Friday, January 31, 2014

Birthday Elf

I heard recently about a new trend with Elf on the Shelf where the elf gets to come back from the North Pole to visit the family for the child's birthday.  This sounded like just our kind of fun!
Rainbow Bobby came back the night before SG's birthday and he had some fun in mind!  He decorated a special sign and added balloons to her chair.  He also added some balloons and crepe paper to the light and more balloons and crepe paper in her room!  Rainbow Bobby's last step was to change into his special birthday costume!

She was so excited for her birthday!  I have rarely seen her so excited to go to school!

We had a delightful morning enjoying some doughnuts for breakfast and singing our way into school.  It's the kind of feeling that makes you love being a parent!

Those Wobbly Teeth

Those wobbly teeth had to come out.  We focused on the Tooth Fairy as the cool part and read some books that really helped.  The best one was called Tooth Fairy and it takes a brother and sister through their journey as they meet the Tooth Fairy and go to her tooth palace.  SG was concerned about how the Tooth Fairy would get in and I guess my description went on too long because she said, "I'm not worried anymore.  Just read the book."
We also talked some about what would  happen at the dentist.  How the laughing gas would feel, the dentist putting his hand in her mouth, opening wide, and wiggling the tooth out.  I skipped the numbing injection since I feared that would cause more anxiety.
She did awesome!  She listened, she stayed relaxed, and she didn't complain until we got to the car.  The gauze "band-aid" they gave her was driving her crazy.
She took a great nap when we got home and really wasn't too uncomfortable.  We did regular ibuprofen the first day to keep her comfortable and have given it at her request after that.
She is proud to show everyone her missing teeth and has the cutest lisp!  All in all, I don't think it has been a bad experience for her.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Worst Case Scenario

Several weeks ago, I started with the same cough/cold like symptoms that Charlie had back in December.  The cough was miserable and made me feel like I was gasping for air at times, but other than that, I felt okay.  Then, my voice sort of went toward the end of last week.  That was annoying, but still I felt okay.  On Saturday I started having pain when I coughed.  This wasn't good and by Sunday I wasn't feeling too good.  I had a four-year-old birthday party to put on, so I took some motrin and got on with it.  By the time we were cleaning up after the party, I knew I had fever and felt lousy.  I went to bed pretty early and hoped that sleep would help.
Monday morning I headed into work with plans to visit the onsite minute clinic after I dropped SG off at school.  I had never visited this clinic before and the woman working there was a nut job.  While in the middle of taking my address she commented that she knew someone on my street.  Her description was a woman who is blonde and attends her church...yeah, that didn't ring any bells for me.  Then, while taking my vitals her office phone starts ringing, so she quickly hands me the thermometer setup, but doesn't reach the phone in time.  She fumbles quite a bit trying to figure out who just called her.  Eventually, she concluded that it was her cell phone dialing her office phone and just couldn't believe me when I commented that she butt dialed herself.  She tried hard to convince me that I had a sinus infection, but I insisted that I did not have any congestion in my head and my headache was not sinus related, but from the fever I had.  While I am describing my symptoms she began to tell me how sore her shoulder is!  After all this, she gave me the recommendation that I should go to Urgent Care to get a chest x-ray.
I limped through a meeting and then headed off to get the chest x-ray.  During this time it became very painful to take a breath and I am taking the shallowest breath possible to avoid the stabbing sensation.  I must have looked or sounded awful because the Urgent Care receptionist asked a nurse to come over and triage me immediately.  They took me back and of course it took a while for the doctor to come in.  I figured out that bending over made it easier to breathe - this was also my favorite way to cope during labor, so maybe it is just my all around pain coping position!  The doctor finally came in and listened to my breathing and concluded that he didn't think it sounded like pneumonia, but would do the chest x-ray to be sure.  After the chest x-ray, he came back and said I did not have pneumonia, but it could be a pulmonary embolism or they did see a dark spot that could be a tumor causing me so much pain.  He even had a radiologist at the hospital review the film and she recommended I come in for a CT scan to rule these out.  Pneumonia was sort of my worst case scenario that morning and the thought of a tumor totally scared me.
I did what any scared woman does and I called momma to come take me to the ER.  She was there quickly and the hospital wasn't far and supposedly knew I was coming.  Of course, she had Charlie with her and what better place to bring a curious toddler than the ER.  He actually did awesome and stayed in our laps the whole time so he might not catch any yet to be named hospital borne infection! It took several hours before we were brought to a room, but the doctor quickly came in to see me.  He listened to my breathing and said things had changed from what the previous Urgent Care doctor noted and he wanted more chest x-rays.  Around this time Dad was able to come pick up a growing more restless by the second Charlie.  After a while the nurse came in with an IV and steroids and another lady came in with a breathing treatment.  Then, we got the new chest x-ray and after just a while they diagnosed me with acute bronchitis.  I asked about the tumor or the embolism and the doctor sort of chuckled and the nurse explained that no I really didn't fit the profile for either.  Duh!
Nearly twelve hours later I had been to three different medical establishments and finally had a diagnosis of bronchitis!  Seriously!  I was prescribed an antibiotics, steroids, inhaler, and decongestant and today I feel much better.  Actually, I felt a lot better just hearing it's not a tumor!
I am so grateful that my mom was able to come with me and Aaron and Dad could help with the kids in the evening.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Turning Four!

