Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Great Pretenders

Wow. What a lame blog month for us. We lost a week to pneumonia and a week to Thanksgiving, but other than that, I have no excuse. We do have some Turkey Day pictures, but I'll have to nag Michael to process them for me so I can blog them. Before the calendar turned to December though, I did want to write a quick note about our new favorite activity....PRETENDING!

What a big step in the lives of Colin and Gillian, to be able to pretend something that isn't real!!! This started the end of October, when we would go to the playground and they crazy kids would totally ignore the slides and swings and head straight for the picnic tables. They would make me sit down and then they would run over to the fence, wave their hands, then run back to the table and present me with NOODLES or BROCCOLI or SOUP! Pretty funny.

Since then, their skills have grown leaps and bounds, especially Gillian's! Some of their favorite games right now are "tending!" Once game they really like is to turn the bottom step into a car and drive. Colin will drive from the back seat most of the time, and Gillian makes sure you click your seatbelt before she drives off. Most of the time we drive to the beach, but sometimes we get to go to Schmo's house (funny, I thought he lived in our house!). Daddy even got them to get out of the car at the beach, run over to the "sand," dig a hole, and jump in!

This week's favorite 'tend game is "Wonder Pets!" The other night, Michael was holding up a blanket like a tent for them and G kept telling him, "Get the wheels!" We were very confused until we figured out that she wanted to find the wheels for the FLY-BOAT. Silly us, not getting that one right away! Once we figured out what she meant, she had so much fun "building" the Fly-Boat. Then she and Colin pretending to be Tuck and MingMing. And, yes, Gillian is totally a MingMing. Their favorite animal to save is a camel, by the way.

I'm thinking that Santa better bring some toys to promote these new skills!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

We Interupt your Regularly Scheduled Program....

....to bring you PNEUMONIA! Woo hoo!

(Ok, this is really long with no cute pictures. Don't feel obligated to read, I just wanted to get it down for our own sakes!)

Last Sunday morning, Colin woke up sounding awful. He had been fighting what we thought was a cold, so we were expecting wheezing, but he sounded too bad to keep at home. So, off the ER he and I went at 6:45 am. Dr looked him over, no fever, hearing no wheezing, but seeing obvious "work of breathing" she prescribed him oral steroids and told us to come back if it got worse. By 5:00 pm he was sounding REALLY bad, retracting, and starting to get warm. Back to the ER, Colin and I go. This time his fever earned him an x-ray and, low and behold, PNEUMONIA! Honestly, I wasn't surprised. This round of breathing trouble felt and sounded different that all of our asthma woes last winter.

This diagnosis earned us a room upstairs in the pediatric unit. We were at the local hospital, not the well known children's hospital in the city, mostly because I refuse to drive there and that place is slightly intimidating to me, in general. I did feel a little nervous at first about being admitted NOT at the children's hospital, but, in the end, I'm glad we were where we were. (And our own pediatrician told me later that she really likes and trusts the pediatric attendings at the local hospital). By the time we were settled in our own room, first dose of antibiotics given, and we settled n it was 10:00 (WAY past C's bedtime). It was just the beginning of a very long night for both of us. Poor C would wake up every time the nurse or respiratory therapist came in (at least every 90 minutes) and it just wasn't a good night for us.

Thankfully, Daddy came in the morning while Aunt Mercedes watched poor, neglected Bean. I went home, showered, played with G, and took a nap. Daddy took very good care of Colin and got him to take a decent nap. Uncle D came over after work to be in charge of G and put her to bed, while I went back to see Colin and Daddy.

When I got back to the hospital, Colin was in pretty sad shape. His fever had gone up (still only at 102) and he was working and working to breath, while still not really WHEEZING. The doctor ordered continuous nebulizer treatments for him (about 1 hours' worth of abluterol given together) along with some other meds put in his breathing treatments. Colin also slept with oxygen that night just so he wouldn't have to work so hard to breath. I was pretty reluctant to leave, but Daddy knew that I needed sleep, so he sent me home while he settled in with Colin. Michael is pretty well known for his ability to sleep pretty much anywhere and through anything....me, not so much.

