Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Daytime croup plan

I had been dreading talking to Elijah's daycare provider about the fact that he recently had a croup episode during an afternoon nap. I didn't want to scare her and I also didn't see a way to ensure he would be 100% safe if he had a croup episode away from home. I finally talked to her about it and within 24 hours she had gotten a used nebulizer from a friend and Dan and I had scrounged up some extra tubing/masks so she could have a second set of "croup supplies" at her house. Dan brought her a vial of our magic croup medication along with detailed instructions about how to handle an episode.

I feel a million times better! I am thankful that this didn't scare her, even when I told her how frightening and life-threatening his episodes can be. I am thankful that she IMMEDIATELY helped us to find a solution and that now she has what she needs at her home to help our little boy if he has an episode. I am thankful that MY peace was important to her and that I can breathe a little easier now. I am thankful that Elijah is such a loved, blessed little man!

It seems like I can't keep up with writing about all of the funny things Elijah has been doing lately. Yesterday I found some of the new baby's clothes (Elijah's old stuff) stuffed into the front of Elijah's shirt drawer in his bedroom. I guess he is trying to reclaim some of his old clothes??

Lately when Dan and I are chatting and Elijah wants to be a part of the conversation, he will say, "MAMA TALK!" In other words, I'M PATIENTLY WAITING FOR YOU TO STOP TALKING!

Last night we had cake and ice cream with a few family members to celebrate Dan's dad's birthday. Elijah was more eager than I've ever seen to get his hands on some cake and ice cream. He totally devoured it and asked for more ice cream FOUR times (he takes after his mommy!). Everyone thought the way he ate his ice cream was really funny. He picked it up like it was a cookie and took big bites out of it. :)

This week is really busy for me with work, so I have been working like crazy on my computer from the couch. Elijah doesn't have preschool this week (spring break) so he has been going to daycare and Dan is doing work for a friend. The weather has been BEAUTIFUL! Ahhh, this is what living in Minnesota is all about!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Good days

I know it's not exactly reindeer season (thank goodness), but I had to capture our silly kid a few mornings ago as he ran around the house with his antlers and diaper on.

Oh how I love spring-like weather ("spring-like" = above 40 degrees)! Even if I am just enjoying the air as it floats through the open window by my couch, it is sooo wonderful. I was, luckily, able to get outside a little bit this weekend and truly enjoy the nice weather a tiny bit. Yesterday we did a photoshoot with a new friend and today I was able to join Elijah and Dan at the park. My contractions have behaved very well over the weekend, after a very scary and contraction-filled Friday. Again, there appears to be no pattern, ever, with these things. I just take each day as it comes and listen very closely to my unpredictable body.

Elijah is acting much more like his normal self these days. That does still involve a lot of unnecessary screaming, but we are in a much better place than we were a week ago when his little body was filled with those nasty steroids. He has been completely smitten with being able to go outside for the past week or so. Every time he comes inside, he starts yelling, "OUT OF HOME! OUT OF HOME!" It didn't seem to bother him one bit that it was 36 degrees this morning while we were at the park. This is what Minnesota winters do to people!

We have been so blessed with visits from friends and family lately and so many people have been generous with bringing over food (and books and flowers and nail polish and ice cream!) and we are just really thankful. We feel very cared for and that has such a huge impact on ALL of us. Thank you thank you!!

I'll end with my favorite Elijah saying from the weekend. As Dan was clipping his fingernails, Elijah said, "Click nails!" I thought that one was funnier than when he said, "Mommy tummy bigger!"

Friday, March 26, 2010

Ice cream and book reviews: from the couch, Part II

To see my original ice cream/book post, click here.


Since my last ice cream post I haven't tried too many new flavors because I have been trying to eat fruit every other night (boring, I know).

(These flavors are all Ben & Jerry's.)

