Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November 24, 2009

It's been a while so here is a catch up picture post.

This first group of photos are from the later half of October.

The boys went through a phase where they loved playing in the closets. I think they were pretending it was a house.

Nick built a tower taller than he was, although as fast as they are growing, it might not be taller today.Nothing like catching the Pooh train first thing in the morning.

Happy Birthday Honey!! The boys are happy for any opportunity to help someone blow out their birthday candles.I think I was in the hospital on this day. It appears the boys are building a fort out of blankets and books.
And the rest of the photos are from November.

I love these pictures. I was either in the hospital or sick in bed at home when these were taken. Not sure which but they were a nice surprise when I uploaded the pictures from the camera today.

Here is my mom (MaMa) reading to the boys. This was just after I came home from the hospital, when my mom was staying with us for a few days.
Happy Birthday Nick!!
Ben got to open a couple of small presents also. The problem was that they were opening the same gift and Ben was faster at opening his than Nick was so Nick kept finding out what it was by looking at what Ben just finished opening.
Nick, like Ben, had two birthday cakes. This one was made by Aunt Kathy and then daddy put the icing on when he got home from work (I was still feeling very sick at this point). Aunt Kathy also brought a small cake when she and MaMa came for the day to visit. So Nick had a small party and cake with them and then we had another one with daddy when he got home from work. Lots of cake and lots of fun.
I don't know where I was when this one was taken. Another surprise photo on the camera. Our little cutie Ben playing dress up.
And, last but certainly not least, did I mention that David and Goliath are back again, in full force. Everything with Ben is about David and Goliath these days and, if he can talk us into it, we would be reading the story over and over and over again every day. Nick gets tired of reading the same story over and over but Ben still gets to hear it pretty often. Tonight, when Nick complained, Ben said "you don't have to listen". Now I know most of you would not see the connection to David and Goliath in the picture below. But you just have to use your imagination. The purses are Goliath's armor! Did you guess that? He didn't happen to have his sock/slingshot with him for this picture but he had it with him later, in addition to his 'staff', which was made from the marble run. He pretty much knows everything there is to know about the David and Goliath story now. This afternoon he was pretending to be Goliath and didn't know I was watching him. He was making motions with his hands and then made one hand come up and whack his forehead and then he fell down. He is quite the pretender.
I can't believe how big they are getting. I still feel that I am so missing out. I still feel like Yuck from this cold. I'll get down and start playing with them and within 5 minutes I am ready to stop and rest. And my patience is just not what it should be. I am such a bad mom when I am not feeling well and I hate that. I am so ready to get back to normal and start feeling GOOD again.
Hope you enjoy the pics!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

November 19, 2009

Things are getting back to normal around here. I am not 100% yet but I am definitely moving in that direction. I can do quite a bit during the morning and afternoon but I have a lot less energy as the day goes on and I am really exhausted by the time dinnertime rolls around. It makes a day like today challenging. A real estate agent wanted to show our house between 4:00 and 5:00pm. The good thing is that he called the evening before so I had all day to get ready. That helped a lot.

As for the boys, they are doing well. Behavior is slowly improving, as I try hard to be consistent. Sometimes it really tires me out. Also, when I am not feeling 100% (I still have some pain in my lung at times) I am not always in the best mood and I am not always the best role model, although I am trying and I am praying about it. I feel bad that I have not been able to really spend a lot of time playing with them lately but hopefully I will have a lot of time next week for that. Today I had to spend a lot of time on the house and we had to go grocery shopping. By the time you add in lunch, nap and after-nap-movie, there is not much time left. We spent some time reading a couple of times and I built a very nice castle and moat with all of the blocks this evening and they both enjoyed knocking it down and then they had fun building lots of stuff and doing "mommy look at..." over and over, as I sat nearby watching them.

I want to start playing more games with them and I am hoping to be in a position to start doing a little school work with them in January. Ben is so so ready to learn to read and write. He has learned how to write the names of all four of us. He loves trying to write and I really need to get on top of this before he learns bad writing habits. I have also seen him trying to sound out words that are past where we have learned in our book. He is so ready and I am feeling a little bad that I have not taught him more. Hopefully I will feel like getting back to it soon.

