Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas at Grandmas


Backtracking just a little back to Christmas..

Of course Seth was spoiled again at Grandma's with more toys. It's funny how it worked out...she got him the same shake and go cars that go with his new racetrack...so he's pretty excited to have 8 cars to race. We ate lots of good food, as always and just relaxed. Andy's aunt and uncle stopped by along with 2 of his cousins. My parent's also came down for dinner...cause Grandma always makes enough food for an army.

We slept in the day after Christmas...I always seem to sleep well upstairs where you can't hear much of anything...plus Grandma gets up with Seth...so that's a super blessing. We just hung out...played with new toys and then left to pick up our new van! Woo hoo! (More on that later...I have lots of catching up to do!)

We were blessed with a wonderful Christmas, surrounded by our family. There were always those moments when we thought of Kate...wondered what gift she would be opening. We missed her terribly this Christmas...and I had my cry during the Christmas Eve service. She will always be our special Christmas angel this time of year. We love you sweet girl!

Seth and Grandma

Mack the truck...and his new CARS cars.

Opening presents

Grandma even got him a souvenir bus from Disney in his stocking


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Chicago!!

We had a wonderful time celebrating the rest of Christmas with Grandma...and Seth has been super busy playing with all his new toys. The ice is finally gone and we even had a 60 degree day on Saturday...Indiana weather is INSANE!

And now...we're in Chicago having more fun with my parents and my brother's family. It's been a great 1st day...going to the Rainforest Cafe...visiting Navy Pier...swimming in the hotel! And tomorrow...we tackle a giant Winter Wonderland kid-fest. It's sure to be a crazy day.

I have a few pics...but will have to load them later. Seth is so excited to be with his cousins...and in fact...he and Lucas are attempting to sleep together in the same bed...we'll see if that works out when I head back upstairs.

More from the Windy City later...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas so far...through a few pics!


Opening presents with the cousins and Uncle Doug and Aunt Amy! We all enjoyed some gifts and a great meal at Nana and Oompa's yesterday.

Making trash out of all the wrapping paper w/ Lucas's new bulldozer for Seth to pick up with his new trash truck



Making a gingerbread house

Note: Don't use a year old gingerbread kit...w/ icing that doesn't get hard! Instead...we pretended it was a crash site! It was still fun!


Cookies for Santa...YUM YUM



Checking out the stash from Santa...a new race track, a dump truck and a snow shovel to help daddy in the driveway.


With the addition of 2 new trash/recycling trucks this Christmas...that takes Seth fleet to a total of 8! And yes...those are all trash or recycling trucks!


Oompa and his bag of presents! Ho Ho Ho



Merry Christmas from the Layman's...we're off to Grandma's house!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Jam-packed day

Wow...what a day!

--Drop Seth off at the cousins house 30 min away so he can play all day

--Andy and I drive 30 more min. to take a new Kate's Kart to a new hospital. Yep...we've added yet another Kart...this one out of the county. The hospital staff was just thrilled and couldn't stop commenting on how wonderful this all was. It was good to hear that Kate's Kart is so appreciated.

--Drive 40 min. home and grab a very very quick bite to eat

--Drive yet another 45 min. to go look a new van

--Spend 3 hours haggling with the salesman...but YES...buy a new van. (It had just come in and still needed detailed cleaned...so we won't actually get it till Friday!) I'll have to tell you all about it then and show pictures!

--Drive home...read the mail and then leave to go pick up my mom

--Check on friend's house who is gone to Florida...check for busted pipes in this freezing cold weather..all is good.

--Drive to Lutheran...do a running of Kate's Kart

--Drive to Parkview North...do a running of Kate's Kart

--Drop off mom

--Go to the store to buy supplies for 2 last minute basket orders I received.

--Come home and deal w/ my son who threw a complete fit for daddy when having to leave his cousins. Still dealing with him as he won't go to sleep!


YIKES...what a day...a very good...but just jam-packed day. I guess another storm is on it's way (yes...we still have tons of ice everywhere) so I HAVE to get to the bank, deliver the baskets and buy one more gift before noon...then...I am RELAXING my way through Christmas...I hope!
Here we are at Parkview Noble...with Greg the staff member who is spear heading us being there! He even put up that cute Christmas tree for people to put books under. It amazes me when strangers get involved...it's so humbling. Kate...you've got a good thing here! (Yeah...I know the picture in the window isn't great...but you get the idea!)

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's Icy Out There

Well...it's a bonus day added to Christmas break! We've been hit by a pretty nasty ice storm and everything is shut down. As much fun as it is to have a snow day...I feel bad for all the little ones missing out on their school Christmas parties...Seth said he'll just have to celebrate Jesus' birthday later. Me...I was planning on finishing my shopping while Seth was in school...not today!




