Category Archives: Kiddos

So much for part two

Just when you think life is about to settle down, you get thrown right back into craziness!

I have just returned home from spending two nights in the hospital with Erik.  Friday he seemed healthy and happy but by Saturday morning, he was miserable.  His breathing was awful and the inhaler wasn’t doing the trick.  I took him into the emergency room after noon that day, thinking they would treat his asthma quickly with a nebulizer and then send us home.  The doctor took one listen to his chest and said it was pneumonia. 

How does a child go from healthy and happy one day to having pneumonia the next?!  And in the heat of summer, to boot!  Anyway, we spent most of the afternoon in emergency and then they admitted him and transfered us upstairs to the ward.  Thankfully we had our own room and bathroom – when we stayed in the ICU when he was three weeks old, we were just curtained off and using a common bathroom.  I was able to come home that evening to pack clothes and other overnight things (and a bunch of books) so it wasn’t so bad.  The worst of it was that he was dehydrated and needed an IV for fluids – but they couldn’t get the IV in.  They would get into a vein and then lose it.  They tried thirteen times (THIRTEEN!!) to get one in and finally gave up.  Something like four different nurses, the doctor and an anaesthetist tried and all failed.  In the end, we just gave him pedialyte 5ml at a time every ten minutes or so. 

About two o’clock on Sunday morning, he turned a corner and got really thirsty.  His breathing improved around the same time, and then got even better a few hours later.  My doctor still didn’t feel good about sending him home because he was obviously still struggling to breathe at that point.  We spent a very restless Sunday in the hospital, but were able to leave for three hours in the afternoon.  Erik then had a three hour evening nap at the hospital, which means I was up fairly late with him last night before he was willing to go to sleep.  The first night we were there, they were waking us up every few hours to give him medication of some sort, but last night we were able to sleep through the night without many interruptions. 

We left the hospital just before nine this morning, and our doctor said that releasing him at this point was still a “calculated risk”.  I have to pay very close attention to him and he’ll have to continue on two different antibiotics and a steroid to open up his airways.  If he starts to have any real trouble breathing again, we’ll have to go back into the hospital.  By the time we left this morning, he was so antsy!  He just wanted to crawl around all over the place, but you can’t exactly let a baby crawl around on hospital floors for very long.  Not only that, but the hallway I was on seemed to be full of not so friendly patients and visitors.  Most of the people there actually looked like they were quite old and on the brink of death.  What a strange thing to throw a baby right into the middle of all that!  It comes with the territory, though, I suppose, as it’s not like we have a children’s hospital here.

Anyway, I still have more to say about the last few weeks, but I think I’m going to have to wait for another day.  I’m wiped out, incredibly hot (it’s so warm in my house right now!!!) and my house is a wreck from all the running around this last week.

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You have to start somewhere, part one.

Where do I start?

Here, I suppose.

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind so I’ll just have to do highlights.  Part two will probably cover the last week, or might just be rambling about how much I hate cleaning, how hot it is and the frustrating activities of my stomach.

Last week was sick week.  My children puked.  I puked.  My children got pink eye.  I did not.  (Thankfully!) 

Last weekend was “hardly ever home weekend”.  We started with a wedding two hours away.  We left at nine o’clock Saturday morning and got home at eleven that night.  The boys were still sporting a bit of colour on their eyeballs which succeeded in freaking a few people out.  We were in the car way too much that day and poor Erik was stuck in a stroller for most of the time when we weren’t in the car.  The wedding was outside at the bride’s parents property.  Their muddy property.  So Erik, who does not walk yet, had to be kept off the ground by his mother who just couldn’t bear to have him all muddy.  We went out for supper and he wouldn’t even stay in the highchair, but kept crawling out of it onto the table.

