Welcome!

Welcome to a piece of our sweet journey of life. This blog is about our family life-- my husband, my type 1 diabetic kindergartner, my spunky pre-schooler, my newborn baby girl, and myself! Enjoy!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Too Fast!

This month is going by too fast!

I really really thought I had written at least one blog post so far this month and realized that, in fact, I had not!  Goodness gracious-- time is such a thief and moves at lightning speed.

I thought I'd share 3 things about each of my kiddos.

Michael-- 6 years old




  • He loves to play video games.  And for any judgmental thoughts scrolling across anyone's mind-- these games do not seem to detract from his ability to exhibit literacy and mathematical skills.  He's one of the top students in his grade.  I think there are about seven first grade classes at his school and he still ranks in the top percentage as far as academic ability even after spending a week in the hospital and a week recovering at home during the month of October. 
  • He's the ultimate home-body.  In this way, we are very much alike!  He would always prefer to stay at home than to go on errands or grocery shop!  He's most comfortable curled up on the couch with a game or a book. 
  • He is very much into the magic of Christmas and it's so fun!  He understands that the true reason of the season is to celebrate Jesus' birth and he can relate the importance of the birth to Easter and the magnificence of Jesus defeating death.  In addition to the real meaning of the season, he is in awe of the other traditions of the season too.  We have an "Elf on the Shelf" and we say that Santa fills the stockings while presents under the tree are from Mom and Dad and family members.  Michael still believes in Santa and thinks the elf is real, etc.  While he believes, I will surely let him do so.  Once that magic is gone, it's hard to get it back until you're seeing the magic in the eyes of your own children. 


Noah-- 4 (almost 5) years old



  • Noah is still obsessed with garbage trucks and loves to help us break down cardboard boxes that he then takes to the recycling center with Grandma Chips.  Mondays are garbage days around here, and if he doesn't see our trash can being picked up then he considers it his mission of the day to see a garbage truck in action somewhere around our town.  We have nearly a 100% success rate at finding a garbage truck on these days. :)
  • Noah is also newly obsessed with police officers.  He wants us to stop whenever we see one parked in a parking lot of department stores, etc.  We try to tell him that it's not really appropriate to just walk up to a police car and bang on the window just to ask to see their hats or handcuffs, but he asks us each time we pass one just in case that's the one time we'd say yes. :) He has gone into the sheriff office and fire department in the downtown area of our city, and has spoken with police officers behind the police department of our city where they keep their mobile command units, motorcycles, Jeeps, etc.  I am going to bring him back a NYPD toy police car (and maybe fire truck too) on an upcoming trip of mine. 
  • He is the best imaginative player I've ever seen!  This kid can self-entertain like no other! And he doesn't care who sees him do it.  At any time throughout the course of the day, he will be a garbage man using the couch as his truck, or he'll find a random toy or object that can serve as handcuffs and he'll be a police man arresting someone (the crime is always "you robbed money from the bank"), or he'll be a fireman with sirens blaring.  His imagination never ceases to amaze me. 

Avery-- 15 months old




  • She is SO independent!  She's at the age of not wanting to/ not understanding the concept of holding hands, but also doesn't understand what gravity  is or what else can hurt her.  She loves to be on the couch and attempts to walk across the cushions, but we have to be right there beside her because she'll lose her balance and topple toward the edge and we have to scoot her back over in the right direction before she falls onto the floor.  She'd love to walk freely up and down the driveway while we wait for Michael to get home from school, but she obviously doesn't understand traffic or the dangers of the road.  It's a very busy time for us right now!
  • She loves Christmas decorations.  We have had to move ornaments higher and higher on the tree as she discovers new ones and proceeds to dismantle them.  We thought we did pretty good just hanging non-breakable ones where she could reach, but we discovered that she can break apart ornaments and we also discovered that one we thought was shatter-proof actually was not.  :(  Her favorite ornament is a Dunkin Donuts coffee-cup.  This one is plastic so I'm okay with her taking it and pretending to drink from it.  I re-hang it on the tree each night and she finds it the next morning. 
  • She LOVES baby dolls.  Her face will just burst into a huge grin when she sees her baby doll.  She sleeps with one baby doll and gives it a pretend bottle and pacifier and carries it around by its hair. She holds the baby and says "ohhhhh" and "pat-pat" as she pats its back, so we call this baby "Pat Pat Baby"and when we ask her to go get it, she'll instantly run to wherever she's left it and then pick it up and pat its back and bring it back to us.  It's just the sweetest thing.  She's such a good little pretend mommy. :)


