Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Smelling!

Its been 2+ years since Audrey has been able to smell anything. In fact, two weeks ago, she didn't even know how to smell. Today she threw away her breakfast (without eating it of course) and then told me, "Ew! The trash stinks!". What/!!? Ok so yes I need to take out the trash, but SHE SMELLED IT!??
Finally! It worked, it worked! Took two weeks to really take effect, but the surgery worked!

I immediately ran to the kitchen and started pulling things out of the cupboard and fridge and asking her to smell it. Vanilla Extract- she said it smells spicy. Cumin - she just made a gross face. Jam - said it smelled like strawberries (I made her close her eyes to see if she could smell it without seeing it hahaha). Lavender Essential Oil - she didn't like it, probably because it is so strong. Haha. this could be fun. I could make a whole smelling activity out of this.

We still have 4 more weeks to go for "full recovery" and results but so far I like what I see. The scabs in her throat have fallen off and it looks like she has two gaping holes. Its gross...but she feels better I think.
Josh didn't see her for 3 days and said that when she got out of bed on his day off, he was shocked at how different she sounds. I don't hear a difference, but I've been with her every day. But seriously I don't hear a difference so Josh may have just been saying that.
Her nose has stopped running and is completely dried up. This is the first time she hasn't had a runny nose since December. I am so excited and cannot wait to see what the next few weeks brings for her! And how awesome is it that I actually updated like I said I would :)

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

updating on life!

So, the problem with not posting in MONTHS is that so much happens in the time since I've written, that I can't possibly write it all here. And the task becomes this huge thing that I avoid because the thought of trying to write down all of what's been going on is daunting. But here's my attempt...Please know that this has been written over the course of a few weeks, so some of it is outdated. Sorry..
Dare I say...Spring is here! After what feels like the longest, coldest, sickest winter ever, we are READY for some warm weather and sunshine.
JJ is making big moves these days!! He grows up a little more each day. He talks a lot (what he's saying, we don't always know!) and he is still a little copy cat - in a good way! Anything Audrey does, he's right next to her doing it too. All the way down to how she eats her food and how she drinks her milk. He looks up to her so much and wants to be just like her. He's very much his own person too, though. He loves his trains and wants to wear the same train shirt every day. We have two of the same shirt so I have to try to stay up on laundry so he can wear them. He's learning his colors, numbers, shapes, letters, etc. I admit that I haven't been teaching him as much as I used to with Audrey. Partially because I really don't have the time like I used to, and partially because he doesn't really care to look at books and practice that kind of stuff. He loves Nathaniel too. He already tries to wrestle with him and will try to put him in his lap and hold him. He's such a little cuddle bug.

