Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rosie is a Genius

So far this month Rose has mastered 4 things.

1. Sitting up without help, and getting into a sit from laying down.
2. Crawling.
3. Pulling herself up to stand on anything possible.
4. Getting teeth. Her bottom middle two are going to be here any day.

It makes you ponder the thought that humans are most productive in their first year of life. If only we could continue this kind of growth and intelligence later in life...anyway Rose is a genius!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Abe's Snowy Day

It has been a long time no post, but as things are finally starting to wind down here, I have time to write again. Which makes me very happy.

Just like everywhere else around us, we had the huge snowstorm. We had some 7 or 8 inch snow drifts still left in our yard, and since the wind finally died down, Eric and I decided that it was time to take Abe out for his first real fun in the snow. Last year we bought him a snow suit, size 18 months, but it was way too big. This year when we put it on it fit perfectly, so that combined with Elmo light-up snow boots made for a very well-dressed snow baby.

When Eric first took Abe outside he was a little less than happy. He didn't really want to wear gloves, but eventually gave in. We tried to calm him down and show him how fun it was to play in the snow but no matter what we did he just kept crying. However, once mom hid daddy with a snowball Abe was totally ready to play. He happened to think that was hilarious.

So Eric tried to build a snowman, and I pulled out some dumptrucks for Abe to fill with snow. Eric made a giant snow Angel, and Abe discovered that when you eat snow it's, "not water".  He ended up sitting in the snow with the trucks for about 20 minutes before I decided that it was probably time to go in.

When we went inside, I made the boys hot chocolate. Abe was so very excited and when he tasted it he said it was "ice cream water". Which is a pretty accurate description since it is basically melted chocolate ice cream. The best part of the whole day though was when Abe was saying hot chocolate. In his cute little Abe voice he pronounced, "ha cha cha, ha cha cha". 

Friday, October 2, 2009

Abe's First Sentence

So, this past weekend Eric and I escaped and left the darlings with my mom and grandma. For Father's Day we gave Eric tickets to the Great American Beer Fest, which was last weekend, so we packed up and headed out. We had a great time even though this little momma couldn't drink. Eric had some good beer and I had the best Belgian waffle ever! But the real story takes place when we came home.

On Sunday, my mom, grandma, and the kids had walked to Walgreen's to buy bubbles. When they got home Abe and grandma great went out on the balcony to do bubbles. Apparently, grandma knocked them over and Abe was very upset. We got home late Sunday night, but when Abe woke up on Monday one of the first things he said to me was, "Grandma Great spilled bubbles outside."! That is quite a sentence. I couldn't believe that my little 1 1/2 year old put that together.

I guess Abe was still upset about it. Poor grandma great, she'll never live that one down.

Monday, September 14, 2009

So we are home, and it appears Miss. Rose is feeling much better! She is on antibiotics, and we have to go back to the hospital for some more tests to make sure she doesn't have anything physiologically wrong, but things are looking much better than they did on Saturday.
These pictures were taken today, as you can see, she was in a much better mood! I just love her smile!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hospital Stay

It is 5:19 a.m., and I'm sitting in a hospital room with my baby and baby to be, trying to figure out if this really happened or if I'm still unconcious.

Last night, about midnight, Rose woke up with a low grade fever. We gave her tylenol and she was fussy, but I thought it was probably just some virus that would be gone soon enough. As the day went on we kept giving her tylenol, but her fever kept rising. She wouldn't eat and couldn't sleep unless I was holding her. At about 5:00, her fever topped out at 103.8, and I decided it was time to go to the doctor. Of course, our doctor's office was closed so we had to take her to an urgent care clinic. Why is it that when something serious happens it is always after hours?

Once Rose and I arrived I could see it was going to be a long wait. There were quite a few people ahead of us in line, and Rose was not very happy. After about 20 minutes in the waiting room, they put me in an exam room. I'm not sure who they felt sorry for me, or the other people who had to listen to a screaming baby. By the time we got to the room, Rose was inconsolable and every poke and prod made it worse. The doctor said it wasn't her ears and that she was going to do a blood draw and urine sample. The tech came in to do the blood draw and poked both of her heels telling me that she couldn't get enough blood. Well, I don't know if it was the fact that I hadn't got enough sleep the night before, or that I was exhausted from taking care of sick babies all day, or if it was that I needed to eat dinner, but the pregnancy caught up with me and all of the sudden I found myself nearly throwing Rose at a nurse and passed out on another's shoulder. Strangely enough, every time I pass out, I have this feeling of calm right before I come to. Usually, I have a "dream" about being on the swing set when I was young, and it is always a safe feeling. Not really unpleasant, and certainly a brief relief from reality.

