Friday, October 20, 2017

Emily is ELEVEN!!!

Say it isn't so, my baby girl is fully in the tween stage. The time goes so very fast. 
She is a happy, people pleaser.  A bit shy, but crazy funny and loud with her good group of friends.

 Her favorite is anything yellow.  
 Her birthday seems to fall between trips.  This year we left for vacation on her birthday.  We got in a special quick lunch with two friends before we left.  She planned the menu, fried chicken and brownies.
 When we were home from vacation she planned herself an emoji party.  She did everything.  Emoji bingo, cupcakes and pin the poop emoji in the toilet.  She even drew the toilet.  They made slime. It was a great time.

Noelle is SEVEN

We celebrated all week.  Robert and I were going to go to the Iowa vs. Iowa State game on her birthday so we did a couple of special things throughout the week. 
 Noelle and I found ourselves in DSM while the two other kids had a field trip at Living History Farms. We hit up Barnes and Noble her free kids club birthday treat and then many rides on the mall escalator.
 On the day before her birthday I took her our for breakfast pancakes at the Grove and then to a surprise haircut with her favorite Rebecca.  It happened to be waitress birthday as well. While we were eating a deliver of flowers came for her and she gifted a flower to Noelle (and gave her extra whip!) Noelle loves getting styled so it was a lovely outing. We almost added in a pedicure but I was running out of babysitter time.
 Of course the seventh birthday is important in this family because this is when Gramma Barb gifts you your very own American Girl Doll.

 Meet Celia. 

 Noelle picked El Azteca for her birthday dinner.  She loves the queso and the super cheese quesadillas.  Robert had sneakily told the waiter that it was her birthday and we would take  a fried ice cream.  Noelle has never been to this restaurant for a birthday and she was completely surprised when they swiftly dropped in and started singing to her with the sombrero on her head. It was priceless.  I'll try to upload  it, I know the video is on Robert's FB pages. 
Noelle wanted a bean bag for her birthday.  It was a good choice, it is very coveted around this house, Dallas and Emily both want one and often borrow it.  You can also see the gel pens she got from Emily in the picture.

ISU Football Season kickoff

 If you can believe it, this was the first game we have taken all the kids along.  We had friends, good weather, food and a win! 

 I was glad I made a last minute addition of chalk, it occupied this girl most of the afternoon. 

 It was the first time for the stadium to do a card trick, and it was on our side of Jack Trice.  There was a card inside a plastic bag taped to each seat on the East side. We got the signal to hold them up in between the first and second quarters. 
Emily's game day hair!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Noelle's broken leg

Noelle broke her leg on September 12, 2017. A spiral fracture from riding her scooter (she had a helmet on). Spiral fractures often occur when the foot is planted and the body gets twisted.  She told the same story over and over to all the Doctors and Nurse which they ask multiply times to make sure they don't have to report us.  She told Robert the next day she was ALSO trying to open a circus peanut at the same time.  She calls whole peanuts circus peanuts.  Multitasking at its finest, unshelling your snack while driving...
How did you know it was broken? - I have gotten that question a couple of times. 
When you put a band-aid on the scrap to cover the blood and the whimpering does not stop.  When a show is requested and you cuddle up to watch it and the crying does not stop. Time to see the Dr. 
One broken tibia, spiral fracture, thankfully just above the growth plate.  
We went to the Ped clinic, was sent for an x-ray and back to see the doctor, found out it was broken and then guess what. It was closing time. We were sent to the ER and the orthopedist was called in to fix her up.  He did a hard splint not a cast for swelling and we were sent home.

Chocolate Cake from the Cafe was requested by the patient! Sleep was very minimal the first 3-4 nights, like newborn quality sleep.  It was a comfort issue mostly of not being able to tummy sleep or side sleep, and some pain.  After day five she had it figured out and it hurt less.
Ten days later we were back to get x-rays and get a real cast. 
Teal was not a color option so she choose neon green. 
Fast forward 4 weeks and we were back again to get the cast sawed off, x-rays and see the healing.

enjoying a few minutes with her bare leg as we wait for our turn in radiology
It was still broken, which means four more weeks and a repeat appointment. Everything was in the right place so Noelle was upgraded to a walking cast which means bathing again!

