Monday, March 29, 2010

Rob said no vacation this year...Grandma had other plans

Hotel Rooms: $130
Gas: $430
Food: $130
34 hours in the car (when it should have been 32 hours, Thank you potty breaks!) with 5 children 9 years and under as you drive across the country: PRICELESS!

But only because you can't put a price on your sanity...Mine is GONE! ;-)Actually, the kiddos did really well considering the amount of time we spent in the car driving to and then back from Utah. For those who aren't aware, we were unfortunate enough to learn that my grandma died last Tuesday morning. This precipitated an improptu trip out to Utah for her funeral. We left early Wednesday morning and got home late Sunday night. Because I'm a wuss we ended up staying in Laramie, Wyoming on the way to and from Utah. I tend to get sick at night, especially in the car when I can't sleep. The kids loved the hotel rooms even though there was nothing exciting to do in them. There was a pool, but it was closed for some reason. Oh well, the kids got over it. They just think it was cool that we stayed in a hotel.

Once in Salt Lake we were so lucky that my Aunt and Uncle had a rental house that was empty for the time and they allowed our family to stay there. It was empty so the kids had tons of fun running around the house playing hide and seek. We are so grateful to Uncle Bob, Aunt Kathy and all their family for getting stuff ready for us to sleep there so we didn't have to worry about bringing too much stuff out (our van has absolutely NO cargo space!) They provided an air mattress for Rob and I, as well as towels, utensils, table and chairs, etc. We are also grateful to Camille and her family for doing laundry for us (including the puked on sleeping bag!)And to whoever gets stuck cleaning up the house after we left, THANK YOU!! We hope that we left it in decent condition. We did try to clean up as much as we could.

The kiddos had so much fun with their cousins. Although we spent a lot of time running around we did manage to squeeze in some time at Bruce and Camille's where the kids could run around and play. Camille's and our kids all match up in age pretty nicely so everyone had a playmate. Sterling and Marianne became best friends as did Emmy and Esther. And Joe and Isaac paired up as well. Cori is about the same age as Alice, but he kinda played with whoever would let him. Mostly hanging around Joe and Isaac I think, although he adored Timmy who's a couple years younger than him. Then there was Kai Kai and baby Bruce...they just sat next to each other and took toys from each other. Kai Kai did like to give Bruce kisses which he didn't seem to care about one way or the other. It was sad leaving them on Saturday though. Emmy REALLY wanted to stay, but it's long way from Utah to Kansas so her coming home later wasn't an option. Timmy, however, was ready to go home with us. He even went to find his jacket! ;-) We will have to make another (planned) trip out to visit again so that the kids can have more time together. Those few days was just not enough!

Timmy and Cori

Joe and Isaac

Emmy and Esther (with string cheese goatees)

Marianne and Sterling

The Bidwell Crew + The Simpson Clan = CHAOS!!!!!

The saddest part of the trip was, of course, the funeral. It's hard to believe that my grandma will never call me again or send another birthday card to me or my kiddos. But at the same time I feel SO at peace about her death. My grandpa died 15 years ago and she has missed him terribly since then. And to know that they have been reunited after all that time is comforting and joyful. I know that grandma is truly happy for the first time in so long. We love you grandma and hope that you and grandpa are making up for lost time and necking like crazy! ;-) (You'll understand it if you knew my grandparents!)

Finally, the trip home! We left Saturday night around 10:00pm KS time and drove until about 3:30am when Kai Kai and I were DONE! Poor Kailyn was uncomfortable in her carseat and just couldn't stay asleep and I was feeling sick. So we stopped in Laramie for the "night" and left the next morning around 9:30am and got home around 9:00pm. Potty breaks, food breaks and gas stops made it a very long trip home. Incredibly, the kids did better on the way home than they did on the way to Utah even though the DVD player was broken! I thought that without the DVD player we'd go crazy, but the kids fought more on the way to Utah ABOUT what to watch, who touched the DVD player or moved the screen, than anything else. Maybe DVD players in the car are overrated??? NAH! We will replace ours eventually...just not anytime soon! We've spent all the money that we can this year and are hoping that we don't have anymore unexpected expenses or unplanned trips!

Thanks for the trip Grandma! Hope you're having fun in heaven! :-)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Random Stuff

"I love sissy!" I love watching my two girls together. Kai Kai just adores Emmy and gets so excited to see her each morning and Emmy loves to play with with her every chance she gets. Hopefully they will always adore eachother this much. :-)

Sissy isn't the only one that adores Kai Kai. Sterling's always wanting to hold and play with his baby sister too. Here he is taking her down the slide at the Sunset Zoo on St. Patrick's day. She LOVED the slide and her big brother's help! Notice Cori going down head first next to them.

And of course, every little girl loves her daddy! Although, she still prefers her mommy, Daddy will suffice for rides on his shoulders and other fun things like that!

She also likes to fall asleep in Daddy's arms at night...Or not fall asleep as the case may be. But with a face that cute, how can you force her to do anything?

The other day we got to have the cousins over for the day. The kids have missed not having Abbi, Jake, Ike and Ethan here, but they get along sooooo great now that we're not on top of one another all day! Here are Kai Kai and Ethan just chillin' on the couch. They get along soooo great! Of course, the fact that neither can talk is probably one reason. Aren't they both adorable!?

