Thursday, December 17, 2009

Quick update on Mr. Van's kidneys

We had two appointments this week. On Tuesday, Sullivan had an ultra sound performed on his kidneys (rough trip to Mayo, in light of our aforementioned state of sickness!).

On Wednesday, Scott went to meet with Dr. Kramer to get the results. Van's kidney's are not worse and no better than before. This means that we will just continue to have them checked in on by ultra sound every 6 months. In the meantime, we will be on the look-out for UTIs - fevers and smelly pee - which he is prone to have. No biggy! So, the response will continue to be NO SURGERY as long as the scans show no worsening signs.


We are happy. Of course, we kind of retain that hope that the problem will eventually correct itself - the narrowed uriter, that is, will grow to become un-narrow - (the BEST case scenereo) but we're happy with keeping a close eye on it too!

Under the Weather

The title could be taken in two senses: We literally have been under the influence of snow and the cold temperatures in the past week here in Rochester. We figuratively have all been infected by a yucky bug which swept through our house starting Friday night.

Starting to resurface.


As a result:
*Christmas Cards NOT happening before Christmas
*Our whole family might be packing DIRTY clothes to take to Florida next week, since there are no clean ones in this house at the moment (MAJOR BACK UP)
*Our voice mail machine was so filled with unanswered voice mails that it ran out of tape (sorry, friends!)
*The friends we have lined up for dinner Sat and Sun night may have to forgive the dust balls and massive stacks of random stuff that have cropped up EVERYWHERE.
*** ON A SERIOUS NOTE*** I am reminded of just how grateful we should all be for the basic expectation of feeling "well." Wow, that's a good thing. Right?

Thanks for laughing with me. I promise, this isn't a "woe is us" entry. Just having fun.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Squeezed in under a month

I just realized that I almost let a whole month pass between entries. Geez. I'm slacking as a blogger recently. Wanna know why? Starts with S... ends in ULLIVAN.

Not that Sullivan himself is a tough kiddo... just that two is tougher than one (why didn't someone tell me this when I signed up for a second? ha!). We're having a blast as a family of four, and I am not stressed one bit (ok, in rare moments I am)... it is just that I have let some things go [read: I have had to let some things go.] Blogging is one of them. Bummer.

Now that I've analyzed my blogging negligence... let's move onto the newest news in MN. If you have had your pulse AT ALL on the national weather, you know that our first blizzard of the winter hit Tuesday into Wednesday. There are several things I have learned about blizzards in Minnesota:

~On the night when the majority of snow and wind is predicted to hit, it's a good idea to close the garage door (note: The Arthurs are morons)
~No matter how well one's peppy front rear drive car operates in normal conditions, no amount of "pep" can get one over the huge mound of compacted snow at the end of the driveway left by plows dutifully charged with clearing our street (note: the two kiddos had to wonder why Mommy was using all those four letter words while red-faced and digging away around the tires as we attempted to set out for a routine doctor's appointment) (we did get there) (eventually)
~ Despite how accustomed one might assume native Minnesotans have become to snow, even THEY are giddy and wooed by the first BIG snowfall of the season (the couple in October do NOT count... I don't even want to talk about them. Hmph! Bitter about those). At work Tuesday, the ones born and raised here were just as (if not more) thrilled about the impending dump we were scheduled to get as the newbies to the area (oh, that's right. i work at a school. could it be that they just were excited about sleeping in on Wed? we DID get a day off, by the way!).
~ When it falls like it did this week (around 12 inches total), you can pretty well expect NOT to see the grass until March. This is good if you completed the task of raking your Autumn leaves. This is not good if you kept procrastinating on that last pile and never quite bagged it up before the white stuff became the new landscape (this happened to us winter #1, resulting in big brown spot the first half of summer... we learned our lesson and were in tip top shape this year)
~ Post blizzard temperatures are typically more frigid than middle-of-blizzard temps. Today my car read 0 degrees - IN - THE - SUN. Yikes.
~ The coming days of snow and cold (read: TIME SPENT INDOORS) might mean my blogging regiment improves????

Love to all!
Our playdoh creation today (did I mention going outside is not an entertainment option? gotta get creative)

the artist

Not the most flattering pic of Sullivan, but I just love that he his gripping onto this copy of The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagel. This copy was given to me years ago by my Uncle Glenn, and I have become a devoted fan of Pagel ever since. The book, among others, was sitting out because I had recently returned from a meeting with a local pastor where we had one VERY stimulating spritual conversation (that's MY form of worship, sistas and brothas, HALLELUIAH!) Sullivan looks like he might be my sophisticated spiritual thinker!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New name

Jackson is currently finished with his nap and I can usually stall awhile as he gets mildly interested in a book in his bed or whatever in the world he does in there. (He's still caged by the crib - thank God - so he must WAIT until I retrieve him.)

Just now, he started calling for me, "Mommy, mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy." High pitched, low pitched. To the melody of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."

And then, when I didn't go to him immediately (again, stalling), I noticed a pause.... then, "Tricia, Tricia. Tricia. Tricia. Tricia."


