Thursday, July 30, 2009

Soccer Camp

Gavin is doing such a great job at soccer camp! I have to say it's not just the proud mom talking, because I will be the first to admit Little Ninjas may not be his thing.

After 4 days of soccer, he is running and kicking the ball very well, as well as starting to show me some of his fancier footwork. And he's really enjoying it! Previously he has expressed extreme displeasure with being "sweaty", but he doesn't seem to mind.

Props to Johnston Community Ed and the Johnston High Varsity soccer coach and players, they are doing an AWESOME job with our little ones.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sam is 6 months old!

Sam, you surprised me from the first moment I saw you with your blond-brown hair and blue eyes, that still haven't changed color!

You caused me a lot of anxiety in your first couple weeks and your refusal to eat, but look at you now! I imagine close to 17 pounds, and you LOVE to eat.

You are so happy, sweet, and snuggly.

You are super clingy and refuse to sleep by yourself. One day I will start working on that!

You are a total stalker when Dad is holding you and you won't take your eyes off me....and I love it.

You are close to sitting up, close to army crawling, and have a few favorite toys.

You've started reaching for things, and I love the uncoordinated way you try to stroke my face as I give you a bottle.

I'm afraid you are already getting an obsession with cars. We won't tell your brother how we let you play with (slobber on) his monster truck while he was gone.

You have your day care provider totally charmed.

We love you so much and are so happy you are part of our family. I couldn't imagine life without you!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Remembering Ella

I've recently been back in touch with a former co-worker who is struggling with a difficult pregnancy after losing an 18 weeker just like we did. While it brings back so many memories, it also slowly heals my heart to bring comfort to someone in such a scary situation.

I still have days where I miss Ella, miss the pink and barbies and girliness that should be a part of my life. I feel horrible admitting that, because if we had Ella, we would not have Gavin, and of course I can't imagine life without my peanut!

Anyway, here is an email I sent this friend. We miss you Ella, and I think of you often.

"Not a burden at all….it actually really helps to hear someone else’s experiences, it’s one of those things that no one can relate to unless they have been through it.

We were the same way with our name, it was from some song Chad liked and we just LOVED it. At first I was in complete denial, I remember asking them if they could just knock me out and wake me up when the delivery was over. They told me they couldn’t do that, and it was for the best that I “live” the experience. I didn’t want to hold her, but I am so glad my mom convinced me to do so. I didn’t look at her, they had her bundled up in a blanket, that was later mailed to my mom’s house. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but I am glad I did. I now regret not opening the blanket and looking at her. Try not to dwell on the regrets….you made the best decision you could under the circumstances.

Oh – and to make things worse – this was 3 days after our wedding and on Chad’s birthday. We had already been engaged but planning a long engagement when I got pregnant so ended up planning the wedding in 5 weeks. How crazy to go from the happiest day of my life to the worst day in a matter of a couple days.

And to make things more worse, I had been in the ER the night before with what I now know was contractions. Having never been in labor before, I just knew I was in pain, the ER doctor decided to ignore the rules about sending pregnant people straight to the maternity floor and instead drew blood, did a urine sample, and listened to the heartbeat. No actual exam was done. Would it have helped? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe they would have been able to do something and held me off to 23 weeks when she was viable, and we would have struggled with a really unhealthy child. Who knows. But I hate that the er dr didn’t do a damn thing, because now I always have to wonder.

SO, wow, sorry to burden you with this. I’m not the most religious person, but I do take comfort that there is something that lies beyond this world. When I let myself dwell on it I find myself happy that my Grandpa and Ella are together. I imagine all the little angel babies playing together. I really have to let myself believe we’ll all be back together some day. It’ll be 6 years this November that we lost her. It’s amazing how it can stay with you. I cried my eyes out every day for a long time. And while I never intended to get pregnant with her, and I really hadn’t planned on having kids that young, it wasn’t until I got pregnant with Gavin that I started to heal that pain (4 months later). Aren’t kids amazing how they affect you?"

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I've Created a Monster

This weekend Gavin went to Grandma Betsy's for a weekend visit. One would think I would get a lot of stuff done around the house with one kid gone...not so much. Friday I WAS able to get out for exactly 2 hrs and 45 minutes for a much needed girls night. Although Saturday Chad had a guys night and was gone for close to 10 hrs.....hmmmm, funny how that works out......

Saturday Sam and I visited Grandma Lois at Deerfield and he put on quite a show for all the spectators in the dining room.
Sam loves Mommy kisses, and was giving some longing looks to the bowl of ice cream. Not yet little man!
Sunday we went grocery shopping and I attempted to finally catch up on laundry but Sam would have none of it. He's been especially needy and especially pukey lately. His 6 month check up is coming up and I think I will see able switching his reflux meds as I have learned it is common to build up a tolerance to Zantac. I guess the biggest issue with trying to get caught up on laundry was that I did at least 3 additional loads of bibs, blankets, clothes (Sam's) and t-shirts (mine) that were constantly showered with spit up. He spits (a lot) whenever he is sitting up or on his tummy, but we have to let him be in those positions in order to work on his motor skills - so frustrating.

