Oh, Toodles!!!

Caleb, Caris, and Chloe have all been into Mickey Mouse Clubhouse DVD we have in the car. Every time we get in the car, Chloe says, “vevo…  Mouse.”  In non-toddler speak, that’s “video… Mickey Mouse.”  But since they only watch it in the car, I’ve never actually seen it, but I do hear it.  There’s this one part where Mickey says something, and Caleb & Caris will say it loudly and in unison.  “Oh Toodles!!!”

Now, I don’t know who or what Toodles is.  Caleb & Caris will pretend play and carry this small purple mirror around, and call it “Toodles.”  I saw Caris this morning pretend washing “Toodles” with a sponge.  I always pictured Toodles to be some type of animal like a dog or something, but after watching them play, I wondered what it actually is.  I asked Caris what is Toodles.

Caris:  It has 2 circles and another circle.
Me: Oh, so it’s like Mickey Mouse ears.
Caleb & Caris: Yeah.

I’ll just Google it to see what it really looks like.  Is that what the Mickey Mouse ears are called?

No!  It’s not just Mickey Mouse ears.  It’s Mickey Mouse ears on LSD!

Puke Away

blackberries, strawberries, spaghetti, hot dogs, rice krispies, and mango cake

Some of you may be disgusted by the picture above.  I apologize, but this is the reality that we have been dealing with the past few days.  That picture above was the start of everything.  After showing no signs of being sick that day, Caris decides to upchuck her dinner right after we walk in the door.  She had begun crying at the end of the car ride, so Yvonne was holding her, and I was holding Chloe in front of her. All of the sudden we hear her gag, and then *blurp*.

The sight was not pleasant to say the least.  At least we know why she was crying.  Yvonne bent her over as she started to puke, and put her down on her feet to grab some towels.  A few seconds later, she proceeds to throw up a little more.  I ask Caris if she’s okay, and she says “yeah.”  How do you spell relief?  V-O-M-I-T

Caris got sick Saturday night.  She’s been sick with the stomach flu all Sunday and Monday.


Yvonne has been careful in order to not transmit the stomach flu to the rest of the family.  We’ve used a good amount of chlorine bleach wipes.  And our hands are raw from washing them hundreds of times the past few days. The rest of the household had showed no signs of picking the stomach bug.  That was until 4am Tuesday night.

Caleb had been waking up a few times during the night complaining about his stomach hurting.  He didn’t have to go poop, so there was nothing I could really do.  After Chloe was fed at 4 in the morning, I went to go help her back to sleep. Caleb woke up screaming at about the same time.  That’s when he decided to puke twice, apparently on my side of the bed.


Thank God for Yvonne’s motherly instincts and lightning quick reflexes, she was able to catch all that puke in the bucket.  Whereas Daddy says, “I can’t do anything for you, Caleb. Go back to sleep,” Mommy says, “something’s not right.”  Good thing Mommy was there to catch the puke.  I would have been sleeping.

We’re praying Chloe doesn’t get this.  Baby puking and crying is not a fun thing to watch.  Praying that we don’t get it either.  We don’t put toys in our mouth, so that should at least help us.

Caris Out of the Crib (And out of bed)


Yesterday, Caris got started in her big girl bed.  No more crib for you, Caris.  We probably didn’t pick the best of nights to get her into a regular bed, since they were also adjusting to daylight saving time as well this weekend.  But we’ve procrastinated too long, and I had time to convert her bed in the afternoon.

Caleb and Caris are so different.  I was reading back at an old post of Caleb first getting into his big boy bed, and their responses have been much different.  Of course Caris has had the benefit of watching Caleb get into his bed for a few months, so that helps.

The first night did not go so well.  It wasn’t horrible, but it was good either.  We put the kids down around 8pm, which is technically an hour earlier than normal based on standard time.  We figured they would take a while to go to sleep, but not as long as they actually took.  After multiple times of telling them to stop playing and go to sleep, they finally fell asleep at 10:40pm, over two and a half hours after we put them to bed.

Once asleep, Caris did well. But anything the doesn’t involve her falling out of bed I would consider doing well.  She got over the falling out of bed quickly though, for tonight she did it.  We’re about to eat dinner downstairs, and we hear a big thump.  Originally we though it was Caleb knocking down the gate like he down earlier in the night, but nope, it was Caris falling out of bed.

