Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Pumpkin Patch

The pumpkin patch is probably my favorite part of fall!  I love fall to begin with but then we get to take our kids to the pumpkin patch and have fun doing all the pumpkin patch stuff.  Carter loved every second of it this year.  His favorite part was probaby a toss up between the hay ride with the big tractor and walking through the dark maze with daddy and his flash light.  He is so brave!  I don't even like going in those dark mazes, even with a flash light.  Carter did the entire thing with Jay.  They were probably in there about 30 minutes.  He talked about that for days.  Jay said everytime they came to a dead end he would yell out "dead end."  I would have been yelling out "are you kidding me?"  I hate being in the dark like that.  I'm proud of my boy!
Carter wanted to wear his bike helmet in the car and then he promptly fell asleep :)  He was extra safe on this car ride.

He enjoyed feeding the goats and petting all of the animals. 

He did not however like the slide.  He normally likes slides but this one didn't do it for him and then he refused to go on anymore slides the rest of the day. 

Umm, do you see my family of blue eyes?  Love all of those beautiful eyes!

He is really growing up!  He just seemed so old to me sitting there on the hay ride with his flash light.  He is really changing!  We are less than four months away until his 3rd birthday.  I can't wait and I can't believe it!  

And Madelynn discovered her love for swings.  Oh man she loved this!  She was actually giggling the whole time.  This was probably my favorite part of the pumpkin patch this year.  Watching her face full of joy on her daddy's lap was priceless.

Trying to pick out the perfect pumpkin.  This is like trying to pick out the perfect Christmas tree.  I am terrible at making decisions and could pumpkin hunt and tree hunt for hours.  Thankfully Jay reigns me in and helps me decide.  Carter helped too.

He kept trying to pick them up but they were all too heavy. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

She's 7 Months!

This sweet little thing is seven months old already!  I literally just melt when I look at that precious face.  They always say that a baby girl has their daddy wrapped around their finger...I think this baby girl has her mama wrapped around her finger.  And she is also a big time mama's girl!  She loves her daddy but if I am in the room, she wants me.  As much as I love it, it can also be a bit frustrating.  Usually she will stay with daddy even if I am in the room but anyone else and she is searching for me.  She seems to do okay though if I just disappear.  She is a little stinker!  She knows what she wants and isn't easily distracted.  But then she smiles at me or laughs at me and I forget about about all of that. 

She is still super tiny.  People are always surprised to hear how old she is because they can't believe how little she is.  She is tiny and perfect.  We had a little visit to a couple emergency rooms this past weekend and found out that she weighs 14 pounds even.  At least she gained a few ounces since her six month check up!  Her beautiful eyes are still blue...yay!  She is now wearing mostly six month clothes with lots of room to spare but her three month clothes are just getting too short.  Tops that are not onesies still fit in three month but anything with snaps or that are pants are now six months.  She is still in size two diapers.

She is finally sitting up pretty well.  She still falls quite a bit but she is fully capable of sitting up and loves doing it.  This morning I had her sitting in Carter's room while I was getting ready for church.  He was playing in there and she loved sitting near him watching him play.  Sometimes he would even share one of his toys with her.  She seems to like sitting up but I am looking forward to when she is a little more steady.

She finally loves food (other than milk).  We tried feeding her homemade pureed foods for two months before she finally decided it wasn't so bad.  Again...a little stinker!  So far she loves everything I have given her...pureed apples, bananas, strawberries, peaches, pears, butternut squash, carrots, zuchini, and yellow squash.  Tonight she is going to try sweet potatoes.  I am making her baby food just like I did with Carter and I love it!  I feel like little suzy homemaker.  I know, I'm a dork!  She also LOVES cheerios and puffs.  She scarfs them down!  And she is really good at grabbing them off her tray herself and putting them in her mouth.  She stunk at that at first and now has it down.  Most days I am feeding her a fruit in the morning and a veggie around dinner time. 

