Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I Hate Penicillin Shots.

It’s the eve of our anniversary trip. I’ve had to do dishes and tidy up the house and wash every single piece of clothing we own and PACK MY BAGS… all while trying to get over strep.

I know.

Yesterday when I decided to check my throat, just to make sure that the itchy feeling was indeed allergies, I about threw the flashlight at the mirror when I saw white. The red dots on the roof of my mouth made me believe that instead of allergies, I was dealing with strep. 2 days before our trip. Perfect timing (sarcasm).

So, off I went to the doctors office (second time in 3 days), sure that they would write me off as both a hypochondriac mom and patient. I was really expecting to just be given a script for antibiotics on the wild hare that it flared into strep while I was on the trip. I really don’t want to have to experience a foreign hospital or doctors office. To my surprise, without me feeling that bad yet from the strep, I tested positive for it already (last time I had strep, I felt like DEATH WARMED OVER, and yet still tested negative. Go figure). I decided to get the antibiotic shot instead of pills because who wants to take pills while they’re on vacation? And as for the pain the doctor talked about in association with the shot, I decided I’d pull up my big girl panties and be brave.

Holy Wow, Y’all. Penicillin shots AIN’T NO JOKE. It seriously was worse than an epidural. I felt like the nurse took a sweet forever to finish, and then I felt as if my leg went numb. So he had me lay down for a bit. I felt good enough to get up after about 5 minutes, and meandered to the front desk to check out. I still had to wait to make sure I wasn’t allergic, so I sat down and started texting Drew. And then my ears started ringing. And then I started seeing black spots. And that’s when I knew.

I hobbled back over to the door that leads to the back exam rooms and gently knocked. They came and I remember saying “is it normal for my ears to be ringing? I’m seeing black too and things are starting to dimm….” What happened next was a rush of nurses and medical assistants, along with my doctor, trying to get me to sit down and take my vitals. Apparently my body reacted to the shot by my blood pressure bottoming out, which lead to me almost fainting. They almost didn’t let me leave the clinic alone, since my blood pressure was still low. Thankfully I made it home ok, and now am left with the sore bottom to prove that I got that stupid shot.

Here’s to hoping I can wobble my way into the airplane tomorrow. And lesson learned (a) don’t contract strep before vacation (b) don’t ever get the penicillin shot again.

Easter Festivities.

We had a laid back Easter this year. With everything going on around the holiday (Brayden's birthday, Drew and my trip coming up), I just didn't have a lot of energy to do anything exceptionally phenomenal. Thankfully, that's not a requirement. We did do the Ressurrection Eggs every night, and read through the Easter story each night leading up to Easter. My boys were enamoured just with that, so I was already winning.

Friday we decided to dye eggs. Egg dying with little ones can be a bit stressful, especially if you have one who likes to be a bit dramatic (see Exhibit A).
Exhibit A. Does anyone else still struggle with eating issues at 3.5???
Brayden was actually really careful this year and was very thoughtful about what color he was using, what decorations he used, etc. That made it a little more enjoyable for Drew and I.

Since we went to church on Saturday night, we had a laid back Sunday morning. Complete with Easter baskets and egg hunts.
PEEEEPPPS! or as my boys call them "marshmallow chickens" ;)
sweet baby didn't really understand much, but he was excited about getting another "Little Blue Truck" book. It's his FAVORITE.
earlier in the week, Brayden has asked if my Aunt, Uncle and cousins were coming over for Easter. Truth be told, I had made no plans since we had been so busy the rest of the month of April. Thankfully my family didn't have plans, so my cousins were able to hide the boys eggs, much to Brayden's delight (and his request as well).
the boys were ALL ABOUT egg hunting this year. And very competitive too, I might add ;)
I kept Ty inside on Sunday since his allergies have been so bad. He didn't seem to disagree with the arrangement of brunch plus entertainment by Uncle Paul :)

That was our Easter. Short and sweet and filled with celebration of our Risen Savior. Hope your Easter was good as well!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter 2014.

