Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Annalee's Tonsillectomy

Annalee had her tonsils taken out last Thursday.  I can't tell you how proud I am of how she did on surgery day.  She was so brave and so tough during our three hour post-surgery hospital stay.  

We are currently on day six post surgery and the poor thing just HURTS.  She's been such a good girl but we have meltdowns often (especially around meal time and during the night.)

As bad as I feel for her, I  know we made the right decision.  Her sleep apnea is all but gone already and it's almost impossible to hear her breathe at night.  What a change!  I can't wait to see all the changes in her once she has fully recovered.

Here's a quick slideshow of the photos I took the day of surgery.  It gives you a pretty good idea of how the day went.  <3 span="">

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Hi There! Long Time No Blog.

Time is flying guys.  Flying.  I have no idea how it's been a year and a half since I last posted!

These two kiddos are doing great.  So so so good.  I just can't believe it.  We're at such a sweet time and I'm soaking it all up.

About a year ago now, we moved to a nearby city.  It has been interesting....I don't know how two cities so close to each other can have such a different feel to them.  We're adjusting to the culture shock slowly but surely.  We do LOVE our new house.  So much space.  It's another fixer-upper, but we've already made some great progress.  I often think of the movie "Under the Tuscan Sun" when she is talking about renovating and how you should always start with one room and make it yours.  We did that this time with our master bedroom.  It's a finished sanctuary in a very unfinished house.  I love it.

Samuel started his last year of preschool this year.  It was a tough decision to wait another year for kindergarten.  I just wasn't sure.  He is so smart and so ready to be reading (he can already read CVC words and sound out words while writing) but he was socially and emotionally a bit behind.  In the end, we went with our gut and held him back.  BEST DECISION EVER!!!!!!!!!  He has thrived this year and my heart is just soaring.  We've seen incredible growth from him.  He is more mature, he handles frustration better, he's not the smallest kid in his class (although he is close....ha!), and he has friends.

Samuel is amazing on his bicycle.  He loves it.  He transitioned from a balance bike to a regular bike (no training wheels) early this summer.  His ease of riding is true to his nature since he has always been fascinated with anything that has wheels.

This kid is eating me out of house and home these days.  He's always hungry.  But despite the eating frenzy, he seems to hover right at the 5th percentile in height and weight.  Oh well.

Medically speaking, there isn't a lot to talk about.  (Knock on wood.)  This winter we've been far healthier than any since we came out of isolation.  (Knock on wood again.)  We gave up his controller inhaler at the end of last winter and we haven't looked back.  He does have to use his 'rescue' inhaler every now and again, but for the most part, we're finished with that too.

The one thing we haven't dropped is therapy.  He has occupational and physical therapy weekly.  He still has a bit of an awkward running pattern (nothing too noticeable) and he's still a bit tight in his legs.  I feel certain that we're making progress though...especially since we introduced some stretching braces into our routine.  He wears them for about half an hour during the day and several hours at night.

Annalee turned three this month.  THREE.  I'm not sure how that's possible.  This photo tells you pretty much everything you need to know about her.  Ha!  While we've certainly hit the 'threenager' stage, she is truly a joyful child.  She makes us laugh with her type-B goofiness that is all her own.

She is doing a Mother's Day Out program once a week and really enjoys it.  (Can't say enough good things about the amazing teachers she has lucked into having two years in a row!)

Ironically, our 32 weeker has been going through a few more health related trials than our 24 weeker has!  Annalee has some pretty severe eczema.  Although that's certainly not a huge deal; it has been tough for her to get good sleep.  She often has night terrors (not nightmares....she doesn't remember screaming "MOMMY!" all night and she doesn't remember what she was dreaming about.)  We plan to see an allergist next month for some advice about how to get her eczema under control and how to keep her from itching at night.

She has always had a tough time handling colds.  It doesn't matter how mild the cold is, she sounds like she has croup.  A doctor once told us that she has narrow airways and that hopefully she will outgrow the issue.  Unfortunately it has continued to get worse....the snoring started.....then tonsillitis happened.  And so we made that trip to see the ENT doctor to be told what we already knew.  She needs her tonsils and adenoids out.  I'm not thrilled about it, but hopefully it will be one less thing keeping her from a decent sleep.

And as for the grown-ups in this family?  We're doing great.  This year we will have been married eight years.  Man, we're old.  Michael is an architect at a local firm and he loves what he does.

I suppose I have my hand in a few different things.  Most importantly, I'm still a stay at home mom.  At least for another year or two.  I'm also a substitute teacher at Annalee's MDO program.  And just this last year, I opened up my own photography business.  I've been so blessed that it has really taken off....I'm busier than I ever dreamed I would be.  Photography brings out the best in me.  I'm always looking for beautiful things....and when I find them, it's impossible to not see God's hand in them.

Thanks for following friends!  I'll try to be better about updating.  But if I'm not....be sure to leave me a comment here in a few months reminding me to get with it!  Ha!

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Catch-Up Post

Someone asked me the other day why I never blog anymore.  I can't believe that it has been more than six months since I've written anything substantial on here.  Time flies and we've just been so busy living life.  The good stuff.  Play dates.  Summer sunshine.  And lots of moving forward for this little family of ours.

These two kiddos have been doing great!  They pester each other in true sibling fashion, but they love each other and are finally beginning to play together like friends.

Samuel is four and a half now.  I almost typed his stats out of habit, but they mean very little to us these days.  He's growing.  He's eating.  And he's gaining weight SLOWLY but surely.

He will begin a preschool program in just a few days.  I have every intention of delaying his entrance into kindergarten another year, so the plan is for him to repeat this class twice.  He's looking forward to making friends and I'm excited for him to be in a learning environment again.

