Family Movie Night – Big Hero 6

We decided to start a weekly family movie night. It’s a very Pinterest-y thing for me to do, lol. And while it might not seem like it has a whole heck of a lot to do with Babywearing, Cloth Diapering, and Medical Needs… hey, the common denominator there is that we all have kids. And probably most of us watch movies, and like to do fun things with our families.

I don’t have quite the budget that Pinterest moms do, and I also don’t have major movie companies sending me money and promotional items. So this is the budget (aka: realistic) version of Family Movie Night.

I decided to start with Big Hero 6 because my husband hasn’t seen it yet, and I’m tired of him not knowing what I’m talking about when I use quotes from the movie in a humorous way.


The only Big Hero 6 things we own are a “pillow” Baymax (plush – but Teddy calls it “pillow”) and he’s completely white – I wasn’t about to put Pillow Baymax anywhere near a dinner table, but I did prop him up with our desserts. And we also own small plastic Baymax and Hiro, but Teddy wouldn’t consent to using them to decorate.

During the day, Teddy and Genna colored pictures from Big Hero 6 that I found online (I’d provide a link, but honestly just Google). We also cut out and assembled Baymax from this website. We didn’t make him into a puppet, just assembled with brass fasteners. (OF COURSE I have brass fasteners – we homeschool. If you don’t, there’s no reason you couldn’t glue it.)

I decided our menu would be:

  • Hiro Sandwiches
  • Chicken Wings with the sauce that makes our faces numb
  • Sliced Apple (from when Wasabi throws the apple through the laser)
  • Gummy Bears (from when Baymax is training and Hiro yells Gummy Bears!!)
  • Banana Sushi (sushi seems like a San Fransokyo thing, and the banana variety seemed more palatable to my unadventurous 7 year old)
  • Baymax Marshmallows

After Randy got home from work, Genna helped me make the Baymax marshmallows while Wally finished up a school assignment he had inexplicably not done before moving on to free time activities this afternoon. We also assembled the Banana Sushi, sliced the apple, and put some gummy bears in a jar. And got the sandwich stuff ready.

Banana Sushi: Spread a tortilla with marshmallow fluff and then peanut butter. Wrap it around a banana. Slice. Yum!

After dinner, there was some level of chaos as adults and oldest kid cleaned up, middle kid pretended to help clean up but mostly ran in circles, and youngest lost both his left slipper and his sippy cup. “It gone! It disappear!” We settled in for our movie – Teddy with some more coloring pages and crayons and Pillow Baymax – and mom reminded the kids approx 18,000 times to stop telling dad major plot points.


Busy, Busy, Busy

I’ve been busy making as many wrap conversion ring slings and mei tais as I can before the compliance deadline cuts me off, lol. And I haven’t generally been taking the time to take pictures of the finished products, either.

But I’ve also made time for a few personal projects, which I thought I’d share with you today.

Princess Jammies for Miss Genna. I used an old baseball uniform pattern for the shirt. 🙂

Collared buttondown Cars shirt for Teddy (who has an obsession with all things Cars)

And a totally new set up for the rabbits, with a new watering system that I think I love. (The previous system used flexible hosing, which was nice, but the spigots were just push-in, which meant that the rabbits constantly were biting them off and enjoying a brief but evidently very fun shower. This new system, the valves are screw-in.)

Tornado (or other disaster) Prep

I’m a big believer in the idea that families should be prepared for whatever emergencies might come their way. In Iowa, that means tornadoes and floods. With a storm that went through central Iowa on Sunday came a spate of posts on Facebook: “wow, I’m so unprepared for tornadoes!”

So, in the event this is useful, here’s what our family has done to get ready for tornadoes or any other small-scale local disaster:.


Emergency Kit. Our Emergency Kit sits in a large Rubbermaid under the stairs. Under the stairs is the sturdiest part of our house, also the creepiest.

  • Bleach, 1 gallon
  • Candles
  • Hammer
  • Wrench
  • Utility Knife
  • Rope
  • Scissors
  • Nails
  • Saw
  • Bucket
  • Matches, 1 large box
  • Duct Tape
  • Lighters
  • D Batteries that expire 12/16
  • AA Batteries that expire 12/16
  • 2 thick dropcloths
  • Garbage bags
  • Flashlights
  • Corded phone
  • 3 toothbrushes (evidently, I think we can share in a disaster? I wonder if I have forgotten to update the toothbrush quantity with additional kids? Or maybe I added more toothbrushes but didn’t update the inventory sheet.)
  • Rubber Gloves
  • WOrk Gloves
  • Water Treatment Tablets
  • Toilet Paper
  • Soap
  • Purell
  • First Aid Kit
  • Sewing Kit
  • Notebook
  • Phone Numbers
  • Documents (this is photocopies of important documents we might need, in addition to photocopies of pictures of all family members)
  • Pens and Markers
  • Food (Peanut Butter, Crackers, Ramen, 2 MREs per family member for 3 days, some canned meals, and a few freeze dried family-size meals)
  • Our camping stove and fuel
  • Basic OTC Meds
  • Change of clothes for all family members
  • Bug Spray
  • Paper Towels, disposable plates and tableware
  • Laundry Soap
  • Antibacterial cleaner
  • Plastic Tablecloth
  • Emergency Teddy Supplies (feeding tube extras, etc.)
  • 2 lengths of fabric (to use as baby carriers or whatever else)
  • Flashlights and head lamps.


