Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mr. Talkative

Lately Clancey has been learning more and more words so I thought it would be fitting to take a video of him for those of you who haven't seen him in a while. I don't think it gets any cuter than Clancey telling you what the train says. :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Who Ordered This Crap

Exactly two weeks ago today it was nearly 70 degrees and now look at this. We are under a winter weather advisory and they are saying we could get 4-8 inches. Ugggghhh! I was joking with Jen that the first snow of the year is so exciting but the last snow of the year is like torture. Hopefully in two weeks it will be nice again and this damn snow will be a distant memory.

Too Many Marshmellows

Marshall decided on this snowy day that he needed some hot chocolate. With any hot chocolate you need marshmellows and being my son he over did it. I think he filled nearly the whole mug with marshmellows. This is a picture I took of Marsh as he was hystetically laughing over the vast number of Marshmellows in his cup.

Dairy Queen Trip

Today for lunch I took Marshall to Dairy Queen to get burgers and ice cream. I have to say that DQ is probably the best fast food restaurant out of them all. Granted you have to wait a little but the food is actually warm when you get it and it looks like the picture. When Marsh and I left Jen said Clancey was roaming the house look for us screaming dadda and broda. Clancey was happy when we got back because not only could he see us we brought him part of an oreo blizzard.

Friday, March 27, 2009

At the Library

Today, on my day off, the family all headed up to the library to get some books. Clancey really enjoys going to the library so as I was being a slow poke Clancey was trying to put my shoes on me. Here is a picture of Clancey hanging by the book shelves and being a ham.

Back From the Round Up

The family is back from the round up and Marshall did a really good job. One of the teachers stopped by and told us that Marshall did good with all of his tests today. I suppose they would have been pretty easy for him since he can already read and do simple addition. Marshall had a good time and he is ready to go back tomorrow if he could.

First School Bus Ride

Here is a picture of Marshall's first school bus ride.

Kindergarten Round Up

Here we are at Marshall's kindergerten round up and Marsh is really excited. I'm sure Marshall is doing to do a great job because he does have some darn smart parents ;).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Clancey's Doctor's Appointment Update

Yesturday Clancey went for his follow up appointment at Iowa City to check on how his tubes were doing and check how his eye was doing. The doctor told Jen that his tubes were all healed and looked good. They told her that they would probably fall out on their own in 6-12 months so no additional surgery would need to be performed to get them out.

At Clancey's eye appointment the doctor told Jen that his eye didn't look like it had improved much over the past week so they prescribed keeping the eye patch on longer during the day. The doctor assured Jen that whatever is causing this can be fixed but they are going to give it a few weeks before they start talking about more aggresive procedures like surgery to fix the eye. So hopefully in a few weeks there will be some improvement in his left eye.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Marshall Soccer Practice

Here's a video I took of Marshall at his first soccer practice. It's kind of hard to tell it's Marshall but trust me it's him. This weekend Marshall and I are going to head to the soccer fields together to practice for his first game coming up on April 6 at 6:00 pm in Tipton.

Soccer Practice

Here we are at Marshall's first soccer practice. He looks like he is having a really good time. So far he likes to discuss everything with his coach and he does have a tendency to use his hands sometime but it is his first day. I'll upload some more pictures later.

Big Day Today

For about 2 years now Marshall has been talking about playing soccer and finally tonight is his first soccer practice. Actually this will be his first organized sport so it is really going to be a big day for him. I'll be talking pictures and blogging from the practice so people can see how it is going.

Also, today Clancey goes in for is follow up appointment in Iowa City to see how his left eye is doing after they put the tubes in last week. They told Jen that if there isn't any improvement they will have him see a neurologist to see if he has any insight on what the issue is. The appointment is at 2:00 today so I'll update the blog with any news that comes out of it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Clancey and Marshall Never Miss a Chance to Dance

Here's a video I took of Clancey and Marshall dancing in one of the isles at Home Depot. It seems like these two will never miss an opportunity to dance and act funny. I think they get that from Jen. ;)

Home Depot Trip

While we were in Cedar Rapids today we decided to stop at Home Depot to look at the garden stuff and the patio doors. Marshall saw the fountains and really wanted to go see them. Of course he can't take a picture without hamming it up a bit.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Long Walk Home

Marsh and I are headed on the long trek back to Clarence which you can see in the background of the picture. Poor Marsh is going to be one tired dude after walking all the way out here, around the cemetary for a while and then back home. In fact Marshall is telling me that he is starving and needs a snack.

Marshall Finds A Cave

On our way out to the park Marshall found a cave to explore. Wasn't a very big cave but it was pretty neat for Marshall to see.

