Tuesday, November 30, 2010

He's All Mine


Oh……. it's a clothespin, not a paperclip, genius.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Artist


Clearly, the nanny is not doing her job.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010


As many of us will hit the road with our young children this holiday season I want to post some information that many are not aware of.

It has been the norm to forward face our toddler's car seats at one year. A milestone, something we look forward to. I turned Emily and Kevin around at one year because that was the recommendation then. As more information is gathered and the safety industries analyze the injuries that are received by children involved in car crashes, it has become clear that the choice to forward face a toddler at one year is not the safest choice. In fact, it is the bare minimum as far as car safety goes.

Ava's pediatrician has recommended that we leave her rear facing until she reaches the weight limit on her car seat, which should be well past 2 years of age. I went home and did some research and was very alarmed at the injuries that can be prevented if she remains rear facing. It was a no brainer for me.

We bought a mirror that attaches to the headrest so I can see her. She has not complained about rear facing, and to be honest even if she did her safety is far more important than her comfort.

If I had any second thoughts about extended rear facing the following two videos eliminated any doubt that Ava will not be forward facing anytime soon.



Please watch these videos, especially the second one, they are full of good information.  I am not trying to judge or make anyone feel bad that has forward faced their child at one year or before. I am putting the information out there in the hopes that someone will read this and decide that extended rear facing is the way to go. That decision could very well save a child's life.

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Ava- happy to be rear facing.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Giving Thanks

Yesterday was filled with family, food, some worry, some sadness, and much thankfulness ( I had to check to make sure thankfulness is a word).


As we were getting ready to head to my Aunt JoAnn's house I noticed that Emily's lips were looking off. Very blue actually. I didn't panic, I thought she was just cold from her shower. You can see it in this picture Matt took of the girls before we left.


I checked her nail beds, her breathing rate, asked her a lot of questions and decided to just watch it to see if it would improve.  I noticed it getting worse and asked the advice of some family who, lucky for us, are nurses. They thought she looked blue and in fact thought she had put blue lip gloss on or something- that is why they hadn't said anything up until that point. We decided that she was probably ok, but I knew I would be in panic mode until we figured out what was wrong with her so off to the ER we went.

I was trying not to scare Emily, I already know my tendency to be a hypochondriac will land her in therapy some day. Her oxygen level at the triage was 100%, but her lips were as blue as can be. The ER doc ordered a chest x ray to look at the size of her heart and that was normal. He couldn't explain the color of her lips, but assured me she was fine. We left her hooked up to the monitors for a few minutes and he oxygen level was consistent and normal. The doctor was very nice and understood my worry. He just said if she experiences any other symptoms to bring her back immediately. We went back to our Thanksgiving gathering where Emily continued to act normally and said she felt 100%.

She wanted to stay the night with my sister- I got a text late last night saying Emily was asleep and her lips looked normal.

I am hoping this was just a fluke and will not be ongoing. I plan to take her to her pediatrician for a follow up.

Other than that bit of excitement, we had a great day. I enjoyed seeing my family and am looking forward to scrapbooking ( I don't really scrapbook, I just watch) and seeing a movie tomorrow.

Today marks the five year anniversary of Kevin's open heart surgery. The surgery that saved his life and allowed us to have two and half wonderful years with him. I will always be grateful to his surgeon and the staff at University of Iowa Children's hospital for never giving up on him.


This is one of my favorite pictures of Kevin. He was looking SO much better after surgery and was starting to look at me and respond to my voice. He was such a handsome boy, tubes and all.

Thanksgiving holds a lot of mixed emotions for me. I try not to concentrate on the loss, but rather the things that I do have and not take them for granted.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Napkin, Anyone?


Yes, I made Matt take care of this.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Acrobat


Isn't this how you watch T.V. ?  Ava also likes to get into this pose while nursing. It would irritate me if it wasn't so funny. Perhaps she is destined to be a Yoga instructor….

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Fam

We had Family pictures taken two weekends ago. Ava was not into it at all. Think wild boar. My wonderful friend, Liza, still got some great shots, and our Christmas card will be fabulous. This one cracked me up.

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Matt took advantage of having a friend for a photographer and recreated his much loved senior pictures. Minus the manhole cover glasses and stylish Ocean Pacific shirt.

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Seriously, there is a real senior picture where Matt is in this pose. I am going to have to dig it out, it makes me giggle uncontrollably every time I see it.

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Matt is having wallets made to hand out to all of his friends……

Despite Ava's foul mood and thanks to Liza's patience, we got some great pictures of the girls.

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Thank you Liza for the great pictures, you captured our family perfectly.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Tiny Dose of the Truth

I have been having a really hard time with anxiety lately. I am pretty convinced that the mild depression I experience cycles with anxiety. For the past few days I feel like I have had a pot of coffee in one sitting. My mind just wont stop. I am ok. I am functional, it just kind of sucks. I am trying to not use food to calm my nerves and use the tools I have learned in therapy. Food is much easier.

I am trying a new form of therapy- not sure that is what you would call it. I am seeing a hypnotherapist. The first visit was fantastic and I can really see it being a helpful thing in my quest to let go of a lot of negative experiences in my life. More on this to come.

