Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Warm Weather Transformation

We have been LOVING this gorgeous Minnesota spring weather! We spend as much time as possible outside. Elijah has been very interested in riding our "big-boy" bike around the neighborhood (with me trailing close behind, of course). I love that he is finally wanting to be on a bike! He is doing great.

Sammy has been into RUNNING. He loves to run and asks me to time him as he runs to the end of the sidewalk and back. I can't remember if I've mentioned that he is starting soccer this weekend. All of us, including Sammy (surprisingly), are excited for his new adventure!


I frequently run into things like this in our house. Seriously.


And this. Love these silly cutie pies.


I snapped this photo the other day as we were walking home from the park. It looks like such a sweet picture, but Sammy was actually pretending to be holding Elijah captive. :) They sure didn't seem to mind walking like this. I love that they love each other so much.


I'm thankful that this the extent of our weekly update. We have had a great past week overall. School and behavior has been up and down for Elijah, but we all see a small amount of progress (yay!) in every area. Two steps forward, one step back. We will take it!

Thanks for peeking in!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Presidential Satur-Danger

What in the world is happening to time? It goes by so quickly that my head spins! Here we are again at Wednesday. This past week has brought a bit more difficult behavior from Elijah. He had a TINY upper respiratory cold for most of the past week, so that interfered with sleep a bit...enough to make a difference in behavior. His teacher sent me a few emails regarding his heightened potty talk and diminished self-control.

For the past few days we have been focusing on these issues and talking A LOT about correcting them. Elijah had a great past few days at school. It seems like when we talk talk talk about a specific issue, he can pull out some self-control.

Today Elijah was "special-k" for the day at school, which (among other things) means he got to share a talent with his class. On Monday as I tried to think of what his talent could be, I thought...uhh, presidents! He knows the US presidents better than anyone! That is most definitely a talent! So today he stood in front of his class and recited the presidents in order, by memory. He worked hard to make it happen. He was so happy and proud when he stepped off the bus today.

Dan is adjusting to his new job. I do my best to squeeze projects in between Sammy and Elijah snuggles (I much prefer the snuggles). Second grade is sadly wrapping up for Elijah. Sammy adores his family and still worries so much about tornadoes and bad guys.

Speaking of my awesome, sweet lil' Sammy.. here are a few funnies from this past week:

- We were driving in the car together and I glanced back to see him peering out the window. I asked him what he was thinking about and he said, "Well.. When I'm older.. When I go skydiving.. I am going to land on a cloud and then JUMP off that cloud!" Super-smart thinking!

- He buried his face in his empty cereal bowl, so I asked him what he was doing. He quickly shoved his bowl in my face and said, "I'm giving you a bowl full of breath!"

- Sammy now calls "Saturday" "Satur-danger."

- While playing our tickle game that we do at least twice/day, I said, "You can't move away from Mama!" He replied, "YES! I! CAN...ADA!"

- He knows that Elijah does not like being called Eli, so he has taken to calling him the LAST part of his name: JUH. More specifically: JUH the Jellyfish. Needless to say, Elijah does not love this.

And that is our week in a nutshell! I hope you are all having a great one!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

An important anniversary

Wednesday seems to be my day for updating! Another week has flown by. In the past week we have noticed some changes with Elijah. Certain behaviors are getting difficult to manage, so we have had to get stringent. It seems like this is necessary every few months or so. Sleep is still overall SO MUCH better than it was two months ago. There was a stretch of time during the winter when I honestly do not know how we all survived! We were consistently waking up FOR THE DAY between 2:00 and 3:00 am. Now it is more like 5:00 or 6:00. Sometimes earlier and sometimes later, but a MUCH better scenario overall.

Guess what today is?! It is the 7th anniversary of Elijah's second open heart surgery - the big one! Every year on this day I experience a host of emotions. That was such a huge, important, intense surgery that had an incredible outcome. If I could travel back to April 15, 2008, and tell myself what present-day Elijah is like...I don't know if I would have believed myself! Super-spunky, smart, friendly, huge vocabulary, great big brother, silly, strong-willed, great reader, snuggly, fun.. I don't know what it was I was expecting for him in the years that followed that surgery, but he is doing better than I ever could have imagined. I think in those early years we were so focused on baking the cake (keeping him alive) that it was difficult to imagine that we might be able to put frosting on top some day. And sprinkles and cherries and gummy bears.


The boys have been fighting more than usual lately. They both have such strong wills and they clash pretty often. MOST of the time, though, they adore each other. If they are apart for more than an hour they start saying, "I MISS MY BROTHER!!!!"

