Sunday, March 28, 2010

Another ER visit for Erin

Anah and Marley have a favorite bone, and the two of them play with it often. Last night Erin decided to get a bit too close to Anah while she was playing with the bone, and we ended up in the ER. Anah's two incisors went almost completely through Erin's top lip, ripping from about 1/2 of the way up to her nose to the bottom of her lip. After 5 hours at the ER, and seven stitches later, we headed home (at about 3am). Erin knows that it was not Anah's fault, and that she shouldn't have had her face by the bone. She's not a bit afraid of her, and has been loving on her all day. Her top lip is extremely swollen, as you can see, but nothing compared to last night. One week until the stitches come out, and hopefully we won't see much scaring.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Marley and Anah

Marley is growing so quickly. She already weighs more than Anah, and towers over her. Despite her size Marley knows that Anah is the boss. They are such a cute pair. They sleep together and play all day long.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Video of baseball

Just a quick video of Brendan batting during his baseball game this afternoon. It was an awesome hit, but unfortunately the infield got it to first base before he got there.

Clean City Day 2010

I was up at 6:00am on a Saturday!

Sean, Erin and I volunteered with my USF PAMSA (Pre-med American Medical Student Association) group to participate in the 2010 Clean City Day. We arrived at Raymond James Stadium at 8:00am, and at 9:00am we started collecting trash along one of the major roads alongside the stadium. For two hours we cleaned, and Erin made it her mission to pick up ever cigarette butt that she could find. She hates smoking, and hates to see it when someone throws them outside.

Afterwards there was live entertainment and lunch inside of the stadium. This is definitely another event that we will be participating in each year.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patty's Day

Although all three of my kiddos have Irish names, we don't really do anything extraordinary to celebrate the day. I spent part of the day at the pediatrician with Erin after being up with her during the night with right ear pain. Sure enough she has an ear infection. This evening I had a PAMSA (Pre-med American Medical Student Association) meeting, and I made brownie bites with green frosting for them, and they were baked in cute little green clover mini-cupcake liners. Once home I made solid green sugar cookies in the shape of clovers, and they are already nearly gone.

Our speaker tonight at the meeting was an "interview professional". She spoke to us about the importance of being prepared for medical school interviews, common questions that are asked, and what to do/not to do during them. I've already started thinking about these particular things in addition to continuing to research medical schools, study for the MCAT, and continue keeping my GPA up for the remainder of my classes. I'm really excited about it all, and what the future holds for me and my family.

Happy St. Patty's Day to you all.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Erin and Brendan.

More Wisconsin pictures

Brian arrived tonight, and I downloaded these pictures from his camera.

This first group of pictures are some of the goodies that we have while we were there. The cow cheese was one of the treats in the bucket of items from Steve and Angie's neighbor, Deb. Brian and Erin ended up eating it. Imagine that...a cow shaped cheese from Wisconsin!

The baked goodies were from the Pine Cone Truck Stop. I understand that there are a couple of them in Wisconsin. These were the largest donuts, pastries and cookies I've ever seen. A cream puff that was over 4 inches high, and the chocolate eclair was more than 8 inches long and weighed 3-4 pounds. The Wisconsin Badger cookie was almost as large as Brian's head...and that is big!

Brian's mom, Kathy, sent pj's for the girls to wear while we were there, and they were so excited about them. The first night there they all went through them, tried on different sets, and finally decided on the one for the night. They were happy to model them, too. Oh, and Erin still had on her snow boots.
Erin and Alexis decided to sleep together the second night that we were there. It didn't end up lasting all night, but while they were sleeping Brian took pictures and a video of them. They were both snoring away. Don't they both look so beautiful sleeping?

Erin, Samantha, Alexis, and Briana.
Erin, Alexis, Samantha, Laura and Briana at the International Festival in downtown Madison.
(l) Samantha and Alexis and (r) Brendan sledding by the house.
Steve and Laura.
Erin, Alexis, Briana, and Laura on the front porch of the house just before we left for the airport.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


We had a great time in Wisconsin. I've been planning this trip for a little over a year, and it was so great to see Angie, Steve, and the girls. We arrived on Thursday evening, just in time to celebrate Angie's birthday! They all met us at the airport (including Angie's mom, Lori, whom I've been so anxious to meet-and she had flowers for ME). From there we met up with the rest of their family for a birthday dinner. 17 of us.
A quick stop at Angie's parents house on the way to the restaurant, and the kids got to play for a few minutes. I took advantage of the time, and got a few shots. This is Alexis.
And Laura!
And Erin going for a quick sled down the hill.
And of course Briana.
Dinner for 17 to celebrate Angie's birthday.
The birthday girl, Angie.

Later that night at home, the girls received pj's from Brian's mom, Kathy. Alexis wanted to model hers for me.

