Thursday, October 14, 2010

Life is Crazy!

It's been too long since I've blogged!! Life is Crazy right now!
Here is a taste of what we've been up to and blogs to come...
  • Bennett's Eye Surgery
  • Conrad's 3rd Birthday/Party
  • Rhythm Church's first month
  • Kick Off of Rhythm Community Groups
  • Conrad's first day of Preschool/3yr checkup/the potty training continues!
  • Bennett is 17 months old!
  • The leaves are falling and I have 3 eager helpers!
  • We are going to a Pumpkin Patch!
  • Our car troubles continue!
  • God's blessing on us overflows!
So there is the list... lots going on and so much to be thankful for!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bennett Eye Update

Yesterday Bennett had her pre-op appointment in Iowa City. Her doctor was concerned that her vision is not quite where it needs to be in order for him to preform the surgery. Basically, when her vision is not the same in both eyes, it means she is preferring one eye to the other... in other words her brain is not using both eyes all the time.
So, we still have the surgery scheduled (2 weeks from today) but we now have to go back next Monday for another check on her vision. Her doctor has asked that I patch full time/anytime she is awake. He also gave me a prescription for eye drops that blur the vision in her good eye, leaving her vision impaired so she has to use the bad eye to see. I asked for the drops because she has a tendency to take her patch off (that's why we are in this situation)... so whenever she does pull it off at least her bad eye is still having to work. We've been through 8 patches today already, but I am committed to doing all that I can in order to make this surgery happen in 2 weeks.
I am totally to blame for the situation we are in... I hate fighting with Bennett to keep the patch on and over the last 4 weeks I probably was patching 2 hrs a day (i was supposed to patch 2-4hrs) I have restraints, but I hate seeing her cry and fuss because she can't do anything.
Please pray for me, that I would have perseverance to see this through and that I would have though love for Bennett and not give up with the patch. And pray for Bennett that progress would occur in her bad eye and that the eye drops would not bother her mood too much.
Thank you all for your support!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Birthday Cake Help!!

I'm in need of some input, so all you followers out there leave a comment and give me some ideas!!
Conrad's 3rd birthday is in 2 weeks and I am having a hard time deciding what kind of birthday cake to make for him. He loves just about any character, we have cable so we watch a large variety of cartoons... he also likes animals, mainly ones that roar! I want to make a cake using fondant, so I think that's why I'm having such a hard time deciding... it's much more complicated using fondant, but I love how they turn out!
So, I'm going to leave it up to my commentors... you decide for me! Throw out your ideas and I'll pick the easiest/one that fits Conrad best!!
Here are the cakes I have already made for previous birthdays, so these are off limits!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Favorite Primetime

In honor of premiere week I thought I would share some of my favorite shows that I tune into on a somewhat regular basis.
My all time favorite reality show is Big Brother... it's on once a year during the summer, so the latest season just ended and I am a little sad :(
The Colony started this summer and it's finale is next week... but it is basically a government test to see how a group of people could survive/thrive after some kind of pandemic takes out a large # of the population. Good stuff.
Rookie Blue is also a show from this summer that we follow on Hulu... pretty entertaining, good story line
We have followed Survivor for quite a few seasons... it's always entertaining and every season is very different from the ones before...
I watch The Mentalist if I'm home when it's on... Simon Baker makes me laugh and the show has that mystery/humor side of things.
Criminal Minds is one of my most favorite shows. It's total drama... Thaddeus and I joke that if we see the first 5 minutes we're sucked in! It has a different take on criminals/FBI compared to CSI and Law and Order.
And our favorite by far right now would be Glee! If you haven't checked it out, you should... and you don't have to like musicals to enjoy Glee!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Things that Entertain

We spent Labor day weekend at Thaddeus' parents house and Grandma Lori found lots of fun stuff for the kids to play with!
Like this big box, which Gunnar pulled and pushed everywhere!
And this box that Conrad pretended was his airplane!
Bennett loved riding on the car creeper!
And she especially enjoyed her ride with Conrad!
We spent some time hanging out on Tank's dog house... Gunnar wanted to do a pull up on the metal pole, but he was just a little too short!
With the help of Daddy, Bennett was able to reach the pole!
We never know what fun we'll get into at Grandpa Teddy and Grandma Lori's house!
We had a great weekend!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Weekend with Conrad!