These three absolutely keep me on my toes, but I wouldn't have it any other way!

Until Next Time, 
Much love, Reba


Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Many Sayings of Noah

Noah is nearly five years old (early January is the big day!) and the things he says are just so funny!  Oh my goodness!  I keep a running note on my phone's memo pad, and I like to pull it out and have a little giggle every now and then.





Here are his latest contributions:

Noah:  where did that tool come from? It looks like one from Grandpa Randy.
Me: maybe it came from Grandpa Randy's  house?
Noah: (furrowed brow) Grandpa Randy lives with Grandma Chips
Me: so.... it came from Grandma Chips house?
Noah: yes


Noah: Mom, I've never tried an almond joy before
Me: that's because you're allergic to almonds
Noah: well, I'd just eat the joy part



Michael: My tummy hurts
Noah: Sounds like you have splatter pain 
Michael: What's splatter pain?
Noah: (sighs heavily) Ugh, Michael.  That's when you hold in your tee tee for too long and it makes you have a splatter pain!  (note: he means "bladder pain")





Noah: I have a slight. (of course, it sounds more like "swight")
Me: What's a slight?
Noah: Well, my eyes are watery and I have a tickle in my throat. When that happened at Grandma's house, she put her hand on my forehead and said I had a slight fever, so today I just have a slight because my eyes are watery and I have another tickle in my throat.


Me: don't stand on books. You could hurt yourself or me.
Noah: (stands on stack of books, slides off books and falls)
Me: this is why I say not to stand on books. Maybe one day you'll learn not to stand on books.
Noah: teach me
Me: teach you what?
Noah: to not stand on books.
Me: when I tell you not to do something, that is teaching you not to do it.






Noah: (opening an Air Head)
Me: here, I'll help you. This flavor is white mystery.
Noah: I love white mystery!
Me: You eat it and tell me what it tastes like
Noah: yum!
Me: it tastes like yum?
Noah: mmm-hmmm! And it tastes like bubble gum

(While we were driving home from my parents' house and it was dark)
Noah: what are those big things outside?
Me: what big things, bud?
Noah: those things that look like black brocolli
Me: those would be trees
Noah: oh, it's so dark that I can't see a thing!

Noah: (took a drink from his cup) I just got hydrolated by some water.




(While playing video games together-- with Noah only half-paying attention)
Michael: I guess Luigi slapped me in the head
Noah: that stupid guy
Michael: Noah, you're Luigi
Noah: oh! I'm so sorry, Michael!

Me: Noah, you should start trying to buckle yourself
Noah: I don't know how
Me: (showing him how) I'd like you to at least try
Noah:(gasps) maybe I can learn when I go to school
Me: I think you can learn before you start school
Noah: no, I need to be teached!


I hope you've enjoyed this brief glimpse into life with a nearly five year old spunky boy!

Until Next Time, 
Much love, Reba


Friday, November 23, 2018

Black Friday Deals


Now, I'm not a wake-up-at-midnight-and-battle-shopping-crowds kind of a person.  I'm more of a scour-the-sales-while-at-home-drinking-coffee kind of gal.  So I've compiled some things that I either own personally, or would like to try out based on level of cuteness or reviews.  Here goes. 


This cozy throw!

