Monthly Archives: March 2016

you choose dinnerย 

We have been implementing a menu with the kids because we were struggling with a lot of resistance at dinner if we weren’t having what the kids wanted {minus Clara….she wants every food}.  This includes every meal of the week so that they can say “what are we having tomorrow” and it won’t be a huge surprise when the meal is being served.  We still have resistance with actually eating some of the foods on the menu, but at least we aren’t having full blown melt downs because WE ARE NOT HAVING CHICKEN NUGGETS?????!  
Thursday nights I feed the kids pretty early because Sophia has dance and as soon as Greg gets home we do a switch of duty and we are off; since it’s so early I really have zero time to get anything of significance prepped, so I decided to turn Thursday’s dinner menu to a “You Choose” meal…this means exactly what it sounds like; you choose, and I’ll make it for you!  
I did this to simply Thursday evenings, but it’s not only simplifies things {since they always choose something super easy for me to throw on their plates} but it gives back a little control to them and makes them feel involved in decision making, even if it is a super small decision.  
Here’s the You Choose meal for tonight; protein packed strawberry pancakes, bananas and yogurt.  Not bad kids, not bad…
  

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Clara’s FIRST birthday celebration(s)

We celebrated Clara’s birthday on the actual date, as a family!  It ended up being a really snowy day so Greg worked from how which allowed him to pop in and enjoy a bit more of the day with us than normal!

Last night as a baby….tomorrow you will be a 1 year old, sweet girl.  JK.  You are going to be a baby forever.  Got it?!!!

  

We got all ready to celebrate our big girl…
   
 
We started her birthday with a big pile of donuts–duh!  We let her open a present and then she was ready for nap after all that commotion!
   
    
 
 
   
 
After a good nap she was ready party like it was her birthday!  I took the kids to a local kid playland and then planned to meet Greg for lunch after; Clara had fun but let’s just say lunch plans were squashed when our threenage tots were a little less than fantastic on our outing (keep in mind we were still in the post-surgery phase for Joshua-I should have known better)…

   
    
 
Clara ended the day with pizza and reading in her birthday suit!

  

Fast forward a month!  We finally got to celebrate Clara with our friends and family this past weekend!  It was a fun, simple gathering celebrating our little dear!

  

  

  

  

  

 

As you can see we had a little woodland theme going on and it turned out just as I had pictured!  So sweet for our little girl!

   

 

  

  

  

  


   
   
It was a super fun time!  Clara was very aware that it was all about her.  She would just stand in the middle of everyone and turn around in a circle making sure everyone still had their eyes on her :). I was also very impressed and proud of the big kids for really letting the day be about Clara.  They tend to like the spotlight but they did a really good job of being as patient as humanly possibly when it came to cake, presents and all the attention Clara was getting!

And just as the song goes….
It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to…cry, the birthday girl did!  Something about mama putting icing in her mouth set her off.   But don’t let this picture fool you….she had a blast; we are so thankful that our families and friends could be with us to celebrate!
  
  

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easter

I love Easter!  Just like Christmas, having a REASON to celebrate just makes a holiday that much more meaningful and wonderful!  Yesterday was no exception as we were woken up to beautifully sun filled skies as we reflected on the sacrifice of the cross and the miracle of the resurrection!  Thankful for a holiday that signifies the reason we live!
We spent the morning dying eggs, going to church and then back home for brunch with my family!  The kids had fun with an Easter egg hunt (even Clara baby was way into it) and then we spent the rest of the day running around outside!
   
    
 
   
    
    
 
   
    
    
   
After the kids had dinner and were bathed we took balloons from Clara’s party outside and let the kids watch them float away (I was so tired of the kids running around with them in the house)…as they sat there and watched the balloons I was reminded of a song often sung on Easter Sunday…

There in the ground His body lay / Light of the world by darkness slain / Then bursting forth in glorious Day / Up from the grave He rose again

   
 
Happy Easter to all!

  

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one word wednesday

late-night-baking
   
 

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weekend fun-ish.

Parts of this past weekend were fun but parts were brutal.  Thank you daylight savings for contributing to the cause.  
Friday evening we started  with snuggles and sassy faces….

  

Saturday the boys went to the Lowes kids’ workshop and Joshua got to make his dream toy; a monster machine!  The girls and I spent the morning at home!
  

Later in the afternoon some family came over to watch basketball so Ede and I took the kiddos to the farm and then finished out the night at church!
   