We had a fun, eventful Easter, which included a trip to the walk-in clinic and several trips to the pharmacy. I'm in the midst of editing all of the pictures of egg dying, easter egg hunting and the like, but wanted to share with you the boys Easter picture for this year. No family picture, as we were in a hurry to even get out of the door for church on time for Saturday night, plus, Ty wasn't feeling all that well, so he and Drew stayed home altogether.

I hope and pray that your Easter was filled with celebration-- it's my very favorite holiday, as it's filled with so much joy and hope; Hope that we can rest assured we worship a Savior who is ALIVE and who has come to rescue us all.
I realize I get negative mom points for dressing up my baby who was running fever, but I was bound and determined to get a picture in their pink. Because, as Brayden put it, "pink is for girls and this is just silly." They humored me, and for that, I am thankful.
And just an honest dose of what most pictures I take look like. One yelling, one staring into space and the other playing with grass. This is real life, y'all.

I'll have more words and pictures up soon... in the meantime, Happy Monday. :)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Tyler Paul {11 Months}.

I'm bound and determined to get Tyler's monthly post done on his actual 11 month birthday. And while I'm cutting it awfully close, I do have good reason... it's Easter weekend and a majority of Tyler's 11 month birthday was spent at the walk-in clinic or the pharmacy counter.
Poor Ty Ty has come down with another ear infection. I feel like this is the same old song, different dance. Bless his poor little heart, his allergies are awful and he just can't catch a break from all of the crud. I feel like I have spent most of his life trying hard not to worry about every little ear tug and runny nose that we've had, as they almost inevitably end us up in the doctors office for an infection. We'll be addressing this with his normal pediatrician at his well visit next month (we just went into a walk in clinic today since our pediatricians office was closed). Praying he gets better quickly....

This month has been a fun one for Tyler. He's started becoming more brave with pulling up, and has even started letting go to come and grab my hand if I am close. He still doesn't like to get down on his own, which leads to many moments of crazy screeching by the standing infant. ha!

His personality has come out a lot this month too, as well as a good dose of his sin nature :) Tyler loves to get his way, and if it's not his way he will let you know by (a) yelling at you or (b) hitting you or (c) all of the above. I always say that as babies become toddlers, they really do show us our great need for Jesus. :)
Some other highlights at 11 months include:

  • weighs 24 pounds. No idea how tall he is. Everyone remarks on how big he is, but I don't think he's off the charts for size, though I will say that my back has been giving me problems and I know it's because I'm carrying around a 20+ baby most of the day.
  • Still drinking 4 bottles a day. When I go to get him up for the morning or up from nap, the first thing he says is "baba". Boy knows what he wants!
  • Finally got his hair cut. I know. I said I wouldn't do it, but truth be told, even I was getting a little annoyed by the baby mullet. And I do have to say that once I got over the fact that my baby is growing way faster than I'd like him too, I think his hair cut is pretty cute. I do have pics from his first hair cut endeavor, but haven't had time to upload them. 
  • Speaking of sayings, he talks a lot. He knows a slew of words including (his versions of course): Dadda, Mamma, Bubba, a version of Brayden that I'm not even sure how to spell :), bottle, bye bye, Thank You, ball and several others that I can't think off the top of my head. He'll also repeat pretty much anything you ask him to (this is both a good and a bad thing).
  • He LOVES outdoors, but sadly, is pretty allergic to whatever is in the air right now, so we have to limit how much time he goes outside.
  • He LOVES music. He'll break out in dancing and clapping pretty much anywhere we go.
  • Wears 18 or 18-24 month clothes, depending on brand. Wears a size 3 shoe.
  • Favorite book is Little Blue Truck.
  • loves to give kisses and hugs
  • crawls to the door when he knows Drew has come home from work
  • Had to go to time out at MDO this month. I have come to realize that it's just not genetically possible for Drew and I to have a child who is compliant and doesn't deal with temper issues.
Oh Mr Ty Ty--

Not a day goes by that I don't thank God that I was able to talk your daddy into having another baby. You bring so much joy to our lives, even when you're sick and not feeling well. I love watching you grow up (even if I hate it too), learn new things and become your own little person. Everyone always ask who you look like, and all I really know is that you look like Tyler. I love you so much and as sad I am to see this little first year of your life come to a close over the next month, I'm so excited to watch you as you enter into toddlerhood. We love you so much, Ty! 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Few Random Thoughts.

