Sunday, July 26, 2009

We've had such an exciting summer so far! We've been to Des Moines two weekends in a row to get our van fixed so we decided to stay over and have some fun while we were at it!
During our first trip we stayed two nights and went to the living history farms. It was so neat to see all the different farms in the different time periods. The kids really enjoyed it. They got to pet a cow and pump some water from a well, they even got to attempt mowing with an old fashion weed wacker...the guy was pretty brave. Arianna was swinging pretty high and it wasn't a toy!! It was a warm day and a lot of walking (and pushing the stroller/pulling the wagon) so we were all tuckered out when it finally came to an end.

On the same trip we spent an evening at Chuck E. Cheese which the whole family enjoys. The kids get to play for free on the play equipment, and then we all enjoy the token games when they are tired of the play set. This time we decided not to waste money on eating there, the kids are always too distracted to eat while we are there anyway!

We also ate at the Machine Shed Restaurant and the kids and I all got to take a ride on a John Deere Tractor. The driver was especially kid friendly and everyone fell in LOVE with the tractor. It was a bumpy ride and later when we rode a wagon at The Living History farms, Ethan informed us that he liked the bumpy one better. The kids are interested in picking out the John Deere tractors from the others now as we drive around.

During the middle of week we took the kids to the park and worked on our bike riding skills. Arianna has been doing okay, but seemed to finally figure out riding with two wheels, we let Ethan give it a try too, just to see what he could do, and he took off! THey are both excited to be able to ride without training wheels. Now Ethan wants his bike back so we are working on Arianna going back to her bigger might take a few more tries until she is comfortable being further away from the ground.

Arianna and Ethan have also figured out how to swim this summer also. It's amazing what they pick up in such a short time. Arianna can now swim from one side of the pool at camp to the other in the deep end! Ethan does as well when he isn't worried about the deep waters. Isaac is happy to just sit in his boat and cruise around, and I think I 'll keep him there for awhile longer.

Last weekend when we went back to Des Moines to finish the work on the van we went to the Botanical Center. It was so pretty. They gave the older kids a little scavenger hunt where they had to find certain trees, leaves, and flowers. They loved seeing so many "weird" trees that they are not used to seeing. I loved taking pictures in there! It was so much fun, and so many neat natural backdrops. I also enjoyed that it was a shorter outing than the previous week, I think we'll have to save the longer adventures for a couple more years.

This weekend we needed something to do, so I thought it would be fun to have a treasure hunt around town. So I made up clues and hid things with more clues in someplaces I thought the kids could guess from the clues and let Andrew and the Kids try to find them. Our last clue they had to order at sonic. The waitresses were more than happy to help out, it was so cute watching Arianna order her drink and clue. Andrew was slightly embarrassed but overall it was a HUGE success. Arianna thinks we should do it every day!

My summer term 2 class has 3 weeks left! I will be GLAD to see this section go... The teacher leaves a lot to be desired. I've decided I need to spend class time just reading the book, and trying my best to ignore what he says so that I won't be confused. He really is a nice guy, but seems a bit too smart for my understanding, and he refuses to watch the clock! Some of the kids turned the clock ten minutes faster in hopes that we would get out on time, but no luck!
Arianna is finished with all of her many trips to the dentist for now...poor thing only has 6 teeth left on the bottom after the dentist finished pulling. Her top two front teeth are getting pretty loose now too. If those go before some of the others fill in, she will have a really difficult time eating. We were so proud of her, she was scared but did so good, the dentist was impressed also. She had 4 cavities and 3 teeth pulled (in three visits) with just novacane, Andrew opted out of the anesthsia.

Well thats what is new for the last few weeks, I thought I would put in Ethan's swollen ear picture from his latest moquito bite...just in case you need a good laugh!