We got to bed so late that night that we decided we’d stay home from church the next day.  This is a rare thing for us and it was more than a little bit strange, but it was oh, so nice to stay in bed until ten and not have to rush to get out of the door.  We did, however, get out of the door around noon to attend an airshow.  Tickets were fifteen dollars per adult and parking at the airport was fifteen dollars also.  We thought we’d be smart and save money by parking the van at the arena and taking the shuttle to the airport, which was free.  We packed snacks, changes of pants for Elias, earplugs and various other items, but decided not to bring chairs, but to just use blankets on the grass near the airstrip.  BIG mistake.  The skies opened up and dumped rain on us as we were taking the shuttle to the show.  We waited in the airport until it cleared up and then went out to the strip to see what the best course of action would be.  We found a spot that looked somewhat dry and put our blankets down.  I had Mike put his hand on the blankets to see if they would soak through.  No water.  So he put his foot on them.  And the water gushed up through three layers of fabric.  So, I cleverly suggested we lay down our rain jackets and sit on them, assuming that they would be water proof and that we wouldn’t get wet that way.  Wow, was I wrong.  The kids didn’t seem to care, but I went around the rest of the day with a very wet backside.  When we finally gave up and packed up our things to go walk on the paved areas, we found the asphalt warm and dry.  Hindsight is 20/20 and all that.  The show went until nearly five and we made our way to the shuttle pick-up area to catch the bus back to our van.  We waited and waited and waited.  Thankfully we had friends there who we hung out with and the kids were just having fun, but in the end, we didn’t make it back to our van until nearly seven o’clock.  What a long day.

The thing I could have used the most after a week of being sick and a weekend of being insanely busy was a nice calm week of nothing.  But this week is VBS at our church and I am in charge of pre-school and kindergarten games.  Tomorrow is our last day and it has been quite a week so far.  But I think I’ll leave that for part two.  Just for the fun of it.

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Living Faith

One of my greatest role models of mothering is my dear friends’ mother.  Her daughters were my closest friends before marriage and the only thing that has changed that is distance.  They were both in our wedding and I love them like sisters.  I spent a good deal of time with them and their family and had the chance to observe what a great mom they have and what a great influence she has had on them.  One thing that she did at every turn was talk to God.  She talked to Him and about Him all the time.  I have found both of these areas lacking in my life lately and have been making an effort to live faith in front of my children.

I think it really started with the crisis my sister-in-law was in a few weeks back.  Thinking she may lose the baby or that she might not make it through having him was terrifying to me and I totally broke down.  I talked to God and one of the things I kept feeling is that I don’t want to do this again.  I’m tired of losing it whenever something unexpected or frightening happens in my life.  I want to be able to calmly approach the throne and ask for help.  I want to thank Him in advance for what He will do, rather than beg Him to do my will.  It seems that one way I will be able to avoid breaking down in crisis is by including God in more of my daily life. 

I want my kids to grow up seeing God all around them – not just in the Bible or on Sunday mornings in church.  I want them to thank Him for the fact that He makes the sun come up each morning, not just when He blesses us with something surprising.  Yesterday I noticed how green everything was around us when I was driving out of town to a friends house.  I mentioned this to Jenny and Elias by saying how great it was that God made it green.  They seem to understand at least a little now, and I know that if I make this way of life normal to them, they will understand more all the time.

How do you make faith real in your life or the lives of those around you (especially your children)?

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Photos from the lake

My beautiful kids enjoying their day on the lake:

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Week in review, week in advance

This week has been stressful enough for me.  Yes, that’s right, I’m done with stress.  No more for me, thanks.

Oh, wait, there’s more that cannot be avoided.  Great!

First the week in review.  Sounds nice – like a radio show – doesn’t it?

Monday: Erik’s birthday and party.  Went well, didn’t cause me too much stress in the end, weather was good enough to eat outside.  I did, however, have a small run-in with a door frame.  In which my toe collided quite painfully with it.  And a later incident where I put a steak knife into my middle finger while trying to get frozen pudding out of a small thin plastic cup.  But otherwise, it was a good day.

