Friday, January 23, 2015

Elliott :: It's Great to be Eight!

Holy Moly!

You are eight.

I remember the day you were born like yesterday.  Well, I remember it as well as I can anyway.  Your dad however, I'm sure remembers every detail.  But, today you are eight.  It's great to be eight.  Eight is such a big year for a kiddo.  You have chosen to be baptized.  You get to join cub scouts.  You are big enough to ride in the front seat, sometimes.

There are a few things however, that you do not do.  You do not give hugs.  You do not hold my hand.  You do not hesitate to make fun of me, and nearly shoot milk out your nose at the dinner table when I say something obnoxious to Quinn or Wyatt.

There are days, #1 boy of mine, where I'm really not sure that little chubby kid I knew so well disappeared to.  I miss that goofy little boy, but am so happy to watch you turn into the big kid that you are turning in to.

You are kind.
You are sincere and often wear your emotions on your sleeve.
You giggle like a little girl.
You take care of those who are younger than you.
You are mean to your brother, but only generally when he deserves it.
You speak Spanish.
You are athletic playing soccer and baseball and basketball and are a pretty good swimmer, too.
You are great at math.
You are creative and love to draw and write stories.
You "over listen" in just about every situation and really try to be a grown-up.
You can do flips on the trampoline even though I told you not too and even though you think I don't know.
You make friends with everyone and are a pretty popular kid.
You are analytic and deliberate and think everything through, needing a plan just as much as your mom and dad.
You are patient with Quinn.
You can open the garage and start the car every morning before school.
You can cook dinner, even barbecue.
You love to dance and aren't too embarrassed when I come to school to help with PE.
You are funny and clever.
You tuck your shirt in too tight and pull your pants up too high, but always have cool socks and cool kicks.
You will never wear a coat.
You like to hang out with the adults.
You remind me of all the things I forgot to do.
You love to play video games and collect cards (Pokemon, basketball, baseball).
You are great at sleeping in.

Really, boy of mine, whenever I think of you, I think of you being happy.  Very rarely, are you upset or grouchy but instead, you are happy nearly all of the time.  Your goofy laugh is a bit contagious and it's fun to watch you get everyone else going at dinner every night.  You laugh, then Wyatt, then dad...always laughing at Quinn.  Sometimes, your jovial nature gets the better of you, but I guess that's okay, too.

I love that now, as an eight year old, we can have real conversations.  You are generally pretty tight lipped about school and your friends, but every once in a while when you need a good hug, or a good chat, or decide to ride with me to the grocery store, we have great conversations.  I tell you things about when I was a kid, and you tell me what happened at school, like when that strange kid got his apple out of the garbage can and ate it - and also got out some stale french fries and ate those.

Or sometimes lately, I find that I'll be standing or sitting talking to someone else and you slide right up next to me.  You don't say a word, and might not even know you are doing it, but you put yourself just so - waiting for me to rub your buzzed head, rest my hand on your shoulder, or give you a squeeze.  Those moments, make being your mom the best.  It reminds me of when I was a little girl and on Sunday nights, I would sit on the floor, right in front Grandma Huber's chair and if I situated myself just right, she would comb her fingers through my hair.  I loved that, and I love that you let me have those quiet little moments with you, too.

I love you kiddo!

Happy Birthday.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Quinner :: Living with a "Threenager"

Hey Kiddo:

There hasn't been an update on your status for a while.  That might be because you haven't stopped talking, singing, dancing, playing with toys, throwing things at me, and wielding your weight for me to get any blogging done.  As your brothers before you, you are an entertaining handful.  A loud, burping, farting, face pulling handful.  You talk like you're at least 5, say things that are completely outrageous, and eat like a 10 year old, regularly pounding three slices of pizza in a meal.

The other day, your dad sent me a link to an article about a creature called a "threenager", this creature being a person that is three, but really thinks he is fifteen.  As I read the article, I couldn't help but laugh.  It was describing you, perfectly.  You may not yet be three years old, and are really still just barely two, but you've been ahead of the game with everything else in your life so far, so it only makes sense that this would apply to you, too.