On the way to the basement, we pass our shoes, and everyone grabs a pair. If I can, I grab Teddy’s Prograf and syringe.


PLEASE NOTE that we don’t rely on getting ANYTHING other than ourselves to the basement. The only thing we really need to grab on the way down is shoes, which are literally stored on the stairs, and if it were really an emergency, we’d forgo those.


Then we have our “it’s not an emergency, we’re heading to the basement as a precaution list”:

Teddy’s Meds, all of them. This extends the amount of time we have before his health becomes a bigger emergency.
Teddy’s food, as much as I have prepared, as well as the syringe and tube for feeding him.

Electronic devices (for boredom, as well as because they’re expensive and I’d rather not be without them if our house gets smashed to bits), and children grab whatever they want to do in the basement, but the basement also has toys in it.

Our 72 hour kits and our guns/ammo. (No judging – not only are these expensive items that I’d rather not have to replace, I’m also not going to rely on this being Iowa and a friendly neighborhood in the event the area gets seriously plowed by a tornado.) Also my Machete, which could be handy during tornado aftermath.

More flashlights.

I don’t plan to grab pictures. Most pictures that are priceless to me have been scanned and are safely stored on a cloud drive, so I feel like I’m good there.


So that’s it.

I go through our box and our 72 hour kits twice a year, usually at the time change. I make sure the clothes are still of appropriate sizes (I only store winter clothes in any of our kits, figuring that I also have cutting utensils in there and if it’s too hot, we can cut arms and legs off the clothes). I rotate out the food to keep it fresh. I check battery expiration dates, and turn on all the flashlights. Check drug expiration dates in the first aid kit. Make sure the tape and bandaids are still sticky and not old and gross. It takes maybe an hour to update and double check the box and all five 72 hour kits.

An Interesting Month

Alright, for those of you who don’t follow Wallypop on Facebook…

We had our baby on November 26, it was an induced labor due to extremely low amniotic fluid. We’ve known the baby had hydronephrosis in his left kidney (means swelling from fluid) and there was some question about the status of his right kidney. Doctors varied between being very concerned (as in, he might not survive) to being unconcerned (as in, it will probably be fine and he’ll outgrow it). This was complicated by the only ped nephrologist in town being on vacation and unavailable for a consult before the actual birth.


The labor went well, all things considered. I don’t recommend pitocin if you can avoid it, but I survived and did it all natural other than the pit. I don’t recommend the perinatologist we used, but there are no other options in Des Moines if you need a perinatologist. He yelled at me, more than once. We named the baby Theodore Joseph, or Teddy. He was 5 lb 6 oz, and seemed tiny. (That was before he dropped to 4 lb 10 oz and seemed even tinier!)

Sister love

We were discharged from Mercy here in Des Moines at 3 days old, the pediatrician on staff did not think that the prenatal ultrasounds warranted calling in the nephrologist for a consult before discharge, particularly since we had a consult already scheduled for that Friday (6 days old).

Our lives changed on Friday. We discovered that his right kidney was nonfunctional, and his left kidney was all but destroyed by the hydronephrosis. He was in kidney failure, also called End Stage Renal Disease, or ESRD. The nephrologist here admitted him to the NICU at Blank with a few options for treatment that he thought might help resolve the hydronephrosis and hopefully make everything normalize again and get that left kidney kicked into gear. I honestly don’t remember what all he suggested, only that his suggestions didn’t make immediate sense to me, given all the information we had, but I was willing to go with it because they seemed less terrible than the alternatives.

After an hour or so, it became evident that Teddy would need more expertise than is available in Des Moines, and we were transferred to Iowa City via ambulance. We got the bad news about his kidney right after lunch, and I don’t think I stopped crying until I fell asleep around 4 am in the recliner in the NICU room in Iowa City.

Loading Up

You can read all the details of what’s happened since then at the blog I’ve just started up to chronicle what is going to be a long journey. (I found the blogs of two other families with similar circumstances during our 3 week NICU stay, and they were quite helpful.) We are planning to start dialysis in the near future, with a kidney transplant once he gets big enough (about 20/22 lbs).

It’s been a difficult time for everyone in our family, to say the least, with mommy living in Iowa City and daddy doing the single parent thing at home. The kids, who’ve never experienced anything like daycare or even really babysitters, suddenly found themselves spending their days with relatives. We’re home and together for now, but I’ll go back to Iowa City for another 3-4 weeks when Teddy’s ready for dialysis.

So that’s what we’ve been up to! I hope the holiday season treated you better than it did us, and let’s all wish for great things in 2012!
Teddy at Home, 4 days old
Post Surgery
After his second (of three so far) surgery – Broviac line for access to a vein in his upper chest, dialysis catheter in his abdomen, Picc line in his foot, IV in his hand, and you can see a little bit of his nephrostomy (a tube that drains his kidney to the outside) peeking out from his back, too.