I actually bought this during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in August and it's been the number one blanket choice in our family since then!







Kennebunk Bliss Plush Throw,
                        Main,
                        color, NAVY BLUE
Now here's a little secret.  I knew my kids would love this blanket so much that I actually ordered four of these in August.  The sale price today is just about $4 more than it was in August, so it's still a super good deal!  I bought one blanket for myself (pink peony) and I bought three more blankets (rust clay, teal gazer, and pink brick) for my kids.  They have more colors available now, so I do wish I had gotten red couture and navy blue for my boys instead.  My blanket came out of the package right away and has gotten used every single day since August!  I'm so excited for my kids to open their own blankets on Christmas!  I knew these were quality blankets, and I wanted to start gifting my kids things that they could use for years to come.


I'm heading to New York in a couple of weeks, and was sorely lacking in the warm jacket department.  It's just not something we use very often in the South!  I hopped onto Old Navy's site because I knew they usually have a wide range of coats at very reasonable prices.  I ordered this one for my trip and am so excited to have it arrive!


product
And of course I ordered this blush color-- called Pink Paradigm.

I also snagged these ear warmers and these text-friendly gloves.

productproduct

Just as I didn't have a suitable jacket to wear in a New York December, I didn't have suitable jackets for my boys to wear down here just in case we had another set of snow days like we did last winter.  So I grabbed these hooded puffer jackets for them.  I got the gray colorblock one for Michael and the blackjack one for Noah.  I only got them different colors because I wanted to eliminate the confusion of "whose jacket is whose" as Michael leaves for school each morning. 
                                     product
Noah is very much into "belt-loop pants" these days because apparently, all police officers wear belts and that means they need to have belt-loop pants.  I found a skinny red belt of mine which he loves to wear as he plays "police officer" on the daily.  Noah only has one pair of shorts with belt loops, and insists on wearing them even though it's 40 degrees outside.  So I figured I'd get him a pair of "belt-loop pants" for Christmas.  

                                     product


Aaron already solidified his Black Friday wishlist on Monday when he went shopping with Noah and Avery while I was at the hematology and endocrinology appointment with Michael.  He plans to do a lot of fishing this winter with my dad and had been eyeing these Muck boots for a while.  He snagged them at $95, but seeing the deals today-- he paid $15 too much.  Oh well.  We live and learn.  


  
                                         Muck Boot Adults' Field Blazer Insulated Hunting Boots



As of this year, we began using essential oils in our home because I desperately wanted an additional line of immune system support for my kids and sleep & hormonal support for myself.  I did a lot of research because that's the only way I can make a peaceful decision about anything and landed on the company Young Living.  I'll write more about this lifestyle change soon, but for now I'll leave you with the link to their Black Friday sale.  Fifty oils are 20% off and four of their diffusers are 20% off along with a whole lot of great deals!  If you wanted to start a lifestyle change for yourself and your family, you can purchase a Starter Kit today (Click on "Become a Member" and enter the number 14124966 as Sponsor and Enroller number, which just means you're purchasing a kit because you heard about it from me-- there's no selling or additional buying requirements.  Ever.).  

Some of my favorite oils are Thieves, Lemon, Orange, Cedarwood, and Valor


I hope you've enjoyed this Black Friday round up!

Until Next Time, 
Much love, Reba





  

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Book Review

I began the pursuit of my Master's Degree in late June 2017.  Since that time, I have hardly had any opportunity to leisure read.  In the spare moments that I could detach myself from the required reading material of my classes, I would treat myself to reading a bit of a magazine like Family Circle or Redbook which arrive in the mail.  During the summer of 2018, I finally got a library card because I found that the library carried one of the textbooks I needed for a class and it saved me from buying the book off of Amazon for over a hundred dollars (yes, that was the used price!).  Over the summer, I took 18 hours of coursework which involved numerous readings and papers.  Once I handed in my final paper during the first week of August, I treated myself by checking out a leisure book for the first time in 14 months.

