Jul 29, 2013

Summer pics: see below for update!

Richmond Zoo, June 5, 2013

Grandpa caught a bird!

Ben caught a bird!

Birthday girl!

She loved her cupcake tower!

Night 1 at the cottage. July 2013. Campfire with the Seelyes!

Water was walk in warm! Brian always looks thrilled...

Abby is always in heaven here!

We could not keep Ben out of the water! Or the puppies!

The twins first fire! And each got their own S'more.  Yes, I ate 2.

Twins, Hailey and Meghan ready for the beach!

Hailey LOVED the sand. Ben and Blake were surfing buddies!

Grandma Huling shared castle building strategies

Dad came for the weekend!

Getting caught up on pics.  Hoping to get more going. And maybe video.  I know.  We've had a great summer so far!  Look below for the griping update.  I hate how complain-y I sound, but just wanted to give an honest update!  We're still having fun, though!

30 week update

 Never thought I'd be the type to put the obligatory belly shot up.  And/or a picture of me in a bathing suit.  But this is something to document and remember.  I tried for the same shirt each time, but the cottage a couple weeks ago threw that!  Pregnancy is measured in weeks.  40 weeks is full term for single (or 10months), and for twins 36-37 weeks is considered full term (or 9months). 
12 weeks pregnant

16 weeks pregnant
20 weeks pregnant

24 weeks pregnant
28 weeks 3 days pregnant

Time for the "How crappy does Patti feel" blog!  I'll try to stick to the basics and just give the general update.

Very general update:  Everything here is going along just fine!  Everyone is healthy!  Everyone!  Healthy!  What I keep reminding myself of!  It's because they are healthy!

FYI: Twins are hard.  Or having 2 kids.  Or being this "old" and having all those at the same time.

But really, I'm sure word is spreading so I thought I'd write about what happened last week.  Patti (myself) landed in the hospital.  I was only in for about 16hours!  No biggy.  Having some pretty regular contractions that were on the painful side (not terribly, but enough to be like "what is this?!").  So, we thought better to be safe than sorry.  I'm putting some measurements in here just so 10years from now I can remember, no need to know what all this means.

When I arrived, I was 0cm dilated, 20%effaced which is good.  They checked my FFN which is a protein to predict labor and it was negaive (VERY good).  But the contractions continued so they monitored me.  A couple hours later I was checked and was at 1cm and 70% effaced which means I was "progressing", but just a little.  So, they wanted to keep me.  They gave me a quite painful shot of steroids to help the babies' lungs mature "just in case."  They also did an ultrasound to look at how their lungs looked and both were moving fluid very nicely (practice breathing).  I also got some fluids.  The contractions continued but I never progressed any further and just needed to wait 12 hours to get the second steroid shot before going home.  The babies looked PERFECT throughout this whole ordeal!  I got to go home by 1pm the next day (Thursday). 

The doctor still wanted to see me Friday and get another ultrasound on the babies.  They are growing great!  At 29 weeks 3 days, Baby A was 3lbs 5oz, and Baby B was 3lbs 8oz (within their margin of error).  Right in the 60%!  Which is a perfect place to be for twins at this stage.  Any bigger, Mom is even more miserable, any smaller and they worry about nourishment.  The doctor and myself were so confident that we even sent Brian on a previously planned business trip.  No worries. I am being monitored weekly from here on out.  They will need to stay in there for at least another 5 weeks (tomorrow I am 30 weeks).  My goal is take both babies home with me from the hospital!!!!!!

So, how do I really feel:  Pain.  Stretching pain, pelvic pain, rib pain, back pain, foot pain, stomach pain.  I have almost 7lbs of baby in me already which is more than Hailey at birth.  I do not anticipate feeling any better until they are out.  But, I am this uncomfortable because they are big and healthy!  The dizziness also persists.  Fatigue.  And I cannot tell you how out of breath the littlest things make me.  I can't catch my breath.  I did 2 half marathons a year ago, climbed the Willis tower and I have to take a break half way up my own stairs most of the time to catch my breath.

Sleep:  hilarious.  I'm getting a couple hours in a row.  The pain wakes me, having to go to the bathroom (A LOT), a pillow out of place, I'm also getting sick to my stomach more and more.  I really can't have anything in my stomach prior to laying down.   But, I've noticed, when I'm asleep, I am A SLEEP! Hard. DO NOT DISTURB!