Top 10 Signs You Are Living with a Threenager
(You can read the whole article here)
1. You live in constant fear of how to cut the shape of their sandwich or toast. Do they want triangles today, rectangles, squares? And when they do tell you, they change their mind right after you cut it.
2. They say things like (with hands firmly placed on hips), "I don't want to clean up, I want to do what I want to do!"
3. You go through three or more wardrobe changes a day. Please just pick a princess already!
(#3 applies to you, but a bit opposite.  You refuse to get dressed every day, choosing instead to wear your pajamas until at least 11 am and then when it's time to get those clothes on, you cry and squirm and kick me in the stomach.)
4. Your child goes boneless the second you remind them that a transition is coming, especially when they are asked to stop playing. By the way, when was this ability given to children? You know, lay limp and double your body weight so mom can't move you. It's a talent reminiscent of a possum playing dead...
5. They run away from you when it's time to get dressed, or leave a play place, or do anything they deem unnecessary. In fact running away from you is their favorite activity. (Cardio workout?)
6. To nap or not to nap, that is the question. A threenager's answer will always be emphatically "NO!" Unless of course it's time for school, and they crawl into bed because they're "tired."
(Oh man alive, we are in the throws of NAP WARS.  At this point, you are good for three or four naps out of every seven days.  The no nap days obviously help you sleep better at night, but they catch up to you and cause all kinds of emotions on the no nap days.  On Tuesday, you and I went to IKEA in the morning and you fell asleep at 11:00 on the way home.  You slept until 3:00 pm. )
7. They want three of everything because they are three.
8. At red lights they yell, "Go... GOOO!" Threenagers do not possess patience.
9. Speaking of the car, you have to leave 10 minutes earlier so they can buckle their own car seat by their "OWN SELF!"
(This happens, every single day, every single time we get in or out of the car.  You actually CAN do your buckle, which surprises me, but it does take seven million minutes to get it figured out.  Forget being in a hurry, or when we're late to pick Wyatt up from school.  You cannot walk anywhere and always insist on "carry me, mama", but you must do your own seat belt.)
10. You realize they'll be a great trial lawyer one day when they've just negotiated their way out of a timeout.
Threenagers can be tough to parent, make you weary, and zap you of all of your patience and energy. But on the flip side, this time can be so completely rewarding. As a threenager's independence blooms so does their vocabulary, and you sometimes hear lovely things like, "You're my best friend mommy, I love you soooo much, I want to keep you forever!" Yes a threenager may think you are their pet, but is there anything sweeter than a super tight toddler cuddle?

There is always a lot more I could say about you, my youngest son, but pretty much for today, I'm just too tired.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

If I just stop thinking about it...

Starting clear back in October, I didn't feel well.  My stomach was upset, I had a hard time standing up straight.  I assumed it was just the run of the mill cold or maybe the flu or something, and it was bearable so I just went about my regular day.

After a couple of weeks, I got worse.  I felt like I was going to puke, about 70% of my day, still couldn't stand up straight, my body ached and I was miserable.  And I was coughing.  I had a mild cough.

It got bad enough that I did two things.  First, I actually took a pregnancy test, just to make sure (negative thank heavens!) and Second, I went to Instacare.  I explained my vague symptoms to the nurse and the doctor, they did a bunch of blood work, made me drink a medicine that numbed my throat and thought maybe I had a bacterial ulcer.
All my blood work came back negative for any problems (including the ulcer) and I was given a medication for an overly acidic stomach.  The medication, for whatever reason, after about 3 days made my cough worse.  A gut wrenching, gaging, send me running to the bathroom because I was dry heave coughing, cough.  I was absolutely miserable.

So miserable that I did something I NEVER do.  I made (well, Ross made for me) an appointment to go to a real doctor.  At this point, I'd been sick for the better part of a month with good days and bad days, and a ridiculous cough keeping me up at night all along the way.

I told my doctor everything that was wrong with me.  He did more blood work and thought that I had a problem with my gallbladder.  I had an ultrasound, that showed no stones or problems, got a new and different medication for stomach acid, and came home.  I was told to give the medication two weeks and if I didn't feel better, to come back.

Two weeks later, I was back in the office.  The doctor still thought it was my gallbladder.  I still was coughing and feeling super sick all the time.  I scheduled a test called a HIDA scan, and had it done the day after Christmas.  I had to fast for 6 hours and couldn't take any of my medications to prepare for the test, which was basically a CAT scan of my stomach, gallbladder and intestines.  On the morning of the test I got an IV, was injected with radioactive chemicals and sat in a chair for 45 minutes before I spent an hour holding the most still I've ever held in my life while another chemical was injected into me and I watched it crawl through my body for an hour.

