Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Vacation - a new definition

Having children changes everything, especially one's understanding of the term vacation. Webster defines vacation as: a scheduled period during which activity (as of a court or school) is suspended. Here's how I now define vacation: taking care of your children in a foreign place, without your normal stuff/gear and lacking the benefits of a schedule.

Don't get me wrong - our trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee for a family reunion had many wonderful parts. Seeing my mom's side of the family together was wonderful. Meeting new babies, seeing the babies from the last reunion now grown is always neat. Our family's Sunday morning church service was a real highlight. The sweet sounds of us all singing praises to the Lord and enjoying true fellowship - priceless. My uncle and cousin delivered powerful messages. We even had a song that we all sang which was mostly based on Alison Krauss's, "Down to the River to Pray."
The church where we had our church service.

We had a great cabin nestled high in a mountain. It was truly breathtaking and the Lord's glory was literally everywhere you look. In our cabin was also my sister and her family as well as my mom. We really had a great time.

Me and my girl cousins.

So... here's the rest of the story.

Josiah started to look like he had a little cold late last week. When we left on Friday, he was pretty cranky and cried/screamed at least two of the almost 9 hours we were in the car (the ride should have been no more than 6 1/2 hours). This is very un-Si like. His eyes were glassy and he looked like he was getting a cold. He was up every two hours the first night. Ugh!!!!

Fast forward to Sunday and we start to think Jon David might be feeling a little under the weather. Sunday night we had a great party with about 25 of my relatives (Bingo, board games, etc.). The boys slept soundly upstairs which was a miracle because we were far from quiet. Just as the adults were heading to bed, I hear Jon David wake up with a croupy-cough. We've done the "croup dance" quite a few times and I felt like I knew what to do: keep him calm, take him to the bathroom and run the shower, get some steriods ordered to a pharmacy near our cabin in the morning.

Within about 15 minutes, our normal croup symptoms got very serious. Jon David became extremely agitated - so much so that I thought he was about to have a seizure. His lips turned purple as his chest heaved with him trying to catch his breath. I could barely get near him to try and comfort him and it was very clear very quickly that we had a real problem on our hands. JD called our pediatrician as well as 911. One, we needed help with his breathing ASAP and two, we were on top of a dark mountain in a town we didn't know. We did not have time to drive around looking for a hospital.

Somewhat comidic moment: I was finally able to hold him and keep him in the bathroom near the steamy shower (singing our reunion anthem over and over and over). I was in one of JD's shirts and lacking shorts/pants. I did not have time to grab shorts as I was trying to keep Jon David from hurting himself as he was jerking around the room. So, here come the EMS guys and I'm just hoping that my shirt is covering my undies. My sweet sister (click here for her version of the night) quietly enters the room and places some towels around me in the hope of helping me maintain some modesty. (Thank you, Cindy!). I trust the EMS guys were not terribly distracted by my attire.

The view from our cabin.

Well, they administer a breathing treatment right there and inform me that they need to get my boy to the hospital asap. Oh, and with all that's going on, Josiah wakes up. No, he did not wake up during our 4-hour house party. But, now he's up and I can't do a thing for him. I am thankful that my mom and sister were there to help get him back to sleep. Back to my big boy - he and I take an ambulance ride and I'm trying to make it like some field trip in an attempt to get him calm. He started to relax and I'm hopeful that we'll be home soon. The EMS guy tells me that the local hospital does not have a pediatric unit and we'll probably have to be transfer us an hour away to Knoxville's children hospital.

Things got worse when we arrived at the local hospital as Jon David became super agitated again. Though I was laying in the hospital bed with him and holding him tightly, he kept calling for me to hold him. My slightest movements sent him into a tizzy and made his labored breathing that much worse. In the course of 5 hours, he had 5 doses of steriods, numerous breathing treatments, lots of oxygen, 2 shots, 3 x-rays, a flu test with something stuck up his nose, his throat swabbed and a rectal temperature taken. The poor guy was literally exhausted. Plus, none of us really got any sleep. FINALLY, his breathing stabilized and we arrived home at 7 am (just in time for me to feed Josiah).

So, this croup episode was one for the record books. We were told by numerous people that the air quality in the area was the worst in the country which probably took this croup thing to the next level. Our pediatrician is referring us to a pediatric pulmonologist and I'm encouraged to have more information and a more proactive approach.