As for Nick, he is so ready to be in some sort of sports program. I am hoping to have them both in something in January. Nick is such a natural athlete and he is always trying to do hand stands, flips and other gymnastic-type moves, plus he loves playing any kind of ball that someone will play with him, that I feel bad that we don't have him in some sort of sport or class where he could really have fun.

So, I need to get on the ball but I am still feeling like my ball is not completely filled with air. Hopefully we will be there soon. Really, yesterday evening I was starting to worry that I was having a relapse. I had not been having pain for a while and yesterday I started having pain in my lung again. By bed time it was hurting even when I was sitting still, not doing anything, which had not happened in quite a while....to the point that we were considering getting me into seeing someone today. Today it was back to hurting only when I take a little deeper breath or yawn or sneeze or something. Actually, I can't sneeze because, when I start to take that deep breath in to sneeze, it hurts so much so quick that the sneeze goes away. Until yesterday, it seemed more like I had a tightness in my lung when I tried to take a deeper breath or sneeze or yawn. But as of yesterday it was back to a pain, which is very frustrating and makes me wonder what is going on in there. I don't remember having this much of an issue the last time I was recovering from pneumonia.

Today Ben happened to see one of my bras laying somewhere and he came to me and said "mommy, you don't have your breast on" " I saw your breast laying on the bed". It was very funny. And then, later, when we were at Walmart, I was shopping for some new socks when Nick noticed all of the bras nearby. He said "mommy, look at all the breast-es they have here" "they have a lot of breast-es here". Very funny boys.

They are very excited because tomorrow we have a play date with friends we have not play with in quite a while, due to my sickness and also the H1N1 flu ran through their family at the same time I got sick. Actually, the husband of their family works with my husband. He called my husband and asked him to call in Tamaflu for their youngest son (2 year old) on the same day that I started having chills and aches, way back in the beginning of my ordeal, when I thought I was coming down with the flu only to realize a couple of days later that it was pneumonia and ended up at the ER. We kept in touch with our friends through our ordeal and theirs and that flu ran through their family very quickly. Everyone got it and it was pretty rough. So, now we are all healthy and we are finally able to get together again and they are going to treat us to the bouncy play place for Nick's birthday. The boys are very excited and it will be nice to get together with friends and feel somewhat normal again.

I am really looking forward to the weekend, since it will be the first that we have not had an open house (except when I was really sick). So it will be a "normal" weekend for us and it has been a very long time since we have had a normal weekend around here. And I am really looking forward to getting together with my family on Thanksgiving. It is hard to believe it is already here.

Hope you all have a great weekend. I still need to post pics and a birthday update for Nick. It is coming, I promise:).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

November 18, 2009

The boys got their shots today and it went as well as something like that can go. They both handled it very well and I was proud of them in their efforts to have courage about the situation.

About a week before hand, I talked to them about having their 4 year old shots, that they would have them sometime next week and that they would each have 4 shots, 2 in each arm. We discussed the fact that shots hurt and are not fun and that nobody wants them but that we have to have them to stay healthy and to prevent some bad diseases. After that discussion, we all forgot about it for a week.

Last night the husband reminded me that the boys should go in for their shots this week and we decided that today would be the best day. So this morning, after we were all well awake, I let the boys know that today was the day. We had pretty much the same conversation over again and then we had parts of it again several more times before shot time. Nick in particular would bring it up and say that he did not want to get shots so we would talk about it again and each time I would finish the conversation with the fun we were going to have afterwards. We also talked about courage and what it means and also that it is OK to cry and that lots of kids cry when they get a shot.

As it turned out, it seemed to be really good preparation for them. There are some ladies at the front desk that are always so happy to see them and give them candy so they both got a lollipop on the way in. They have a television in the waiting room that they keep on Animal Planet and it had a pretty good show on about a black panther being raised by some people that was cute and kept their interest while we waited, along with their lollipops and the babies that we watched.

So neither of them really worried about it or thought about it while we were waiting. Before we arrived, we had already discussed that they would go in one at a time and they could pick who they wanted to go in with them, mommy or daddy. We also discussed who would go first. Ben was in a very brave mood and said he would go first, he wanted daddy to go with him and he was not going to cry, to which I replied that that's fine but it is OK to cry too.

