Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The daycare plague

The past few weeks? Hardly no blogging, Google reader is behind in epic proportions and I think the only pictures I have taken were with my phone.  I love instagram but I need to get my real camera out soon! Why the craziness? One simple explanation. Daycare.

Three weeks ago, my boys started going to an in-home daycare three days a week! I was so happy I found someone, plus she is literally down the street, less than FIVE minutes away. There are very few kids that go and I thought this would be perfect! I knew they would be sick more often and catch things they normally haven't since well, we have been SO lucky so far and Brady has hardly been sick in the past 3 years. Lucky. Spoiled.

The first week, he got a cold. The cold got better but the cough lingered for a while.

Thursday, I picked him up and he was super cranky which I blamed on the fact that he hadn't napped. Friday, he wasn't himself. He had gotten up at 4:30 am and never went back to sleep so we thought some of his behavior was due to being up all day and not napping. If you have a toddler, you get how bad that can get and know exactly what I mean.

Here is where it started sucking. Things got scary. He was talking weird and doing this odd thing with his eyes, almost like they were going to roll back into his eyes. We literally thought it was because of exhaustion because what 3 year old gets up at 4 am and doesn't crash at some point?
He didn't fell warm then but when I put him to bed a while later, I decided to take his temp and low and behold he had a fever. 102. Needless to say, he ended up in bed with me.

He woke up Saturday morning in good spirits but that quickly changed and as the day went on and the scary stuff started again. I took his temp and it was 104.5! I decided to take him to Urgent Care thinking he had bronchitis or something. After a two hour wait and a negative strep test, they told us they were treating him for Strep. Um, Ok? We could call in a few days for the culture but looking at his symptoms, she was sure it was strep.

After a few does of the antibiotic, he was back to his old self!

Then, last night, after going back and forth, I sent him to the sitters for a while. He was a whiny mess when I picked him up since he didn't nap and fell asleep on the couch for a short time. He woke up in hysterics. I looked at him and his face was bright red and he looked off. I tried to get some food in him and all he wanted was his jammies on and head to bed. I took his shirt off and noticed his entire body was covered in an awful rash. A million things ran through my mind and I called the doctor's exchange. I had a feeling it was the antibiotic. I just knew. Luckily, even though the rash was awful, he wasn't having trouble breathing or anything and made an appointment for them to come in the next day.

Yep. Momma was right. It wasn't a strep rash, in fact, he didn't even have strep! Whatever it was, he was definitely allergic to the antibiotic Urgent Care prescribed! Poor Benny's ear were both infected, which I knew something was up with him and noticed he was pulling at one of his ears. I was sure we were going to miss out on the whole ear infection thing but low and behold, here were are. 

So....antibiotics for you, you, and YOU! Just don't give Brady any Keflex or any of those in that family. 
Things I've learned about sick kids. 
Even my kid who is not really that cuddly, wants nothing more than that when he's sick. He even wanted to hold my hand while he slept.
Wine is never enough.
Lots of coffee is definitely not enough.

Germs suck.
Seeing your babies that sick is scary, sad, heartbreaking and so much more.
Fever Bugz are awesome. (I found them at Walgreens.)

The health of my babies is nothing ever to take for granted.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The time I lived without a kitchen.

I lived through a kitchen remodel with two kids. I can say that. On that note, regardless of what happens and how much I love how it looks now, I'm not sure I would go through that again! It was rough!

I'm not sure what was harder, the constant crap lying around that usually was stored in the kitchen, having my coffee maker in my living room or having to do dishes in the bathroom! Doing dishes? I will just say, I'm so thankful for modern conveniences!

Oh, way back when Ben was not even 2 month old, we had a pipe break in our kitchen. Ugh. Not cool. Not fun to wake up to. I didn't think it was that big of a deal, till I noticed our nice beautiful hardwood floor that wasn't even three years old, buckled and warped. All I could think of was one dirty word, MOLD. Yep. I think of those things.

Four months later, we have a new kitchen. Who knew that ordering cabinets and counters was such a process. I swear it took FOREVER.

Here is the crappy before pictures. Yep, I feel the need to let you know this. My kitchen is not this messy EVER. I would die. If there is one room in the house that is always clean, it's my kitchen. Dishes in the sink gives me anxiety. Anyway, back to this mess. We had to clear it all out in it was 8:00 pm and it was all being ripped out in the am. So, it wasn't a pretty or organized process. I will say how badly I regretted that from then on.

