Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sunday evening Auntie Katie, Uncle Andrew, Lyla, Nora (and Bella) all came over to carve pumpkins with us.  This year I set out a huge blanket on the ground so the kids would have an easier time and I'm so glad I did, it worked excellently!

This year the daddies also decided to make a change. No more sharp knives, not when they have POWER TOOLS!

I enjoyed getting my hands dirty with the kids as well! In fact, all photos taken were taken by everyone else on my camera, my hands were too dirty. Thanks guys.

This year Max, Lyla and Rory used a marker to draw their own jack-o-lanterns out for carving. Didn't the pumpkins turn out cute?

Our artists (and Mommy for support).

It was a fun evening of pumpkin carving, pizza eating and of course, goofing off. We can't wait to join our cousins for trick-or-treating tomorrow, it should be a fun night!

Monday, October 29, 2012

As was expected, the weekend was pretty quiet. Max is still recovering from his surgery and while he seems to be on the mend, he's also still in quite a bit of pain. We're working on healing at this point and we're content with that. Daddy helped the kids setup the haunted house that GG got them last year.

Lots of taping was involved as it's falling apart - it will most definitely not see another Halloween  - so the kids were allowed to tape all the scary objects around it which they seemed to enjoy.

Oh, I forgot to mention Max's haircut! You see that bald headed boy? That's because he decided to take his scissors to his own hair and did this all over his head!

So expect more shaved head photos for a while. Tomorrow I'll have photos from our pumpkin carving party with our cousins. You know you can't wait!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Max did really well for the surgery. Daddy wasn't able to join us so we picked up Grandma on our way and I think having that distraction helped immensely in the morning as I focused on going to Grandma's more than on the surgery. Once we got there, the boy was cooperative and I feel as though he knew it was happening and wanted to just get it over with. How stinking cute is he in his little gown?

I was able to go back with him to his operating room and stay with him until he fell asleep. In order to do this I had to wear some special clothes too. Yes, we make a good looking team!

It was really quick getting him to sleep. Max was put on the bed but he was too nervous to lay down so they let him just sit right there on the bed. He had a few questions about the room, specifically the needles he saw and the anesthesiologist was quick with his answer that there would be no shots here. I had previously spoken with the anesthesiologist warning him how bad Max's anxiety was and our recent history so he was well prepared. Than Max smelled a couple chapsticks, picked the sent he liked, and it was smeared all inside of his face mask before it was put on. Within a minute he was swaying and we laid him down on the bed. They pulled the mask away and his head just lulled over to one side and he had the goofiest grin on his face and his eyes were still partially open. It was such a funny thing to see that I had no problem smooching his cheek and leaving him, in fact, I left laughing.

The surgery was done quickly and about 40 minutes later we were being called into recovery. Max was being moved into there at the same time as we were and I saw two nurses struggling to hold him as he's kicking and screaming in their arms. I hear one nurse telling him, "No, we don't kick here." and I see Max kicking harder and I just smirk. I warned them what he'd be like once he was woken up and I was right. He was quickly placed into my arms on a chair where he continued to flail about and complain that he couldn't breath but eventually we were able to calm him down enough to help him fall back asleep. The anesthesia was still wearing out of his body so sleep was the best thing to do for that time. The anesthesiologist stopped in and gave me the biggest smile while saying, "You were right, he's a little pistol!" I think that may be my new favorite nickname for him, my little pistol!

Max's throat was sore already and he was not cooperating with us. He didn't want to take in any liquids, he didn't want to swallow his medicine, he just didn't want to do anything that involved his mouth and in order to leave, he needed to. I had anticipated there being some issues and came prepared. Rory and I went shopping together and she helped me pick out a present for Max. I brought this present with us, wrapped, as a sort of incentive for him to be good. And it worked! He finally started to cooperate, if only vaguely, and after partially cooperating he was able to open his present and get dressed to leave. Look at him showing off his new Spiderman to Grandma!

And yes, having Grandma there was really good. Two people to dote all over you after surgery? Well that is way better than having one!

Since getting home Max has had some ups and downs. When the medicine kicks in, he has his appetite and is eating, even wanting to eat things his throat can't handle right now. When the medicine wears off things get a bit rough and right now it's rough for about an hour and a half. So today we'll continue to lounge on the couch and watch movies. GG sent over a huge pile of VHS movies and Max has been working his way through them.

