Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Reclaiming my home

Sometimes I wonder what condition my house (and life and health) would be in, in say a few more years, if I had kept right on working full-time. I can't imagine what people must have thought upon entering our home even a few short months ago. It was awful! One of the many nice things about being home full-time is having time to care for my home! I have been cleaning and organizing and doing all of the things I always wished I had time for.

Please don't judge me based on this "before" picture! Here is the far corner of our kitchen before my little organizing hands got a hold of it.

And here it is after! All the boys' crafts, markers, activity books, play-doh and paper are now neatly organized. My cookbooks are organized, some of them hidden. My food photography table looks neat, and I don't want to cry when I glance in the direction of this corner of our home. Ahhhh!

Monday, January 30, 2012


We received a visit from Auntie Lynn and sweet cousin Kaleigh this past weekend!

Elijah was beyond excited to spend time with Kaleigh. Sammy was unsure (below is his I-don't-know-you-and-please-don't-steal-me face). Give him some time and he'll be excited to spend time with cousins, too!

Sammy has been doing all kinds of cute things lately, so I better get these down before I forget them!

The other day I caught him trying to wipe Elijah's bottom with a wet-wipe. Probably because he sees Elijah's bottom being wiped quite often. He follows Elijah around with a wipe in his hand and when E stops, he starts wiping. He has even tried to do it to me a couple times. Thanks, Sammy!

Sam does NOT like receiving help. With anything! If he is struggling to get a cap back on a marker or pull off a sock or whatever it may be, he gets extremely mad if we try to help him.

A few new Sammy words: Apple (bob-bob), Bob the Tomato (Bob), Larry the Cucumber (yeh-yeh). He can do almost all of the animal noises, and they sure are cute.

Lately he goes to our front entry-way and points at the wall and does his dinosaur growl. I say, "Sammy, is there a dinosaur over there?" He smiles and points and keeps growling. So it has become a bit of a joke that we have a dinosaur living in our entry-way.

Every time he bonks a body part, he looks at me and makes his cute little kissy noise which means he wants me to come kiss his owie. And of course I do it.

He does this cute cute cute thing where he folds his hands behind his back and walks around. It's like he is surveying his surroundings and taking everything in.

A few quick Elijah things.. The bump on his head is doing just fine, and he hasn't shown any more strange symptoms since falling. He has tolerated his glasses VERY well. Much better than I anticipated! The first few days of patching were a challenge, but now he is fine with wearing the patches, too. So many people have told him how handsome he looks with his new glasses that he seems very proud of them! I can tell that they help his vision a ton. When I take them off at bedtime, he makes some funny faces and blinks a lot.

We celebrated Dan's mom's 60th birthday with her last night, and had such a nice time! It is always fun to be with family and to watch Elijah and Sammy enjoying their cousins.

That's about all I've got for now! Back to filling out health insurance applications, wee!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fixed eyes, a head injury and an M&M's addiction

I have much to share! I'll start with the best news. Elijah got his new glasses! Could any kid be better-suited for glasses than him? They suit his personality very well, I think. He did ok with them today, but did not like the patch at all. He has to wear a patch on his right eye for two hours every day, and I have a feeling this is going to be quite a daily struggle (like we need more daily struggles). Patching his good eye makes his other eye work pretty hard, which is good (for his eye) and bad (for those who have to deal with the complaining).

Two days ago, I was upstairs working on my blog and Dan was downstairs doing the budget (his favorite thing). Sammy was taking a nap, and Elijah was having quiet time at the computer. All of a sudden I heard chair legs screeching on the floor, followed by a splat and a murderous Elijah scream. He had somehow fallen off his chair and landed head-first onto the tile floor. A huge bump formed very quickly on the back of his head. I probably would have been comfortable not bringing him to the hospital if the bump had been our only concern. A few minutes after the fall, once he had calmed down, he started complaining about not being able to see us. He kept saying that his head was "up and couldn't get back down," and then he would say, "Mommy, I can't see you!" I brought him to the ER immediately. I know enough about head injuries to know not to waste time when neurological symptoms are present.

The ER doctor said he had a good deal of swelling and because he had complained of vision problems, a CT scan was ordered. The results were normal. He had suffered a mild concussion, but nothing was structurally damaged. The nurse told me to expect him to be "off" for about a week, but those vision complaints within 10 minutes of his fall were the only "off" things we have witnessed.

He was such a BRAVE BRAVE BOY during the CT scan. He had complete trust in me when I told him that nothing was going to hurt. He had to get "tied down" pretty tightly for the scan, and he did great. He's maturing! Just a short time ago, he would not have done well with that. I was very proud of my boy. Then we sat together on a bed in Room 16 and snuggled and talked and hugged and sang songs while we waited for the results. I don't know exactly how to explain this, but it was a weird experience for me. Sitting in a hospital with that special little boy of mine always, no matter what we are there for, brings me to tears. Happy, sad, thankful, sorrowful tears. I tried to put it into words to explain to Dan, but I couldn't. I can't explain it. There's just deep-rooted emotion there that I don't believe will ever go away. Elijah + hospitals = emotional mama.

