The chronicles and ramblings of a stay-at-home father raising his three beautiful girls, Anya Rose, Caitlin Rose and Reegan Rose.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


So much to catch you all up on!

Last week Anya had her 5 year check up. While I am aware that her birthday was in September, you should be aware that I am not the most punctual person in the world.  Since Caitlin and Reegan had not yet received their flu vaccinations, I thought it would be a good opportunity to bring all the Roses to the appointment.  For the first time in Anya's life, she wasn't scared to go the doctors office.  Caitlin and Reegan, however, were petrified.  After repeatedly explaining to Reegan that this was Anya's appointment, she eventually relented and agreed to come along.  As we checked in and looked at the fish in the waiting room, Reegan's death-grip around my neck was tighter than a Burmese python in full coil.  As Anya's name was called, we walked to the exam room.  Quickly after shutting the door, Reegan wanted to make sure that the nurse understood it was NOT her they would be poking and prodding.  In her brazen and forward manner, she shouted, "Anya's appointment!!!" with a bad-ass look on her face that meant certain meltdown if she even approached her with a needle.  With KK and Reegan on my lap, the nurse and doctor checked Anya out and she was given a clean bill of health. 

The big 5 year appointment is also a year of numerous inoculations.  As they asked Anya to sit on the table for her three shots, she looked scared for only a second and she braved her way atop the cold, deli-paper covered bed.  They asked her to lie back and not move her arms. One shot.  Two shots. Three shots... But something was missing.  Where was the wailing and gnashing of teeth?  Nothing!  Anya sat up and put on her pants without even a tear; a feat she was so proud of she immediately asked for my phone to call everyone she knows.  She explained to Grandma, Grandpa, Papa, Nana, and probably countless other people in my phone contact list that she got three shots and didn't even cry!  I've never seen a girl so proud.

A bit of a bug has hit the Schmidt household as of late.  Last Sunday, after a long and exhausting day of watching football, Caitlin and I became ill.  Our immune systems were no doubt weakened by the lackluster effort the Vikings put forth against the ratty Raiders, and by 9:00pm we were down.  From my extensive medical experience (26 years of playing Oregon Trail) I quickly diagnosed my symptoms as a severe case of diphtheria.  Now no need to call the CDC nurse Aunt Sue, it probably wasn't really diphtheria (as after wikipedia-ing the disease, it turns out it is nothing like what I thought it was) but I did have one hell of a bout with vomiting and the shits (and I use the term "the shits" loosely.  Pun intended).  In the midst of my agony, Caitlin walks into the bathroom covered in a vile-stenched vomit that only a 3 year old can produce.  I was able to keep my food in my stomach long enough to give her a bath and send her upstairs, at which time my innards were immediately emptied once again.

In the Schmidt family, we like to share in each others misery.  Last night it seems the bug got to Anya. She came downstairs complaining of a sore stomach which meant I had to get her into the bathroom ASAP.  She puked.  Seconds later she was joking with me about the contents of the toilet.  "What do you think that was?"  She was laughing about it!  When I puke I feel like I just came out of combat; I'm sweaty, fatigued, and mortified about what just came from my belly.  Man did she make me feel like a pussy!  Several times throughout the night she came down to throw up, but not once did she cry or even seem negatively effected by it.  She's really had balls of steal this week.

Today Alicia wanted in on the action.  She came home from work and has been in bed since.  Hopefully this week of hell ends before Reegan joins the crew.

As for the moving plans, we finally secured a house!  We'll be living in a town called Issaquah, WA which is about 15 minutes east of Bellevue (where Alicia works).  It's a nice house in a great neighborhood and we couldn't ask for more.  What's even more appealing to me is that it is just 15 miles from the Cascade Mountains.  When we were out there I manage to squeeze in a hike between house appointments.  I climbed a small foothill that ended on an awesome rock overhang about 1150' in the mountains.  At the bottom of the trail was a trout fishing lake with miles of woods in every direction.  I can't wait to explore my new surroundings!

