Friday, July 31, 2009

Camp Manitou-Lin 09

Last night was Family Night at Adam's Day Camp. He went last year as well. I think its great for him to get out and learn some new social skills and build self-confidence. He tends to be a home body.

He's still on the mend from his surgery a few weeks ago. While he's eating well now, he still tires easily and has sores in his throat still (still at risk for bleeding until they're totally healed). The counselors have been quick to assure me that they let him sit down and rest when he's looking "droopy." They also have a rest time in the afternoon which has been beneficial to him.

We got to eat dinner with Adam at the camp. After that, he showed us around the camp and gave us the highlights of his time there (he even tried archery!). It was fun to see him so excited about things- he was a motormouth the whole night which isn't like him at all (and a far cry from the weepy child I drop off every morning at the bus stop).

Adam was in the Koala group this year for KinderCamp.

This year, the Family night was in the Main Camp. We got to eat dinner with Adam in the large lunch room. They served your basic grilling staples. Adam ate "crabby patties" (code for hamburgers). We even ran into some potential customers for D&J- all in all, a good night.

<----Adam eating dinner and admiring his "loot" from the camp store.

My gluten free camp dinner ----->

Adam showing off his new mad hopscotch skillz.
We all got to play on the paddle boats, pontoon boats, power boats and canoes. It was really a pretty night.

A little fun. Dave is such a good sport about this stuff. :)

These are Adam's camp counselors. The lady's name is Liza. For the life of me, I cannot remember the guy's name. Cool tat's though, right?

This is a picture taken from the inside of the chapel. It's higher on the dune than the other cabins. Right behind those trees is the water. What an awesome place for worship!!!

The kids all put on some skits for the parent to "enjoy." Adam refused to go up with his group. While I wasn't surprised that he didn't want to, I was surprised that he boldly refused to move his butt from the bench. So, we left. :)
All in all, really fun night. I hope he'll want to do this again next year. This experience has been really good for him.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

To Gluten or not to Gluten....

I have been thinking about a clever title to this post all day. Nothing came to, you're left with the silly one listed above. Sorry bout that. Not so entertaining.

Anyway, after 47 days of living gluten free, I decided to try my luck. I had noticed a difference in going gluten free, but a few people challenged me to try it again to see what, if any, reaction I had.

So, it was girls' night out last night. I had a great time. I love the women I was out with- totally fun, energetic, crazy, just true friendship-hearted people. We went to a bar that had 1/2 off appetizers, and I saved my gluten test for their hummus platter. (Rach...hummus is yummus!) I knew that I could eat everything on the platter- with the exception of the warm pita bread - so this was my controled test.

Well, there were some reactions. By the time we left the bar (4 hours later!), I had some pretty heavy cramping, and my stomach became distended. I probably looked like I was 4-5 months pregnant. I didn't sleep at all last night, and today feel horribly weak and lethargic- to the point that I really need to take a nap if I'm going to stay upright later tonight. I can't concentrate, and I'm pretty itchy. I'm also feeling lightheaded and dizzy. Many of the ailments I'd been suffering the past few years have returned in a matter of 24 hours.

Long story short, while a gluten exposure won't kill is certainly better without it.

Much, much better.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Down to one

Adam is at camp this week. We drop him off at the bus stop at 7:40 am and pick him up at 5:20. Long day, right? Being down to one child in my care should be easier, right?


I'm not sure if it's Colin's age, or the fact that he's used to having a brother to entertain him and antagonize...but one is so much harder than two.

Colin climbs much better than Adam did at this age. So, you'd think that my digital camera placed on top of a cabinet, inside a camera case would be safe wouldn't you? Not with Crazy Colin! After leaving the bathroom (that I was in for less than 6 minutes!), Colin approached me carrying my camera. When I looked at the card, I found this:

Even crazier- in order to record this, he had to turn it on, change modes, hit a special record button, and stop it. Insane.

I'm sooo not sure what I'll do when Adam is in school full time this year. I'm getting no work (audits) done, and my house is an absolute mess. I do know that I only have one month to figure it all out!

On the other hand, I'm getting a lot of great face time with Colin, and realizing that he understands a lot more than I gave him credit for! I know that it will feel like a blink of an eye before he's driving, and I do enjoy this undivided time with him. He is such a blessing. But, work is a blessing too, and I need to get it done so I can keep getting blessed!