It is hard to believe my baby is four years old!  She has been looking forward to her birthday for months!  She is very excited to be four because she knows that four-year-olds go to pre-k, and let's face it, birthdays are just plain fun!
We talked a lot about her actual birthday versus her birthday party and she understood the difference, so we have been celebrating her birthday here and there for a week now!  Monday night we celebrated by opening her presents from me and Aaron.  Aaron had a work event on Tuesday night, so we decided to let her open them early!
She was in a wonderful mood, even presents don't always get a wonderful mood, and was filled with joy.  It was such a wonderful evening to be with her!

This set to make beaded necklaces was a big hit!  She has been interested in beads and loves all the different shapes and sizes.
It's hard to see in this picture, but these shoes look like they were dipped in glitter!  I bought them for her for playing dress up.

Her dad picked up a Fapunzel dress up dress that quickly won a place in her heart!  She beams when she looks at it and plans to wear it to her princess party.

The joy of wearing her new things and making necklaces!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

House Guests!

 We had a relaxing weekend visit with Grancy and Gramma!  Sarah Graves had been looking forward to their visit for weeks.  We kept it low key with lots of time to play and hang out together.

For her birthday Grancy bought Sarah Graves an aquarium.  She was pretty amazed with it.  

A little post bath manicure from Grancy

Grancy makes a fabulous chocolate pie and she let Sarah Graves help!

Sarah Graves even enjoyed eating the pie!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


My great grandmother believed that whatever you do on New Year's day, you will do all year long.  If that is true, 2014 should be pretty good.  We had a leisurely morning at home, I made some macaroni and cheese, we went to Lovie and Pops' for a traditional lunch, the kids napped at the same time, and we played outside for a bit.  All in all, a good day.  
SG helped make the cornbread, her favorite!

She practiced on her bike and was really getting good at it.  

Then, she had a crash!  She was distracted by instructions on how to turn easier and wiped out!  The helmet really kept her from being badly hurt.  

Her chin was pretty ate up and stung a lot.  A band-aid always helps!

Charlie wanted to help her by giving her a hug.  Sweet boy!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Happy New Year!

I tried to put a festive touch on New Year's despite us feeling pretty tired.  I made a dinner of several appetizers and finally baked a batch of Christmas cookies!  Lovie, Pops, and Nay came over and we "rang" in the new year about nine o-clock before Sarah Graves went to bed.  

She was super-excited to get a special glass wit a little 7 Up in it for our new year's toast!

Hats and horns helped to make the evening feel fun!

Wiggly Teeth

It seems neither wiggly tooth has tightened up.  There is too much tissue connecting them for them to come out on their own, so they will need help.  We need them out before infection can set in and harm the adult teeth.
So, we will go Jan 28 to have our two front teeth wiggled out.  She will get laughing gas and numbing. Meanwhile, I will endure it unmedicated ;). She is scared it will hurt, but there shouldn't be a lot of pain.  She will go back a couple more times to be fitted for a fixed, partial denture.
The dentist feels she needs the denture because it may likely be 3 years before her permanent teeth come in and he feels her speech and her bite may be affected during that time.  It does seem hard not to be able to bite into anything for several years, then again, I worry that the denture piece may not be comfortable for her, but they say it won't take long for her to get used to it.
The dentist gives out stickers and token for their treasure tower, which is those little vending type things that kids love with trinkets in them.  She is really racking up lately!

Quick Trip

Our trip to Shreveport did not lend itself to a lot of pictures, but we did take a few.
SG was very excited to be with Grancy.  

Charlie liked Ger Ger and would bring him books to read.