Monday, July 6, 2009

The last three weeks have passed in a blur. We had 3 great weeks of camp and a wonderful visit from Bennie Guymon and "macky" as my kids call him. We ended our three weeks of camp heading to MN for a whirlwind visit with all of the Pratt family (minus Jordan & Gerry).
Having Bennie and Zach around was a lot of fun. I felt bad that there was so much going on during their visit but we still had a lot of fun. Bennie was especially good to keep Andrew and I in line from time to time, we both really liked having someone be honest and call us out from time to time in a totally acceptable funny way. Sometimes you need help really "seeing" yourself, and Bennie was great to help! We really really appreciated everything he did for us. God has really blessed our lives to have friends like him.
We all really enjoyed camp, it was tiring but such a blessing. I love seeing kids who want to learn more about God all crammed together in one place! Last week was especially fun spending time with Brian and Kathy (not sure of the last name) from Colorado (they are related to the Weller's). They were such a blast! Fun songs, fun jokes, fun times, fun fun... Its refreshing to meet and be able to fellowship with Christians you have not known previously, as if you've known them your whole life!
It was also good to see all of the family in was interesting as most Pratt gatherings tend to be, but still good to see faces we haven't seen in awhile. I even got to see Christy Cobb (now Davidson) and meet little Cade (maybe Kade??). Matthew and Cade are only a few days apart, but they are still too young to be interested in playing very much, hopefully that will change soon. I can't wait...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Its been awhile! With much prodding, I will do my best to keep up better with the blog as my time to chat via email or telephone has evaporated.
We are full into the summer already. I am 3 weeks into classes, VBS is finished, and Senior week of camp has just started. The kids are loving their summer already!
Saturday was one of the best days I've had all year. It wasn't because it was full of bright sunshine or beautiful things to see, in fact it was a cloudy day with sprinkles here and there, but the temperature was perfect! A perfect day to be outdoors! So we spent the entire day out. First we went for a walk, and stopped in to visit Merle and Mattie Prater. They are such a sweet older couple, we really enjoy them. Then we went to a civil war reenactment. Ethan and Arianna were especially taken with that! They loved the horses and the uniforms, the tents and big dresses. Ethan and Isaac liked the guns and canons!
Later we went for ice cream, then we went to a mini carnival they were having in town and let the kids slide down a giant slide and ride the carousel horses.
It was little things, and we didn't spend very much money, but it was just a perfect day in my book. Being out of the house helped me to be able to focus on my family and not be distracted by my endless loads of laundry and the lawn that needs mowed, or any of the other hundreds of things I "could" be doing. We just spent undistracted time together. I think as a stay at home mom, this has become my biggest struggle. I am used to being with the kids so much that I short change them and myself, by multitasking my way through our days. Saturday was a great reminder of the blessing that can come from just setting those "distractions" aside from time to time and just be where you are. I think everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.
I don't have a lot of time but I thought I would leave you with a couple of funny things happened this week.
First we heard Ethan and Isaac talking in the backseat of the Van and Ethan was talking about going to "messico". They jabbered back and forth for a little while and then we heard someone ask where messico was, and Ethan replied, "I don't know where it is, but its where they make messes!"
Then on Thursday night, Andrew and I were sitting on the couch and chatting, when we heard some cats outside getting into the garbage and fighting. So Andrew jumps up, rushes into the bedroom and pulls out his BB Gun that I got him as a joke. I hisper, don't shoot the cat!!" But he darts out the door and shoots the gun off. He comes back and looks a little bit like Ethan when he is guilty of something and says "you know that tire that we needed to get fixed...I shot it and it went flat." Not a big deal really, I was just glad he didn't shoot the cats! He was surprised because he thought he aimed it at the ground. Then he goes out and comes back in and says "Paula, its worse than that.." Yeah it was! HE SHOT OUT THE VAN WINDOW! (ok so officially he did shoot the ground and it rickocheted up and hit the van window). Then he says to me, well if you had bought the shotgun I wanted it would have cost the same amount of money, since the window will now cost $300 dollars to replace! HA! That was the most expensive $20 I have spent in a LONG time and now surely there is no shotgun in the near future!! I learned a valuable lesson...don't buy BB guns for kids, even big ones!! (lets just say that was an interesting conversation with the kids the next morning. "Daddy, what happened to our window?")
We are all laughing about it now...and the window will be fixed today. It took me about a half hour to see the real humor in the situation. Andrew will NEVER live this one down :-)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Welcome Matthew Caden Pratt!