We run upstairs and hear her crying. Caleb fesses up.

Caleb:  Caris fell out of bed.  We were talking and laughing, and she fell out of bed.

I’m glad Caleb is so willing to tell us what happened now.  I hope it stays that way.

Nuevo Vallarta/Puerto Vallarta “No Groping for You!” (Day 1)

We have arrived safely in Mexico.  Traveling with three kids 3 and under is not the easiest thing.   But thank God there was an open seat so I didn’t have to have Caris in my lap for the whole three hour plane ride.


But before I go further on, let’s describe the preparation before we got on the plane.  I (Chris) was up until 4 in the morning packing bags.  Not only did I have to pack the bags, I had to set up the security camera (I’m watching you, burglars!), and turn off the water, and clean the kitty litter, and throw out the trash, and feed the cats, and feed the fish, and pack some more bags.  We packed heavy.  Yvonne and I joke that if it was just us, it would take only an hour to pack and we’d have only one bag. 

With 3 kids, 2 of which still need diapers, the packing list just grew by a order of 5.  We checked-in 3 suitcases, a checked car seat, had 4 carry-on backpacks (2 toddler size), 2 more car seats for the airplane, a double stroller, and a bag of food.  Every time we fly, I HATE the security checkpoints.  Not only do we have an enormous number of things to carry through the checkpoint, the TSA security doesn’t even work!  All they do is yell at us and stress us out.  We carry a big container of soy milk for Caleb for his allergies.  Now you’d figure the TSA would like to check a 2 quart container of soy milk every time, but that’s really checked thoroughly 50% of the time.  Security theater.  I hate it.  And now they want to look at me naked or feel me up.

Luckily for us, the Delta terminal did not have the full body scanners installed.  I didn’t have an opportunity to get felt up.  I’m actually kind of disappointed.  That is one less thing for me to complain about.  No groping for you, TSA!


Everyone in our family is sick.  We all got nasty colds.  Everyone is coughing up loogies and blowing out yellow snot.  And now we’re getting on the plane to hurt our ears cause we can equalize our ears.  At least I couldn’t.  But the plane ride was much better than expected.  For one we had an extra seat for Caris.  And Chloe slept much of time.



When we landed, it was complete chaos.  We’re tired from not sleeping the night before.  We have 2 toddlers who have been cooped up in a plane for 3 hours, one of which decided he didn’t want to nap.  We too much luggage for a single car.  And then all these people are bombarding us with “help.”  Not even 30 minutes on the ground, we already signed up to have a timeshare talk.  Not only did we sign up, we actually paid someone $10 US for the privilege of someone to waste our time.  We are such idiots.

We rented a car from EZ Car Rental.  I chose them because they had the cheapest rates.  Let’s just say EZ wasn’t so easy.  First off, the EZ Car Rental office is located off the airport, which is fine since a lot of car rental places aren’t actually at the airport.  They needed not one, but 2 cars to fit all of us to shuttle to their office.  And that’s with Caleb and Caris sitting in my lab and Chloe in Yvonne’s.  We get to the office which is located at a gas station.  Yes, a fuel reloading location.  I knew coming here I was going to decline the insurance, since AMEX will cover all our insurance needs.  But the salesman says the insurance is mandatory.  I question this “mandatory” business, but he says he will not let me get a car without buying the insurance.  We’re stuck at a gas station with no where else to go.  Not many options for us.

We reserved a mid-size car.  However mid-size car in Mexico is not quite the mid-size car you expect in the states.  This mid-size car only looks slightly larger than a Jetta.  Now you remember how much luggage we were carrying?  And how it took 2 cars to pack it up?  I had my doubts all of it would fit in a Nissan Tiida, as did the salesman.  Of course for a $20 “tip” I could upgrade to a Jeep SUV.  In the span of 10 minutes, I felt I got swindled and a deal by the same person.  And even with the Jeep, everything barely fit.  Caris unfortunately had 0 leg space.  When I say 0 leg space, I don’t mean it figuratively.  She literally had 0 leg space with the stroller in the back seat.  I will have to take a picture on the way back to there.

Chaos doesn’t stop at the resort.  Poop is everywhere.  Chloe is on anti-biotics, so she is pooping liquids.  Caleb has loose stool all the time anyways.  And Caris decides she needs to go too.