Finally here is the movie of the decade. It's an action packed 30 seconds so try not to blink!
Baby Face vs. Big Bro

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Words from Cori

I was helping Cori load the dirty dishes into the dishwasher and so I put a container of silverware on the bottom rack and told him to put them in the silverware holder.
Me: Ok, now put these in
C: (looks at me) Whoa, whoa, whoa! Slow it down lady!
Where do kids come up with these things?!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Rob and Sterling update

Well, Rob saw his Orthopedist yesterday and everything looks great. I got to see the x-ray of his ankle with the 7 screw and metal plate. The weirdest thing is that in the morning before his foot starts swelling you can actually feel the bumps from the screws. Creepy! The doc said that it could take up to a year for the swelling to go away, but he said that Rob is good to go. He can now work towards his goal of running again. We'll see how long that takes. Ideally he'd like to be able to run the Hospital Hill Half Marathon in KC in about 12 weeks. So we'll see how that goes. I wish him the best of luck! And prays that he avoids any more broken bones!

Sterling also saw the Orthopedist yesterday who confirmed the diagnosis of spondylolysis. He's put Sterling on very restricted activities: no running, jumping, rolling around, or any of that active boy stuff for about 6 weeks. This is sad since Sterling is signed up for soccer and will miss at least a part of the season due to dr's orders. On a funny side note, the doc said, "I hate to say this but, this would be a time that you probably WANT to encourage him to sit around and play video games." Now, howoften do you hear a dr say that? :-D Doc also wants him in a back brace, which we went to get him measured for yesterday afternoon and let me tell you, they are NOT cheap! The total amount before insurance is about $1500! Our portion is less, but still a lot. There goes any fun plans for Spring Break, or any unnecessary spending for a while. Sterling is really excited though. He said that all his friends will be jealous. He even got to pick out a design for the brace. He, of course, picked out camo. If that's not available, he picked out a orange and yellow solar flare kind of pattern. He will get his brace next week and we will post pics.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Where does the time go?

It's time for another Bidwell Crew update since I'm not so great at keeping this blog updated sometimes.

On February 18 Kai Kai turned 1 year old! Yay! It's hard to believe that we've had this little princess for a whole year! Everyone in the family adores her and loves her, sometimes too much. For her party we had my family, Rob's family and some friends over. We had pizza, pop and cake. I did make her cake for her. It was a dog...well a dog head I guess. That's becuase she LOVES animals and even though she can't really talk, if you ask her what a doggie says, she will bark.
She did manage to say her firstr word on Feb 24. We were sitting on the floor and behind me there was a picture of Jesus. She pointed her finger and said, "dee dit". I laughed and was like, "Yeah, Jesus" but I assumed it was a fluke. But she said it again. So I picked her up and walked over to the picture and asked, "Who's that?" She smiled really big, pointed and said, "Dee dit". I always knew she was super spiritual ;-) I guess she recognizes Him from living in heaven before she came here. She still does not call me mama or Rob dada however...but I can't be disappointed that her first word is Jesus I guess. :-)

About 3 weeks ago Rob was lucky enough to get his cast removed and replaced with a walking boot. Although he's supposed to be using his crutches still and not putting his full weight on his ankle, that only lasted a week...maybe. At this point he's pretty much given up on crutches and even on the walking boot some of the time. He still doesn't have much movement in his ankle, but he is able to walk on it without too much difficulty. Tomorrow he goes in for another appointmet with his orthopedist and we'll see what the next step in this loooooong process will be.

Another developement in our family has to do with Sterling. For the past few weeks he had been complaining of back pain. And I, being the concerned mom that I am, was like....yeah, sure, you'll live and you're still going to school. :-) I mean, he's 9! What nine year old has back problems??? Well, FINALLY i took him into the doctor since it wasn't getting any better. The doctor ordered x-rays which came back negative so we moved to the next step which was an MRI. Sterling was very brave during the MRI and didn't cry or get freaked out by being put in a tube that made really loud noises. I got to sit in the room with him during the MRI since there are no known effects on a baby this far into the pregnancy. The next evening we got a call from the doctor confirming his suspicion. Sterling did indeed have a problem. He has a stress fracture in one of his vertebrae. The condition is called spondylolysis. It can be caused by hyper-extending the back or repetitively arching the back, like gymnasts would do. We're not sure what caused Sterling's, but luckily usually all it takes are time and rest to heal. Ironically, he also goes to see the orthopedist tomorrow who happens to be the same as Rob's. On a side note, Emmy complained that she hurt her back a couple days ago at school while hanging upside down by her legs and trying to touch her head to her feet...I can only say, not again! I'll give it a week or so before calling the doctor, but it would follow our luck that she ends up having done the same thing.

On some fun notes, Kailyn has discovered the joys of toilet paper as can be seen in this picture. Don't be fooled, she may look cute and innocent, but that is not the case!

She is also becoming an expert gamer thanks to Sterling ;-)

And here are Joe and Cori cuddling on the couch watching TV.

Sterling and Cori were sleeping together one night when I walked in and found Sterling letting Cori watch him play his Game Boy. See, my boys do get along...sometimes.

"WASSUP!!" I hope she's not flashing gang signs....

Kai Kai loves her daddy (but she loves her mommy better! ;-))

And finally for Kailyn's newest feat, she can stand on her hands and feet and look upside down between her legs! What talent! Now if she'd only use that energy to learn to walk.

Robert Allen