Thursday, May 30, 2013

An upcoming birthday and the WIENERMOBILE!

It has been over a week since my last post, which I don't like to happen! The boys and I spent last weekend at the dropzone for the first time this season. Elijah and Sammy had a blast seeing friends and running around in the fresh country air, even though it was COLD. We are planning a birthday party for Sammy this Saturday at the dz, so we're praying for warm weather and a fun day for our cute boy.

The boys and I ran into the WIENERMOBILE last weekend! How fun! I don't think I've ever in my life seen a Wienermobile. Elijah and Sammy were able to explore the inside, as well. So fun!

Elijah's last day of kindergarten will be next Thursday. Weird. Super super weird. I cannot believe how quickly time passes! I just finished his application for Heart Camp this summer. He will attend camp for one week, on mornings only. This is huge! I have been looking forward to sending him to this camp since he was born. I am praying that he will form some good friendships with other kids who have traveled similar paths.

I will certainly share photos and stories from the coming weekend. We are looking forward to celebrating our sweet Sammy's third birthday. We love him so much!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Boy tidbits

It has been cold and rainy all week and we feel like we've been catapulted back into winter. It's a bit depressing, but we are looking forward to HOT days ahead! The boys haven't been held back by the rain. "MOM! Can we PLEASE play in the rain?" We have been cooped up for so long this winter that I have no objections to that request. Go! Splash around!

I wanted to write down a few precious memories before I forget them. Some are funny and some not so funny. Starting with the not so funny..

I haven't written an update on this in a long time, but we are still working on potty issues with E. We are in a MUCH better place than we were a year ago, but there is still progress to be made. Unfortunately, Sammy has seen the chaos that has surrounded anything potty-related so that combined with his very independent nature has caused him to be 100% against sitting on a toilet. It is a little bit maddening, but as always we are doing our best as his parents and trying to be patient. When both of these boys are potty trained, Dan and I will invite you all over for a huge POTTY PARTY. I'm not kidding. Mark your calendars for 2016.

Sammy and Elijah are the best of buds right now. It is wonderful (when they aren't fighting, ha!). They do pretend play a lot and have so much fun together. Elijah has a lot of grace with Sammy's independence. Sammy tends to boss him around a bit, and as long as he doesn't steal E's toys away from him they can play in peace for quite a while. Every once in a while they root against each other and we have to separate them. We often hear silly names being thrown around. Sammy refers to Elijah as "Blueberry" and E refers back to him as "Strawberry." In the past few days, I have been called, "Mr. Hoo-Shay," "Mr. Lopart" and many other silly names. These boys are silly!

Elijah is finishing up his kindergarten year, which seems crazy. He has had a really great year, minus a few little hiccups. His teachers, therapists and bus drivers ADORE him. Starting about a month ago, when I would get him off the bus his (very awesome) bus driver and (very awesome) bus aide would be loudly singing songs with him. They were variations of: "DO YOU WANT SOME PIZZA (INSERT ANY WORD HERE)....WAAH-OOOOO!" So the other day Elijah sat down and drew them each a picture with a funny "Waah-oooo!" saying underneath. Today when I got him off the bus, his bus driver showed me that they had hung his drawings on the front of the bus and said, "Now we can think of him all the time!" This boy makes people smile!

Sammy adores his stuffed animals, particularly his cow ("Cowwy Cow Cow Can Cow") and his frog ("Froggy"). He does a lot of pretend play with them, too. Cowwy and Froggy often scream and hit and need to be put in time-outs. Or one of them will burp loudly (Sammy has a sound for this that is very very cute). When Sam is being disciplined, he will tearfully cry out for either Cowwy or Froggy, who he feels will save him from his "harsh" punishment.

Compared to his brother, Sammy is super sensitive and way more empathetic to other people. If any of us expresses pain or sadness, he will bring us his blankie (his most precious possession) and pat our backs. "Are you sad, Mama? Here's blankie!" We have two very different boys, which is a huge blessing and so much fun. We love them both so much.

I will stop here for now! Thanks for reading. Have a wonderful week!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Ear update

Dan brought Elijah to see his ENT doc this week for his post-surgery follow up. He had a little bit of dried blood/gunk in his ear, so we will do ear drops for a week to hopefully loosen it up. We will head back mid-August for his next appointment. Three-ish months from that point will be his prosthesis placement surgery, which puts us at Oct-Nov.

I have been keeping E's school nurse/caregivers updated regarding his ear issues, and being the AMAZING team that they are they have formulated an Elijah Plan. To be honest, we haven't noticed that Elijah has been having much difficulty hearing. He seems to have adapted pretty darn well to having hearing in only one ear. When I ask him how his ear/hearing is feeling, he says, "It feels great! It's all better, Mom!" When this prosthesis is placed, he is going to be startled at how well he'll be able to hear!

E's "team" at school is forming a plan for the first part of next year, which made me cry happy tears as I was chatting with the nurse on the phone. We plan to have him on a 504, which assists any student with a disability (temporary or permanent). He will have an audiologist that will work with him and his first grade teacher, ensuring that he receives the best help possible to hear what is going on in the classroom. Needless to say, we are very happy about his team being so proactive. We adore his care team! They have taken such good care of our oldest boy.