I was supposed to conduct my field experience this fall, which meant that I was going to be in a classroom observing a teacher and potentially teaching some lessons myself.  I anticipated being assigned to a classroom during the third week of August.  In the meantime, I kept reading and kept checking out book after book.  I covered a lot of ground in the leisure reading department because I did not get a field experience placement until October 1st.  Once I got settled into the classroom, I found the work required of me to be abundant, but not difficult per se.  This allowed me the freedom to continue to devote a fair amount of time to reading.  Michael's hospital stay and recovery week at home also provided ample opportunity to continue to read.  Now that the semester is drawing to a close, I am focused on completing all remaining school forms and preparing to be recorded as I teach a lesson in the classroom this week.  Once I hand in all projects and papers, I will be free to read again on Christmas break before beginning my internship this spring.

Without further ado, here are the books I read from August until present:

August:
Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews
Beach Town 
by Mary Kay Andrews
The Fixer Upper 
by Mary Kay Andrews
When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Ladies Night 
by Mary Kay Andrews

September:
The Cat Who Went Up the Creek by Lilian Jackson Braun
Spring Fever 
by Mary Kay Andrews
Save the Date 
by Mary Kay Andrews
The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand (read the first half, skimmed the rest)

October:
Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
Crazy Rich Asians 
by Kevin Kwan
China Rich Girlfriend 
by Kevin Kwan


November:
Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (currently working on this one)



I read someone else's review of Summer Rental which got me started on reading many books by Mary Kay Andrews.  Although she has a few books featuring the same characters, I chose not to read those yet because I wanted a book that wrapped up all loose ends within its own pages just in case I had to jump right into field experience and couldn't devote any more time to reading a series.   That hasn't seemed to be the case, obviously.  I did decide to try out a series in October with the Kevin Kwan books.  My aunt from Michigan who was coming to visit my mom actually brought Crazy Rich Asians to me while I was in the hospital with Michael.  I ended up buying the remaining books in the trilogy one by one because they were that good.  There is language in them, so don't choose to read this series if that is a deal breaker.  I enjoyed the satire and the constant internal questioning of "is this real?!?" 

Leisure reading has certainly offered a good diversion from the waiting game of getting a field experience placement and from the medical issues surrounding us this past month.  Aside from Big Little Lies, All the Light We Cannot See and the Kevin Kwan books, all of these were rented from my library.  I bought Big Little Lies and All the Light We Cannot See for 50 cents each from a local branch of the library, and I paid the Target price for the Kevin Kwan books. 

I'm excited to check out more books mid December when I'm on Christmas break!

Until Next Time, 
Much love, Reba


Monday, November 5, 2018

ITP, Evans, What is That?, Maybe Not...

Yes.  This title.  Weird.  Confusing.  Random letters.  Is that someone's name?  Maybe a last name?  Is this an official diagnosis?  "We don't know."  "We're not sure when we'll know." "It seems like it'll just take time."  "I'm not comfortable with waiting."

These are thoughts and phrases we've experienced in the last two and a half weeks.

On Monday, October 15th, Aaron left for a week long work trip. This would be my first real experience being home with the kids on my own for a week. I was geared up.  I had a whole fridge and pantry full of easy dinners to make.  I had my plan ready for where each kid would be on each day, I had a substitute job lined up one day, I had a couple different events I'd need to attend for my field experience.  I was ready.  On Monday night (technically early Tuesday morning), I woke on my own at 1:33am and thought "Oh, I'm just waking on my own.  No kid needs me right now.  I can handle this.  I'm doing this.  I'm really doing this!"  I gave myself a motivational fist-pump and drifted back to sleep.

