Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Boys on skis

Elijah started skiing with the Courage Kenny program and he is rocking it! Last year he made such huge progress with snowboarding, so I figured skiing would be great to try. His instructor is AMAZING and I could not have asked for a better match. He instantly made a genuine connection with E and understood that getting him down the hill and on the chairlift needed to happen asap in order to alleviate anxiety. That boy skied down an entire hill 2 or 3 times on the first day (with assistance, but still so cool).

My silly boys have been in such a creative zone lately. I love watching them play and seeing how their little minds work. I'm so grateful that they have each other and that they (usually) love spending time together. Last night I walked into the bathroom after bath to find that they had transformed into Frankensteins.

I bought a used pair of skis and boots from a friend and put them on Sammy this week. This is a HUGE huge deal since he's been declaring for years that he would "never ever ever" go skiing. First step was our yard. Next we'll try a bunny hill and magic carpet. :)

The boys have their daily moments, but for the most part have been doing so well. Elijah has had many great days in school and overall has had great days at home, too. I've been in my usual post-holiday funk but hopefully will get my head above water soon. That's all I've got for now! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Love is in the house

It has been sad to say good-bye to winter break. I LOVED the precious time I got to spend with my boys and I was secretly so sad to drop them off at school on Tuesday morning after spending two and a half weeks together. Having my cuties within earshot and arm's length makes me a happy mama. There is certainly value in them going to school, but I adore my time with them. They won't be "little" forever so I relish every moment I can get.

Over break my boys decided it was time to watch Star Wars! We watched the first three movies together over the weekend and we all enjoyed them. The boys asked a TON of questions (so many that it was hard to hear what was being said most of the time) and they are excited about the next few. 

Sammy and Elijah have both lost teeth over the past few days, but Sammy's loss has added an extra lisp to his already cute lisp. I just love it when those top front teeth go missing. The cuteness is almost too much to handle.

Since break, Sammy has been extra into Mommy (lucky me!). Every morning (after getting dressed of course, because his is Mr. Responsible & Organized) the first thing he does is crawl into bed with me, usually after asking, "Anyone want some Sammy snuggles?!" And this is when the I-love-yous begin for the day. Lately he's been saying, "I love you more than you love me!" And I say, "Not possible!" And he says, "Always possible!" Repeat about 100 times. I love it!

While I'm on the Sammy topic, he has shown such incredible determination lately. This fall Elijah took a chess class at school and became really good at it. Sammy saw this and decided he needed to learn, too, so he watched his brother play and within a couple days he knew all the rules and could hold his own. I thought this was impressive! Then the other morning he decided that he needed to learn how to play the recorder since Elijah knows how. He asked E to teach him the notes and within 15 minutes could read music for and play Jingle Bells. Nice work, Sammy!

We are coming up on the time of year when we see a bunch of Elijah's specialists. Next week brings a couple appointments and we expect everything to check out fine. We have seen improvements in some areas and regression in others (like following directions). Sometimes I have to stop and remember all that he has overcome. It's amazing to consider how well he is doing in spite of the many big hurdles he has had to leap over! We are super blessed and have two amazing boys!

Elijah starts SKIING tomorrow, wooo! I'm buying Sammy a used pair of skis and boots tomorrow so we'll see if I can get them onto his feet without too much fuss. I hope you all have a warm weekend!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Merry Christmas 2016 and Happy NEW YEAR!

This is my last post of 2016! I didn't write much here this year because, well, we were busy! My boys and I reflected back on the year today. WOW. What an incredible year. We made tons of memories that will never be forgotten. It'll go down in the books as one of our biggest. I am grateful for everything that 2016 brought our way. We are praying for another year filled with great memories, adventure, family and good health!

This month was crazy. At times I wanted to hide in bed for days, but we kept marching on and made some great memories with loved ones. We hosted Dan's family on Christmas Eve, my dad and stepmom flew in the following day and the day after we had my sisters and their families over. We have the best families and it's another big thing we are grateful for!

We have been loving our new house! It has been a comforting spot for us all and I don't think there's another family who would love it and feel as blessed to have it as we do. We say prayers of gratitude every day.