By the end of today there may be no unseen movies left! OK, I have a boy to snuggle and movies to watch. I don't expect we'll leave the couch much this weekend, in fact, I don't think I'll be out of my pajamas much this weekend. You are encouraged to be jealous!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Max's surgery is today. I'm writing this in advance as I don't expect I'll have much time to write about it today. I figured I'd spend today explaining the surgery and how we came to this decision.

It all started with my Parenting: The Early Years magazine. I have a subscription and there was an article about pediatric sleep apnea and how children that had their tonsils removed showed an improvement in their sleep. Max has always been a loud snorer and both Dusty and Auntie Katie have heard him appear to choke in his sleep. So I setup an appointment with our pediatrician to get her thoughts on the article, Max's sleep tendencies, and if she thought he may be a candidate for surgery.

If you know me, I'm a researcher, and I never went into that appointment thinking we'd be scheduling a surgery a month later. If anything, our pediatrician almost seemed to agree with my thoughts. When she gave me a referral to see a pediatric ENT it was to discuss the article and Max's sleep.

When the surgeon looked into Max's throat and saw how large his tonsils were it appears the surgery was a done deal. They rank tonsil size on a scale of 1-4. They ranked Max's left tonsil as a 3 and his right as a 4. We were already aware that they were large so it wasn't surprising to hear they were although surprising to hear they were that large. The surgeon explained that they remove tonsils for two reasons in small children. One is because they continue to get strep throat, and the other because of loud snoring and apparent signs of sleep apnea. So surgery it was. (He'll also have his adenoids removed and if you're curious, they use the cut and cauterize technique.)

This is where I was caught off guard. I never expected surgery to be suggested and I sort of assumed there would be some process to confirm he is showing signs of sleep apnea. Of course, I also struggle with this because I don't hear it. It isn't that I think Dusty or Katie are wrong, I fully believe they've heard him showing the signs, but I don't sleep with my son, nor do I sleep with my hearing aids, so I've never heard him choke and that makes me nervous. We're obviously continuing even with my hesitations.

Max has been struggling a bit with this news. I've already explained about his sudden anxiety. On top of that we've been having issues with doctor visits. He starts crying the minute there is mention of any shot or other things that may cause him pain. He doesn't like changing into the little gowns as they are itchy to him. It's really unpleasant taking him to the Dr. right now and I don't foresee it getting better soon with all the pricks and shots he's been having.

On Monday he had his Pre-Op appointment with our pediatrician. He had to do a blood draw for the paperwork. You guys? It was horrible. He went into the room crying and I told the nurse we'll probably need a second one to help restrain him. Max was kicking and flailing so badly that they ended up calling in help from a third nurse! I had him in my lap with my legs wrapped around his to keep him from kicking and I was holding his head and chest against me. There was a nurse holding on to each arm while the one drawing the blood held his wrist while drawing it. And the whole time? He was cry/screaming either, "I hate you Mommy!" or "Don't do it Mommy!" It was rough.

When we were leaving though? After he got his sticker and calmed down? He turns to me and says, "That didn't hurt so bad Mommy." What could I do? I laughed so hard it echoed down the building. This boy, he is something else!

So if you could send some good thoughts our way, it'd be appreciated. I'm sure the surgery is going well but I am pleading with the Gods that I will not have to fight him the whole way to the surgery center today. I'll be sure to update as soon as I can with a photo of our recovering boy!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sunday we were able to sleep in a bit and relax in front of the TV once everyone was up. After a full night of partying, it was needed. Especially since we had another full day of parties to get too! We had brunch with GG, my family, and my Uncle and his girlfriend to celebrate my grandma's 70th birthday. It was a nice brunch, and nice to be with family as we all grieved for the loss of my Grandpa. Thankfully, birthdays help keep things lite and we had fun.

GG was able to show us her new car. This BMW isn't quite as sporty as her other one, but it does have the back seat which the kids were excited about. They can't wait to go riding with GG in her convertible and I can't help but laugh at this picture that for some reason makes me think of a beauty pageant float in a parade.

After saying our goodbyes we headed over to Grammy and Dido's to join Dusty's family in celebrating Rosie's Sweet 16th Birthday. 