I couldn't find anything. I still have things I can't figure out where the heck they went or and have boxes in the garage I don't have time to sort through.
It's not easy to see here but the wall that the fridge was jammed into was knocked down and brought out a few inches. This literally was a few inches and gave me what I needed, a pantry! 
In this process, I only wanted two things. 

1. More space. Our house is stuffed to the brims with baby and kid stuff and our kitchen, well, it's small. No cabinet space. Tall or large things? Ha. No room. There is no drawer space either. 

2. A pantry. My coat closet down the hall was my makeshift pantry. How sad is that? I wanted a real life pantry. 

Ok, I lied. I wanted it to be pretty! The cabinets were just hideous. I had painted them after we got married and it helped but they were falling apart in some places and my paint job could have been better. 

We boosted up the cabinets from 30' to 42'! We never used the top of the cabinets for any decorative reasons anyway and we could use the storage space. It was one of the best decisions and where I put the things I never use. 

When we had talked about doing this, I had a whole other picture in mind. White cabinets, dark floors. We changed the cabinet color because of cost and little dirty fingers. I really loved my white cabinets but after remembering how much I complained about how dirty they got, I was okay with the darker ones (which not only kept us in budget but gave room in it for my favorite thing in the kitchen-the backsplash!)

Enough talk. 
The after: 
I originally wanted a dark floor but I am so glad we went with the lighter floor. It lightens and makes the space look so much bigger! We squeezed the pantry in on the right side and built the fridge so it didn't stick out. Another perk? The cabinets above the fridge line up with the edge of the fridge! I can reach them! It's the small things, people. 

The backsplash was a last minute add on and I have to say, it makes the whole kitchen. I am just in love with it and it brings it all together. I never knew you could love tile so much!

The new sink is amazing too. Who knew what I was missing out on with an under mount huh? It's life changing and I do dishes with a smile. Most of the time, that is.

I wish I had thought of taking a bit more pictures before it was all ripped out but I have to tell you about our sink. If I hated something in that kitchen, the sink was it. The facet? Oh, my word. Well, it's actually one. Wood-grain. Yep. Wood-grain on the facet handles.

I think I shed a tear when it was ripped out. Don't worry, they were tears of pure joy!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

To my boys

I wrote this a few weeks ago and finally getting around to publishing it. My reaction to the Newton shooting was like many moms and the nation. I was in shock and my heart hurt. I wrapped my arms around my kid and thanked God for allowing me to hold them. I can say if anything, it made the world stop around me and I left the dishes in the sink and let the laundry go. I think too it opened my eyes to the world we live in and the scary things in this world. As a mom, there are a lot of scary things in the world and it's the hardest thing as  a mom to know you can't protect your kids from it all. I do my best to show my kids the beauty in the world and shield them from the scary stuff but I know the time that I can do that is fleeting. I can't imagine the pain that these families are going through and the ones who lived through it will face. I can hope we can make this world a better place for our kids and I will do what I can to fight for it. I just wish that was a simple task but I can tell you one thing, I will do what I can to make it that way but until I can control that other stuff, I will love each day more. I think that if anything, we can honor those sweet kids by playing more and being more present in each day. 

To my sweet boys. 

Today, you are both small, though Brady, you always tell me you are big. Sometimes, you will say you're a big boy baby when you want more of that attention Benny seems to steal from you but in this big world, you are both so very small. 

So very naive.
So very innocent.

The past few nights, I let you (Brady) fall asleep in my bed and I've carried you to your room. I  literally stopped in my tracks. You're grown so big and my arms can no longer wrap around you completely. I look  down at Bennett sleeping peacefully and remember how tiny you used to be and wonder when he stopped being a tiny newborn. I flashed back to the times when I rocked you and held you closely like I do now with Bennett. I sat down with you and just held you closely while you were sleeping peacefully and took in your sweet scent. 

I prayed. I prayed for 20 babies and 6 heroes and a mom who I'm sure loved her son as I do you boys.  I prayed for peace. I prayed for you to just let me hold you just a bit longer and for time to slow down just a bit more. 

You see, there are times when life in this big world is hard. You'll learn as you grow older that there are scary things in this world besides those monsters and ghosts you find yourself afraid of. (They are always green, you say) You'll learn that sadness is more than not getting that new toy you wanted so badly while we were at the 'little store' (Target.) You'll learn that people can hurt your heart and that you can hurt in ways you never knew possible. 

In that same respect, my sweet boys, I want you to always remember that there is SO much beauty. So much love. So much joy and happiness. The world is full of so many good things. 

When things get scary or you need some comfort, remember that. Remember that it's everywhere. 