Ironically, Elijah has been super interested in Veggie Tales again. It's ironic because that was his FAVORITE thing during the heart surgery that we are remembering today. He saved up birthday money this year and bought a Veggie Tales sing-along CD. We owned it years ago but watched it (and played with it) so much that it got scratched and cracked. I couldn't believe how excited E was to get a new copy and how many times he wants to watch it...over and over and over. Sammy isn't as interested in it, but he knows the words to all of the songs (don't we all).

The boys also both love Captain Underpants books right now. Elijah has read every word of every one of the books. Dan and I have considered so many times taking them away because potty talk has definitely increased since the discovery of these books. But...he reads! A ton. He doesn't read any other book with such interest. There are days when he will literally read for two hours. Book time trumps potty talk. :)

As always, Sammy has a constant stream of hilarious material spilling from his mouth. I can hardly keep up! Here is a sampling (the ones I write down!)..

- We were running to the car in the wind one day and he yelled up to me, "I'm a natural kite flyer, kid!"

- Enduring my daily onslaught of hugs and kisses, he said, "Ok, ok, enough with the hugs and easy on the kisses!"

- I told him "Great idea!" about something and he said, "Yep. I'm always thinkin' in my head."

- Yesterday he said to me, "Mommy, I love you more than anything in the ENTIRE Univers......al Studios." :)

- A load of laundry was spinning like crazy in the washing machine. Sammy said, "Is it gonna blow? RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!" When he realized no one else was alarmed, he calmly said, "I don't think so, Sweetheart."


That's about all for now! 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A colorful week

I can't believe a week has passed since my last post! Where in the world did that time go? We have done a lot in the past week! 


We colored Easter eggs, which is an activity the boys look forward to every spring.


My cute egg decorators..


We also celebrated Easter! The boys had a fun time searching for eggs FILLED with candy (lucky ducks) and meeting their new stuffed animals.


This year it was so much fun to see that the boys understand the true meaning of Easter more than ever. We talked about it A LOT. 

We enjoyed time with family after church. 


The boys always have such a fun time with their cousins! I love this photo. It's one of my favorites from the day. Look at these two cute faces!


This is such a precious photo of Grandma and Grandpa with all EIGHT of their grandchildren.


The boys with their cousin Miya and dog Oreo (pronounced by Sammy as "Oriul"). And, er...not sure what is up with Elijah's outfit and pants on his head. :)


On Monday I brought Elijah to his 6-month cardiology check-up. These appointments always cause a tiny bit of anxiety for me. Not a ton, thankfully. It's always in the back of my mind, but somehow I've managed to never over-stress. On the morning of the appointment I had a stomach ache, so I worried that it was a sign of bad news to come. I over-analyzed the tech's facial expressions as she performed the echo. I convinced myself that open heart surgery was right around the corner and that the blue and red colors were mixing incorrectly on the monitor. Thankfully Elijah was oblivious of my concern, as he always is. I love that he doesn't worry about these appointments. I hope it stays that way.

The cool and collected Dr. G entered the room to explain that...are you ready for this?...NOTHING has changed with Elijah's heart since last year. AMAZING! His heart function and pressures are basically exactly the same as they were a year ago. We expected a heart cath last summer and it wasn't necessary. We 100% expected one this summer. And again it's not necessary! Dr. G's best guess is that he will need one in the summer of 2016. Sigh of relief. Thank you, God.

So that has been our week. Colorful, fun, filled with family, meaning and good news. And silliness! I'll close with a few Sammy funnies. This boy cracks me up!

As we walked out the front doors of church, we could hear music playing over the outdoor speakers. Sammy said, "Mommy! WHERE is that music coming from?" I said, "From the speakers!" He said, "Oh. I thought the music was coming from Heaven."

When the four of us were running to the car because of the never-ending cold, Sammy (who was holding my hand and couldn't stand that Dan and Elijah were going to "beat" us) said, "Let's get to the car QUICK! I CAN'T HANDLE THIS!"

Randomly the other day Sammy told me, "Mommy, you do NOT win the trophy for best human."

After tasting some frosting from a cake at Easter, Sam said, "I did not like the taste of that frosting. It was DARN ishy."


Thanks for peeking in! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter! xo


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Spring Break 2015

It is spring break week! Our schedule has been all over the place and every day feels like it's Saturday. We have been trying to make the most of this time together. Dan got home from DC on Friday morning, so we had from then until this morning as a family. Today Dan started a new, exciting job, so the boys and I are back to hanging out!

Elijah and Sammy play their Perplexus games every chance they get! They are GOOD at these!


Yesterday we took a family trip to the Children's Museum. We had tons of fun! Sammy enjoyed being a mail carrier (the cutest one I've ever seen).