Sunday night I decided I really needed to get the kitchen cleaned up from dinner and Chad and Gav were playing downstairs, so I put him in his crib. He tolerated it for all of 2 minutes, then screamed his little heart out for another 5 minutes as I washed dishes. I went in and rescued him, and man, can he break your heart. He wasn't just crying, he was shaking and whimpering like he was terrified - poor little guy!

Now, this is all my fault. Due to his horrible reflux, he never liked laying on his back when he first came home. He HATED the bassinet in our room, and wouldn't sleep in the crib for more than an hour. In order to get some much needed sleep, I got into the habit of sleeping with him on the couch. There was probably a window a couple months ago where he was finally comfortable on his back due to his meds, and still small enough to settle into a new sleeping arrangement. Now I'm going to have a fight on my hands. But really, I don't mind so much, as I work during the week, so it's nice to have the nights with him....but boy do I miss my comfy bed!

Gavin has soccer camp this week! I thoroughly confused him when I made a comment about how he would learn to dribble the ball.

Gavin: are we going to be on the sidewalk or the grass?
Mom: on the grass
G: but it's hard to dribble on the grass
M: it's not like basketball, you dribble with your feet in soccer
G: like this? (and bops his foot up and down, like you would your hand in basketball)

Why must we confuse things by using the same words for different things???

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Random Thoughts

Sometimes I see or read something that I just have to share my opinion. This blog is not the place, so I have created another one. If you are interested it is Ha! Get it? bs for Bridie Sellers...AND bs. Hey, it works. It's also linked in the blog list.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Too Cute

All he did was smile this morning, but I could never catch it on film. I have a picture of Gavin on the floor like this in the same outfit, and I swear the same look on his face; I need to find it.

He has two toys that he loves to play with now

He is great at rolling, he lays on his back, grabs the blanket, and rolls; gets himself all wrapped up like a burrito

"you talking to me??"

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Pure Joy

Sometimes, life's just easy. This morning I could tell Sam was getting sleepy, he was laying on the floor and I handed him a pacifier and a blanket and he just fell asleep. Just like that.

I don't have anything special to say today, other than Sam just brings so much joy to our lives. Gavin too (and he's been a really good kid so far this weekend). Besides the easy napping, Sam has been playful and smiling and laughing all morning. He's getting to be so interactive. I was kissing him on the cheek and he was giving me this monster grin back.

Yes. Pure JOY. I'm so lucky to have all these wonderful boys in my life (including my hubby!).

Not every day is this easy. But man, do I appreciate the moments that are.

I hope everyone is having an AMAZING weekend!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Kid Updates

Update on Gavin: he continues to have good and bad behavior days. I’m really hoping in a more structured school environment he will do better. He’s also barely eating anything, we end up having to offer to feed him, which is so annoying, but at least he eats that way. I’m not sure what the deal is. It will be interesting to see how much he weighs at his 5 yr check up compared to his 4 yr check up. Right now I am typing this and watching him at Little Ninjas. He’s pretty uncoordinated! Hopefully it will get better, this is only his second time. I think it’s hard for him to mimic the movements, he doesn’t have enough awareness of his body to just do that. He’s also just so squirrelly! It’s kind of annoying that no one is taking the time to show him how to do these. Last week he didn’t want me to stay and watch, and now I think it’s a good thing because he keeps trying to talk to me. I’m trying to pay attention to what they are doing so that I can help him at home. This might be really good for his self discipline and control. He just got in trouble for swinging his arms around when they were supposed to be at his side. Like I said, squirrelly. And these teachers are kind of mean. = (

Update on Sam: He can definitely roll on to his tummy! He likes to lay on the floor and roll around, but he gets pretty frustrated after a while when he can’t go anywhere. He’s doing a good job trying to get his knees under him but right now he just shoots his legs in under him and shoots them out really quickly and gets mad that it gets him no where. He’s up to eating sweet potatoes, pears, apples, and bananas. I keep pulling out the jar of peas and just can’t bring myself to make him eat it! He's been pretty cranky for him lately, and sometimes isn't eating well at school. I just read that babies can build up a tolerance to Zantac, so considering asking the doc for a different prescription at his 6 month visit. The reflux is definitely still bothering him. He's also scheduled for a head ultrasound mid-August that I try to keep forgetting about.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I love Bargains

Today was a super successful day at Merle Hay Mall.

I am in such need of a new wardrobe, but I am incredibly picky and I will only buy things that are on super clearance. I did manage to find a shirt and pants for work - less than $10 each! I also found a beautiful brown Calvin Klein dress that was marked down to $38 from $130. Ok, so it's slightly too big and I have no idea when I will wear it but I couldn't pass up such a good deal.

We also found socks and underwear for Gavin. That he put on the first time and didn't freak out once! Gavin has a couple sensory quirks regarding how socks and underwear feel, and we usually put socks on and take them off several times before they feel right. Same with boxers and shorts. I got smart and bought him boxer briefs that are too big - so they are not tight around the waist, yet they are slimmer through the leg so they won't bunch up under his shorts. So if anyone is buying him underwear buy size M (10-12) boxer briefs. They are a hit! And they were on sale.