When I woke up I was on the exam table, Rose was gone, and they were shooting questions at me trying to get a phone number. "Do you have family in town?" "No." "Do you have someone who can come get you?" "My husband, but I have the car with both car seats, so no." "Is there someone who can watch your son, so your husband can come get you?" "No, we don't know anyone here." Hmmm.... I never really thought I would be in this predicament. Eric is always giving me a bad time for taking the van when just Rose and I go out because if something happens, he doesn't have a car seat for Abe. I guess he was right, and I had to learn my lesson the hard way.

Eventually Eric called his coworker who was nice enough to come watch Abe so Eric could pick up his incapacitated wife and child. During all of this, Rose was whisked away and they bagged her for a urine sample. Eric arrived and they brought Rose back to me. Once she had urinated they did a quick lab and said she definitely had a urinary tract infection. Seeing as she had cried for almost two hours straight, and hadn't eaten in about five hours the doctor said we should admit her to the hospital.

Eric dropped Rose and I off at Blank Children's Hospital, and went home to relieve his friend and put Abe to bed. My mom came to stay the night and Eric brought me a late dinner and a change of clothes.

After all this, Rose is laying in a giant crib which makes her small frame seem even more diminutive. Somehow this crib looks more like a prison cell than any other crib I've ever seen. The IV coming out of her head is enough to make any mom cry. I won't go into detail about the catheter and IV they did here, but I will say I had to leave the room after a couple of tries lest I faint again.

I didn't really think her low grade fever at midnight would turn into a three day hospital stay, and so I wonder did I wake up yet?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

So Lucky

There are many times during the day when I want to pull my hair out, turn on Elmo, give the kids sugar, and lay on the couch and let them destroy the house. However, there are also times when I look at my two kids and feel so blessed. Today, I had both of those moments, but the good moments were really good.

At one point today, I was making dinner, and I had Rose in her bouncy chair playing with a toy. Abe was sitting on the kitchen counter eating some veggies I had cut for dinner. I had soup cooking on the stove, and cornbread in the oven. We were listening to Abe's favorite CD, "Baby loves Jazz: Duck Ellington" and I was dancing in the middle of the kitchen entertaining the two of them. I just looked at my babies and felt so lucky that I was with them instead of 30 seventh graders.

I've been trying to decide if it is denial or insanity that makes me think I can handle three babies, but I realize it is those special dancing in the kitchen kind of moments that keeps me rosy and upbeat.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Well my dear family and friends, it appears that this blog was named prematurely, as we no longer have two babies! That's right, Manley number 3 should make his or her debut around May 8th, maybe even on Grandpa Brannagan's birthday! My grandma had five babies in seven years, so I can do three in three, right? Anyway, unless this is twins, our pattern of two's has come to an end.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Everyone Poops

Okay potty training has ended up being way too easy! Is saying this going to come back and bite me in the butt, well yes, but I have to admit Abe is taking it very well. Ala TV show, "Jon and Kate Plus 8", I decided to give Abe one M&M when he goes potty and two when he goes poop. This combined with our potty dance has made him ecstatic to try and go. Well he had been talking about two M&M's all week, and he just kept repeating poop...two, poop...two. Then today at dinner he said, "poop...go!". So we went and he pooped in the potty, just like that!

I feel way too lucky, potty training shouldn't be this easy. Maybe Rose is going to be difficult, and God is giving me a break now. All though I must say, cleaning out a potty is way more disgusting than changing diapers.

I am very proud of my little Abe man, he is growing up so fast.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Finding a Pediatrician

Since moving to Iowa, we've taken the kids in to the doctor several times for viruses, etc. They've been sick quite a bit for us only living here a month, but it seems to have settled down for now.

I don't particularly like the pediatrician that we are going to currently, and so I have been on the lookout and doing interviews trying to find the right doctor for us.

What am I looking for...male, older, conservative, a grand-father, not afraid to tell me what I am doing wrong, and intelligent. Yes, call me chauvinist, but those are all of the things I am looking for in a doctor.

So far, the search hasn't been going well.

1. The first doctor wore hemp sandals and had curly hair that looked like it hadn't been brushed in days. Do I need to say anymore than the word sandals? Not professional!

2. The second doctor was shorter than me. The only person I trust shorter than me is my grandma, other than that, it is just too weird. Also, she speaks to children in a voice so high pitched, only they can hear it.