I think my favorite thing about Joshua right now is how he loves to laugh. And even better - he loves to make other people laugh. Sometimes on my worst days he is the only thing that can get a laugh out of me. Such a comedian and such a middle child. Always pleasing and he just wants everyone to be happy. :) He has his temper (oh YES he does!) but for the most part, little baby JJ is such a love bug and always the one I go to when I want some extra cuddles and kisses. I love the way he is with Nathaniel. Sometimes when he wakes up from his nap, JJ will come downstairs and walk right up to Nate and say, "Bebe hug, bebe kiss" and love on him for a minute. He is so affectionate and I love that.
My Nathaniel has grown so much these past couple of months. He has FINALLY outgrown his fussy stage. Josh (sr) and I keep commenting to each other things like, "wow, is this really him?" and "Gosh, Nate is just so HAPPY!" and its true - he is a very happy boy now. He follows the big kids from place to place trying to keep up and play with them. He plays alone pretty well, which is very important when I'm trying to get food on the table or get other chores done.
He still is hanging tight at 8 teeth - more than the other kids had at this age, but he's had these same 8 for a few months already. He is a very hard teether so hopefully we can put of the rest of them for a little while longer. He's crawling super fast, cruising along furniture, and will walk holding our fingers. He's tried standing up without holding on, but only for a moment - once he realizes what he's doing he immediately sits back down. I think he may be walking before his first birthday. Audrey walked at 10 months but JJ didn't until 13 months, so we'll see! So far, Nathaniel resembles Audrey in a lot more ways than he resembles JJ.
He sleeps in our bed still. The good thing is that he will ALSO sleep in a crib, so for naps and "first bedtime" he sleeps in the crib. Then after his first wake up at night (usually 2-3 hours later) he comes into our bed. That's where things get really tough. He tosses and turns sooooo much and wakes us up. Worse, he wakes himself up, and sometimes he's just up. Awake. In our bed, crawling around, laughing..in the middle of the night. This sometimes goes on for an hour, sometimes just a few minutes. I think we need to stop bringing him to our bed but I know from my own experience that its not easy to have will power like that in the middle of the night, several times a night. Its not like we can just lay him back in the crib and he'll go back to sleep (God I wish) so it is more of an effort to stay awake, get him into a deep sleep, and then get him in the crib without waking him again...so yeah. We'll get there. Until then, MORE COFFEE! Audrey slept in our bed until 17 months..JJ until 6 months. I think Thane will be somewhere in the middle.
Audrey is turning into a little girl...outgrowing the baby stuff. We've attended some 5th birthday parties already this year, and I keep thinking "FIVE??" WE ARE TURNING 5??". Sometimes I'll catch a glimpse of her and I'll see that little baby Audrey is still in there somewhere. I love watching her grow but of course I am always sentimental about the days that are past us. She's SO independent. I was just telling Josh last night how I need to accept that she is simply her OWN PERSON. She will go to great lengths to do exactly the opposite of what we've asked of her. Obviously this is irritating in many ways, but also I admire that quality within her. She knows what she wants and that's all there is to it.
I know I've said this too many times to count on this blog, but Audrey is such a joyful little girl. I'm sure people think the opposite because she isn't the most outgoing or social girl around, but when she is in her element, doing her own thing without being bothered, she is so content and happy. Always singing and dancing, so free and easy. Now that the weather is warming up, she's able to do what she loves the most - go outside! We've had lots of outdoors days recently, playing in mud puddles, swinging, looking for worms, picking flowers..all the good stuff.
We will be moving next month to the new house. The good thing is that its more space by almost 1000 sq ft. The not so great thing is that we are going to a townhouse. So while we gain space and a garage, we are giving up our awesome, huge yard. The new place does have a small backyard, and there are some things about the yard that I love. But still, we won't have the luxury of our own playground right outside, and we are going to have to figure out a way to do some urban gardening since we won't have the space to put one in the yard. BUT we are on the same street as the elementary school so we can use their playground after school hours and in the summer, plus we are gaining walking paths, neighborhood pool, neighborhood playground, dog park, and a lot of other amenities. All in all it is a step up for us, but I do think the townhouse living will be tough for us after having all this yard space for 3.5 years.



Monday, March 30, 2015

Audrey's Adenoidectomy and Tonsillectomy

I started to write this post a couple of weeks ago, before the surgery. I decided to keep it here so I could remember/document our thoughts leading up to it..
 Audrey has her surgery in less than two weeks. We can't wait!! I am so ready! We've been talking about it and she seems OK with it but of course she doesn't really know what to expect or what it all means. I am just excited to see the end result - her feeling better, sleeping better, being able to breathe, smell, and taste her food. She's had a sinus infection since December and has been on antibiotics that haven't been able to even make a dent in the infection so I'm curious about what that means for surgery. I hope it doesn't mean they have to delay it, since surgery is actually what's going to clear the infection. **Ok, so that paragraph was obviously written previously...now we are 5 days post-op and here are my thoughts: Overall, the procedure went great. She wasn't scared at all going in, and it wasn't until we actually entered the operating room that she got spooked. I can see why. Its bright, white, cold, and they had us lay her on the table while they strapped her down and put a mask on her face. So while it was scary for her, I really think they did an awesome job of being gentle and easy with her. They let us hold on to her until she was out (they used the general anesthesia through the mask thing). The procedure took about 40 minutes and then the doc came out and said she's all set! He said her tonsils were big but her adenoids were HUGE...so no question about it - in a couple of weeks she'll be feeling like a different child. He took us back to the recovery room where she was just beginning to stir and wake up. She was NOT HAPPY. They had told us that some kids wake up "confused" or "upset". That meant nothing to me...until I saw her waking up. She was in this half awake state, hardly able to hold her eyes open, and was kind of thrashing around and kicking and punching. She was crying and started to get loud, so the nurse gave her something in her IV to calm her down and put her back to sleep a little bit (not so much because she was disturbing anyone, but because it was hard to hold her and we didn't want her straining her voice). We stayed at the hospital for a couple of hours while she woke and then headed home. She was feeling better within hours, and the next day she was seemingly back to her happy, energetic self. This was great (we thought) because it felt like "that's it!" and we could resume normal life quickly. I stupidly allowed her to go outside and play for an hour or so that day...not realizing that she felt great because she was still experiencing pain relief to some extent, from the anesthesia and drugs from the day before. We paid the price that night and the next day. Apparently night terrors are a side effect of the anesthesia and narcotics, so she kept crying out in her sleep and when we'd try to soothe her, she started kicking and thrashing again. It was a little scary, and had us exhausted the next day. PLUS having allowed her to run around outside, she was so tired and in a TON of pain. She also wasn't letting us give her pain meds because it burns when she swallows, AND she wasn't drinking or eating anything. I think she peed twice all day Friday, which was super worrisome - if she becomes dehydrated it can cause nosebleeds and we'd be back at the hospital. We started having to force the tylenol down by sitting on her and prying her mouth open; not ideal but necessary.
 So now that we're nearly a week past, I can say that I think she is getting better day by day. At this point the pain isn't the biggest obstacle, but the boredom. We've all got cabin fever BAD. She can't be in a lot of public places due to risk of infection (a cold can be a serious concern while recovering from this), and I don't want to let her run around outside because she's still healing. And Audrey's a screamer - so when she's playing, she yells - and this is bad for her throat as well. I am really enforcing the "rest rule" all day today (sooooo much TV) and I'm hoping another day will have her really better and the scabs will have fallen off and we can go enjoy our spring break OUTSIDE in this  gorgeous weather.
cranky! Despite tons of ice cream.
The doctor told me the full recovery period is about 6 weeks. But she should be back to playing and eating normally by two weeks. By 6 weeks we should see her really feeling better, sleeping better, no snoring, no mouth breathing, no sleep apnea, etc. I can't wait for week 6. She's got a lot of drainage from her nose still, partially because she had a sinus infection going in to the surgery, and also because drainage is just a part of the recovery. She's on antibiotics to try to ward off any new infections, but I think she's actually resistant to amoxicillan since she's been on it so often in her short 4 years.
I will **Try** to keep updating as she gets better..Can't wait to see the changes in our little girl!