That's all for now. Today was chilly and rainy, so Dan was home from work and we all had a pizza-movie night which may or may not have involved Willy Wonka. We are looking forward to the weekend! Have a great one, friends and family! Thank you for checking in!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Summer is here, BLESS THE LORD!

Summer weather is finally here, yay! We have been LOVING our time outside, which has thrown a wrench in our routines (eating dinner as a family at the dining room table, etc.) but we are fine with that. We have been without warmth for so long that we are willing to throw a few rules out the window in order to enjoy the delicious weather.

One of the routines/traditions we established through the winter was Pizza-Movie night every Friday night. It has become a weekly routine that we have all looked forward to every week. 

Now that the weather is getting nicer, I thought it might be a good idea to transform Pizza-Movie night into Picnic-Popsicle night! The boys are very excited about that idea. We tried it for the first time last week and it was a success.

As a family we experienced much growth over this 2013 winter. We now have a very very awesome and spirit-filled church that we can call our own. We have family dinners almost every night with near-proper-ness (ha!). We have implemented "No Technology Tuesdays" and the boys have completely adapted to this with no complaints. We read the Bible regularly and Jesus is an integral part of all of our lives. We have experienced major spiritual growth as a family this winter and we are soooo happy about all of this!

We are excited about what this summer will bring. We have MANY fun adventures in store!

Here is a video from the past few months that makes us all very happy! Bless the Lord!!!

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Mask, spring finally here?!

I had lunch with my sweet friend Sue today and she made me remember that I hadn't written an update about THE MASK and how Elijah dealt with that during his surgery. I've been so caught up with the details that I haven't thought to write an update about that. After all of your prayers, letters, emails and cards, I have to tell you that YOUR PRAYERS HELPED!

(Here's E from tonight, dressed as a dragon and wandering around outside. We had some sidewalk gawkers. :)

We were sure to get E a good heaping dose of Versed before his surgery. He became totally relaxed and loopy, which was a good thing. Dan took him back to the OR, as he usually does (I still can't stomach it after the one time I went) and he said that in standard Elijah fashion he attempted to distract everyone when the mask came out. "Hey guys! I....I have a qu-question!" "Oh, what's your question, Elijah?" "Uhh, ummmm, uhhhh..." After three rounds of this, they finally put the mask on his face and put him to sleep. Dan said he put up a tiny fight, but NOTHING compared to usual. From now on, we will go the Versed route. Thank you all for your prayers about this and your comforting encouraging letters! Elijah and Sammy have adored them and we are grateful beyond words.

We are enjoying the beautiful weather! We're hoping it sticks around this time. It is May, right?!

I tried taking photos of Sammy tonight, and he put up such a fuss which is further proof that he and his brother are such opposites. "NO, MOMMY! NOOOOOO PICTURES!"

Sammy is still sooo independent. He certainly needs control of MOST things in his little life. He is such a funny kid. We love him to pieces!

Dan is back at work at the dropzone now Wed-Sun, so we are beginning to adjust to that. It is a new season!

I will end with a few funnies from the boys. If you're on Facebook, these will be repeats.

Sammy: [fake cough....faker cough....way faker cough..] MOMMY! I have a cough!
Me: I hear that! Are you okay?
Sammy: NOOOooo! I fink I'm DYING!

While waiting for the bus with Elijah one morning last week (in the snowy coldness) Elijah said, "The grass just growled at me, Mr. Slushy!" Not sure what that meant, but it made me laugh!

And here is Elijah, saying, "Mommy! Take a picture of ME!"

Elijah has been using the word "confused" in place of the word "disappointed," which I find to be super cute. He will say, "Mom! You aren't coming to the club with us today? I am very confused about that! I will miss you!" :) I refuse to correct him.

And last but not least, a few Elijah-isms to wrap up:
"Mom, you are the chocolate chips in my cookie."
"You are the elbow on my arm."
"You are the peaches in my oatmeal."
"You are the lobe on my ear."
"You are the woodpecker sitting on my long nose."

Have a good week! Thanks for checking in! xo

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Healing ears and an exciting journey

We had a nice week, and we hope you did, as well. E's ear is healing nicely. The only time he complains about it is when we put on/take off shirts and even then, the complaints are minimal. He's such a tough kid. We will head to his post-surgical check-up on May 13th. Until then, we continue to take it as easy as possible! He has been so good about taking it easy when we ask him to.

Within the past few days I have planned a MAJOR summer vacation for the little boys and myself. Unfortunately, Dan will have to stay at home and work since that it his very busy time. :( We plan to travel to 15 states within 18 days! I must be crazy! But get this, we will (hopefully) meet fifteen heart friends and their parents, most of whom we have not yet met. It will be an amazing experience to bond with children and families who have walked similar paths. I cannot imagine what will be in store for us!

Until then, we continue to enjoy snow and cold weather. Isn't Minnesota wonderful? Thanks for reading and thanks for hanging in there with us.