    
 
Sunday rolled around very early.  The kids went to bed late on Saturday night due to church and that always leads to bad sleep; I think our first riser was awake at 5 am?? Aye.  It was kind of downhill from there.  Everyone was crabby, everyone was whining, lots of meltdowns, lots of tears….it was rough.
But as we were getting the kids ready for bed (above all of the noise) Greg and I had a revelation; when we have those kinds of days, it’s not because we are awful parents or because we have awful kids…its just part of life…part of being a parent and having kids.  We often try to solve the “issue” that causes the challenging moments but I think we have come to the conclusion that we don’t have to beat ourselves when we have really hard days (in the world of raising kids).  We learn from those days and that’s what’s important!  
So with that, here is a happy picture from our weekend; not because the whole weekend was perfect and great but because we are learning from the hard moments and celebrating the happy ones!
  

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funny friday

We seriously laughed and laughed at all the snapchat filters….aside from meeting Greg for lunch, and playing outside, this is what we did for the rest of the day (kidding…kind of)….
   
    
    
    
 
Joshua joined in on the fun but somehow I didn’t save his pics.   Oops!  #guesswewillhavetoplayagaintomorrow

  
Happy Friday!!!

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T&A removal–part 2

Alright, so when I left off I had shared all about pre-operation….
Morning of surgery we needed to be out the door by 7:15 and of course this was the morning Joshua decided to sleep in. We woke him up right before we had to leave and then headed to the car as soon as we had gathered all our things. The poor kid wasn’t able to eat or drink anything and since he is usually asking for breakfast before I even say goodnight, I was super concerned he would be really sad and frustrated that he couldn’t eat. But he never once asked for food or drink….I was really amazed.
 Unfortunately we ran into really awful traffic (which we hadn’t planned on) and our 20 minutes of buffer time wasn’t even enough to get us there on time; we arrived 15 minutes late, checked in, and almost immediately we were taken back to Pre-Op…I guess being late isn’t so bad?!!? Less wait??  

  
Once we were back in Pre-Op they took Joshua’s vitals, asked us some questions and then pretty quickly, they gave him an oral medication that made him relaxed and eventually really sleepy…again, I assumed he would give us a hard time because the medicine tastes really bad, but he drank it down like it was no big deal. He laid in the bed and watched TV and within 10-15 minutes he was pretty glassy-eyed and they told us they were ready to take him back. He looked over at me and I said “Hey buddy are you feeling sleepy??” to which he said, “Yeah, mama!” So I told him to close his eyes and take a little nap. He rolled on his side, cuddled with his stuffed kitty and his new toy car and off he went.

   
I held it together pretty well except for when the nurse was explaining some of the post surgery possibilities (i.e. some kids are so out of it after surgery that they don’t know who you are….) Thankful that Greg was there to not only support Joshua, but also me. After they wheeled Joshua back to the OR, Greg and I went back to the waiting area to get a pager so that we would be updated with when he was out of surgery. We ran down to grab something to eat (we purposely didn’t eat breakfast that morning since Joshy couldn’t) and then we went back upstairs to wait. Thankfully the T&A removal surgery is pretty fast; I think he was back in the OR for maybe an hour total? After he was out of surgery we were paged to meet with the doctor…she said that everything went extremely well! Before the surgery they had really only examined his tonsils (Which were enlarged)….they planned to remove the adenoids regardless (to avoid a potential second surgery in the future if they became an issue) but they didn’t know what his adenoids looked like until they were in there. Apparently his adenoids were more of an issues than his tonsils; the doctor said his adenoids were bigger than most any other she had seen…they were actually almost covering his nasal passage. Which makes total sense since he had such a hard time sleeping at night (snoring/sleep apnea/coughing). Before the surgery we were a little bit second guessing ourselves thinking, “well…what if it’s really not that bad; what if they get in there and there are no adenoid issues…” But the post-op consultation with the doctor really confirmed that we made the right decision for our little guy! We went back to the waiting area for another half hour or 45 minutes while he was in post-op waking up from anesthesia. My biggest concern was being able to be there right when he woke up and the assured me they were very good at knowing when to get parents to be there for their babies; sure enough they paged us, we went back, and he was just starting to move around a bit.
 He was still sleeping and didn’t really open his eyes for a while, but we were there with him, which I was so thankful for. He woke up slowly but normally; he was itchy (from the medications) and you could tell that he was feeling it when he swallowed, but he was able to take a sip of water and a bite of slushy pretty quickly. They moved us to an out patient recovery space which is where he finally woke up and was able to stay awake. We just sat with him and let him just rest….he watched some shows, and really was doing super well! 

