Monday, October 31, 2011

What a difference 24 hours makes!

Florida: Day 2

 I love New Smyrna Beach, FL because it isn't commercialized like so many other beaches.
Okay, so I actually love it and hate it.
I love getting to teach my kids to keep the light off on the balcony so that the sea turtle babies don't get confused by the light and head away from the beach instead of heading to the ocean when they hatch from their eggs. The beach is completely dark at night and signs are posted everywhere telling you to keep the beach dark at night for this reason.
I hate having to drive for 10 minutes just to get to the nearest fast food place or drug store. I know, I know...the hardships of life.

I've been wanting my kids to have a truly authentic Florida experience. So today (Monday: Day 2) I packed us all up and we drove out to Merritt Island (home of the Canaveral National Seashore where they launch the space shuttle). We drove through a wildlife refuge for hours looking for alligators. I actually did see an alligator, but I'm the only one who saw it and the kids were totally unimpressed by all the birds we saw. ((sigh)) So I don't think we're going to try to do anymore educational things.

 Flying kites ended up being way more fun than hunting alligators!
This little giggle monster loves the freezing cold w@ter!

This just melts my heart.
I adore my boys!

A Castle for Scuba Steve

Can you spot Scuba Steve?? He's a random bath toy that made the trip to Florida with us. Ryan, Christian & McKenna spent hours building castles for him to live in. This was McKenna's favorite thing about the beach...she loved the sand.
There's Scuba Steve :)

Our Trip: Day 1

Back in the 80's my family would vacation at my aunt's house in New Smyrna Beach, FL! I have the best childhood memories of our vacations there. So when I found out we would be going to a wedding in Orlando this fall my brain started scheming. October is a super cheap time to go to Florida and the weather is still rather warm so we decided to take the whole family and head to the beach for a week. This ended up being a terrible plan since Christian had just gotten out of the hospital. He had just missed a ton of school and then McKenna started throwing up the day before we were supposed to leave. But it was paid for, so we were going!

I didn't blog about it while we were there because I didn't really want to announce to the whole world that our house was sitting empty for 10 days. So all the drama of Will having croup and McKenna having pneumonia was actually taking place while we were on vacay in Florida. Good times! I'm literally spent just as much time sitting in Urgent Care as I did sitting on the beach. Needless to say it was not an ideal vacation. We didn't get to do some of the fun things we had planned like Disney World. And only Ryan and Christian even went to the wedding. ((Sigh)). But, what can you do??

I'm not even going to blog about the 17 hours it took to get to the beach. It's worth forgetting. Enough said.

We finally did arrive at 3:00am on Saturday, October 22nd. The entire family was awake and bouncing off the walls. I guess it didn't help that even after I got everyone settled into bed, I got them back up to sit out on the balcony and look at the moon reflecting off the ocean waves. I was beyond exhausted but there's nothing like sitting with your three babies watching for shooting stars and talking about what a big God we serve who could make such a big sky and a big ocean.

Will didn't get the memo that you're supposed to sleep in on vacation! We woke up to a gorgeous sunny day and the boys and I hung out on the couch and watched the waves while we waited for everyone else to get up.

The last time McKenna was at the "real" beach was when she was 6 months old, so this was huge for her. When daddy took her out in the waves for the first time she couldn't stop giggling at the top of her lungs. Christian was laughing and laughing too. Later Ryan said, "that might have been better than Christmas morning last year." And Christmas morning last year was pretty great.

We found a jelly fish. And collected lots of shells.
Christian practiced writing all the words he knows in the sand.
Ryan taught him to boogie board. It's his new favorite "sport."
The kids learned to identify brown pelicans, sandpipers and seagulls.
I love making memories with these two!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Count Down!

We've been keeping a secret! We spent the month of October counting down to something super fun! Ryan and I basically lost any semblance of common sense that we had and submitted our baby, three year old and six year old to 18 (almost consecutive) hours in the car. And I can't wait to tell you about it, but you're going to have a wait just a little bit longer.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Helping PopPop

My dad came over the other day to change the oil in our mower (because we need help like that) and the sweetest little scene unfolded. McKenna was out in the garage with him and the next thing I knew she was knocking on the door asking for some tools. The Handy Manny hammer only entertained her for a short time. She wanted some real tools and she sat on the floor of the garage fixing her four wheeler while PopPop worked on the mower.
Christian soon got in the action and both of my parents were busy teaching the kids to use "real" tools. I'm sure PopPop loved the help!