Other kids: Ben is getting very emotional about the whole thing.  He keeps worrying about me having enough time for him.  He hears everything and the first thing anyone says is how I will have my hands full, or "you won't have time for" this or that.  He's paid attention. 

Hailey is Hailey!  She is getting to be quite cuddly all the sudden.  She seems to know what's coming, too.  But I'm enjoying all the lovin!

We had a week at the cottage a couple weeks ago and it was HOT! But great beach weather and the kids had a ball!  It was nice to just let them run and play.  We had Lenore, Skip and their kids a couple days, and my Mom came up during the week when Brian had to be at work.  She helped build sand castles and swim with Ben! 

Jul 10, 2013

Ben's recipes

Ben has a new passion.  It's cooking.  Coming up with his own creations.  This has only been about a week now.  But he is so serious, and obsessed with it, I felt the need to publish some of his recipes!  He came up with the names, too.

(Measurements are approximate)

Watermelon Passion:
1 cup cut up watermelon
5 grapes
1 iceberg lettuce leaf, whole
7 Goldfish crackers
3 icecubes
1/4 cup water of water.

Combine ingredients in small bowl.  Freeze for 3-5minutes.  "Enjoy"

A modified version came the next day where he added a splash of Cherry Pomegranite V8 Splash prior to freezing.  Added a nice sweetness if you ask me!

Superhero Yummy (pictured):
One piece of white bread, cut up
One Cherry Blast Gogurt
6 grapes
1/4 cup milk
2 baby carrots cut up.
3 icecubes

Superhero Yummy

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, freeze for 5minutes.  Transfer to a cup.  "Enjoy."
A modified version without the bread is also pictured.
Superhero Yummy, modified, no bread

Mr. Cereal
Ben also called it: Strawberry soup with watermelon and cereal:

3 strawberries, cut up
1/2 cup watermelon
1/2 cup Chocolate Cherrios
3 icecubes
a dash of milk
a dash of water
4 Goldfish crackers

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and freeze for 3-10 minutes.  "Enjoy."

I have been supportive of this new passion.  His creativity and focus is admirable!  And yes, I have tried some.  You just watch where the spoon goes and make sure he doesn't insist on you using a straw.  The modified Superhero Yummy was actually not bad and he ate all his grapes AND carrots!  He said "I like the crunchy."  Maybe a chef on our hands?

Jun 27, 2013

The "Twizzler Pregnancy"

On Hailey's 2nd Birthday! Popsicles by the pool in VA!
 Brian has decided to call it this, because all I want is fruity, sugary candy.  Mainly Twizzlers, Starbursts, or Skittles.  Although, twizzlers cause less heartburn.

Sorry for no updates for a while, but we were homeless and just got internet this past Friday!  But we ARE in the NEW house and settling in!  Loving it!  We don't have enough furniture to fill it, yet, but the kids have used the empty rooms (mainly the dining room and living room) to put empty boxes to make forts and car ramps and all sorts of box fun!

We had an interesting homeless time that was filled with travel and family!  Me and the kids lived like gypsies and went everywhere from Kalamazoo, to Richmond, VA, back to Cadillac, MI, and then to Lansing.  We closed on the new house only 4 days later than originally planned on Friday June 14, 2013 and have been trying to make ourselves at home ever since!  We were even reunited with our dear Abby the following week!  I really think she even likes it better here!  Or, she's just so old and tired she doesn't care where she is anymore and is just glad to be with her family again!

Ben update: He's in need of some structure and play time!  He's being very good with all the moving around, but asks to play with his friends, sometimes he wants his old room, things like that.  He's comforted by the fact that he now has HIS bed back and we needed the bigger house for the babies.  Unfortunately, we told him the babies weren't coming until "we are in our new house."  Well, now we are in our new house and he thinks every night when he goes to bed that the babies "will be here tomorrow!"  Poor guy.

Hailey update:  Turned 2 while we were in Richmond!  We had the morning at the zoo and the afternoon by the pool and she had a ball!  She got lots of gifts from Grandparents and Great Parents.  Her parents planned to get her a bike "in the new house".  Guess we better get on that.

She is settling in and also seems relieved to have her bed back!  She still loves her crib, and she just turned 2 so we haven't transitioned her out of it.  We'll see what the next couple of months hold.