Half Baked - I listed this one last time, but I have to list it again because it has become my official favorite ice cream of all time. YUM, YUM, EXTRA YUM (as Elijah says).
Oatmeal Cookie Chunk - I still haven't been able to find this flavor anywhere, but I continue to salivate over the idea of it.
Cinnamon Buns - Really yummy and sugary. Even for me, the Queen of Sugar, it was really really sugary, but I'm not complaining.
Smores - This was good. I love the marshmallow swirls, but I'm not huge on lots of chocolate ice cream, which this definitely has.
Karamel Sutra - This was good, too. It's a little on the simple side, though. It's just vanilla and chocolate ice creams with a huge glob of caramel in the middle. I do love that caramel glob.
Phish Food - This was just ok for me. Again, too much chocolate ice cream for my taste.

There were a few other flavors that people recommended that I haven't been able to find anywhere. I'll have Dan keep looking! :)


Heaven by Randy Alcorn - I mentioned this book a few times already, but it is worth mentioning again. It is honestly a life-altering book and I think everyone should read it. Heaven is a topic that is not commonly talked about or researched, so it is really interesting to get insight about what will happen when we die. Getting into Heaven is NOT easy, as many people believe it is, so this book really made me think twice about how I live my life.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett - My stepmom brought this book with her when she came to visit and I absolutely loved it! It is so full of laugh-out-loud humor and wit, yet revolves around a pretty heavy topic. I highly recommend it.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne - A really quick read with a really heavy story. In a nutshell, it is the Holocaust as seen through the eyes of a naive 9-year-old German boy. There is some humor thrown in there, too. He refers to Hitler as "The Fury." :)

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger - I actually read this before I started bed rest, but it is worth mentioning because it is a great love story. Lots of happiness and sadness, told in a unique way.

Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls - This was an amazing book! One of the best I have read in a while. It is a true story about the author's very interesting life. That description doesn't do it justice. You just have to trust me when I say it is amazing.

Queen of the Road by Doreen Orion - Fun, light book about a couple who travels around the country in a bus for an entire year. It made me want to break out of this prison and go on a road trip, but alas..

Thanks for all of the recommendations! I have a stack of books here that are mostly recommendations from people who commented on my last post that I am excited to read. Please keep adding to the list if you have anything new and fun that you come across!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Aaaalmost at 29 weeks!

Yes, these are big boy underpants, but don't let that fool you into thinking progress is being made because it's not. Sometimes a boy just isn't ready to be potty trained! And that is ok.

Now that some of those evil steroids have worked their way out of Elijah's body, he is acting much more like the sweet, calm Elijah that we know. We certainly still have our 3-year-old moments, but Dan and I have stopped pulling the hair out of our heads.

I had an appointment with my doctor yesterday and everything went well. The baby has dropped in his percentile for size a bit (he is up to 2 lb, 9 oz!), which isn't a huge surprise since I can't see myself ever having a huge baby. He went from being in the 50th percentile four weeks ago to the 40th percentile. The doctor likes to keep a close eye on any baby lower than the 50th percentile, so I will continue to get ultrasounds every few weeks. The 40th percentile still sounds HUGE to Dan and me. I don't think Elijah was ever once above the 10th percentile for size.

Everything else looks great with me and with the baby. My cervix is still long (3.9 cm) and my fetal fiber-nectin test came back negative. I am currently at the same point in my pregnancy with Elijah where I tested positive for the fetal fiber-nectin test. When a person tests positive for that, it means there is a very good chance labor will start within 2-3 weeks. That is why I still thank God for the miracle that allowed Elijah to stay in my belly for SEVEN weeks beyond that positive test. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I heard that I still haven't tested positive for FFN in this pregnancy. This is a very, very good sign.

My contractions continue to bewilder me. I have great days and bad days and there still appears to be no pattern. They are nowhere near as bad as they were when I was this far along with Elijah. I am at the same point that I was when I went to the hospital for the first time with him because I was having contractions every three to six minutes. Yikes! Thank goodness I haven't experienced anything close to that yet. I'm still holding out hope for a 39-week baby!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Soap opera auditions

I am convinced that Elijah is gearing up for an audition on the set of One Life to Live. Every. little. thing. has been exceedingly dramatic for the past week or so. There has been a lot of crying, throwing of objects, yelling, kicking, hitting (himself and others), screaming, screaming and more screaming in our house (and car and yard and garage).

