Sunday, March 31, 2013

Photo Book

Click here to view this photo book larger

Photo books are the perfect gift for any occasion.

Callie's 3rd Birthday Party in a Shutterfly Photo Book!

You have to excuse the lack of time spent on my book!  I literally had 1 hour to upload pictures and create this book before midnight!  Callie will still love this as a wonderful memory from her fantastic 3rd Birthday Party!  Thank you for everyone who celebrated with us...she still talks about it (and talks about wanting to go back to Disney World...but hey, I don't blame her, I want to go as well!!)

Once again, Shutterfly amazes me!

Shutterfly offers exclusive photobook layouts so you can make your book just the way you want.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Collin & Carter: 10 Month Update

Let's be honest, I have jinxed the boys and their sleeping.  Never again will I post that they are sleeping through the night :-(  This past month (9 months) they have been consistently waking up 1-2 times EVERY night :(  BOO

10 months already though - 10 months!  Do you have any idea what that means?  They are going to be 1 year old soon.  They are going to be drinking whole milk from a sippy cup soon.  They are going to be walking, smashing into their first birthday cakes, and ruling the world!  Okay so maybe that last part was a bit extreme, but it could happen.

Ten Month Update

Food - Their food intake hasn't changed except for the fact that they have been eating more and more "human" food - as I like to call it!  They LOVE crackers and get really excited when you show them the bag :)  It is one day over (their 10 month mark), but we fed them ham & cheese!  I feel very confident about them eating this as they both have 6 teeth (Collin) and 8 teeth (Carter).  We have been watching them chew up their food, and I felt like they were ready!  It helps that I blogged Callie's life, because I was able to look back and see when we started her on solids :)  They loved the cheese and devoured it!   I'm not going to say it, but that night they did something all night long in their cribs...but I don't want to jinx it :)

Sleep - Like I stated above, their sleeping has been minimal.  When one wakes up, the other wakes up - turns out our children are LIGHT sleepers - which sucks.  But lets face it, I wake up when I hear one of them freaking out, so it's bound to happen that they are going to wake up as well :-/  They've been pooping a lot in the middle of the night too, so who would want to sleep with poopy pants?  Not me :) 

Clothes - Both of the boys are still in 9 month clothes.  I'm starting to wonder if we'll ever get to 12 month clothes??    They're growing still, so I know it's going to happen soon :-)  I can tell I have gotten really lazy with their clothing.  They still dress 100% alike, but it's a onsie here and a pair of pants that may or may not match there...our outfits have all been separated so that will stink when I have to go through that!

Weight - We had the boys in for their 9 month wellness check up - which was actually about 9.5 months (having to get an appointment for twins with the best pediatrician takes awhile)...and wouldn't you know it, they are ALMOST 20 pounds! Collin was 19.13 pounds (30%) and Carter was 19.10 pounds (26%).   Downfall is that they are about to grow out of their car seats :(  Do you realize what that means?  That means we have to go through the whole car seat ordeal that we went through before they were born - trying to find the right car seats that will fit in our vehicle.



Height - Collin was 27.4 inches long (12.4%) and Carter was 28.4 inches long (42%) - isn't it crazy what 1 inch can do in their percentile?  Honestly, Josh and I think that they were the same size, but Collin's looked a little off as he wasn't 100% against the measuring tool and his leg was a little bent- but that's here say...

Diapers - Both boys are still in size 3 diapers, but in a few more pounds we will be moving to size 4 diapers.  WOW!  I remember when Callie was in size 4 diapers - actually that was her last size before she was potty trained!  We tried Target brand Up & Up, but Collin started breaking out in an extreme diaper rash.  We loaded him up with Desitin, this Monkey Butt cream and even Callie's prescription medicine (for rash), but nothing was taking it away - so I switched back to Pampers...low and behold, Collin's rash went away!  High maintenance boy :-)

Health - Thankfully our boys have been healthy for this past month - well, at least since our hospital stay!  Let's hope we can keep it this way!

Collin checking out Callie's new desk - Carter was still sleeping!

Fun Facts - Collin has been standing up on his own and every now and then will take a small step towards us!  He loves to walk along furniture and is such a little dare devil!  He even walks behind walking toys :-)  Carter walks along furniture, but prefers to be cuddled instead of standing on his own!  He has stood on his own for a couple seconds, but then quickly drops to the ground because he realizes what he is doing :)  Carter has 8 teeth while Collin is still rocking 6; however, Collin is the better eater of the two!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Callie's Spring Stage Show

There comes a time in your life when you realize that there just isn't anything sweeter than seeing your own children accomplish something so incredible!  Today was yet again a moment of complete amazement.  I could not be any more proud of my three year old daughter!  Today she danced on the stage at Knowlton Auditorium in Austin High School. 

