Monday, October 20, 2014

10 Months Old, Other Baby Updates, and Big Brothers Too

Silas is now 10 months old. He's apparently feeling his age, as you can see:

Now, before you think that I was taking pictures of my child while he was in a bad mood or sick or something, I assure you that was not the case. He was laughing hysterically one minute and then giving me faces like above the next. Such a silly boy. Here's one of the cuter ones:

So, at 10 months old he's crawling faster than you could possibly imagine, getting into everything, has figured out stairs (bring out the baby gates!), and loves walking with his baby walker. He's even stood on his own a few times for just a second or two. I'm not ready for him to start walking, but I have a feeling he'll be doing it much sooner than his brothers did. He's eating a bunch of foods (vegetables, meats, fruits, oatmeal), mostly pureed, but he's also eating pieces of banana, cheerios, and kix. So he's getting plenty of variety and developing some fine motor skills in the process. And he's using a sippy cup!! AND drinking water!! We're still trying to get his older brothers to drink water, so this feels BIG for us.

A few more pictures from the past month:

He's so tiny that I find him walking
like this the most adorable thing ever.

What's going on here?

It's Peter and Ethan!
Speaking of Peter and Ethan, these two just crack me up! They like to walk around with hands folded, singing "Alleluia." If a book is handy, Peter, and sometimes Ethan, will walk around holding it up like he sees the Deacon holding the Book of the Gospels during Mass. They will often step up on the fireplace and stand there with hands folded, singing away. It's very cute. They do it outside too. There are two brooms in our garage that have become candle holders or maybe the crucifix and they march around the backyard with them. They use one of the low walls around some of the garden beds to stand on after their "processional." So cute:

Their "Mass" processional. Altar servers in the making!

They are both doing great and are great big brothers to Silas. Potty training has gone nowhere, although their teacher at school is helping them to at least sit on the potty a few times a day. We do the same thing on the evenings we do baths, but we're not consistently doing it daily. But it really is just sitting there. It's a start, I guess. They are also incredibly silly. A bit of evidence:

Can you guess what they are doing?
And just LOOK at Ethan's face, oh my goodness!

They made these spider hats at school and
apparently wore them the rest of the day.

I have more updates and a few more blog posts in my head that I hope to get out soon. My time for writing seems to have dwindled a lot, but I'm not giving up. Be patient with me, please. More to come ... eventually.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

While I wasn't writing here ...

... I was still contributing over at Catholic Sistas.

Although, I've cut back on my contributions over there slightly. I was handling a 7 Quick Takes post there once a month, but I have handed that on to someone else. I help her out some with it, but mostly just logistics. She's handling the ideas and writing the posts.

My usual once a month post is still there every third Friday and I've apparently been neglecting sharing those posts with my readers here. So I thought I'd share the links to my last few posts.

"7 Quick Takes Friday: Role Model Saints for Dads"

In honor of Father's Day in June, I used my last 7QT post to explore some saints that are good role models for dads. St. Joseph is in there, of course, and 6 other great saints or blesseds.

"Marriage: A Catholic Understanding"

I asked my Catholic friends to describe marriage in 5 words or less and compiled them for this post. I got a whole range of responses and it was fun to see the variety. A couple to whet your appetite:

Two imperfect people walking together.

The foundation of the family.

Two words: redemptive suffering.

I like it a lot.

"The Revolution of John XXIII: The Second Vatican Council [Review]"

My first official review! I was so excited to have this opportunity. This movie appealed to my fascination with both history and the history of the Church. I learned a lot while watching it.

"The Assumption: Finding Mary in the Darkness"

A short excerpt:

At a young age I developed a fear of death. I don’t know what it was that caused me to fixate on this. It wasn't the death of a relative or family friend. Not that I recall, anyway. I would often find myself lying in bed at night thinking about what happens to a person in death. My imagination ran wild during my bouts with insomnia at a young age. Often my mind would zero in on a feeling of complete and utter emptiness or nothingness. For a young girl, this was incredibly scary.

My September post was a short one (I was out of town and didn't finish it prior to my trip, so ...). But I ask an important question and was hoping for some good comments and maybe some discussion. And I did get some good comments. Check it out and leave a comment if you have something to add (or just to say hi).

I hope some of these sound intriguing enough to go check them out. More updates to come very soon. Still trying to come up for air.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Now on Bloglovin'

I started using the blog reader service Bloglovin'. I was interested in seeing what it was and checking it out, but I still really like Feedly. So I'll be using Feedly mostly, but using Bloglovin' some too just to see how it all works.