It's in the small things and lives in the hearts of children and in the souls of their parents. It's in your laughter and in your smile. It's in the photographs we keep and in the people we meet. The beauty of the sky and the serenity of flowing waves. Sometimes, you have to weather the storm to find that rainbow. As cliche as it sounds, it's more than true. 

I'll be honest, I want to shield you from all the 'bad' stuff forever and keep you in a bubble of trains, cars, cookies and milk.  I wish we could keep the innocence you carry so beautifully. I wish I could wrap you in a bubble to keep you from getting hurt and keep your body healthy for eternity. 

I've always heard before you were born that when you become a parent, you wear your heart on your sleeve. Truth is, your heart does more than that. It walks, talks and every single day you worry about it. You love more with it than every thought possible and it makes me want to hold you tight and never let you go. I want to keep you safe in my arms and keep you small enough to protect from all the evils of the world. Truth is, I can't do that and I'll be honest, that scares me so much but I can't focus on what we can't do. 

What I can do is love each moment.

Play more.

Always say, 'I love you!'

I can show you how important it is to treat others kindly, without judgement. 
I can show you to be thankful for what we have and to work hard for what you want. 
I can show you that family always comes first and has varying definitions. 

I can show you that life isn't about what we have, it's about who we have with us. 

I can work hard to teach you that life is a gift and to appreciate the small things in life. 

That it's okay to cry and to be affectionate to those you love.

I can't promise you life will be easy or without hardship but I can promise that will love you with every fiber of my being and you will always have a place in our home.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Six {Bennett}

Oh Boy.

Six months, huh?

Half a year?

Nope. NO way.

Oh, Benny boy. I really need the next six to go by much slower!

Likes: Being on the move, toys, eating big boy food, grabbing things, playing with your brother and his toys, being awake, being near Mommy, being with other people, staring at people, mommy's phone, anything big brother has in his hand, grabbing mommy's hair and face. 

Dislikes: Naps. Being left alone. Diaper changes. 

Sleep:  Well, it's not good but it's not awful. He has some nights he'll sleep really well and others where it just sucks. Lately, he has been getting up between 3-4 and restless for the rest of the night/morning and we end up tossing and turning together. He starts the first stretch out in the pack n play and then the rest of the night in our bed. I think he needs to go to his room to get better sleep, really but we need to get a new window first. Having not really used his room before he started using it, well, it's VERY cold. So, as soon as it's replaced, he's going to start being a big boy in his OWN bed. 

I love seeing how their relationship grows. Brady loves him to pieces and Ben still looks at him like he hung the moon. I can see lots of trouble in my future. 

Yummies: Still nursing. We hit the SIX month mark and I'm so happy. I have relaxed a bit about it but we are still doing strong. He LOVES solids. I mean loves. We actually started with some cereal and avocados a week or so before he actually turned six months. He was SO ready. The first bite, he smiled and I knew he was going to love it. I debated on cereal for a long time but ended up going for it. I figure the more I can get him to eat, the better. I know this age it's not really about nutrition but Momma needs to fatten him up and fast! He's eating a mix of purees I made, some jarred purees and some BLW. His idea of feeding himself is to squeeze the heck out of his food and then put it in his mouth. He's pretty good at it and I see the pincher grasp developing! He is so funny though, before I even get to sit near him with his food and as soon as he sees a spoon, his mouth is open. 
I joked that he was such a clean eater but once he realized the spoon had food on it, he started getting grabby, which then made for a messy experience. He sure does look cute though. 

Growth: Still tiny. Sigh. Double sigh. At his six month visit, he was 14 pounds 2 ounces and 26.5 inches long. I didn't even bother to ask where he was percentile wise. Just don't wanna know but his doctor said he's doing great, growing well but that percentile gets me especially since Brady was such a chunk. I still go back and forth on my freak outs about his weight but try not to worry.  I think I've worried more this month because he is supposed to have surgery and the anesthesiologist recommends babies be at least 15 pounds. Sigh, which means I might delay it another month to give him time to chunk up a bit just for my own peace of mind. I've called the doctor to see what they think and we'll go from there but momma instinct says, 'Let's wait'' then again, Momma doesn't wanna do it at all. I do think, him being so active now is going against us in this battle but the important thing is he is growing. He's just a little guy. 

Medical stuff:
We set the Endocrinologist later this month and supposed to have surgery on the 24th but that may be delayed till next month. Sigh. Busy month for that stuff that Mommy doesn't like. We did bloodwork last week and I have the most amazing little boy. You see that Benny? You rock. I was a bit nervous because I usually take you to the Children's Hospital (after the last bad experience at the lab where they poked you THREE times) but needed to get in and out quicker so we went to the one by our house. I was SO nervous when the tech saw it was YOU that needed blood taken and she had the other tech hold your arm while I held you. 