It was nice to get a chance to kick back and relax as the kids were able to just run around and play with their cousins and the rest of the family. Max was even fortunate enough to get some presents for his upcoming surgery this week. (It's tomorrow, send me some good thoughts.) I haven't allowed him to open them, telling him they are for after his surgery, and hoping this little bit of excitement will help with all the anxiety he is having. You guys are awesome in helping with this!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Taylor's 30th birthday party was a surprise party that my sister had planned with the help of his sister and family. The kids and I got to help Auntie decorate which meant buying BALLOONS - the greatest thing ever apparently! Both Ta-Ta and Grandma came over beforehand to have dinner and hang out which was also quite a big treat. Max and Rory were having the greatest day ever!

Bopa met us all at the bar and there a fierce Foosball battle ensued with Ta-Ta and Max playing against Grandma and Rory. (Bopa is secretly helping Rory out and hidden by the server here.) Yes, Grandma did ram one of the bars into Max, thanks for wondering. I wanted to be sure to put that little story in here for all eternity. (Hee hee hee, love you Grandma. And Ta-Ta you are no longer the favorite for geeking out while my son was in pain.)

Some of Taylor's friends bought a round of Jello shots. The bar did a nice presentation, don't you think?

Later that evening a DJ setup his booth and the kids danced away! This was, of course, 10 p.m. Please feel free to judge me, I had my kids in a bar at ten at night dancing to a DJ. I'm over it.

We left after a good half hour of dancing and everyone was sound asleep within 30 minutes of being home. Happy 30th Birthday Taylor!

Monday, October 22, 2012

The past couple weekends we've been doing yard work and we've been accumulating quite the pile of yard clippings with all our work. The kids have been promised a bonfire repeatedly as they've been busy helping us work. Unfortunately it's been so dry, with so little rain, that there has been a burn ban preventing us from following through on this promise. Instead, we've just been piling up more and more stuff on our bonfire pit.

Yes, my son can now unhook and re-hook the little trailer on a hitch. That's obviously common knowledge in 4-year-old circles. You knew that, right? Anyway...Friday evening, after a whole day of rain, we were able to finally have that fire!

By we, you do realize that I sat inside, curled up on the couch reading a book and stuck my camera out just a couple times to document their fun? I mean, it had rained all day and was cold! Plus? ALONE TIME! It was a perfect evening; the kids got their fire and S'mores, we got rid of all the brush, and Mommy got a break.
I prefer to keep my blog as a sort of diary, with events in a chronological order, but at times that just isn't possible. This weekend we celebrated a 30th birthday, a 70th birthday, and a sweet 16 birthday. In the middle of all of these celebrations my grandpa passed away. Memorializing my mom's dad is the first thing I want to do this week so we're going a bit out of order. Hopefully it doesn't get all that confusing for you.

Grandpa passed away Saturday evening. The last few years of Grandpa's life he's been living in an assisted living home near my mom so she was able to help him; cleaning his apartment, grocery shopping, and taking care of his bills. About two weeks ago he was admitted to the hospital for some health issues and it was discovered that he was on the last weeks of his life. My Grandpa had become a very private man over the years so I have not written about his deteriorating health, nor have I talked much about it with family and friends. It's hard knowing where the line is on discussing my Grandpa and his health so I chose not to.

I'm the only grandchild that my Grandma (GG) and Grandpa shared while they were married. I don't remember it, but at the time I was born they were not getting along all that well and they'd take turns fighting over me. Grandpa would bring me downstairs to watch TV with him, than Grandma would steal me back to do things upstairs with her. I don't remember ever seeing them married, but knowing them as I do, I can envision them both trying not to yell in my presence and getting jealous of the other one playing with their grandchild! 

Later on in my childhood, Grandpa had found Jan whom he was with for 25 years, and they loved to gamble. On occasion my parents would take us kids to the dog track with Grandpa and Jan where they'd let us take turns betting on a dog. We had so much fun and would even sing/yell along with the announcer to "HEEEAAARRR COMES WISHBONE!" I can assure you that I did not develop a love of gambling from these experiences, I hate going to casinos now, but it sure was fun when we were little. (And using Grandpa's or my parent's money!)

With adulthood comes separation. My Grandpa became more and more private as his health decreased and I became more and more busy with my marriage and having two children. We still kept in touch, his apartment had photos of us and the kids which I'd send, and he'd have my mom give us all cards for holidays and birthdays. When it would work out we'd pay a visit where the kids would try not to step on his oxygen cord that was on the floor in his apartment. I can still see their faces as they'd navigate around that cord.