This arrangement worked out well because Nick did not want to go first, which was a first for him I think. Normally he thinks he always has to be first at everything:). Ben went in first without any hesitation, although I did see a bit of nervousness in his expression. He kept a brave face though, with a bit of a half smile. We could hear him screaming from the waiting room, which might have made Nick a little nervous but I couldn't tell for sure. I just acted like it was totally normal and some people cry more than others and whatever. Nick had said he wanted daddy to go with him but he changed his mind while they were gone. I was a little bummed because I don't like the whole shot thing myself:).

When it was Nick's turn, on our way in I reminded him again how they would push his sleeves up and use a cold wet cotton ball to wipe his arm clean. He was fine until we walked into the room and he saw the shots sitting nearby, at which time he said something like he didn't want to do this. But he did it, they were quick and they hurt and he barely cried, although he really didn't want to switch arms and let them give the 3rd and 4th shots in his other arm (can't blame him at all).

In retrospect, it seems a bit barbaric to give that many shots to such a small child (with such little skinny arms) at one time. The husband said that these are all the shots they are suppose to have between the ages of 4 and 6, which made me think it might have been better to get two today and then two more 6 months later, or something like that. After Nick got his shots, the lady said they don't have to have any more until they are 11 years old. That's a long time, which again makes me think why in the world do they do it this way, where they get that many shots at one time. If I had known before what I know now, I think I would have insisted they split them up and give them 6 months or so in between to forget about it. I think 4 shots at once would be a lot even for an adult, much less a just-turned-4-year-old.

Anyway, it's over and I'm glad it's over, although we do have some complaints of sore arms. Both boys woke up crying a little after nap, saying their arms hurt, although I have not heard any complaints this evening so that's good.

After the shots, we went to Chick-fil-la for lunch and play time and they were giving away balloons, which is always a really big hit around here. The boys had not had any balloons in quite a long time so they have really played with them a lot this evening.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

November 14, 2009 Part 2

We have two videos of David & Goliath that were given to us and the boys, most especially Ben, really love to watch them. But what Ben really really likes to do these days, his very favorite game, is to play David & Goliath.

He gets a pair of socks, wads one up and stuffs it inside of the other one. Then he takes the outer one and, holding it by the top of the sock (these are socks that reach to mid shin), swings it around and around, pretending it is his sling shot. He does this ALL THE TIME and we are going through socks very quickly around here these days. Nick will do it too once in a while but he is not nearly as intrigued with this game as is Ben.

Ben tries to talk everyone into playing this game with him. What that means for anyone who agrees to play is that they are Goliath to Ben's David and they must pretend to get hit in the forehead with a stone and fall down dead. Ben knows most of the wording that goes with this event and also knows that the winner of the battle, David, puts his foot upon the slain Goliath. It is funny to watch and to listen to but everyone soon tires of playing the role of Goliath. Ben tries to get Nick to play this role but Nick does not like this idea. When Ben is really hurting for a Goliath, he pretends that the play fire station is Goliath and he knocks it over with his sling shot. Thankfully it is a very durable toy.

The issue with Ben's infatuation is that he tends to want to really hit people with his sling shot. We have discussed it many times and he has lost his sling shot several times because he could not seem to resist the temptation to hit someone with it. This normally happens when nobody wants to play Goliath. I don't think he has ever actually hit Goliath when someone has agreed to play the role (but I could be wrong about that).

This evening Ben again had his sling shot. He hit his daddy in the back with it a time or two, lightly I think but enough to cause daddy to tell him to stop because it hurt. The dad and I were busy putting away all of the play dough at the time and were not paying enough attention, as the sling shot should have been taken away when it was used on daddy.

A little later Ben hit Nick with his sling shot and it hurt enough that Nick was none too happy about it. I was nearby and paying attention this time and I took the sling shot away from Ben, only to find that this time, instead of a waded up sock in the sling shot, he had a hard toy inside of it. No wonder it was hurting so much when he was hitting people with it. So Ben sat in time out for a short while, while the dad and I discussed what should happen next.

