Thursday, February 25, 2010

Our first snowman

Well it's been snowing here again and while it can be brutal on those of us anxiously awaiting spring it is lots of fun for little boys.
It was good packing snow so Auntie Kiki and Auntie Nanny came over on Monday and helped everyone get bundled up with a mission to build a snowman. Brett was still napping so I stayed in the house (see how that works out!) until he woke up and I fed him a snack. We got outside just in time to roll the head and put it in place! Auntie Kiki brought mini Snickers for the eyes (kind of a waste of good chocolate if you ask me!) and dug some rocks out from under the snow for buttons and the mouth, some twigs for arms and, of course, a carrot for the nose! The boys loved it. We made two faces - one facing out to the street for passersby and another facing our window. Every morning the boys are excited to say Hi! to their snowman.
We wrapped it all up with the boys making their first snow angel - cute but not a really big hit yet!
I may not be a fan of the cold, but I love snowmen and it definitely brightens up the long drawn out end days of winter to see their smiling snowman.

Auntie Kiki and Brett putting in the arm.

Auntie Kerry and Peyton put in another arm

Auntie Nanny and Peyton add the carrot nose

Me and Jackson putting the finishing touches on!

Auntie Kiki made a snow chair to help Brett sit

Friday, February 19, 2010

Over booked

Some people dream about bringing their children to Disney World. Me - I've been dreaming about their first trip to the library since they were in utero! I'm a total nerdy bookworm and love to read and I LOVE the library. I have great memories of my mom taking me and my sisters to the library all the time when we were young (Thanks Mom - if only in my imagination books have taken me so many places!) I can't believe it has taken 21 months to get the boys there - I've thought about it and made a note in my calendar about various story times, but for one reason or another it never worked out. So today we had no afternoon plans and the sun was shining so we headed to the library!
The boys were so excited! They have a separate entrance for the children - an archway about 3 feet high - and the second the boys ducked through and came out the other side faced with shelves and shelves of books they kicked into overdrive. The first shelf they went to they found a book about trucks, a school bus and a fire truck. Jackson said "have it?" and I said yes he could pull it off the shelf. He plopped down right there on the floor and started checking it out. They were so excited in the little over an hour we were there they never heard more than a few words of a story. They would pull a book down, open it, look at the pictures, hear a few words and then run over to the shelf and pick another book. I was in my glory watching them but also exhausted chasing them around and trying to re-shelve books and explain the one book at a time concept.
Our library has an awesome children's section so there is so much there for the boys to do!
Here are some photos (sorry they are a little blurry I took them with my phone):

Just like there are displays in the adult sections of the library, our library has display cases at a level for children. The theme was collections and various children had their collections on display including snow globes, super balls, empty bottles and Pez dispensers.

Peyton taking in one of the books. This was seriously the longest he sat still - about 15 seconds!

Jackson chose a book, but was more interested in his brothers' selections!

There is a mouse house in our library - it's Miss Mouse's living room and it is where they hold story times and activities or where children can play and read when there aren't any scheduled events. It is absolutely precious and the boys look like they are walking around in a cartoon.

Brett gets comfortable on a child-size couch in the mouse house.

Peyton shows Jackson and Brett (off camera) the various trucks on the train table. In addition to trains and cars the library also has a barn full of animals the boys had a great time piling in and out of the barn.

After leaving the library we parked the car across the way by the railroad tracks and had a snack while the boys watched the trains - both commuter and freight - roll past. They loved the trains - the bells, gates and whistles. Jackson quickly said "in?" after seeing people get off one of the trains and then he and Peyton must have said it a hundred times afterward. Looks like we'll be taking the boys on a train ride soon!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Right up their alley