Friday, January 23, 2015

New Year and Holiday Fun

Welcome to 2015...This year is going to big for us, I feel it. :)
But first...rewind a bit. We had a really fantastic holiday season this year. Both my mom and Josh's mom came in town for Christmas, plus Lexi and Tiernan were here a few weeks earlier for Thanksgiving. I had a lot of fun Winter and Christmas things that I wanted to do with the family (ZooLights, ICE! at the Gaylord, Driving to see Christmas lights, Christmas crafts) but none of them got done. I didn't even get out a Christmas card this year! I think I still might make one and send it out just for fun. Josh says we'll feel bad years from now looking back and realizing we are missing one year out of our stack of annual cards. He might be right.
The kids and I did get to celebrate the season by baking cookies together (guess how fun that was!?!) and delivering them to our friends. Truthfully, baking with toddler/preschoolers is only fun for the kid. For the parent it is only stressful. Spilled milk, powdered sugar clouds in the air, JJ dumped out a bottle of Vanilla extract (house smelled good though)..and I could go on. But whatever, in the end, the cookies looked and tasted good and Audrey was SO HAPPY to put on her Christmas hat and deliver cookies to her friends. The day we delivered them she had the idea to get the Santa hat - and she looked so cute! I love that she wanted to wear the hat. JJ and Nathaniel slept through most of the deliveries.
We saw Santa at Fair Oaks Mall again this year and it was the first time Audrey told him what she wanted for Christmas - "a doll house and Rapunzel with the white dress". She also told him that the boys wanted toys. Nathaniel slept through all of this (!!) and I didn't dare wake him. The bigger thing that day was that they had photos with Olaf as well as with Santa. Naturally, the kids were more excited about Olaf.




















We also got to ride on the Santa train this year. I waited in line in the rain with both boys for these tickets because every year I hear how awesome it is. It was pretty cool I guess...but honestly it seemed overrated. The train ride was fun and JJ thoroughly enjoyed it but I think Audrey was a little bored, and Santa only came through once and it was for only a minute. He didn't have time to talk to the kids or anything, just waved. Next year we'll probably skip this event.
We decorated Gingerbread houses for the first time ever - and neither Audrey nor Joshua really were interested! Well, Audrey was excited but it wore off quickly and then she just wanted to eat the candy. Joshua wasn't in to it at all from the beginning and he spent most of the time pouring out the candy and spilling it everywhere. It was fun though and at least we got to say we did it!
The kids got everything their little hearts desired, and then some more, for Christmas. Between Santa, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and us...they were spoiled. We actually started packing up boxes of toys in November in preparation for JJs birthday and Christmas. We also got rid of a lot. We still have unopened toys in their playroom closet from Christmas. I'm waiting for a rainy day (or snow day) to open them so we can make the surprises last a little longer..and bust the boredom on those long days at home. :) Thank you all for a great Christmas!


Thursday, January 8, 2015

JJ turns TWO!

