Thursday, December 27, 2012

After much receiving..

Both boys received a plentiful amount of gifts this week, in celebration of Christmas. Honestly, they haven't even played with or noticed all of the toys they unwrapped. It was a lot. Part of me loves that because it so much fun to see them so happy. I love happy boys!

The other part of me wants to simplify this time of year. It can be sooo much. I'm already making plans to simplify next year. In the meantime, Dan and I decided that we needed to end the week with a completely different train of thought: giving! At first I thought it would just be Elijah and me doing this mission, but it ended up being all of us. Elijah understood it, but Sammy did not yet. Eventually he will. It was good. I am happy to finish off this week's plentiful receiving with a little bit of serving.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend! As always, thank you for checking in on us. xo

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Pim-pintz!

Merry Christmas (or, "Merry pim-pintz," as Sammy says)! We enjoyed a busy evening with Dan's side of the family last night for Christmas Eve. The boys thoroughly enjoyed their time with their cousins. We got home late and we (er, the boys) woke up way too early.

Santa had filled their stockings, and they were excited about that. They both received more presents than I am sure they had ever imagined was possible.

Dan and I spent the day playing referee. "Don't touch MY TOY!" "NO, that's MINE!" Ughhh.. neither of us has had any experience with such sibling rivalry, so we didn't quite know how to handle this sort of thing. We did our best.

I have a plan for tomorrow for E and me. I think Sammy is too young to comprehend it, so for now, for this year, it will be an Elijah-Mommy mission.

I love this photo. It's not how it looks at all! Elijah was just trying to give Sammy a hug. :)

A cute pic of Elijah, Sammy and all of their cousins on Dan's side of the family. Aren't they all so cute?

Bed-head Elijah! He was so excited to open presents this morning. I've never seen such a determined present-opening look on his face. :)

My brother and his sweet girlfriend sent Sammy this toy bbq grill. Both boys LOVED IT. Many fights occurred over this thing. "GIVE ME BACK MY MUSTARD!" "DON'T TOUCH MY HOT DOG BUNS!" :)

Dan's mom gave Sammy this stuffed frog and he loved it to pieces. He literally had it wrapped around his neck for the entire day.

Both boys also loved their new doctor's kits. Elijah sure knows just what to say to ease his patients' pain and anxiety. He must have heard those words himself a thousand times before!

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas today!

Thanks for checking in!

(here is a photo of one of my favorite gifts this year....thank you, Hubby!)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas lights and the Superman Band

Another busy week is done! I keep thinking there will be a week when I don't have a thousand things to do, but that doesn't seem to happen. I suppose keeping busy with good things is good!

The boys are doing well. I attended Elijah's Winter Party with him at school yesterday. It is always so special to be a part of his class-time. His teachers ask him to introduce me, and he so sweetly says, "That's my mommy!" :) It is so much fun getting to know Elijah's classmates and teachers after hearing about them so much at home. There are some sweet kids in his class, and he could not possibly have better teachers.

Here is a video from tonight. Dan and I spent a good chunk of our morning cleaning and sorting TOYS TOYS AND MORE TOYS. In the process, the boys found Superman costumes, and then guitars. I present to you the Superman Band! 

Elijah finished up swim lessons this week, but he will need to be a Crayfish again in the spring which is just fine. I am hoping to get Sammy into swimming, too, but I need to figure out to make it seem like it's his idea.

Tonight we took a special family adventure (or "ben-chur," as Sammy calls it) to drive around looking at Christmas lights. I don't think our boys have been so sweet for such a long period of time in weeks! "Look at the pretty lights!" "Ohhh, cool!" "That's so beautiful!" "Ohhh, WOW!"

We are done with Christmas shopping and have just a tiny bit of wrapping and baking to do tomorrow. Other than that, we are just excited for Christmas! We wish you all a Merry Christmas! Sending our love to you all for a safe and happy holiday..xo

ps. We narrowly avoided an Elijah croup episode last night (thank you, oral steroids). Hoping and praying for health tonight..

Friday, December 14, 2012

DARNCHES, it's snow!