Her sleeping habits are improving.  Not perfect, but improving.  She was basically only sleeping in her crib at night time until ladies retreat last weekend.  She was waking up usually twice to eat which is still two times too many but much better than it had been.  Then retreat happened.  I took her swing because I didn't want to deal with her crying in the night in her crib when I had a roommate.  So she slept one night in her swing and then the second night is when everything happened with her head.  After that I just couldn't stand the thought of letting her cry it out in her crib.  I had bad thoughts of her screaming and putting pressure on her soft spot and causing damage.  This was not a legitimate fear but a fear none the less.  Well, yesterday we decided to get her back in her crib.  She had an AMAZING night last night!  She went down at 7:30ish and cried for about an hour (that part wasn't good) but then slept until 2:30, ate and slept again until 7.  That is an amazing night for her!  Nap today was a disaster and she ended up back in her swing because we are going to my dad's tonight and she NEEDED a nap before that.  I was desperate!  I know that someday she won't sleep in her swing ever :)  I know we should just pack it away in the garage but I'm just not ready.  But I am going to work hard at her sleeping in her crib and sleeping through the night!

She giggles for mama, daddy, and Carter all the time.  All I have to do is tickle her belly with my nose and she giggles.  All Carter has to do is jump up and down in front of her and she giggles.  All daddy has to is make a funny noise and she giggles.  There is nothing better than that sweet giggle!

She loves the nursery at church and seems to do really well.  She doesn't do great at life group on Wednesday nights though.  She is just so tired and doesn't do well down with the kids.  Carter had a little phase of dealing with that too.  Sometimes my mom takes her for life group so that I can just sit and enjoy it but sometimes we take her. She just doens't do well if she is tired!  She is much better at riding in the car now and rarely cries!  She was pretty rough for the first couple of months but now she seems to enjoy being in the car.  And if she is tired she just falls asleep.  

Here is a picture of her poor soft spot.  This is what it did about 24 hours after it was bulging.  It stayed sunken for about two days and is now back to normal!  And last night I noticed that she has a tooth on top that is about to poke through.  I can see the outline of the tooth!  That explains her crankiness the last few days.  That will be her third tooth.  

She is just the sweetest thing!  I love this little lady.  Thank you God for blessing me with both a boy and a girl.  What a special gift!

My sweet Mady girl...
We love you so much!  You fill our lives with joy.  You are very special and so loved!  I always knew how loved you were by others but I really saw it after our visit to the ER for your head.  People were telling me all day long all week that they were praying for you and loved you very much.  I pray for you everyday that you would grow to love Jesus and always know how loved and special you are.  We love you sweet girl!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Refreshed and emotionally and physically drained...

Are those two very opposite feelings?  They are both feelings that I feel right now.  This last weekend was an emotional one to say the least.  And yet I really enjoyed many aspects of it. 

Madelynn and I headed off to Lincoln City on Friday afternoon to spend the weekend with wonderful ladies from church for our annual ladies retreat.  This was actually my first time going and I am so thankful I decided to go for it, even with a seven month in tow.  Little side note here...I am very much looking forward to going next year alone :)  My friend Pam had asked me if I would help her do all the food for retreat which I felt was the perfect kick in the pants I needed to get my rear to retreat for the first time.  I have been at Bethany literally my entire life and have been old enough to go to retreat for something like 14 years.  I think it was about time.  So Pam and I planned all the food, grocery shopped before hand, and had great food planned for the weekend.