The night before the exam, was probably the worst night I've had in a very long time.  I was so sick to my stomach, gagging and dry heaving all night long and thought my body was going to implode.  The test wasn't hard, but I was so miserable already that by the time I was finished, and after not eating for about 13 hours, I spent the day moaning and whining and pouting.  Typical for me, actually.

The technician told me what to look for, and there is nothing wrong with my gallbladder, even though I technically haven't heard from my doctor yet (test was three weeks ago) and I'm so disinterested in calling to hunt down my results, I'll just leave it as it is.  For now.

The only problem is: the cough that had almost disappeared right after Christmas is back this week with a vengeance.  My voice sounds funny I've coughed so much.  I cannot lay down to go to sleep, but have to be propped up on four pillows.  My stomach doesn't hurt as it has been, but I'm on medication.

My mom thinks I have a herniated esophagus problem.  My husband thinks I have an ulcer.  I think doctors are stupid and don't listen to me.

I've been trying this week not to think about the fact that I don't feel well.  That seems, for some karmically mean reason, to make the cough worse.

It would be nice, if someone could help figure out what is wrong with me.  Unfortunately, no one seems interested.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Ringing in the New Year with a second Christmas

Two days after Christmas, we loaded a rented mini van (which, if you want to know, is a vehicle I'd never buy in a million years but it's good to rent for a road trip because there are captains chairs and more room and my children don't touch each other.), and headed to Prescott Valley, Arizona for our second Christmas  with Ross' family.

We split the drive going and coming (on the way stopping in Vegas for the night and on the way home in San Jorge).  The boys traveled well, especially Quinn, who we were pretty nervous about.  He dislikes the car on a regular day, we had no idea how he would react to more than six hours in a car a stretch.  But, thank heaven's Santa Claus delivered with three (yes, Quinn got one too) new kindles and a bunch of new games for the boys to use in the car.  And, the result?  The absolutely most quiet car ride/road trip I have ever been on in my life.  They wore their batteries out each car day, and we traveled in silence

Yes, silence.  The boys were quiet and Ross spent all his driving time with his sister wife whispering sweet nothings into his ears, so, as is standard operating procedure, whether I like it or not, I was left "alone" in the car with just my thoughts and the scenery whizzing by to keep me company.

We arrived in PV on Sunday afternoon and that night had a big dinner and opened presents.  Ross' parents recently purchased a new home in AZ, selling their home in UT and we spent our time there, exploring.  Ross' grandparents were also there for a few days which was really nice - they are getting old, our AZ trips are few and far between so any time we get to spend with Grandma Bea and Grandpa Ted is really awesome.

I suppose the primary purpose of our trip was for all the boys to get together for some major cousin time.  Mission accomplished!  All 6 boys seemed to have a great time together running and playing and exploring.  They built Legos for days, watched a movie or two, and just chased each other around.  We went bowling on New Year's Eve day, and I even managed to sneak in two naps.  I'd say it was a success.

We even got to spend a morning at Uncle Craig and Aunt Christina's house and the boys got to jump on their new trampoline in the bitter cold and play with their chickens. Quinn, apparently, LOVES chickens. He chased them and giggled and had a wonderful time. At one point, he thought they were turkeys and gobbled a message to them, but he soon figured out that he was wrong and cackled away at them for quite a while.

We left to head home on January 1st, and got a little nervous on the trek - you see, Northern Arizona got some pretty intense snow while we were there and roads were closed all over the state.  Even though reports while driving said that I-40 northbound was closed and we were making plans to head to Flagstaff instead adding hours to our journey home, when we arrived at the interchange, the roads were open.  Granted they were slushy and icy and downright treacherous in parts, but we were happy with our decision to brave the scary road and head through Kingman and Las Vegas towards home.  I'd say that was a tiny little tender mercy for us right there - that we didn't get stuck in any horrible weather, because we sure saw our fair share of jackknifed semi trucks and turned over cars while we were driving.

It was overall a good trip.  Much, much slower than I'm used to because we had no itinerary and didn't go out to eat in any awesome places (unless you count Culver's for lunch), but good nonetheless.  I wish I'd brought my sewing machine and some fabric to get a jump on some of the bags I've got cut out, but it was nice to get away from all the mess of home and spend time with my family and see all the cute boys hang out together and have fun.


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