One thing has me totally excited. Tomorrow my mom is coming to get Colin and will keep him until Friday. This means I will get almost 2 full days without children. And those evenings, we can give Adam some undivided attention. What ever will I do with all that time?!?!?!? That answer is easy-

Work, work, clean, work, work, clean, clean, work and eat lunch at an appropriate time. I'm so grateful for my mom. :)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The new doo

I've wanted a new hair doo for some time. What was holding me back? Well, money for starters. But also time and frankly I was stuck in a rut. So, now that I'm starting to feel back on track, I thought this would be a good spring board into having tons of fun again. So...without further adieu the dreaded before picture.... blah....

And after... Hooray!

By the way, this is also #83 on my list! Another one bites the dust!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I am....

...on the phone with ICR
...spelling out words so Adam can write a letter to Grandma Connie and Papa Ken the middle of paying bills
...wearing the same jeans I wore yesterday
...thinking about what to thaw for dinner tonight
...mentally going down my to-do list...realizing I should probably write it all down
...still ornery about the fight I had with the St. Mary's billing department regarding an old medical bill
...pissed at our president
...trying to remember if I heard Adam flush the toilet when he went potty last
...coordinating dates to get together with friends in August
...looking forward to getting my hair cut tonight
...dreaming about the addition
...rubbing out the kink in my neck
...looking for stretched canvas for a MOPS craft this year
...excited to know a secret about a friend (you know who you are!)
...thinking about what kind of freezer meals I can put together in my "spare time"
...wondering why my boys use SO much tape when displaying their art
...hoping Adam does ok at camp next week
...anticipating a night off tomorrow night as the boys are spending the night at Grandma Connie's
...looking at all the pictures on my memo board realizing I'm so blessed with wonderful people in my life

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New family members

Just wanted to update you to let you know that the Hop family has welcomed a few new members to the tribe.

Please help me welcome our two new frogs- Kermit and Patrick
And our new snail - Gary.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Not My Child! Monday

We're mixing up the Not Me! Monday a bit and turning it on the kiddos. Strangely enough, I used to have a lot of stories to tell, but now that I'm on the spot they escape me! Anyway, to see the creator of this crazy brutally honest carnival go here and check out what all the other crazy kids have been doing.

Two years ago, my first born was certainly not having issues understanding boundaries and personal property. So, when I was working for a half hour, my child certainly did not go to the neighbor's house, walk in and start playing with all the toys in their playroom - when no one was home. Said neighbor was not a little put off to come for a quiet lunch break (the wife and kids were out) only to find my son sitting in the middle of a mess in their playroom. Not my child! I'm always on top of where they are and they are never unsupervised for more than 4 minutes!

My eldest certainly does not save his BM's for public domain. He does not poop everywhere we go- stores, friend's houses, school, church, grandparent's houses. My eldest did not poop in my in-laws RV after we were keeping him out of the house so grandma could sleep. He did not silently disappear into the bathroom of their empty-water-tanked RV, drop trow, and dump. Not my child!

On another occasion, my eldest did not spend too much time in the church bathroom during the service one day. I did not send my husband in after him only to have him find the boy sitting on the urinal pooping. No way! Not my Child! As a woman, I'm constantly on top of all the weird things my boys will see in the men's bathrooms and am completely proactive in telling them what is and is not ok to do in public restrooms. Thankfully, my husband does know where all the cleaners were, and no one was the wiser. (until today!!!)

My youngest is not obsessed with anything under the diaper. He does not always try to rip it off when I'm not looking. He does not introduce anyone changing him to his penis by saying "Hi penis!" Nope! Not my child! We have taught our children to be proper little gentlemen and that there is a voodoo associated with genitalia and are not to be talked about in public. (Ha!)

This youngest child is not a little clepto, and did not take off with my wedding ring that I placed on my computer keyboard (yes, I know...the best place to store it...). We have not looked high and low for said wedding ring. We did not finally replace it. Even though the new one is larger and beautiful, I am not devastated by this loss, and would gladly put the smaller one on if we ever find it. I have not given this child other non-important jewelry to see if he'll give away his hiding spot. Said child is not on to my ploy. Nuh-uh...not my kid.

Both boys are totally not into watching me put on makeup. I did not start to allow Adam to put powder on my face so he stayed quiet and out of the other compacts. This was not abruptly halted when my husband caught him trying to put powder on himself. I am completely astute in making sure that gender lines are drawn, and am sure that this will not scar their masculinity for life. Yep.

