Monday, November 22, 2010

first snow day

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Guest Post by Anna

I'm doing this guest post, because Kat told me "you should do a guest post" when I said she should do a post before our trip to see her family. I thought I'd try to be funny - or show her that I could do one super fast and that something is better than nothing, maybe. So here ya go - an update from the other mom:

Arden is learning so fast lately. Earlier this month, she learned how to make a monkey noise -- she would bounce up and down a little and say, "ooh ooh," when we asked her what a monkey says. Then, she learned elephant and would raise her arm and say, "mphmmmph." We thought they were both the cutest thing ever and have tried to get to make the sounds often, but she won't do it anymore. I guess she lost interest for the time being, but we we've heard that kids stop doing new things for no reason and then start again.

Arden is also walking really well now. I don't remember the last time we saw her crawl, and she loses her balance less and less often.

What else? My mom was here this weekend for my sister's baby shower. Kat and I volunteered to organize, but luckily, my mom stepped in and helped A LOT. She flew in Friday night, and we made food and decorations Friday evening and Saturday morning. The shower ended up being a great family get-together, and my sister said she had a great time. Arden had a good time at the baby shower too. After she got over the shock of waking up and being carried into a room full of strangers, she enjoyed exploring the house (my aunt hosted), toddling from room to room, opening anything she could get her hands on -- including the unopened shower presents.

Mom bought Arden an early birthday present while she was here. We picked it out together at the local toy store while Kat stayed home with the napping baby. We got a wooden xylophone and a handful of small things for the big baby and the new one to come. Arden already likes playing with her new toy, and we're hoping it will keep her entertained all year long.

Hopefully Kat will post the video of Arden "opening" her present tomorrow.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


i was going to do a few photos, but then i started looking back through the past month plus. there are a lot of great shots. :) enjoy!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

no excuses

i'm lame. i haven't really posted anything in quite a while. sorry guys.

there is a butt load of stuff to update you all on. hmm... this may get long. back in the middle of october, anna had a work training thing in chicago. we decided that arden and i would fly to indiana at the same time anna was in chicago. this way we could see my dad and brother (and
their families) and save on one plane ticket, since anna's work paid for her's.

arden and i spent 2 1/2 days staying at my dad's house. arden got some quality grandpa arvid and grandma edris time. arden hadn't seen my dad since she was a month old, and edris hadn't
met her yet. they were very excited for the trip to say the least :) we basically hung out and caught up on life. arden was terrible at napping on this trip, which stressed me out, but we tried to just roll with it. a cool little milestone for arden and me happened when i went to the gym with my dad. they have a kid's care area to use while you're working out. we have never left arden in a setting like this. i was very unsure of how she would do (or i would do). she didn't cry when i left. when i peaked in the window after my workout, she was just sitting on the floor watching all the bigger kids play. she didn't even freak-out when i came in to get her. it was no big deal :)
what a relief. i feel like, if the need arose, she would be fine doing this again.

after staying at grandpa's house, we went to my brother's just an hour away. anna finished her work thing on that day too, and took a bus down to indianapolis to spend the weekend with the whole family.

my brother, neice jennika, dad, step-mom, anna, arden and i went to a place called conner prairie on saturday. it's an early to mid-19th century "outdoor living museum." lot's of fun :) the weather was gorgeous while we were there. we got to see a lot of animals, crafts, and gardens. everyone that works/volunteers in the village/towns acts as if it is really early 19th century america. i loved it.
grinning like a goof at cousin jennika

chillin' with grandpa, grandma edris, and uncle myk

the next day we did an alzheimer walk to benefit research. my brother works for an assisted living facility. his family and mine went out to support the event. i was excited to be involved in something like this, and ended up feeling disappointed. the route for the walk was not well organized. it was basically an out and back, not a loop, which makes a lot more sense. i think it was the same for the running section of the event. there were a few tables at the start/end, but they appeared to all be for assisted living/retirement communities. while those definitely belong at this sort of thing, i thought they should have more. maybe some representation from the medical community. like what is alzheimer and what is being done to find a cure. oh well. they did seem to raise a lot of money though. that's positive.