I am going to be very open and honest here and say that my first night there wasn't the best.  We got there a little too late for me which just added a little bit of stress.  I just didn't have much time to eat, unload the car, get comfy, feed Madelynn, and get prepared for the first session.  I ended up missing most of that evening's session because I had so much to do for Madelynn.  I was a bit overwhelmed because Madelynn was so tired, needed to eat, I needed to get her bed ready, and then I found out that my small group was going to be meeting in my room that evening after the first session.  So we are talking like 10:00 that night which meant that I couldn't put Madelynn to bed.  I just felt a lot of anxiety and was super stressed out.  I ended up keeping Madelynn up until after we had our small group time but then asked for the next day if we could meet in a different room so that she could go to bed at a normal hour.  I am so thankful that we were able to find a perfect room to meet in and that everything was going to calm down.  Our room was also right next to the kitchen, dining room, and living room which meant it was very loud.  However, Madelynn was amazing and went right to sleep even with 42 women laughing, chatting, yelling, and all around having a great time directly next to her room.  We were actually also in a room that people had to go into frequently so that was another part of my anxiety.  God was teaching me a lot of patience and go with the flowness.  Do you like my word I just made up?   I was also in charge of breakfast the next morning which meant I had some prep work to do that night for that.  I will be honest and tell you that I called Jay and cried for a minute and then called my mom and asked if she could come the next day by 7am to help me with Madelynn.  She was already planning on coming for the day to help with Madelynn since I was going to be cooking a big dinner that night with Pam.  I had told my mom to take her time coming in the morning but frantically changed my mind during all of the anxiety that I was feeling Friday night.  My mom was there the next morning by 7 and Madelynn slept until almost 9...sorry Mom!  I wish we always knew what our kids were going to do.  Anyway, Madelynn had a decent night, I slept a few hours (something like 4 to 5...not enough) and breakfast went off without a hitch the next morning.  Thank you Lord!  Once my breakfast was done I felt so much more relaxed and ready for the weekend.  I actually got to hear both sessions that morning and thoroughly enjoyed them. 

We watched the DVD series by Kay Warren called Choose Joy Because Happiness Isn't Enough.  Out of the four videos I only got to watch two.  However, the second one that I watched literally made the entire weekend more than worth it for me!  She had some very practical but powerful words to say that are really sticking with me.  I want to share a few thoughts with whoever reads this blog and more importantly for me to see later :)  "Joy is a Condition of My Heart" was the title of this session and focused on these two verses...

James 1:2-4 from the Message Bible "Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.  You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.  So don't try to get out of anything prematurely.  Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way."

Philippians 2:14-15  "In everything you do, stay aways from complaining and arguing so that no one can speak a word of blame against you.  You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of people who are crooked and stubborn.  Shine out among them like beacon lights."

I need to focus on grace.  I need to trust God for the future.  I need to balance my life.  I need to practice contentment.  I need to believe the best about others.  I need to forgive the mistakes of others.  I need to empathize with others feelings.  I need to applaud the efforts of others.  These were her key points and ones I know I struggle with often and need to change in my life.  These are areas in my life that I want to improve on!  I was very thankful for the way she made it so easy to relate to as well as very applicable. 

After two great video sessions, worship times, and small group times we had some free time for the afternoon.  I ended up taking Madelynn shopping for some fall and winter clothes for her and Carter and had a nice little date with her.  Then the rest of break was cooking dinner with Pam.  Dinner was fairly stressful but turned out great!  I enjoyed being a part of the dinner process and was thankful to hear great feedback about the food.  And I was thankful for my mom and other wonderful ladies who wanted to hold Madelynn and love on her while I cooked.  Sadly I had the worst headache that afternoon and evening.  I ended up taking excedrine at like 7 in the evening which I normally would never do!  It has so much caffeine in it that I am always afraid it will keep me up all night.  Getting rid of my headache was more important.  The evening held a very fun talent show with some very brave women and then some great pie and social time.  Madelynn went to bed and I enjoyed some great girly time that included painting nails, chatting, and laughing.  That evening was probably my favorite part of the weekend. 