Hailey is also, furiously figuring out the English language!  She is a chatter box all the sudden and VERY smart!  She continues to love her colors and can distinguish a lot of them very well!  She also has come to LOVE singing and dancing.  We get a kick out of listening to her sing anything from Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, to ABC's as she lays in bed before she falls asleep.  Often times it's at the top of her lungs!  She also continues to dance to everything and has learned to curtsy very pretty!  She really just wants me to clap and cheer for her.

Both kids have been doing well with having Daddy back with us!  Ben has a little anxiety whenever he wakes up and Dad is not here.  I tell him he goes to work and he sometimes cries and is just starting to see that at least Daddy comes home at night now!  We didn't have that for a couple months, so they are a little thrown off.

Twins update:  I am 25 weeks 3 days pregnant with twins right now.  I asked at the doctor this morning who I can blame for being extremely tired and sore all the time?  The babies?  The 2 I already have?  My husband?  The move?  And her simple answer was "Yes."  The good news we got this morning despite all my DOUBLE pregnancy symptoms is that both babies and myself are as healthy as we can possibly be!  We even had another ultrasound this morning and were told both babies were "perfect!"  They kept saying "perfect".  Good size all that.  At my 20 week ultrasound, which my mother was able to come with me to, they were transverse (lying sideways).  With Baby A flipping all over.  Today, they were both very active and both up and down now.  Baby A is breech, and Baby B is head down...for now.  But they were both very active and have not stopped moving all day today!!!  And, Baby A continues to kick Baby B in the head, much like at the 20 week ultrasound.  Leading many to speculate Baby A is a boy.  Brian was able to be there and got a kick out of watching them move around.  We got a nice face shot of Baby A and he/she is SO CUTE!  It was a perfect round face!  Baby B was facing my spine, but the back of his/her head was pretty darn cute, too!!!  

Update for myself so I can remember these things in the future:  I have gained 16lbs to date this pregnancy.  Not bad except it's the heaviest I've ever started.  And the doctor said this is fine, even for twins since I was a bit heavier.

How I feel, I will use bullet points here:

* I've been having Braxton Hicks all the time, and a couple painful contractions a day, but told this can be normal this early in twins and just keep an eye on it.  Rest.  Drink lots of water. I'm trying.

* At my 20 week appt, my last with my old doctor, I officially measured bigger than my last appt, just prior to delivering Hailey.  Twins are quite a trip!

*  Heartburn: I wouldn't call it that anymore.  I've learned what and when to eat.  But, if I lay down too soon after eating, things just sort of...back, backup.  Sorry.  So, I try not to eat much after 6pm so I can lay down and sleep at night.  No drugs or Tums will help this, so my stomach just needs to be empty prior to laying down.

* Sleep:  I'm starting to figure it out.  Although, we will either need a king size bed, or Brian may need to end up in the guest bed because it takes about 6pillows and 1 body pillow to support various areas of my body.  We are running out of room.  With all the pillows, and my gut expanding, I also need to be awake in order to turn so I have to wake up, flip, readjust pillows, make sure the "heartburn" is ok, then I can fall back asleep.  I will sleep again in a few years.  It'll be fine.

I would like to thank everyone who has helped us in the past couple of months!  Both getting through our homelessness, and getting us into our new house!  Mainly, our parents!  My parents even kept Abby for 3 weeks for us!  Mom and Dad also came and helped with getting boxes unpacked and at least the kitchen and bedrooms liveable in about 2-3days of us moving in!  Amazing!  Now, I can maybe start thinking about all the things we will need prior to the arrival of the 2.  Things like we need car carriers are coming to mind!  It'll come together....

Daddy joined us in VA for a couple days! Lucy loved it, too!

May 14, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!


I have decided that I cannot get a picture of my kids together.  I will try again.  But the picture above, taken on Mother's Day is a miracle!  They don't sit still and when they do they are generally not smiling.  I want a nice picture to give our sitter!  It's their last day with her on Friday.  Need to get to it!

And hopefully these videos work!  They were taken over the last couple of weeks.  Apparently Brian didn't get to helping out with this.  Maybe if I beg he can get them on YouTube and make them look nicer!  But at least I got them on!
And yes, Ben was doing P90X.  He wanted to "get a good workout."  And Hailey was chillin on the couch. 

Apr 29, 2013

Hailey spinning!

So, this was too cute.  Hailey has been practicing her spins!  FINALLY some video!  And I was trying to get some of Ben on, too, but of course my lack of computer skills has upheld that process. 