5:40am, I am awakened by "MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!! I have a bloody nose!"  This was from Michael.  I don't even realize it's 5:40 until after I've got him in the bathroom with tissue on his nose (and then I'm glad to see it's 5:40, because I was going to wake up then anyway).  Aaron is my resident nose-bleed expert, and of course he was out of town.  I tried to call him but couldn't get through.  I called my mom next after I spent about 20 minutes trying to get Michael's nose to stop bleeding, and it just wouldn't.  Aaron called me back and gave me tips to try (pinch bridge of nose, lean head forward, be still for 15 minutes, etc.), which I did with no success.

About an hour later, I ask my mom to come over.  Michael's nose is not stopping.  God's hand was on us this day, because Avery chose to sleep in that day, and Noah has a very strong stomach and isn't queasy around blood.  After changing Michael's shirts three times while he stood in the kitchen with a nose bleed, I decided I needed help.  So I called my mom and she said she was already heading out the door.  Michael passed a clot the size of my thumb.  I knew this wasn't normal.

While Michael stands in my kitchen in just his underwear, I notice tiny purple spots on his back and a bruise on his spine.  This reminds me of the bruise I saw on his forearm just on Sunday and I asked him about it then and he couldn't recall obtaining a bruise in that spot.  I ask him about this spinal bruise and he can't recollect falling or getting bumped in this location.  My mom arrives.  Michael says he has a tummy ache and needs to poop but is scared to go to the bathroom because he can't hold the tissue and use the potty.  I tell him I'll come with him to hold his tissue.  He and I get to the bathroom and as he turns around to sit on the toilet, he vomits black blood and clots.  A lot of it.  And then again.  The horrors of seeing my child vomit blood in copious amounts will never leave my mind.  I screamed "Mommy!!!!!!!!!!!" She came running down the hall, and I said "Call 911."  She saw the amount of blood, said "okay," and ran to get her phone.  As she's calling 911 and giving them our address (and telling them that Michael has Type One Diabetes and just got insulin for the piece of toast he had eaten 10 minutes earlier), I'm helping Michael get the trash can in front of him to vomit into some more.  When he's done, I help him use the bathroom (he only has to tee-tee now), and I dress him in one of Aaron's t-shirts.  I call the school to let them know that he won't be at school that day and that I won't be able to sub that afternoon.  I would be lying if I said I completed that phone call without crying.  The school staff was great-- they told me to take care of him and not to worry about anything else.

My mom called my mother in law to come get Noah and Avery (who was just waking up at that time).

The paramedics arrived. Michael's nose had stopped bleeding, so they taught me how to roll gauze and stick it into his nostrils if needed.  They were concerned with his high blood sugar even though he had just thrown up and should've been exhibiting signs of a low blood sugar.  They were concerned he'd go into Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA).  They wanted him to be seen by his pediatrician or go up to Children's Hospital.  They couldn't transport him to Children's, though.  So I waived our right to ride in the ambulance to our local hospital, and we called our pediatrician to say we were coming there right away and needed to be seen.  I sat in the back seat with Michael and held a bowl and lots of paper towels for him while my mom drove.  My mother in law took Noah and Avery to her house.

At the pediatrician office, Michael passed a clot the size of a tangerine and then vomited more blood. The doctor did a complete blood count (CBC).  They found that Michael had zero platelets.  We knew we had to get to Children's.  But they didn't want to send him without platelets.  They told us to go to our local hospital (1 mile away) and get platelets and transfer to Children's via ambulance.  We went to the ER and they got us into a room and started an IV, but couldn't do much else because they didn't have the right kind of platelets for him.  Instead they summoned an ambulance and he and I were on our way in a lights & sirens ride to Children's Hospital.  My dad had come to the ER and my mom was able to ride with him.  My father-in-law came by and he drove my van to my house.

Michael, on a stretcher, and me sitting beside him with an EMT sitting next to me held on in the back of the ambulance while the driver rushed us to Children's Hospital-- usually an hour and twenty minutes away. We made it in about 45 minutes but it still felt like a lifetime.

