Friday, May 22, 2015

Croup: Season 5, Episode 2 (Samson)

I've been hoping that Elijah's sickness from last week would pass right over Sammy, but no such luck. Sam was sounding croupy before bed last night, so we gave him a TINY preventative dose of oral steroids. He was up at 9:00 coughing and barking. I have to say that he is SO calm and sweet when he is sick. He wraps his little arms around my neck so sweetly. We sat in a steamy bathroom and then Dan brought him outside. Then, as I usually do when the boys are sick, I brought him to bed with us. He was wheezy for most of the night, but stayed calm and that helped to not send him into a full-blown episode. He took up ALL of my side of the bed, so I literally slept on 6 inches of the edge and wrapped my legs around the bottom of the bed. I think Elijah got the best night of sleep out of all of us for maybe the first time ever!

Sammy took a nap at daycare today and woke up with another croup episode. Ever since, he has been wheezy/barky. We took every preventative measure we could think of before bed tonight. He still sounds rough despite our efforts and I'm fully expecting another round tonight. Poor dude.

It has been a TIRING week. I worked 20 hours in Cannon Falls in addition to accomplishing just about everything else I normally accomplish in a week. I went on a field trip with E's class on Tuesday and had so much fun inspecting samples from a pond at a nature reserve. I have always loved going on field trips with him (minus a few nightmares from first grade). Sammy had a cute soccer practice last night. He is starting to feel more comfortable on the field. I LOVE watching him run around and have fun with other kids, even though he doesn't interact a ton with them yet.

I have 20 minutes of work to do and then I am putting this computer down and turning into a vegetable for the evening! Have a GREAT weekend, everyone! Be safe and have fun!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Croup: Season 7, Episode 4 (Elijah)....and a few other things

Yesterday I heard a familiar cough from Elijah and I had the thought that croup might be in our future. He woke up at 1:00am barking like a seal. We spent 15 minutes in a steamy bathroom and he sounded good enough to go back to bed. At 3:00 it was worse, so he and Dan did a round in the bathroom, followed by a dose of oral steroids and a trip outside. It got a little bit better and it was nowhere near as severe as it usually is, but he had moderate stridor even after our efforts. So that I could listen closely (and obsess), I brought him to bed with us. After 1 1/2 hours of Elijah sleeping soundly and me not sleeping at all, I retreated to the couch. Early morning sleep is so touchy with him and I did not want to do anything to wake him up once he was out. He still sounded barky in the morning, so we kept him home from school today.

I loaded Elijah up with essential oils tonight (thieves and frankincense!) and also gave him a preventative dose of steroids in hopes of avoiding a repeat of last night.

(Sammy is the cute little green guy in the middle with the red socks..)


This week has been BUSY and (mostly) fun! It was so much fun watching Sammy at his first soccer game on Saturday. He was hesitant to go out onto the field, but once he was out there he ran around and loved it. Every time he was running fast down the field, he would look over at me with a huge smile and give me two thumbs up. :)

Sunday was Mother's Day and it was incredible. My boys spoiled me with breakfast in bed, precious cards and gifts, flowers, a NAP, lunch out with Dan's family and tons of love and snuggle time. I think Mother's Day should happen every week!

Tuesday was Elijah's second grade track and field day. It was COLD! We were all bundled up in coats, hats, mittens, SCARVES and blankets. Elijah did so great at his events and tried his best. I was a proud mama! Minus a 15-minute stretch when the boys would not stop tackling each other in front of Elijah's classmates, it went smoothly and we had fun.

Here is Elijah and a friend of his getting ready to do the shoe kick! Super cute!

He did the hippity-hop relay again this year. He was behind the rest, but finished valiantly!

And this one was a total surprise to me.. he stacked cups! 

And of course they ended with a tug-of-war. The whole event was so fun to watch.

A few other tidbits from our week..

Dan and I celebrated nine years of marriage yesterday! Nine years. So much has happened, but I love my wonderful hubby more than ever. I don't know what I would do without him! Our traditional dinner out was one of the most delicious ones we remember.

I find lovely little nuggets on my phone such as the following all the time. Nice..

A neighbor of ours got out his mini 1959 Corvette last weekend and let Elijah sit in it (Sammy refused). It runs and everything! So cool!

That's enough excitement for one week, I think! I'm looking forward to the weekend when we can all relax and prepare for a couple of crazy weeks coming up. I'll be working in Cannon Falls for the next few weeks, so some other things will need to be shelved for a bit.