Most of you will notice Chloe getting changed.  However, look at the ground.  That’s Caris’ poop.  For the past week, she’s been practicing taking off her clothes everywhere.  And she often says, “poo-poo” after she poops.  Of course she’s saying it now.  And now knows how to take off her clothes and diaper.  That’s what she left us.

The rest of the night wasn’t so bad.  We ate at the buffet.  Took baths and went to sleep.  Pictures (which is what most of you want anyways) should suffice.





Sorry, Caris

Sorry, Caris.  But I’m of the same opinion.  You’re free to go ice skating if you like.

Mukund (Ames, IA)

What do you think about the Winter Olympics in regard to the fact that all of the sports are incredibly specialized and open to a select few people who happen to have access to say, a bobsled track?

Bill Simmons

My only question with the Winter Olympics is why parents would choose to push their kids to be an Olympian in the first place. For instance, my daughter loves ice skating and she’d be great at it. But why the hell would I want to wake up at 5AM for the next 10 years so she could skate, and why would I want that life for her? Hey, here’s your upside – there’s a 0.000000000002 percent chance you might win a medal. That just seems insane to me. I’d rather my daughter was doing more important things, like watching Max and Ruby.

Cold Weather & Our Camping Trip

It is currently 42 degrees outside our house. Tonight’s overnight low is suppose to be 38 degrees. This is what I would call beyond cold. But at least we’re inside our warmer house. 67 degrees is nice for me, but still bundle up weather for Yvonne. We haven’t been in this type of cold since… well… since our camping trip in October.

The thing about our camping trip though is that we were sleeping in tents where the cold didn’t want to stay outside. The overnight low was 45 degrees, which meant it was 45 degrees in our tent. Let’s just say that our children weren’t used to the temperature with their year round temperature controlled house. In fact the thermostat is in Caleb’s room so he’s always sleeping in perfect temperature.

Our tent… not the place for perfect temperature. Look at this thermometer.

That’s a low of 45 in our tent.  And a high of 115!

We got to Santa Margarita Lake campground on Friday.  Lacking the perfect temperature Caleb was used to, he got very little sleep that first night.  He kept tossing and turning.  And talking and moving.  So much so that he only got just over 3 hours of sleep that night.  45 degrees might be a little to cold for a boy who’s used to perfect temperature in his room.  Caris didn’t sleep well either, but she just slept on me the whole keep and I kept her warm.  Here’s how they looked in the morning.

IMG_5212 IMG_5213 IMG_5214 IMG_5215 IMG_5216 IMG_5217 IMG_5219 IMG_5220 IMG_5221 IMG_5222 IMG_5223 IMG_5225

Caleb was not in a good mood that morning.  We hoped he would get a good nap at least in the afternoon.  Not quite.  With the sun blazing down upon our tent, the temperatures soared inside.  Again Caleb normally sleeps in that perfect temperature room with barely any light.  Here at camp, he had the bright sun shining on top, heating up the tent.  After 40 minutes of sleep, he awakes to the bright lights and hot tent.  The temperature is about 90 degrees.  Good thing he woke up.  He might have died in the 115 degree tent.

We had thought we dressed our children warmly the first night, but these kids don’t know what cold really was.  And neither did we.  To combat the immense chill of the night, we decided dress our children in every single warm piece of clothing we had.  Both of them must have at least 8 layers on them.  Rebecca Chan can attest to that.

IMG_5227 IMG_5228

It doesn’t seem like a lot, but I think he was sweating under those clothes.  Maybe he’s warm enough, and maybe he’s gotten comfortable with our tent.  But finally he sleeps.

IMG_5229 IMG_5230

Caris is still cold, but she loves Daddy holding her and keeping her warm.  Caleb gets a good night sleep, and they look much better in the morning.

IMG_5231 IMG_5232 IMG_5233 IMG_5234 IMG_5235 IMG_5236 IMG_5239 IMG_5240 IMG_5241

Notes for next camping trip:

  • Find someplace close
  • Find someplace not freezing
  • Find someplace not scorching

New Wish Lists

We have new wish lists for Caleb & Caris. You can find the wish lists to the right. Caleb & Caris have their own wish lists. And yes, Caleb’s is much bigger. Everything eventually will get to Caris.