 L-R: Ashlyn, Clara, Callie, Ella L., Cameron, Kylen, Aubrey, Ella B.

We dropped Callie off in the gym with her dance class at 3:30, and I headed into the autditorium to wait for her :)  I left a box of fruit snacks with her teacher - wondering how on earth they were going to have 3/4 year olds wait for 30 minutes and then go dance! 

After several dance routines, it was Callie's turn :)  Thankfully Josh gave me my birthday present early - my new camera lense, so I was able to zoom in from afar :)

Like always, Callie loved watching the other shows :)  We even saw Lexi dance - she always does such a wonderful job - and these two girls are SO cute together!

Alexis is dead center - arms up :)

Miss Ashley - you had another WONDERFUL dance performance - these girls were well prepared and did a fantastic job :)  Thank you for helping them look amazing on such a large stage!!!

Also, Thank you Grandma Lynn for coming down to support Callie as she performed on stage :)  She absolutely LOVED having you there to cheer her on!  (and play with her all day long !!)


Monday, March 18, 2013

Princess Clock

Alright Pinterest - you have nothing on me...this creation is straight up my very own and YES - people still can be creative on their own!

When working with my students, I often tell them "When the big hand gets to the #3 we're going to be done with this ____."  Tonight for Callie, I decided to give this a try!  I put a small heart sticker on the minute hand of my large clock in my kitchen and a diamond on the #6.  I told her that when the heart touched the diamond she needed to get ready for bed.  She ended up having 30 minutes left to play.  She would run into the kitchen, look at the clock, run back and play!  Then she told her daddy what she needed to do and they went and played!

Okay, the time was near - the heart was almost do the diamond (7:30)...Callie came in, saw the connection of the two stickers and said, "Okay Daddy, time to get ready for bed!"


I decided to head to Walmart, buy a cheapo clock and put Disney stickers all over it :)

Here is my final product - it looks so awesome :)  I used some 3M strips and hung it in Callie's room - high enough for her not to touch and play with it, low enough for her to see it :)

I went to Walmart and bout this clock for $3.97 (wicked cheap if you ask me)...

I figured I could get to the face of the clock somehow, so I started examining it - Low and Behold...there were screws on the back :)  JACKPOT!  I decided to unscrew them and see what happened!

YEAH - the face plate came off - and the glass cover!  Sweet!  I thought I may have to stick the stickers directly on the glass, but now I can stick them ON the clock :)

Being the teacher, I didn't want to cover up the numbers, because I wanted Callie to see that time was related to a certain number and that these numbers meant something.  Josh told me to just cover them up and we can make a different one later where the stickers are "off" the numbers later... OKAY!!  I also painted glitter glue on the minute hand and put a "CROWN" sticker on it!  That way I can say "When the crown gets to "X" you have to do "X"" - she's going to LOVE this!

I'm so glad I did it this way - I think it turned out GREAT!  Just put the glass plate & frame back on & screw together!  This seriously took me 15 minutes to make (the longest part was deciding which stickers to use)!  The BEST part is this clock can be made to fit any theme your child is into and it is SO CHEAP!!!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Snow Day: McRae Style

Who doesn't love a snow day!  Well, we do...actually we are obsessed with them!  If we didn't have to make them up after a certain number, I would have a snow day once a week in the winter!  It's not that I don't like my job, it's just that I LOVE my family that much more and would rather spend time with them :)

Our day was fun filled and awesome!  Josh let me sleep in today (wow did that feel good to catch up a little bit).  Even though I could hear Carter freaking out, I decided to stay in bed and sleep...

I woke up to a pancake breakfast (awesome) and a happy little girl playing away :)  We gave Carter & Collin some pancakes for breakfast too - they loved it :)

Here is what we do on snow days!  We bake cakes and decorate them to look like castles! 

We play outside in the snow!  We go for rides in our sleds, build silly snowmen who are upside down and run around in the backyard!  We make snow angels and get snow all over!

Carter fell asleep on our nice long walk!

Hehe - I bet my neighbors think I'm crazy :)

We have unexpected but so excited play dates with our friends! 

We read books and play games with our brothers!

We do arts and crafts with mom and create amazing St. Patrick's Day crafts for our house!

Our St. Patrick's Day wreath is hanging in our front door!

She made such an awesome face!  I'm so proud of her!

We play with our Princesses!

We dress up in Princess Dresses and sing songs (yes, I did record Callie singing).

We grill out and hope for summer by enjoying cheeseburgers on the grill.

We eat our delicious cake!

We smile, laugh and have an amazing day!

Oh yeah, and Daddy gets our taxes done!  WHOA WHO!