Thanks for checking in! Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Trading card benefits and something that is hard to explain

Two posts within just a few days? What is going on? There are a few things I wanted to write out before I forget about them. The first thing is GOOD! On Wednesday I saw the number for Elijah's school pop up on my phone. Most of the time this does not mean good news, so I took a deep breath and answered. It was Elijah's teacher, kindly calling to tell me about a positive change she has seen in him this week. First, a quick rewind to a few weeks ago.. Elijah came home and insisted that I let him get Pokemon cards because all the boys in his class were trading them. I felt this could only be a good thing for him, considering the socializing needed for this activity, so we took a trip to the store and got some. He has been talking a little bit about them since and how he and his friends have been making trades. Back to the phone call.. Mrs. G said that since he became interested in the cards, he has befriended a few boys in his class. This would be the first time EVER showing interest in having boys as friends! She said that she was seeing some really positive changes in him, including increased confidence with his peers. She also suggested that this might be a good time to ask a few boys over for a play date and she gave me two names. She mentioned that some major maturing has been happening and that he still blurts out inappropriately, but that he can reign it in much more easily than before (same as at home). I was so grateful for all of this news and also that she thought to call and share it with me.

On another note, the boys and I have been checking out some new parks in the area with the warmer weather. Last week we saw a park that we had never been to, so I pulled over and let them play for a bit. Two kids at the park were interested in Elijah right away and asked him to play. He asked them if Sammy could join in, and they said yes. They all started running around in a tag-like fashion and as usual, Elijah backed out right away. He couldn't keep up, so he started doing his own thing. The other two kids looked confused and asked him why he wouldn't play. As his mom, it is SO HARD to watch this. Should I say something? Nothing? Then I heard Sammy say to them, "Something is wrong with him." Oh man. I could see that this bothered Elijah and that it confused the two kids. When we left, I had a gentle talk about Elijah's heart surgeries and how he might not always be able to keep up with other kids because of what he has been through. I tried to let them know that nothing is "wrong" with Elijah. He obviously does have delays, but I also always want him to feel normal. I have absolutely no idea how to explain it so that both sides are understood.

Sammy did great at his first soccer practice this week. I will say this gently, but I feel like all of the other kids are being groomed to age 4...and at this point we are there to learn and have fun. I'm going to be the parent who doesn't care about performance (at least not at age 4) and who cheers her awesome little boy on as he kicks the ball into the wrong goal! His first game is tomorrow morning. I can't wait! He looks so darn cute out there and he has a blast with the hugest, cutest smile on his face.

Dan is stuck in a Chicago airport tonight for the second time this spring, so we won't see him until tomorrow afternoon. We can't wait! We've missed him this week! Thanks for checking in...have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Spring adventures

The past week has been packed with fun and new things! Last weekend Sammy started soccer. He willingly put on his shin guards and cleats and willingly walked onto the field with a bunch of strangers (both huge feats). After they kicked balls around for a bit, we went over to meet the team he will be with for the season. He did NOT want to leave this first group of kids, and refused to say a word or even show himself to his team. His first practice is tomorrow night and I have absolutely no idea how it will go! Hopefully great! He looked sooooo cute running around on the soccer field on Saturday with his sunglasses and cute kicking.

We hit a fun park after soccer and walked around a lake. Sammy got caught up in looking for fish from the dock. We need to get these boys fishing this summer!

On Sunday we came upon a few Twins tickets, so we headed downtown for our first-ever game in the new stadium! It is NICE! The boys enjoyed...oh, the soft pretzels and mini donuts. I enjoyed the weather and scenery! It was a fun experience. Driving to the stadium as a family was surreal. For the past five years, the only time we are ever ALL driving somewhere fun on a warm, sunny day is when we are on vacation. Dan will not be skydiving full-time this year and it is strange! Wonderfully strange.

And guess who wouldn't stand by the golden glove for a photo?

Dan is in DC this week, so the boys and I are handling life ourselves. School is going well for Elijah overall. I'm SO happy that we are wrapping up the year on a mostly good note. And I cannot believe that the year is almost done. How in the world did that happen?!

It hit me last week that my days alone with Sammy are limited! This was such a sad realization for me. I cherish our alone time so much when Elijah is at school and Dan is at work. We run errands, check out new parks, have picnics, play at the mall, go to the club, hang out at home and snuggle (not all in the same day, of course). I'm going to miss this. I have been making an extra effort to enjoy every minute with my littlest cutie pie.

By the way, I've had a few people ask so I wanted to mention that we are still using essential oils on Elijah and I swear they are working. It seems like WAY too simple of a solution, hence my continued skepticism. We still have our bumps and challenging stretches for sure, but they are so much less bumpy. I think we've found a good combination that helps him sleep better, which in turn helps so much with anxiety. I have also discovered that Thieves works miracles for killing germs. We still have very specific struggles that we deal with daily at school and home, but overall life is much more peaceful than it was two months ago. We have an appointment with E's developmental ped coming up and he will also be starting cognitive behavioral therapy to work on coping skills/anxiety in June.

That's all for now! I'm hoping you are having a great week! Thanks for checking in!

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 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!