For those of you who have yet to hear, Matthew Joined us on Saturday October 18th, 2008 at 5:56 AM. He was 7lbs and 15oz, 21" long.

I went into the doctor around 1:45 PM Friday and she sent me directly to OB. We weren't prepared for that response and had all of the kids with us, and no cell phone, so it was an interesting dilema! We called Marilyn Barber, since she was the only person whose phone number we could remember! She called Marilyn Weller for us, and a short time later they arrived to help with the kids. Marilyn ended up staying with me throughout labor and delivery and the kids went home with Becky Dalrymple. We had a great time chatting and walking, and walking and walking! She stayed up all night with me, while Andrew slept!! He was so glad she agreed to stay! I really enjoyed the company, no offense but Andrew isn't much of a talker! Talking helped distract me, so the time went by pretty fast and the pain seemed less.

By 3:30 I was getting pretty tired, so we opted to get some pain meds and speed things along. As always, things went very fast after the pitocin was added. Just two hours later we had what we thought was a very very dark baby boy! Then they informed us he was just purple...he got stuck on the way out. I have to admit I was a little disappointed! I think he will still be darker than the other two boys, but we will just have to wait and see. Seems Arianna drained the pigment stores :-)

So far he is a great baby! Since birth he has had a pretty consistant 3 hour eating scheduale during the day and 2 hours at night. We are working on reversing that...
He eats great and has already gained back more than his birth weight, so things are going well. Right after birth he had a little trouble controlling his body temp and his sugar was low, but those issues resolved pretty quickly and he is doing great now.

He seems very alert for a newborn and lifts his head to look around. He even seems to be trying to coo and smile when you talk to him or kiss him. (I'm not kidding or crazy!) I don't remember the others doing that this early. He hates pacifiers! And loves to eat! He rarely cries, and if he does there is a good reason.

As far as how he looks, we think he looks a lot like Arianna did when she was little, although he also looks a lot like Isaac did too in other ways (and Isaac is a blonde!) He is built very stocky in the upper body, his chest is like a square, as wide as it is deep! We were all a little surprised at his size for being born at 37 weeks. His tone is pretty red, and his hair is very dark. We'll just have to wait and see now...will he be a tiny blonde like Isaac or will he grow quickly and be darker like Arianna, or maybe he will tread his own path??? I'm excited to see.

The kids are very proud of him. Isaac is having a little difficulty giving up baby status, but I think he will come along. The baby has become a sort of curiosity for him, so we have to be careful, today I found him climbing in the car seat on top of the baby!

Overall I would have to say that this has been a wonderful experience. Probably the easiest and most enjoyable of all four! I thought it would be rather chaotic, but with the support and generosity from our church family here, things are going very smoothly. It seems everyday we recieve a new blessing that gives an extra boost of energy! Amazing how God can work through good deeds to lift even the most tired of spirits :-)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Isaac's Surgery

Andrew and I drove to Iowa City at 3AM Monday morning with Isaac, who refused to go back to sleep and instead screamed the entire way! While Arianna and Ethan stayed home with Grandma and Grandpa Pratt who were here for a visit. We arrived at the hospital and checked in around 6:30 and they took Isaac back to surgery around 8AM Monday.

While Andrew and I were on our way to get the prescriptions filled and grab some breakfast, we saw Isaac's surgeon on his way to surgery. He sounded very hopeful that he would get the rest of the area removed and be able to close the scalp during this surgery.