The plan was to head off to bed after a bit and then enjoy one last video session the next morning before packing up and heading home to my two boys.  About midnight I heard Madelynn wake up so I went in to get her and brought her out to the living room to feed her.  Usually I would just feed her in the dark in the room so that I don't wake her up even more but I wanted to continue chatting with friends and Pam was sleeping in our room.  After I fed her she sat on my lap and enjoyed some girl time with me.  At some point I looked at her head and noticed that her soft spot was sort of bulging.  I am always aware of soft spots on my kids because they kind of freak me out.  It is just weird to feel a spot on their heads that are so soft and you can see them pulsing...strange.  Anyway I knew it did not look right so I asked all the girls there about it.  Jessie even got on google and looked it up to see if it is normal or not.  Something that I forgot to add in earlier was that Madelynn had woken up with a 102.7 temperature Friday morning which almost kept me from going to retreat to begin with.  She ended up doing pretty well and only felt mildly warm throughout the weekend.  Thankfully there were still quite a few ladies awake playing games and talking so I had many women to show and ask for opinions.  The consensus was to call the pediatricians office and ask an advice nurse.  The nurse called me back within a few minutes, asked many questions, aske me to take her temp again (which was 100.7) and then told me to head straight to the ER.  This is when reality hit for me.  I really never imagined that this is what was going to happen when I first noticed her soft spot.  I assumed everyone would say that it was normal, it happens, the nurse would tell me to just watch for certain things, etc.  But the ER?  Wow.  This is when the tears came.  I packed up a diaper bag and changed her into warmer jammies.  The women prayed over us and then Cathy Downs and Ellen Zarfas went with us to the ER in Lincoln City.  We got checked in, went through all the preliminary stuff (whats going on, insurance stuff, etc).  We got into a room in the ER and the doctor came in and asked quite a few questions.  He was definetely concerned which of course did not help my fears one bit!  The rest of our time at the Lincoln City ER is still a blur in my mind.  I was hearing everything from "you did the right thing by bringing her in, this isn't normal, we need to run tests, start IV's, CT scans, possible menengitis, ambulance ride to Salem Hospital, possible ambulance ride to Portland, being admitted, etc...I was A MESS!  The first time I called Jay before we left the house he wanted to come right away.  I told him to wait until we got checked in at the ER just in case it was nothing.  Thankfully I went against that decision while we were waiting in the waiting room and called him back and said just come now!  He called my mom and had her come stay with Carter and then was quickly on his way to be our hero!

Before he got there they were going to start an IV.  I was already feeling so sick and was super concerned I would either throw up or pass out.  I was so sick to my stomach that I sadly had to leave the room and I asked Ellen to stay with my Mady girl.  I still feel terrible about that decision because I feel like I wasn't there for her when she needed me the most.  However, that was the decision I made in that moment and then went to the waiting room and cried like a baby.  Jay got there during that time and went straight back to her.  Apparently they weren't going to let him go into the room but that didn't go over very well with him.  He basically let the nurse have it and was let in.  They tried twice to get an IV in but couldn't do it and Jay swooped in and held her and calmed her down even so much that she fell right to sleep in his arms.  Precious!  He was her hero :)  Before the IV part and Jay got there they did do a CT Scan.  That was so hard because I had to hand her off to a nurse and couldn't be with her.  That was a long few minutes!  The CT Scan came back normal and showed no signs of bleeding, swelling, or pressure on her brain.  Praise the Lord!  The next thing the doctor assumed it could be was menengitis.  This would mean a spinal tap to determine if it actually was menengitis.  After the spinal tap his plan was to take us by ambulance to Salem Hospital as long as there was a bed and an on-call pediatrician available to help us.  If not then we would have been heading to Portland.  Thankfully Jay was there to help make some decisions that I don't think I would have been able to make.  He questioned the doctor and what his plan with us was.  He didn't want to go by ambulance because it wasn't an immediate emergency and would end up in a very large ambulance bill!  Jay ended up signing Madelynn out and we drove her to Salem Hospital.  She slept the entire way :)  I will be honest and say it doesn't feel good signing a paper that says we are risking our daughter's health and even death could happen if we choose to drive her ourselves.  This is just a standard form though that everyone has to sign if they are denying transport by ambulance.  Jay said if she had a cold we would still have signed the same paper. 