The final decision was that there will be no sling shots and no type of David of Goliath, play or video, allowed for three days. Ben was very unhappy about this decision and made the bad choice of throwing fits and being a bit sassy. Sassiness has been a real issue with him since around the time he turned 4 and we are working on this issue.

So, overall, it started out being very cute and funny to watch Ben's infatuation with the whole David and Goliath thing. It is now very tiresome and I am happy that we will have a three day break from them:). Hopefully our little one will learn a little more self control from this three day break. Time will tell.

In other news, the dad and I had a few hours to ourselves while the boys had fun playing with their favorite babysitter. I am continuing to feel much much better and am starting to think that I am almost back to myself. I didn't do a whole lot today though so we will see how much stamina I have when I really dig in again, which will probably be on Monday.

November 14, 2009

Just a quickie post to let everyone know I am now feeling so much better. I definitely got some kind of infection from the pneumonia shot and it is now getting better very quickly. My energy is starting to return and, as you can imagine, I am feeling better from an emotional perspective too. It is soooo nice to see our family starting to get back to normal.

We had a bad event last night that had me very upset though. A real estate agent called the day before and wanted to show our house yesterday evening at 5:30. Since we don't have a lock box on the door, the boys and I just head out the back and we leave, as the real estate agent and people are arriving out front and then the agent calls me on my cell when they are finished. The boys and I just drive around the neighborhood for a few minutes while they are looking at the house, as it usually does not take very long. The people yesterday actually took quite a long time, which we thought was a good thing, although we have not heard anything since so who knows.

Anyway, as I was pulling out of the driveway, I stopped next to the agent's car (she was waiting for her clients to arrive) and told her that we have a cat who likes to try to escape. I told her to just kick her foot at him and he would get back away from the door. Unfortunately, she was on the phone, although she had quit talking to the person and was listening to me (I thought). I think she must have been thinking of other things and was not really listening after all.

She finally called to tell us they were finished. By that time the dad had arrived home and was sitting with us in the van just up the street from our house. He got back into his car and we drove up to the house and into the driveway as the agent and clients were leaving. As we came into the house, I saw Zoe, our cat who normally does not try to escape, but I didn't see Dancer so I started calling for him right away. He loves to eat and loves special treats so normally he comes right away (even if he is sleeping soundly) when I call him from the kitchen. When he didn't come, I thought he might have gotten into one of the attics so I headed upstairs while the husband got a flashlight and headed outside. I didn't find him or hear him in the attic so I called the agent and left her a message on her phone. When she called back a few minutes later, the husband had my phone (which was probably a very good thing). She confirmed that the cat did dash out the back door and she said she thought he was an outdoor cat, as I had not said he wasn't. I just couldn't believe it. By this time, Dancer had likely been outside for about an hour and it had been dark for about as long.

We looked and looked for him and called for him all over the place and we never found him. I brought the kids inside and started fixing them something to eat, all the while I was crying my eyes out. I have had my two cats for about 12 or 13 years now, since they were just little bitty kittens. It was really heart wrenching for me to think that I might not see him again. We also live very close to a very busy road, so that was very concerning to me. The husband was still out looking and he finally came back in empty handed too. He took over finishing something to eat for the boys while I came to the bedroom, still very upset.

I heard the boys shouting and I could hear the husband saying something loudly also, including Dancer's name, and I knew he had returned home. I had left a very smelly can of chicken on the step, hoping it would lure him home. He might have returned anyway but he does love to eat so I'm sure the chicken probably helped a little. I was so relieved. His return was an answer to many prayers and I thanked the Lord.

So, it was an emotional evening but it had a happy ending. Today we have the boy's favorite baby sitter (our only baby sitter:) coming from 3 to 7 so the husband and I can have a few hours to ourselves. It should be a relaxing kind of day around here and I am going to bask in it.

I can't tell you how wonderful it feels to be feeling good again. I am so thankful and it really does make one take stock of what really matters in life. I am going to enjoy this day:).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

November 12, 2009

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I had a follow up doctors appointment on Monday and, while I was there, I got the pneumonia shot. I had finished the antibiotic I was taking for the pneumonia I have had on Monday evening.  Since then, things have not been going so well. My arm has continued to be more sore each day. I have really felt so badly overall and then, yesterday, I started running a fever again.