Thank you Mother Nature for this very needed day of fun with our children!!!  I'll always remember these fun filled days :-)

When 1 gets sick...they all get sick...

Isn't that the truth!  We have heard this several times - "Just you wait, when one of your children gets sick, they will all get sick"...Oh boy - they weren't lying!

On Tuesday, February 19, Josh was at his basketball game while I was at conferences.  When I returned home to relieve our babysitter, I noticed that Callie felt VERY warm that her temperature was 102 degrees.  I gave her some Tylenol and we were on our way...this was only the beginning!

Josh stayed home with her the next day (Wednesday)...he actually kept all 3 kids home (I told him, heck, if you're keeping one home, mine as well keep them all...besides, whatever she has, the boys already have because they are always in each other's faces...

Thursday morning, Callie wasn't any better.  I stayed home with her and brought her into the doctor.  We were lucky enough to get into an appointment around 2:00, but later the nurse called and informed us that they were going to make room to see Callie, because her conditions were too severe to have her wait.  We were now going in at 10:00.  Knowing that everyone likes smoothies (or assuming), Callie and I stopped at Caribou and bought her doctor and nurse a smoothie to show our appreciation for making room to see Callie.  I know this sets back her day and will lead to her getting home late to see her own family.  But the fact that she put my daughter's health first is absolutely amazing.  Callie also colored them both pictures :)

Turns out - Callie had Croup.  1. Croup is VERY contagious (meaning the boys probably already have it).  2. It can be extremely serious in infants - GREAT...I have two of them :)  We called Jessica right away (actually right after talking to daddy), to check on the boys.  Before I told Jessica what the Dr. said about Callie, Jessica informed me that the boys started coughing...

When one is sick, they're all sick...

I also stayed home on Friday...but here's what pisses me off the most: I stayed home sick on Friday - I called in to see if my substitute that was there on Thursday could sub for me on Friday (that way I wouldnt' have to go in to do sub plans, she could just follow the same routine)...Great, she could :)  So I was doing the district a favor here...but what gets me is that we had a snow day on Friday - so guess what...I LOST MY SICK DAY.  Yup, I was home on a "sick day" with my children and Josh was home on a "snow day" with his family.  DUMB...worst part, I have Dr. notes...

Anyway...Our weekend pretty much sucked - all 3 kids are now sick and all 3 kids are now being treated on a 5 day antibiotic (I have a nice organized system for remembering who gets what meds at what time, so that is helpful...and no, I did not find this on pinterest....I came up with this on my own!). 

On Sunday, my mom and dad came down in the afternoon (literally they came down from like 3:00-8:00 - THANK YOU) just so Josh and I could take a mini break and go on a date.  We were basically living roommates this past week - never saw each other, were dealing with sick kids when we did see each other, and slept in the same bed.  Thank you so much mom and dad for coming down for that short time to let us be .... well, us :)  It was a very nice few hours away!

On Monday morning, I had the day off & Josh had to work (his 45/15 schedule) so I was home with the kids anyway.  On Tuesday; however, Josh's turn to stay home with the kids...Callie was finally feeling better, so she went to Jessica's while he took the boys into Urgent Care.  Collin was seen by an U.C. doctor, but Carter had to be seen by an ER doctor, because his oxygen levels were low.  They did an xray on Carter and decided that he had RSV and told Josh there wasn't a ton they could do with RSV but to watch him closely.  Great - thanks for that.

On Wednesday, guess what...I stayed home again!  ARG!  My mom came back down on Tuesday night and was going to help me out all day Wednesday.   Callie went to daycare again (she's doing awesome) and I stayed home with my two knuckleheads!  We had Arizona Cleaning come out and clean our vents - turns out this was the first time our house had ever been cleaned...EVER (1960 home people)...  Then my mom set of a Clorox BOMB in the bedrooms - seriously, this woman can clean like a crazy lady!  We rearranged Callie's bedroom, she washed absolutely EVERYTHING and got everything nice and clean :)  I entertained the boys :)  And I helped her when they slept (which they took rock star naps)...Things were really starting to go well for them, and we were really noticing that they seemed to have been doing better - even Carter, who was worse the day before!  My mom went home Wednesday night - again, thank you so much for coming down when I needed you :)

We decided that all 3 kids were going to go to daycare on Thursday :)  YEAH!  Thursday morning we woke up and Collin was REALLY struggling to breathe.  He was gasping and coughing and it was just plain horrible.  Without a question - I threw on clothes very quickly, dropped Callie & Carter off at daycare and Collin & I went to the hospital.  I was expecting to be seen in Urgent Care, but his oxygen levels were reading at 93 (supposed to be 95 for "safe zone", but 99-100% is best).  So they put him in ER.  To make a long story short - here's the next few hours:

* They gave Collin 1 nubulizer treatment
* Took his Oxygen levels again and he had dropped to 92%
* Gave him another neb treatment with albuterol and a steroid
* Dr. came in and told me that we could go home but to continue the nebulizer every 4 hours
* Nurse came in with discharge papers. 
* I asked her to check his oxygen levels one more time for my own peace of mind....
* Collin's oxygen levels had dropped to 86%
* Collin was put on Oxygen for about an hour and half
* Oxygen levels were tested again...Dropped to 78%


Collin was then admitted to the hospital and we were spending the night.  In my mind, I always imagined a moment when I was told that my child was being admitted that I would break into tears and be an emotional wreck, but I 100% surprised myself.  No tears, only complete confidence! 

Way to go me :)

I knew in my heart that this was the absolute best for Collin!  He needed the care of a hospital with the love of his mommy :)  Now, try containing an extremely curious 9 month old baby boy who is on the move and FAST!  I was not about to let him crawl all over the floors (gross), so he stayed on the bed with me or in his cage...I mean crib :)  They did bring in an exersaucer for him to jump around in...

The downfall was not only trying to contain him and keep him happy, but he needed to have oxygen blowing in his face the whole time.  This job was much harder than it sounds.  A huge thank you to Jessica for keeping Callie & Carter longer.  She drove Callie to dance class and brought them back to my house....because guess who came to the rescue in no time!  Yup, my mom drove back down without question.  She cancelled a few things she had going on and headed to Austin to help with Callie and Carter.  It was so nice not to have to worry about them, to worry about them being loved and cared for.  Josh had to work and then he had basketball.  I know he could have missed basketball, but everyone was accounted for so we were good!

See, he's not always super happy!  He HATED the oxygen mask :( :( :(  This broke my heart...but I still captured a picture!

Collin's oxygen levels were pretty consistently in the low 90's, but they were hopeful he'd improve by morning.
 I'm FREE!  I can crawl around and climb in here!

Friday morning, Collin's pediatrician seemed VERY hopeful that he was going to go home!  His oxygen levels looked really good (high 90's!)...but was going to come back at noon to check one last time before sending him home.

Well, Collin decided to stop eating his bottles and to have very few wet diapers (they were weighing ever diaper...I was very quick to push the nurse call button whenever he had a super stinky diaper...I wanted that OUT of our room!).  They checked his oxygen levels around noon and he had dropped into the 80's again.  Next step - Collin needed to be put back on oxygen and he needed to have an IV put in...but only 40 drops per it was pretty slow moving.

 Oxygen tube blowing on him (blue tube), IV in foot, oxygen levels at 89% (you can see the #'s to the right)

 I sure got a lot of snuggles :)

 Flirting with the nurses - I loved these two!  He had them wrapped around his cute little finger :)  He kept removing the mask from the one on the left...(right pictured below)...I think he liked her!

 I finally laid sheets all over the floor and let him crawl around!  He loved the freedom, but I had to follow behind him with the darn IV!

 Why not make a tent :)

He was getting very ansy and sick of being in the hospital - as was I!  Daddy came and visited as often as he could (in the morning, lunch breaks and before heading out for basketball).  Thank you Jessica for coming and visiting!  Collin was SO excited to see you and LOVED his little "get well snack pack" you brought him!  Also, thank you to Marcia for coming and visiting!  Our church family is so wonderful and supportive!  Thank you Lisa D. for coming to the rescue!  She came and sat with Collin (while he was asleep of course) so I could run home, play with Callie and Carter and freshen up!  Callie and Carter were so excited to see me - as I was to see them :)  I seriously have amazing kids!

Anyway - Josh relieved Lisa and I went to spend the night again!

Saturday morning Collin was examined again and was finally given the go ahead to head home.  Honestly, I think he turned around because of the IV.  He was a completely different boy after that IV. 

Thank you to the Langemo family for taking Callie with you to Rochester to go to the MN Children's Museum!  She not only had an absolute blast with your family, but she was given some extremely positive attention while being involved in some fun experiences!  Because Carter also has RSV, he was able to come into the hospital.  What a fun reunion that was for the two boys :) They were so excited to see each other!

My mom went home on Saturday and Josh and I spend the rest of our weekend tending to our sick children!  Thankfully today, Tuesday March 5, was a snow day!  This was the first day in two weeks that we were able to really enjoy our children and give them the fun loving attention they need!  This included things like, playing, going OUTSIDE, dancing around, laughing until our bellies hurt, etc...

I hope I didn't just jinx myself my admitting they're doing better!

Thank you family and friends for all of your prayers...they were answered...God is sure good :)