3. This doctor, when I asked him to tell me his philosophy on pediatrics, said the word stuff three times. Does he not know his own field well enough to have an answer on the tip of his tongue? I would think this is the kind of question you get asked quite often. Also he informed me that he would never tell me what to do...ummm isn't that why I'm going to the doctor in the first place?

Am I being too picky, maybe, but seriously. Is it too much to ask that a doctor wear wingtips, is of normal stature, and can speak properly?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Wow! I didn't expect it to be here so soon!

We have had the potty for a couple of months now, and ocassionaly Abe will sit on it with his clothes on and read books. But then, on Sunday, Abe sat on the potty before his bath and went! We of course celebrated and I was very proud. Then Monday, Abe used the potty three times. Today, he used the potty this morning, and before that his diaper was dry.

He is a pro already and we are only on day 3. I feel lucky that he is so excited about it, but I'm just in shock. I hope that the newness of the potty doesn't wear off and that he sticks to it. 

I feel like I have no idea what I am doing. I am not the kind of person to just jump into something. So today we are headed off to the library to see if Mommy can find some resources on potty training. Then we probably need to make a trip to Target and find some pull-ups and underwear. I'm sure that we will find some really cool undies with cars or trains or something on them.

But now, we have one more item to tote with us everywhere. I have to figure out how to take him potty in public places, and still keep track of Rose. Hmm....this sounds like another adventure in the life of Abe!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Eric's First Day of School

So Eric is finally a member of the working class! Here is Eric's first day of school picture. He had his first day at Drake today, and Abe, Rose, and I tried to make his day as special as possible. We made him monkey bread for breakfast that was super yummy. It was an Archer Farms mix, Target store brand rocks!

Of course we had to write him a special note for his lunch box.

Then during the day, Abe and Rose and I took a field trip. We went to a home brew store and scoped out the selection of beers. We came home with a dozen new beers that Eric had never tried. If a liquor store has 12 beers that Eric hasn't had, believe me, it is a good store! Anyway, we were excited for Daddy to have a beer with dinner.

Then for dinner we bought Daddy Alaskan King Crab legs. Eric loves crab legs, but I was a little apprehensive about cooking them. I used one of Emeril's recipes, Drunken King Crab Legs, and Eric said they were delicious! I even made the drawn butter for dipping! Finally we made Eric a cake for dessert. Abe was most excited about this. It was a yummy Chocolate Cherry Cake, which was so easy. This cake is awesome, because it has very few ingredients. The frosting is homemade, and the best part about it is you frost the cake while it is still warm, so it doesn't take forever to make this cake.

All in all, I think Eric had a great start to his new career. Yeah Eric, we are so proud of you!

My new favorite recipe...

Black Bean Mango Rice Salad

When I made it, I used mandarin oranges instead of mango...because I don't like mango. But this rice salad was absolutely delicious and refreshing. I ate it for luch, and I'm going to eat it again for dinner. It is great served with grilled chicken!

Getting Her Back Cracked

Rosie has been a very fussy baby these days. More so than just the normal I need to eat/sleep/poop cries. After talking to my doctors and trying different sleep positions, exercises, bottles, formula, etc. I was feeling like there was nothing to do. My mom suggested taking Rose to the chiropractor...hmmm I was skeptical to say the least.

Begrudgingly, I thought why not try it? It can't hurt. The only pain is in the wallet, as insurance doesn't cover children going to the chiropractor. But, I knew her crying wasn't normal. So I took her in.

She has been adjusted twice now by a chiropractor who specializes in pediatrics. And, all of the sudden momma has a new baby. In only a few hours the changes were noticeable. She is happy, she smiles and coos, she can play on the floor by herself, and she eats and poops better too. I was skeptical, but I don't care what it takes to make my babies feel better, I'm going to do it. And anyway, look how happy she is!

Cooking with the Abe Man

Recently, I've had to keep Abe entertained somehow, whenever I need to make a meal. So, naturally I've started to let him cook. He actually does a really good job of helping. He likes to pour things into bowls and shake any kind of spice, which are all called "pepper". He likes to stir and stick his fingers in just to see if mommy is watching.

I didn't realize it, but every time we put in a new ingredient I say, "noooow we need...", (you can imagine the inflection). Because of this, every time Abe puts something in the bowl he says "now". So the conversation in the kitchen has become quite limited, I talk to him and he says, "now, now, now, now". I must admit, it is pretty cute!