Anyway, if you are interested in following me on Bloglovin' check it out here:
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Coming Up For Air

I'm still here!! Have you been wondering if I had disappeared? I have so many updates, so much has been going on. A quick run down (i.e., what you can look forward to hearing more about soon):

  • I am now a Novice Oblate in the Order of St. Benedict
  • We had a nice vacation in Hilton Head, SC
  • ... and an "interesting" two day drive back home
  • My recent (or not so recent) posts at Catholic Sistas
  • An update on the boys

In the meantime, Silas is now 9 months old. How did that happen? He had his 9 month well-visit this week and he's now up to 16 pounds 10 ounces. He's my peanut. He weighed much more than his brothers at birth, but they were bigger than him by 9 months old. He's so tiny, but crawling, standing, walking along furniture, and even starting to stand for a second or two without holding onto anything. He is the cutest thing, so tiny and doing all these things. Seriously, cuteness everywhere!

That's all for now. More to come. Hopefully soon!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Unintentional Reverse Psychology

This morning's breakfast conversation:

Peter: "I done."

Me: "No, eat some of your Chex."

Peter: "No! I done!"

Me: "I asked you to eat some of your Chex. Eat five pieces, please."

Peter, defiantly: "No!"

I walk over and move five pieces to one side of the plate. "There, just eat those five pieces and then you can be done."

Peter: "No, I eat all."

Me: "Okay, eat them all."

And he did. Completely cleaned the plate. LOL!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Family Update: Another ER Visit and A Different Diagnosis

Some people know what's been going on with us lately, some know only parts, and others probably have just wondered why I've been a bit absent lately on the blog and other social media (and I apologize for any non-answered emails). I figured an update here was appropriate and I could then easily share the story with anyone who has been wondering about us.

The short story is that after two trips to the ER and one hospital stay in a month, we have a child with asthma. That doesn't really explain a whole lot, so here's the longer version.

In mid-July Peter started not feeling well and we ended up at a doctor appointment, then the ER, and then admitted to the hospital. I mentioned this in a 7 Quick Takes post shortly after it all happened. you can read about it in Take #6 on this post HERE.

So the diagnosis then was pneumonia. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't.

Fast forward to August 17, almost exactly one month from his hospital stay, and his breathing seemed very labored again. He woke up that morning seeming a little off, so we gave him an albuterol treatment (the nebulizer) before leaving for Mass that morning. By the time we got home he was sounding bad again, so we did another one. But his breathing wasn't improving much and he was starting to get that grunting sound back. So I called the Twilight Clinic to find out if we should bother with them or go straight to the ER (told them we had dealt with this the month previous) and they said go to the ER. So, Hubby and Peter headed out. It was probably around 1:30, maybe 2:00, that afternoon.

I got updates from Hubby here and there and it sounded like Peter was responding well to some breathing treatments. It was looking like he was going to be sent home. During one of our phone conversations was when I first heard mention of possible asthma. Eventually I heard around 8 that evening that they were going to be sent home. They pulled in around 10:30 and I told Peter I'd get him anything he wanted for dinner. He chose yogurt, applesauce, and cinnamon-sugar toast, so that's what he got.

That was a Sunday. I made a follow-up with the pediatrician for Tuesday where we discussed asthma some, did some more nebulizer treatments, and got a new prescription to fill (someone in the ER didn't write one of the prescriptions they gave us correctly and I thought it looked odd when I got it filled so I waited until we saw the pediatrician and she agreed with me). We were also given an appointment for Thursday with the Pediatric Pulmonology Department.

As a side note, I went to the pharmacy on that Sunday to fill a prescription I had from July for more albuterol. I ended up getting the big box which was HUGE! 60 vials huge!! Then I went back on Monday with the two prescriptions from the ER. I went again on Tuesday with the prescription I got from the pediatrician and then again on Thursday (drop off) and Friday (pick up). I've spent a lot of money there recently. AND ... I now recognize the pharmacy's phone number on my phone when I get the automated "your prescriptions are ready" call. Hopefully we are done for a while.

Thursday's Pulmonology appointment was really good. The doctor was very nice and took time with me. We discussed asthma, what it means, a plan for treatment, allergies, and his nurse went over the treatment plan in detail with me as well. Plus they gave me a bunch of information to read. And we go back in three months for a follow-up.

So for now, we have an inhaler that he uses every four hours (albuterol, and I can use either the inhaler or the nebulizer; same medication, just different methods of distribution). Then he has a second inhaler that contains a steroid that is used twice a day, morning and night. Currently we are supposed to do 4 puffs of that one and then wean him down to two. He was on a prednisone for four days which we just finished up on Saturday. And finally he has some Singulair he takes just before bed.

