next night while we were hanging out at the condo I felt another one coming on.

It hit like a thunderbolt and before I knew it I was vomiting in the toilet and crying like a baby as I clutched my gut in excruciating pain. I tell you I would have taken transitional labor over this pain any day. At Midnight, in the pouring rain, Burke and my Dad managed to find the Kane County Hospital ER. They gav eme an ultrasound clearly identified the culprit as Gall Stones.

I guess Babies are not the only side affect of being very fertile. Gall Stones are very common in fertile women and all those stress stomach aches I have experienced were more likely connected to my Gall Bladder then Stress. The Gall Bladder produces extra bile when you eat fatty foods. When I was stressed I ate fatty foods then my Gall Bladder started moving around those Gall Stones and Bam- stomach pain.

Fast forward two weeks later and five pounds lighter (even the thought of a french fry makes me sick to my stomach) to Dr. Greenwood's office where he confirmed my Gall stones and scheduled surgery to remove my entire Gall Bladder.

I went into Surgery on Friday June 5th. They blew my stomach up like a big balloon then inserted their tiny tools into four different holes. The carefully detached my gallbladder and sucked it out of the hole in my bellybutton. It took about and hour and I fortunately don't remember a thing. I got to go home that afternoon to sleep in my own bed where I will be recovering for the next couple of days. Fortunately the copious amounts of pain killers I am taking keep my aches to a minimum and Burke has managed to keep the kids noise to minimum as well.