Sunday, December 16, 2012

Maks' Christmas Breakfast (9 days before Christmas)

This morning Maks and his dad decided to make breakfast for the entire family. They decided to make pancakes and eggs for us.

For those of you that don't know Maks' is our little chef! He always has to be in the kitchen with us when we cook and enjoys helping no matter what you are making (even if it is something he won't eat).
Somewhere along the line they decided to make Christmas colors, which ended with green eggs and red (or as Kale says, "pinkish/red pancakes")!  Here is a picture of Maks mixing up the eggs with the green food coloring in it.

Time to cook the eggs!

Here is Maks mixing up his red pancakes.  He loved watching the mixture change colors as he stirred everything together!

The flipping of the pancake!

Daddy's special creation for Maks. (I will throw in a plug for myself, I made Kale a heart-shaped pancake but there is no photo proof as it was eaten quickly and I don't ever think to take photos of my own things)!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Family Update

Well after working on the blog most of my afternoon, I have realized I am much farther behind than I ever realized! I'm trying to update major past events and date them accordingly but I now realize that I need to make time each week or two to update as things happen! So, I will now try to keep that promise to you our family blog readers!

For an overview, currently we are all trying to stay healthy.  It seems none of us are really getting terribly sick, but we have all had our days recently were we sure were on the edge of sickness.  I am achy and have chills but they just seem to come and go and I never really get any sicker. Not that I am complaining.  Today, Maks started up with coughing and a low grade fever so we will watch that.  Kale has been fighting a cough for the past few days.  We ran out of his good meds recently and haven't gotten a refill yet cause its extremely expensive and we are trying to see if the Dr. can get us an discounts.

As for a medical update for Kale he is doing well.  He is living and dancing (his favorite thing) just like any other boy his age.  He is currently playing basketball.  His dad is his coach, which has turned out much better than I expected! Most of the time on teams where the dad coaches his kid the kid usually doesn't play or throws a fit, but Kale and Erin have done very well with it! His friends Jalen and Gabe are on his team as well.  Ok, back to the medical part, I get side tracked easily if you can't tell! Kale had an appointment with his new Dr. in Wichita about 6 weeks ago.  We switched to a Dr. in Wichita because we were not happy with his Nephrologist in KC.  We stayed with Children's Mercy but the new Dr. we choose to go with is actually located in the Wichita Branch so it works out even better for us.  We did decide to stick with the Urologist in KC, so once a year we will still have to travel back there but he is worth the drive, especially if we ever end up in surgery. We really trust him.  As of now Kale's kidneys are not changing, which is not necessarily a bad thing.  If they begin to change it could be them getting worse so we will take no change over change!  They did find a protein leak at his last visit.  This alarmed us slightly but the Dr. spoke to us about what it could mean.  Essentially a protein leak can speed up the kidney failure.  So her recommendation to us was to start Kale on a Blood Pressure medicine.  Although we weren't sure about this for a while (we got a few other opinions) we have ultimately decided to start Kale on the new medicine.  It seems very odd to us to have a 5 year old on blood pressure meds but the point of this is to save the kidney.  Although Kale typically does have high blood pressure that is not why he is on the medicine.  Blood pressure medicine protects your kidney.  So hopefully this will help prolong his remaining kidney function.  Also, in this appointment they discussed with us the urgency of checking into growth hormones for him. We have been giving it more thought as he starts getting older, but we are working with window of opportunity and we are starting to lose time.  Our first appointment with the Endocrine Dr's will be in January.  We are hesitant about doing this because often times forcing the body to grow will through children into full Kidney Failure but in-order to get him back on the growth line he should be we need to look into our options.  Kale is very small for his age. At the appointment they will give us a more accurate guess at how tall he will end up being at the rate of growth he is showing now and we will have to decide our plan of action.   All this seems like a lot but Erin and I take it as it comes.  We watch our boy grow and play at the rate as any other child and appreciate his wit and charm on a daily basis.  He keeps us laughing and loving daily.  We explain everything to Kale as he goes through it in order to help him understand what is going on but we can only take it one day at a time and continue to enjoy every moment we have!

Maks ohhh Maks.  He is sure giving us a run for our money.  Maks couldn't be more different from Kale.  He is a spit fire. He is a huge sports fan, he wants to be outside running and playing every chance he gets.   Maks is also playing basketball at this time.  He is really enjoying it and does very well.  His favorite part is dribbling! Maks is not as social as Kale.  We switched him a few months back from Miss Debbie (his in home daycare) to a larger facility to help him socialize more.  We have had our struggles with this and often still find him off playing by himself but all in all it has been a good transition.  Maks just doesn't want to be away from the house or his comfort zone for any length of time.  Maks is also about to eat us out of house and home. I never really understood that statement until Maks came along.  That kid eats and eats and is still hungry! He is my grazer that will eat then 30 min later be starving.  One morning at Grandma Smiths house he ate 6 times before lunch time! I'm just not sure where all the food goes!