We got to Salem Hospital about 4am and waited for and hour and a half to be seen by the doctor. When we were finally seen we were a bit frustrated because he kept saying things like "well, she looks fine, hmmm let's see, I don't see any signs of menengitis," etc... He was so laid back and was not telling us what could be going on.  He didn't even seem like he wanted to do a spinal tap which was so frustrating because the other hospital acted like it absolutely was menengitis.  We finally let the doctor know we were frustrated and needed him to give us more information than just "well, she looks fine."  I wanted to scream "DO YOU SEE HER HEAD...THIS IS NOT NORMAL!"  He ended up doing the spinal tap.  I just couldn't watch Madelynn go through that so I waiting outside the room and Jay stayed with her.  The doctor only had to poke her twice and she slept through the actual procedure!  I should have just stayed in there.  When I got back into the room she was still lying on the bed on her belly fussing a little.  I just laid my head by her face and sang to her and she fell right back to sleep and slept like that for the next two hours.  I wish I would have had a camera.  She was so precious laying on that big hospital bed on her belly, sound asleep.  The test showed NO menengitis!  We were so thankful for that but also still really wanted answers.  We talked to the doctor for quite a while about possibilities and he just continued to tell us that she was fine.  There were just no signs of anything serious and we should just follow up with her pediatrician the following day.  So we left.  My mom had taken Carter to church so we got home and all three of us took a much needed nap.

So that is the end of the dramatic night.  We saw her pediatrician Dr. Wilson the next morning only to be told again that she was fine.  By the next morning, before her doctor's appointment, her soft spot had actually gone back to normal and then began to actually sink.  This had me extremely concerned but Dr. Wilson wasn't the least bit concerned.  I am trying hard to trust him and the ER doctor.  Her soft spot is still very sunken but I know that she isn't dehydrated and both doctors feel confident that she is healthy.  I am trusting them with some fear still there.  I just want her head to go back to normal so that I won't be so nervous about it.  And it looks pretty funny.  People at the grocery store are going to wonder what happened to her head.  Even Carter randomly noticed the first day and touched her head asking what was wrong with it.  He has even kissed it multiple times throughout the week.  He is worried about her.  So sweet. 

She is doing well now but still has a cold and has been wanting to be held a lot.  I am not sure if that has anything to do with her head or just that she doesn't feel great from the virus that she had/has.  Other than that though she is her normal happy sweet self. 

While we were at the coast for ladies retreat she turned seven months so I will post some pictures of her and do her seven month blog soon.  I even took a picture of her soft spot.  :)  I don't always know who reads my blog but I want to thank all of the ladies at retreat that helped get me through that night and took care of some details the next morning.  I am so thankful for the wonderful ladies who loved us, supported us, prayed for us, and helped keep me from falling apart.  It's amazing what your emotions can do when you think something could be very wrong with your baby girl.  Thank you Ellen Zarfas and Cathy Downs for staying up most of the night and taking us to the ER and waiting with us.  Ellen stayed with Madelynn when I couldn't be in there because I was feeling so sick and Cathy prayed with me while I waited for the doctor to be done with Madelynn.  Thank you Pam Horton for driving our car and all of my stuff back to Salem from Lincoln City.  And thank you to all the girls who helped pack up my stuff!  I know they were all back at retreat praying for my Mady and I am so grateful for that!  I have some great friends at church!  And thank you Mom for driving  to Lincoln City for the day to help me take care of Madelynn!  I was much less stressed knowing you were there to hold her when I needed to cook.   

And that's a wrap...
Longest post ever!  And with no pictures.  Sorry :(             

Monday, October 22, 2012

Gilbert House and a New Window

We finally took the kids to the Gilbert House.  Carter loved it!  I hate spending that much money for just a couple hours of fun but I guess it was worth it for Carter :)

Carter loved the swings!

And the bubbles!

It is amazing how difficult it is to get a great picture of both of them at the same time.

Oh goodness...I love this little girl.  She is too cute :)

Here is our old window that was most likely installed when the house was built back in 1955.  It also had a storm window on the outside but we took that off before I remembered to take a "before" picture.  This window let in a lot of cold air and let out a lot of heat!

Leon and his friend Travis came and helped Jay install our new window.  We are soooooo thankful for their help and expertise.  And they were cheap ;)  What a huge blessing!  

Oops...as they were taking down the old window it shattered everywhere!  Our frond yard is now off limits for Carter for a little while :(

Carter wanted to be out there with them so bad so I distracted him with playing in the water in the sink.  Please pay no attention to the sink full of dishes.  I don't want the 

And the finished product...
We love our new window!  It changes how the outside of the house looks and updates the inside so much.