Hopefully Brian can find the time.  I know he's busy with his new job.  Then coming back to his hotel suite around 5 or 6 o'clock.  Then, well, I think he's making up for lost time with watching baseball and doing his fantasy baseball, and he's taken on some new IPAD games.  So, maybe he can squeeze it in.

The kids and I were in Lansing this weekend to see Daddy.  They had fun! Still sleeping it off.  Once they wake up we're off to see a school for Ben then home! 

Apr 23, 2013

Out with the old!

So, it's been what you might call...busy.  Sometimes I have to stop myself from thinking "Is this going to fast?  Is this the right thing to do?  Did we think this through?"  And just need to stop.  It's done.  We sold our house in Oak Forest in 6.5 days from the time it went on the market.  And about 4 days after that put an offer on the new house only 2 days into our house hunting in Lansing. One thing we learned very quickly, is Lansing's market is what they are calling "low inventory".  Meaning there really isn't anything for sale.  So, we looked at just about every house for sale in 2 days and picked this one!  It doesn't have a bar like our old house, but I'm sure we can remedy that.  One thing it has that our old house doesn't is 4 bedrooms, and a basement!  Part of it is finished and our plan is to put another room down there for visitors.  Our visitors won't get to sleep in a bar anymore, but we can place some liquor bottles around the bed to make them feel more at home I suppose!

Baby updates:  Ben is doing fine.  He's been a little sad this week because Brian left on Sunday to go start his new job in Lansing.  He's handling the idea that we're moving pretty well.  He's getting it.  He knows he won't be at his school anymore, and he's sad he'll be leaving his room.  He's quickly comforted when he learns we'll be taking all our stuff out of this house and putting it in the new one.  He's also in agreement that we need more space stating "Can we have more bathrooms?  Will the babies have their own rooms? I don't want to share with a baby!"

He's been a good helper this week with me being a single Mom.  He's very proud that he can help and I often hear "I got it Mom, I can help Hailey."  Just love him.

Abby:  She's handling the changes a bit more harshly.  She was throwing up yesterday and I can only assume it's from things being different.  She stares at the door a lot waiting for Brian to come home, and I can't get her to leave my side even to go out.  We also forgot her 9th birthday last week.  I think she's mad.  I also can't believe she's 9!!!  Where did the time go?!  I think the kids and I will take her to the pet store today to let her pick out a present!

Hailey:  Turning into a little girl right before my eyes!  She's talking UP A STORM!  I can understand about 33% of it, and Ben can get an additional 12%, so we're making a good team.  She's lost interest in potty training again, and I've lost energy to try right now.  Whatever we get done we'll lose when we move anyway.  She continues to be very independent, and sure of herself.  She has this sideways glance when she knows she's pushing the limits and I try so hard not to laugh at it.  She is cunning.  I am learning from other Moms of multiples that her desire to be independent may benefit me in some ways.  For example: she doesn't really like to be carried anywhere.  She likes to walk.  She likes to get in and out of her car seat herself.  Things like that.  So I'm not really having to lift her a lot.  I just have to stand there and WAIT for her to do things herself.  But it will be nice when I'm huge.

Other Hailey interests:  She is our artist!  She LOVES coloring and drawing!  She's sitting next to me now coloring!  Her hands are often covered in marker and ink these days!  But she can spend forever drawing!  She'll stand at her art table and just color away!  And she's still switching between her left and right hand, but starting to use her right hand more.  I was SO thinking she was going to be our lefty!  Just like Grandma Huling!

Twins:  16 weeks pregnant today!  They are getting big!  Time for a belly picture I suppose.  I've been able to hear the heartbeats 3 times now.  One thing I find interesting is the doctor spends a lot of time listening to them because their heart rates are so similar, so she needs to be sure she's not just listening to the same one twice.  Makes me wonder if maybe they are identical!  Brian says maybe it's just that they are the same gender.  We still don't think we're going to find out the genders.  We have about 4 weeks until our next ultrasound so who knows!  We then get an ultrasound every 2-4 weeks after that.

I am feeling squirms now and then!!  Maybe once or twice a day now!  For about a week now.  I've read you can't feel twins any sooner, but it is definitely them more consistently now!  It's pretty interesting. One is low and left, the other is hanging out a little higher and on the right side.  So far, they are getting along and sharing with one another quite well in there!