Our last bargain was at Target where they had Earth's Best organic baby food on sale. So we stocked up.


This is the first time Sam showed an interest in a toy, he actually rolled on his side and grabbed it.

Below, Nolan and Gavin. Nolan is my cousin Krista's oldest son and 5 months older than Gavin

Aaron is Nolan's brother

5 of the great-grandkids

Sam enjoying all the attention from my cousin Ben

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Gavin is getting expensive....

But at least his day care bill will go down when he starts school! I just spent over $200 in 2 days on rec soccer, his uniform (why 5 yr olds need custom made jerseys that they will quickly outgrow is beyond me!), and through the Johnston community school district I signed him up for Little Ninjas, soccer camp, and a fun run. Little Ninjas is Thursday nights starting this week. Soccer camp is the last week in July. Soccer starts Aug 29th for 8 games. The fun run is a half mile run in September.

Phew....and I know it will only get worse. At least maybe as long as we stay in the Johnston district and they don't change their team colors, Sam can use the uniform someday.

Although, he's been expensive from the start....lest we forget the $600,000 hospital bill he racked up in his first 82 days of life! = )

Monday, July 6, 2009

Busy Weekend

Despite the weather not cooperating Saturday, it was a fun-filled weekend.

Krista and family arrived Friday late afternoon and we took everyone to Cici's pizza buffet for dinner, along with Gary, Susan, and Ben, Annie and Penny. 8 adults. 6 kids ranging from 5 months - 5 years. We were officially "those people" in the restaurant.

Saturday it was off to my mom's for the day. The kids spent a fair amount of time outside even though it wasn't too sunny. Lots of good food consumed, and no major altercations with the children. 8 children. 7 boys. All under the age of 5 1/2. No broken bones. I'd say it was a good day. I have lots of pictures that I will post soon.

Sunday our houseguests left and it was the usual grocery shopping/getting ready for the week day. Gavin seemed especially out of sorts, but I suppose that is to be expected with all the excitement and being totally out of his routine with his cousins here. Hopefully his behavior will improve once he's back in the swing of the week, although I do think he's been worse lately since his new summer camp lacks "structure" - as in they have no routine as field trips vary daily. I am going to talk to Sam's OT the next time we see her about evaluating Gavin. Just to check out all avenues. I will say this weekend he seemed to have typical naughty behavior and no major meltdown, which I see as a positive sign.

Sam started solids. He's been doing cereal for about a week now, and we started sweet potatoes this weekend. This kid was born to eat. He gets so excited when I'm feeding him. He's pooping upwards of 4 times a day. Life is good with him. Last night I had him on a blanket on the floor while I was working on dinner. Next thing I know I peeked at him and he was almost a foot away from where I had placed him. Not sure if he rolled himself over there or just kind of wiggled. Regardless, he is starting to get "mobile".

I'll post some pictures soon!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Few Pictures

Here is Gavin giving us his best naughty face and showing off his "pirate stamp" from the Celtic festival.

Here are the boys at the Johnston Green Days parade

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Lightening Up!

Sorry for all the negativity lately, sometimes life just gets you down. Last thing on this subject - a lot of you have given me some good resources and things to look into and I am so grateful for it! This may be nothing and I may just be totally paranoid and overreacting and I will be the first one to admit it if I am. On the other hand, if I didn't follow my instincts and found out several years later that there is an issue I didn't uncover, I would totally beat myself up. So I would rather be wrong now. That's all.

So hear is the fun news about the boys you really want to hear about (I post some soon).

Sam - cute, fun, smiley as always. Has gotten into a bad habit of eating at 1 am, 3:30 am, and then not wanting his morning bottle, and eating at day care at 9 am. Although I have learned that if I DON"T turn on the TV and start watching shows I've Tivo'd when I get up to feed him, that I get a lot more sleep = ) No more rolling over since this weekend, but the kid wants to get moving. His bumbo seat that you to keep him so contented now works for about 10 minutes and he starts twisting and turning his body to see if he can get out. He is very vocal and likes to shriek and squeal at the top of his lungs. ALL THE TIME.

Gavin - he loves "summer camp". He has not slept in his own bed through the night since this weekend, but he does seem to be better rested lately, we no longer have to drag him out of bed in the mornings. He is getting SO brown! Such a funny contrast to Sam (whose eyes are still blue in case you were wondering). This weekend I bought a Wii Fit and he had so much fun playing it! There is nothing cuter than seeing him on that balance board doing the tree pose. There's also an exercise where he just runs in place, and he got a kick out of that because the other "mii's" we created are running the course with him so he sees "uncle zach", "mommy" etc running by him, or he gets to pass them.

That is about all that is going on around our house. We will have an injection of crazy this weekend when my cousin Krista and family comes to stay with us for two nights! 5 boys....ages 5, almost 5, almost 3, 1, and 5 months. Thank goodness it will be nice and hopefully they will want to run around outside!

Speaking of outside....we are getting a play system for our backyard! It won't be installed for a month or so, but Gavin is super excited (as is Mommy) and I'm looking forward to lots of fun summers playing in the backyard.