It's beautiful outside...all the trees covered w/ ice. But...the question of the day....will we end up losing the rest of our tree? (Remember what happened early summer?) It's leaning pretty badly.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Lucas

After the doctor's appointment Wednesday...we headed to my nephew's 6th birthday party. We all ate at Subway and then went back to their house for cake and icecream...well, really it was ice cream cake...YUM!
Lucas got some cool gifts...but I think the new keyboard might have been the hit! He is one talented little guy...he is pretty excited about being able to take the keyboard downstairs and jam w/ daddy on the guitar and brother, Elijah, on the drums. I guess hauling the piano downstairs wasn't an option! What a musically talented family.

I took a video...but of course am having trouble getting it uploaded...I think it's time for a major computer overhaul!

Grow baby Grow!!

We had great news at the doctor yesterday. He said we had a "great lookin" 11 week old baby. I was totally amazed at the changes that have occured in just the past 3 weeks. Last time...I could barely make out the baby...now...you can definitely see the head/nasal bone...even some arms and legs wiggling. I guess that explains why I've been so tired...I've been doing some serious baby-making the past couple weeks. He was able to rule out Downs...based on the formation of the nasal bone and saw no signs of extra fluid on the brain/spine. That was a relief to hear. So..so far so good!

Although it's scary having an ultrasound every visit...I also think it might be really cool to see how much the baby is developing every 3-4 weeks. I will definitely have to scrapbook all the ultrasounds.

And...the official due date from the doctor.....July 8! Which is VERY cool, because then this little peanut's birthday would be 07-08-09! However...he was quick to say that if he could get the "fish in the boat early" he would...so we'll see! Maybe come late June I'll be ready...especially if it's hot...but still...isn't that a super cool due date/birthday?
It's not the greatest pic...not sure how to get a good quality copy of the ultrasounds...anyone have any advice, let me know...but still you get the picture.

One thing that brings me peace...I know this is one prayed for baby!!! Thank you for that!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Another week goes by...

I still have to admit to be failing miserably at keeping up w/ my postings. I've been feeling better...but still am WAY tired. Most nights I am anxiously wanting to jump into bed at 8:30. I've had a few boughts w/ the nauseousness...but it's much better. We go to the doctor again on Wednesday...I'm anxious again to hear what he has to say.

So...here it goes...summing up another week in the life of the Laymans.

--Decorating the Christmas tree: Early last week we decorated the live tree...it's a beautiful tree full of tons of ornaments w/ lots of memories. It was bittersweet to hang up Kate's...but those will always have a special place in our hearts. Seth our little decorator is loved hanging up the ornaments...and who cares that there are 10 on the same branch!!


--Making Christmas cookies: Seth and I have been busy little bakers...baking up about 6 varieties of Christmas cookies. I've cut back...a few years ago I made like 16 varieties and sold Christmas platters....not this year. Seth LOVES baking (or should I say licking and snacking) He really is a pretty good helper. Fun memories we are building.





--I had my December scrap night. We had a small gift exchange and lots of great chatting. I finished the Disney album and worked some on Seth's 1 year old album. I've got a serious deadline now...I must get caught up w/ Seth before July...I MUST!


--Grandma came to town and spent the night. She and Seth had a date day and went to the movies and dinner. Andy and I were supposed to spend the day shopping...but after lunch I was feeling pretty nauseous...so we came back for a nap. We did get a little shopping done later that evening...but definitely didn't cross everything off of our list like I had hoped.


--Grandma spent the night and we went to our church's Christmas Celebration...it's amazing. They bring in some of our local philharmonic...and the songs they sing are incredible. What a celebration of the birth of Christ.

--Sunday marked a year since we lost Pampa. It was good to all be together....we all commented on how we can't believe how fast the year has gone. We miss Pampa dearly...but celebrate his painfree eternal home!

--We celebrated Nana's birthday! We love you Nana! And...she even brought dinner to her own little celebration...how awesome is that!

--I spoke to a 2nd grade class about Kate's Kart. They were so interested in everything about Kate and had awesome questions. Their class is bringing in books and money to support us. Actually...I can't wait to report on all the groups doing something special for us for the holidays.

--The boys went shopping tonight on their own. Andy had Seth pick out gifts totally on his own...I can't wait to see what he picked for me! I may have to do some peeking before Christmas!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Reflections

This post has been a long time coming...
I guess it started way back before Thanksgiving when we were in Portland and there were Christmas trees decorated in the Courthouse. One of the trees remembered all those who had died the past year...and on it we found:
Kate and Pampa

It was a beautiful tribute...but yet...again something you just don't ever imagine seeing.

