Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Pics...Finally!

This was the night we tried to go see Santa and look at Christmas lights. The Santa part went pretty well. We waited in line for quite a while, with Layton assuring us that he would sit in his lap, and then when it was time, he would only stand in front of him. It was so much like the movie A Christmas Story. Layton stared at him wide-eyed for a while until Santa finally said, "Would you like some trains or trucks for Christmas?" Layton, still wide-eyed, shook his head slowly yes and then realized that he actually wanted a guitar so quickly through threw that in before we left!

We let them each open one gift from us on Christmas Eve. Ava got her own set of dishes. Hers are Tinkerbell.

Ainslee got Candyland Castle, which is actually a pretty fun game for them!

Layton got a HotWheels pop-up shark attack set with some boats and beach trucks.Layton looking at his Woodland Express Lincoln Log Set

Ainslee in front of her new easel...What was Santa thinking!?!
Ava's new Little People doll house. They all love this one!
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Monday, December 22, 2008

Not me! Monday

Well we actually had a pretty slow week by way of kids getting sick, taking trips to the doctor, trying to figure out who will stay home. We actually DID make an entire 5 day work week. That being said, here are some thing I did NOT do!
**I definitely did not forget about the Christmas dress that I had bought for Ainslee two months ago until Saturday night and then scrounge around to find a pair of tights that would match. No I am an uberorganized mom, and I plan my children's holiday outfits well in advance and have things prepared.
**I then certainly did not call my mom in a panic because there was nothing for Ava to wear that even almost matched the forgotten Christmas dress (I keep wanting to type Easter so if it comes out that way, you know what I mean!) and beg her to let Ava wear the new Robeez that she had bought her as a Christmas present and promise that she can wrap them back up after church on Sunday.
**I would never "file" away some of the beautiful Christmas cards, pictures, and even some present that my students gave me. No I cherish every bottle of lotion, candle, and hand-drawn picture I get. (If any of my parents are reading this, I kept your child's gift; it was some of the other gifts that maybe didn't make it home.)--That sounds cold...I really do love my students; I am just not one of those people who hang on to things forever...I DO dislike clutter!
**I did NOT convince my kids at 7:15 that it was 8:00 and bedtime to get them to bed early! (And I did not just go on my myspace page and put that as my status! ...This is addictive I tell you!)
**I did not only get 1/2 of my Christmas cards mailed out! No, again, I'm organized! I get them all out on one day. Consequently, if you're my friend or family member that usually recieves a Christmas card, I have it sitting on my scrapbooking table. You're welcome to come by and get it because it looks like they're not making it out of the house by Christmas!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My favorite thing about Christmas

Giving presents is definitely my favorite thing about Christmas. I love buying presents; I love wrapping presents; I love seeing someone's face when they open the present I've given them. I love seeing my tree with presents under it. That is something that I am definitely not taking for granted this year. Because, you see, last year, there weren't many presents under our tree. Last year I had just had Ava, was not working and not getting paid because I didn't have disability insurance, but we had made ourselves a promise that we would not go into debt because of Christmas. So we had to humbly ask just about everybody if we could be excused from gift-giving, just for one year. We didn't get our kids anything, although Santa did bring them one gift each; we gave our parents pictures of our kids. Even now, as I'm typing this, I am crying, because I remember how heart-broken last Christmas made me, because I couldn't buy for the ones that I love.

It means so much to me that this year we're in a better place. There are things that we are choosing to keep from last year. Santa will still only bring each child one gift. We LOVED how they spent the whole day playing with their new treasure; they weren't overwhelmed by a living room full of things that they threw aside. They were so thankful and so excited for what they had in front of them. My kids are still young enough that they don't know the ugly greed that can come with the holidays, and I'd like to keep it that way as long as possible. I'm very sure that there will come a day when they'll want more and when we'll want to buy more, but for now, one gift is enough.