It's naptime, and I really should be trying to catch a few minutes of rest, I thought I'd type. I'll probably pay for this later when my kids are crazy and I am more than frazzled, but I have random things in my mind that will not go away until they are here on the internets.

In just a few short days Drew and I will go on a trip all alone, without children, for the first time since before Connor was born. I was reading my post from the last trip we took together (we went to Dallas), and I kind of laughed when I wrote that I hoped it wouldn't take us very long to plan another trip alone. This is one of those moments where life has a way of laughing at me. Also, trying to go away on a trip is infinitely more difficult when you have kids. We have been in a hustle and bustle of having wills made, medical releases documented, schedules coordinated, meals cooked and frozen, and caretaker duties split up. It's a lot to take in and process and coordinate, and I feel like I need a vacation just for the coordinating of little children alone. Praying that when I step on the plane next week I'll be able to relax and enjoy our time away.

Today marks the last meeting for a few of our weekly events, which means that summer is just around the corner. I have mixed feelings about summer this year. On the one hand, I could really use some non-structured week days and lazy days with my babies (where we're not snowed in during sub-zero degree days... winter 2013/2014 was BRUTAL to us). On the other, sometimes the non-structure leads to more melodrama in our home, and if there is one thing that is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me, it's a little bit of melodrama. The beginning of summer also marks the beginning of the end of Brayden being at home with me all the time, and I am just not sure I am as emotionally prepared for this as I thought. Come August, I'm almost positive that I'll be one of those moms crying in the Kindergarten hallway.

This week I have slowly been reintegrating back into social media. I had thought about writing an entire post on my month long abstinence from it, but the more I typed, the less I was convinced that it needed to be published. The hiatus was so good for me to realign my thinking and focus. While I do love social media and don't think I am in the camp that would drop it completely from my life, I also find that the more I am into it, the more my attitude is easily shifted into one that tends to complain more, focus less and become entrenched in other peoples lives more than my own. I've said many times and will say it again: social media is a double edged sword and must be used wisely. I so missed the many friends who I have made throughout the years, especially instagram. I didn't miss some of the whining and drama that is pretty much inevitable on any social media channel you're on. I did miss the ability to ask a question and get an almost immediate answer from a REAL person, not some freelance journalists paid post that Google seems to spit out at me (plus, twittering about an illness is much better than Googling, as twitter will rarely lead you to believe you have cancer if you google "springtime allergy sniffles in babies").

Lastly, but certainly not least, I want to put the spotlight on holy week. Unless you live holed up like a hermit and have not gotten out recently, it's Easter this Sunday. Easter is by far my favorite holiday. We have been going through the resurrection eggs with the boys, and since we're studying Matthew in BSF this year, we've pretty much been inundated with all things Easter. One thing that I've always hoped would remain clear in my blogging is that I am imperfect. Thanks to Pinterest and various internet channels, it's easy to assume that what is online is all encompassing. That there is nothing behind the words and that all that you see here is all that there is. While I am an open book on most accounts, there are parts of my life that are not shared in the public arena because they just aren't ready to be shared. There is so much more story than the words on this blog, the pictures on instagram and the humored tweets on Twitter. My story for the past 5 years has been one filled with so much joy, but it's also been filled with so much pain. My life is far from perfect, but I think that the imperfections is what makes it beautiful. Easter to me means Hope. Hope that Jesus came despite our flaws and our hurts and our imperfections. Jesus came to save us and to give us what we couldn't give or get or earn ourselves. He has come to rescue us. My life here on earth may not be perfect, but I am hopeful and living for the day when all these things pass away and everything is made new and whole again.
Also, as a sidenote: during dinner one night this week, Brayden (who has been doing the eggs during Sunday school at church), said "I love the last egg. It's the best one!" When I asked him why he said "because it's empty. And that means Jesus rose again after 3 days." Holidays are sweet to me, and even sweeter when I get to see them through the eyes of my kids. I'm so grateful that Brayden is beginning to connect the dots on all of the stories he has grown up hearing, and he is relishing in the beauty of the simple. That the stone was rolled away and that our God is not dead.