Monday, November 2, 2009

A bullet list of comments

* Raking leaves is not for the faint-hearted. I am now sore from the waist up.
* Speaking of my waist, for my own waist-line, I am looking forward to when Jackson and Sullivan NOTICE I am stealing large amounts of candy from their Halloween buckets.
* I am IN LOVE with the website: Thanks to teenage cousin Stacia, who is my inspiration for getting up-to-speed with music and fully integrated into the IPOD world, I actually know my music (a little!). This website allows you to create playlists for free (not downloaded, of course). I just have it going in the background of my computer when it's on.
* Crystal Light has a "cherry pomegranite" variety that is KICK BUTT. Try it.
* Jackson now gets one Curious George fruit snack when he pee pees on the potty and two when he poo poos. Whatever it takes.
* A pizza dinner at a friend's house last night just might have inspired me to learn to cook my own pizzas, like really yummy ones. Hmm.
* Sullivan has his two bottom teeth cropping up almost to their full height and now his top ones are starting to smash on through. Boy, the kid didn't get a break! He's getting an older-boy look, now, with teeth. Almost no more baby face!
* The cocomotion has made its debut this fall and will continue to be a permanent fixture on our countertops through the winter.
* Scott and I have spent the last year obsessing over the Grey's Anatomy drama. Since we got on board SO late, we had to netflix back to the start and work our way to the present. We FINALLY did it! Which is an accomplishment, but it's sort of sad that there's no more giddiness when the netflix envelope gets here anymore. Grey's kept us ALIVE ( i know, pathetic!). So, now we've decided to get on an "Arrested Development" kick. So far, so good!
* My toenails are not painted and likely won't be for much of the winter. They are hibernating. Sad, Sad.
* My winter projects: To upload all my digital pictures that are hanging out on our server just WAITING for the computer to crash and for all of our memories to crash with it - to a secure website AND To organize our files (it was going great till the summer - BAD NEWS BEARS, bills and files are EVERYWHERE).

I'm finished being random.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Lawnmower obsession and a deceased pilgrim

The crew on Trick or Treat night... aren't they festive?

This is ALL Scott.... his creative juices were a flowin!

There is nothing Jackson loves more in the world than LAWNMOWERS. He loves hearing them from a distance, he loves watching them from a distance, he loves sitting in the picture window and supervising Daddy while he mows the ENTIRE front lawn, and he loves talking about them CONSTANTLY.

So what better choice for a Halloween costume than a lawnmower?

Lawnmower Jackson with gardener/leaf-blower Mommy

Lawnmower with leaf-blower Daddy

And below is Mr. Sullivan Skeleton. Isn't he darling? We tried to jazz up his costume with a hat and the only semi-matching one we could find was a Thanksgiving pilgrim hat... oh, well. Whatever works! I LOVE these two shots below:

Friday, October 23, 2009

No joke

Two weeks ago, we awoke to a light dusting of snow three different mornings. This was about a week after a scorching trip to Florida and before I was even able to transform my home into Fall mode. I still had bright colored table cloths and summer vibes going on. It was less than an inch each time, but still, that was depressing...

But then TODAY - now this is a doozy. This is no joke. What you see at far bottom is FOR REAL. It started snowing when I walked out of school at 10:45am, and it has not stopped since. Yikes.

What Jackson spent time doing on Monday - a gorgeous fall day

What our house looked like from the front on Monday (only reason I took a picture is because I registered for a landscaping class and they requested that we bring a visual of our home from the curb!)

What our house looks like from the front TODAY:

Our pumpkins are hardly visable for all the snow. There's just something not right about that.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wowza, it's been awhile

Scott looked at me last night after surfing on the web a bit and said, "Do you realize it has been almost a MONTH since you last posted on the blog?" I guess I didn't realize it had been THAT long.

We've been worker bees here in the Arthur household... The last full weekend in Sept we were blessed with Grandma Lynette's company and got to pack up and spend time at Faith's Lodge, then I headed to Key West, Florida with my Girlfriends to celebrate DEAR BECKY's 50th birthday (hope you don't mind that broadcasted, Becky!), then Scott's marathon race in Chicago the (he did GREAT!), and now we're finally returning to a bit of normalcy after lots of weekends in a row of SHEER FUN! Fun is great, but it wears one out!

I gotta tell ya, the school season is kicking my butt a little too! Adding a second babe into the mix to get out the door with diapers, a bottle, extra outfit, and blankets lovingly packed and with his hat and jacket on - WHEW! You should see us scurrying around in the AM. It's good though. I am getting regimented about going to the gym every other day, too, for a 30 minute treadmill work out straight after work while the kiddos are still at Cassie's. It's rushed, but boy does it feel great when I can say that I taught 2 classes of math, ran 3 1/2 miles (almost), did a few crunches, and played some with my kids ALL BEFORE NOON!

