Thursday, December 31, 2015

12-31-15 Eating With Savages

365 days ago I made a choice to blog every single day for a year. I don't think there is anything in my life I have consciously chosen to do every single day for an entire year. Honestly, I didn't think I would make it, but I once heard that three weeks makes a habit. Twenty one days and your body and mind begin to treat an action as habitual. Well guess what... at day 360 I still needed to remind myself to blog. Strange, huh?

I've learned a lot this past year... a lot about myself and my family. I've taken thousands of pictures. I've shared so many stories. And you guys have been there with us through it all. So thank you! Thanks for joining us on our crazy, wacky adventures, and even humoring the mundane moments.

Unless I get nostalgic, this will be the final post on this blog. I've started another... Eating With Savages and it is already live. I doubt I will blog every day, but I plan to be there often, and I hope you will be too.

As we enter a new year, I pray you will be blessed... that the love of Christ will fill your hearts and guide your choices and I pray the same for us.



Wednesday, December 30, 2015

12-30-15 Happy Birthday

Today is my love's birthday! I met him nearly twenty years ago. He was the younger brother of my friend, but as the years passed he became so much more. I cannot imagine my life without him. He is my steadying force and my truest friend. Each day he teaches me more about selflessness and love. I don't tell him nearly enough how important he is to me and how dear he is to my heart. I love you, Tim, so very very much! 

Like his haircut?

Ha ha! Baby E's face!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

12-29-15 Frustrated

I'll be honest, I am pretty frustrated right now. Between Big E's recent head injury, his double ear infection, and pink eye... Baby E's double ear infection, stomach bug, and subsequent tummy issues... And my stomach bug, I'm pretty much spent when it comes to illnesses. So I'm pretty mad that this evening Big E is running a 101.9 temp. I mean, come on!!! Can't we catch a break?!? 

Since we are visiting with my parents I am going to sleep in the room with the kids tonight just in case this turns out to be a stomach bug as well. I'm praying that it isn't. I'm hoping he sleeps well and his body rests. He is in good spirits, but he says his head hurts, his bones hurt, and his left leg hurts. He's been on an antibiotic for over a week, so I know it isn't bacteria, so it must be a virus. 

We had a lengthy conversation that if he feels like he has to throw up, he needs to throw up in the bowl next to his bed. He was confused as to why I covered the floor in towels if he's supposed to aim for the bowl, but you know, I'm not really relying on his aim in the middle of the night.

Please pray he just sleeps.

Besides the fever, our day was actually quite nice. We finally got to Hobby Lobby, which was awesome because I was able to take advantage of their post Christmas sale to pick up a nine foot Christmas tree of our own! I'm pretty excited about something that is going to be sitting in storage for the next eleven months! Ha! 

Baby E has really taken to walking and is now doing that more than crawling. He spent a good amount of time this evening chasing C around the house. It was fun watching them play together! 

By the way, my best friend's birthday is tomorrow, so if you get the chance, let him know how much he is loved! 

Monday, December 28, 2015

12-28-15 Gingerbread Fun

Last night Baby E was up most of the night. It was horrible. He woke up shortly after we laid down. He was screaming and hysterical. We figured out that he had an upset tummy and a very painful diaper rash. Something he ate during the day must have really disagreed with his stomach because he was a mess. We couldn't calm him down and he just screamed and screamed. When we finally got him to bed at three, we were exhausted, only to have him wake us up at five to do it all over again. Needless to say we were pretty much beat this morning. It was hands down the worst night we have ever had with him.

Today was kind of a blur, trying to navigate through tired eyes and a sleepy mind. This evening he seemed to be doing much better. We are praying for a peaceful nights sleep for us all!

The kids had fun today watching movies and playing with their new toys as mommy vegged. This evening C made a gingerbread house with Naona. 

One of the great things about my parents' house is that there is a lot of space for the kids to run around. This has been particularly helpful for Baby E and his walking. Just in the past 24 hours he has made some huge strides. He is trying to walk everywhere. It's hilarious to watch because he flaps his wrists to help keep himself balanced. I was really hoping he would be walking by the New Year and it looks like he won't disappoint!