One reason I heard the heartbeats yesterday is because I did fall down the stairs on Saturday.  Hurt me more than them I learned.  They are protected.  By me.  I just slid on the first step and went bumping the rest of the way down.  Brian was home still and ran to my aide.  I am very bruised and sore, but everything else is ok.  I know I know, I'll be careful.  I wasn't even rushing or doing anything.  Just turned to help Hailey, and down I went, happened very fast!

I will figure out how to get more pictures and maybe even a video of the kids up.  We packed our desk and I don't know where cords are but I'll figure something out.  Maybe we can even get outdoor pictures!  Who knows.  It was finally nice yesterday, 65 and sunny, and now it's supposed to snow tonight....it's April 23 for goodness sake!    I'm done.  And wait, why are we moving to Michigan?
Old House. Close May 28.

New House! Close June 10!

Mar 30, 2013

Remember when we had time?

Ben thinks it's funny.  Hailey was less than cooperative.
I don't!  It sure has been busy around here!  A couple big announcements...uh umm..

1.  Yes, it is true.  The rumors are true.  We are doubling our child count.  Currently, I am 12 weeks 5days pregnant with TWINS!  Shocking about sums it up!  No, twins do not run in either family, no we did not use fertility drugs, and NO I am not over the age of 35 when the chance of twins goes up (close, but I am NOT over 35).  So, we can only say it's just a miracle!

Being pregnant with twins so far:
HARD!  I don't like to complain here, and I really was hoping to "enjoy" being pregnant one last time, but let me tell you, being pregnant with twins is a whole new ball game.  I have never been sicker.  I spent 2 plus months barely getting through each day.  I am exhausted.  I would like to just lay down in my bed with a book, and sleep...a lot.  Two problems with that, though.  Their names are Benjamin and Hailey.  They really have been great but they are just 4 and 22 months.  So, they sort of need attention.  Like ALL the time.  So, we do the best we can.  I'm starting to feel less sick and more hungry, but the fatigue has not really subsided much.  I just try to rest when I can.

The other issue with being preggors with 2 at a time:  SIZE!  Despite losing about 5lbs the first couple of months, and still being down 1lb from my starting weight, I have more than what you would call a "baby bump!"  I look about as big in the gut as I was with the other 2 at about 5-6months pregnant.  There's no more hiding it!  So, now I'm just hoping I can feel better and "enjoy" being pregnant before I get too big. I'm going to be big.

2. We ARE moving!  Yes, because we didn't have enough to do, we decided to quit our jobs, Brian get a new one and move 3 states away!  No really, Brian accepted a new position in Lansing, MI!  His job search got a little pep in it's step when we thought we were just having one, but as luck would have it, he was offered this job the morning after we found out there were 2 more Bishops coming!  We're nervous to leave Oak Forest only because of the fact that we have this house thing that didn't really do too well over the last 4 years.  But, bottom line is we can't stay with our current positions and pay the bills.  So, time to take a chance!

To answer some questions:
* Brian starts April 22.
* He is staying in an extended stay, and we'll travel back and forth on the weekends.
* The kids and I will be staying here for a while to sell this house, keep Ben at the school he loves, and me finish up my work.
* No, we do not have a house in Lansing yet, we need to sell this thing first
* No, I don't know how/when myself and the kids will be joining him.  Either when the house sells, or we decide we just need to go rent something to get us back together before 2 more people come out of me.
* No, I will not be "working" in Lansing.  I put that in quotes because I will be caring for 4 people under 5 years old.  I think a day at the office sounds like a picnic at this point.  I may decide to get a part time job again when some of these kids get a little older....like a year from now.
* And we still don't think we want to know the genders of the babies, but don't hold us to that...

So, was that enough going on? Hope so because I can't take much else!

The kids are all doing great!  We're finally having some nicer weather and they are at the park running out some much needed energy right now with their Dad.  I tried, but needed to come back and feed.  I'm like a baby right now, you need to feed me a little bit every 2-3hours or I start to cry. I'm sort of being serious..

Oh yeah, the other thing about being pregnant with twins is I cry all the time right now.  Or wait, maybe it's the twins and quitting my job I love (I have one more month), selling our house, moving 3.5hours away, and needing to buy another house all before end of September?  Nah, I'll blame the twin thing!

Happy Easter everybody!
Patti, Brian, Ben, Hailey, Abby, ?, and ?!