Are you celebrating Easter this weekend? I'd love to hear how you celebrate... let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Happy Birthday, Brayden!

Today Brayden turns FIVE.
I’m going to go ahead and admit that out of all of the birthdays we have celebrated in the past five years, this one has definitely been the hardest. Letting go of what little we have left of baby boy, and turning a new page into complete boyhood. Entering new freedoms like being able to go to the unattended game room at the gym, old enough for almost all organized sports and the quickly approaching Kindergarten year this fall. These have been the bittersweet moments for me as a mom, as I celebrate these new freedoms that Brayden has so excitedly looked forward to, and I as a mom am excited too, but it also means that my first baby is anything but a baby anymore.
This year has been sweet as well, as the terrible twos and awful threes past us. Four was a good year for us. We went from dealing with strong will tantrums where I wasn’t quite sure if we’d even survive till this point, to being able to get through most days without major breakdowns and fights. Brayden has turned into a very tender hearted boy, and captivates pretty much any person he comes in contact with. That indeed is something I cherish so very much.
Some other things that I want to remember about this age:
- His favorite color is green. If it’s green, he wants it.
- He LOVES Mexican food (boy after my own heart!), and can down a good portion of an adult sized order of fajitas. He could drink salsa from a straw. His 2nd favorite food to eat out is Chick-Fil-A; so far his highest nugget count eaten is 13 (this also included an order of fries and a fruit cup, thus the reason we have cut down our visits to CFA considerably- ha!).
- He loves ALL sports, and anything to do with superheroes or ninjas/swords.
- He loves to color and draw.
- He can: count to 100, tie his own shoes, recognize all letters and numbers, shapes and phonetic sounds.
- is trying to learn how to tell time. He says it like it looks (ie: "one two four" instead of "one twenty-four").
- We’ve learned he likes his hair to be long enough to spike, thanks to his first (and hopefully, last) self-haircut.
- wears a size 12 or size 13 shoe, depending on brand.
- wears size 5 shorts, is inbetween sizes in jeans (6’s are too long, 5T is too short and tight), and wears a 5/6 shirt.
- wants to be a professional golf-ball player when he grows up.
braydenthomas5yrsold_adollopofmylife_28 copy color
- loves his brothers with all that he is (and fights with them with all that he is too).
- loves working with Drew with tools, and frequently asks if there are chores around the house that he can do (only if there is money involved though ;) ).
- has a great sense of justice, is very black and white when it comes to issues.
- prefers things to be neat and orderly, and always wants to know the schedule of events for the next day as he’s going to bed.
- hates to wear shoes, and almost always wears t-shirts and basketball shorts.
- thinks pink and purple are girl colors, and refuses to color, draw or wear them.
- says some of the funniest things. Some of my favorites are: "I think God's middle name is Jesus," "Man, I am so tired that my legs are freaked out" (meaning his legs are worn out), "usually I've had one of those lately"
- favorite games to play is Ants in the Pants, Connect Four and Candy Land.

They said that I'd blink and you'd be this big. They were right. I'm scared to even think about blinking again. If ever there was a time I wish I could freeze, now would be that time. You are at the perfect stage-- still innocent, care free and relatively unmarred from the imperfect world that you were born into. As we step into a new stage with you, part of me wants to hole up and protect you from the pain that I know will inevitably come to your life as you grow older. But that wouldn't be healthy for either of us, and the truth is, the world needs more boys like you out there. My prayer is that you will not grow hardened to this world, but that you will soften those around you. That you will become a beacon of light to the otherwise darkness. I pray that you will never lose your laughter and joy from the little things in life, and that you in turn will teach others to laugh too. I pray that you will continue to become a man of integrity, that you will stand up for what's right and stand in the gap for those who can't speak for themselves. Fight for justice, seek mercy, and above all, learn to love Jesus and others with your whole heart. I am already so proud of the little man I see you becoming, and am so blessed to be your mom. You are my sunshine, and I love you so. Happy 5th birthday, Brayden Thomas!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

2nd Annual Crawfish Boil.