We had dinner with Arden and Chad and Grandaddy and MeMe.  Arden is expecting another little boy in April!

Charlie came down with a stomach virus while we were there so the kids and I did not attend the funeral as planned.  Aaron started with it the next day and wanted to get home, so we drove home making us gone not quite a full 72 hours!  The kids were troopers and the new car worked out beautifully with SG in the 3rd row, me next to Charlie and I was still able to play with and reach SG.  The portable DVD players Aaron got them helped a lot, too!  All those DVDs for Christmas really came in handy!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Letter Months Fifteen and Sixteen

Dear Charlie,
Boy, has time been slipping away the past few months!  We have mostly been enjoying life, but it has kept me from updating on all the darling things that you do.  If I had to summarize what you have been doing, I would say that you are not a baby anymore and you are definitely a toddler working on being a big boy!
You continue to be a good eater.  I would say that you love fruit and eat a good variety.  Pears and kiwi are two of your favorites!  You also like chicken pretty well and are very enthusiastic about broccoli.  You by far prefer finger foods that you can feed yourself and seem too irritated to really like anything that requires us feeding you!  You have had a renewed interest in nursing, too.  That really surprised me as I thought that you might wean before your first birthday, but you decided you wanted to keep it up.  We went through several weeks of nursing only at bedtime and when you woke up, then you decided that it would be nice to nurse when I came home from work, maybe in the bath tub, and several other times during weekend days.  You are really starting to communicate your desire to nurse more, too!  You still think your cup is only for water!
You walk like a pro and climb on most anything you desire.  You are also tall enough to reach the top of the table and pull things down so that you can get a better look at them.  This has resulted in a few spills and definitely some surprises.  Now you are also able to climb on stools and will even try to nudge Sissy out of your way so that you can reach the counter or get a better view.  You definitely know how to go after what you want!  While trick-or-treating at Halloween, you walked right up to the door with Sissy and did not shy away from reaching for a piece of candy.  You were so cute that no one had the heart to stop you as you just kept taking another piece!
Sleep is still hit or miss.  We will have a few good nights, then go through a few where you wake often.  Your napping is a bit more predictable with a morning nap around 9 or 9:30 and afternoon nap about 3 hours after you wake up from the morning nap.  A good nap for you is about an hour and a half to two hours, but you have been known to go over 3 hours!  You rarely put yourself to sleep and usually need to be rocked or nursed to fall asleep.
You seemed to like the food offered at Thanksgiving and really enjoyed some carrots that Pops made.  Soon after that you came down with the flu and it took me a bit to realize that's what we had.  You were a trooper and handled the misery of it pretty well.  I was the one who was down for the count and so grateful that Daddy was well and able to look after you.  I think you liked having Maw Maw and GG here to visit and did not enjoy your visit with Santa!  Christmas decorations with you were a bit of an obstacle, but not like I had feared.  We put the tree up higher and you mostly left it alone and put out some wrapped gifts that you sort of left alone.  Not too bad for just a year old.
You find it very gratifying to communicate ideas to us.  We went to see the Christmas lights at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and you loved signing, "lights" and grinning the whole way through.  I can see how that would feel good to share an idea and have someone else acknowledge it.  You like to get Sissy's attention by pulling her hair or on several occasions, biting her.  The biting seems to be when you feel she is getting on your territory or stealing the attention from you and fortunately it has not been that frequent or that severe.  You do bite Lovie's toes, but seem to understand that you shouldn't and don't do it hard like you mean it, thankfully!  You do give hugs after you do something you know you shouldn't.  Kisses are harder to come by, but the hugs are pretty sweet!
All in all, you are a lovable guy and a lot of fun!  We enjoy our time with you and really value what you add to our family.  We are so lucky to have you in our lives creating so much joy.