Not a peep. Not a single one. You started at that girl and oogled at her. I just about cried for you because it made my heart SO happy. I have such a soft spot for you that bloodwork kills me every single time. 


I'm just going to call it and say he is 'crawling.' It's a half crawl/half scoot kinda thing but the kid gets where he wants and fast. He goes from the crawling position to sitting back to his side and all over the place. I've learned it's much harder the 2nd time around when baby's get mobile because of all the stuff that kid #1 leaves around and eats. You can't really take your eyes off the baby! 

Solids! I would say that is a big deal! He's really enjoying it. I love this age SO much. Love it. 

Sitting is getting more and more sturdy. I would say you can sit most of the time without toppling over but occasionally get too excited and fall over, which is funny because he can mostly crawl but sitting is still a bit wobbly.

Well, they are surely related. Brady had a little more hair and more chunk! I forgot Brady had that little mohawk of hair for the longest time and started getting a ton around 8-9 months and I think Ben will be the same way.

I just can't believe we are halfway to a year. It makes me so sad to think it's gone by so fast but our family is perfect with him in our lives. I just wish I could find a way to freeze time for a while. I love this age so much and not ready for it to be over.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Five {Bennett}

I'm totally behind again! I have a ton of posts coming, I think I'm finally getting caught up. Benny, I promise you I didn't forget you, life is just so busy with two kids, the holidays and working full time my dear!

Oh, Benny! Where did this month go? I swear, you were just born!

Five months, my boy. Time really needs to slow down but I say that every month but it seems to go by faster with time!
Likes: Grabbing things, I mean everything and everything, nursing, watching people, exersaucer, watching his Big bro, putting anything in your mouth, playing with your footsies, grabbing/holding your bottle when Daddy feeds you, being kissed and tickled, being held, playing peek-a-boo, laughing, going places, playing with toys, sitting in your highchair like a big boy and rolling around on the floor. 
Seriously. He loves his brother. Fascinated and enthralled by all that he does. 
Dislikes: Naps. Being left alone. Diaper changes. 

Sleep:  He's been taking epic naps for Daddy, as in 2-4 hour naps. With mommy on the weekends, not the greatest naps but better. Sleep at night has had some good stretches but a few rough nights here and there. I would say there is definitely room for improvement but I'll take what I can get at this point. You are moving more and more into a set schedule for naps and I'm sure the holidays will mess all that up! You are sleeping in your OWN bed for naps though which is huge, go Benny! You have also started sleeping on your belly and I think to be honest that is the biggest thing in why you're sleeping so much better at naptime!

Yummies: Still nursing. Drinks about 2-3 bottles while I'm at work and when I'm home nurses every 3-4 hours. Overnight, he tends to eat before bed around 7-8 and has been waking again around 10-11 (which wasn't happening when I was on leave, sigh) and sleeps till 2-3 and then again when I get up to get ready for work between 5-6. Not ideal but it's working for now and at this point with Brady, I was obsessed with getting him to STTN (well, and his sleep was WAY worse at this point!) but we'll get there. 
Growth: Still tiny. Sigh. I was thinking he was between 14-15 pounds but we'll see at his six month visit. He wears anywhere from 3-6 to 6 (some 6-9 too) month clothes and size 2-3 diapers. He's got some chunky thighs and what we call man boobs! Sorry, Ben. 

Nicknames: We have so many names for you! Bennett, Benny, Boo-Boo, Boo-Bear, Bubba, bubba bear, Ben. Sometimes, we get crazy and combine them and call you Benny Boo-boo bear! 

I'm not sure if you've done this or we are just noticing but you respond to your name when we call you!

You scoot! You generally only go from one small area to another but you get there. You'll reach for a toy if you drop it. 

Tripoding. Not sturdy but you're able to sit supported between 1-30 seconds. Your brother thinks it's pretty funny when you face plant. You are getting better at sitting but not yet mastered it without falling after a while. 

Bathtime is more fun for you! You've started loving bathtime, kicking and laughing. You love to splash now too. 

Raising your arms: You sometimes will lift your arms up when you see me, like, 'hey! Pick me up!' It's super cute. 

What I call the banging stage. You take toys and bang them on the high chair, the floor, exercauser, you name t. Your hands too. You really get into playing boy!

Rocking on you hands and knees! Oh, boy. I told you I wasn't ready for this. 

Oh, sweet boy, I have to say, it's been a good month! You've seem to have really grown up and are such a sweet, happy boy. I love you to pieces!