Fashingbauer Christmas

Following tradition, we spent Christmas day at my Grandma's in the cities. Bryan was unfortunately unable to make it because he was super sick, I'm sure he would have much rather been with us than on the couch unable to move, talk or swallow.

Always great to see the many cousins, aunts and uncles and of course my Grandma!

Grandma meeting Kaelyn

Connor practicing, ha. He was having fun 'stealing' her nose, and then asked if he could hold her. After 20-30 seconds, he goes "Give baby Kaelyn (he says katelyn) back to Ashlyn's mommy". Ha.

Absolutely no purpose to this picture other than to point out that I will need some mothering help if I do have a daughter, as Kaelyn's headband is completing covering her eyes and face. Ha. After awhile the aunts that were sitting across the room alerted me to the problem.

My greedy little son pointing to his giant stack of presents.

The fam, minus Bryan.

My mom and her grandbabies

Again, plus Great Grandma

For however much his expression differs above, when opening clothes, to below, when finding toys, he did insist on wearing his new pjs as soon as we got home.

Ashlyn modeling her new hat

The cheesecake dance (only saying that as she's holding a mini cheesecake in her hand), but great form :)

The cousins!

My mom and her siblings

My god-mother, Rita, and her god-daughters

Hope everyone had a fantastic holiday weekend!


Bode Christmas

Christmas number two was with the Bode family out at Bryan's parent's place. Unfortunately, I don't have many photos, but I do have a few videos that I'll be posting later. This is about the time when Bryan's back started to really bother him and his fly symptoms started coming on, plus we were all spent as the night before we were out til midnight (okay this is late for us, sorry). We started the evening by going to the annual children's service at their church followed by a yummy dinner, then present opening and just hanging out.

The highlight of this Christmas was probably the fact that Bryan's older brother, Jeff, made it home for the holidays. We don't get to see him over often (kicking myself that we don't have any photos of him and Connor! They got along great once Connor realized Jeff was capable of playing trucks and tractors) so it's always great to see him.

Scenes like both of the above were very common over the holiday weekend, they sure make getting toys out of their packaging hard, which is not helpful with a very impatient two year old waiting to get it out and play with it.

Thank you to Bryan's parents and brothers for a wonderful Christmas! Connor of course was spoiled yet again :)


Loula Christmas

We started our Christmas celebrations (well, technically we started on the 23rd at Bryan's aunt and uncle's house, but I don't have any pictures of that...) at my parents during the day on Christmas Eve. We had a wonderful time and it was very entertaining watching the kids open their presents. I quickly learned that Connor is quite greedy...barely done opening a present before moving onto the next and then very distraught when he learned he was out of presents. That really starts at 2? Geesh. Regardless, it was still fun, of course.

Me with my new niece, and I tell her constantly that I'm the best, most cool aunt she has. 
No offense, Lyndsey ;)

Kiddos got matching sleeping bags so we told them to try it out, hence their pretend sleeping faces. 

Kaelyn joined in on the fun.

After opening their new camo outfits, they of course had to immediately strip and put them on. Well, Connor stripped, Ashlyn put hers over her dress. Not sure what that says, ha.

One of his favorite toys of the season, his new combine that matches his Uncle Joe's.

Somewhere in there he got naked...?

Ashlyn the photog and my brother trying to stack three golf balls on top of each other, after Bryan and I challenged him with the task after seeing some guy on Minute to Win It do it in literally less than 5 seconds. Amazing. Joe did it...but I think it took 10 minutes. To his defense, it was his first time every trying.

And just ending on a sweet picture of Kaelyn.

GIANT thank you to my parents and Joe, Krystal and the girls for such a wonderful Christmas!


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

As you can see, we had a tiny bit better experience with Santa this year, no screaming at least. Just kicking, hence the blurry foot in the photo...

Connor and I are off to my Grandma's in the cities, unfortunately Bryan wrecked his back somehow and has also come down with a terrible cold, so he'll be laying on the couch all day today. I'm really bummed we're not spending Christmas together :( So hopefully, he will get better or we'll find a chiropractor in the next day or so, not sure how successful we'll be at finding one on Christmas.

Wishing you and your families a VERY Merry Christmas!


"I'm going to wait for Santa"

We go from one extreme to the next around here, so excited for Santa to bring him a new car to saying he doesn't want Santa to come (when we're threatening him with the idea Santa might not come if he doesn't do X, Y or Z), but I know I'M excited for tomorrow morning when he comes down the steps to see if Santa has been here or not.

When I was pouring the milk, Connor thought for sure Santa would want chocolate milk, so we mixed that up. I don't have any cookies...so we're hoping puppy chow will do. However when I asked the Santa at the mall today if he eats puppy chow too, I think the guy thought I was talking about dog food and replies, "ah, I don't eat puppy chow. Just milk will do". Work with me, Santa.