We were trying not to get our hopes up knowing that it might not work out that way. This is Isaac's third large surgery to try and remove the Neivis on his head, and each time before they were hopeful they would get it all as well. Around 9:45Am the doctor came up to meet with us and said "We Won!" We were all so excited even if it didn't show due to the extreme fatigue we were feeling at this point :-)

Everything went very well, they removed the rest of the trouble area, and were able to close his scalp with the help of many stitches and about 20 staples. The doctor said other than a surgery later in life to help with the scar this would probably be Isaac's final surgery!

He was awake in recovery pretty quickly so they called us down to see him. By the time we arrived he was already back to sleep with the help of some morphine, because he had been in so much pain when he awoke. After that he was pretty calm most of the day. We went to eat lunch and he threw up just as we sat down, most likely from the anesthesia, but then seemed to be a little more alert, and did well the rest of the day.

He seems to be healing up well, and the pain is under control. We start getting staples and stitches removed in a few more days!

Being so close to the end looking back, I am just so thankful for all the wonderful ways we were blessed throughout this process. We were often able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House before surgery, which we all grew to look forward to and enjoy. Everyone was so nice and friendly, and it was nice to see how generous people can be.

The doctor we had was incredible. Such a talented man, and very easy to talk with and understand. He was very patient with Isaac and the other kids, as well as the questions Andrew and I had surrounding this process. He always made us feel very comfortable about what was going to be happening, and it was such a blessing to be able to trust the doctor cutting into your baby's head! He was a joy to work with.

We also had many great support people helping and praying for us as well as keeping the kids over night and giving them a little extra TLC during the craziness, it all made what could have been a horrible process, seem not so bad, maybe even enjoyable in some ways. It really worked out so well I don't think any of us will have bad memories of this time, although I hope we don't have to repeat it again :-)

Here are some pictures of Isaac before and After surgery. The incision is not usually covered because of its location, if you have a weak stomache you might not want to look very closely :-)

Friday, July 18, 2008

It's a Boy!

As I've mentioned we added a dog to our family recently. Hershey (the name came with the dog) is a full blooded Chocolate Lab. He is a good dog and seems to train easily, but he is another kid for sure. Some days I am very glad we have him, other days I want the headache to go away!

We took him to the vet yesterday for his puppy shots, and he already is weighing in at 46 pounds! He was 14 weeks when we got him and he weighed 21 pounds, now he is 19 weeks and more than doubled in size, he has a ways to go before he stops it looks like. Everyone who sees him comments on his bear like paws.

Our routine trip to the vet yesterday turned out to be not so routine after all! He was found to have a rash and was given antibiotics to clear it. The vet said if this doesn't clear it and keep it away, he more than likely has allergies. Right on cue about 15 minutes later when we returned home he started having an allergic reaction to the vaccine he was given. His head started to shake uncontrollably, and he seemed to be having a seizure! It would have been funny under different circumstances. He looked like a bobble head dog and was walking into chairs etc. We took him back and they gave him two shots to try and counteract the vacinne, but they didn't work. They gave him Bendadryl and still it didn't work. finally we decided to bring him home, give him more benadryl and hope he would sleep it off! This morning he seems to be doing better. I have NEVER had a dog with issues and we always had at least two dogs while growing up! The vet said she has never had any trouble with the dogs from these breeders. Both his parents are very healthy. The current litter was 14 and the others are all fine. I think he was reserved just for our family! Someone knew he would fit right in!

A Frog for Tea

Arianna has taken an intrest lately in catching lightening bugs and frogs or toads. She is getting quite good at it. She likes to bring the frogs/toads (she even knows the difference) home and set them free in the back yard with hopes that she will see them again. This frog she caught for Tea, but since Tea lives in MN we told her it wouldn't be a great idea to try and save it to take to her. So we took a picture for Tea instead. So here is your froggy Tea, it is living in our backyard for now, you'll have to come and visit, then you can try to catch it!