This year shopping for presents has been even more fun than in the past. Not going into debt, while still buying presents, is such a freeing feeling. I know exactly how much I can spend on each person. I plan ahead, look for sales, and strike while the gettin's good. I should have kept a tally of retail prices as compared to what I've paid. Several presents that I've bought I got at like 80% off! I wish I knew how much I've saved. Oh well..Maybe next year! In a strange way, it even feels good to have the ability to tell people no. People have asked if I wanted to go in on certain people's gifts, and I've had to say that I'm sorry, I just don't have any more to spend. I can say it confidently this year. There's no pressure, no guilt. I am in control.

This may be my favorite Christmas so far. I will enjoy watching people open the presents that I've paid cash for. Come January, Christmas will be a memory, and monthly statements will NOT remind me of what I overspent!
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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Random thoughts...

*Ava started walking
*She's cutting about 4 teeth...She is the teethingest child we've ever had...She's never cut just one tooth at a time!

*Layton has pneumonia...He's had two antibiotic shots, two rounds of oral antibiotics and two rounds of oral steroids, put countless number of breathing treatments. He's feeling better though.

*Trey did not get the job he interviewed for. We feel disappointed but know that God has other things in store for us.

*Ainslee's turning into a little seems like we turned around and she's no longer that fiesty toddler that kicks and screams when she doesn't get her way and is notorious for her fits....No, she's mature and caring and even a little mother hen to Layton and Ava! Layton was scared in his bed the other night, and she went running in there saying, "I coming Bubba. I coming."

*Layton can write his name! (He's only 3 and can write his name and upper and lower case A, B, C, and D.)

*I wish I could bottle up Ainslee's laugh for everyone to hear. She's so shy around other people, that most people don't get to see her true side. She's so happy and full of life. I wish everyone got to enjoy her the way we do.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

If you had come to our house back in August, you would have seen Ava slithering around on our floors, as shown in one of my August blogs. Today, however, if you came, this is what you would see!!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

I (heart) Target pharmacy...

Here’s why! This weekend Layton was having a really hard time breathing. Trey took him to Healthcare Express Friday night, and they gave him a shot, antibiotic, and steroid and told us to continue doing breathing treatments around the clock as needed. Since it was 10:00, the only pharmacy still open was Walgreen’s so he got the Rx filled there and came on home. When they got home we gave him his antibiotic, and he struggled to get his cherry-flavored steroid down. It was torture; you could tell by the look on his face! Well as soon as he swallowed the last drop, he said he felt sick and threw it right back up. We were frustrated, but it was late, and we thought he was probably tired. Saturday morning rolls around, and his breathing is still not great; we’re getting worried. We go ahead and give him another dose of his antibiotic and steroid (it was time for his steroid again, but we gave the antibiotic since he had thrown up the other dose), and again as soon as he swallowed the last drop, he said he felt sick and threw up again! We gave him several breathing treatments throughout the day, each one wondering if we should be taking him to the ER because it was so obvious that he was struggling to breathe. That night we, once again, tried the steroid, this time, hidden in a cup of milk, and he threw it up too. We were frustrated beyond belief; I was in tears because I did not want to go back to the hospital with him again. So I gave him some of Ava’s steroid (same brand, same dose, just from Target, not Walgreen’s so it was grape flavored). He kept it down! We were thrilled. Sunday morning, I only had enough to give Layton ½ dose, and I knew he would need another dose that night and Ava would need some that night too. I decided to go to Walgreens and plead my case to see if they could fill the Rx again, flavoring it with grape. The only thing they could do was to put grape flavor OVER the cherry. He wasn’t rude but was apathetic to my case. I left, again in tears, because I knew that without that steroid, Layton wouldn’t be well enough to hold out until Monday morning. I decided to go to Target, our usual pharmacy, and beg, plead, whatever it took for them to take the Rx off the bottle and fill it with their grape-flavored steroid. The pharmacist was very understanding, and although he couldn’t take the Rx off the bottle, he was personal friends with the doctor who wrote the Rx. So he called him and got him to write a new one and had it filled, and I was out the door in less than 30 minutes! That’s what I call going above and beyond; to call your friend on his day off to get him to write a new prescription! Anyway just wanted to send some kudos on. They are great there!