We won't be having a service for my Grandpa, these were his wishes. So hopefully these few memories will show you the man he was and how he was a part of my life. He will be missed. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Max is a wild and crazy four-year-old boy. I have such a smaller amount of photos of him lately and it isn't for a lack of trying, it's because the boy is always in motion. Catching him sitting still, working on something quietly, is few and far between. Catching him playing quietly with his sister? Even more difficult. Most of the time I just quietly try to engrave the image into my mind because if I do pull the camera out? Max is likely to turn away, run away, or even get angry with me. My photo taking is important to me, so I try not to make it a power struggle with my kids, and so we've had less photos of Max lately.

Yesterday I brought the camera out while we waited for the school bus. Thankfully, Max was too excited to mind and I was able to capture my boy, even with a smile! Of course, that meant letting him run his little 4-year-old self wild, but I'll take what I can get.

Yes, Rory really does follow after her brother the majority of the time. I mean, he just looks like he is having so much fun, how could she not?

If you are by chance outside with Max it is inevitable that he'll ask you to play frisbee, baseball, soccer, catch...seriously just about any sport that requires you to play with him is something he'll want to do.

And when the bus gets close? We all get hugs and kisses goodbye! Rory sometimes requests an additional one, because she's going to miss him.

Yes, that wild and crazy boy is still my little love bug, and I'm thankful for that.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

For my second post of the day, Max wanted me to take a picture of his new Spiderman back pack. I figured we'd hang it with his Toy Story back pack just so you can see how homely the boy has been for the past week, thanks to Maya. (Notice the bottom pocket is completely gone and the top is torn open?)

He is very excited to go to school today and show off Spiderman! His Buzz Lightyear back pack was dumped into the garbage right after this picture. There is no sentimentality in that boy...
I planned to have a cute post today with photos from dinner with my family as we planned to celebrate both my mom and my dad's birthdays at dinner last night. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, we had to cancel our dinner plans and I have no cute photos.

I still wanted to put a quick post up to wish my mom a Happy Birthday (yesterday) and to let her know, we love you. Can't wait to reschedule our dinner plans, the kids are looking forward to it!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dusty and I gave the kids a choice at dinner last night, that they could either go to the homecoming football game for our school district that evening, or they could go to the carnival at our gym the following morning but that they couldn't do both. Max was adamant  he was going to watch football with his dad. His mind was made up the moment he had his choices and he and Daddy seemed to enjoy themselves.

Rory struggled a bit. She wanted to do the petting zoo at the carnival but when she realized that meant staying home and going to bed instead of leaving with Daddy and Max. She impressed me though, she thought her choices through again and decided on the carnival and went to her room to put her pajamas on while Daddy and Max were getting ready to leave. She's getting to be quite the big girl! And the carnival was great, she got her face painted and practiced some Karate moves along with lots of other fun activities.

And we returned home to find the Fleet Farm Toy Catalog in the mail. Now the kids are busy screaming with excitement, circling, and of course, fighting over the pages as they dream of the mountains of gifts they'd like to receive. It's a perfect weekend if you ask me!

Friday, October 12, 2012

You can all thank GG for providing me with the initiative to take some photos today because Rory's birthday package from her (and the Disney store) arrived.

Rory was far too excited to focus on opening the package and finally asked Max to open it for her because "you are strong"!

What's this? More princesses? GG sent her Pocahantee, as Rory calls her, and Tangled! (Yes, Rapunzel.  She also calls Ariel "Little Mermaid" and Cinderella "Cinderelly" so we just go with it.) Please note that Cinderelly is also with the princesses because she is by far the favorite and was nearby so she had to be in the photo too.

As if that isn't cute enough, Rory than ran out and grabbed all her princesses from her bed and laid them out for me to take a photo. Now that's my girl, posing for pictures!

As I write this, she's teaching the princess how to dance together, sporadically setting them on the ground and walking on them like a bridge, and loudly announcing their names to each other. She is so happy , thank you GG!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The head cold that took Dusty, Cecil and Max down finally caught up to me this week. I've been miserable and taking it easy, including neglecting my blog. Sorry, it had to be done. Also? You'd think my kids would learn after the first day, that when Mom isn't feeling well her patience is non-existent, but no, they have not, and there has been a lot more hollering and screaming from me this week than I'd wish to even admit. So today, a list of things that have happened, that I've discovered, and that we've done in the last week. In no order, and let's be honest, more of a ramble than anything.

