Monday, November 30, 2009

Just A Few

Last week Wes wanted a snack and, since it was shortly before we were going to have dinner (and because his snack of choice - goldfish - makes his eyes itchy), I told him he could have just a few. I trusted that he would just take a few from the bag so I continued my dinner prep. Thirty seconds later Jack piped up with "Mommy, Wesley took too many." I looked up to see the entire bag of goldfish dumped onto the table.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Today this song is running through my head:

Give thanks to the Lord
For He is good
His love endures forever

And how thankful I am that He is good and that His love endures forever. This year I am most thankful for the wonderful, merciful Savior (another song to get stuck in your head - you can thank me later) that continues to mold me into the person He wants me to be. I am thankful for His forgiveness as I struggle in my attempt to follow Him.

I am also thankful for digital cameras and Picasa (though I would really like to learn how to use the beta version of Lightroom 3 I got and have only looked at once) because with three children it's highly unlikely that I would have any photos to post if I couldn't take ten for every one I put up and further edit it. I point your attention to the series of photos below so you can see exactly what I'm talking about:

A little to your left...

Oops- too far. A little to your right...

At least they're saying "cheese"

Where are you going Elise?

And just because I think she's so darn cute...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fort Smelly

On what we thought was going to be the last nice Saturday of the year, we ventured to one of the oldest historic sites in the great state of Minnesota: Fort Snelling. For a girl who was born and raised in Minneapolis you'd think that I would have visited at least once before. But, alas, this was the first trip to historic Fort Snelling for everyone in our family but Sean.

We watched the morning "parade" (in quotes because the parade consisted of 5 people - not exactly the marching-band-performing, float-rider-waving, candy-throwing event I expected) and followed the soldiers to the flagpole where we watched them raise the flag (it was at half staff in honor of the Minnesota soldiers that were lost in Iraq).

We climbed up the oldest structure in the fort to get a better view of the whole fort and take advantage of the photo opp. Unfortunately, the boys are hidden in the shadows in this shot.

Not that they minded - based on the looks in this photo, I'm pretty sure they would have preferred to be hiding anywhere instead of enduring their mother's extended photo session atop the tower.

Um...I don't remember what this is, but it's really old and part of Fort Snelling.

Inside one of the towers, there were these little windows where the soldiers would lay with their guns pointed out. The opening was wide on the inside of the tower and narrowed as it got to the outside to reduce the target size for their enemies.

The whole fort was kind of like a city with all the things a community would need - including a prison for deserters (which Jack thought was pretty cool given that it played right into his fireman/policeman aspirations).

Sean tried out the jail cell (and it absolutely was not even remotely possible that he did it because I forced asked him to).

We visited some of the shops - this was the carpenter's shop. Cool wheel, huh? When the fort was being used, all of the wooden items would have been made and/or repaired right on site.

Our next stop was the blacksmith shop. It was nice to find a building with a fire going (remember how I said it was a nice Saturday? well, it was warmer a lot later in the day than when we were out).

We were lucky enough to be there when the blacksmith was giving a demonstration. He hammered a nail out of a piece of steel. The blacksmith shop was conveniently located right next to the carpenter's shop. How many woodworker's out there dream of having a hardware store right next to their shop? Those Fort Snelling guys were clever.

What's an outdoor adventure without a little wildlife? This little chipmunk ran between our feet upon exiting one of the shops and hung out looking for food as Wes pointed and giggled with delight.

After some lunch and a short visit to the gift shop our adventure came to an end. Not before we secured a membership to the MN Historical Society, however. Fun and adventure abound I'm sure. (Okay, okay - it sounds way geekier than it actually is. There are several fun family-friendly exhibits and events that our membership will allow us to take advantage of for way less than it would normally cost).

I bet you're thinking "What's with the title? Was the fort stinky?" Oh no, no, no - nothing like that. It's just that, if you ask Jack about our excursion a few weeks ago he'll tell you we spent the morning at Fort Smelly.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Things I Learned Today

  1. I think some of the naughty things my children do are funny even though I shouldn't
  2. Boys cannot be trusted in the bathroom
  3. Bath toys float in bath tubs and toilets (okay I didn't actually learn this today, but I'm sure that is what my recently-turned-two-year-old learned)
  4. An effective potty seat costs more than $10
  5. The inventor of pull-ups was on to something
  6. I need a lot more patience to make it through the potty training of another boy
  7. Poop comes in all different shapes and numbers. You know, like octagon and... (or so says our almsot-four-year-old after examining his sister's diaper. For any therapists who read this blog, please keep me in the dark about the underlying issues that manifest themselves in poop obsessions...ignorance is bliss).
  8. And just now I learned that so much of my day revolves around waste that, apparently, I think it's a good subject for a blog post

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Simply Divine

Disclaimer: This post will have adorable pictures of a precious baby interspersed throughout to distract you from the utter horror (but ultimate glory) of the actual subject.