12-27-15 Favorite time of the year

One of the many reasons that this is one of my favorite times of the year is that I get the whole week between Christmas and New Years off! (This year my time off has been extended because of Baby E being sick.) Each year we try to use some of this extra time to spend with my parents. It's great to have this extra week to decompress and spend with family! 

After a rocky start, we got in early yesterday afternoon. (There was a screw in our tire which set us back from getting the early start we had hoped for.) Fortunately we had gotten the kids the Storybook Bible DVDs for Christmas and they enjoyed watching them on the long ride out here. (I highly recommend those videos, by the way!) 

Naturally they were excited to see their grandparents and their grandparents' Christmas tree.

Poor Big E was really disappointed when the first present he opened as a new pack of underwear. His face dropped, afraid that all the presents would measure like that. "This isn't a toy! It's underwear!" But the day was redeemed a few moments later when he opened his next gift and found a coloring book. 

We had dinner with my mom, dad, sister, cousin and my cousin's fiancĂ©. After dinner Tim disappeared with Big E and gave him a much needed haircut, though I confess I miss the blond locks! Tim went for a new look as well. I will try to post pictures of his tomorrow. 

I got the boys matching pjs for Christmas and this was the very first time they were dressed alike. I loved it! Big E as very excited that his little brother was dressed like him. 

Today was a lazy day, but this evening Tim and I went to see Star Wars! It was fun to get out, but now it is late and we will regret it in the morning!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

12-26-15 Spectator Christmas

Several days ago I came down with Baby E's stomach bug, which put me seriously out of commission on Christmas Eve. We were out and about when I felt it coming on... A massive headache and nausea. When we got home, I called Tim and begged him to come home from work, knowing that pretty soon I'd be down for the count. Thankfully, he got home not too much later and took over with the kids. The rest of the day I either got sick, or slept. 

As I laid in bed I heard the kids come running up the stairs, excited to go to bed, knowing that Christmas would be in the morning. Tim read to them from their Bible before putting them down.

Fortunately by late evening I was feeling well enough to get up and I came down and helped Tim prep things for the next morning. It was frustrating to not get everything done I had wanted to, but it couldn't be helped. We did what we could and crawled into bed around 3.

The next morning they woke up and couldn't wait to get downstairs. I was feeling well enough to go down with them, there was no way I was going to miss it, so I settled into a chair and watched. It was strange to not pass out the presents, to not hug and kiss on the kids, to not be able to play with their new toys. But I enjoyed as they squealed with delight at all their gifts. They were even excited about toothpaste! 

Don't laugh at my tree! I realize the top of it isn't decorated. I couldn't reach it to finish it. It's still pretty! Ha! 

The other day, C brought home a small wrapped package from school and said it was a present for me. Feeling it, I thought it was a small tub of playdoh, but I was so excited to see that it was a small bowl she had made and painted in art class.

The big present for the kids was a train table. 

After opening presents, I went back to sleep and slept a lot of the day. When I finally got up, we headed over to Rebecca's house to exchange gifts and visit. 

These kids really love Ms. Rebecca and her family! It is such a blessing to have them in our lives. 

After the visit, I headed back home for more sleep while Tim and the kids went to their grandparents house for dinner. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures from that. :( I was able to come for about a half hour before I headed home for more sleep. Seriously, so much sleep. 

I was pretty bummed that I missed most of Christmas Day, but I was grateful for the time I had with the family. It was the first Christmas in our house, and the first interactive Christmas for Baby E. I'm feeling much better today, but I will wait until tomorrow to tackle today's photos! 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

12-24-15 Christmas Eve

It's Christmas eve.

There are presents to be wrapped.

Service to attend.

Children to tuck in.

Toys to assemble.

Stockings to stuff.

But I caught Baby E's stomach bug. So instead of those things, I'm quarantined in my room and I am sad.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

12-23-15 Santa is real, Mommy... He really is.

This is a post about Santa. Please don't get offended. I'm just trying to navigate this touchy subject the best way I know how.