All or any of the above take place when: we don't get his pajamas off fast enough, he wants his pajamas back on once they're off, he cannot get onto a random bus we see driving down the road, he has to come inside (as a Minnesotan, this one I can understand), I try to take off his medical ID bracelet, Dan and I try to have a conversation, he doesn't get his food fast enough (within two seconds of asking for it), we don't fill his milk cup quickly enough, and my, oh my, the list goes on..

He took oral steroids for three days last weekend for his croup, so we attributed some of his behavior to that as it usually makes him pretty crazy. His last dose was on Sunday, so now we are wondering if we are just in a fun phase. Weeee!!

With that said, he of course has his sweet moments that keep us smiling. He willingly hands out hugs and kisses and the best snuggles on the planet. We even experienced a very welcome miracle this morning: We all got up for the day at 7:04!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Elijah goodies

I am constantly storing things that Elijah says and does in the back of my brain so I don't forget about them. Here are some cute things from the past few weeks:

With his speech constantly improving, he says so many things that make us laugh:
- I think my new favorite word of his that he says is "delicious," which sounds like "dee-wish-us."
- He adores preschool, so if he meets someone new he will say, "Fee-gool!" like he wants to talk about it.
- He will walk into whatever room Dan is in and say, "E doin', Dad?" It's his way of saying, "Whatcha doin'?"
- He will point to something and say, "E cool!" Translation: "Pretty cool!"
- He has started saying, "I huggy!" when it's dinner time.
- He asks for hugs a lot, especially when he is scared or when he knows he is about to get tickled or when he doesn't want to do something that we're asking him to do. He draws out the H sound, like he is speaking a throaty German word: "HHhhhhhug!"
- Yesterday he was doing his impatient screaming that he is so good at lately when Dan said, "Elijah, that screaming is unacceptable." Elijah stopped screaming and said, "Unsuseptamole!"

One of Elijah's favorite things to do when we are at home is to sit at the computer and look through our old photos. For the past two months, his favorite pics to look at have been of he and his friend Olivia, from when we went to the Children's Museum with her and her mom and brother. DAILY, he walks around the house and says, "EEEvaaaa!" (His version of "Olivia!") It sounds exactly like Wall-E calling out for his girl, if you have seen that movie.

He definitely has the little boy wrestle gene. There is nothing better in the world than wrestling with Daddy, and now he loves pillow fights, too. "Peee-ohhhh fiiiiiight!"

Last night Elijah's speech therapist of almost two years had a graduation party for him. He got to have a cookie and juice and we said goodbye to speech therapy for good!

He is still such a little snuggle man. I am so thankful for this! (And he has me wrap my arms around him extra tight during scary parts of a movie/tv show.)

He says, "HI!" to absolutely everyone he sees. I think he actually startles some people when we are out in public. He is such a friendly, outgoing little person.

Singing is very much a favorite thing of his lately. I have never sang so many songs out loud in my life as I have during the last few weeks. Elijah has a renewed interest in Veggie Tales, so "God is Bigger Than the Boogeyman" and "The Bunny" are sung about four thousand times each day in our house. The cutest is when we hear him singing songs on his own.

He has started shutting his eyes super tight whenever he knows he has done something wrong. I think he is hoping we will be gone when he opens his eyes back up.

On my good contraction days I have been sitting at the table with Elijah and Dan for meals, so we always say a prayer before we eat. Elijah is so sweet with his prayers. He folds his hands nice and tight and starts off, "Dear Jesus," which actually sounds like, "Daddy sauce," and then he repeats Dan's key words: "Good day, good food, Mommy tummy, Elijah sleep, AMEN!"

He is in a stage right now where he wants everything INSTANTLY. When that doesn't happen, the yelling and/or whining fills our ears. Patience is something we are constantly working on (all of us).