Oh, and what of little Si - he has pink eye and a virus that left him with sore tonsils that had puss on them. He was so pitiful and sick. I joked that his boogers had boogers.

We're home now and on the road to recovery.

I am thankful that the good Lord allowed us to enjoy His beautiful creation in Tennessee. I am beyond thankful for my sweet family and the wonderful reunion. I am endebted to my mom and sister for taking care of Josiah. I am humbled by my kind brother-in-law who drove JD to the hospital and stayed ALL night with us.

While all this was happening early Monday morning, I recalled the message the Lord laid upon my cousin to share with us. Dereck pointed to the glorious mountains and talked about perspective. You see, God does not change. He was not suddenly out of control when my oldest son was in dire need of immediate medical attention. God is in control and He loves us. When we take our eyes off of Him, we lose perspective which is never a good thing. I kept thinking to myself, "Keep perspective. The same God you sang praises to this morning at church is here at this very moment, loving you, loving your boy. Keep your eyes on Him (Isaiah 26:3)."

And as far as my new understanding of the word vacation. Vacations may not look at all like they did when we were DINKs (double-income-no-kids) BUT that's okay.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Josiah - 11 months

My baby boy is 11 months. Excuse me - how did that happen??? This year has truly flown by and I'm amazed at my sweet, ever-growing little boy!

Today was his first haircut by my friend, Sherri. She did a great job and he was not too bad of a client - a little wiggly, curious as to what she was doing but FAR better than other children I have given birth to. Here is our before...

and AFTER.

So very big!

My plans to have a monthly photo in front of the babyGap bear are not panning out as I planned. I may try again tomorrow if I can get JD to help keep Si anywhere near the bear. Fact is, Josiah is just too busy to be bothered with my silly photo shoots. Thus, many of these pictures were taken in the car today. The days where I can literally take 100 pictures of Josiah seem to be gone. I'll settle for taking just a few - as long as I get at least something.

Latest developments:

Another new tooth is almost all the way out which makes the total teeth count at 7.

He is learning to wave though will not do it on a regular basis. Still, I see him wave and he seems to enjoy it.

He will occasionally say his brother's name which sounds like, "Don Don." Jon David thinks Si is calling him Donald (as in one of Thomas the Tank Engine's friends - of course!). When I ask Josiah to find Jon Jon, he will occasionally look around until he finds Jon. I think he is starting to really connect some of our words/questions.

He looks at every new person with a discerning eye and asks himself one question, "Are you taking my mommy from me?" Yes, we are in MAJOR separation anxiety stage and I am regularly called out of church and exercise classes at the Y due to his persistent screaming for me.

"Who are you and do you think you're going to take my mommy away from me???"

Josiah sometimes mimics Jon David especially times with Jon Jon coughs or laughs. Si watches everything his big brother does.

Josiah remains a sweet boy, very curious as to his world, very much a fan of his family and a joy to have in our lives. I absolutely adore this precious gift from God!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lazy Days

Do you like the new bed we got for Jon David? We hope it means that he'll sleep well for some upcoming trips we have. We really need him to sleep well because all 4 of us will be in one room. Oh my!!!

Well, I'm just sort of uninspired... maybe it's the whole laid back summer thing. It can't be sleep because we're on a good little roll right now (in fact, Jon David is well into the 2nd hour of a nap - of course, Josiah is up). I'll post again in a few days for Josiah's 11 month update.

Hmmmmm - what's new here...

Jon David has started to sneak out of bed and into the bonus room about 30 minutes after being put to bed for nap or the night. His mission: grab toys and run back, slam the door and hop back into bed. When he is busted, he screams as if he's been physically injured in his efforts. It's sort of funny because I find him asleep with all these random toys on his bed. BUT, we are working to nip this new-found-freedom in the bud.

He now asks, "Mommy, let's do something special!" This is usually asked when trying to avoid naps, etc.

I won't write much about Josiah as I'm saying it for this week's Josiah post. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

"Mommy, should I have..."

Jon David is a MASTER. I swear, he could write a book or hold incredibly successful seminars on the subject of "how to get what you want." Whether it's being super sweet or too smart for his own good, my boy knows how to work it.

Here's his new thing - in a sweet, falsetto voice, he oh so innocently asks, "Mommy, should I have a snack?" Or, "Mommy, should I watch a train show?" If he really is working it, he'll cup his hands together like you'd expect some Dutch clogging team member and tilts his head. Where does he get this stuff?