Now, I should state that it really really doesn't bother me if other kids believe in Santa, and if they do, I am all about playing along. I definitely see the magical side of it, the side that captures wonder and enjoyment in small children. I think it is fun to watch kids light up when they see Santa or sit on his lap. To believe that something magical can happen can be a beautiful thing. However, I still don't get the whole Elf on the Shelf thing, but that's another story.

Neither Tim nor I ever believed in Santa, and we figured our kids wouldn't either. But for the first few years we didn't really worry about it because C was too young to understand. But as she started getting older we started explaining that Santa was a lot like Mickey Mouse, a great character, but not real. He's a fun story and he's fun to talk about, but he isn't actually going to come down our chimney (if we had one.) But we weren't really aggressive about our explanations. We would wait for her to bring it up and then we would talk about it. This worked well for us the first fews years, but now she is in school and Santa is everywhere!

Well, poor C is getting mixed signals now, so I know we really need to be clear. She came home with a postcard from school that was from 'Santa.' She used it as proof to tell me that Santa was in fact real with a tone of voice intended to educate me out of my ignorance. And not only was he real, he wrote on the postcard that he would try to bring her the unicorn and coat she asked for for Christmas. (Seriously, can this 'Santa' postcard come out a few weeks before Christmas? There are no unicorns or coats under the tree this year.)

Later this evening she shocked me with the following question, "Mommy, how can we know that the Bible is telling the truth and isn't just made up stories?" Wow, I wasn't expecting that theological question to come out of the mouth of my five year old. How do I answer that in a way that she can understand? I don't want to dumb it down and muddy the message, but I don't want to confuse her either. (Any ideas would be greatly appreciated on this one! (Ahem... Davey)) Before I could give her the answer I was piecing together in my head she had moved onto another subject, but I want to finish our discussion soon. 

But it got me thinking, if she is questioning the reality of Santa and the Bible at the same time, then I believe it is my responsibility to be truthful to her about both. That to lie about one might be to injure the other. That Santa isn't a magical, jolly, red suited old man that rides a sleigh and delivers presents, but that many years ago he was a real man that did real good for the people in his community, that his life and his actions pointed back to Christ- that is the Santa I would choose for her to know. 

It's murky water, this Santa business. Every family makes their own choices for what works or doesn't with their beliefs and their children. And honestly, its no one else's business. So, I promise you this, we won't spoil Santa for your kids. We won't ruin it! We wouldn't want to. In fact, we will enjoy watching the excitement of your kids. Just don't get offended if our kids look confused when you ask them what Santa is going to bring them! 

As for Baby E, it has been nearly 24 hours since he last threw up. He has been sleeping most of the day, but when he is awake, he is eating and drinking. I am thankful that he seems to be on the mend and I am looking forward to spending this holiday season with my savages! 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

12-22-15 My Day In Numbers

2-  The number of times Baby E threw up.

8- the number of truly disgusting diapers I changed.

6- the number of outfit changes for Baby E. 

2- the number of outfit changes for mommy.

2- the number of times we watched Monsters Inc.

8- the number of presents I wrapped. 

9- the height of our Christmas tree,

6- the highest number of feet I can reach to decorate the tree. (There are no ornaments higher than that)

5- the number of s'mores pop tarts consumed in our house.

3- the number of hours Baby E was awake today. 

3- the number of days Baby E has been sick. 

It's been a long few days. Baby E has been sleeping a lot. This evening he finally started to perk up. He has been getting fluids and keeping down food, but will randomly throw up. He enjoyed some applesauce and graham crackers this evening and then became quite chatty. 

I'm praying that we are over the worst of it and that all the sleeping means that his little body is fighting hard to beat this bug. I'm hoping tomorrow brings him some reprieve. Please pray that no one else gets it and that everyone is healthy by Christmas. They have been so looking forward to it! Thank you!

Monday, December 21, 2015

12-21-15 Sick Baby

Baby E has a stomach bug. He slept all but about three hours today. It's been a long day and I'm heading to bed early. Goodnight!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

12-20-15 This post is gross.

Give me ear infections...

Give me coughs...

Give me a fever...