With Thanksgiving tomorrow, I want to take this opportunity to thank all our family and friends for the invaluable contributions you have made to our family's life.  The love and support we have received these past few weeks has been incredible.  Our new home in Issaquah is a four-bedroom home and we are reserving the largest bedroom as our guest room.  If you ever want to visit the Pacific Northwest, now is the time! PS - you will be expected to watch the children ;)

Tip of the Day - On the eve of Thanksgiving, make sure you savor and fully chew all foods you eat on this fabulous holiday.  There is nothing worse than vomiting up a green bean the size of a pinkie finger.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Raising My Roses - Nana Style...

While Bo and Alicia are out in Seattle looking for a place to live, Nana and Papa are minding the mint back here in Minnesota. What a DREAM job! However, life isn’t without its little bugaboos. How have things changed so much from when we were raising our kids???

For example, the evolution of sippy cups. Come on. It’s a cup. No more bottles after a year old, now we switch to sippy cups. A bottle is a pretty easy invention, put in a nipple in the top, screw the top on the bottle, voila! Now comes the sippy cup. There are no standards, no compatible sizes and no rubber innards to control the flow of the liquid are the same. This is like trying to play a game of Rubik’s cube with the whole shelf of at least 20 multi colored and sized glasses with varying shaped and a whole handful of different rubber innards. Try to find the winning combination with a two year old screaming for milk. I now have two cups that have the proper combination. I carefully wash them out and protect them from getting mixed up with the rest of the lot, so I can use them over and over and over.

And to tell you the truth I forgot about the nighttime ritual. We got the Roses all tucked into bed and sleeping soundly at about 7:30-8:00. I grabbed a cool one, sat down to watch the end of the X-Factor and fell soundly asleep. At about 9:00 I meandered off to bed. Jim was brave and stayed up until after the news.

About 2:00 o’clock that Reegsie started to cry. I jumped out of bed, ran to her room, picked her up, scooped up the sippy cup, rinsed it out and refilled it with milk, then ran back to her bed and laid down next to her. All of the Roses have a cold complete with ever-flowing snotty noses and coughs. Put milk on top of that, you’ve got a coughing machine. Finally Reegsie fell asleep and I snuck back into my bed. About an hour later, Reegsie starts to cry again. OK Papa it’s your turn. Papa rolls out of bed, but as he approaches Reegsie’s door, she stops crying. He saunters back to bed.

Another hour passes, and I am awakened by the feeling of someone staring at me and breathing. I open my eyes, and there stands KK. I scoop her into bed with me, but I wear a CPAP and the tube was going over her face, which she didn’t like, so off comes the CPAP. Can we sleep now? I try, but then I am awakened by KK telling me to stop making that “noise”. Apparently I was snoring? But when I stayed awake, then KK could sleep.

Another hour passes and just as I started to nod off, when again I hear the pitter patter of little feet. It is now about 5:00 am. Here comes Anya. She wants to get in bed with us too, so I told her to get in on Papa’s side. She obeys instantly. Ahh. Now we are like sardines, but, maybe just a few minutes of sleep?

It’s now about 5:45 and it’s Reegsie’s turn again. She comes into our room, with blankie in hand. So I pick her up and put her on my stomach because there is no room left on the bed. The only thing we are missing now is Wally the dog, and don’t give him any ideas, or he’ll be in there too.

Reegsie and KK both have the finest blond hair that mats easily and stands straight up on end. With both of their heads near my face, I had little feathers of hair going up my nose tickling me and tickling my face and neck. Sleep? Heck no. Now starts the morning coughing ritual of particularly the youngest two, coughing up the nights deposit. They barely wake up, but I am totally awake, having hot flashes from being packed in bed with warm bodies on all sides, tickling hairs up my nose and just when I thought things couldn’t get any “better”, I felt a warm wet sensation oozing down my stomach. Ahhh. The capper. The last glass of milk couldn’t be retained in Reegsie’s diaper.

Anya pops her head up and says, “It’s time to get up, look the green numbers on the clock say 6-0-6....Now it says 6-0-7”. Even though day-light-savings time just occurred this past weekend, the Roses internal clocks haven’t adjusted to enjoy that extra hour of sleep.

The moral of the story: Appreciate these JOYS in life as the children grow so quickly. I love every minute of it, and heck, I have lots of other time to sleep.