Dan and I spent last evening wrapping Christmas gifts. This season seems to be "so much" sometimes, doesn't it? I want our boys to enjoy Christmas, but I also want them to always remember the meaning of it. I always feel so conflicted this time of year. We do not make it to church hardly at all in the summer. Dan is at the dropzone working every weekend, and we are usually there with him so we can spend time with him. One of the things I love about winter is that we can all go to church together! A few Sundays ago, Elijah brought this journal home from Sunday school. He sat down at the table with no prompting from me, and wrote the following:

He calls this little notebook his "Jesus Journal," and occasionally pulls it out to write in it. I think that is "Who I love" on the left and the lines that are hard to read on the right are "I love myself" and "I love all of family." I thought it was super sweet! Especially considering the general tone of our house lately. :(

On most days, most things are a struggle. Not just a little bit of whining, but major fits are thrown over very little things. And now Sammy is starting to follow suit because he thinks this is how it is supposed to be! One of the things Elijah has always done since he learned to talk is figured out which words get a reaction out of Dan and me and then he uses them to get under our skin. We are constantly having to discipline for calling people names or saying bad words or using bad tones. And again, guess who repeats all of these things? Yep, Sammy. An example.. for years, one of E's many made-up phrases has been "Punch punch apples!" He puts a little tune with it and sings it repeatedly. It has always been harmless, so I have never said a word about it. In fact, I sometimes find myself singing it to myself while washing dishes or folding laundry. Until this week. "Punch punch apples" is now "Punch punch (insert name)." Not cool. So now when I ask Sammy to do something, he will say, "Punch punch Mama." Lots of time-outs have been occurring in the Porta house. And lots of talks about being KIND and RESPECTFUL and using NICE TONES and on and on and on. I feel like a broken record, just like I am sure every parent does!

On the funny side of this, Elijah's most recent made-up word that he uses when he is frustrated (thank goodness he finally dropped "cr@p!") is "barnches!" A variation of it is "darnches!" Dan and I have started using it, as well. When I stub my toe on the couch, now I exclaim DARNCHES! :) It has a nice ring!

We got a huge snowfall last weekend, and we had so much fun playing in it! Sammy has always had really sensitive eyes, so he spent most of the time outside with his eyes closed. He has also always been afraid of loud noises, so every time a snowplow drove by he would either run to me or close his eyes tightly and not move an inch.

This is our snowman, Charlie. Charlie is now very droopy, as he has melted a bit since Sunday. When I walk Elijah to and from the bus, he says sadly, "Ohhh. Charlie's sad."

You can't play in the snow without having hot chocolate afterward, right? Or should I say, without eating marshmallows. "More marshmallows, please, Mom!" :)

I thought of a few more cute Sammy-isms since my post about him last week. Any word that begins with a K becomes the CH sound for Sam. "Kitchen" is "chi-chen" and "ketchup" is "che-chup."

I have always talked about what a snuggler Sammy is, and that is still true. Probably ten times a day I hear, "Mommy, come suggle wif me on da blue chair!" He also loves playing with all of his stuffed animals. He will line them up on the couch like they are watching tv and he gets them all snuggled with pillows and blankets. Every once in a while one of the animals will kiss or hug or talk to another animal.

And as always, he is so very independent. He wants to do absolutely everything himself. I wish his brother had a tiny bit of this! :)

Sammy likes to have ALL of the lights on in the house. I am constantly turning lamps and lights off, and then I hear him say, "Mommy, I can't SEE! Turn the light back on!"

One last thing about Sam. He loves to wrestle and have pillow fights, especially with his brother. His signature move is sitting on his opponent's head. Every time he does this to one of us, we say, "AWW! He did THE SAMMY!"

Elijah's ears hurt for a few days after his surgery a week ago, but we haven't needed to give him Tylenol since probably Wednesday. He still cannot hear everything we say, but it is better. His OT and PT both made comments this week that he asked, "What's that noise?" a couple of times. That is something he has never done before, so we know he is hearing new things.

On Monday E had a mole removed from his back that was dark and growing. It is always good to have another thing done! Have a great weekend and thanks for checking in and reading my long post!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Ear tubes are in

Elijah had his surgery yesterday to place tubes in both ears. He has had multiple ear infections in the past nine months or so, causing fluid build-up and hearing loss.

Dan and I were almost giddy yesterday when we saw that we had our favorite anesthesiologist, Dr A! We have never had an anesthesiologist that was anything but excellent at Children's, but Dr. A is on a different level. He has cared for Elijah during some of the "big" stuff, and he has always gone above and beyond. So we were very happy to see him walk in our room! Typically they would place an IV for a heart kid, even for a surgery as simple as this one, but Dr. A didn't think that was necessary considering how well E is doing. Thank God. One less thing to cause trauma/anxiety.