  • Maya had a rough couple of days at our house this week and I decided she needed to stay home for the rest of the week. She found a dead gopher and tore it up and continued to eat it although it made her sick. Both in the yard and in our house. She also decided that the chapsticks in Max's backpack smelled too good to miss out on and tore off the front two pockets on his bag. So until his new (Spiderman!) backpack arrives, he's that homely boy with the tore up backpack at school. I just don't have the patience for the dog this week too.
  • Max's class met some firefighters on Tuesday this week. A couple years ago, when Max was still in daycare, he freaked out when the firefighters started suiting up in his classroom so I was a bit nervous with how he would do this time. He came home extremely excited with his new firefighter hat and various other projects they worked on and explained the different items of clothing they wore and why. I think it's safe to say he did fine.
  • Rory has watched a ton of TV this week. Don't get me wrong, both kids have been sat in front of the TV as I just haven't had the energy to do much of anything, but with Max in school I had hoped I could figure out something on my bad days and alas, I have not. My mom guilt with this is ridiculous.
  • I was still able to make all the meals and I feel as though someone should cheer for me because I could pull it all together even at the end of the day to still do the meals we had planned. Yay for Mommy!
  • Also? My husband is amazing. He started a bath for me after dinner on my worst night and took over the clean up so I could rest.
  • Going to the gym when I wasn't feeling good was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea. Whoever said working out can help you feel better was obviously a fool because that was horrible!
  • Rory and I were able to clean out our garden while Max was in school yesterday. My energy levels have been going up, we haven't sat in front of the TV for two days, and it was time to do something else. We filled the dump trailer up and I can feel accomplished now.
  • Max has now developed a fear of his upcoming tonsils and adenoids surgery and has been asking us about the pain and crying seemingly out of the blue. The poor boy is not happy with this development and we are all anxiously awaiting the day so this can be over.
  • A funny adult note? The book they gave us to read to Max to prepare him for his surgery is called Your T & A Journey. Tell me how to not giggle while reading that?! Better yet, watching Dusty's face the first time he read the title out loud. We are so mature over here!
  • Today my big girl officially outgrew her harness on her car seat and is now in a booster seat. I'm very excited about this as it makes getting in and out of the car easier. At the same time, anytime Rory outgrows something it's a bit sad too for it's the end of an era, even a car seat one!

I think that's it for my ramblings today. I'd like to promise you some adorable photos tomorrow but I can't. I promise to try soon though!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

This past week has been really windy, and the day before the wind picked up the nearby farmer harvested his cornfield. So our yard, along with all our neighbors, have had cornstalk pieces in them. Today we raked it out from around the house and gardens where it piled up and I made the kids a cornstalk pile.

They threw the stalk pieces around, jumped into them and all around enjoyed their substitute leaf pile.

And tomorrow we'll still have to pick them all up and get them to the compost. At least we had fun with them today.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Yesterday Max developed a fever right before I was about to ship him to school on his school bus. He missed his second day of school that week and I started scrambling to find a babysitter for him as we had Dan, Dusty's cousin, and Michelle's wedding that evening. Thankfully our neighbor Chris was willing to let us bring Max over to his house so we could enjoy the wedding!

Michelle was a gorgeous blushing bride and Dan looked pretty handsome too!

We didn't stay long after the dancing started, it was getting pretty late and we wanted to get back to Max. Congrats to the newly weds!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Max got out of school today because he woke up in the middle of the night with a fever. It was the second night in a row that Max woke up complaining, the first night he didn't have a fever but complained his neck hurt. We're currently waiting on his throat culture to see if his strep reappeared. Keep your fingers crossed that it's just something viral and already over as his fever is gone.

Since Max was home but not really sick, the kids and I tried one more state park this year and I don't think we'll be going back again soon. It was a pretty boring park. But we did get at least a few cute pictures. Here is the overlook. It was beautiful, and had the colors not been past their peak I bet it would have been awesome.

We also stumbled upon a gigantic leaf pile. Naturally we had to spend some time throwing leaves around and digging in!

The walk down to the river was really steep and it was much to cold to do anything on the beach but check it out. The kids had fun throwing some sticks into the river and than we continued on our way.

Hopefully tonight I'll get some uninterrupted sleep. These middle of the night wake ups are exhausting!