Tuesday: Erik’s one year check-up.  Found out he is seriously under-weight and has swollen lymph nodes…or something like that.  And also that he doesn’t have enough “words”.  He’s only a year old, for heaven’s sake!!  How many normal one year olds have a three word vocabulary?  Well, not mine, anyway.

Wednesday: Jenny had a dentist appointment.  Found out that her thumb-sucking is starting to morph her jaw.  Great.  Had a lovely picnic in the park, though, after her appointment and the kids got rub-on tattoos (of Spiderman and My Little Pony..you can guess which child had which), face painting and got to use sidewalk chalk (the city was putting on some sort of free thing for kids there).

Thursday: Bible study in the morning where only one other person showed up.  We took advantage of the babysitting for half of the regular time.  I wrote a poem, we talked, I held her baby and then we went home.  I then fed Mike some lunch, fed the kids, put them to bed and left with Erik to the hospital when my babysitter got her.  We sat through a very long pre-surgery appointment where I learned all the risks of having your wisdom teeth removed, like nerve damage or death!!  Erik didn’t help as he decided to be grouchy the entire time.  Groucy and sick and wheezing.  We then went to another part of the hospital where Erik had blood drawn to test his kidney function and a number of other things I don’t really understand.  Went to the bank and the grocery store and rushed home to relieve the babysitter who could only stay so long.  Went shopping after supper by myself, but somehow didn’t feel much less stress.

And, deep breath, for the finish.

Friday: Erik had his one year shots, rather uneventful, Elias fell and scraped his knee in the parking lot leaving the clinic.  Had a phone call soon after getting home, finalizing my TONSILLECTOMY.  Yes, that’s right, my swollen, diseased tonsils are coming out on the 29th of this month.  That’s like, ten days away.  And Mike and my mother-in-law are both working and cannot get out of working on that day.  And my sister-in-law will be eight days from her due date on that day.  The good news is that I have a friend who offered to help me with the kids.  With any luck, I can send Jenny and maybe Elias to another friends house and then the one who offered would only have one or two of the kids rather than all three.

I guess I skipped right into next week without even realizing it. 

Yeah, so the week to come holds lots of planning and probably cleaning.  Getting ready to be on my back for a good deal of the time and in pain for the rest of it.  Tomorrow morning I get my wisdom teeth pulled.  Sunday I’ll attempt to say “Happy Father’s Day” to Mike and call my dad…at the very least.  Monday I’m still supposed to be resting from the wisdom teeth surgery.  Tuesday through Sunday will be making and freezing meals, stocking up on sore-throat friendly foods (pudding, anyone?) and arranging the details of the 29th so that everything happens just right.  I can feel the stress already.  The good news is that I only have one appointment (as of right now) on Wednesday and not much else going on.  I should be able to get things done without having to go out much during the day. 

In other, somewhat unrelated news, I was hoping to join another Craftster swap once I have feedback from the one I just finished, but it looks like I should take a break until I’m recooperated from my tonsillectomy.  Depending on the swap theme, it could be easy enough to do while I’m still a bit under the weather, but I’d rather wait until I’m totally out of the water as far as post-operative bleeding goes (doesn’t that sound like fun?).  So as fun as the swap I just did was, I will have to wait.. 😦  Oh, well. 

All this busy-ness may also mean a break from blogging, just to give you a heads up.  Just because I don’t write for a week or so doesn’t mean I died on the operating table.  I mean, I suppose it could mean that, but it’s pretty unlikely.

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Flying Time

Here’s a few pictures of Erik over the last year – it always amazes me how they change so quickly!

June 15th, 2008

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September, 2008

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December, 2008

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March, 2009

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June 15th, 2009

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Mystery vacation

This title is probably a bit misleading.  I do not intend on going on a vacation that is a real mystery, but it’s just the best title I could think of. 