Feb 13, 2013

Ice Follow Up! And general catch up...

The only picture we got with both kids in it. It was divide and keep alive time!

Hailey playing on the beach!

As far as my Dad, who had foot surgery, made it! He was glad to get out of the house.

Ben playing ON Lake Michigan.  Yes, that's Lake MI!

The south St. Joe pier head.

The North St. Joe light house.

A nice close up, of the north pier. Only Brian went this far!
As you can see, we ended up going to see the ice on Lake Michigan following the last post.  It wasn't too cold out!  Really!  My Dad jumped at the chance to come meet us.  He had his foot surgery January 8, and was non weight bearing for 4 weeks.  He healed well, and is now off the crutches, but was getting very stir crazy by this point.  Anyone who knows my Dad knows, he does not sit still well!

The ice was amazing!  It really was just surreal.  The kids went out to the end of the railing, I had many little heart attacks, then they went and sat in the van and watched a movie with Grandpa while Brian and I went out further.  The lake itself is frozen out just past the pier which actually is not that much compared to years past.  But the pier heads were spectacular!   The only problem was all the people out there!  We were trying to get pictures and there were all these people in the way!  When we were out there a couple years ago, there was no one.  I guess word got out.

The kids:
In general, everyone WAS healthy.  Other than a very brief, but violent bout with the stomach flu I had in December, everyone has been relatively healthy.  Until this week.  Hailey is fighting a little upper respiratory thing.  She started antibiotics yesterday, she's up coughing a lot at night, and super cranky during the day.  I hope I make it through this.  Ben and the rest of us are staying strong and I'm convinced it will stop with her!!!  Right?

Ben: 4 years, 2months.  He's amazing.  He's really starting to test his negotiation skills.  And our patience.  Really just around bed time.  His new favorite saying is: "Mom, Dad, here's the new deal."  Other than that, he's still our good guy.  It is working for naps, we're down to a nap every other day or so... Oh well.

 We're finally learning that Mom is happier if you SIT and eat your meals.  He's even reminding kids on our play dates of "the rule" to sit while at the table.  Anyone who has tried to sit and eat with my kids knows how big this is!  Meals are becoming less stressful all the way around. 

He continues to be in love with school and is making all sorts of friends.  He's very big on practicing his letters. He can now write his "short name" (Ben), and his "long name" (Benjamin) all on his own!!  We're working on the last name and he can do it with us telling him the letters.  Very smart!  His letter recognition is also improving!  He has almost the whole alphabet down!!

I think we just had a growth spurt with both kids, but Ben especially is suddenly tall and very skinny!  All is shirts are a bit short on the waist and arms.  He had a school tea party last week (hope to get video up soon of his dance) and he ended up standing with the Butterflies (the 5yr olds) and was taller than most of them!  His Bear class (the 3>4 year olds) was on the other side.  He was definitely one of the most animated of both classes!

Hailey: 20months, 2 weeks.  Hailey continues to try to keep up with her big brother.  This is...well...fun for me. The thing is, this girl can hold her own!

 Her words are getting MUCH better.  Her language is really exploding now!  I hear her talking to her dolls in her room and she's so sweet.  She got a stroller and a bed for her dolls for Christmas and loves pretending to put them "night night."  She kisses them so sweetly before putting them down and covering them up.  She likes to sleep with her dolls at night and just hugs them tight and pats their backs saying "Ove oooh,"  which is her "love you."  Pretend play is big with her now.  Tea party is our other new favorite.  She puts out all our cups and saucers, "fills" them up and drinks up with "Aaaahhh" at the end! 

Favorite Ben story:  We went to get his 4 year old vaccinations a couple weeks ago.  The nurse came in and said to me "Does he know why he's here."  "Yes" I said.  I always prepare my kids for what's coming.  Ben knew.  Here's how it played out:

Nurse to Ben: "You know you're going to get 4 shots?!"
Ben: "Yup" and lays down on the table.  I grab his hands.  The nurse gives the first two in his left leg very quickly.
Ben to me: "Mom, stop holding my hands so tight!"
Me: "Oh, ok." And ease up.  The nurse gives the other two in the right leg.
Nurse to Ben: "WOW! That was amazing!  No ouch or anything?"
Ben, very matter of factly: "No, it just itched a little.  I'm a superhero."

The nurse literally gathered others in the hallway as we walked out to see the 4 year old that didn't even wince when he got his shots!