Both boys spent a ton of time in the water area. Can I admit that Dan and I enjoyed ourselves here, too?


Look! He also transforms into the cutest turtle I've ever seen.


I found a couple Chick-Fil-A gift cards in my wallet, so guess where we stopped on our way home?


Lucky boys!


We have been LOVING the weather. After another long winter, it feels so incredibly good to be able to go outside again without body parts freezing off.


Things with Elijah are still overall better. We have been experimenting with different essential oils and I think I made a connection last week. I had been putting two different oils on his feet at night before bed...one is a blend of oils and the other is Frankincense. We ran out of Frankincense, so I substituted it with something else. A few days later I noticed that E was starting to unravel again. Sleep started getting worse again and he wasn't able to control himself like he had been in the previous weeks. I quickly ordered more of the Frankincense and we are back on track. Could it really be that easy?

I would still like to find someone to do cognitive behavioral therapy with him so he can develop coping skills for his anxiety. I have a list of recommended names, now I just need to schedule something. We have a cardiology check-up on Monday and we never know what to expect going into those. Please pray for a good report!

A few funnies before I make dinner for the boys..

Today we took a walk to the park and it was WINDY. When we were walking into the wind, Sammy said, "The wind does NOT want us to go this way!"

The boys gave Dan and I some new silly names the other night. Our favorites: El Loro and Mrs. Minnesota. Today they were scrambling up president names and I became Gerald Jefferson. :)

I hope spring has come wherever you live and that you all are having a great week! Thanks so much for checking on us!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Goose Egg

Yesterday morning after Sammy and I got home from running errands, my phone rang. It was Elijah's school and as always, my heart sank when I saw the number pop up. This time, though, I heard something I did not quite expect! When E was walking into lunch from recess, a classmate accidentally ran into him which sent Elijah's forehead straight into the corner of a wall. He got a nice goose-egg and cut on his sweet head.

When the nurse called, she was concerned about Elijah not being able to tell her what exactly had happened. I think she was mistaking his inability to articulate under pressure as a concussion. After chatting with him for ten seconds over the phone, I assured her that he was just fine. When Sammy and I walked into the nurse's office ten minutes later, my sweet Elijah was crying uncontrollably. When he saw me, he said, "I WANT MOMMY!" and cried even harder. Then, "HOLD ME, MOMMY!"

He was fine. He was in a bit of pain (it's an impressive goose-egg!) and I think he felt a little embarrassed about the fall. Sammy and I loaded him up on LOVE...lots of hugs, gentle kisses and an afternoon movie. This morning he was back to new, minus a slightly bruised forehead.

The boys and I have been having a great week (minus the fall, of course)! We have played a lot of games, done tons of tickling and laughed a lot. We miss our Daddy this week and we can't wait to see him bright and early on Friday morning!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Happy Spring! Ha!


We got a heavy, wet, large snowfall overnight last night that the boys and I had so much fun with today. Dan is out of town for the week for work, so he sadly missed out on the block's coolest, tallest, most awesome snowman. This one takes the cake! (Based on its height, guess who built 99% of it!)

A few days after Elijah's tummy was back to normal last week Dan and I both caught the bug. It was horrid. I spent two days unable to do anything. We were a miserable family over the weekend! Thankfully, we are all feeling MUCH better.

Elijah's teacher called me today with a mostly good report. She has noticed some "differences" in him in the past month. There are certain things he is fighting with his school work more than ever (math and writing) and this wasn't a surprise (this is an NLD thing). He fights these things at home, as well. The good differences that she noted are also things we have seen at home in the past month. He is able to transition much better, he handles himself socially much better and he can be talked down from an almost-bad situation much more easily.

We have noticed at home that things have been much improved. Sleep is better, using the restroom is (mostly) not a big deal anymore (umm, this is HUGE), anxieties overall seem to have lessened and situations that would have set him off two months ago can sometimes be averted easily. WHY? I have no idea. Essential oils? Prayer? We've been consistent with both of the above, so maybe one or both are the answer?? The ONE thing that has been worse than usual is his attitude toward Sammy. He is usually so good with Sam and they play together so well. Lately he has been mostly positive to everyone except for Sam. Tonight I had the thought that Elijah's confidence seems to have been boosted. When he interacts with all of us, he has a much more confident spirit. For some reason, that confidence is translated into negativity when he interacts with his little bro.

In conclusion! Ha! I have no idea what is going on, but I am accepting most of these changes with open arms and hope that they only continue to blossom into better times and attitudes. Whatever is sparking this change, thank you!

That's all I've got for now. More later, as the week without Daddy unfolds! Thank you for peeking in!