Walking to the Cemetary

On our walk we decided to walk out to the cemetary just north of Clarence. Shortly after this picture was taken Marshall heard a train coming a took off sprinting towards the cemetary trying to get away from the train. One time last year I took Marshall down by the co-op to look at trains and when the came by and blew its horn Marshall got really scared ever since he hasn't really wanted to go near the train tracks.

Clancey aka Mister Outside

Here is a picture of Clancey doing what he does most of the time while he is indoors, standing on the kitchen chair looking out the window. He'll stand their and yell puppy and point whenever he see's any animal. Be it a bird, rabbit, squirrel or a real puppy. I think if it was up to Clancey he would spend all day everyday exploring outside :).

The College Nightmare

I can't count the number of times I woke up in the middle of the night certain I was about to fail out of college and ruin my future because of having a dream like this.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My New Bike

Well after spending all morning at the hospital with Clancey I got to spend part of the afternoon getting fitted and picking up my new tribike or as Jen likes to call it her new kitchen, bathroom and patio ;) I've never actually ridden a bike in aero position before so my first ride tonight was a little scary. I had many people tell me how unstable that riding in aero position can be and I never really believed them. I understand now. For the first four miles I was sure I was going to lose control and crash off the road. Although once I started to relax and get more comfortable the last 6 miles my ride went a little better. It's going to take some miles to get totally comfortable in aero position but I'm sure by the time my first triathlon rolls around this summer I'll be ready to go and hopefully be averaging over 20 mile an hour.

Update 3/20/2009:
I wanted to clearify that my bike did not cost as much as a new kitchen, bathroom and patio. What I meant to say was it's hard to tell Jen she can't have a new kitchen, bathroom, and patio since she let me buy a new bike and is going to put up with me training for Ironman Wisconsin again in 2010.

79 Hot Chics

The posting on the website,, that I visit on a daily basis said "79 Hot Chics Squeezed into a Small Room". Of course I could my curiosity got the best of me and I had to click on it to see the Hot Chics. My internet connection was being kind of slow so about half way through the download Jen comes walking into the office and asks me what I'm looking at. At this point I figure I'm had, Jen is going to see these 79 hot chicks start to appear any minute. So I figure I'll just fess up and tell her what I'm looking at. All of a sudden she starts to laugh hysterically and I can't figure out why. I turn back to look at the screen that see the first of my "Chics" appearing. I guess that will teach me ;)

Done at the Hospital

Well were home from the hospital and everything went great. Took no more then 20 minutes Clancey went down good and woke up well. Clancey has is back to his old self and seems to be feeling really good. Hopefully this gets everything taken care of and his eye starts to work right.

In Recovery

Clancey is through surgery, awake and in recovery. He was a bit upset when he woke up but now he is doing a lot better. Drinking some water, talking and smiling. Probably be able to get out of here in about a half hour.

Clancey is In Surgery

Just a few minutes ago they took Clancey back into surgery. They say the surgery should only take 15-20 minutes and that it is a pretty simple procedure. Jen actually got to go back into the surgery room while they put Clancey under anesthsia. They didn't need to put him on an IV they just breathed him down with a mask. Everything is going well so far and we should be able to see Clancey in about a half hour.

Clancey Waiting For Procedure

Here is a picture of Clancey as he waits for his turn to go get his tubes put in in his ears. He has a patch on his eye to start trying to make his bad eye stronger. Clancey is doing good so far. As you can see he is happily playing with papa unaware that he will be getting more work done today.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More Doctors :(

Once again tomorrow we have to take Clancey back to the hosptial to be put under anesthesia. Today Jen took Clancey to the doctor in Iowa City for a second opinion on his eye. Turns out that the doctors in Iowa City were a little worried about his eye and want to do something to releave the pressure on his ocular nerves. So tomorrow we have to take him back to Iowa City to get tubes put in his ears to attempt to releave the pressure on his eye. The hope is once he gets these tubes and with an eye patch his eye should start to fix itself. I will update my blog and twitter tomorrow to keep everyone up to date on his progress through out the day.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patricks Day

Well today like many, many other days the last couple weeks way spent traversing from doctor to doctor. So on the way home Marshall and I decided to stop at DQ for a (say following in Irish accent) wee bit o ice cream. Marshall once again got a swirl and I got good old vanilla.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Jen Doing What She Loves

After a rough week Jen needed to get outside and work in her garden as a stress releaver. Hopefully after an afternoon outside she will be revitalized and ready to take on the day.