Therapy seems to be going well overall, even if he would prefer not to go anymore.  Too bad that's not an option.  Ha!  Physical therapy is full of running, skipping, hopping on one foot, and jumping. I feel like everyone is still trying to figure out his little 'quirks' physically.  Is he tight on his left side?  Or maybe his core is a little weak?  Does he gallop instead of run simply because enjoys it?  It's hard to tell.  I consider myself a proactive mom, but when his therapists suggested Botox injections a year ago, I couldn't get a peace about it.  I would feel differently if he walked on his toes, or if he ALWAYS galloped, or if he showed noticeable tightness at all....but he doesn't.  So after consulting with his doctor, we decided it wasn't the right course of action for him.  At least for now.

In occupational therapy, Samuel has been doing a lot of letter-writing.  Despite his frustration with it, I'm really impressed with how clearly he can write!  I'm hoping one day he'll enjoy writing or drawing, but right now, it's really more of a chore for him.

Annalee is nineteen months old.  She is doing so well!  We've seen very few problems resulting from her prematurity.  She has some narrowing of her upper airways (stridor), so she has croupy sounding coughing and breathing when she gets a cold.  Hopefully she'll outgrow that one day soon!  She is still my easy going, laid back child.....with a little drama thrown in there too (she is a girl after all!)

There have been a lot of changes for our family of four over the last few months.  In March, we sold our house, moved to a nearby city, and Michael got a new job.  I'll always miss that old home because of what we went through while we lived there....but it has been a good move.  We're living in a townhouse just opposite of a beautiful park full of big trees.  It's been great for the kids.  We hope to build a home within the next year (although it's been tough to get going on that!)

I could go on and on about all of the changes that I've neglected to update you about, but for now, I'll have to get back to work on the huge pile of laundry that's taking up half of my living room.

You can thank procrastination for this long awaited update!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Toaster-Headed Baby

We brought home a little toaster-headed baby four years ago today. I never would have guessed that he'd turn out so beautiful. I'd also never have guessed that after a hundred-and-twenty-five day NICU stay, three surgeries, one year of oxygen, three years of feeding issues, two winters of RSV isolation, and four years of therapy, there would come a time when those things rarely cross my mind at all. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

As Long as You Love Me So...

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Samuel and his daddy had a great time playing in the snow.  Annalee has croup so we only made it out for a quick photo.  Hopefully she will be feeling better soon!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Annalee's Nursery

While Samuel was in the NICU, the nursery was the least of my concerns.  In a sleep-deprived fog, I picked out crib bedding.  We inherited a crib, and we filled the room with whatever 'left-over' furniture we had in our possession.  Some dear friends came over to help Michael paint and decorate.

It looked good.  Really.  It did.

And in the grand scheme of things, the nursery wasn't a big deal.  Having our miracle baby home was far more important.  But I always wished that the nursery HAD been a big deal.  I wished that it was put together like it would have been if it had been a typical pregnancy...because, well, we could have used a little more 'typical' in our lives!

All that to say, I knew decorating Annalee's nursery would be meaningful...but our tumultuous pregnancy kept me away from it.  'Baking' her awhile longer was crucial!  I joked that I would finish the nursery by her first birthday.

It turns out that I beat my estimate by a month!  Ha!

So here it is, Annalee's nursery, and a breakdown of where everything came from (or the projects that we did.)

Don't worry, we lowered the mattress after this photo!
  • Paint color:  Benjamin Moore 'Blue Grass'
  • We already owned the frames, crib, table, birdcage, and changing table...but we painted them white.
  • The crib skirt was actually a shower curtain from Urban Outfitters!  I had planned to make it into a crib skirt myself, but when my talented mother-in-law offered to help, I gladly handed the project off to her.  She made the skirt, a few pillows out of the remaining fabric, and the changing pad cover.
  • 'Big Band' rug:  Land of Nod

  • Bird, flowers, and vase: Hobby Lobby
  • Birdcage: Given to me by a friend (who happens to be my go-to for all things decorating!  She also gave me the frames above the crib.  Thanks Jessi!)

  • Knit Pouf Ottoman by BobbleKnit
  • Quilt by SimplyGreenerThings
  • Swivel Glider by Target
  • Michael converted four wooden boxes (previously used as book cubbies) into that beautiful bench.  We made the the cushion too!  I'm so proud of how it turned out!

  • The big wooden 'A' was a gift.
  • The idea for the wisteria branches came from a Land of Nod catalog.  I think it turned out great, but if I EVER have to fold another tissue paper petal, I. Will. Scream.
  • Yes, those are her beautiful cloth diapers (cloth diapering is my current obsession...)

Seriously.  These were so much work that I had to post another photo...

  • The wreath for her door was a gift (thanks Christie!)
  • The pillows (top right) are from Target and HomeGoods.
  • Sleep Sheep:  A must have by Cloud B
  • Crib Sheet by SimplyGreenerThings

  • Our house is old, but it has a lot of character...like this original (1920s) doorknob.
  • Vintage curtain rod:  Home Depot
  • Curtains:  Ikea (style: Vivian)  These were my biggest 'find.'  Four curtains for $40?  Yes please, thank-you, and amen!

  • The little 'a' was a gift from a friend (thanks Stephanie!)
  • The "canvas prints" are not actually canvas.  They are large prints glued to some boards that Michael had in the garage.  I rolled several layers of ModPodge over the top to give them a textured look.  VOILA!  Instant canvas prints...well, as far as anyone else knows!  Photos by Katie Cole Photography
  • Bird frames:  Target.  When I bought them, the frames and branches were silver.  I painted them white and now they work perfectly with the room!

That's it!  I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.  Now the trick will be to keep my adorably wild, dirt-loving little boy out of this room...

I think that white bench is screaming for a dirty little hand print!