Elijah is still calling his little brother "Zooter." We are getting excited to bring Not-Zooter into our family and to watch Elijah become a big brother. I know that once the baby is born things will never be the way they are now again, so I am trying to savor every moment of this chapter of our lives.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Post-croup crabbies

Our prayers were answered and Elijah did not have another croup episode last night, thank goodness. Before we went to bed I would have bet a lot of money that he was going to have one, so I was very pleasantly surprised (and tired from all of the sleepless anticipation) this morning.

Now we just have a sick and grumpy little boy. I spent an hour with him this morning and he cried the whole time because he missed Action Chugger, the flying train from Chuggington (Disney cartoon). Tonight the tears have flowed over every tiny little thing. We are trying to keep in mind that he is on oral steroids, as they usually make him a little crazed (and hungry and tired).

I talked to a nurse at his pulmonologist's office today and she said that it has been a really bad winter for kids with airway and respiratory issues. She said to keep him on the steroids for three full days so his lungs have a chance to fully heal.

Tonight Elijah got to go to the movie store to pick out a movie (his favorite thing in the world) and we are settling down to watch "chicken movie." Hopefully he doesn't become so attached to anyone in the movie that he cries for them when it's over. :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Croup: Season 2, Round 6

I was so happy to see these beautiful flowers sitting outside our door today! I was sad to not have been able to see the deliverer, though (thanks, Ronda!!), because we were dealing with Elijah's croup episode. I didn't even know daytime croup was possible, but now I do!

With no cold, night-time air it was a bit challenging (and scary) this time. We had to rely solely on the epi neb, which requires time and patience. Thank goodness everything turned out ok, but of course now I'm on edge and ready for another round tonight. I'm extremely thankful that today was an unusual day and that Elijah was not at daycare this afternoon. I have never thought about an emergency daytime croup plan, but now I guess I will need to.

Please keep our munchkin in your prayers!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Today marks seven weeks of bed rest for me. I really cannot believe it has gone so fast. The seven-week mark is significant because that is exactly how long I was on bed rest when I was pregnant with Elijah. Last night I laid in bed and tried to remember the details about my bed rest three years ago. Some things are similar, but things are also much different this time.

My body continues to perplex me. I had three of my worst contraction days yet last weekend (more than 15/day), but the past three days have been much better. There appears to be no rhyme or reason to these silly things, so I think I will stop trying to figure them out. I have been trying to get up and move around a bit more on my good days because I don't know when the good days might come to an end. If/when they do, I will literally be stuck to my bed like I was for the entire seven weeks during Bed Rest #1.

I have so many funny Elijah things I want to write out, and I will do that soon. Thanks for checking in!

Monday, March 15, 2010

27 weeks, 3 days

Isn't this happy face the best?

Well, my contractions have officially stepped things up a notch. Over the weekend they went from Mildly Worrisome to Moderately Worrisome (my own classifications). I am having a lot more of them, so I am hanging out on the couch as much as possible. I'm hoping I can stay out of the Seriously Worrisome stage for quite a few more weeks.

The time change did wonders for Elijah's sleep. He is now sleeping from 8:00-6:30, which seriously feels like HEAVEN. Speaking of Heaven, I'm still reading my Heaven book (by Randy Alcorn) and I love it to pieces. It is, as you said, Jesse, a life-changing book and and I think everyone should read it at some point. It has gotten me thinking about a lot of important things and it sure makes me think twice about some bad habits I have in my life. It is startling, yet GOOD, to be reminded that the road to Heaven is narrow and challenging, while the road to Hell is wide and easy.

Dan and I made a lot of progress with our house organization project this weekend. It's mostly all Dan. He does 99% of the work around here these days. We are almost ready for Not-Zooter to arrive, although we are still praying he stays where he is at for another 10-12 weeks. We have our cluttered garage and cluttered storage space yet to deal with and then we will be done with the big stuff!

