Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

Happy belated Thanksgiving 2016! We survived hosting in our new house. We had 16 people here and everything went smoothly. The food was good, the company was great and our house was officially broken in. I forgot to mention that we also had three big dogs here. It was a full house!

I woke up the following day SO EXCITED for our traditional day-after-Thanksgiving family time. We picked up a Christmas tree the easy way this year (no tree farm), which diminished the experience a bit but gave us more time at home together. The boys have been bouncing off the walls, so excited that it's finally Christmas season.

We are constantly working on getting settled into our house, but we've been able to relax and enjoy it, too. I still ask Dan to pinch me at least once a day because I can't believe we have such a cozy perfect-for-us home. We have MUCH to be thankful for! It is crazy to think back to six or seven months ago and how much we've done and also how much has changed for us since then. Wow! We are so blessed and grateful for everything that has transpired.

Elijah gets a new behavioral aide who will be coming into our home starting tomorrow (she'll come one or two evenings/week after school). E is still loving chess and music class and Sammy is constantly creating art projects that are spread out alllllll over our house. :) The boys have a full week of school this week so we need to wrap up some dreaded homework this evening and prepare for the week ahead. Thanks for peeking in and I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Croup: Season 9, Episode 2 (Elijah) and behavior/school updates

Apparently we are finding plenty to do because time is passing way too quickly. Life is full right now! We are managing everything ok, but Dan and I are starting to show signs of being over-extended and exhausted. I cannot imagine what it will feel like to be fully unpacked and settled in our house. We still have so much to do. And we're hosting Thanksgiving. And and's always a million things. Last weekend we pulled out our RV to give it a final clean-out before storing it for the winter and it was bittersweet! That was our home for four months. We made incredible memories in it. Life was SIMPLE while we lived in it. It made me both happy and sad to pull everything out. We will say our official winter-goodbye this coming weekend.

Two nights ago I recognized a few signs that Elijah might get a croup episode. I said, "Croup alert tonight!" and sure enough, a couple hours later we heard the stridor. It was a mild case, but of course it's never fun. We gave him a tiny dose of oral steroids and Dan sat outside with him for a bit. After that he was just fine, minus a few sniffles and sneezes that he's had since.

We had Elijah's fall school conference today and it was great! He has the BEST fit for teachers this year. They take the "rough" times in stride and certainly know how to bring out the best in him. So far this year, Elijah has shown interests in a few new things! He loves science and music. He just got a new recorder and he has been practicing it faithfully and learning how to read music. We've had a few people tell us that he has begun opening up a lot at church (the boys go to a separate area from us) and he's even been dancing to worship music comfortably in front of everyone. I love it! I have always had a feeling that music would be the bridge that connected him to church and Jesus. His teacher told us tonight that he has made some meaningful friendships in class this year (all girls, of course). There are a handful of girls who help to keep him on track (LOVE this) and really look out for him and care about him. He is keeping up with school work just fine and knows way more than he believes he does.

As far as behavior is concerned, his teachers explained his school behaviors to us and they basically mimic his home behaviors. This is good because he's being consistent! He has good days and he has tough days. I can tell within two minutes of spending time with him in the morning which kind of day it's going to be. Good days are really good. He doesn't defy authority, he completes tasks without complaining and he is generally good-natured and kind to everyone. Most days are good days. Lately I'd say we get at least four of them/week. The tough days can be really tough. There is a lot of talking back and refusals to do anything that's asked of him. He seems to want to anger and provoke everyone around him. I'm sure the tougher days are related to not sleeping as well through the night, but we aren't sure what causes that. We got new comfy (BIG!) beds for both him and Sammy and have made their rooms safe, comfortable, dark and peaceful places. I know that sometimes anxiety intrudes his mind and it's so hard to stop once it starts. We just continue to give him consistent love and care and pray that over time the good days will happen even more frequently!

A Sammy Prank :)

Sammy is loving first grade. His classmates and teacher could not be a more perfect fit for him. He is SO. Smart. He puts together and solves math problems that I'm pretty sure 5th graders can't do. His handwriting is perfect, he aces all of his spelling tests and he never has to be told to do his homework. He is such a sweet, kind little soul. He always has been, but it's been fun to see that sweetness in him even when kids around him start talking about more mature things. Despite his sweet spirit, he has not lost his strong will. He can so easily get mad at any one of us for something as simple as being corrected when using bad manners. He gets SO MAD and can say hurtful things and even threaten to run away from home. His latest tactic is running out to my car when he's upset and sitting in it until he cools off. Smart! He always comes back in with apologies and love.

It's a busy season for us, but a fun one, too! There are so many good things coming together for our family. I have to learn to bite off just a little bit at a time and not expect everything to come together overnight! Thanks for peeking in.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Croup: Season 7, Episode 1 (Samson) ...and so much more!

Well goodbye, October! Jeez, that month went fast. I'm so far behind with my posts. I hope you're still reading! Let's rewind to two Thursdays ago..

Sammy got a scary croup episode right in the middle of the day. We had just pulled into the driveway after school and he could hardly breathe. He looked at me with panicked eyes, so I rushed him inside, panicking myself, and got a small dose of oral steroids down his throat. I sat with him outside for a bit and decided to hold of on the epi neb until absolutely necessary. We never had to take the neb and his breathing became much less scary. As always, his body held onto the croup forEVER, but thankfully it never became that scary again. Two weeks later, he still has a lingering cough from it.

Along these same lines, sickness has totally taken over our family for the past few weeks. It started with stomach issues for me, then last week Sammy threw up before school one morning followed by some tummy troubles for Elijah. We all seemed to be healing when, two days later, Elijah started throwing up. A few hours later, Sammy puked ALL OVER his brand new mattress in the middle of the night. A few hours later he spilled his puke bowl onto his newly changed sheets. Two days later Elijah threw up again. The next day my stomach was bad again and I was bed-bound for 12 hours. A few hours later Dan was throwing up and he spent all of today in bed. UGH! We are ready for healing!

The boys, my little minions, had such a fun Halloween this year! Our new neighborhood is the PERFECT neighborhood for trick-or-treating, with it's big beautiful trees and friendly neighbors. Sammy was so excited and happy that he was skipping from house to house and giggling and telling me every ten seconds that this is the BEST HALLOWEEN EVER!!! The boys of course got tons of candy, but we've been rationing due to above-mentioned tummy troubles.

We have been trying to squeeze a few things in between the sickness, but honestly it has been frustrating how slow the unpacking process has gone. I just can't seem to get anything done! Soon. Right?

Not as much time will pass before my next post. Thanks for peeking in! Go INDIANS! (Cheering as we type, Gramps!)