It's been weird decorating for Christmas...we tend to think back a ton to last year. We were so anxiously awaiting her surgery that we were convinced was going to fix her, get her out of heart failure and bring her home. We were back and forth countless times from Michigan...w/ Seth, w/out Seth...me home...Andy here...me there. Thinking back...I wonder how we ever did it.

But the decorations came out...and with them:

Her stocking: what to do with it? I splurged and bought Pottery Barn stockings last year that I absolutely love. Seth made the decision for us...he was insistent on hanging it up. (I think he thinks he'll get any candy/toys that appear in it. ) I'm not sure what we'll do come Christmas morning...we'll have to think of something clever and meaningful.

And...her tree: Both Seth and Kate had little trees that were in their rooms...decorated w/ the ornaments they get each year from grandparents and us. I put her tree downstairs in the family room...and am only decorating it w/ angel ornaments. My mom has given me several, we got one from the hospital... and each year...I'll just keep adding more little angels. It's been a good healing process for me. It's her little angel tree.

I also made her a little pink wreath for her tombstone. It just feels good for me to keep making things for her...I guess that's why Kate's Kart has been so therapeutic for me.

So...there's been some sadness the past few weeks. This coming weekend marks a year since Pampa died...and a year of knowing the surgery wasn't a success and she probably wasn't going to make it. I really can't believe it's been a year. For me...in some ways it scares me how fast the year went..cause I know w/ time the memories will fade. As much as they hurt...I really don't want those memories to be gone....I don't want them to fade.

Another weekend gone!

Okay...so maybe one of these days I'll actually get a post in on a weekend.


Friday night we went to see Sesame Street Live. It was cute and reasonably priced...well the tickets were...not so much all the paraphanalia they shove in your face all night. I think it just overloaded Seth w/ all the balloons...food...snacks...souvenirs. But overall...we all enjoyed it and it was a fun family night....but really...I can't believe how many people paid $8 for a balloon!
Saturday...the boys went to Grandma's and Andy chopped up a bunch of wood for us to burn this winter. He came home w/ a whole truck load. He works so hard to supply us w/ wood and to clean up his mom's yard.

Me...well I spent the whole day shopping. I wish I could say for all my Christmas gifts...I have like 3 things...and no ideas for about about 1/2 the people. Instead it was for basket stuff. I have like 10 baskets due this week...so I was all over town looking for bargains and yummy snacks to put in them.
Then...Sunday...we went to church and then Seth and I worked on the baskets while Andy watched the Colts game. We went and picked out our live Christmas tree and it's sitting in the garage awaiting our decorating. Luckily...mom fixed dinner so I didn't even have to cook. We went to the same gas station 3 times yesterday...to fill up the car, van and my dad's truck from the trip to Portland...and I think all 3 combined were cheaper than just filling up the van was 3 months ago! Praise God for cheap gas! I just get so excited when I see the numbers keep dropping...what a blessing


Seth loves to slide down the slide in the snow. He is very eager this year to play in the snow...no matter how freezing cold it is!

So..a productive, busy weekend....but isn't that true for this time of year.

As far as me...still feeling okay...not great but still doing better on the nauseous end of things. The pants...well...they're starting to get a little tight...things move along a little faster on your 3rd pregnancy I guess...but I'm not ready to pull out the full-fledged maternity yet. Yeah for sweat pants!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Short Report

Not much to report. I've been feeling better this week...not quite SO nauseous....but I am still so stinkin' tired. I can barely stay awake during Seth's bedtime video...it's crazy. I feel so behind in all my "chores" cause normally, I'm up all night doing it...but now...I'm in bed w/ Seth. Hopefully it won't be long before I get my second wind!

It's been a fast week...can't believe tomorrow is Friday already. It's been a pretty exciting week w/ Kate's Kart as we have had several organizations contact us in regard to doing Kate's Kart as a fundraiser. Guess I better get out to that storage shed and get it organized!

I'm exhausted...going to bed. Blessings for your weekend!

Monday, December 1, 2008

The rest of the weekend

The rest of the weekend just flew by.


Friday...We went back to my parent's for breakfast and then Andy and I did another running of Kate's Kart at another hospital. Then...Nana and Reen (and Uncle Doug) took the boys bowling. It was Seth's first time and he absolutely loved it. I was sorry I missed it...but I was in need of a much needed nap that afternoon.

Saturday...I went and did yet another running at Kate's Kart at yet another hospital...and had a few hours to start my Christmas shopping. I also...made a major purchase at Borders...those board books just keep flying off the shelves. It was a beautiful afternoon...so we hung our Christmas lights up outside. It just didn't feel right being outside in a just a sweatshirt...but sure beats the snow and rain we have now. That night we labeled the November onslaught of Kate's Kart books. It's kinda neat how it's become a family event to count, record and label the books. Seth loves it.