Our sitter came the next morning to keep Gillian while I switched with Michael. Colin was obviously much better in that morning, but still taking breathing treatments every two hours and his oxygen would dip when he slept. Both of those items earning us another night at the hospital. We were pretty desperate for help with Gillian at this point, so we had to call in the Grandparents! We are very lucky that they only live two hours away and can come help when we need it!

So, GraGra came down that afternoon (Tuesday but this point) and took Gillian to the mall....where else? Daddy came back to the hospital, ate dinner with Colin and me, and volunteered to stay ANOTHER night. Ok, seriously, he's my hero. Although, he claims it was very selfish since I am non-functional when I don't sleep, so me sleeping at home was for everyone's benefit.

By this point, Colin was feeling pretty good. Still happy to sit on our laps and watch LOTS and LOTS of Sesame Street, but he was happy and talkative. He had discovered that our window looked out onto the parking garage (which he called bridges) and he liked to look out and count the levels. Also, below our window (on the 5th floor) there was a giant compressor (I think, you'd have to ask Michael for sure) that had a fan that turned on and off and blew steam past our window. Also a bit hit with C. So, at this point, we weren't really worried about him, just frustrated that he wasn't improving fast enough to be discharged!

Next morning (Wednesday), I went to the hospital very early because Michael, who is running very low on vacation time, needed to get to work! GraGra was in charge of Gillian (who was an emotional mess by this point since she missed her brother and kept getting abandoned by her parents every time she turned around) and, luckily, they made it to Social Butterflies (our Mommy and Me class), which G TOTALLY enjoyed! Michael came home, showered, and headed to work, and Papa Frank drove down to take the afternoon shift on the home front. I had the joy of spending the morning with my very, very overly tired and cranky son who finally felt good enough to CAUSE A RUCKUS at the hospital.

Luckily, our RN, who had seen us every day since we were admitted, recognized that C was feeling much better and gave me a glimmer of hope that we would be discharged on Wednesday! After breakfast, and after getting hit and screamed at by C who really didn't like being told NO at this point, we took a morning nap and then watched our 9000th hour of Elmo. Just about lunch time the doctor came by for rounds and told us we could GO HOME! Woo hoo!!! Sadly, in the universal way of hospitals, it still took us about two hours to be officially discharged! At that point, we raced home and I put Colin to BED. Immediately.

A week later, Colin is doing very well. He is still doing some breathing treatments during the day, but they aren't a big deal. He still seems to be a bit cranky and short-tempered, but I'm hoping a few more days of good sleep will help alleviate that. Although, I may have to admit that my sweet boy is having some issues being TWO. Gillian is returning to her normal self as well. Unfortunately, she had a very runny nose all last week and is trying to pop out four teeth right now, so she's still pretty clingy and weepy.

We are all very happy to home together. Our house was very, very quiet without our Colin-Monster chatting away all day long. And, Sissy and Bubba really did miss each other A LOT! (G keeps trying to hug and kiss C, although he will have NONE of it) I'm hoping this is our big winter hullabaloo and now we can settle down to the regularly scheduled asthma and colds for the rest of the winter.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Future Astronomers of America....

We've shared that the kiddos love their laptops. They love, even more, to use Mommy and Daddy's laptops. They like to watch videos of themselves and to check out our other "blog friends" (Hi Rachel, Dashiel, Dylan, Jacob, Ocean, Ever, and many, many others). However, one of their MOST FAVORITE things to do with Daddy on the computer is to use Google Earth! First, they look at the whole Earth, AKA "The Big Ball". Then, they zoom in on our "Own Home." Next, they check out the old trolley car that's permanently installed next to the Farmer's Market. After they have sufficiently explored the globe, they move on to the MOON! Daddy pulls up the moon for them and then they zoom in on the lunar landing sights. Apparently Google has added panoramic shots of the astronauts on the moon, with their gear, and, boy howdy, Colin really enjoys that!

So, here's a shot of the Happy Explorers!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Bridge!