the trip over all was wonderful. i was really happy to introduce/reintroduce arden to my family. she had fun playing with my nieces. the adults all got to have a fun baby around for a bit. i know we'll need to go through a little "stranger" anxiety again when we see them, but she's getting older. i know she is creating more long term memories of these people. hopefully we won't need to go so long before seeing them again :)

after that short 5 day trip, we were home for a week and a half before jetting off to puerto vallarta! it was a little nerve-wracking packing for this trip. what did/didn't we need for arden? in the end, i felt that we had everything she needed, except for a thermometer.

our trip started off well, although way too early for my taste. arden napped fine on the plane. she loved playing she the items in the back of the seats. taking them in and out repeatedly. she seemed to be a little warm though. we chalked it up to being on a warm plane and being primarily held in our laps. the second leg of our trip from la to puerto vallarta she seemed to be getting warmer and very sleepy. we thought it was odd, but weren't too concerned. that first night we had dinner on the beach. arden played in the sand while we chatted. while we were finishing dinner, she started to get fussy so anna's mom walked her around. arden fell asleep in mary's arms. that was out-of-the-ordinary for her. she hasn't done that since she was a little baby.

the next day we played at anna's parent's hotel pool. arden had fun hanging on to me in the kiddie pool and passing a toy back and forth with another little girl. when we got out, she wanted to sit in my lap and nurse. she subsequently fell asleep. she woke up a little when anna's brother and sister-in-law arrived, but then passed out again. no boob this time, just passed out. then she did the same thing in anna's arms. at this point i'm worried. she's pretty warm and has been rubbing her ears a bit.

we went to the pharmacy and bought a thermometer. when we checked her temp it was high (but not scary). she is acting very fussy and needy. i'm starting to freak-out. i have a potentially sick baby in a foreign country. for peace of mind, we decide to go to the doctor. anna's mom knows some medical spanish because she is a nurse practitioner that works with a lot spanish speaking clients. we hopped in a taxi (sans car seat, they didn't care down there and in hindsight i really should have taken the time to grab it). drove like max 10 minutes away. we tried to pay our fare, 40 pesos, and he would take our 100 pesos. they don't like to give change in most places/taxis. i was getting pissed because i just wanted to get out of the damn taxi. i basically shoved it at him and said to forget the change. so annoying.

it turned out that he brought us to the urgent/emergency care hospital instead of the place we asked for (it ended up being two blocks away). the doctor on call spoke moderate english, so it was fine. she examined arden's ear, eyes, and throat. her fever was already going down from the tylenol we gave her (we had remembered to pack that). the doctor decided that it was most likely an ear infection. her left ear was a bit inflamed. she wanted to call a pediatrician in though. it ended up be the pedi. we would have seen if the taxi brought us to the right place. oh well :) that doctor said the same thing and prescribed amoxicillin and ear drops for pain relief.

after we go the meds and returned to the hotel, we discovered that the amoxicillin was in powder form. the pharmacist forgot to add the water to it. we didn't have the number for the pharmacist, so we couldn't call and ask. anna and her parents tried to decipher what the package said. anna's dad finally noticed a marking on the side of the bottle that looked like a "fill to here" line. so anna filled it... with water from the hotel sink. oops. now we had heard that the water is much safer than it used to be, but still. even in america, i don't really like to drink out of the sink at a hotel. we had a momentary freak out wondering if the drug wouldn't be safe for arden now that we had added regular water to it. hell, we didn't know if we added enough water.

arden took the amoxicillin just fine. it had a nice orange sherbet smell to me. the ear drops were another story. she hated those. we stopped doing them after a couple days because she seemed fine. we did the whole amount of amoxicillin, but it became clear that we either hadn't done enough water, or were giving her too much medicine at a time, or both. we really should have just gone to at pharmacy and asked for help. silly americans. we were supposed to give her the meds for 7 days. we finished it in5 1/2 days. hmm. except for arden throwing up in the middle of the night the first night we gave her medicine, she was ok. she didn't sleep for crap and would only nurse, but she seemed to be getting better.