  
 He downed 3 Bomb Pops, drank some water, and was talking and feeling really well! I was shocked and so were the nurses! But since everything was looking good, they got us packed up and sent us on our way!

  
   
   
 

thanks Van Fam for the balloons and goodie bag ๐Ÿ™‚

 

I was a little hesitant to leave so quickly but they said he’s doing everything he should be doing, so no reason to stay. Off we went! We were maybe 10 minutes into our ride home and all the sudden he vomited ALL over. I had even put the puke bucket away because he was doing so well…bad choice. We stripped him down while we were driving down the highway, got him as clean as possible, and continued home. We got home and he was sad and tired and uncomfortable and wanted a lot of mommy snuggles. Throughout the course of the day he threw up a couple more times which we knew was normal and nothing alarming. We kept up on the pain meds, tried to encourage him to drink when he could and he even attempted to eat a little bit. We tucked him into bed around 7 pm and around 9 pm he woke up throwing up again. We brought him down to the couch so we could sit with him and over the course of the next hour he threw up at least 8-10 times. We called back to the hospital to see what we should do; he basically didn’t have anything left in his body and he was so very weak. The nurses on call told us they wanted us to come in to have him checked out, so we made the trek back to the hospital Children’s ER.  

  
Once we got back they took his vitals and between the time he was weighed earlier that morning (pre-op) to then, he had lost almost 4 pounds, which was shocking to me. They immediately knew he was extremely dehydrated so they hooked him up for some hydration, nausea medication, and more pain meds. We stayed there for 12 hours (well Joshy and I stayed; Greg went home to sleep a little bit) and in that time he spiked a fever which also needed to be addressed, but eventually everything seemed to be calming down so we were sent home once again.

   
 That day after we got home, was when the reality of this recovery process really set in. Joshua was in SO MUCH PAIN….he didn’t want to eat, he didn’t want to take his pain meds, he didn’t want me to leave his side, he didn’t want ANYONE ELSE to help let alone look or talk to him….it was brutal. I assumed Greg would be able to get back into the office the next day, but that was a foolish thought! Greg worked from home Friday and then we had the weekend and then I was SURE by Monday we’d be good to go. WRONG again. Ha! Pretty much it was brutal from February 10th (Wed) until the 21st/22nd. Every day was a struggle and really more stressful than I ever anticipated…mostly because he needed me constantly and I also had two other kids to take care of. We did A LOT of watching TV. Joshua would perk up in moments but as soon as pain meds were wearing off he would go back to misery.  

   
    
   
Around 8 days post surgery he started eating again….and this was about the same time we got a smile out of him since before the surgery.  EIGHT DAYS.  He slowly started eating but then once he got past the fear of it hurting, he couldn’t stop eating; like it’s now been almost a month since the surgery and he is still eating like he hasn’t eaten in years. That boy will eat 3 or 4 bowls of cereal, or a couple bowls of yogurt in the morning; asks for multiple snacks a day, gobbles up everything on his plate at all meals….as I have been saying, he’s making up for lost time.  

  
The last hurdle we ran into with recovery happened a little more than a week post surgery? Joshua woke up that morning and I noticed he had drainage coming out of his ear. That’s strange. Called back to the ENT who said that was not a normal and to make an appointment with our Pediatrician. Hauled all three kiddos into the office to find out that Joshua somehow got an ear infection post surgery which then ruptured his ear drum. REALLY? That too?? We got antibiotics to attack that problem and I would say it wasn’t until a few days after the antibiotics started did we see improvement.  
We sent Joshua back to school 2 weeks post surgery and I would say anytime earlier than that it would have been a disaster. They told us to expect 2-3 weeks of recovery but I assumed his recovery would have been quicker because he did so well before, during and right after surgery. Alas, we survived and even from the first night after surgery we were saying “Wow, there is such a huge difference in the way he sleeps; We are so glad we decided to do this surgery…” Around 3 weeks post surgery, out of the blue, Joshua said “Hey….my throat doesn’t hurt anymore…” I think he had gotten so used to the pain and was relatively shocked when he didn’t notice it!
This “routine” surgery is NO JOKE! But, all in all, we are glad we made the decision to do the T&A removal, and even more thankful that surgery went so well, and that we lived to see the other side of recovery!  

  

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