Sunday...we finished decorating the inside of the house and put up Andy's Christmas tree. Yes...he has his own tree...completely filled with only....Charlie Brown ornaments. How cute is that? We still have our live tree to get in a week or so...but otherwise the decorations are up and the empty tubs back in the attic. And...Seth had his first play in the snow...not much...but enough for him!

I know it needs a topper...if anyone ever sees a Charlie Brown tree topper...I'll buy it from ya!

It was a great relaxing weekend...between free pizza...our dinner out...a trip to Wendy's and lots and lots of leftovers...I didn't have to cook all weekend! How great is that? I had some really good days...and some not so good days, as far as I how felt. I am so ready for this stage to be OVER!
Well...I'm just about caught up...but I'm getting super tired...the girls all come back tomorrow for a day of babysitting and I've got to get a little guy in bed! And..I still need to comment on everyone else's blog...that'll just have to wait until tomorrow!
Thanks to everyone for your outpouring of support and excitement for us during this next stage of our lives. It feels so good to be loved on! God Bless you all!

Thanksgiving Part 2

We celebrated Thanksgiving Day w/ my parents...and a host of other friends and family. The day started out great...getting to watch the Macy's Day Parade. That is my dream someday...to make it to NY for the parade...and somehow get really good seats.

We headed over to my parent's to pig out on some appetizers around noon. Almost everything that people brought revolved around cheese (it was like scrapbook night re-visited) Still it was all very yummy. My dad was busy outside frying turkeys...he's started a little business where he deepfries turkeys for friends...I think he did like 5 or 6 turkeys.
The rest of us just relaxed...played games. Of course Art and Reen spoiled the boys w/ new presents.

Then...the feast...it was all very yummy...especially since I did NOTHING to prepare any of it. And even better...the grandparent's took the kids at their table in the dining room which meant all the mom's and dad's got to enjoy a kid free/whine free dinner. How sweet!
We also had a special treat in that Kate's Med-buddy Megan came down from Michigan for the day. Her family lives in Florida...so it was great that she chose to spend the day with us.

We did go do a running of Kate's Kart after dinner...and then played some cards. Whereupon...Seth has a major melt-down. I don't remember a day he played so hard w/ his cousins...and wrestled w/ Joey (Art and Reen's freshman grandson who wrestles for his school) The 3 little guys thought they were pretty cool and pretty tough. So...Andy took Seth home and I got to stay and play cards...luckily I was feeling pretty good that night.

It was a great relaxing day...unfortunately...not many pictures to show for the day...just lots of great memories...and I'm sure a few extra pounds.

Oompa carving one of the yummy turkeys!

Lighting of the Santa

Moving on to the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Of course...it was the day we saw the doctor and saw the encouraging ultrasound. Andy and I were able to celebrate by going out to a nice dinner...just the two of us. It's always a treat to have a special dinner...especially when you have something to celebrate.

We then met Seth downtown for the Lighting of the Santa. Art and Reen were back in town for Thanksgiving...and Gayle joined them and brought Seth after watching him while we were at the docs. We didn't quite meet up until after the lighting of the giant Santa display...but soon after found them and continued on our journey downtown to the lighting of the tree and wreath. We enjoyed some hot chocolate along the way.

Then...Nana and Oompa sang in a holiday concert with their choir. It was great to hear some great holiday music. We made our "expecting" news public that night...and so many were so happy for us.
It was a fun night...great weather...great music and great friends.

Thanksgiving Feast

So...the question of the night....to divide a week's worth of activities into different posts....or do one megapost? I've finally got some free time...Seth is wide awake...AGAIN...due to a 25 minute nap this afternoon after having woken up for the day at 5! Plus...I'm feeling okay tonight...so now is the time to get caught up! Hmmmm? I think I'll go w/ separate posts...just to separate it for the future when I look back....where did I leave off?

Oh yeah...Seth's preschool Thanksgiving feast...a week ago.

Well...compared to last year...he did participate a tad bit more. He still wasn't the superstar of the group...but there was a little movement. I asked him why he didn't sing....his response: "There were too many people I didn't know!" It was cute. He made me laugh...totally preoccupied with his buddy next to him...and his sleeves. (okay, I'm already fighting w/ blogger and can't get the video uploaded...sorry....just imagine a little guy...constantly looking at his buddy next to him while constantly pushing up his sleeves...with a really quirky grin.)

After the singing we all went to the gym for vegetable soup and pumpkin muffins...made by the preschoolers. Grandma came up for the feast...it was great to have her with us!

Doesn't he just look thrilled to be here? If I recall...it was either a very late night or a very early morning.