My in-laws went to St. Louis recently for my mother-in-law to have some training for work.  At first, it seemed like a terrible place to have to go for work and vacation, but they actually had a great time.  They got a deal on their hotel online and then went around finding things to do.  This lead me to the idea of a random city vacation.  Someday I’d like to pick a city we could fly to for cheap, find an inexpensive place to stay and just go.  Like in Yes, Man, when they take the first flight out of the airport and end up in Lincoln, Nebraska…or something like that.  Mike’s stipulation is that it should be somewhere that we could see a hockey game, which then means going during the regular season.  The reason for this requirement is that his parents managed to get really great tickets to the St. Louis vs. Vancouver playoff game there.  Great for him, not necessarily so great for me.

Anyway, I’m posting this with a question.  Or two: Do you have any recommendations for us?  Does your city (or one near you) have lots of interesting things to do, places to go, food to eat (if you know me, you’ll know that the food question is possibly the most important one)?  And..have you ever done anything like this – whether on purpose or just by circumstances (like my in-laws did)?  I’d love to hear back from anyone who has a thought here.  I have no idea when we may be making this trip, because it’s definitely not something I want to do when pregnant or with children.  However, it doesn’t  hurt to get some ideas now.

Oh, yeah, today is my 2 year blog anniversary!  I’ve been blogging for two years already.  That’s hard to believe…what is also hard to believe is that Erik will be one year old tomorrow!  My baby is growing up!  We’re having a small family party tomorrow night for him…not like he cares, but we do.

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Four years ago today….

At this time four years ago, I would have been enjoying more of my first day as a mommy.  Jenny is four today!  I can’t believe how fast time flies and how fun she is becoming the older she gets.  She talked all day about it being her birthday, but didn’t quite get that today is not the day of her birthday party.  That is happening on Friday, so she’ll have to wait for her cake and presents, although we did give her one thing today from us. 

As for other events of the day, I finished my craft swap items!!  I’m so excited to send them off!  And…drumroll please…

I cleaned my laundry room!  Actually, that happened yesterday, but still..it got done.  It was probably the messiest room in my house, so this is a very big deal.  It is a hard thing to admit to some people, but for the last few years, it hasn’t been cleaned at all and we’ve barely been able to get out the back door.  Actually, when we’ve had people over for parties in the backyard, we’ve just moved everything into our room temporarily and then moved it all back afterward.  With Jenny’s party coming up, I didn’t want to do that all over again.  Two weeks from now, we’ll also be having a party for Erik, so it was doubly important to get it cleaned and organized.  I can’t believe how much better it looks now!  I’m so happy!  Now I just have to clean my desk, my bedroom (another big job) and the entryway to the house and I’ll be pretty happy with the way things are. 

All this cleaning has another purpose – ease in moving when the time comes.  It could be more than a year away, but when we bought this house, we moved very quickly on it – hearing about it at the end of the month and moving before the end of the next month.  And that was with one very small baby only – so moving with three active kids will be a different story.  I want to be ready to pack up and move if an opportunity comes up for us to buy a bigger place, and having a very messy house will not make that easier.

Well, I’m off to watch some Star Wars with Mike – I bought the special edition set of the final three episodes at a garage sale (as in, the old ones).  It’s been ages since I’ve watched them and this is our third day trying to get through episode four.  🙂  Goodnight!

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Sigh

In my heart, I know that each day is new and that the things challenging me today may well be gone or changed tomorrow.  Each morning I can look at the day with optimism and motivation to get things done.  Motivation to be a better mother – to yell less and hug more.  To leave the house cleaner than when I got up.  To spend more time in creative outlet than laziness.

This all sounds so easy.  It sounds achievable.  However, life with three children under four doesn’t allow for such optimism on most days.  I can be as optimistic as I want, but it does not mean that my youngest will let me put him down all day, that my two year old will be nice to his siblings and not wet his pants and that my nearly four year old little girl will do as she’s told and clean her room without throwing a tantrum.