...or "didge" as Colin calls them. He loves the darned things. In fact, it makes me a little afraid that he'll want to be civil engineer instead of a mechanical engineer. We have a few years to sort that out though. Anyway...

For their Birthdays C&G received from their Aunt Em and Uncle Steve a set of magnetic building toys. I believe that they're supposed to be called "Magneatos" but the kids call them "Sticks and Balls". "Play sticks and balls!" is a frequently heard shout after (or during) dinner. As I'm a fan of building toys, I'm 100% behind this interest. The problem is that I would build towers with the sticks and balls, and the kids (clearly Fraggles to my Doozer) would relish in knocking them down. As I found this frustrating (an un-Doozer-like qualtiy of mine), I decided to stymie the kids by building something they wouldn't want to knock down - a bridge:
As you can see, Colin loved it. Particularly at the point where we put a piece of cardboard across the span and he could drive little cars across it. He thought that it was about the best thing ever. Gillian was somewhat less impressed... or maybe she was just tired of listening to Colin lecture on the merits of a good bridge:
At any rate, Aunt Em and Uncle Steve scored a winner with the sticks and balls! Thanks for the "didges!"

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Halloween night we got all decked out...well, ok, Gillian got all decked out. Colin declined to wear a costume. Luckily, I outfoxed him by choosing a costume for him that was more like "outfit-like" and he was cool with that, just don't ask him to wear a hat.

Our original costume plan was for Colin to be Knuffle Bunny and G would be Trixie (from the books). Grammy Lynn even made an awesome Knuffle Bunny costume, but Colin's costume-phobia necessitated a change....so G was Knuffle Bunny and Colin was a "choo choo driver."

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Our neighborhood is not the best for trick or treat, busy road, no sidewalks and all, so pre-Halloween our friend, Miss Laura, and I had made tentative plans to trick or treat in their neighborhood. Turns out, Miss Laura was a LITTLE busy on Halloween having a BABY! The little guy was 10 days early, but he wanted a BIG holiday for a birthday, apparently. Despite Miss Laura's absence, we did go to her house and help her two year old twins, Ian and Julia, (and their Dad) trick or treat!

Julia was a very cute Abby Cadabby:

Ian was not totally digging the costume thing either, but his Dad and Michael rigged up a pretty funny solution to the hat problem....

Uncle D was kind enough to come join us for trick or treat too, which brought us to the appropriate 1:1 ratio for going out with 2 year olds....
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Oh, Julia really made good friends with Uncle D....

We went to about 10 houses and all the kids did really well! They caught onto the whole concept very quickly! They would walk up to a house, say "TREAT," grab a handful of candy, stuff it in their pumpkin, and say "THANKS!" Then run off to the next house! They were naturals! Pretty funny for kids that hadn't ever eaten candy!

And, here we are, four days post-Halloween and they are still digging through their TREAT pumpkins, wanting to see the jack o'lanterns, and yelling HALLOWEEN when they see left-over decorations as we drive around! Apparently, they had a GREAT time!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy WEEN!!!!

Turns out we have two little Halloween nuts. I am not a fan of Halloween and Michael is only somewhat into it, but Colin and Gillian? Oh boy, yes. (Well, as long as Colin doesn't have to wear anything resembling a costume!)

The festivities started with pumpkin carving on Saturday! They LOVED IT.

Daddy cut them open and Bean really liked "scooping" the guts out....two seeds at a time.
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Colin experimented with the lid...check out the crazy stem on that pumpkin!
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Then he took his turn scooping!
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But he let Daddy finish...
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Gillian kept herself entertained while it was C's turn!
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Then Colin got a pumpkin close-up!
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Gillian was having fun with Daddy.
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After we got the guts all scooped out, we had the kids tell us what shape they wanted Daddy to cut into the pumpkins and we made some pretty awesome Jack O'Lanterns! The kids were VERY proud of them!

First Gillian had to tell Colin: SIT DOWN!
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Yep, very proud of those pumpkins!
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They looked great all lit up!
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Up next....Trick or TREAT!