My parents arrived an hour or so after Michael and I were put into an ER room.  We knew we'd be admitted to the hospital, but it ultimately took seven hours before we were taken out of the ER.  During these seven hours, we saw countless nurses, doctors, techs, etc.  After the CNP tried to get Michael's nose to stop bleeding on three different occasions, they finally called the Ear Nose and Throat doctors down to pack his nose.  This was the key to getting it to stop. It was nearly 4:00pm.  He'd been bleeding for 11+ hours.  We were told the next day that his nosebleed was the worst they'd ever seen at this hospital.

We were moved to a room, but were told that we'd most likely be moving again to be put on the Special Care floor (which is one step down from ICU).  Sure enough, within 15 minutes we were being moved.  I'm not even sure what specialty floor we were on to start off with before we moved to Special Care.  I was told two days later that Michael was in critical condition for those first few days because of the excessive blood loss and the lack of reasoning for a nosebleed.  Having been with him at diagnosis of Type One Diabetes, I knew why they didn't share these harrowing details with parents during those critical moments.  They know we need to remain pillars of strength for our kids, so they withhold bits of information until our kids are out of the woods.  They put Michael on a special IV med to start disguising his platelets from his immune system so that his platelets could regenerate.  We will be receiving more of this medicine this week (you can only get it every 3 weeks).

They told us Michael would need a blood transfusion, but that his blood was showing an antibody and they couldn't find blood to match his.  They reached out to the blood bank.  No luck.  They reached out to the American Red Cross.  They found what we needed.  It took until after midnight for that blood to arrive.  We were never told if it came from in state or out of state.  All we know is, it arrived just in the nick of time.  By the time the blood arrived, the hematologists were frantic enough about Michael's blood levels that they started him on steroids to help him to produce blood.  Steroids + Type One Diabetes = excessively high blood sugars.  This meant we were coordinating with the endocrinology team to increase Michael's insulin levels to combat the rise in blood sugar.  I was never so glad to be in the hospital where we could have multiple teams helping us out.

At some point, the hematologists wanted Michael to get a bone marrow biopsy to ultimately rule out leukemia.  However, he cannot be on steroids while getting a biopsy, so we had to table the biopsy for now.  Eventually, they still may do one just to completely rule out cancer.  He shows no signs of leukemia, but they cannot in good faith tell a family that cancer is not an issue until they conduct this biopsy.

Two days after being on Special Care, we were moved to the Hematology floor where we worked hand in hand with hematologists and endocrinologists to determine a care plan.  The doctors thought this might be idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP), and later we'd hear the phrase "Evans Syndrome" thrown about as well.  (Spoiler alert: the doctors still don't know what Michael officially has and we're told "time will tell us.")

Aaron arrived on Friday morning as we were being moved to this floor.  Eventually, the hematologists were comfortable enough with our ability to care for Michael, and they discharged us on Saturday.  They told us we'd be coming back to Children's for clinic visits weekly for about a month, then biweekly for about two months, then every other month for about 6 months.  At each visit, they'd draw a CBC and see how his blood counts were doing overall.

At our first clinic visit, his red & white count returned to normal and his platelets were at 59 (normal is 140-400).  At the following visit, his red & white count were normal, but his platelets had dropped to 26.  They were too nervous for us to wait a week before being seen again, so we had to go back four days later.  At this appointment, his platelet count was 29.  They chose to do an IV med that is supposed to flip the switch in the immune system to stop his body from attacking his platelets.  He had a reaction to the medicine within 20 minutes of the first increased dose in the IV.  So we were unable to continue that medicine.  We were sent home at the end of the day and told to try a pill version of a different medicine instead, and we were instructed to come back in four more days.  We've had quite the time of trying to get this pill medicine, so we still don't have it and we're scheduled to be back at the hospital soon.  Each clinic visit is a roller coaster.  We don't know what his blood counts will show, which means we don't know what the hematologists will say, which means we don't know how many trips back to the hospital we'll be having in the next few months.  I know to pack an overnight bag now, just in case we ever have to be admitted to the hospital during one of these visits.