Watching makeup has certainly not turned my youngest into a marker-obsessed self-coloring hound. He did not pretend a green marker was eyeliner. I was not actually impressed by how well he did.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

God always rewards....

You know the verse about God always working everything out for the good for those that love him? I know that's not a direct quote, but I like to believe that I live my life centering around that verse. Nothing is ever as bad as it seems, and it always turns out good.

Yes, I am an optomist.

So, when we decided to schedule the tonsilectomy and adnoidectomy for Adam to help him battle his sleep apnea, I assumed that the silver lining would be a child that sleeps soundly and isn't overly tired the next day. Little did I know that there was another silver lining....a GIANT silver lining...

read on...

Adam was actually excited to have his tonsils out. People kept telling him about all the ice cream and popsicles and jello. No one told him about anything else. So, the morning of the surgery, I woke him up, and he jumped up and said, "Yea! Mom, I get my tonsils out today!!!"

"Yep, kiddo, you sure do...hang on, it's a fun ride!"

Adam was allowed to bring comfort items with him to surgery. At first it was just the blanket, but then he decided that Kermit needed his tonsils out too. It's not easy being green. Kermit and blanket got to ride in the front seat on the way to the Surgical Center.

Adam and Kermit are getting checked in. This includes wearing special jammies, taking vitals, meeting the surgeon, the anesthesiologist, and the surgical nurse. The check-in nurse was explaining to Adam what was going to happen. This is when he looked at me and said, "mom, I think I want to go home now." And I said, "Too late, kiddo. We're here...we're committed to this now."

That chair was the last place I saw Adam before surgery. The anesthesiologist actually walked him back. I wasn't even given the option to go back with him. Good for me, probably not so good for him. The procedure itself took about 25 minutes. I was with him in 50.

Giant Silver lining: the high 5 year old. doesn't get much better than that. Really, curing the sleep apnea is only the cherry on top. The high 5 year old is the entire batch of icing. I took it as God's way of saying, "well, done made it through the surgery in tact. Have some laughs."

When I got to Adam, he was crying for a second, itching his nose the next, sits straight up and says, "Hey mom, pretty cool room we got here, huh?" Lays right back down and conks out. "yep,'s a rockin' curtain..."

Then he wakes up again, and decided he wanted to read. I told him that I didn't bring any books for him. He says, "oh, that's ok. I'll just read your book." "My,'ve sure come a long way in your reading since yesterday."

And of course, he was the only child there that day. Most of the others were seniors getting work on their cataracts. Which alarmed Adam. He kept saying (quite loudly, I might add), "Mom, why is that scary man over there with fly eyes?" "Mom, there's a scary woman over there too!"

From then on, we just kept the curtain Adam's request.

When we got home, he got to unwrap presents from grandmas and grandpas. A Transformer and a Leapster game! Normally he doesn't like his picture taken like this, but he opened each gift and just sat there saying, "Chuuuuuuuuhhhhhh." (high for Cheese).

" Oh wanted me to take your picture? Hang on, the camera is in the kitchen. I'll go get it."
(all the way to the kitchen and back)
I love this kid.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

At the zoo with cousins

Yesterday we spent the day with cousins, Ben and Emily, (and their mom, of course) at the zoo. Adam won't stop talking about it! He had so much fun with them. Colin keeps making the "toot-toot" sound of the train we rode on. I'm just soooo happy that I got my giraffe fix. Here's a few pics of our day together.

Adam loved the drinking fountains

This is my most favorite place in the whole world!
I love these giraffes!

Emily and Ben feed the giraffes.

This is as close as Adam would get to them.

Love their tongues!!!

At the Children's Zoo. Adam was trying to "teach" the goat how to climb the mountain.

Is your mama a llama?

This is a cute story. We were trying to get a pic of all four cousins on the triceratops. Ben and Em went up first. Marianne said, "get close. Pretend like you like each other." Ben said, "We do like each other." And he gave her a big hug. Seriously...these two kids are awesome!

Success!!! All four cousins on the triceratops!

Self-portrait on the train.

Colin "all by himself" on the big red ant.

Leaving Binder Park. See you later, giraffes!

Monday, July 6, 2009

National Defense

The latest defense against the Iranians and North Koreans.

Built and designed by Adam and Dave for the Obama Administration.

Doing our best to support the Hope and Change.

Gluten free: Day 17- More than half way there!!!