The bump on E's head is still there, but he seems to be doing just fine. It has not hindered his sass or pooping-in-pants at all!

Our sweet Sammy needs rehab for his M&M's addiction. I had some left over from a recipe I made the other night, so I gave the boys each a small handful after dinner. Ever since then, Sammy has been asking for M-N-M-N-M (stick your tongue out on the Ns) about every 5 minutes. He gets such a funny little concerned look on his face when he asks for them. He's an addict!

And in other news, since being unemployed (or I should say since being SELF-employed!), I have been a home-organizing lunatic! After literally YEARS of carrying the I-don't-have-time-to-take-care-of-my-home burden heavily on my shoulders, I finally have time to take care of my home! I am loving this! Dan has helped me to create an office for myself in our loft, where I have been spending a few hours every day doing blog work and photo editing. We have also gone through all of the boys' toys and put three large bags in storage (aka, our messy garage). I have also sorted through my ridiculous pile of cooking magazines and organized them. Today I washed couch and chair covers. I am consistently CAUGHT UP ON LAUNDRY, which is the absolute strangest thing on the planet. When I was working full-time, I was never ever caught up on laundry. NEVER. And the best thing of all is that I get so much quality time with my precious boys. Spending this time with them is very special to me. Getting Elijah on and off the bus every day is indescribable. Snuggling with Sammy endlessly on the couch is the best. I love having this time with my boys!

I have another organizational project for tomorrow that I'm excited about! I'll take before and after pics and share. Fun!

Thanks for checking in on us! More later!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Croup: Season 2, Round 2 (Sammy)

I love this string of photos. Our boys do have moments when they appear to love each other. :)

Sammy woke up very early in the evening last night with a horrible croup episode. I didn't think anything could scare me more than Elijah's early episodes of croup, but this rivaled those times. It was scary! Thank goodness he didn't panic because he was really struggling to breathe, even being totally calm. Dan tried to take him outside, but it was freezing! Plus I don't know that it would have done much, so we opted for an epi neb which was a first for Sammy. The epi neb pulled through, like it always does with Elijah, and after about 10 minutes Sammy was breathing a ton better. We put him back to bed, but I was a nervous wreck of a mama. We have never gotten clearance from a doctor to give him oral steroids, so I wasn't comfortable giving him that. Not having the steroids as a "back-up" had me on edge for the entire rest of the night. This morning he sounded fine, aside from a bit of a cough. We're on our toes again tonight!

That's all for now. Enjoy the rest of the boy pics. :)

Monday, January 16, 2012


Ever since Elijah's eye appointment last Friday, his left eye has remained crossed almost constantly. I cannot wait to get his glasses so we can help his vision and wandering eye.

Aside from eye issues, there are two main Elijah themes in our house lately: POOP and behavior. If we're not cleaning poop out of his pants, we are dealing with some sort of undesirable behavior (talking back, saying bad words, hitting/yelling at Sammy). Most nights I go to bed feeling like a terrible mother because I always end up losing my cool at some point during the day with that boy. He is SO strong-willed and he pushes his boundaries to the very limits, and beyond. He is such a sweet, kind, caring little boy, but when he decides to exert that will....watch out!

The past two weeks have been quite an adjustment period. We no longer have daycare for the boys since I am home full-time now, so that in itself is an adjustment! Dan is looking for full-time work and we are making major decisions regarding health insurance and finances. I am also attempting to grow my food blog and also my photography business.

Yesterday at church we were reminded how different our boys are. We attempted to drop Sam off in the nursery for the first time ever. We got paged after 15 minutes because he had been CRYING THE ENTIRE TIME. It had gotten to the point where he didn't want anyone even close to him, so he was on one side of the room lying on the floor screaming and everyone else was on the other side, watching. The second I walked into the room, he ran to me (stumbling over toys in his path) and buried his little face in my chest (and sucked his thumb, of course) and stayed like that for twenty straight minutes. He wouldn't even let Dan hold him! Then there's Elijah. On our way down to Sunday School, he started yelling, "I COMING! HERE I COME!" He couldn't have been more excited to spend time with friends.

That's all we have for now! Sorry no photos today..

Friday, January 13, 2012

Eye appointment

The opthamologist found three problems with Elijah's eyes this morning: 1. The vision in his left eye is very poor, 2. His right eye is doing almost all of the work, and 3. his left eye is turning inward periodically. The doctor feels that number 3 is the least of our concerns at this point. He feels that if we take care of 1 and 2, that 3 will likely fall into place.

We ordered a pair of glasses for Elijah today! We're thinking he will need to wear them for a minimum of two years, possibly more. In addition, we will be "patching" his good eye for a few hours every day for a period of three months (minimum). The hope is that these two things will greatly reduce the amount of eye-crossing.

Since his little eyes had been dilated, his left eye basically stayed crossed for the rest of the day which was a bit alarming. I kept forgetting about it and then I'd look at him and I wouldn't have any idea what or who he was looking at!

The doctor thinks it is extremely unlikely that the eye-crossing is occurring because of anything serious. He also thinks it is unlikely that any of this has anything to do with the rest of his anomalies. In fact, I have always had terrible vision in MY left eye and my right eye did most of the work for 29 years until I got lasik. So it is very likely that it is genetic. You're welcome, Elijah!