I'll keep you posted as we know more.  Thanks for making it to the end of this post!

Until Next Time,
Much Love, Reba



Monday, October 15, 2018

Pumpkin Patch on a spur of the moment

Last Tuesday when we were finally well again and enjoying one last day of fall break, my mom asked if we'd like to go to the pumpkin patch.  They closed at 5:00 and it was roughly 1:30 when she texted me.  I had just laid Avery down for a nap, so I asked if we could go in thirty minutes.  She said there was no rush and that I could let Avery sleep.  So I had the boys lay down too for their quiet time.  Avery woke up about 45 minutes later, but both boys were then deep asleep!  Within fifteen minutes, I had to wake Michael because his blood sugar got too low, and Noah woke up about twenty to thirty minutes after that.  So I quickly gave the kids a snack and texted my mom that we were all awake and ready to go.

We headed out around 3:45 and it took us exactly 15 minutes to get there.  Now Michael and my mom had been to this exact pumpkin patch last fall during Michael's kindergarten field trip, so she knew right where to go.  It was SO CUTE!  She paid our $10 fee to get inside (Avery was free!) and we had about an hour to pal around before closing time.

We rode the train first (read: covered trailer driven by a massive tractor!) to the pumpkin patch.  I was astounded to see flat white pumpkins, mint green (or aged copper) pumpkins, dark green pumpkins, and of course, the tried and true orange pumpkins.  My mom and Michael picked orange ones.  Noah picked a small orange and dark green one, and I picked a mint green one.  So fun!  Avery liked looking (and trying to carry) all the "balls."











Once we got back to the train station, I grabbed a wagon that they loan out to guests.  Michael, Avery and I carted the pumpkins to the van while Mom and Noah found our next location of fun-- the corn crib!  A small shed was set up with corn kernels and slides, dump trucks, etc.  Avery loved showing us the free snacks. ;)  We had to really work to keep her from eating them!






Next, we went to the huge slide.  Right next to the slide is a tunnel made out of the same pipe material.  This is great for younger kids!  I took Avery down the slide once, and she would've gone a million more times, but I satisfied her by letting her walk through the tunnel instead.




Next we saw the chickens, goats (aka "pup pups" to Avery), and the cow.

Then we headed back to the slide while Michael sneakily crept to the corn cob gun station and fired a gun (with no corn cob in it-- so it was just air, but it made a deafening noise nonetheless and scared the teenager who was supposed to be manning the station but was playing on the swingset instead!). It was hilarious to hear this sound and then whip around to see my own wide-eyed child standing at the helm.  Oh well.  Nothing was hurt, but I did tell him not to touch that again.

Next, we did a water and rubber ducky race.  We then got a quick picture of me and my kiddos in front of a pumpkin display.


By this time, it was 5:02, so we wrapped it up and called it a night.  My kids were dirty, tired, and had shoes and pockets full of corn kernels. :)  I kept finding them in my dryer days later. :)  Everyone got a bath and a story and then bed.  It was a great great day, and I'm so glad we went!!!  I'd definitely go back.

Until next time,
Much love, Reba

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Best Laid Plans

We had all intention of heading to the beach last weekend. On Monday, we told the boys about the trip and they were super excited! We knew it would be a short trip since Aaron doesn't actually get all the real holidays off of work. So although Michael would be off on Monday the 8th and Tuesday the 9th for Columbus day and fall break, Aaron would not be off on Columbus day. His company gives days off for popular holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas-- I mean, they can't risk being called a Scrooge. But instead of Columbus day & Veteran's day, he gets Black Friday & New Year's Eve.  These "holidays" are always nice when they come along, but it's annoying when we realize that he misses out on some actual holidays. Anyway, this meant that we'd be heading to the beach on Friday after he got home from work, and we'd come back home on Sunday afternoon.  Then the kiddos and I would get Monday & Tuesday to relax at home and pull ourselves together for another work/school week. 