At the Park with the Boys

This afternoon I took the boys up to the park for the first time this year. I think Clancey felt a little overwhemled by all the kids and the big equipment. He's kind of walking around checking things out but not quite ready to jump onto the equipment. I think he's having a good time though.

Lunch with Mike and Michelle

Today around 10:00 we got a call from Jen's brother Mike saying that they were in Iowa City visiting some friends and were on their way home. Mikw wanted to know if it would be alright if they stopped by on their way home to visit. Of course we said yes, the boys love playing with them so much and it's nice to visit with them. Even worked out well, Jen had planned on making meatloaf for lunch and there was plenty to go around.

Clancey and Daddy Enjoying the Morning

This morning after we took Marshall to Sunday school I couldn't get Clancey to go inside so we decided to play with the ball outside for a while. I suspect that Clancey is not going to want to go inside all day. I'll probably take both boys to the park today to let them burn off some of that winter energy they have stored up.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Home From CR

Well after spending the entire afternoon in Cedar Rapids Marshall and I made it home. We had a really fun day even if it did include Chuck E. Cheese. Chuck E. Cheese is fun but it really reminds of a little kid gambling casino and the people who take their kids there are quite the show. Once we got done there we went to the mall through coins in the fountain followed by ice cream at DQ. All and all it was a good day.

Skeeball Master

Here is Marshall the little Skeeball master. He must have play 20 games of skellball at Chuck E. Cheese and scored tons of points. On one game he got over 300,000 points which was somewhere around 20 tickets.

Marshall at the Bike Store

Marshall and I stopped at the bike store to see how long it would be before my new bike showed up. While we were here we took the opportunity to take a picture of Marsh with a Felt B2.

Chuck E. Cheese

Chuck E. Cheese has to be the craziest place on earth. I think of this place as more of a kid zoo. The place is packed like a college bar when drink specials are going on. Marshall has a really good time though so I can't really complain. After the week Marshall has had being drug from doctors office to doctors office he deserves a little fun.

Fun Boy Day

After a very long week for everyone in the family Marshall and I decided to go out and have a fun day together. We just got done at Panchero's and we are headed to go find some new running shoes for me. After that we may stop by Chuck E Cheese followed by a stop at DQ for some ice cream. I'll keep you posted of the days progress.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Clancey's Trip to the Hospital

After a two trips to the doctor yesturday, Clancey spent a better part of today at the hospital. Earlier this week Jen noticed that Clancey's left eye wasn't able to move left. It could move up, down and right but when it got to center it couldn't move left. Yesturday Jen took Clancey to both the eye doctor and the family doctor to get it looked at. Neither one noticed anything out of the ordinary and thought it might be this sixth nerve something or other, I can't remember the exact name, caused by his severe sinus and ear infections. To be on the safe side Dr. Gray ordered an MRI on him just to be sure there were no tumors or anything. Normally for an adult an MRI isn't that big of deal you lay there still for 30 minutes and your done. Well for babies it's a different story. A baby won't lay still for 30 minutes so you have to sedate them. That is why Clancey is asleep in the picture I posted. The MRI went well Clancey got through it without any issues except waking up and wobbling around like a drunken sailor. The doctor called tonight with the results and everything was normal which is great. He may get refered to Iowa City to get his eye looked at but they think this will just go away when his infections go away. So it was all good news today :).

Olive Garden Trip

Today has been a lengthy day for both Jen and I. I was recent put on a pursuit team so I spent from 7:30 to 5:00 in a pursuit strategy meeting and then until 6:30 in my office having more meetings. Jen spent most of the day going to the doctor with Clancey. Finally at 6:30 we able to hook up for supper at Olive Garden.

At Olive Garden of course a good Marshall story happened. Whenever we are at a restuarant we let Marshall order himself and tonight was no different. Marshall decided that the chicken fingers looked good and ordered those. With the chicken fingers you get a choice of fry's or broccoli. The waitress assuming that Marshall would want fry's quipped "So would you like broccoli with that".
Much to her surprise Marshall told her that would be good. The waitress then looked to Jen and I for confirmation that he did indeed say he would like broccoli. We assured her that he does enjoy broccoli and that would be fine. Of course she just couldn't get over a 5 year old choosing vegtables over fry's ;)

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Clancey Enjoying Ice Cream

Here is a video I took of Clancey tonight enjoying an ice cream cone.

Boy Trip to the DQ

Tonight while Jen attended the PTO "Night to Remember" dinner the boys and I headed to Dairy Queen for supper and treats. This is the first time I've ever taken both the boys out to eat without Jen to help wrangle. I'm sure it will go alright but I bet it will be adventure filled.

