Friday, May 29, 2015

Our week in bullet points

My brain is thinking in bullets instead of sentences/paragraphs, so here is a bulleted recap of our past week!

- Dan and I continue to be overwhelmed about how good it feels to spend entire spring/summer weekends and evenings together as a family. We haven't done this consistently since Elijah was a year old, so it is foreign. And really, really nice.

- Last weekend we went to a movie as a family (Home...SO CUTE!), spent time with family, went to the horse races (we haven't done this since E was 1, either) and visited a few parks.

- We said good-bye to our beloved Fishy-Wishy this week, as he swirled away from us down the toilet. Sammy cried genuinely sad tears.

- We spent one enjoyable day with a caterpillar friend who we found adoring Sammy from his shoulder.

- Elijah had an overall GREAT week at school. He went on a field trip with his class today and got a "great" report from his awesome special education teacher, which earned him a few Pokemon cards from Mama.

- Sammy had another cute soccer game on Thursday. Grandma and Grandpa came to cheer him on with us!

- I have never been so excited for Friday to come! The past two weeks have been crazy!

- I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but Sammy has been really interested in recycling. He has learned which pieces of garbage can be recycled and he is our POLICE. If I throw a recyclable item in the garbage, he reprimands me. "This is RECYCLING! Not garbage!" He has been asking to look at photos of recycling facilities, so maybe we will have to find one to visit this summer.

- Another interest of Sammy's is sea creatures. He LOVES learning about anything that lives in the ocean and retains all of the information so well. He will often say things to me like, "Mommy, did you know that whale sharks are as big as a school bus?"

- Sammy has also been making rules around our house that he wants us all to follow. For example, our pantry door is usually open because we have stuff spilling out of it and sitting on the floor in front of it. The other day he reorganized everything inside so that it could easily close. Then he put a post-it note with the word "PANTRY" written on it on the door and closed it. He told each of us that the pantry door needed to be closed at all times. If one of us leaves it open, he says, "WHO left the pantry door open? WHO?!"

- Sammy is finally getting over his croupy cough that lasted WAY too long. He hasn't been getting as much sleep as usual because of it and has tired eyes today.

- On the other hand, I think Elijah has been sleeping well! I say "I think" because I have stopped recording his sleep on his fitbit since he has seemed so rested. He does still wake up in the middle of the night occasionally and he is ready to start the day EARLY, but nothing like before. We also have our daily struggles, but things overall are manageable. He has experienced regression in certain areas recently, but we have noticed some real progress this spring! "Progress with hiccups" is how his teacher explained the past few months and I think that says it perfectly.

- I am excited for another weekend spent with my awesome boys! We may or may not make it to the dropzone for MY first time this season. Next week will be another busy week, with some exciting things thrown in such as Sammy's fifth birthday and Elijah's last day of second grade!

- Thanks for checking in and for putting up with my disjointed bullets! Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Croup: Season 5, Episode 2 (Samson)

I've been hoping that Elijah's sickness from last week would pass right over Sammy, but no such luck. Sam was sounding croupy before bed last night, so we gave him a TINY preventative dose of oral steroids. He was up at 9:00 coughing and barking. I have to say that he is SO calm and sweet when he is sick. He wraps his little arms around my neck so sweetly. We sat in a steamy bathroom and then Dan brought him outside. Then, as I usually do when the boys are sick, I brought him to bed with us. He was wheezy for most of the night, but stayed calm and that helped to not send him into a full-blown episode. He took up ALL of my side of the bed, so I literally slept on 6 inches of the edge and wrapped my legs around the bottom of the bed. I think Elijah got the best night of sleep out of all of us for maybe the first time ever!

Sammy took a nap at daycare today and woke up with another croup episode. Ever since, he has been wheezy/barky. We took every preventative measure we could think of before bed tonight. He still sounds rough despite our efforts and I'm fully expecting another round tonight. Poor dude.

It has been a TIRING week. I worked 20 hours in Cannon Falls in addition to accomplishing just about everything else I normally accomplish in a week. I went on a field trip with E's class on Tuesday and had so much fun inspecting samples from a pond at a nature reserve. I have always loved going on field trips with him (minus a few nightmares from first grade). Sammy had a cute soccer practice last night. He is starting to feel more comfortable on the field. I LOVE watching him run around and have fun with other kids, even though he doesn't interact a ton with them yet.