I've had a lot of people ask me how the gluten free thing is going, so I thought I'd post. I'm currently on day 17 of a 30 day strike from gluten.

I have noticed a few differences. The biggest one is that I'm not showing the same stomach discomfort that I have been experiencing for the past few years. I have been drinking Aloe Juice in an effort to stay off Prilosec (I really hate prescription drugs), but since going gluten free, I haven't needed the aloe juice!!!! Also, weird and achy pains that I had been having (shoulders, arms, hips, head, etc) have dramatically decreased! There's a few other things as well...but even for someone who doesn't usually have boundaries is putting up a boundary guys just don't need to know some things. :)

A few challenges I've noticed:
  • Maltodextrin- that stuff is in EVERYTHING!!! salad dressing, seasoned salt, ketchup, lemonade mixes, cottage cheese

  • No beer. I love a cold on in the summer. :( I'm not sure what alcoholic beverage doesn't have gluten in it, so I'm just not going there.

  • Eating out. This has posed a few challenges. But I made it through a dinner at BW3 completely intact and gluten free. :) I just need to avoid the fast food chains- everyone else is willing to accommodate a special diet.

  • Gluten free specialty items are a little pricey- to put it minimally. While I'm not going to spend a lot of money on them right now until after this 30 day trial is over, it could adversely affect our grocery budget in the future. Oh well!

Awesome things:

  • There's some awesome books, blogs, resources out in the community about gluten free living.

  • A gluten free diet is really very fresh and healthy.

  • I'm learning tons about lentils and legumes.

  • I'm meeting tons of people who have NCGI (non-celiac gluten intolerance).

  • Dave has been incredibly supportive, and enjoys my trying to expand my culinary imagination

  • I'm rediscovering the joy of unflavored rice cakes and natural peanut butter.

  • It's summer!!! Farmer's markets are an awesome place to pick up yummy in-season fruits and veggies!!! In addition, we have a little victory garden out back, and I harvested our first batch of lettuce (thanks for the tip, Marianne!) on the fourth of July. Super yum!!!

Some have asked me if I'm looking forward to eating bread/noodles again. Yes and no. I'm enjoying feeling good and eating healthy. I'm already planning my lets-try-gluten-again dinner in a few weeks. But, I'm really enjoying eating super healthy and fresh I may not go back all the way (if I have a choice in the matter). Time will tell!!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Week of Almosts...

In my Friday recap, there's really not much going on. This week was a week of almost's.
I almost met a friend for coffee, but she got sick
(pregnancy will do that to ya).
We almost had friends for dinner, but Adam was sick
(kids will do that to ya).
We almost met Dave's cousin at the zoo, but it was raining
(Mother Nature will do that to ya)
I almost had an entire week of no sugar
(pms will do that to ya).
I digress.
A few things did actually happen, though.
#31- Get Adam's hearing tested.
We actually took him to the ENT to get his tonsils and adenoids checked. My MIL observed episodes of sleep apnea when they were camping last month. Since you just don't mess around with apnea, requested a referral and got in this week. He said Adam's tonsils were "meaty." Nice, huh? Aren't you glad I shared that with you?!? ;) Anyway, when I told him that Adam failed a tympanogram two years ago, he walked us right over to audiology where they did a hearing screening and another tympanogram on the spot! I'm happy to say that he passed both within the normal range!!! Hooray! (Now I just need to work on the *listening* portion of the hearing with him.) By the way, his surgery for tonsils and adenoids is scheduled for July 14. Please pray! I'm really nervous.
#92. See a chick flick in the theater. (popcorn optional)
I'm a big Jodi Picoult fan. My Sister's Keeper was the first book of hers that I read. So, naturally when I saw trailers for the movie I was beyond excited! My friend, Jeanie, invited me to come with her two other friends, Cheryl and Sarah. I had a great time that night! Despite being tired beyond recognition (both boys were up and down all night), I really enjoyed myself and the company of these three women. I felt completely welcomed into their group, and really felt like one of the girls. These ladies really have the definition of friendship down. It was just a really good evening- and I'm grateful I stayed awake for the entire thing! By the way, the movie is decent. Loved the book, liked the movie. No popcorn for me, though. :)
(By the way, I'm totally aware that I could cross another dinner w/ Jeanie off (#61), but I'm opting not to do the 2 for 1 cross off- this way I have more excuses to meet up with her- I'm so sneaky like that...)