Favorite Hailey story: She enjoys pulling my pants down.  I know, maybe inappropriate for this, but truly, this is a cute problem.  It's generally while I'm prepping meals in kitchen.  She'll come in, grab on for a hug while I'm elbow deep in a meatloaf, and just slide down.  I swear she knows I'm defenseless. Maybe I should wear less sweatpants around the house..  Love that girl!

Jan 24, 2013


Had to share this picture.  And this may lure me there.  This is a picture of the St Joseph, MI light house.  Do you remember all those summer pictures of us on my Dad's boat, warm, sunny, bathing suits?  Well, this is the same place!  It's been cold here.  The winter was off to a slow start, but is starting to pick up steam!  Or ice, it's starting to pick up ice!  We've had temps that are highs of 1deg (feels like -15), staying steady around 10deg (feels like 0) all week.  You don't want to know what the lows have been.

Not much snow, although only we can say that.  Talked to my parents this morning and they got 17inches in 2 days thanks to being to the east of Lake Michigan, the lake effect snow machine.  We have less than an inch, total, for the whole winter.  I wouldn't mind seeing a pretty blanket of snow as long as it's this cold and we can't go out anyway!  Instead, I have Ben asking for a walk everyday and me trying to find a way to entertain them some other way!

My goal:  take  more videos and pics of my kids in the next week and post!

St. Joe, MI 2013

2013-01-24 11.44.40.jpgThis is Hailey this morning.  This is about the most "play" we've gotten in the snow.  She's never really gotten to!  Well, she did some sledding last winter but was 6months old.

Another image of how cold it is.  This is a warehouse fire in Chicago yesterday.  According to the news this morning, it is still on fire, though covered with ice.  It's literally too cold to fight a fire!  They are now having trouble getting through the ice to appropriately fight the fire, and the water is freezing before it's able to reach the flames so they're not getting the proper aim/power.  Crazy!
 Chicago firefighters return to the scene of a warehouse house on South Ashland Avenue in Chicago. A fire that smoldered for hours into Wednesday afternoon rekindled Thursday morning, almost a day and a half after prompting the largest fire department response in years. Chicago Fire Department Spokeswoman Meg Ahlheim said the department expects fires of that magnitude to rekindle.

Jan 22, 2013

Christmas Redux - Points in Time

Okay - I've done the whole Xmas recap thing before (still gets random Google hits, to this day).

Now, let's look at Christmas as a series of points in time. These are the points which will stay with you (or at least me) for quite some time...even after the missed flight and hours of driving fade away.

Back porch of the beach house. Emerald Isle, NC.

It was cold - but not Chicago in January cold. Warm enough to put on a sweater and stare out at the dolphins. We made a few bloody mary's, poured a glass (or two) of wine. Patti, my sister Allison, my dad, Ben and I were just talking. I remember this because of the fun we always have talking. Patti was loving the relaxation, as were we all. I was playing everyone's cabana boy and fixing drinks and blocking the sun with my big head. I was even asked to drag chairs to the right a bit so the shadow would hit in the perfect spot. Ben and Dad struck up conversation... as usual. The beach, seashells, peanuts, you know...the usual. Knock knock jokes were the hit of the afternoon. However, Ben was unusually emotive, as you can see by the pictures below.

I think this might be in the top 10 list of Christmas highlights - maybe tops. I'll be more sure later when more pictures come.

- Brian

PS - Knock knock. Who's there. Banana. Banana who? Knock knock. Who's there. Banana. Banana who? Knock knock. Who's there. Banana. Banana who? Knock knock. Who's there. Orange. Orange who? Orange you glad I didn't say banana!

PPS - Hailey was sleeping. She sleeps alot.

PPPS - Mom was sleeping. She sleeps alot (haha).

Jan 21, 2013

10,000 Hits!

Okay, in 2011 Google got 4,717,000,000 hits per day. Facebook? Somewhere in 2010, they surpassed 100 billion hits per day.

Major League Bishop? We just passed 10,000! Hits. Per. 5 years. We're on track.

So over the past 5 years, we've written 298 posts. 10,000 hits gives us.....ummm, you do the math.

But I'm excited. So excited that I want to give back. Get ready for PICTURES!

I'm excited.
Ben's excited.
Hailey's excited.

Patti's ummmmmm.....

Get ready for more!

- Brian

Hailey Slideshow

Slideshow for you!