The boys had a fruitful Christmas. They received a few prize gifts and were genuinely grateful for everything, even though they didn't get everything they wished could have fallen into their laps. We made an effort to focus on giving more than ever this year, so hopefully it rubbed off a bit.

My dad and stepmom left today after being here for almost a week. We loved having them here and both boys were so sad not to have their Grammy and Gramps tuck-ins tonight. More fun memories with them were made this week.

We accomplished a momentous feat today. The glorious locks were chopped! I personally love long hair especially on Sammy, but both boys looked so super handsome afterward. Look at my handsome boys!

I am going to make more of an effort to get here more often this year. There are constantly so many funny/cute things coming from these boys and I need to be better at writing them down. More to come soon! Thanks for checking in!

Friday, December 16, 2016

December update!

Where has this month gone? We are still here! We have been swept up in the busy-ness of the season. The boys are wrapping up their last day of school before winter break as I type. Due to impending snow, they are getting out a bit early today. They will have 2 1/2 weeks off of school! I've worked hard to get Christmas shopping and wrapping mostly done by today so I can spend quality time with them next week and the week after.

I don't have a ton of share-worthy info, but wanted to check in. Dan and I are spending a night away from home tonight while the boys sleep over with their cousins. It'll be a fun night, all around! Tomorrow it is supposed to get as low as -25 degrees (without factoring in wind chill), so we will be all cozied up!

My next post will be more exciting. :) Thanks for peeking in! Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

Happy belated Thanksgiving 2016! We survived hosting in our new house. We had 16 people here and everything went smoothly. The food was good, the company was great and our house was officially broken in. I forgot to mention that we also had three big dogs here. It was a full house!

I woke up the following day SO EXCITED for our traditional day-after-Thanksgiving family time. We picked up a Christmas tree the easy way this year (no tree farm), which diminished the experience a bit but gave us more time at home together. The boys have been bouncing off the walls, so excited that it's finally Christmas season.

We are constantly working on getting settled into our house, but we've been able to relax and enjoy it, too. I still ask Dan to pinch me at least once a day because I can't believe we have such a cozy perfect-for-us home. We have MUCH to be thankful for! It is crazy to think back to six or seven months ago and how much we've done and also how much has changed for us since then. Wow! We are so blessed and grateful for everything that has transpired.

Elijah gets a new behavioral aide who will be coming into our home starting tomorrow (she'll come one or two evenings/week after school). E is still loving chess and music class and Sammy is constantly creating art projects that are spread out alllllll over our house. :) The boys have a full week of school this week so we need to wrap up some dreaded homework this evening and prepare for the week ahead. Thanks for peeking in and I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Croup: Season 9, Episode 2 (Elijah) and behavior/school updates

Apparently we are finding plenty to do because time is passing way too quickly. Life is full right now! We are managing everything ok, but Dan and I are starting to show signs of being over-extended and exhausted. I cannot imagine what it will feel like to be fully unpacked and settled in our house. We still have so much to do. And we're hosting Thanksgiving. And and and...it's always a million things. Last weekend we pulled out our RV to give it a final clean-out before storing it for the winter and it was bittersweet! That was our home for four months. We made incredible memories in it. Life was SIMPLE while we lived in it. It made me both happy and sad to pull everything out. We will say our official winter-goodbye this coming weekend.

Two nights ago I recognized a few signs that Elijah might get a croup episode. I said, "Croup alert tonight!" and sure enough, a couple hours later we heard the stridor. It was a mild case, but of course it's never fun. We gave him a tiny dose of oral steroids and Dan sat outside with him for a bit. After that he was just fine, minus a few sniffles and sneezes that he's had since.

We had Elijah's fall school conference today and it was great! He has the BEST fit for teachers this year. They take the "rough" times in stride and certainly know how to bring out the best in him. So far this year, Elijah has shown interests in a few new things! He loves science and music. He just got a new recorder and he has been practicing it faithfully and learning how to read music. We've had a few people tell us that he has begun opening up a lot at church (the boys go to a separate area from us) and he's even been dancing to worship music comfortably in front of everyone. I love it! I have always had a feeling that music would be the bridge that connected him to church and Jesus. His teacher told us tonight that he has made some meaningful friendships in class this year (all girls, of course). There are a handful of girls who help to keep him on track (LOVE this) and really look out for him and care about him. He is keeping up with school work just fine and knows way more than he believes he does.