This last weekend Lori, Thaddeus' mom, let Gunnar and Bennett stay with her and Ted, while Thaddeus and I had some time alone with Conrad!!
We started out our weekend by having a lunch date at Taco John's (Con's choice!) just mommy and Conrad! He loves their potato ole's!!
Then, with a full belly, he took a great nap while I vegged on the sofa!
The majority of our weekend was spent at Rhythm Church finishing the bathroom remodel project for service sunday night. Conrad helped take all of the cardboard to our van... and then later he helped put it on the burn pile!
Saturday morning was spent in our pajamas playing with Geo Trax. We have a huge set, but Bennett tears everything apart and the boys usually end up fighting so we don't play with them often... Conrad loved having all the Geo Trax to himself!
Saturday night we went to Kohl's (I had some Kohl's cash I needed to spend!) and got Conrad a new toy!
I had a great weekend with Conrad all to myself! (Thaddeus was at the church most of the weekend) It was nice to only have 1 kid for a couple days and be able to give him all my attention!! Thanks Ted & Lori!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bennett is 15 months old!!

Bennett turned 15 months old ten days ago, on friday the 13th!! So I'm a little behind, but I wanted to update everyone on her stats and how things with her eyes are going!
Stat wise, she weighs 20lbs (20th%) and is 30inches tall (45th%). Everyday she learns something new... she is the silliest little girl I know!
A few words she can now say:
Bennett
mommy
daddy
hi... bye
hi dad
cake
juice
night night
i did it
banana
eye
head
Bennett loves her blankies and bear... so much so, that nobody can hold them but her! She also loves her Mommy a bit aggressively at times... she screams if the boys sit on my lap and if I give Thaddeus a hug she tries to pull his arms off of me! Like most little girls she has a bit of an attitude and has already figured out that if she screams/yells when the boys take toys from her they'll get in trouble! But, mostly Bennett is just so silly... she likes to blow bubble with her mouth or make all kinds of silly sounds. In the last week she has really found her nose, actually her nostrils, and she enjoys walking around the house with her finger up her nose! (It's pretty darn cute, but something we are working on stopping!)
Last week Bennett had another eye appointment in Iowa City. This time my mother-in-law came with me, and I was so glad to have a little extra help!! We were able to schedule Bennett's surgery for October 12th!! Her eye is so close to be the same vision as the other, that they let us schedule!! I am so excited to have a date and be able to plan a bit! We still need to patch until the surgery date, but only 2-4hrs a day. She has a pre-op appointment 2 weeks before the surgery where they make sure her vision is still were they want it, so please be praying that the patching continues to work and we can go ahead with the surgery!
It was great to talk with her doctor and ask questions about the surgery and things we should expect afterwards. There is a 30-40% chance she will need further surgery to fully correct (or at least mostly correct) her eyes.
Bennett is growing up so quickly!! We love life with our cute pigtailed girl!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Boys will be boys?

Lately, Gunnar has been going through a phase of disobedience... basically he gets in trouble all the time, and I am pretty annoyed with him often! Here are the 2 big things he has done lately:
2 weeks ago he threw a toy at a window on our porch and broke it... I was having a play date and all the kids were playing on the porch when it happened, but none of them came and told us it happened... one boy even cut his finger on the window! To top it all off, Gunnar lied about breaking the window and told us a different boy had done it.
Then this weekend while I was at a girls game night, Gunnar drew all over our leather couch with an ink pen! Talk about doing something bad... and the worst part is that he's old enough to know better!
So we are at this new point in disciplining where we are taking things away. For breaking the window we took juice away for a week and for drawing on the couch we took his bear/blanket and juice away for the week.
I am open to suggestions on how to deal with this phase Gunnar is going through. I get the fact that he's a crazy boy and that is how boys are, but this lying thing is something that we really need to kick in the butt!! So, any advice would be great!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

A few months later... Spongebob!

Back in May Gunnar turned 4, and I made him a Spongebob Squarepants birthday cake using fondant! Here are some pictures and instructions if you are feeling creative and want to try making a cake with fondant!
The first step is to bake the cake and cut the shape that you need... for spobgebob I used a 9X13 pan and then cut it down to size. Before cutting, I placed the cake in the freezer after it cooled to make it easier to cut. Then you frost the cake so the fondant has something to stick to. Then you are ready to start placing your fondant on the cake... the picture below shows spongebobs brown squarepants.
In order to place the fondant on the cake you have to roll it out to the size and thickness you desire. (also if using white fondant you must dye it your desired color. For this cake I used store bought already colored fondant... it is more expensive but saved me a ton of time!)
Pictured below is my yellow fondant rolled out... you can use a regular rolling pin or a special fondant rolling pin, but either way, you need lots of powdered sugar to keep it from sticking to surfaces.
Spongebob's arms and legs are shaped from fondant and stuck to the cake using water.
Just a few more touches before he's ready!
I used round fondant tools to make the bubbles on spongebob's body.
The hands were pretty tricky! They turned out okay and I loved that he was holding the candles!
And here is the birthday boy enjoying his cake... he loved it and that made the 4 hours of work so worth it!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

So Much To Do!