I have 20 minutes of work to do and then I am putting this computer down and turning into a vegetable for the evening! Have a GREAT weekend, everyone! Be safe and have fun!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Croup: Season 7, Episode 4 (Elijah)....and a few other things

Yesterday I heard a familiar cough from Elijah and I had the thought that croup might be in our future. He woke up at 1:00am barking like a seal. We spent 15 minutes in a steamy bathroom and he sounded good enough to go back to bed. At 3:00 it was worse, so he and Dan did a round in the bathroom, followed by a dose of oral steroids and a trip outside. It got a little bit better and it was nowhere near as severe as it usually is, but he had moderate stridor even after our efforts. So that I could listen closely (and obsess), I brought him to bed with us. After 1 1/2 hours of Elijah sleeping soundly and me not sleeping at all, I retreated to the couch. Early morning sleep is so touchy with him and I did not want to do anything to wake him up once he was out. He still sounded barky in the morning, so we kept him home from school today.

I loaded Elijah up with essential oils tonight (thieves and frankincense!) and also gave him a preventative dose of steroids in hopes of avoiding a repeat of last night.

(Sammy is the cute little green guy in the middle with the red socks..)

This week has been BUSY and (mostly) fun! It was so much fun watching Sammy at his first soccer game on Saturday. He was hesitant to go out onto the field, but once he was out there he ran around and loved it. Every time he was running fast down the field, he would look over at me with a huge smile and give me two thumbs up. :)

Sunday was Mother's Day and it was incredible. My boys spoiled me with breakfast in bed, precious cards and gifts, flowers, a NAP, lunch out with Dan's family and tons of love and snuggle time. I think Mother's Day should happen every week!

Tuesday was Elijah's second grade track and field day. It was COLD! We were all bundled up in coats, hats, mittens, SCARVES and blankets. Elijah did so great at his events and tried his best. I was a proud mama! Minus a 15-minute stretch when the boys would not stop tackling each other in front of Elijah's classmates, it went smoothly and we had fun.

Here is Elijah and a friend of his getting ready to do the shoe kick! Super cute!

He did the hippity-hop relay again this year. He was behind the rest, but finished valiantly!

And this one was a total surprise to me.. he stacked cups! 

And of course they ended with a tug-of-war. The whole event was so fun to watch.

A few other tidbits from our week..

Dan and I celebrated nine years of marriage yesterday! Nine years. So much has happened, but I love my wonderful hubby more than ever. I don't know what I would do without him! Our traditional dinner out was one of the most delicious ones we remember.

I find lovely little nuggets on my phone such as the following all the time. Nice..

A neighbor of ours got out his mini 1959 Corvette last weekend and let Elijah sit in it (Sammy refused). It runs and everything! So cool!

That's enough excitement for one week, I think! I'm looking forward to the weekend when we can all relax and prepare for a couple of crazy weeks coming up. I'll be working in Cannon Falls for the next few weeks, so some other things will need to be shelved for a bit.

Thanks for checking in! Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Trading card benefits and something that is hard to explain

Two posts within just a few days? What is going on? There are a few things I wanted to write out before I forget about them. The first thing is GOOD! On Wednesday I saw the number for Elijah's school pop up on my phone. Most of the time this does not mean good news, so I took a deep breath and answered. It was Elijah's teacher, kindly calling to tell me about a positive change she has seen in him this week. First, a quick rewind to a few weeks ago.. Elijah came home and insisted that I let him get Pokemon cards because all the boys in his class were trading them. I felt this could only be a good thing for him, considering the socializing needed for this activity, so we took a trip to the store and got some. He has been talking a little bit about them since and how he and his friends have been making trades. Back to the phone call.. Mrs. G said that since he became interested in the cards, he has befriended a few boys in his class. This would be the first time EVER showing interest in having boys as friends! She said that she was seeing some really positive changes in him, including increased confidence with his peers. She also suggested that this might be a good time to ask a few boys over for a play date and she gave me two names. She mentioned that some major maturing has been happening and that he still blurts out inappropriately, but that he can reign it in much more easily than before (same as at home). I was so grateful for all of this news and also that she thought to call and share it with me.