On a side note, I'm convinced every baby falls asleep at the high chair at least once. Sullivan had his moment on Tuesday, on his 6 month birthday as you would have it. One moment he was hungrily eating his green beans and cereal. In the next, we was drooped over and passed out. It happened with Jackson too. Makes me laugh!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Gma Decker visits

We ended up planning our adventure to Faith's Lodge, a retreat center for bereaved parents in WI, on the same weekend that Lynette came for her visit. It was a delightful weekend - weather fantastic and we met some incredible people with heavy stories. It was good for us to celebrate and reflect on Duncan... more on this later. But I wanted to post a couple pictures of Gma Lynette and the boys. There was a canoe and paddle boat there!!!

Big 6 month old!!

This kid is a hoot. Have you seen the thighs? I cannot believe he's 6 months old!

Copy Cats

Sullivan did it

So Jackson had to do it

Monday, September 28, 2009

Crockpots not for the absent-minded

I didn't know you could screw up with a slow cooker...

Leave it to me.

So last Wednesday around dinner-time I popped a few chicken breasts into my handy-dandy crock pot (i've begun cooking my chicken this way 99% of the time - so tender and delicious!) in preparation for chicken salad and such the next day.

Fast forward to 5:45am Thursday morning. I walk down the hallway to my bathroom, eyes half closed - to take my shower. I smelled a distinct chicken-y smell...

That's right, I slow cooked my chicken breasts ALL NIGHT long... that's a total of 13 hours. THIRTEEN HOURS!

It all worked out. Not too dried out.

But I don't highly recommend it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Play-doh people, a smiley guy, and "Cooking Class"

We're on a people-making kick with the play-doh. And they MUST hold hands. I guess this is the male version of paper-doll-making!I wish I could catch a good pic of this guy smiling withOUT fists obstructing the view! This was a sweet moment, though. The little guy laughs/smiles/chuckles at ANYthing. I love him!

I'm not sure what I expected when I signed Jackson up for a toddler cooking class. But, for whatever reason, I was a bit disappointed in do-it-yourself peanut butter banana sandwiches and carrots with food coloring colored dip. I suppose my expectations were a bit too lofty... what did I think they'd teach my 2 year old? How to saute vegetables? This was a family class, so above are Daddy and Jackson TEARING UP the carrot table.

Tennis Buddies

Scott's interest in tennis was fueled by his dad. Ricci (Grandpa) and Scott used to play endlessly when Scott was young. Scott went on to play in both high school and college. When I came across a child's tennis/badmitten racket at Goodwill a couple weeks back, how could I resist?

So when Grandpa was in town last weekend and the US Open was on to boot, you can imagine how the Arthur men bonded over the game. Jackson pulled up his chair to the TV and kept saying "watch ennis. watch ennis." Then, he would look at Grandpa and say "pay ennis pees!" So that they did... if you can call swatting one's racket at thin air "tennis!"

The Arthur men, watching the US Open

Sullivan and Grandpa
At the Farmer's Market

Just too darn cute

Scott was the photographer on these couple shots... SO GOOD!

A new pattern

These past couple weeks have brought a new pattern of living: Up at 5:45. Shower and makeup and hair till 6:10. Dress till 6:15. Cereal and hot tea till 6:30. Devotional and meditate/pray till 6:45. Get kiddos dressed and teeth brushed (in one boy's case!) till 6:55. Pile in car till 6:57. Arrive at Cassie's at 6:58 - 7:00(2 minutes built in for when winter gear necessary... that's added time!). Drop Scott off at gym (on some days) by 7:05. At school by 7:15. Get room ready till 7:25. 1st hour till 8:31. 2nd hour till 9:25. 3rd hour (every other day) till 10:20. Speed home by 10:35am. Running clothes on by 10:45. GO ON A DELIGHTFUL RUN (every other day) till 11:15. Shower till 11:25. Pick up kiddos from Cassie's by 11:30 (every other day... days i don't run she keeps them till 11).

I am LOVING it. I love teaching. I love my boys. I love how comfortable I am with Cassie watching both of them. I love Fall. So - new pattern good.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Picasso is becoming more advanced

My little toddler's art skills are advancing, that's for sure. Compared to last year at around this time, we are seeing HUGE leaps and bounds in his creativity... ha. We have recently been focusing on the sophisticated art of "sponge painting." The results of such technique have never made it to a museum wall, but we're happy to display them on ours.
Below are from July of last year...

Sullivan and Mommy/Daddy Time

Oh, so precious are the moments when Sullivan gets us all to himself. Last weekend was one of those opportunities. Jackson was taking his afternoon nap and Sullivan awoke from his a tad early. So, we captured the little turkey in some pictures. This sweet little boy is ALWAYS in a good mood. I can type that without even having to knock on wood, cuz it's ALWAYS true.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Just finished a solid week of teacher meetings and workshops. I had forgotten what it felt like to be in meetings all day! Tuesday is when school begins. Feels great to be back apart of the workforce again. Doing what I love. Lucky gal.

Grandpa Arthur is visiting now. He's here for the long weekend.

Happy Labor Day, all!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009