At the moment, I’m listening to Jenny crying about as loud as she can, Elias yelling something from under the crack in his door, and Erik whining while he jumps in the jolly jumper.  I’m drinking a chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie.  It just sounded good and I assumed I could drink it in peace.  Apparently I was wrong.

You wouldn’t know it, but my entries are frequently written over the course of the day, or at the very least, an hour or so.  Yes, there are time when I am uninterrupted and can dash one out in ten minutes.  This is not that kind of day.  I decided it was time to make lunch – mashed banana for Erik and Sponge Bob alphaghetti for the kids.  Their room is still not clean, but the plan at the moment is to take Erik in there with me and feed him while they clean.  They definitely do a lot better when there’s someone there the whole time to coach them a bit.  They can all go to bed just as soon as that’s all done and then I can hopefully have two hours to myself to do whatever I feel like doing.  Well, maybe not whatever, but almost.  First I’ll have to decide whether I’m awake enough to do anything, or if I’d rather just have a nap while they are. 

Erik has been very strange at night lately, waking up around his normal time (sometime around two) and eating, but then crying in his sleep and squirming terribly.  It seems to help if I put him back in his bed rather than keep him in ours, but then he’s awake an hour later.  I tried letting him cry last night, but it went on too long for me to ignore.  I don’t know if he’s teething, or what, but I really wish it would stop!  I can get more than eight hours of “sleep” and be quite tired in the morning because of it.

Well, nearly another hour has passed and the kids have had their lunch, Erik has been nursed and the room is clean…enough.  I couldn’t stay awake while I was in their room, though, and ended up sleeping curled up on the toddler bed while they were cleaning.  I think I’d better at least do dishes, but then I think I’ll be smart and have a nap.

Adieu.

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Day 2: James 4:10

For a reminder of what I’m doing this month, read this post.

James 4:10

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

This verse did not immediately strike me as having any relation to my everyday life, but when I think about it, it’s very applicable.  I think that this is the beauty of God’s word – it can relate to us in nearly every situation.  If I am prideful about my abilities to take care of my home and family, I will surely fail.  I have experienced this plenty of times already.  If I admit that I am nothing without my Saviour and continually seek His help with even the mundane details of my life, He will help me.  If I seek to be full of humility, He will lift me up in my times of need.

I could certainly use His help lately.  Erik has a bad cough again and just as soon as we planned to go to bed last night, he woke up and didn’t go back to sleep fully for two hours.  It was one o’clock before we went to sleep and at two, he was awake again.  I sleep while I feed at night, so I was at least able to sleep while he ate, but a good deal of the night was spent sitting him up while he coughed.  I was sleeping soundly this morning when Mike’s alarm went off, and even drifted back to sleep when he hit snooze, but before he even got up for work, the kids got up.  I sent them back to their room to play for awhile after Mike got up and left, but I never did go back to sleep.  I’m hoping that at the very least I can have a short nap this afternoon, which means limiting Erik to a very short nap this morning so he’ll have one later. 

I know that to lots of people, all this would either sound like boring details or make them not want to have kids, but I know that this too shall pass and that God will be my help as I raise my kids.  I love them and I know it will all be worth it in the long run.

Yesterday was one of those “take lots of deep breaths so I won’t lose it” days, and after scrounging up supper for Mike and the kids, I decided to go out to eat by myself.  I had to go out to the library and I planned it so I could go after Erik was fed and in bed.  I made a quick stop at the library and then went to a nice dark, quiet restaurant that we usually use for date nights.  I love their menu and even though I expected to get something I hadn’t had before, it was the black bean and corn enchiladas that sounded best.  I had checked out a book at the library, so I ate slowly and read and took advantage of the break.  It obviously turned out to be a good thing that I had a nice break from the stresses of home since Erik was so difficult all night. 

Anyway, the point is, while I can do some things to help myself feel better or less stressed, it is only God who can give me peace that passes all understanding.

 

This verse of the day comes from VOTD.

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