So, after he got the milk and chow ready for Santa, he sad down and declared that he's going to wait for Santa. Thankfully, he has a gazillion new construction equipment toys to drive all over the house, he quickly forgot about waiting. 

PS. We've had a WONDERFUL start to Christmas, celebrated last night with Bryan's cousins/aunt/uncle, with my parents and his parents today and then cities with my cousins, etc. tomorrow. Pictures/videos to come :)


nursery update

Made some progress on the nursery today. Ordered these birch tree wall decals from this etsy shop. I'm really happy with how they turned out, and weren't that bad to put on. The most time consuming part was playing with how they'd be positioned on the wall, once I had that figured out they went on pretty quickly.

So that's about all I'm doing probably for the walls in the nursery. There are some bird decals that came along with it, but I'm not sure if I'm hanging those up yet. The wall opposite the crib has the changing table/dresser/hutch on it so I'm thinking of just 'framing' the first initial of the baby. We will see, LOTS of time yet :)


potty training update

Nothing too exciting going on around here, hence the lack of blog posts. Busy trying to get ready for Christmas, I went to Atlanta for work for two days, Bryan's busy snow plowing, etc.  Baby Bode is doing well as far as we know. 29 weeks today, entered the third trimester last week I think and I will say, getting tired at night. Feel it's a little early to be getting tired but who knows. Might also be the fault of the little boy that walks into our room still at 2am and adorably asks if he can sleep with us just for two minutes...

Potty training is still a work in progress. He's great with #1 (knock on wood). Wears underwear to bed even (no idea if this is normal, on track, maybe he's even behind, ha). #2...still not there yet, but we are one tiny, little, baby step closer I think. We can at least get him to sit on the toilet and 'try'. This used to be a crying struggle which resulted in nothing positive, but we've crossed that bridge I think. We still have yet to have him go on his own in the toilet and I think he somewhat even is holding it since he knows we or daycare will take favorite toys away if he has an accident. I feel we're also making progress because in the last 3-4 days he TALKS about 'no more skid marks' (ha) and 'gonna go poop on the toilet'. So...I'm praying this means we're closer.

And yes, to many people's advice about bringing a book into the bathroom, it's working. However it's not a 'traditional' book but his 'skid loader and backhoe magazine'. Go figure.


"dad's picking me up"

So, mornings are never predictable around here. Some days Connor is super cooperative, gets dressed nicely, no struggle to get the coat on, etc., and we're out the door. Others, like this morning, it's not good.

He's picky about what shirt he wears and insists on staring into his closet for what feels like 30 minutes pulling out shirts one by one, "um, this one? No, how about this one, mom?". Same with his underwear for the day. Some days, I just let it go, others like this morning I'm in a hurry and don't necessarily have the patience. So I make him pick a shirt so we can go downstairs where he takes 5 minutes picking out what color vitamin he wants, and when I tell him we have to get dressed he responds "No, I need to have my vitamin and my medicine, first". So...then...I start forcing things along, which results in him throwing a fit, wanting his nuk, not cooperating, etc. Needless to say, he was not happy with me once I finally got him in the car. Days like this I dread having two to get ready (no offense to my unborn child, here).

He was silent (unusual) the entire car ride, at one point I look back and he's glaring at me. Nice. Then, as we're pulling into daycare, he finally speaks.

"Dad's picking me up."



christmas decor

Well, my Christmas decor is a little lacking this year, but it's about all I had the motivation to do. No boom/lift truck this year to help put lights on the house so I went the incredibly easy way out. Oh well, it's still festive and I still love Christmas :)

  Bryan has always said no to a real Christmas tree, but he's saying next year I can have one. So, this might be the last year for the perfectly triangular fake tree.

These are supposed to be snowflakes. They look like blue blobs from down the street.
I still might try and put one more strand of lights on each tree, but I think they're fine :)
Someday, I'll have every roof line on the front of the house lit up. Someday.


'tis the season...

...for snow plowing and shoveling.


Pear Tree on TV

My boss, Liwanag, was on Kare11 this morning talking about Pear Tree Greetings and our Operation Gratitude program, as well as highlighting a few of our card selections. Our family card was even featured at the end :)

visit to the loula's

The other night we took Joe, Krystal and family supper, of course our primary reason was to see new baby Kaelyn again. I love babies. They are doing really well and sounds like Kaelyn likes to sleep :) Of course Connor and Ashlyn had a blast and were all over the place. Jumping, crawling behind the couch, running around Joe and Krystal's awesome new addition, making a mess, etc. They have so much fun together.

