Saturday, December 10, 2011

Your Last Chance to See the Best Christmas Display in Denver!

For the second year in a row, we've gotten in the car on a cold December night, driven to Starbucks to pick up a round of hot chocolates, and have gone driving to look at Christmas lights. I think this will have to be an annual family tradition. 
{Unfortunately, my Nikon battery died right as we got in the car so you'll have to deal with cell phone pictures. I was SO bummed!}

The most amazing house in the Denver area is located near Broadway & Belleview (going south on Broadway, turn right on Belleview, and the right on Elati). I remember driving past this house when I was younger, with MY parents. These people go far above and beyond the normal Christmas light display.

Sadly, this year we saw this sign at the display:

 You can click to enlarge it, but it reads: "The Kloewer Family wishes to thank you for the past 29 years of patronage. This year will mark the final celebration of our light display. Happy Holidays - Dick and Alice Kloewer"

This is sad for us because it's our favorite light display to see! People come from far and wide to see this house at Christmastime. While we were there for maybe 20 minutes last night, there were TWO LIMOS, one bus, and tons of cars crowding the street. It's always busy & popular here in December at night. But it's such a lovely display, it's worth seeing. Trust me, it's the most creative you'll ever see. 

If you're in the Denver area, make sure to visit this year! It will be your last chance! Mr. Kloewer must be some sort of engineer because the displays feature all sorts of trains and animated dolls and puppets:

The Rudolph's nose lights up when you push the button. This was a new feature (or at least we haven't seen it before) this year. 3-year-olds LOVE buttons...
 This is NOT a light display that you can just admire from your car. You must get out and walk around the entire yard to really appreciate all the little details. 
There are lit up display houses all over the yard, this one featured dancing puppets:
 The best part of this outing is spending time with the family for the holidays...

And seeing your child's eyes light up is better than any other light display in the world...
 Although I have to warn you, if you do go, bundle up well. Violet enjoyed being in daddy's coat.
 The trains are amazing! I'd bet they have almost a half mile of train tracks winding around their yard. Cute little trolleys and trucks zip around them constantly.
 Eisley was in heaven, despite how cold it was. 

This may be the Kloewer's last year, but don't fret too much. 
It would seem their neighbors down the street are planning on taking over the legend {POST EDIT: It turns out that, according to a Westword article on the Kloewers, this is their SON who lives down the street. Cool!}:
And if you're in this neighborhood, you might as well take a quick jog over to Downtown Littleton to see their hundred or so trees lit up...
 At the end of the drive is the Melting Pot tree, the most light-covered tree you'll ever see:
Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Violet's Rash

A few days ago Violet finally cut her two bottom front teeth. 
I say finally because they usually come in around 6 months, and here she is 9 1/2, but fine by us--although it is a gruelling thing to go through for us. Our kids don't teeth well...

So when she stopped sleeping through the night, wasn't eating as much, and had a fever, we weren't really worried. It comes with the territory when baby is teething, we thought. {Although we were pretty whiny about her getting up in the night, seeing as we've been totally spoiled by here sleeping through the night since birth.}

If you Google or look up teething in your baby handbook, you'll find that the "Does teething really cause fevers?" debate is a heated one between moms & doctors. 

Moms swear teething causes a low-grade fever. Doctors insist it doesn't, and that fevers only accompany teething when something else is also going on...

Two days ago I was ranting to Justin about how doctors think they knew better than moms! Violet had a fever for two days, ranging from 99 to 102 degrees, and she just happened to be cutting her first teeth at the same time. "Yeah right, doctors think they know everything, they don't," I said.

Turns out I'm going to have to eat my crow pie on this one. 
Doctors 1. Mom 0.

A few hours ago I put Viv down to change her diaper, and upon unbuttoning her outfit I saw this:

Wait, cameras don't catch rashes well, so don't freak out, but here is an edited version with contrast added:

 A splotchy, slightly raised rash covered her tummy and back, from neck line to groin. Being the alarmist that I am {don't judge, Paul Revere was one, too, after all} I texted Justin to let him know and immediately called her pediatrician. 

They must not worry as much about rashes as moms do, because it took the nurse 45 minutes to call me back.
Doctors 2. Mom 0. 
All the while I let my mind run scenarios in my head of Violet being hospitalized and treated for measles, or German measles, or some strange mystery disease, or brain tumors that somehow cause rashes on the abdomen.

My kids rarely get sick. In fact, this is Little Red's first time, ever
Eisley has been sick 3 times that I can remember. It's a good thing, too, seeing as I hate seeing my children sick. Who doesn't? I pray for their health constantly. 

Now I can see it wasn't just teething. The fever, the fussiness, the lack of appetite--it all seemed to be teething symptoms at first, but now we know otherwise. 

When the nurse finally called back she told me what I had already begun to suspect {thanks to Google and What to Expect the First Year} seeing as her symptoms fit this diagnosis perfectly:
Herpes caused this. 

Not that kind of herpes. 

Little Red has roseola infantum
Also known as sixth disease, baby measles, or 3-day-fever.
NOT the STD. Just a common virus from the herpes family. 
It just looks a lot worse than it is. 
Now that the fever has already run it's course, there's really no need for concern, the rash is superficial and will be gone within a couple days.

It's contagious, but usually only to other babies and toddlers so the rest of us should be fine. I had never even heard of roseola before. 

A few hours ago I was imagining the worst, but now I am grateful for a false alarm. Alarmist I may be, but some mothers live every day watching their children suffer horrible diseases. I am all too aware of this, I tend to be drawn to stories of sick children when I hear of them. You could almost say they fascinate me, in a weird way. Something about it touches me deeply, and I have a strong, natural urge to ameliorate them & their mother's suffering. At the same time it gives me a humble cause for joy and gratitude in my own life. 

I would love it if you all would send a prayer up today in thanksgiving for Violet's health, and hopefully that of your own children. If you do, please also take a moment to lift up Kate McRae in prayer. As you might already know, this is one strikingly beautiful little girl who's story I've been following on Caring Bridge for a while. Her mother blogs here, shares her amazing faith despite what her family is facing, and the heart wrenching updates about her daughter's battle with brain tumors. {Though her recent MRI was good, praise God!} 

I was going to show you the stockings I made for the girls today, but that will have to wait until tomorrow...

Friday, December 2, 2011

Two Short Stories

I have two short stories for you tonight.

I had really just been trying to capture some of Violet's cute toddling, but I ended up catching one of Eisley's rants instead. Despite how it looks, we really do discipline in our house, I promise. 

And a few minutes later, this transpired:

Really, I was just glad that this wasn't another one of her Sharpie rampages.

P.S. I hate my own voice.
Blogging tips