If you are like me you are thinking bowling with 21 month olds???? When Auntie Kerry and Auntie Nancy invited us to bowl on Valentine's Day I thought they were crazy. First let me say that I am not a big fan of bowling - I'm not that great at it and never understood the attraction. But my family loves to bowl so...
Also they wanted us at the bowling alley at 9 a.m. on Sunday. Now, normally we are at church but we have taken a leave from the House of God (also known as Satan's petri dish) because of all the germs and sickness this winter.
So me and the boys met their aunts there as well as their two cousins.
It was so crowded! Not a few people but a ton - and they all seemed like regular bowlers. Apparently you either go to church or you go bowling - who knew?
So as we got our shoes and chose balls I kept thinking - five children 3 and younger - even with four adults can be a menace in a bowling alley. I couldn't have been more wrong! The children were all so well behaved. They seemed to understand that they had to stay in our two lanes and wait until the bowlers next to them were done. They never got up and ran around - and they loved to bowl!
Jackson would have thrown the ball down the alley all day if you let him. And Brett - you haven't seen a smile so big! Peyton enjoyed it but was a bigger fan of the snacks!
So, if like me you can't imagine toddlers bowling it is a whole new world. They have really light bowling balls the children could safely hold or carry. They have bumpers blocking the gutters that bounce the ball back into play and you wouldn't believe this awesome ramp they put up that allowed you to set up the ball and Brett was able to push it down the shoot and bowl too! An hour was about all the attention we all had for bowling - but they had a blast!

Peyton does the heavy lifting. Jackson had not yet learned to keep his fingers off the ball return!

Auntie Kiki and Jackson set up the roster

Me helping Brett launch his bowling ball

Brett and Auntie Kiki - he loved the sights and sounds in the bowling alley!

Auntie Amy helping her daughter Caroline

Caroline giving Jackson a big Valentine's hug

Afterward we headed to one of the boys' favorite places to hang out - Bass Pro Shop. By us it is a mega store with everything from boats to hunting gear. But it is a beautiful store. It has a giant tank filled with large fish, a waterfall, lots of taxidermy animals, an elevator, lots of tents set up for demonstration (or playing) kayaks and much more. Best of all - it's free. Tate loves to take the boys there and their aunties do too so they had so much fun running around with their cousins.

All the cousins on the cot!
Strangely their favorite activity was taking all of the water jugs off the shelf and dragging them around. It was in the far reaches of the store so it didn't bother anyone shopping!

We wrapped up the day with lunch! What a great Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Looking up from here

Let me start by saying this blog entry is a little late in coming. Between life and some technical difficulties we fell a bit behind. But we are doing really well - - - now.
In mid-January Tate spent an overnight in the hospital after experiencing some tightness in his chest and trouble breathing. They did a lot of tests and the great news is that everything looks ok with his heart. The tough part is there was really no explanation for the scare.
Several days later Brett had his adenoids removed.

Brett pre-surgery

It was an elective surgery after specialists suggested it could significantly improve his quality of life especially in areas where he struggles - breathing, speaking, sleeping, eating and overall endurance. The surgery was a success and his adenoids were large - apparently they grade on a scale of 0-4 with 4 being the largest and his were a 3!

Brett post-surgery

Unfortunately he didn't weather the recovery well and instead of being an outpatient surgery they admitted him overnight. He refused to eat or drink anything so he came home with an IV in for hydration. By the time home nursing help came the next day his IV was no longer good, but she thought he was doing ok without it. By Monday he was struggling and coughing and a call to the ENT nurse said that discomfort is expected for up to two weeks and the coughing was likely related to dripping in his throat and the itching from healing.
Several days later when he broke out head to toe with hives we took him to the pediatrician to find out he had an allergic reaction to the antibiotics he was on post-surgery. He also was very sick - the cough had nothing to do with the surgery and he had RSV (a severe viral respiratory infection) and because they share everything - Jackson & Peyton had it too.
A day later Brett was still struggling to eat or drink so they admitted him to the hospital. Again only overnight.

Brett snuggling with Daddy - he cried when I left to go home to put Jackson & Peyton to bed and while crying actually said "I want Mommy" as I was leaving - his first sentence and it nearly ripped my heart out!

Once he had breathing treatments and steroids for the lungs and allergic reaction plus IV hydration he perked up quickly.

Brett feeling better

A week of breathing treatments every 4 hours x 3 seemed to do the trick.
Unfortunately we spread the germs and Grandma got sick and their cousins Caroline & Sophie got RSV too.
I also managed to get a sinus infection - my first ever and wow it can be painful!
The upside is that now that we have been well for more than a week the surgery HAS helped Brett. He is talking more - by this I mean a lot of babbling but also saying Mama, Daddy, Granddad, Elmo and Baba (bottle) on a much more consistent basis! He is eating more and taking his bottle in less time and seems to be doing better with a sippie cup too! So far no improvement in the sleep department (ugh!) but he is also cutting a few new teeth so we'll see.