Friday, October 28, 2011


 Look at those little teeth!! Isn't he just the yummiest thing?? I guess we forgot to tell him that he's supposed to act miserable when he's sick. And thankfully he hasn't caught onto the fact that he's supposed to hate medicine like his brother and sister!! He's just a delight...ALL. THE. TIME!!

McKenna and Christian have both started to get mad at him. Whenever they're upset and sobbing about something, he thinks it's funny. ha! McKenna was screaming her head off about having to do a "breathing treat" and Will thought it was so funny. He was sitting there smiling and laughing at her and the next thing I knew I heard her say "Stop it Will. It's NOT funny. You're not allowed to laugh at me." Oh what a hoot!

We had a good day today. Everyone is a little grouchy, but feeling better! whew. I feel like I'm giving someone a breathing treatment all day long. But I've decided that we'll just get it all over with now and be healthy the rest of the year! We were healthy for the entire winter last year, so it is possible. When I had Will last March and took him into the pediatrician's office for the first time the nurses were so surprised that I had a new baby. They didn't even know I was pregnant because we hadn't been to the doctor for months and months. Here's praying we can get on a healthy kick for awhile!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Can't catch a break

I know you're probably starting to wonder, but "yes" we do wash our hands. And we take vitamins everyday. And we do cover our mouths when we cough (we'll most of the time anyway). We drink orange juice and get plenty of sleep....but wouldn't know it!

It was just a week ago that I was sitting in the pediatrician's office with McKenna. She had a bad cough and was throwing up. The doctor was worried about the throwing up, I was worried about the cough. I reminded him that Christian had a cough and was throwing up and it progressed and he ended up with pneumonia. He assured me that she DID NOT need an antibiotic and he sent us home with no medicine. I had a bad feeling about that. I know all about "policy" and the fear of over prescribing antibiotics, but I also know about having a kid in the hospital and how McKenna has a history of asthma and pneumonia.

Fast forward to today....I sat in the doctor's office and wanted to stomp my foot and have a little tantrum when he told me that McKenna has pneumonia. It's bad. She got a Rocephin shot and is now on two different breathing treatments, an oral steroid and an oral antibiotic. You can just imagine how fun it is to give her all that medicine.

Am I crazy or do you think that it wouldn't be all that out of the question to go ahead and give my coughing, croupy little 7 month old an antibiotic?? I sure do hope I'm wrong.

Weary....would be a good word to describe how I feel right now. Keeping 2 Cor. 4:17 in mind these days.

2 Corinthians 4:17

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

Learning time

McKenna and I have been doing some preschool with her little friend Addie this year!
The girls love spending time together and I feel more motivated to actually plan fun things to do when there's more than one kid.

I've learned something huge with both of my kids....
if you want them to learn something, keep it in front of them so they see it all the time.
And that is why you would see an alphabet chart hanging in my kitchen if you came to my house. McKenna can now identify almost all 26 letters of the alphabet and she can tell you at least two words that start with each letter. It's not because we've really worked hard on it, it's just because the chart is there and whenever I'm cooking or cleaning or feeding Will we play I SPY.  "I spy a letter that makes a duh, duh, dee sound." "I spy a letter that starts the word girl."

And we have a word wall hanging in our playroom with all of Christian's "focus" words from school on it. He LOVES the sense of accomplishment when he looks at that chart and can read through all the words and see just how many words he can read. He goes in there all the time and rearranges the words in the pockets to make sentences like "I see Mom." "I am looking at Will."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

On the move....

I have to pull this boy out from under the couch all the time!


It's nights like this that I'm so thankful I have Jesus to call on & the internet to google stuff.
What on earth did people do before google???

I've never had a child with croup before.
Amy's kids have, so I'm familiar with it.....
      thank goodness otherwise I would be freaking out right now.
Okay, so I'm freaking out just a little (or a lot depending upon who you ask)
It's scary to hear your child struggle to breathe.
Will and I are up at 4am dealing with a really rough bought of croup.
His cough and cry are the classic "seal bark."
Wheezing...very scary.

I think we've got it under control after a breathing treatment
but I'm not going to rest well tonight.

Have your kids have croup??
Has it ever required an ER visit?
What did you do to get it under control?
How long did it last??

I'll be waiting up for your answers ;)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Heard Around Here....

Christian: "Fall is a preschool word. Autumn is a kindergarten word."

McKenna: She walked into the living room and saw that Kipper the Dog was on TV. She said, "Oh my word, I haven't seen this show in years and years and years!"