Thanks for checking in on us! Have a great week, everyone!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Our munk-is man

Elijah has been LOVING his little computer that Dan's mom gave him for his birthday. He can sit with this thing and go through each letter and each day of the week and each little game. He has such a great attention span and I love that he is learning while playing.

I had the chance to go with Dan to pick Elijah up from preschool this week. There is not anything cuter than seeing my little boy walk around the corner with a giant smile on his face and as the leader of the line. As soon as he saw us he yelled, "MOMMY-DAD! MOMMY-DAD! MOMMY-DAD!" We had a chance to talk with his teacher briefly and she said that he is doing wonderfully in class. He already knows the routine to a T, so after each activity he will exclaim what's coming next: "Circle time!" "Play time!" "Snack time!" She also said that during gym time he has a favorite little car that he likes to drive around the gym. If someone else is using it, Elijah will follow the car around until the other child gets out. :)

Dan and I just played a little bit of Wii (archery is fun from the couch!) and while we were doing that, Elijah took the nunchuck controller and draped it around his neck and said, "DR. GREMMELS!" He is right! Dr. G does always have a stethoscope around his neck. :) I just can't believe that he remembers things like that.

I'll end with some funny new Elijah translations:
backpack = "bock-bock"
tummy ache = "tummy-cake"
picnic = "pick-pick"
knife = "wife"
munchkin = "munk-is"

Thursday, March 11, 2010

26 weeks, 6 days

Our little sticker face got some good news yesterday: He has tested out of speech therapy! This is wonderful news!! A year ago he was not talking even a little bit and I never imagined we would be at this point today. I'm so proud of our amazing little boy.

My contractions in the past week have been super unpredictable. One day (like yesterday) I will have only four contractions all day and another day I will have 12+. The doctor told me yesterday to just keep doing what I'm doing. Everything checked out great at the appointment, minus the fact that I have already gained almost all of the weight I gained in my entire pregnancy with Elijah. Ugh. Oh well.

Elijah is loving preschool! He usually comes home utterly exhausted, but he has not cried once about going there. It is so cute to listen to him sing the songs he learns during circle time. Again, so so proud of my little preschooler.

That's all for now!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bye bye, Gammie

Check out the tickle gloves ("glubs") and tickle monster book that our friend Cara dropped off for Elijah! There is not a better kid to receive tickling paraphernalia.

We said goodbye to "Gammie" this afternoon. Elijah is going to need some adjustment time. He has enjoyed every single moment he has gotten to spend with her. Paula, thank you for everything you did for us while you were here!

I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow and the rest of our week we will be getting back into the groove of our normal routine.

I forgot to say THANK YOU to everyone for the great reading recommendations and for the ice cream recommendations, too! I will update both lists again in a few weeks!

My awesome cousin Trevor stopped by last night to drop off three of my favorite Ben & Jerry's flavors (could not possibly have been more thoughtful and perfect..thank you so much, Trev!), so I'm going to go dig into those now while Elijah finishes his dinner.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

26 weeks, 2 days

My stepmom has been here since Thursday and we are enjoying spending time with her. Elijah is absolutely in love with "Gammie." I think he says her name about 4,000 times per day.

Dan and I have gotten spoiled. Meals are being made for us, our walls have been cleaned and we have been able to sleep in and take naps. The help has been wonderful!

My contractions have been inconsistent, which is slightly worrisome. Friday was a record day (not in a good way), but yesterday and today have been a bit better.

We have been spoiled by other family members and friends in the past couple weeks, as well. Last night I cried after opening a thoughtful card from my cousin and aunt (thanks, Jayne, Duke and Cathy) because it was just too perfect (ha, no pun intended!). We have had people stop by with meals and gifts and it all has meant so much to us.

We are going to eat dinner now and watch the movie Up for the second time this weekend. Have a great week, everyone!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ice cream and book reviews

Dan's mom got these flowers for me to perk up my daytime area.

Here is a cute photo of Dan and Elijah playing with E's new keyboard that our sweet friend Cecilia sent him for his birthday!