Give me hand, foot, and mouth...

Give me pink eye...

But for the love of all things holy, please don't make me deal with stomach bugs!!

I used to throw up a lot when I was a kid. I got motion sickness pretty bad, so long car rides usually included me throwing up over a nearby guardrail. I got so many stomach bugs and flus that it wasn't uncommon for me to have some kind of throwing up sickness at least ten times a year. And when I threw up it would break the blood vessels around my eyes and I would develop dark spots all over my face and my eyes would swell up. It was horrible!!! Oh, and the best part was that the spots would stick around for about a week. So long after I felt better I still looked like I had been hit by a truck... Awesome...

So when my kids get sick, I cringe. The truth is, I want to run as fast and as far in the opposite direction as possible. But I'm a mom, and that isn't practical, or terribly loving. So instead, I suck it up, be an adult, and deal. (Not without a good deal of mental grumbling!)

This morning I was in the living room and when I returned to the kitchen, Baby E had throw up all over the tray of his high chair. He just sat there smiling at me like nothing whatsoever was wrong. Confused, I figured he must have coughed himself into a throw up fit. I cleaned him and the tray off and moved on. 

Fast forward four hours. I'm sitting on the stairs into the kitchen holding Baby E when he makes a strange noise and I look down and realize he just threw up all over me. But wait! He wasn't done... That was just the prelude. All of a sudden the floodgates open and I am drenched (as in every piece of clothing I'm wearing is now completely drenched and I'm gagging in my own mouth!!!) and I'm sitting there, frozen because I know if I move I'm going to feel the warm sliminess creep through my clothing and onto my skin. But I need a towel!  Ugh! I yell to Big E to grab the towel on the stove and he looks right at it and can't find it. I'm pretty much freaking out at this point and begging him to just get me a towel. Once the towel situation was sorted out, and Tim came to the rescue, I wiped myself down and went upstairs to change. 

Thankfully Baby E hasn't thrown up since then. We didn't let him eat all day, and this evening we started him back on some pedialite. Still waiting to see if that stays down but so far so good. He was pretty angry that he wasn't allowed to eat and made that abundantly clear all evening. He is currently asleep upstairs and I'm just praying he stays that way through the night. I'm going to have one ravenous little fellow in the morning. Poor little guy! 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

12-19-15 The Nativity

When I was a kid my parents had these two end tables in our living room. They were hexagon in shape and had two small doors in front. I'm not sure what other families used them for, but in our house they held phones books.

They looked similar to this...

They were absolutely perfect for playing hide and seek, if you didn't mind sharing them with the aforementioned books.

And while they stand out in my memory for the above reasons, they also had special significance in winter because one of them would hold our nativity scene. I always looked forward to mom getting out the box tinted yellow with age and carefully unwrapping each statue. My sister and I would gingerly help her place each piece.

And when we were done, it would entertain me for hours! (Remember, it was the eighties. There was no WiFi or computers and we didn't even have cable.)

Well this year my mother sent me the Nativity set! I was excited to set it up this evening and looking at it brought back great memories from my childhood. In the busyness of our lives, I hope we are still talking the time to create some of those special moments for our kids. I hope when C is all grown up she will get just as excited when I pass this nativity on to her.

Friday, December 18, 2015

12-18-15 Holiday Party

Today was the holiday party at my work, and I decided to take the kids out of school to bring them along. We had a rough morning because Big E was awake from 10-1 last night, so I didn't get much sleep. Unfortunately that made me pretty cranky this morning. And when mommy is cranky, everyone is cranky. We finally got out the door and made it to work. Once the party started the kids did pretty well, but it was definitely more exhausting than actually having a full day of work! Ha! 

The theme was the future, and the committees did great with the decorations. The kids loved getting a gift and playing with their new friends. They slept the whole way home.

This evening has been rough for Baby E. He has been on antibiotics since Monday when we learned he had a double ear infection. The men's arae working well, but are giving him terrible diaper rashes and this evening he screamed hysterically for about an hour. Poor kid! I finally got him to sleep. Hopefully he is out for the night! Mommy could use some sleep!