Last week Bennett had an eye appointment in Iowa City, so the kids and I went down and spent the night with Thaddeus' parents. We always have a great time at Ted and Lori's house, and there is always so much to do!
Our evening was filled with races on the driveway...
Running up and down the sidewalks...
Taking care of the flowers with Grandma Lori...
Smelling all of the flowers...
Playing in the pool...
And watching Fifi try to get the pet toads!
Never a dull or boring moment when we're with the grandparents!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Potty Training Advice... Please!!

It's potty training time in the Seydel house... or at least I would like it to be! Conrad turns 3 in October and we have attempted to start potty training with him 2 times now. The first time was at the beginning of the summer and the second was in July when the boys were staying with Thaddeus' parents (So thankful that Lori gave it a try!) Basically, he knows when he has to go #2 and will tell us... He is always asking to wear underwear and be a big boy! But when we put underwear on him and fill him with fluids and sit him on the potty nothing happens... so we let him get up and then he goes in his underwear and doesn't tell anybody he went. So there is an obvious red flag... he doesn't mind sitting in his pee/poop.
Like I said before, Con turns 3 in October and I have him signed up for pre-school... but he can't go unless he is potty trained (or at least in the process), so this is why I'm starting to get a little antsy about it all!
He is so strong willed!! If something is not his idea then he won't do it! So, I need help!! Any advice on some strategies for getting Conrad excited about using the toilet/preschool/being a big boy?? I have tried a few things... offering treats like McDonalds or a new toy or candy... and also trying to explain that he can't go to preschool unless he uses the toilet (he is so excited about preschool, but me telling him he can't go doesn't really work for him.)
Gunnar was so easy to potty train, and he wasn't even 2 1/2 when we did it! I made a sticker chart (which he loved!) and that was it... it took 2 days and barely any accidents. Gunnar's personality is so different than Conrad's... Gunnar is a pleaser and Conrad is just plain strong willed!
So, please comment or write me on Facebook if my comment section isn't working... At some point in August Thaddeus' Mom will be taking Gunnar and Bennett for a weekend so I will have time to devote soley to potty training... but I just don't know where to start!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Baby Love

Bennett sure loves her Grandpa Teddy!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Shaving Foam Mania

Last Friday the kids and I went to a play date at my friend Quincey's house... it was her 3rd annual Shaving Foam Mania play date!
She laid out a tarp and all the kids wore their swimsuits and everyone brought shaving cream and we let the kids go crazy with it!
Here is Gunnar... he loved the shaving cream! He was the first kid to be totally covered and I think he had a smile on his face the entire time!
It took Conrad awhile to really get into it, but he had just as much fun as Gunnar!
Here are the boys totally covered!
And even sweet Bennett enjoyed playing in the foam a little! She would have played on the tarp had I let her, but she was pretty content in the grass with the leftover foam!
This was so much fun for the kids, and cheap too (shaving cream is $1 at dollar tree)! Thanks for hosting Quincey, such a great idea!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rhythm

Join us at Rhythm Church this Sunday night and worship with us... we'll be playing the Time Has Come!
Check out www.rhythmchurch.org for more details

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Chart Time

Believe it our not, my boys do not always play well together (like in the picture below!) And for awhile I have been thinking about starting an obedience/chore chart.... After a week with grandparents it seemed like a good thing to start! I made my own chart, but I stole the idea from a blog that I follow(it's one of my favorite blogs!)... you can check it out here: http://hollyfurtick.typepad.com/the_preachers_wife/2010/06/summer-chores-and-money-management.html
So, here is the chart that I made. I used picture's instead of words since the boys can't read. We chart Monday through Saturday and on Sunday we do our money management. The boys get a sticker for everything that they do and a X for the things they don't do. Our categories are: Make your bed, brush your teeth, listen the 1st time, take dishes to the sink, share toys, pick up toys, and feed our pet toads. The nice thing about making our own chart is that we can work on the things that the boys have a hard time with (picking up toys, sharing, listening the 1st time) and daily living things (brushing teeth, making bed). At the end of the day I sit down with the boys and we put stickers and X's and talk about what we did good and what we could do better.
Then on sunday we work on money management. For every sticker they have on the chart they will get 10 cents. We will lay the dimes out on the chart (over the stickers) and then in the votive holders I have pictured below we will sort out the dimes. Our categories are God (tithe) Save and Spend. For every 10 dimes 1 will go to God, 1 to Save, and the rest to spend.
Growing up I never really learned the importance of giving money to God or even saving money... I was given an allowance and I spent it. It is very important to us that our kids know how to manage money and that they are obedient to us and other adults, so hopefully this chart will be a great teaching tool!