Surgery was a piece of cake. He was in and out in ten minutes. He woke out of anesthesia just fine, and ate two popsicles and drank a box of juice. The nurse gave us a little vomit bag for our ride home, just in case. It was a good thing she did because Elijah used it twice. I think I will invent a vomit bag that perhaps one cannot see through. Icky! Anyway, once we got home he threw up again, and again, and again. We were able to get some Tylenol in his belly at 8:00, thankfully, because he had a bit of a fever from surgery.

Starting at 3:00 this morning, he was throwing up at least every 30 minutes. He was so thirsty by 7:00 this morning that he was begging for water and milk (and waffles) constantly. It was a bit heartbreaking having to tell him no. After his 8:00 vomit session, Dan and I both were concerned. He was obviously dehydrated. He was pale and wasn't moving off the couch, which is unusual. We agreed that if he threw up one more time I was going to bring him back to Children's. I took a quick shower and prepared myself mentally for it, while praying that we wouldn't need to go.

God heard our prayers because he has not thrown up since! He has had water, toast, crackers and milk and he has kept it all down. He is doing much better! He is taking a nap right now, and we are hoping he feels much more rested and normal when he wakes up! Sammy was up a lot, too, during the night with all of the commotion, so we are hoping for a giant nap for him, as well.

Elijah's reaction to anesthesia has gradually gotten worse over time. He never used to have issues with it, but after the last few procedures he has vomited a handful of times. We have never seen anything like this, though! It is so strange because he was only under sedation for literally 10 minutes!

His hearing does not seem to be greatly improved, which is lingering in the back of my mind. The doctor told us we would see a drastic difference immediately. I'll worry about that later. For now, I have work to do while the little ones snooze!

Monday, December 3, 2012

And somehow Sammy turns two-and-a-half

Since tomorrow Sammy will officially be two-and-a-half years old, I figured I would dedicate an entire post to him and all that he is up to these days!

If I say to him, "Sammy, you are silly!" he responds, "No I'm not, I'm FUNNY!"

He now pronounces Elijah's name "Ee-YA-JA!" We hear this a. lot.

Breakfast is "beh-biss"
Spoon is "foon" (Elijah thinks this is hilarious and often says, "Sammy, will you please say 'spoon'?")
Peanut butter is "pee-dee butter"

His little voice is the absolute sweetest, cutest thing. We often have complete strangers comment on how cute it is. It's low and sometimes it cracks. And his lisp pushes it over the top of total cuteness. "Thammy wanth thum milk, Mama!" Oh man. Who would have thought hearing a regular old sentence could make me melt?

When I am bent over cleaning milk or food off the floor (often), Sammy likes to climb up on my back and scream, "MOMMYYYYY MOUNTAAAIIINNN!" At this point I grab his arms and stand up and make a lap through the house. Then I deposit him onto the couch. "'gain, MAMA!" Then Elijah asks for two turns. Then I am tired.

We have learned how to "work around" Sammy's intense independence. For example, we finally have him willingly taking baths! We started putting Elijah in the bath and not saying a word to Sam. After 5 bath times or so, he finally starting approaching the bath all by himself. Then he started asking to get in. Now he gets in when Elijah does. Victory and a clean two-year-old! We have figured out how to make diaper and clothing changes easier, too-we give him control. "Sammy, which rug should we change your diaper on?" "Do you want Mommy or Daddy to change your clothes?" Works (almost) every time. He is so fiercely fiercely independent.

Bedtime has to be all on his terms, too. He has to walk upstairs by himself (me behind him). He has to turn on the fan himself, and then throw first Baloo the Bear into his crib, followed by Cowwy the stuffed cow. Then he has to climb up onto the bottom part of the railing, all on his own, of course. At that point I can lift him into bed.

When he meets someone new and feels comfortable enough to talk, the first thing he usually says is, "Look at my shoes!" Then he runs through all of our ages. "Sammy is two! Elijah is five! Daddy is thirty-three! Mommy is thirty-seven!"

He is such a precious, smart little boy. He is funny and cute and I love smooching on his soft little sweet neck. He is the best sleeper, his giggle is the BEST, he does not like to eat anything we put before him and he loves to wear his sunglasses all the time (to be like his bro, I think). We all love him so much! Happy 2 1/2, Sammy!

Thank you for checking in! Have a great week. xo