Clancey Rides the Legendary Wooden Horse

This wooden horse has quite the history. The story goes that when I was Clancey's age my grandpa Bang was diagnosed with cancer and was told he only had months to live. Well grandpa got it in his head that he needed to buy me a gift. Now I'm not exactly sure the details that led to this but I'm told at one point he was walking around the store in a hospital gown trying to find something to buy me and that is when he came across this wooden horse. No surprise he decided to buy the horse and the legend began. After months of chemo his cancer went into remission for nearly 11 years before he up passed away. So he was able to enjoying seeing me ride the horse though my childhood.

For years this horse has been a staple of the VanOort house and ridden by nearly everyone at one time or another. There are stories about my dad riding the horse in the bathroom like a wild man falling off the back and breaking the closet doors off the wall. Still other stories about other adults in various states of inibreation riding it and falling off. Both Raine and Jigs have ridden it in their day. Marshall and finally today Clancey became the latest person to become a wooden horse cowboy. I truely believe I will be updating my blog some years from now telling the story about how Marshall or Clancey's young kids rode the horse.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Pic from the Park

Here is a picture I took of Jen and the boys at the park yesturday.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Clancey Running around the Park

Here's a video from the short time we spent at the park today after the visit to the doctor. As you can see Clancey just can't get enough of playing outside. Like I've stated in multiple blogs before I think Clancey is going to want to spend every waking minute outside this summer.

Marshall to the Doctor

This morning Marshall woke up and he wasn't feeling that great. He was really sensative and he really didn't think that he could go to preschool. At first we didn't think he was that sick. We thought maybe he didn't want to go to preschool but he had a fever so we let him stay home. Tonight was the Bug Zoo in Tipton and Marshall was really excited about going so we thought that if he rested during the day that by the time it started on 5:30 tonight he would be ready to go. Well around 2:00 this afternoon it became apparent to Jen that Marshall wasn't feeling any better. His fever had spiked to 104 and Jen was starting to get worried. It was just a year ago that Marshall ended up in the hospital with pnuemonia so Jen wasn't about to take any chances. At the doctor we found out that Marshall had bronchitis and an ear infection in both ears. So he got some medicine and he is resting on the couch now trying to heal up.

On a side note this afternoon it was 72 degrees. After we got out of the doctor as bad a Marshall was feeling he wanted to get out and enjoy some of the weather. He asked Jen if we could go to a park after the doctor and walk around a bit. He also asked if we could go to Pancheros for supper. So of course you can hardly turn the sick kid down and we did both :)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Marshall the Math Whiz

Tonight when we had sat down to eat supper Jen and I started to talk with Marshall about kindergarten roundup which is happening at the end of the month. I started to tease Marshall that he is going to have to learn Physics and Calculus before goes to kindergarten. Of course Marshall didn't realize I was teasing him and started to become a bit worried. Not only did he not know Physics or Calculus he didn't even know what they were. We tried to assure him that it wouldn't be necessary to know either of those subjects but his interest was peaked, so I told him I would get my Physics book out so he could start to look it over. While we were looking over the first chapter in the Physics book about measurement Marshall noticed an equation and wanted to know what that was. I explained it was a math equation and that it is used to solve Physics problems. At this point Marshall is even more concerned, not only does he not know Physics he doesn't know Math either. I decided that we should put the Physics book away before we got to more things Marshall didn't know,concerning him further, and work on some basic addition problems.
For Christmas or a birthday, I can't remember which, we had gotten Marshall some cards that teach addition. On one side of the card they have pictures of a variety of objects and on the other side they have the number. First we worked on the picture side. I would put two cards out and ask Marshall to add the two cards up. Well once he figured out it was just a matter of counting all the objects up it wasn't very challenging. Marshall can count fine so all it turned into was a counting exercise. I decided it was time to make it a bit more challenging so I turned the cards over to the numbered side. He was a bit stumped at first but then I showed him he could use his fingers and once again it became pretty easy. The problem was we were limited to addition that summed to values below ten. Well this just wouldn't do. I wanted to teach Marshall how to add numbers that were larger then ten. So we evolved his finger counting technique a bit. I put up the problem 17+4. Marshall had no idea how to solve this. So I told him to hold up 4 fingers. I then explained that all he needed to do was count those finger starting from the next number after the largest number in the problem. So he tentatively started 18, 19, 20, 21. He then announced 21! I told him he was right and he beamed with pride. We then spent the rest of the night working on problems of varying degrees of difficulty and Marshall did a good job solving them. He is excited to spend some more time working on them tomorrow when I get home. Who knows at this rate he may know Physics by kindergarten ;).