This was actually an email that I sent to some of my friends, but I thought it was worth blogging about!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Happy Birthday to Trey

Happy birthday to Trey, Happy birthday to Trey, Happy birthday to Trey-ay, Happy birthday to Trey!!!! Today's Trey's birthday! He's the big 3-2!! I got him Seinfeld Scene-It? DVD game, and now we're off to play it! He has met his match! (I've payed closer attention than he thinks to all those seasons of Seifeld that run through our DVD player!)

Oh and on December 4 it was 10 years since our first date! TEN YEARS!!! Who would have thought!?!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I love St Michael's and all but...

Being in the hospital is getting old! Very old! Oh...if you didn't know, because it was such a whirlwind trip, Ava just got out of the hospital. "What for?" you say. Respiratory problems, what else? OK get this..we tallied it up. Since Layton was 3 months old, that is 3 1/2 years ago, our children have collectively been hospitalized a grand total of 7 times! Seven times in 3 1/2 years, people! The nurses there know us, we're on first-name basis with our pediatrician's nurses, and the pharmacistS (I capatalized that on purpose to emphasize its plurality) at Target all know us! Oh and let me not forget BOTH chapalans know us by name! When we got there to check in this time, the nurse jokingly said, "We don't have your usual room ready for you." This is sad! Oh then there were the three trips to the hospital that I made to have the little astmatics! So that's 10 times in 3 years and 9 months! But the thing is, my kids are healthy! They're not frail little failure to thrive children (thank God! who always takes care of us and gets us home swiftly!)...they're healthy children who just have trouble breathing every now and again (except Ainslee who only takes credit for one of those hospitalizations for a UTI).

Okay so I think I have some wisdom to impart based on these many hospitalizations. Tips, if you will, for if you ever find yourself needing to hospitalize your children.
First, believe it or not, 4 days with a 3 year old is about 100 times easier than 1 night with a 1 year old! Count your blessings if your child is old enough to sit in bed, watch TV, or color!

Secondly, take cash! The vending machines will be your friends.

Third, bring your own diapers, wipes, tylenol, orajel, formula, etc...It's pricey at the hospital if they're having to serve as your toiletry supplier.

Next, you may also want to bring your own toilet paper, especially if you will be there more than a night or two. Hospitals typically buy Pom brand, which is about the equivalent of notebook paper.

Next, moms: you will start a stress-induced period so come prepared for that too!

Oh and an absolute MUST!...Bring flip-flops or Crocs so that you can slip them off while you sit but easily slip them back on to help your toddler to the potty or stand up and bounce your baby.

Don't plan on getting any sleep. The night nurses come in more often and are typically louder than the day nurses. When they come on board at 7:00 their peppiness is refreshing, but by about midnight when you're still trying to rock your baby to sleep, and they come in talking to her, getting her more awake, it begins to get on your nerves!

When you get the all-clear that you're being discharged, plan to stay at least another hour to two hours to get your discharge papers all together and signed. I don't think that's anybody's fault. I think it just takes a while to process. We didn't know that when we went to have Layton so we sat, ready to leave, with a hungry newborn, for about an hour and a half.

Don't use this as an excuse to eat out for every meal! We did that the first few trips, and it gets VERY expensive. The hospital will provide (charge you for) a guest meal to accompany the patient meal so take advantage. They also have alternative choices besides what's offered on the menu so inquire about those. They'll send you just about whatever request your write down!

Always be nice to the cleaning lady, respiratory therapists, and of course the nurses. They're the ones taking care of you all day and night! The doctor only makes rounds at about 9:00 in the morning. And if you're ready to ahem go home a day early, it will be the nurse begging on your behalf. If your child (or worse someone else's child) throws up or wets the bed, it will be the cleaning staff helping make sure all the germs are wiped away. And if your child can't breathe, it will be the respiratory therapist who will bring in those wonderful Rx drugs! I should also add to be kind to the transport tech, X-ray tech, and account manager for various addition to the fact that it's just Christian-like to treat everyone with respect and kindness!

OK that wraps it up for now...I'm tired and going to bed...If I think of more useful information I'll type an addendum. Hopefully you'll never need this information, but just in case...