I am sure that it is no secret that the Holidays are hard for me. On one hand I love seeing my family- they are some of the few that are as funny and inappropriate as I am… on the other hand, I miss Kevin and desperately wish he was here. It is still so hard for me to accept that he is not here. That I will never get to see him open presents or tell him to go back to bed early Christmas morning. I don't know how parents deal with this year after year, but I guess I will find out.

Five years ago my Kevin was fighting for his life. He was so sick and the doctors were not sure why. I wonder if that is why my anxiety is popping up now. I cannot begin to describe in words what Kevin's time in the PICU was like. We were hopeful and then told to prepare to say goodbye. The surgeon decided to try a hail Mary and succeeded. Wheeling Kevin out of that PICU alive was one of the greatest feelings I have ever felt. We had no idea that we would be back two and half years later for the final time.

I often find myself conflicted about life in general. In many ways my life is fantastic. I have a near perfect husband( he does fart sometimes), beautiful children, a home, food on the table, great family, and great friends. In other ways my life seems like a mess sometimes.  I try to keep it all together for the sake of my kids.

November and December are hard.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A First


Today, Ava fell asleep at home by herself. Without me holding her. Without a car or stroller ride. Without nursing. She simply got tired while playing, laid down, and went to sleep. I am not getting my hopes up though, I am sure it was a fluke.

Friday, November 12, 2010

One Year

I had planned a nice long post about how I have been blogging for one year today. As I was typing, Ava was watching her "Ses" and behaving. Then I saw this…


Yeah, that is blackberry smoothie all over the carpet. Good times…

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wild Boar

You may have noticed in my last post that I referred to my third born as a wild boar. Matt coined that term after one of Ava's infamous tantrums in a store.
You see, Ava's mission in life, or mission in the store anyway, is to walk or run uninhibited while pulling various things of the shelves. If anyone tries to interrupt her "work" she squeals like a wild boar. Seriously, that is what it sounds like. An insane boar squealing at the top of its lungs. That is my daughter in Wal-Mart. Yes, we are proud.
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I am sure that by showing you this wonderful picture, taken by my friend Liza, you will think I am lying about the boar like behavior. I assure you I am not.


We have been enjoying the unseasonably warm weather lately. On Tuesday, Matt took us to a trail that led to a scenic overlook. He had been running on these trails over the weekend and thought we would enjoy the view.
Ava "the wild boar Kruse", was a little too eager to take the steep hike up to the overlook. We tried to give her some independence while keeping safety in mind.
Sometimes I forget what is in our own backyard.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Ava and I had a fascinating conversation this morning. I was sitting at the computer with a cup of coffee. Ava walked over and pointed to the coffee cup…

Ava: Woof Woof!

Me: That's not a woof woof, it is coffee. Hot!

Ava: Woof Woof!

Me: There's no woof woof, it is coffee. Can you say coffee?

Ava: Gets the you are so dumb look on her face and says, WOOF WOOF!

Me: It's coffee, Ava. Can you say coffee?

Ava: Look you moron, WOOF WOOF! (okay she didn't say the moron part but I know she was thinking it.)

Me: Okay Ava, woof woof..

I turned the cup around and there was indeed a picture of a dog on the cup. Thank goodness because I was really starting to wonder about her.

Sunday, November 7, 2010



Today, on what would have been Kevin's fifth birthday we enjoyed chatting with old friends, seeing family, and taking in the beautiful weather. I have a hard time with birthdays, more so than the the anniversary of his death. We get through it, but it is still very hard. We miss Kevin every moment of everyday. His birthday serves as a reminder to me to not get worked up about small things, not to take people for granted,  and to live life simply and with purpose. Happy Birthday sweet boy.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fridays with Kevin

We took this video on November 7th, 2007(Kevin's second birthday). We had stopped at Wal-Mart to pick up a few things. He loved playing with this display. I had forgotten about all of the times we had stopped for an impromptu dance party . The boy loved him some music!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Ava thought cleaning out pumpkins was highly amusing. Her laugh is one of the highlights of my day.

Here are some pictures from Halloween, both girls had a great time.


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And for your viewing pleasure, a look into my mad camcorder skills.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Birthday

Emily made this video to show at her birthday party this past weekend. We are so proud of our now eleven year old! Happy Birthday Em!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Where's the Whip?

So the program I use to post to my blog is broken. I can post from Matt's computer, but not mine. Matt worked on it for a few hours last night and couldn't figure it out. Perhaps I wasn't whipping him hard enough. He didn't think my idea of running to Best Buy to get a new laptop was a good one. I hope he gets it fixed soon, posting this way ( through Blogger) is a pain. I feel it stifles my creativity....

I am glad today is voting day. Maybe Sarah Palin will quit calling me. Barack also called me, but only once and I can forgive him for that ;)  In all seriousness, I had four political messages on my phone in the few hours that I didn't answer it yesterday. Seems like a lot.

That's all I have for now. See, my creativity is stifled. Sigh

Monday, November 1, 2010


I think I am going to take a moment to shamelessly brag about my first born. She recently got her report card and we attended parent/teacher conferences.

She is a straight A student and on the high honor roll. We also received her standardized test results and she exceeds national standards in all subjects. She is doing great in school and we are so proud of her.

Along with being a straight A student, she also plays three sports and the French horn. I was thinking that with all that she does do, I should leave her alone about the state of her closet and the fact that she claims to not know how to make a sandwich.