We celebrated baby JJ's second birthday last month (so behind - ack!) and it was a fun time. The party was a train theme of course, since that is all he ever thinks or talks about. I did it pretty simple with some Thomas decorations and a Thomas the Train cake. JJ loved the cake the most I think. It came with a wooden thomas train as decoration and of all the new train and train-like-toys he got that day, this train from the cake was his favorite! haha!

We had a fun day with friends and family and got to spend the evening catching up with some friends we haven't seen in quite a while. It was a great day. JJ was passed out on the couch before dinner time so that tells me he had fun! He got more trains than he could ever have asked for and HE LOVES IT! He sleeps with some of his trains and he has favorite trains.

Josh made him a train table for his birthday. It was a pretty easy project and I think it was an awesome gift. Bad thing is that it is HUGE but that's also a good thing because he and Audrey like to sit in it and they can also make pretty big tracks on it. It has room for storage underneath and we plan to make a top for it so it can be covered and serve as a coffee table when not in use. Its never not in use...but maybe the excitement will die off and we'll be able to cover it someday. It was his first birthday build though, so I know Josh is very proud of it.

I got Joshua tickets to see Sesame Street Live for his birthday, so he and I made a day of it. We went to lunch and did some shopping and then headed over to the Patriot Center for the show. The crowd was a lot of 1 and 2 year olds so it was pretty rowdy and loud. JJ (like most of the kids) wouldn't sit still and watch the show, he really just wanted to walk around and dance. Luckily we were on the end seats so I let him play a bit on the stairs. haha. so safe. I let him pick out a t-shirt too, and he was excited to wear that around for the show.
All about our big boy 2 year old! He's dropped way down in percentiles for weight and dropped some in height. He hasn't lost weight, but just hasn't gained as much as they want to see. He was in the 90th and 80th percentiles previously so they're concerned that he's not eating enough or getting enough calories. And honestly the doctor is probably right about that. Audrey used to have eating issues, but JJ is so much worse. He sometimes eats once a day. If he's tired, he won't eat. If he's playing, he won't eat. I try all these techniques to try to get him to eat but when it comes down to it, I can't force feed him. The doctor put him on Pediasure once a day to boost his calorie intake a bit and then we have a weight check again in a few weeks. I've been giving him the pediasure in his smoothies and he likes it that way. Smoothies seem to be the way to go with him since he doesn't have to actually stop playing to eat it, and I can fit a lot of calories in it. I'm not overly concerned with him gaining weight but it does worry me that he doesn't take in enough calories. He needs nutrients, you know??
He is talking more and more every day. He's started stringing together two words like "mommy look!" "train go!" and the like. My favorite thing to hear him say is "Mommy Look! I did it! I did it mommy look!" He's so proud and loves to show off what he can do. He is very expressive about what he wants and doesn't want. He constantly is calling us to tell us about something or show us something. He is still such a monkey-do...anything he sees Audrey do, he's right behind her. Its funny because most of the time he doesn't even know why he's doing or saying something, he's just copying her. They play together quite a bit but also bicker a lot and he's content to play alone with his trains. He also got a trampoline for his birthday and that's been a big hit in the house with both kids. I like it because it burns off some energy since we aren't going outside as much these days.
We are still working on potty training, but he's doing great! I am so glad I took a different approach this time instead of the "3 day" approach. It is so much easier and less stressful. He wears a diaper if we're going to be out for a long time, or if we're going to a party or play date where he might not remember to stop and use the bathroom.
His favorite book right now is a book called, "Little Blue Truck Leads the Way". He's not that in to books in general but when we do read its usually this one that he chooses. His favorite TV show is Thomas the Train of course, and favorite food is smoothies and cookies. :) 
He still sucks his thumb and carries his lovie(s) everywhere and I love that about him. Its like this little aspect of his babyhood that sticks with us and no one is in any hurry to lose it. He is my happy boy, very easy going (most of the time), and loves to make us laugh. He likes to roar, growl, hide, make faces, and do absolutely anything else that can get our attention and make us smile. He's a little entertainer. :)


Friday, December 19, 2014

Nathaniel at SIX Months!

I feel pretty sure that this has been the fastest and yet also the longest six months of my life. I can't believe Nathaniel is halfway to a year old! And yet, I also can't believe we have made it this far. There were days I didn't think we would. There were some seriously hard days and we still have those days more often that I'd like to admit. But I think we are past the hardest of it and I'm sure it will get easier as he becomes mobile. Its just so hard having to hold him every waking moment!