aside from arden being sick, it was a great trip. one day we took a crazy, bumpy bus ride out to a village in the foothills. we went to this restaurant on the river that had really good homemade tequila. i had a little sip. it was so smooth. arden got to play in the river while we waited for our food. she loved it. she had a meltdown afterwards, but anna ended up getting her to sleep in the ergo. they laid down on a rock by the river and just listened to the water.

sunday was halloween. i didn't realized that they would celebrate halloween like we do with dressing up and trick-or-treating. kids were running around everywhere in costumes, even in the bars :) i really wish that i had brought a costume for arden. oh well. that night anna's dad watched arden for us so we could go out. basically we put her bed and he sat in the living room making sure she stayed asleep. we went out to a bar owned by an ex-pat and played pool. they had a band playing that was pretty fun. this is where we saw kids running around asking for candy. after that we went to a bar called garbo's. it's a piano bar. pretty gay :) their was a waiter that was very friendly there and spoke english very well. he congratulated anna and i on our marriage, and cooed over arden when we saw him the next day. while we were at garbo's i told anna and her brother that i had really wanted to enjoy our night "off" from arden. i wanted to enjoy my drinks and dance with anna. and i did. i thought it would be a great idea to get a shot of tequila to go along with my margarita. not so smart. then i followed up with a second margarita. i don't remember leaving the bar. i forgot about using the lobby bathroom at anna's parent's hotel. i forgot about spitting all over said bathroom because, well, i wanted to spit. i do remember magically being in an oxxo (like a 7-eleven) and finding nachos. i love me some fake orange cheese with jalapeƱos. oh man. silly, silly kat.

i was regretting all of this when arden decided to wake up twice after we got home. i ended up bringing her to bed with us the last time (might have been the third time, actually). ugh. i did not feel good in the morning. i really wanted a mcd's breakfast. best hangover cure :)

but no mcd's for me. we had to get our butts up to make breakfast for the family. we had a mini-kitchen in our suite. we cooked up some eggs and even added some leftover spicy shrimp. so good. almost cured the hangover. after breakfast we hopped on a rented boat to go snorkeling and play on the beach on some islands.

i think the boat scared arden a little bit. she basically hunkered down and nursed herself to sleep under my sarong. we got to see dolphins, sea turtles, and different birds. our guides tried to catch a turtle for us to get photos. basically, they just lift them out of the water and put them back. the turtles kept diving before we could get them though :) smart things.

i had never been snorkeling before. i was pretty nervous about putting on the mask. i get a little claustrophobic when my breathing is restricted. but after practicing on the boat for a while, i felt comfortable. it was amazing. the fish we so colorful. the rocks were amazing. anna's brother is really into saltwater fish, so he really enjoyed himself. he was able to point out a puffer fish that i definitely wouldn't have noticed otherwise. arden wasn't too happy when we were out of the boat though. anna and i weren't able to swim together for very long. but it was ok. i totally intend to find another opportunity to snorkel in the future.

after that, the guides took us to a beach on another island. there was a large group of tourists, but they left just a little after we arrived. we had the whole island to ourselves. the water was amazing. there were hermit crabs all over. the tops of the cliffs around the beach were covered in cacti. i could have stayed there forever. arden had fun toddling around in the sand, but would not go near the water. it definitely frightened her. even if we held her. we had to take her in at one point because she was covered in sand from head to toe. poor, screaming baby. fortunately she'll have no memory of that (right??)

we left mexico the next day. our flight home was uneventful. arden was clearly happy to be home the following day. she just walked around the house playing with her toys. she napped well in her crib. i was happy to have my bed and shower. looking out at the grey skies right now makes me miss the warm sunshine, but it is so good to be home.

the next post will have photos from our trip. there are too many for me to add them on this already long post :) i also have a post going about arden's development. she is growing so quickly! i can't believe she will be a year in just a few weeks (sniffle, sniffle).