Me: "McKenna do you know who my mommy is?"
McKenna: "Is it Mimi?"
Ha! That's my sister who is just 2 years older than me.
Me: "Nope, it's not Mimi. Think about it for a minute...who do you think was my mommy when I was a little girl?"
McKenna: "Oh I know....Daddy!"

Christian: "There's this boy in my class named Human and whenever I talk to him he just stares at me and doesn't say anything. I think he's shy."
Me: "What is the boy's name?"
Christian: "Human"
Me: "I don't think there's a kid in your class named Human. Let me look at your class list."
A Minute later.
Me: "Christian the boy's name is Newman. No wonder he kept looking at in a strange way!"

Friday, October 21, 2011

Christmas is coming!!!!

Okay, promise me you won't come toilet paper my house or hate me forever when I tell you this!!!! Promise????

Alrighty then, here goes.....I'm almost done my Christmas shopping.
I have a big grin on my face as I write that, you're probably rolling your eyes!

And check out what McKenna is getting!! I can hardly wait! She is going to love this doll house. Being the wise and savy shopper that I am, I had this little gift shipped to my parent's house (because of course I did not want her to find it at my house) and my parent's spent 4 hours putting it together! I'm so glad I had it sent to them. Thanks Mom & Dad for assembling that lovely thing! Oh and by the way, that dollhouse only cost me $20 out of pocket because of using swagbucks and credit card rewards!!! Yippee!! That's why I shop early. I think you can save a ton of money that way.

Now what I really need are some good ideas for Will! What on earth do you give a 9 month old for Christmas!!??

For Laurie

I made a comment the other day on Facebook about how Will was starting to "army crawl." My sweet friend Laurie suggested I get it on video. I tried. Laurie, this is for you. It's not quite what I was hoping for! ha! I'll have to try again soon!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

He's a professional....She is NOT!

 (cell phone pic. from the hospital)
It never occurred to me what a professional thrower upper Christian is!
And if you think there is no such thing as a "professional thrower upper" I beg to differ.
Christian calmly tells you that he's going to throw up. He waits for the bucket and then does his duty.
Today I learned to appreciate Christian's professionalism when it comes to stomach viruses.
McKenna is no pro.
When she feels like throwing up she fights it.
She might even scream (for real) at the top of her lung for an hour (I have witnesses) and then finally give in.
Even at the last minute she does her best to prevent the inevitable by holding her hand over her mouth.
This is not helpful.

Please pray for McKenna.
And please, please, please ask the Lord to keep Will healthy.
He cannot get sick. This virus is the worst thing EVER!


one of our favorite bloggers is Baaaack!!!!!!

Check out:

Head on over and see if you can guess why it's called "Flip the W."
It's such a cute title, once you figure it out!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Weekend Recap

 Alright, I forgot to actually put the numbers on this collage, but I'm sure you can figure it out. 1-3 are across the top, 4-6 across the middle from L to R, etc.

1. Christian's kindergarten class sent him a card. He read it several times. It meant a lot to him.
2. I spent a LOT of time snuggling my boy who wanted to be held non-stop. If you know Christian, you know that this is completely out of character for him.
3. On day three we colored some pictures together with the brand new crayons and coloring book Uncle Tim & Auntie Erin sent.
4. He really was happy about his balloon and stuffed animal from his cousins Hannah, Elizabeth and Adam. He was NOT, however, happy about getting his picture taken.
5. This crib was in our room on the other side of the curtain. The whole time we were there I was worried we were going to have to share a room with a sick baby. Christian was worried that they were going to make me sleep in there!
6. This is the teddy bear that Christian named "Hugger" from Mimi, Em, Abby & Nate!
7. First meal!!! WooHoo!! Apparently the hospital thought scrambled eggs would be a good idea after not eating for 4 days. That would not have been my choice, but you don't really get a choice.
8. Seriously?? Why on earth do places either have to be Pepsi or Coke. Why can't they just have both? Okay, I know why but that Diet Pepsi was just annoying. 
9. Hanging out with Daddy.

Look at that smile! So excited to go home and even more excited to get that IV out of his hand!!!!

Christian slept for 14 hours straight last night. I finally woke him up to make him drink something. He's done so well today. He doesn't have a ton of energy, but his appetite is back. He's been eating lots of little meals today, but after every meal he gets really bad stomach cramps and feel pretty miserable again. So we're getting there. His tummy just needs to adjust to having food again. He is dying for some Papa John's pizza. It's just about all he can talk about, so I think we might get some tommorrow.