SO here are his stats! He's 19 lbs 4 oz and 29 inches. He's pretty big! I can't remember the percentiles these stats put him in (the big kids were being terrors at this dr. appointment) but I think it was the 90th? Just like the other two, he's on the chunky side. :)

He had 4 bottom teeth as of his half birthday. FOUR! And now, just 2 weeks later, he's got 2 more and another 2 popping through on top. I know the teething is a large part of his fussiness. Most babies don't have 8 teeth until they turn one, Audrey and JJ didn't have any teeth at 6 months. So my hope is that once he has all 8 fully in, he'll be more comfortable and won't need to be held so much.

He loves watching Audrey and JJ. His play area is in the living room (obviously) and so he's right in the middle of the action with the other two running around. He really wants to play with their toys and he's starting to pull his knees up under him to attempt to crawl. Right now he's rolling and army crawling his way around and can get to things within a couple of feet - If he doesn't get frustrated and start crying first! He took his first bath in the big tub last night. I was very brave (out of necessity) - I put him in the tub with Audrey and JJ! All three in the tub with him still being new to sitting up was pretty scary on my part, but I didn't have another option. Josh was working late and they needed a bath. So I either put nathaniel in his jumper and let him cry while I bathed them and then give him a bath later after they went to bed, or do it all together. Well, I've been doing that for the past 6 months and I'm over it! On to the big tub! I definitely had to watch them all closely and I don't think Audrey and JJ liked that they couldn't splash around, but they'll get used to it and he'll be bigger before we know it.

He's started eating pureed food. So far he's had green beans and squash. At first he didn't like it, but I think it was just the new texture thing. Last night he happily ate half a jar of green beans and wanted more! He's also gnawing on bananas and apples when I put them in this little mesh feeder thing. He loooooves apples and tries to steal them from us when we eat them! I'm just afraid he'll bite off a chunk and choke so I am not ready for him to have them yet.

He's like Audrey in the sleep department - he doesn't sleep! Well, he does just not long periods of time like JJ did at this age. Overnight he sleeps about 12 hours but still wakes up every 2 hours. Or more. He sleeps in the crib for naps and the first stretch of sleep, but I bring him to my bed around midnight so I don't have to keep getting up. I don't mind that - I've always liked sleeping with the babies. :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The usual..

Catching up on things around here while I have a moment...I have been finding it very hard to sit down and write up posts lately even though we have so much going on and I really do have a lot I want to write and share with you. I'll try to do a quick summary while the boys are taking overlapping naps (this never happens!!).


Halloween was fun this year. We did a Frozen theme of course. Audrey wanted to be Elsa and I found patterns for dresses that my mom could make, so she willingly obliged to sew them for us. Audrey's dress was unique and different from the hundreds of other Elsa's out there, and she thought it was really awesome that Josh and I were dressed up too. The first time I tried on my costume she just stared at me in wide-eyed amazement and with such excitement. And when Josh walked in dressed up like Kristoff she was equally thrilled. JJ was cute as a button in his Olaf costume. So little and huggable. Nathaniel was a troll (you have to see the movie) so he just wore a gray outfit and a hat. We went trick or treating with Matthew and Cristina and Dad and Lisa like we usually do. It was cold so we all had on coats, but a few houses in to it, Audrey saw another Elsa. She walked right up to this girl, unzipped her coat and was like "I'm Elsa Too!". It was so funny and cute. I think she really enjoyed seeing all the costumes and of course she LOVED the candy. One house even gave out ice cream bars!




I took Audrey to see Frozen on Ice a few weeks back and it was a HIT! We met dad for lunch on campus since the show was at the Patriot Center and then we walked over and got some overpriced Frozen gear and overpriced snow cones and then found our seats. I was very pleased to see how good our seats were! Audrey could see everything perfectly. She didn't sing or dance but I wasn't really sure if she would...I think she was overwhelmed by all the noise and so much to see so she really just sat there staring and taking it all in. She was sad to leave and said she really really wanted Elsa to come home with us.


Lexi and Tiernan flew here for the week of Thanksgiving. It was very last minute but such a nice surprise to have them here twice this year! The kids had fun playing together (most of the time!) and I loved being able to chat with my sister whenever I wanted for a week. We spent the evening before Thanksgiving over at Lauren's having pizza and letting all the kids play. Then for Thanksgiving Day we all went over to Josh's aunt's house for dinner. SO GOOD. I didn't stuff my face as much as I wanted to because of the kids being crazy, but that's probably better anyways. :)

Now we are all the way in to December and JJ's birthday just passed and Nathaniel just turned 6 months. How!?? I love watching them grow but I do worry that it's happening too fast...so as usual I'll end yet another post by saying I'll try to write more updates when I can...expect photos of JJs birthday and Nate's 6 months soon.