On another note, the boys and I have been checking out some new parks in the area with the warmer weather. Last week we saw a park that we had never been to, so I pulled over and let them play for a bit. Two kids at the park were interested in Elijah right away and asked him to play. He asked them if Sammy could join in, and they said yes. They all started running around in a tag-like fashion and as usual, Elijah backed out right away. He couldn't keep up, so he started doing his own thing. The other two kids looked confused and asked him why he wouldn't play. As his mom, it is SO HARD to watch this. Should I say something? Nothing? Then I heard Sammy say to them, "Something is wrong with him." Oh man. I could see that this bothered Elijah and that it confused the two kids. When we left, I had a gentle talk about Elijah's heart surgeries and how he might not always be able to keep up with other kids because of what he has been through. I tried to let them know that nothing is "wrong" with Elijah. He obviously does have delays, but I also always want him to feel normal. I have absolutely no idea how to explain it so that both sides are understood.

Sammy did great at his first soccer practice this week. I will say this gently, but I feel like all of the other kids are being groomed to age 4...and at this point we are there to learn and have fun. I'm going to be the parent who doesn't care about performance (at least not at age 4) and who cheers her awesome little boy on as he kicks the ball into the wrong goal! His first game is tomorrow morning. I can't wait! He looks so darn cute out there and he has a blast with the hugest, cutest smile on his face.

Dan is stuck in a Chicago airport tonight for the second time this spring, so we won't see him until tomorrow afternoon. We can't wait! We've missed him this week! Thanks for checking in...have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Spring adventures

The past week has been packed with fun and new things! Last weekend Sammy started soccer. He willingly put on his shin guards and cleats and willingly walked onto the field with a bunch of strangers (both huge feats). After they kicked balls around for a bit, we went over to meet the team he will be with for the season. He did NOT want to leave this first group of kids, and refused to say a word or even show himself to his team. His first practice is tomorrow night and I have absolutely no idea how it will go! Hopefully great! He looked sooooo cute running around on the soccer field on Saturday with his sunglasses and cute kicking.

We hit a fun park after soccer and walked around a lake. Sammy got caught up in looking for fish from the dock. We need to get these boys fishing this summer!

On Sunday we came upon a few Twins tickets, so we headed downtown for our first-ever game in the new stadium! It is NICE! The boys enjoyed...oh, the soft pretzels and mini donuts. I enjoyed the weather and scenery! It was a fun experience. Driving to the stadium as a family was surreal. For the past five years, the only time we are ever ALL driving somewhere fun on a warm, sunny day is when we are on vacation. Dan will not be skydiving full-time this year and it is strange! Wonderfully strange.

And guess who wouldn't stand by the golden glove for a photo?

Dan is in DC this week, so the boys and I are handling life ourselves. School is going well for Elijah overall. I'm SO happy that we are wrapping up the year on a mostly good note. And I cannot believe that the year is almost done. How in the world did that happen?!

It hit me last week that my days alone with Sammy are limited! This was such a sad realization for me. I cherish our alone time so much when Elijah is at school and Dan is at work. We run errands, check out new parks, have picnics, play at the mall, go to the club, hang out at home and snuggle (not all in the same day, of course). I'm going to miss this. I have been making an extra effort to enjoy every minute with my littlest cutie pie.

By the way, I've had a few people ask so I wanted to mention that we are still using essential oils on Elijah and I swear they are working. It seems like WAY too simple of a solution, hence my continued skepticism. We still have our bumps and challenging stretches for sure, but they are so much less bumpy. I think we've found a good combination that helps him sleep better, which in turn helps so much with anxiety. I have also discovered that Thieves works miracles for killing germs. We still have very specific struggles that we deal with daily at school and home, but overall life is much more peaceful than it was two months ago. We have an appointment with E's developmental ped coming up and he will also be starting cognitive behavioral therapy to work on coping skills/anxiety in June.

That's all for now! I'm hoping you are having a great week! Thanks for checking in!