This past weekend, in addition to Brayden's birthday party, we had our annual crawfish boil with my side of the family. This year we had a special treat with my mom being in town!

the boys were SO excited about the crawfish this year. Last year was their first experience with them and they weren't so sure about it all... this year though, they held back no fear (and the way they smelled after the day of handling crawfish definitely attested to their fearlessness).
Uncle Paul and Drew nailed it this year with seasoning... everything was SO delicious!
Connor LOVED the crawfish, but he settled for pizza a bit more than having to shell his food ;)
me and my momma
Poor Drew. He worked so hard with Uncle Paul that they barely got to sit down until the very end.
pooped from working all day!

The crawfish season is actually going to be longer this year thanks to our extra cold winter, so we're hoping to maybe get one more boil in before summer. Cheers to mudbugs!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Brayden's Ninja Turtle Birthday Party.

Let me just fill you in on a little secret of mine: birthday parties generally stress me out just a little bit.

So this year, when Brayden told me he just wanted boys, I was slightly relieved. We ended up having a very small party with just a few of his closest friends from church. Brayden waffled back and forth of his party theme for several weeks leading up to his party. He was all over the map: He eventually decided on ninja turtles. I think the combination of green and swords nailed the coffin on that for him, as he's obsessed with all things green and all things swords.

There are a TON of Ninja Turtle ideas on Pinterest. Most of it I kind of overlooked, as I wasn't looking to get into anything too fancy and time consuming. I did see a pin for a veggie tray that looked like a Ninja Turtle head. I decided to recreate something similar using grapes and strawberries, as I thought those two option would probably be more appealing to 5 and 6 year old boys ;)
the eyes are made from apple slices that I carved, and the pupils and mouth are made out of Jumbo olives.

I let Brayden pick out his cupcakes from the Walmart bakery. He, of course, picked out the most expensive set this year and had a super fancy cupcake holder that had the entire Ninja Turtle gang on it. Brayden was super excited about it though, so I really can't complain (and I have saved said cupcake holder in hopes that I might get one more use out of it. One can only hope, and my odds are in my favor since I have two more boys ;) ).
(Connor thought it was hilarious to stick his nose in the icing. I usually don't allow such behavior, but birthday parties don't have rules. So icing on the face it is)

We had thought about being organized with party games, but decided to forego order and just let the boys run loose in the backyard. For the most part, everyone had a great time and there were no injuries or huge fights to break up, so all went well in my books.
Mamaw entertained Tyler for almost the entire party... he was pretty excited about it :)

Brayden had two request for his party: a ninja turtle pinata, and ninja swords. When requests are simple, momma says "DONE."

One of the best parts of a smaller party is fewer gifts. I have always toyed with the idea of just telling people not to bring gifts, but I think that kids at this age really enjoy giving gifts to their friends. Watching the excitement in their eyes as their friends open their gift is so sweet. I loved watching the boys get excited about all the cool games, books and toys.

Drew and I gave Brayden a new bike for his birthday. He was in dire need of a new one, as the 12 inch bike he's been riding for the past 2 years is just a little too small for him ;) He's now on a 16 inch bike!

For party favors we sent each boy home with a plastic samurai sword. It was Brayden's one huge request for his party, and one that I granted since the party was smaller. I was super grateful for the nice weather, as the thought of having 8 boys with swords in my house kind of gives me the chills. ha!

Overall I'd say the party was a smashing success! I still can't believe my biggest baby is turning five this week. If you need me, I'll be hiding under a big pile of kleenex ;)

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