Erin is doing well, if you didn't already know he is now working at Kohl's.  We got a new Kohl's store back in September and he took a position with them as the Supervisor of Loss Prevention.  He is enjoying the job but still trying back into the swing of a Retail schedule. As I mentioned he is also coaching Kale's basketball team and enjoying himself.  We had to step in and help because the prior coach had a medical emergency and was unable to coach this season.  So far their team is doing great, all the kids love Erin and he is having a great time with all of them and their different personalities and skill levels!

I am still working at the College.  I am the Transition Coach for the Adult Education program at Hutchinson Community College.  I am really enjoying my work and the perks it comes with during our 3 year grant. I've been able to travel and attend many great conferences.  My travels this year have taken me to Long Beach, California twice, San Francisco once and Baltimore, MD once. I really have learned a lot about of Adult Education and believe that I have found a great fit.

Kale is 5

It just seems like Kale was my little boy crawling around the house chasing the dog and now he is our little man! Kale has grown up before our eyes and never stops amazing us with his humor, love for others, imagination and smarts!
This year Kale got to have two birthday parties.  Since he has been able to ask we have always told him that he would be able to invite friends to his birthday when he turned 5! At the time we were saying it seemed so far away! He never forgot so we let him have one party for family and one party for friends this year. 

At his family party this year we missed his Uncle Josh, Aunt Nicole and cousins Evan and Paige but the timing just didn't work out.  Kale had lots of fun with his cousins, Marisa and Malea as well as their parents and both sets of his Grandparents. 

Kale loves to smile for the camera no matter what is going on....Maks on the other hand has to be in the "right" mood.

Here is Kale's Batman Cake he picked out and the Lego candles his brother picked out for him. 
Kale and Marisa.  These two are 8 weeks apart. Marisa will have her 5th Birthday in January. 

Kale trying on his new "California" coat for the first time.  On my most recent trip to Long Beach, California I found this at the Laguna Beach Surf Shop. I couldn't pass it up!
 Kale showing off his 3 new Wii games from his brother and dad!  He loves playing them.

Kale standing in front of his cake before blowing out the candles.

For Kale's second party we decided to have it at the KS Cosmosphere.  It turned out to be a great time but taught Erin and I a few things. 1. We never want 7 kids. 2. Two hours IS long enough for a kids birthday party. 3. Blue frosting is overrated. 4. Make sure kids are not scared of loud noises prior to taking them to a Dr. Goddards Lab show!

Kale showing off his excellent candle placement on his spaceship cake! (Again with the blue frosting!)

The group!
From Left to Right
Kayla, Marisa, Jalen, Sophie, Maks, Kale, Malea

I took this before the kids went into the Dr. Goddards Lab show. It's almost impossible to get 7 kids under the age of 5 to all look at the camera at the same time! Kale is the oldest kid in this picture. They were really great but there was WAY too much kid energy!

Speaking of energy, Malea had a lot! Here is one of her videos.  She was our Pre Dr. Goddards Lab entertainment.  We had to wait outside for about 10 min so everyone was trying to keep each other occupied.  Malea turned out to be the star of the show! She was the youngest there and was the star of the party! Everyone loved her.....even the strangers out there waiting! She is singing Shake Your Groove Thing.

Here is everyone, minus Maks, waiting for the show to start. This was before we discovered a kid was tired, one was scared of loud noises, one was ready to go home, and one was bored. It got interesting after this point!

Well that about concludes the story of Kale turning 5.  All in all it went wonderfully, Kale, Family and Friends all had a great time sharing his birthday with him. Can't wait for next year!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fall 2012

Took the boys to Dillon Nature Center for a few fall pictures this week.
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Our weekend.....our LONG weekend.

Oh my, what a weekend we had! I know it is already Wednesday but I am going to tell you about our weekend (and by weekend I mean Thursday through Sunday of last week)!  It all started earlier in the week with a call from my parents telling me that Grandma Smith (my dads mom) had another stroke.  She was in the Hospital in Hiawatha and was stable but unable to move her right side, swallow or speak.  I was very stressed by this news, as well as the rest of the family.  I was unable to get up earlier in the week but it worked out that both Erin and I had a long weekend planned so we drove up Thursday night to Topeka and stayed the night there before getting up on Friday morning and driving up to visit with Grandma Smith.

Once we got to Hiawatha Erin the boys and I got to tell her how much we loved her, Kale talked to her about God.  He also told her that he knew that Great Grandpa and God were good friends and having lots of fun in Heaven. She was very happy to hear this and gave Kale a smile and even cried a little.  The boys wanted to take her something so we stopped and bought her two (one from each kid) mums.  She held onto the one flower that fell off Maks' plant until we left. She always loved them and it was nice she could see the boys give them to her and we could see the enjoyment from her.

We all hope Grandma gets better but she is almost 96 and at this point is just tired. We really just want her to be comfortable and happy.  Since she was tired we stayed for about 15 min and then left so she could get more sleep.  In the next few days she would develop a fever and struggle to stay hydrated once the IV was removed.

After visiting with Grandma our long trip began.  The long trip that consisted of driving to Ohio and back within 3 days! Ya, that's right up and back! We literally drove to Defiance, OH and bought a car (which took all of 1 hour) then hopped in the car and drove back!

