Monday, February 25, 2013

Elijah's 6th birthday party!

We love this six-year-old! :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Birthday photos

Today was Elijah's sixth birthday!

I think we made his day special. It was a memorable day at school, followed by a fun day at home. Dan and I feel BLESSED that we are able to focus our energy on our family so much right now.

Bed head and birthday breakfast pancakes!

This was Elijah's face for the entire day. He kept repeating, "It's my BIRTHDAY! I love this day!"

The balloons were a huge hit. Dan and I had blown them up while he was at school this morning, so when he walked in from getting off the bus he exclaimed, "BALLOONS! WOW! THANKS, MOM!!!"

No six-year-old boy's birthday is complete without an underpants birthday card, right?! Elijah and Sammy giggled over this dancing, singing card for a long time.

Thanks, Uncle Joel and Briana for the Legos!

And Waldo book!

This is the one gift Elijah actually asked for. A Stuffies! 

Thank you, Cecilia and Paul for the movies! We can't wait to watch them! (Can you tell how happy he was to open them?)

And the castle. Our "big" gift for him this year. It was a huge hit.

Especially for Dan! :)

It was a good day. Our oldest boy is six years old. We have come a long, long way, and we are so happy about where we are at.

Thank you ALL for your support and love!

Happy 6th birthday, Elijah!

It's impossible to celebrate Elijah's birthday without reminiscing. And it's impossible to reminisce without getting at least a little bit emotional. It has been an emotional morning for me. Our oldest boy has come very far.

I was able to go snow-shoeing with him and his kindergarten class yesterday. I will admit that I had my doubts beforehand. I thought he might have a hard time, or at least not be motivated to try something so outside his comfort zone. When everyone started buckling up their snow shoes, I did my best to act like it was not a big deal. Like this is something we do every day.

Elijah did not have a single complaint about having clumsy snow shoes strapped to his feet and he followed his classmates around the snow like it was a piece of cake. He climbed hills all on his own and he did great. Really, really great. At one point I watched him run toward me, snow shoes crunching in the snow, a huge smile on his face. He toppled over and I thought, uh oh, he's not going to like that at all. He popped right back up and kept on running toward me.

If you know our boy, you know what a huge thing this is. And what perfect timing to be able to experience this with him just as he is turning six years old.

Six years ago, we got to meet our firstborn for the first time. He was beautiful and perfect. We had survived a rough and worrisome pregnancy, but our baby was ok. He was going to be ok.

Five years ago, Elijah had already had one open heart surgery but was in need of another. He was a very sick baby with a very tired heart. He had cute curly hair and loved Veggie Tales.

Four years ago, he was finally starting to crawl around. This was such a sweet age for him. He was snuggly and so sweet, despite constantly being sick.

Three years ago, Elijah went to preschool for the first time. I remember feeling like he was way too little to be going to school, but I am thankful I was able to let go. Thus began his love affair with school.

Two years ago, we had just found out that Elijah's third open heart surgery was on the horizon. He soared through that surgery like a champ.

One year ago, Elijah was thriving more than ever before in his life (and continues to do so). He was finishing up his third year of preschool and really starting to enjoy his little brother.

Today, on his sixth birthday, he is a smart, spunky, charismatic and super funny little boy. He loves kindergarten and playing with his little brother. He has an attention to detail that is incredible. He tells me that when he grows up, he wants to be "a daddy and a news reporter." He adores the Willy Wonka movies and can often be found imitating Mr. Wonka as he walks around the house with a pretend cane. He loves water parks more than anything in the world. He loves to talk and ask lots of questions and play "tickle" on the couch. He has scars all over his body, big and small, that can tell a hundred stories, but he never sees himself as being "different." I love that about him.

Happy happiest sixth birthday, Elijah!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Croup: Season 3, Round 1 (Samson)

Sammy has been sick for the past few days. I think he caught my flu bug. He has had a low-grade fever and a croupy cough. Last night after I got home from shooting a wedding, he woke up with severe stridor which is always scary. Dan and I stayed up with him for a few hours, taking him out into the cold and giving him medicine and letting him watch tv to help calm him down. (Now that we have new insurance, the ER is very much a last resort.)

By 1:00 am he was still croupy (but better), so we put him into bed with us which ensured NO SLEEP for any of us except Elijah who was soundly sleeping in his own bed. The three of us were exhausted this morning and Sammy was still croupy and sick. Despite our efforts to keep him resting today, he still sounded croupy at the end of the day. We gave him a preventative neb tonight and some oral steroids and hopefully we can avoid another night like last night.

Cool Sammy.. :)

The other day, Elijah said, "Look, Mom! I'm taking care of Sammy!" E has been showing signs lately of caring for his family members. It's nice to see.

Our little thumb sucker.

For once, Elijah has been the only spunky, rested, healthy person in our house lately. I finished off a full week of the flu only to get a horrible ear infection. Hopefully health for all of us is in our future!

Our Valentine's meal, courtesy my wonderful husband.. :)

Elijah turns six years old on Wednesday of this week! I can't believe it! I get to go on a field trip with his class on Tuesday (snow-shoeing...this should be interesting) and we have a day "off" tomorrow. Now that my cookbook is done, I have much more free time which is a bit strange. I need another project!

Thanks for checking in! Dan and I are off to watch Walking Dead. :) More later this week, once we have a six-year-old in the house.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Project complete!

Click over here to see what my secret project has been for the past few months!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Chocolate smiles

I'll write just a quick post today, as I have the flu. Elijah was sick all of last week, sniffling and coughing. We have nothing to complain about, as this has been a very healthy winter for our family!

We don't have much else to report right now. Maybe when my brain is working a bit better I will come up with something. :)

In the meantime, here are a few pics (sorry, they are a few weeks old) that will make you smile. I had made a deliciously chocolatey grilled cheese sandwich for the boys for dinner (scandalous!), so I captured both of their chocolate smiles.

Until next time! Hopefully a healthier time!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Working toward goals

Sammy, please oh please forgive me someday when you see this photo and realize that I have shared it with the world. How can I not share this?! It is the cutest!

Sammy does not yet sit on the potty very much. It is quite the ordeal talking him into willingly getting his bottom into the bathroom, so we have not made a huge deal of it yet. The other day (during the snapping of the above photo) he actually went potty while sitting on the toilet for the first time! A step in the right direction!

Elijah continues to make progress in this area. I am hesitant to get too hopeful because in the past I have gone to that hopeful place and then been really let down. As with everything with our oldest boy, lots of extra time is needed and I am learning to respect the whole process which may end up making me the world's most patient person. :) Our boys are both such amazing little people, and Dan and I do our best to focus on our love for them over anything else.

Dan and I had a lightbulb moment this week in regards to Elijah's behavior and seemingly constant and never-ending tiredness. We "removed" his naps about a year ago, but since then we have occasionally had him lay down for naps on days when he has seemed extra tired. In recent months, we have had him take naps three to four times a week. The days when Elijah has seemed extra tired to me are the days that we typically received concerned notes from his teachers or when we have had extra battles with every little thing. In the past few months I have said many many times to Dan, "WHY is he constantly so TIRED?!"

So this week I had the thought that his naps were disrupting his night-time sleep enough to make him constantly tired. We stopped giving him naps cold turkey and ever since he has been a completely different kid. We still fight the occasional battle, but overall he is so much more easy-going. If he starts to talk back or say something that isn't kind, he is able to turn it around (which is nearly impossible when he is tired). We are putting him to bed basically immediately after dinner and bath every night, but if that is what it takes then we will keep doing it.

Thanks for checking in, friends! More later! Other duties call, which I can reveal soon! :)