Thank you so much for your prayers.
It brings tears to my eyes every time I think of each of you lifting my little boy's name before the Lord.
We are certainly blessed to be surrounded by the body of Christ.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

We're Home

 Thanks for praying for Christian!! We got home a little while ago! It's so good to be home. Of course Christian threw up right when they were about to discharge us. I could have cried. Thankfully they let us come home anyway. He is still very sick, but he's so much better than he was and I feel confident that we can handle it from home at this point.
He was so happy to get that IV out of his hand and he was totally embarrassed to ride in a wheelchair to the front door. His embarrassment showed me that he's feeling a lot better. Today he started playing with the buttons on his bed and complaining about the IV in his hand itching and I knew he had turned the corner and was on the road to recovery. He didn't even notice those fun buttons on the bed the first two days.

We really had a very sweet time together in the hospital. He was terribly sick. It was incredibly hard to see him suffering and in pain. But I loved holding him, snuggling him, reading to him and singing to him. I loved that I could give him my undivided attention.

Please continue to pray for him. He's having a lot of stomach pain and is still very nauseated. And he's got a few other things going on too. I think his official diagnois was pneumonina, stomach virus and a migraine. His white cell count was off the charts and his electrolytes were not great. In hindsight, I waited too long to take him to the ER. We've just had a bad experience there before, but we really had some wonderful nurses and doctors this time around. I feel very very thankful for all the medical staff that was such a blessing to us over the last several days.

I'll post more later. I am dying to get a shower ;) and head to my own bed!!!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A touch from Jesus

 Christian needs a touch from Jesus. He's been in the hospital for about 24 hours now and we're expecting him to be there for another 24 hours at least. He is one sick little man. 
 I was so worried about him getting an IV, but he handled that like a grown up. Oral medication is a different story. He cries and screams and kicks like a two year old.
 We need to specifically pray that he will STOP THROWING UP (it's been 4 days now) and we need a break from the fever and migraine. Even with meds. the fever has never completely gone away.
He's been very sad.
But last night we called Mimi (aka Auntie Amy) and she suggested that we play "Angry Birds." I know we're in the dark ages around here considering I had no idea how to play it. Christian is now an expert b/c you can do it with one hand!! We also read the Complete Book of Curious George Stories....the entire thing. Curious George goes to the hospital was very appropriate, although I have no idea why the man with the yellow hat couldn't spend the night with George. That was just sad.

I came home to feed Will while daddy hangs out at the hosptial with Chrish playing the Wii. Yay!!! They have a Wii. That was very exciting to Christian. They do not, however, have internet access. What in the world?? I guess they forgot that it's 2011 for heaven's sake!

Please keep praying for him!
I'll give you an update sometime tomorrow!

Not such a great idea

Thursday, October 13, 2011


It's 10:40pm.
I'm hanging out on the couch with Christian watching Lego TV.
He has been suffering so terribly today.
We made a visit to the pediatrician this morning at 8:30am.
We ended the day with a visit to Urgent Care at 6pm.
He will NOT stop throwing up.
It's insane.
They gave him Zofran this morning and he still is throwing up.
The Urgent Care doctor was a little surprised by that.
I just can't figure out if the migraine is causing the throwing up.
Or if the fever is causing the migraine.
Or if the bronchitis is causing the fever which is causing the migraine.
Or if the throwing up is just a virus that's causing a migraine.
Clearly the various doctors we saw today don't know what is going on with this boy either.
I am exhausted and so sad to see him so miserable.
And my stomach is feeling a little iffy.
But you know how it're not going to feel great when you've been around a vomiting kid all day.
I am praying and praying for sleep tonight.
Last night I got less than 2 hrs.
I could have cried with joy when my mom came over today so I could take a nap.
So please pray for Christian. He needs it.

School Time

I have now entered a new stage in my life. It's called the "Mom, how do you spell...." stage. You can pretty much guarantee that if Christian is in the house he's going to be asking me how to spell something. I am asked how to spell words at least 30 times a day. It's really fun when I'm on the phone.  He's taking this whole school thing pretty seriously. He has even created behavior charts for each member of our family and each day he decides if we're on green, yellow or red. So far I'm on green! Yes!

Christian is also really worried about McKenna's lack of educational experience. So he has started "teaching" her school. He has drawn up a calendar and so far they're on day 4 of school. They pretty much do "school" every afternoon when Christian gets home from school, but they also have school on the weekends. Thankfully McKenna seems to be entertained by his very intense instruction. And she actually does know a lot about the letter "F" now because of Christian. Christian has also been working on her counting and I think he was about to bang his head against the wall when she could not remember that 30 comes after 29. I mean he told her two times and she still doesn't remember. ha!