So adorable

Connor did not find it as funny as Ashlyn and the rest of us did when she would steal his nuk and run around the living room with it.


crazy, over-emotional mom moment

So, I'm the first to admit I've been a tad over-emotional and crazy the past few weeks relating to Connor's potty training, or lack thereof.

For the most part, potty training has been going really, really well. Connor rarely has accidents with #1, is dry many mornings and as soon as he's 'aware' in the mornings (takes about 15 minutes) he knows he needs to go. This is great, we're super proud of him. #2 on the other hand, not going so well. Not going at all, actually, except in his underwear. This results in me washing 2-5 pairs of underwear a day (so no, Connor wasn't kidding in his holiday letter this year) which gets VERY old, day after day after day. Enter the fact that his stools (okay warning, this post is mostly about poop...so it's your own fault if you continue reading) are pretty soft and lately, sandy. To the point that it's hard to get off and causes him incredible pain when cleaning him up. He even knows to say 'gently mom, gently'. Poor guy.

So add all this to his condition at birth, Hirschprung's Disease (HD) and you get me on google, nearly every night, trying to find some answers, advice, anything that will help.

The craziness probably peaked the other night when I was crying, even had my mom crying. My google searches led me to sites/forums about children with sandy stools needing to eat gluten-free diets for the rest of their lives. No, this would not be the end of the world and things could be much worse, but seriously, when you get right down to it, what a pain. One search landed me on a toddler autism site. I'm telling you, it was a bad night.

Google also brought me to HD sites that tell me to basically expect toilet training to take longer, kids with HD might take a little longer to fully understand/recognize the sensation/signs of needing to go. Then of course I'm thinking he'll be like 5 or 6 and still having issues and you can about imagine the nick names he'd have. Plus the thought of having to clean this many pairs of underwear out everyday for the next 2-3 years..ugh.

Then I had to give daycare all of the details, which I guess I kind of just assumed they all knew (about his HD), but I don't know why they would know, plus we haven't really had any reason to feel the need to tell people. He's fine. But, telling daycare and them wanting their staff to be aware (which, is completely a good thing, I'm glad they asked) brought on more craziness and tears, I don't want my son treated differently, treated like he has an issue, made to feel bad about anything. It just makes my heart break to think of that. Yes, overreacting. First to admit.

I finally just called and left a message at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis with the surgeon's office. He called back today, he as in Connor's actual surgeon that performed his pull-through operation (if for any reason this is sparking your curiosity, just click back in the archives to April of 08 since I conveniently probably blogged every minute of this experience). First let me say how I love Children's. The entire time we were there when Connor was born they make family the priority, always make sure the doctors are available to talk to you when you're there and make you truly feel like they care. Every clinic/hospital should feel like that, but that place is amazing. So, to be honest, I would have NEVER expected the surgeon to call back. I'd have been happy just getting a call from a nurse, etc., and this is probably normal, but I'm sure he has better things to do than to calm down a crazy mom. Which, is basically what he did. In much, much, much nicer words he told me I was crazy. Nothing I told him made him think Connor is having any issues related to HD or his surgery, by no means thought he needed to see him (however of course offered, just in case he thought I was REALLY crazy) and somewhat basically said he's not even sure I need Connor to see anyone right now. He's 2.5, seems a little early to be expecting him to be fully potty trained, expect kids with HD and cases like Connor's to go through life without any bowel problems. So needless to say, I feel much, much better. Still tiny bit of concern there, but, it's better.

So yes, I'm blaming some of my craziness on google. The rest we'll chalk up to the fact that we're first time parents and really have no idea what we're doing :) But, it's on our Christmas list that he figures it out and starts going poop in the potty, hope you're reading this, Santa.

the start of the nursery

I've started to make progress om the baby's room, yes, I realize I have a long time before the baby is here but since it took me, oh wait, I never even finished Connor's, I better get a head start. I took a Friday off a few weeks ago and spent the day painting the room and doing some other odds and ends. Was an amazing day off before the peak of our crazy season at work. I love the color of the room (many people are disappointed when they ask what color I painted the room and I respond with "tan"). It's not really traditional baby room colors, but that's what I'm going for. I'm incredibly into orange right now, so my Aunt Mary made custom bedding since there was NO orange bedding sets to be found. Mary, you are amazing, thank you SO much, I LOVE it. Hung some curtains this past weekend and that's about all I have complete so far. The plan is to accent with a deep purple/plum if it's a girl and aqua if it's a boy.

 Yes, I need to iron the curtains yet. Me and ironing do not get along so I'm kind of hoping they just straighten themselves out in the next three months.

The bumper has a iridescent like pattern on it, that obviously caught the flash of the camera. It's a little more subtle in real life, but I love it.

So, need a chair, the accent colors, some wall stuff (wall decor and I also don't get along, hence my entire house having empty walls...I just never know what to do) and I should be set to go. I think.