I was taking in so much information this past week that I was starting to feel overwhelmed. It's hard enough to get things done on the weekends and also spend time with my kids without running a bunch more errands and trying to clean the house from top to bottom. I went to work on Thursday afternoon and just could not concentrate! So I made a very last minute decision on Friday morning and took a vacation day. I went and bought impermeable mattress and pillow case encasements for the boys' room, I washed all the sheets from their room (and Silas' room), dusted the furniture, and vacuumed everything, including moving the bed to get under it. I got the encasements all on and remade beds. I haven't yet done much else in the rest of the house, but luckily we had recently had guests so I had cleaned most of the house earlier in the week.

Now I just have to plan to actually change sheets once a week and figure out how to vacuum twice a week. I can vacuum and dust once over the weekend, but how in the world I'm going to find a way to do it once during the week is beyond me. Especially since Peter can not be in the room that is being vacuumed and he can't go into the room for 30 minutes after it is vacuumed. Normally we have about two hours between when we get home and when we start getting kids to bed, and those two hours are pretty packed.

There are a number of other things I hope to do and a few things that won't be happening (like replacing carpet with flooring or switching out our furniture, just can't do those things right now). But I need to get rid of some curtains that we have left hanging up from the previous owners of the house (which won't be sad at all, there are some horribly ugly curtains in our family room that I've been dying to get rid of) and I want to try and wash as many parts of the couches as I can. I've toyed with the idea of getting a cleaning service, even just once a year to do things like blinds and ceiling fans and all those things that are a pain and don't necessarily need to be done frequently, but now I'm seriously considering it. It'd be nice to know that we can get a good deep clean 1-2 times a year while I handle regular maintenance as much as possible.

I'm sure we'll be learning a lot more about asthma and allergies and who knows what as we go forward in the months and years to come. For now, Peter is doing great! He's running around, playing with his brothers, getting into trouble, and just being 3 years old. His breathing is excellent at the moment, I have't heard much coughing at all and definitely no grunting. So we're pleased.

Only thing we need now is tips on how to teach a 3 year old to take a sip of water, keep it in his mouth, swish it around, and spit it out. He needs to do this after the steroid inhaler and he doesn't yet get it. It's so hard to explain something that seems to intuitive to us.

If you've read this whole long story, thank you for sticking it out with me. As a reward, I give you a recent testosterone pile:

Yep, that's all four of my boys piled up there.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Small Success Thursday, No. 9

Eight weeks! That's how long it has been since I last participated in Small Success Thursday. That's entirely too long to go without acknowledging my small successes in my every day life. Often it's because I get caught up in all the things that I don't get done or the failures all around me that I can't even recognize the small things that I have done well.

And that is what Small Success Thursdays are all about at It's the small things!! Let's take a brief moment to celebrate those.

I managed to have all lunches made, breastmilk bottles poured, water bottle filled, and all daycare bags ready to go on Sunday night this week. I can't remember that last time I was that prepared for a Monday morning. And then we made it out of the house right at 8 AM as planned. The best part, was that I didn't have to do any yelling to get us out by 8. Still lots of constant reminders and pushing everyone to keep moving, but not yelling. This one might count as two successes!

I managed to clean off a portion of my desk at work. I hate how cluttered and overgrown my desk is. And it's a big desk too. The desk is in a square shape with three of the four sides being desk space the the fourth is open. On the open side I actually have a library book truck full of stuff too. So I end up with a little walkway between the book truck and the third side of the desk for me to escape from. Monday I finally tackled a large box that was sitting on my desk and finished all the things in it by Tuesday and the box was able to be moved. It opened up the space enough for me to see a few other things sitting in that same area that were relatively easy to get done. And tada! I could see my desk again!!

The best part about cleaning off a section and getting some things accomplished, is that it gets me motivated to tackle a bunch of other things. I'm starting to put some dents in a few other piles of stuff and shelves of materials sitting around my office, not just on my desk. It's amazing!

I have been doing so much better including some form of daily prayer in my day each day. This has always been a struggle for me. Lately, I have been using the Honor Your Inner Monk app and it's been great. The app keeps track of how many times you do the morning and afternoon prayers and at the end of the month gives you an "assessment." It keeps giving me the "wha-wha-whaaa" sound and a message that "You can do better." That may not sound good, but I've been doing the morning prayer practically every day and despite what the app tells me, I'm pleased with that. I have a harder time getting to afternoon prayer. I'll work on that later. #innermonk

Normally I would link up to the Small Success Thursday post at Catholic Sistas. But it has not yet been published (or maybe there isn't one this week?). I'll link it up later if it pops up, but wanted to go ahead and post mine. Happy Thursday!