Two of the things I have done a lot of in the past five weeks are eating ice cream and reading books. So, I thought I would share my new knowledge with you on both topics! :)


I am partial to Ben & Jerry's. I have tried a few other brands, but I always go back to good old B&J.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough - A good basic, simple favorite.
Magic Brownies - A favorite! Raspberry ice cream swirls, with brownie chunks, yum! I love any ice cream with brownie chunks, but the raspberry makes this stand out.
Cake Batter - Pretty good.
Cherry Garcia - A trusted favorite.
Chubby Hubby - Not a huge fan of pretzels and ice cream combined. I wouldn't buy this flavor again.
Chunky Monkey - I looove banana ice cream, and this is such a simple, yummy flavor.
Cinnamon Buns - It's in my freezer. I haven't tried it yet, but am eager to (maybe tonight!).
Everything But The.. - Too much going on for me with this ice cream. I think simpler is always better.
Half Baked - A definite favorite! I don't normally like chocolate ice cream, but it is swirled together with vanilla and again, I LOVE brownie chunks!
Mint Chocolate Chunk - Another trusted favorite.
Oatmeal Cookie Chunk - I haven't tried this, but I saw it on the B&J website and started salivating.
Cheesecake Brownie - Yum!
Imagine Whirled Peace - Just ok for me.
Americone Dream - This is another favorite. There are little bits of chocolate-covered ice cream cone chunks mixed with caramel swirls.
Triple Caramel Chunk - I love caramel, so another favorite!
Strawberry Cheesecake - Thanks for the recommendation on this one, Jen! I probably never would have picked it up otherwise. The graham cracker crumbles in this one make it sooo yummy!

I think it's pretty obvious why I've gained 22 lbs (or more)!


Modoc by Ralph Helfer - I mentioned this book before. It is just a wonderful little book! It is a true story about an amazing elephant's life. I highly recommend it.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini - I finished this in two days. It is extremely well-written and powerful. When I finished it, I felt extremely thankful for my life.

The Princess Bride by S. Morgenstern - A classic that I had always wanted to read. I have to say that the movie is much better for me, but maybe that is because the movie is such a popular favorite.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - I decided to re-read this classic and enjoyed it just as much the second time.

Secrets of Eden by Chris Bohjalian - Eh. It was ok. Wouldn't highly recommend it to anyone.

Heaven by Randy Alcorn - I just started this book. It is an in-depth study/depiction of what Heaven will be like. Dan read it a while ago and really liked it, so I am excited to read it, as well.

Do any of you have ice cream and/or book favorites? Please share!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

25 weeks, 3 days

Elijah and I both caught little colds this weekend, but they were nothing compared to the sicknesses we had a few weeks ago. Although, he was tired enough from all of the coughing to sleep until 6:08 this morning! He hasn't slept that late in many many months!

We are really starting to outgrow our little 2-bedroom home, especially with a baby on the way. This weekend we started rearranging the puzzle pieces of our house in order to fit everything inside. Dan and I cleaned out our closet, which is where the baby is going to sleep for a while. This isn't exactly ideal, but we don't have any other options until the baby is old enough to not disturb Elijah's sleep. Next weekend we will be cleaning out Elijah's bedroom and closet and perhaps even our storage space, which is a gigantic mess. It will feel so good to have it all organized and ready for the baby!

We put in our first 100% effort on potty-training this weekend and we made zero progress. Elijah just doesn't seem to be able to make the connection yet, which is fine. We have never been big on pushing him to do things. We will keep trying on the weekends and hopefully eventually make some progress with it.

My contractions behaved very well over the weekend. Again, the 48 hours following my shot gave me a nice reprieve (a handful per day compared to 12 per day) so I was able to move around a little bit more.

We are getting excited for my stepmom to visit this coming weekend. Every time I ask Elijah if he is excited to see Grammie P, he says, "Gammie pway toys? Gammie wead books? Gammie wash cah-toons?" :)

More funny Elijah translations:
popcorn = "cup-corn"
breakfast = "feck-is"
sweet dreams = "sweet dweebs"