It's midnight.
I should totally be heading to bed
but I'm going to sit here for a minute and take a deep breath and ramble.

I always thought that the baby/toddler stage was the hardest,
but having a school aged kid is a whole new ballgame.
I'm all the sudden being directed to do things by other people all the time.
And I'm having a hard time with that.
I don't love having to read a certain book with Christian, instead of the book I want to read with him.
Or having to memorize a certain scripture that's been chosen for me, instead of the one I really want his heart to know.
It's crazy how many papers I have to keep track of.....
book orders
soccer practice & games
snack for soccer
snack for school
wear Blue on Thursday
don't forget pj day
return library book
sign up for parent teacher conference
pack lunch
put more money in lunch account
wear old shoes for trip to the farm
practice focus words
do poetry homework
complete nature scavenger hunt

okay, you get the idea...the list goes on and on.

In the midst of all that, both Christian & McKenna have been sick.
Round the clock breathing treatments for both of them.
And we've had a huge victory in our house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
First the first time in Christian's life he has willingly taken medicine without throwing up, crying, moaning or falling on the floor.
There just might have been a remote control monster truck as an incentive, but hey, whatever works!

The next 10 days of my life are going to be insanely busy.
So you might not hear from me much.
I have so many things I just have to remember to blog about....
a great parenting victory
a huge, huge, huge answer to prayer
so much to share.
I wish it wasn't midnight!

P.S. I'm sitting here looking at my kitchen with great dismay. Why on earth can't I keep my counters cleaned off?? It makes me crazy!

And now it's 2am and Christian is throwing up with a fever of 102. This is fun. I think I slept for about 30 minutes so far tonight.

Now it's 4am. Do you like this live blogging in the middle of the night?? It's what's keeping me sane at this point. Will wet thru his diaper. Awesome. So now he's wide wake. Christian's awake too.  I would love to NOT be awake right now, but I guess we've all had our fair share of these long nights of motherhood.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Will just wants you to know...

that he does NOT like teething. His mom doesn't like it either!
He's working on tooth #3 & #4 right now.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Weekend Review!!

1. Bath Time!!
2. McKenna and her "baby Will"
3. Snuggling my baby Will
4. The boys working in the yard
5. McKenna helping daddy
6. We love driving past this pumpkin patch everyday!
7. The 1 hr. scrape, sand & paint project that actually ended up taking 3 hrs. grrr.
8. My princess at the park.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Hot Rod!

We have some friends who have a Mustang Convertible. This summer Christian saw it in their garage and immediately told me that he wants one of those when he grows up :) So our friends came and picked up Christian and McKenna one evening to take them out for ice cream and for a drive. Christian was fact "thrilled" doesn't even begin to describe it. McKenna was a nervous wreck. ha! McKenna had a great time. She still talks about how loud it was. And I still feel blessed that God has given us dear friends who care about and love our kids.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Christian's Soccer Season

It's been the craziest soccer season thanks to the rain and mud! Christian moved up a level so he's now the youngest on his team, but he's holding his own. We've only had 2 practices and the rest have been make-up games because of games constantly being rained out. Christian had to play his first game before he had ever even had a practice. So far his team has won 2 games and lost 1. Not bad.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011

My Little Reader

Let me set the scene:  I was driving Christian home from the bus stop when he spotted my parent's car in the driveway. He immediately whipped out his homework folder with his reading sentences in it. He jumped out of the car and took off up the hill to show them that he can read. I ran in the house and grabbed my camera and zoomed in on this sweet scene. I love, love, love it that he is so excited about reading!!! And of course my parents, being retired teachers, are just thrilled to be able to share in his excitement.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fall Tradition

Apple picking in September is one of my most favorite traditions. This year we almost missed it because September just seemed to fly by and I almost forgot. But I'm so glad we went. The weather cooled down just in time, so it actually felt like fall.

This is the first year that I didn't have to remind anyone not to pick up apple off the ground to take home(although I did have to remind the boys not to throw apples at each other! ha!).  Most of the red apples were gone so we picked lots of Golden Delicious apples and I must apple pie was pretty delicious today.

Unfortunately things ended rather abruptly on a sad note. I guess that's just part of apple picking. There were tons of rotten apples on the ground that the yellow jackets were enjoying.
Happy Fall y'all!

Oh How the Years Go By......