Last Thursday we experienced a first in the Starkey house - a visit to the ER. And it wasn't one of the boys as you might expect.

Elise was playing in our pantry and when I decided she needed a new activity, I picked her up by her hands and plopped her down in front of another toy. She screamed. I thought she was just mad (and over tired since she'd slept a total of 45 minutes that day). When she didn't calm down I picked her up and from that moment I was unable to put her down without her screaming. Or, really I should say, without her screaming louder than she was when I was holding her. I still thought she was just tired so I fed her and decided to put her to bed early. While I was putting her pajamas on I checked her arms and decided that something was wrong so I zippered her up and called the pediatrician. Turns out they don't see injuries after hours so I had to take her to urgent care. The closest urgent care is in the local hospital and the admittance process has all urgent care patients triaged in the ER. The ER nurse decided we needed to stay there because she thought Elise had "nursemaid's elbow" (her elbow came out of the socket). How could she tell? She waved all kinds of cool (well, cool to a baby) things in front of Elise and she would only reach for it with one arm.

The doctor came in to examine her and perform "the procedure" to get her elbow back in place. He explained to me that, as children are growing, the ligament that holds the elbow in the socket is positioned in such a way that it allows the elbow to easily slip out. After the explanation, he moved her arm around a few times while we both cried (she was louder than I was) and told us he'd be back to check on her in a few minutes. Ten minutes later he came back and she wouldn't grab for anything we offered her. So he performed the procedure again (this time she was the only one that cried). Another ten minutes later she still wouldn't move her arm. He tried a third time and told me that if this didn't work we would do an x-ray and possibly one of his colleagues would try. Again, he came back in ten minutes to check on her. She had fallen asleep by then, but I tried to get her to grab different things before she fell asleep and she wouldn't. Once she was asleep I was moving her arms and she would cry whenever I touched her hurt arm.

So it was off to x-ray for us. Before we left, I prayed. I asked God, the One who created her, to heal her. Now I have full faith that God is with me in crisis.And once I'm through it, I look back and give Him praise for giving me the strength to endure, but I have a hard time letting go and actually asking for His help in the moment.

Elise woke up during the x-ray and the cat nap was enough to put her in better spirits. When the lady from administration came back with my credit card after running it to pay the copay, Elise reached right for it with her bad arm. As funny as it would be to credit (no pun intended) the success to the "bait" used to motivate her, I am 100% convinced that God healed her. When we went to x-ray she wasn't moving her arm and when we came back she was doctor had touched her.

Elise has slowly been getting her strength back in that arm and is starting to bear weight on it again. The doctor said she'd be fine in a few days and that there wouldn't be any lasting effects other than she'll be a little more susceptible to this happening again until the joint is fully developed, around age 6.

What did I learn? First, that you can't dangle a 25 lb 10-month-old from her arms, even for just a second, because the joints aren't strong enough. Okay, I didn't really just learn this. I knew all along, but apparently had a brain lapse that ended in disaster for my baby. Second, God wants us to ask for His help. Okay, I didn't really just learn that either, but it was a good reminder. I'm just sorry my baby had to be involved for her thick-headed mother to get the message.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Dinah, Blow Your Horn

The Jackson Street Roundhouse is an often-noted "destination of fun and utter excitement" around our house. After a couple visits Jack convinced Grandma and Grandpa to go on a real train ride on one of the associated railways in Wisconsin. So one unseasonably cold Saturday morning we packed up the kids and headed to Osceola for a one-and-a-half hour train ride along the St. Croix.


The rail cars were not heated so we had to stay bundled up.

Lunch for the kids was a good way to pass the time.

Because as beautiful as it was, one-and-a-half hours on
a train is a long time for two little boys to sit on a train.

Daddy and the boys had to check out some of the other
rail cars and engines when we got back to the station.


Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa for a fun morning on the train.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Birthday Wishes

Happy Birthday to our sweet 2-year-old, Wesley!

His mellow temperament and go-with-the-flow attitude are a perfect blessing to our family. He is tender-hearted and has a special soft spot for his baby sister on whom he is tirelessly doting. He loves his big brother and can't be enough like him. If Jack does it, so does Wesley.

His sweet smile brings joy to our hearts and brightens our day. His silly "na-na" jokes (read knock-knock jokes) liven up the conversation during dinner. His giggles turn around any bad day.

He loves trains, legos, "Mike Wazowski's New Car," showing us his highest jump (right after Jack shows us his) and reading books. He's our comic relief. He is an ever-forgivng, always-wanting-to-play little brother. He is a wonderful gift from God.

And he's 2. Just ask him.

Disclaimer: He refused to look at the camera and insisted instead on sitting as close to me as possible while waiting for his turn with the camera so he could take pictures of Elise. Remember how I mentioned doting?