And here are the glasses he chose! We had a handful picked out that all fit him well and every one of them looked adorable on him, so we let him choose. They should be ready in approximately two weeks, and we will be ready to fix those eyes!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Croup: Season 4, Round 5 (Elijah)

Elijah woke up with croup two nights ago. We did the standard procedure, and all was well. He hasn't had any symptoms since, aside from a few extra sneezes.

Thanks to a very kind doctor (who was probably sensing my anxiety more than anything), Elijah is scheduled to be seen by an opthamologist tomorrow morning already! His drifting left eye has caused some mama worry this week, so I am incredibly thankful that we can get answers so quickly. We are praying hard for GOOD news.

Back to the boy craziness. I just wanted to give a quick croup update. I will post details tomorrow morning after E's appointment!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New specialists and funnies

Now that we have medical insurance worries on our brains, we are needing to add two more specialists to Elijah's list. He has been a really healthy kid for the past few years (you know, aside from an open heart surgery here and there), so I'm not complaining about any of this.

For the past year or so Dan and I have noticed that when we get down at eye level with Elijah, he starts crossing his eyes. We have always thought that he did it on purpose to be silly! The other day I was chatting with Elijah about some (never-ending) behavior issues and I noticed that his left eye kept turning inward. Then he would rub it and it would happen again. For the first time, I saw him getting frustrated about it. He wasn't doing the silly eye thing on purpose! I brought him to the doctor today and Dr. J thought we should get him in to see a pediatric opthamologist. It could be that he is already developing a little bit of farsightedness, or he could have something more complicated going on. We will see what the specialist says!

Also, E has had a freckle/mole on the middle of his back that has become slightly bigger and somewhat irregular in the past few months. Dr. J thought we should get him into the dermatologist to get it looked at.

I have officially completed my first full week of unemployment! It's surreal and awesome and scary and angering. I love being at home with my boys. I love taking naps with Elijah. I love having time to blog and cook and bake and not having to do all of those things late at night or squish it in over a lunch hour. I love seeing Elijah get on and off the school bus. I love not having a time limit when Sammy wants to snuggle. We obviously have some worries, namely MONEY and insurance. But we know there is a plan and that things will work out. I am thankful to have my family, and I can't ask for more than that.

I have been compiling a list of Boy Funnies in my head, but of course I have forgotten most of them. Here are a few:

- Today I laid down with Elijah, hoping he would nap with me. He has been soooo tired and crabby since dropping his naps, so we occasionally try to get him to sleep during the day when he needs it. Today he wanted to play and tickle and giggle in bed, so I wrapped my arms around him super tight. We were drifting off to sleep and he started to speak a little gibberish. He kept whispering HOT DOGGY into my ear. :) I knew if I laughed he would wake up, so I stifled the laughs and we drifted off to sleep.

- Yesterday Elijah said, "Mom, do you call me 'Wittle Man'?" I said yes and he said, "Ok, you're my Wittle Wady!"

- Sammy started doing a funny new dance move tonight (what is with my boys and their dance moves?) that looks like he is in the gym doing squats.

That's all my brain can come up with for now. It is decompress time! Thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A fresh start!

We had a fun, relaxing time in North Carolina over the long holiday weekend. It was wonderful to see family, hug family and spend time with family. I miss my family!

Elijah had a BLAST playing with Gwamps, Gwammie and Uncle Joel. Like last year, one of his favorite things to do was to play in Walgreens (Grammie and Gramps' bathroom). He would invite people in to shop and purchase items. Apparently all we need to do to keep Elijah occupied at home is build French doors in our bathroom!

Sammy was soooo snuggly with everyone, especially Juan the puppy! He loved to lay his head on Juan's back and snuggle up to him. Juan didn't think this was so much fun, as was evidenced by him running across the room AGAIN...away from the snuggly baby. :) It was pretty cute how much Sam adored him. And funny how much Juan did NOT adore him back.

We ate A TON of food while we were there, but it was all worth it. It was all so delicious! Isn't that what vacations are for? Gaining weight? And sleeping? And relaxing? And spending time with family?

Since returning home yesterday, the following things have happened:
- 10 pounds of snot have dripped out of Sammy's nose (yum).
- I have suddenly become unemployed.
- Elijah has had to sit in approximately 137 time-outs for saying the word CR*P and for being mean to his brother.
- We have set sea monkey eggs free into a container of water in hopes that they will hatch.
- I have started a new "diet," which is actually just a way to (hopefully) reduce my migraine symptoms (dizziness, brain fog, fatigue).
- I fell HARD on the sidewalk after slipping on a patch of ice while attempting to exercise.
- Instead, I decided on push-ups, jumping jacks and lunges inside where there is no ice.
- Elijah has sat on his new whoopie cushion (thanks, Uncle Joel!) 1,000 times, which is always followed by a string of giggling. Sam now sits on the whoopie cushion, too, and somehow that is just really funny.

So here's to a clean slate in 2012! We wish the absolute best for all of you this year.