The following day we let the kids play outside for a bit, and then we drove to Prairie du Sac to view the bald eagles that are commonly spotted there. We didn't see any at the designated viewing spots, but while taking a few pictures in "downtown" we saw one fly right over the American flag. It was beautiful. From there we walked to an old mill to have dinner. While everyone else drove around the block to the restaurant, Erin, Laura, and Alexis walked down the tracks with me. They loved that they got to walk on railroad tracks.
In the back yard, having snowball fights, building forts, and chasing one another. Alexis, Briana, Laura, Erin, and Brendan.
Beautiful eyes Briana.
Scrunch nose Laura. Silly girl.

Brendan loves to climb, and they have a few great trees in their back yard.
The beginning of the "fort".
Sweetie pie Alexis.
Angie and Sean in Prairie du Sac.
Steve and Brian-brothers.
A bald eagle flying over the flag.
The girls and me walking to the old mill to eat dinner. The restaurant is the big brick building on the right.

Saturday was interesting. We drove to downtown Madison to an annual international festival that was being held, and to see the sights there. Sean and I ended up being separated from the group, and spent the 2.5 hours sitting on State St. waiting to find the group while the rest of the family went to the festival and then walked to the capital for a tour (I left my cell phone in the car, and Brian had the keys). So finally after 2.5 hours Sean asked a business if we could use their phone, and we caught up with the family as they were walking back to the cars. I will say that I enjoyed State St. and people watching while we waited was interesting, but I do hope to be able to check out all of the cool little shops that line the street next time.
A view of the capital from State Street.
Me, all bundled up. I had a long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt, and huge winter coat! It was just enough.
State Street.
My kiddos playing on the ice and snow that covered Lake Mendota-a lake right next to the University of Wisconsin @ Madison.
Yeah, let's get a canoe and go right out there.
University of Wisconsin @ Madison science building...very cool.
Daddy and Erin
Brian and Briana.
Aunt Angie and Erin.
Brian with Alexis and Laura.

The Kowalski family. (l-r) Samantha, Laura, Alexis, Briana, Steve and Angie.

When we got back to the house we had a late BBQ, and I got to meet the neighbors, Deb and Leigh, and their two boys. They were great, the boys are super cute, and we ate brats, Italians, and burgers until we were ready to bust. On the night that we arrived I was blessed with a bucket full of Wisconsin goodies, courtesy of Deb. She gave me a blueberry kringle, a cow shaped cheese, chocolate covered cherries, a cow patty, cheese popcorn, and various other local snacks. Also included was the sweetest note welcoming us to their town. Steve and Angie are lucky to have such wonderful neighbors.

Sunday was pretty low key, and we mostly just let the kids play outside in the snow. We walked the one block to the elementary school so that the kids could sled on the big hill there, and they all had a great time.
Sean and Ana
Sean barely fitting into the sled.

Samantha and Laura

Brian with a fist full of snow.
My sweet girl.
Back up the hill-Brian and Ana.
Alexis and Laura coming down the hill
Sean and Ana again.

Daddy and his girl. Love the expression on Erin's face.
Alexis. Such a sweet girl.
Brendan's version of snowboarding.
Cousins. These two are only four months apart in age.

Brendan getting a "face wash" by Brian.
The Kowalski girls. Alexis, Laura, Samantha, and Briana.

Later that evening Alexis helped me make orange brownies. This is where she sat to help me. The day before both Alex and Laura helped me make a blueberry pound cake, and they both sat there to help. It was so cute.

On Monday we drove up to the Dells. Angie's dad and mom own a house with 20 acres of land near the Dells, and we took a short detour to go there, play in the snow, and walk through the woods surrounding the land. The snow was DEEP in some areas, and it made it interesting for those of us not used to the snow. I heavily relied on the footprints of others to get me through.
Cheese curds. Just the thought of them makes my stomach curl. Yuck, yuck, yuck.
Yep. Cheese, beer, and "fresh curds". All with a giant mouse and cheese on top.
Angie and Alexis, knee deep in the snow.

Erin and daddy.

Laura making her way out of the deep snow to get back to the car.

The Dells is famous for having the largest number of water parks in the world, and it was interesting to see all of the water slides surrounded by snow. The town itself was pretty much shut down, and I learned that everything really only opens for the summer tourist season, and then they shut down for the winter (except for the indoor water parks, of which there are many). We did, however, see this interesting bar right on one of the main corners of town.
Water slides and snow.
Have a swig...

On our way home we decided to stop at a local glow-in-the-dark miniature golf place. Brian, Steve and Sean were competing, and the girls were just doing their own thing, having a good time, making their own rules, and seeing who could finish the fastest. It was cute.

We left on Tuesday, and after a delay due to fog we arrived home just after 8:00pm. Exhausted and thawing we unpacked, watched American Idol, and went to bed. We do miss everyone, and hope that it won't be 2-3 years before we see them again. Steve and Angie, thank you for your hospitality and fabulous food (Angie!). She is one hell of a cook. Lori and Jim, it was so nice to finally meet you. Lori, it didn't feel as if it was our first time meeting, and I wish that we could have spent more time together. Deb and Leigh, thank you for the Wisconsin goodies, and for being so wonderful to your neighbors. I hope to see you all again. Alexis, Laura and Briana, we love all three of you, miss you, and look forward to seeing you again soon.