On Tuesday of last week, Aaron came home & said that his supervisor was taking off on Friday and Monday for vacation, and Aaron's engineer counterpart was flying out of state over the weekend to take care of client business.  Big deal, you say. Normally, yes. These things would just be trite details. But this also meant that Aaron was put on "on call" duty for the guys out in the shop over the weekend. This duty never falls to Aaron unless these other two guys are both out of town at the same time. So of course that would happen when we already made plans. Such is life, right? But we're nothing if not determined. We were going to fight for this beach trip. We wanted the relaxation. We wanted to celebrate our 9th anniversary (albeit kids in tow). We wanted to be the heroes to our kids and show them that we could still go to the beach. 

Aaron was pretty sure that the guys in the shop were working on projects that would not require an in-person visit from him. He said he'd verify on Thursday & Friday whether they'd actually need him, and he'd decide on Friday at lunch if we could still go. This meant that I'd be waiting til Friday at lunchtime to pack for all five of us. We prepared the boys that Aaron might have to work, but that we'd really try to go to the beach if we could. 

Between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning (specifically at 1:42am, 3:00am, & 5:40am) Noah got sick. Hello, stomach bug. Why shouldn't we have expected you? 

I took Noah to the doctor that morning and got him some nausea meds & ruled out post concussive syndrome (he fell and hit his head on Monday afternoon, and vomitting is a sign of concussion). A concussion was ruled out, and it was just a stomach virus- but a contagious one. Those are disheartening words for any mom to hear. 

I spent the rest of the day making sure Noah was okay. My parents came over that evening to give us an anniversary card, but didn't stay long. 

Sure enough, the next morning, Avery woke up with throw up in her crib. That was the only time she got sick though. Aaron was also sick on Thursday, which meant he was out of work that day. I was nervous for Michael because a stomach illness & Type One Diabetes is a bad combination.  Aaron struggled the whole day, but was able to rally enough to go to work on Friday to see if the shop guys would need him over the weekend, and to see if he thought he could make it through a 5 hour car ride that evening. By lunch, he was feeling much better, so I commenced to packing. 

That evening, we headed out. During the 1sf half of our trip, we pass through 4 cities. The 2nd half of the trip is pretty rural and doesn't offer many suitable locations for bathroom breaks. Once we got to the 4th city, Aaron admitted that his stomach cramps were back and he couldn't make it through the rest of the trip, especially through all the rural areas.  So we turned around. It was about 7:45pm and Michael was the only kiddo awake. We told him what was going on & he was very understanding. I told him that I'd take him & Noah to the movies the next day and we'd have a lot of fun. 

We got home around 11pm. Noah was disappointed that we were in the garage & not at the beach. Sweet boy.  Once I explained what happened, he was fine. He was really tired, so he pretty much went right back to sleep. We got Avery transferred to her crib. She was happy, and I know it was much smoother to put her in her own crib for the night than it would have been to put her in a pack and play at the beach in unfamiliar surroundings. I briefly unpacked and Michael reluctantly went to bed. Aaron & I got ourselves settled down. And then at 1:45am, I got sick. I knew it was only a matter of time until Michael got it. Sure enough, at 6:00am it hit him too.  We spent Saturday lounging around and napping. I was so happy that God gave Aaron the nudge to come back home. I would NOT have wanted to handle a sickness at the beach. Michael got sick at 2:30 the following morning, so we took it easy on Sunday as well. 

On Monday, Aaron headed back to work and the kids and I ventured as far as the most nearby grocery store (4 miles away). Today, I'm anticipating another slow day just to fully recuperate before heading back to school tomorrow. 

The best laid plans don't always work out. But I've learned that's totally okay!

Until next time,
Much love, Reba