I am beside myself how much the ER visit cost.  I know it is partly our insurance, having a $6000 deductible doesn't help.  But we didn't intend to go to the ER, we entered the clinic and really were not given a choice to not go, we even asked if it would be billed as an ER visit....  Noelle did not see an ER doctor, but did take up a bed for 35 minutes, she did have an ER nurse that took her vitals. The orthopedist did the hard splint(while I held Noelle- not the nurse). We essentially got billed twice for his work, as he also billed on the same event through McFarland Clinic.  I know we choose to be self-employed, but we really have no choice on our health care options anymore.  Rant over!  I am thankful that we can afford insurance and additionally pay for a broken leg that is essentially not covered by our insurance. I feel blessed about our available Doctor choices, and that in this small town we can end up seeing both the Ped and the Ortho that attends our church and knows us as a family.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center National Air and Space Museum

Did you guys know that there are two Air and Space Smithsonians?
The Udvar-Hazy museum is located off of The National Mall and is amazing. It was my favorite of the two Air and Space, and perhaps my favorite overall. It is also the newest (which is likely why it was so awesome) besides the National Museum of African History and Culture which we did not tour. 
 It has a restoration hanger that you can observe.  This is Apollo Command Module Columbia in the hanger being restored.  See the guy on the ladder hanging up over the edge of the module.  It is so amazing to see something that has been in space. This is normally on exhibit in the Air and Space museum on the Mall. It is being prepped for a National tour. It will be on display in St. Louis from April to Sept 2018 (closest to Iowa) otherwise it will be back at the Smithsonian in 2020.
 Seeing this was my highlight. It is so awesome.  You can stand at one side of the hanger and get this view before you enter. It is very large.
Discovery was the third Space Shuttle orbiter vehicle to fly in space. It entered service in 1984 and retired from spaceflight as the oldest and most accomplished orbiter, the champion of the shuttle fleet. Discovery flew on 39 Earth-orbital missions, spent a total of 365 days in space, and traveled almost 240 million kilometers (150 million miles)--more than the other orbiters. It shuttled 184 men and women into space and back, many of whom flew more than once, for a record-setting total crew count of 251. It looked "quilted" to me up close. I was surprise to see that instead of large panels of metal, the shuttles exterior seems to be made of thousands of 4"x4" squares of what looks like fabric. The shuttle has been at the museum since 2012.  
This Fedex plane is special to the family. Dallas Kibbe was on this very plane and helped to "check-ride" it. Fred Smith CEO of Federal Express had a crazy idea he wrote an economics paper in Yale about overnight delivery of packages (1962). I remembers getting a C on the paper because the professor did think the idea was feasible.  I guess he went for it anyway.  Smith had a general interest in aviation. They took a passenger plane, a Dassault Falcon 20, removed all the seats, and it became "Wendy" - named after his daughter.  It was pretty neat to see it in the Air and Space museum (near the Concord!) and hear Dallas tales of working on the plane.  I am glad it worked out, and people decided it would be a good idea to get things overnighted!

Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird.  This is possibly the only plane I can identify, so I like it!
Military use for reconnaissance during the cold war and after. I think it is retired, and the military uses drones now. - also the fasted airplane fed by air-breathing engines (I had to look that up) I knew it was fast!
 This is a piece of the Concord above the green plane.  The smaller plane is Bob Hoover's - The North American Rockwell Shrike Commander 500S.  The statue is of Hoover. He was a great test pilot, fighter pilot and then air show pilot. (famous enough that I recognize his name)
 It was an amazing place. I would recommend it to anyone.  We visited it on our first day in DC, we actually drove directly to the museum from Luray, about 1.5 hour drive and then went on to our hotel afterward. All the Smithsonian's run like any government institution, they are open 10-5:00 pm.

The museum has a control tower you can go up into. It was also amazing. The views were spectacular, and 360 degrees.  The Udvar-Hazy museum is near Dulles.  I am not sure if there is a connecting runway or not, but I assume they are able to transport all of these planes over somehow, and that they land at Dulles initally.  From this "museum control tower" you could see Dulles control tower as well as all the commercial jets lined up to land.  Very, very cool.