Besides the constant efforts to better his existence, here are a few other funny things happening with him.

1) My mom is over for a few days and he woke up at 5:15 am and started knocking on her door. "MiMi! MiMi!" He tried this a few times until I heard the commotion and put an end to that. He's been warned not to wake MiMi again. (still, we thought it was funny)

2) He often asks about people's health and sometimes the status of their butts. One night, he wanted to join in the conversation his daddy and I were having (no, not about butts). And, he very maturely asked, "How is your butt, Daddy?" When Daddy responded that it was well and inquired about Jon David's, he answered, "Ummm - a little okay."

3) His brother is getting on his nerves. One day, he kept asking me, "Are you done taking care of Josiah, Mommy?"

I love my sweet boy. He is full of life, terribly smart and a sweet boy. Thank you, God, for this gift!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Ace of Cake

Happy 4th of July! Isn't it great to be an American and live in our wonderful country! And thank you to all the soldiers who work hard to protect our freedom!! And thank you, Lord, for blessing and protecting our country!

Well, we were scheduled to have special guests this weekend. Cousins Mason and Ella Kate, along with Aunt Ra Ra (Robin) and Kahki, my mother-in-law, were scheduled to arrive for a weekend of fun. I don't blame them for staying away after the hum-dinger of a week we had. So, we hope to make our fun weekend happen in a few weeks.

Plan B was still a lot of fun. We went to Aunt Deeeeees' house (my sister) for some family fun. It was great though we did miss my oldest nephew (who just happened to start West Point, or "The West Point" as Jon David says, last week). Yes, I am a very proud aunt! Considering I was having pre-term labor at 30 weeks pregnant and on bedrest last year at this time, 4th of July 2008 was a big improvement!

Aaron and Isaac, two of my nephews, amaze me that they enjoy playing so much with my children. I mean, they could be doing a lot of other things but they get a kick out of playing hide & seek with Jon Jon and carrying Josiah around. It's cute to hear Jon Jon as he counts to 10 and then starts looking. He says, "Ready or nine, here I come!"

Sweet Aaron even let Jon David strum a bit on his fancy new guitar. What a nice guy!

Perhaps one of the best parts of the day was bringing over my hamburger cake. I was SO proud of this silly dessert (yellow cake, brownie, a little chocolate frosting, kiwi and strawberries). It made me giggle every time I looked at it. :)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

No title can do it justice

I don't even know what kind of a title to use in describing this week. Suffice it to say, Sunday night/early Monday morning was probably one of the worst, if not the worst of my life. Yes, I am being dramatic but that's just how it was. Given the choice of that evening's events and, say, childbirth - give me labor any day.

(warning - this post has a lot to do with vomiting. Reader beware!)

So, rewind to Saturday afternoon. I'm putting Josiah down for a nap and he vomits ALL over me. He seems happy enough and not too worried. I assume that maybe he ate too much and changed my clothes/went about my way. A few hours later, I'm all showered and ready for a birthday party to go with JD and the boys. While playing with Josiah, he "loses it" again. Okay, I think to myself, this is probably not a coincidence. We may have something happening here. He and I stay home from the party and he does "it" two more times. Now I know that we're in for some interesting times.

Josiah has a fever Sunday morning and we stay home from chuch. In hindsight, this was a very wise move. Late Sunday night, I was awakened from a deep sleep to spend the next 6 hours clearing myself of anything I'd eaten for the past month. ROUGH!

JD stayed home Monday to take care of the boys. I made myself available to feed Si and that was just about it. Monday morning, Jon David starts doing "it". JD and I look at each other knowing that he was next. Soon, we had sheets and blankets all over the house since Jon David is not too reliable. Late Monday, JD decided to join in the fun.

Praise the Lord, I was about 90% better on Tuesday and able to take care of my three guys. I took the boys to the doctor yesterday and found out it's a stomach bug and nothing bacterial.

Today is Thursday and we're just about back on track. Normal diets have been resumed and the sanitary cycle on my washer has been running overtime today as I sanitize the house.

We felt like a train wreck, victims of some horrible beating (JD and I were so very sore, every part of our weak bodies).

So, it is with a cautious sigh of relief that we put to rest the week that was. Happier days are here again!