Charlie went for his 15 month old well baby checkup recently.  We are a little behind due to having the seasonal flu, the stomach flu, and then all the craziness of the holidays.
Here are his stats: he weighs 25 pounds and 3 ounces which is the 73rd percentile; he measures 31.75 inches and that's the 47th percentile; and his head circumference is 19 1/2 inches and the 90th percentile. In the past four months he has grown just a bit more in both height and weight than what they would expected him to have grown in six months time, so the pediatrician predicts that he will definitely be a tall, big guy!  We are just glad that he is healthy!
I didn't have any developmental concerns as we are pretty sure that he is talking and moving either at his age or maybe a bit ahead.  I was a bit concerned about the cough that he has had for several weeks since Christmas time and asked the pediatrician to listen to his lungs well.  He noted that Charlie had some wheezing in his chest and felt he probably was getting over the RSV.  He agreed with me that there should be no vaccines when he is definitely fighting something and suggested that should Charlie develop a fever in the next few days, we  should bring him back.
Charlie was an absolute doll and was even willing to show off some of his party tricks and proudly told the doctor bye-bye and waved with a big smile for him!
As luck would have it, Sunday we noticed that Charlie was not feeling well and Sunday night he woke up around 11 and I could tell that he definitely had a fever.  We went to the pediatrician on Monday morning and saw a different doctor.  She did not detect any wheezing and felt that his lungs sounded completely clear.  On the other hand, she noted that the fluid in his ear looked a bit cloudy and could have indicated a possible ear infection.  She suggested that we wait and see if his fever cleared up on its own and his body was able to fight the ear infection and that we could always come back if the fever lingered or if Charlie started to feel a lot worse.  I appreciated her conservative approach and her willingness to wait and see if his body could work on its own.  By Monday evening his fever was gone and we haven't seen a fever since.  He has definitely had some grumpiness and we've had a lot of wakeful nights, but at this point we're hoping it's just teething or some other babyhood obstacle.
Sissy loves to be propped up in my bed to watch TV and Charlie was willing to do so with her on Monday while we waited to make our appointment with the pediatrician.


The kids and I have a fun game where Charlie rides in the cozy coupe, SG is on top, and I push/run behind it.  Lucy loves for us to chase her, so she gets in on the fun, too!  It is the kind of play that gets lots of laughter and begging for more.  We did it last week.  Charlie had tired of the game and bailed out, and I was getting tired and went to only walking behind the car.  Some crazy fluke occurred and SG fell from the car hitting her mouth on the slate floors in our den.
She is pretty tough, so I wasn't too worried until I looked down at her in my arms and saw blood.  Not just a drop or two, but blood all over her mouth.  She was crying a scared cry and not letting up.  Aaron ran over and went pale as seeing her hurt reminded him of an injury to his mouth when he was a child.  I told him how to look up her dentist and find out what we should do.  She continued to cry as I held her and seeing the big boo boo on her gum and the tooth out of place made me fear we would need to bring her in.  I called mom to come over and sit with Charlie and maybe for me too! 

Finally, the dentist called us and we texted him pictures of her mouth.  He agreed it was scared looking, but something that would likely heal on its own.  He told us to clean it gently and give her ibuprofen.  We made plans to be at his office the next morning.  
I was worried she might really have a hard time, but instead she took the medicine and asked for her chewy vitamin! 
She was awesome at the dentist!  They x-rayed it and examined her mouth without any protest.  The root is not damaged, but both front teeth are wiggly.  He thinks one will likely firm up, but isn't confident about the other.  If it doesn't on its own, he will have to pull it.  They don't splint baby teeth because it can damage the adult tooth.  If they have to pull it, it will likely stay a gap until the adult tooth comes in.  We will go back to check the progress and see how it goes.  Always something!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Christmas Eve!

Christmas Eve went by fast!  We face timed with Grancy while the kids opened their gifts from her.  It was chaotic as they both wanted to open and unpackaged their things at the same time and Aaron needed to hold the phone!  They loved unwrapping their new things!

I used nap time to get our Christmas Eve dinner going.  I planned a simple menu that was inspired by a dinner party my friend Sarah posted about on her blog - braised short ribs served over a goat cheese polenta with my favorite salad with strawberries and poppy seed dressing.  For dessert I made a doughnut bread pudding that was simple and so delicious I have made it again already!

I thoroughly enjoyed our meal and it was pretty simple to pull together when we came home from Christmas Eve mass.  Our church does a very simple pageant for the children's service that let's them participate in an impromptu sort of way.  Sarah Graves chose to be an angel (an ironic choice given our struggles to get dressed and make it on time :) ).  She was thrilled and wore her halo proudly as she went to the front for the songs related to the angels!  She might have done a few ballet moves and tried out new ways to wear the halo while up there!

Love this kid!

She loves having Lovie, Pops, and Nay at our house.  We enjoyed our meal, lingered over dessert, and played with some of their new toys before it was time for bed.


They were so sweet in their matching Christmas pjs that Lovie made.

We put out milk and cookies for Santa!

With all the stress and emotions we were feeling, it was nice to have a relaxed evening to enjoy being with family.