As far as behavior is concerned, his teachers explained his school behaviors to us and they basically mimic his home behaviors. This is good because he's being consistent! He has good days and he has tough days. I can tell within two minutes of spending time with him in the morning which kind of day it's going to be. Good days are really good. He doesn't defy authority, he completes tasks without complaining and he is generally good-natured and kind to everyone. Most days are good days. Lately I'd say we get at least four of them/week. The tough days can be really tough. There is a lot of talking back and refusals to do anything that's asked of him. He seems to want to anger and provoke everyone around him. I'm sure the tougher days are related to not sleeping as well through the night, but we aren't sure what causes that. We got new comfy (BIG!) beds for both him and Sammy and have made their rooms safe, comfortable, dark and peaceful places. I know that sometimes anxiety intrudes his mind and it's so hard to stop once it starts. We just continue to give him consistent love and care and pray that over time the good days will happen even more frequently!

A Sammy Prank :)

Sammy is loving first grade. His classmates and teacher could not be a more perfect fit for him. He is SO. Smart. He puts together and solves math problems that I'm pretty sure 5th graders can't do. His handwriting is perfect, he aces all of his spelling tests and he never has to be told to do his homework. He is such a sweet, kind little soul. He always has been, but it's been fun to see that sweetness in him even when kids around him start talking about more mature things. Despite his sweet spirit, he has not lost his strong will. He can so easily get mad at any one of us for something as simple as being corrected when using bad manners. He gets SO MAD and can say hurtful things and even threaten to run away from home. His latest tactic is running out to my car when he's upset and sitting in it until he cools off. Smart! He always comes back in with apologies and love.

It's a busy season for us, but a fun one, too! There are so many good things coming together for our family. I have to learn to bite off just a little bit at a time and not expect everything to come together overnight! Thanks for peeking in.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Croup: Season 7, Episode 1 (Samson) ...and so much more!

Well goodbye, October! Jeez, that month went fast. I'm so far behind with my posts. I hope you're still reading! Let's rewind to two Thursdays ago..

Sammy got a scary croup episode right in the middle of the day. We had just pulled into the driveway after school and he could hardly breathe. He looked at me with panicked eyes, so I rushed him inside, panicking myself, and got a small dose of oral steroids down his throat. I sat with him outside for a bit and decided to hold of on the epi neb until absolutely necessary. We never had to take the neb and his breathing became much less scary. As always, his body held onto the croup forEVER, but thankfully it never became that scary again. Two weeks later, he still has a lingering cough from it.

Along these same lines, sickness has totally taken over our family for the past few weeks. It started with stomach issues for me, then last week Sammy threw up before school one morning followed by some tummy troubles for Elijah. We all seemed to be healing when, two days later, Elijah started throwing up. A few hours later, Sammy puked ALL OVER his brand new mattress in the middle of the night. A few hours later he spilled his puke bowl onto his newly changed sheets. Two days later Elijah threw up again. The next day my stomach was bad again and I was bed-bound for 12 hours. A few hours later Dan was throwing up and he spent all of today in bed. UGH! We are ready for healing!

The boys, my little minions, had such a fun Halloween this year! Our new neighborhood is the PERFECT neighborhood for trick-or-treating, with it's big beautiful trees and friendly neighbors. Sammy was so excited and happy that he was skipping from house to house and giggling and telling me every ten seconds that this is the BEST HALLOWEEN EVER!!! The boys of course got tons of candy, but we've been rationing due to above-mentioned tummy troubles.

We have been trying to squeeze a few things in between the sickness, but honestly it has been frustrating how slow the unpacking process has gone. I just can't seem to get anything done! Soon. Right?

Not as much time will pass before my next post. Thanks for peeking in! Go INDIANS! (Cheering as we type, Gramps!)