It all started a few months ago (maybe years) when Erin decided that he wanted a new car and was tired of his Pilot.  You see he bought the Pilot new in '08 and since that time I have driven 3 different cars! :) I may have a slight problem, but I don't see it as a problem I see it as good business decisions (meaning I didn't lose money on any of them).  So as Erin started looking around for cars he knew he wanted an SUV and I knew that I didn't want a big one!  We started looking around and at first he was looking and SUV/trucks such as the Chevrolet Avalanche but those were just too big for me.  Next we started looking at Ford Flex's.  We fell in love with the convenience and space.  I loved that it drives like a car but has the space of an SUV and he loves all the technical features they offer.  So we set out to find the perfect vehicle, first we had to agree on a color, then on the number of seats (they come with 6 or 7), then the trim level we wanted and all the features we HAD to have and what we could live without!

You see this process for me is much easier. I just want a Honda, it can't be gold, green or red, it must have Alloy wheels and the rest well it's whatever I can find the best deal on when dad goes to the auction.  But this process does not work for Erin so we must nit-pick everything for months before we commit. After finally finding what we thought was the perfect vehicle (in Michigan) the car sales man that we had been working with had it driven down but turns out he didn't get a vehicle with all the features we had asked for, so long story short I had to tell him "NO", he was a jerk and I will never do business with him or his company again.  So we went back to our preference, finding vehicles our selves! So we found a car, in Ohio!

Erin talked with the guy a few times and we decided that it was worth the drive. At first we weren't sure we wanted to drive but then they decided that would work a trade with us and that sold it for us.  We knew it would be a stressful weekend with Grandma not being well but we knew that we couldn't change the outcome and that if we sat around and waited to travel that long trip would have to be made in an even shorter time frame since we didn't have any other long weekends coming up and with Erin starting a new job he doesn't want to start asking for days off already!

So off we went.  We drove to Ohio for a car and made a family vacation out of it along the way. Below is a map of our trip!

Here are a few pictures from the drive back.

Maks listening to his headphones as we drive through Ohio. 

My view from the front seat. 

There is a long story about all the "Welcome to" signs. Really the story goes, I try to get a picture of every sign on the way, but I always seem to miss them.  So this is the excellent picture I got on the way back through Illinois, I should mention we drove past it but by this point in the trip I had missed so many of the signed I made us make a U-Turn then stop to get my picture! ;) And here you are enjoying it, guess it was worth it.  

We drove into Saint Louis to stay the night and enjoy some time out of the car.  This was the view of the Arch as well drove in that evening. I was worried the clouds were going to be too low the next day but it turned out to be cool to see that evening and just fine the next day! 

The boys needed to get some energy out so they were jumping on the bed in the hotel room with their Dragons. 

Maks loved seeing all the Sweet Potato Vines! He made me take a picture for him to remember it forever.

Walking up to the Arch you walk down a long path through lots of trees. This was heaven for Maks as he was still on his Lorax kick at the time.  There was one tree along the path that had been cut down so Maks stopped to see if he could see the Lorax standing on it.  He looked and looked at the trees and was in ahh the entire time walking through this area.  On the way back to the car it began to rain so we stopped under the trees for shelter and he loved the leaves kept the rain off of us.

The boys standing in front of the Arch. 2012

 Touching the Arch. 
Maks and I getting ready to go up in the Arch!

Kale and I inside the "capsule" to go to the top. 

We made it to the TOP! The boys loved the ride I have been to the top before but I swear I didn't ride in that tiny thing before! Ugh, I was happy to be to the top but knew we had to get back to the bottom again! 
Maks checking out the view. 

 Kale was pointing to the baseball stadium he wanted us to see. 
The Dreiling's at the Top of the Arch (or World as the boys liked to say)!

 Me and my boys on the way down. 
All four of us on the ride down. 

These were backgrounds painted on the walls in the museum. Kale said this looked like home.   

There is my Kansas Sign on the way back home! 

All in all it was a great trip.  We had to drive through an unexpected Hurricane most of the way.  So there were lots of clouds and rain but it added an element of excitement to our drive!  The boys did great. We stopped as we needed along the way and they really enjoyed the extra time in St. Louis. it made Erin and I realize that we have boys that will be great in the car and so we will be planning another vacation/road trip at some point in our near future! 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Football Mom

The boys and I took in our first football game this past weekend.  They love watching the Blue Dragons and Devonte! Devonte was my workstudy in the office but has quickly been adopted by the entire Dreiling family. He is number 53 I have more pictures of him playing but not on my phone so I will post them another time!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Star Wars in Wichita

Today we took the boys to Exploration Place in Wichita to view the Star Wars exhibit.  They had a great time!  The boys (and Erin) loved seeing all the ships and characters. I don't know much about it, nor do I really care to. I mean being the mom of boys does require me to learn about lots of different things I never watched of played with as a child.  Transformers, Super Heros, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles all fine...Star Wars, no. Well anyway I still enjoy watching the boys checking everything out so here are a few pictures from our trip.  I am not even going to try and caption them, so if they have captions it is because Erin logged in and added them! ;)

Dreiling Family Slide Show! Compiled December 2010