My mom and sister were here yesterday to celebrate N's birthday. They left just before I put the boys down for their nap. Then I went to bed and I was chilling and aching again. I was running 101.3 degrees temp. The boys woke up and I let them watch movie after movie and they played with new birthday toys. They were very good, while I was covered up under tons of blankets, chilling and aching and generally feeling miserable.

I called the husband at work and I was crying because I felt so miserable and really felt like the whole thing was starting all over again. He ended up calling two of the doctors that were seeing me in the hospital. They did not think I would have this reaction from the shot, which is what we had been thinking was causing this. One of them called in another prescription for me of the same medication I had finished on Monday and they were thinking I might need to see a lung doctor or something and maybe even have something taken from my lung and tested (doesn't that sound like fun!).

The husband came home early and took over, which was a relief. The boys had really been very good but I still felt bad that I was not up and watching over them. At one point, they were both standing at the end of my bed, singing songs for me with their new little microphones that they got for Nick's birthday. It was very cute and entertaining. I will post a birthday post later, since we now have another 4 year old:).

I took some medication that took my fever down and started feeling better and the husband got my prescription filled so I have had a couple of doses of that now. Last night we noticed a reddening on my arm, around the site where I had the pneumonia shot and today it has spread a bit. So it seems that maybe all of this is just a reaction to the shot. I am hopeful that is all it is. My breathing is so much better that I would really be surprised if it was my lung getting worse.

Actually, after only two doses of the antibiotic, I think the soreness in my arm is already feeling a bit better. So, I am hopeful that I am once again on the mend. This has been so frustrating, as it seems I have been sick now for a long time. My sister thinks I came home from the hospital too soon and I should have spent two additional days there. I think I probably would have recovered faster if I had stayed longer, although I was so ready to come home when I was there. The problem with being home is that I am constantly over doing it, whether I want to or not, because there are just those things that have to be done.

I am very thankful that our friend has come today to take care of the boys. She is absolutely wonderful. She loves to play with them and they are so happy while she is here. They stay busy, they are not arguing at all and I get to rest, which is wonderful. Off to my resting.

Monday, November 09, 2009

November 9, 2009

This recovery thing is definitely taking longer than I would like. Everything is such an effort right now and I always feel exhausted, even though I am sleeping very well at night. Today was the first day I had the boys all day by myself, although I'm not really all by myself because my mom came to stay a few days with me. She is great moral support and also helps out as much as she can. It is very nice to have her here and I am thankful she offered to come. She will stay for a couple more days and then I will be on my own. It will definitely be a challenge. It takes about three weeks to really get your strength back from being this sick with pneumonia.

I am gaining in strength and endurance each day but it is still quite a chore and I feel I am dragging myself around most of the time. I feel for the boys because I am sure they are really tired of all of this, and of course the husband too. He works hard all day and then comes home and has to take on more than normal at home too.

I was surprised by the good behavior today. The boys were better than I expected, after observing them over the past few days. We all got along pretty well and I was patient and kind, which was great because it is not always easy to be that way when I am feeling so yucky. My pain was a bit better today than yesterday so that was a big help too.

I am so tired of all this and so ready to get back into my life. I feel I am sitting on the sidelines and life is passing me by.

I had a follow up appointment with my doctor today and she is going to refer me to a gastro specialist for my acid reflux issues. We all agreed that the problem is bad enough that we need to do something to improve the situation, especially since there is a good possibility that this is what has caused me to aspirate and end up with pneumonia twice within two years. I got the pneumonia shot, just in case:) and the boys got the H1N1 nasal spray. They were not too excited about this since they had just had the regular flu nasal spray a couple of weeks ago and remembered it well. But I think they preferred it to a shot and it was over quickly. In another week or two we have to take them back in for their 4 year old immunizations, which will be 4 or 5 shots each. That is not going to be a fun exercise.

Friday, November 06, 2009

November 6, 2009

I was starting to feel better and could see much improvement on Saturday. For some reason, that was all lost on Sunday, when I woke up in more pain and was feeling worse again. By the afternoon, it was back to the hospital I went, this time as a direct admit. I stayed at the hospital from Sunday evening until Wednesday evening. It is so nice to be back home and I am quickly regaining my strength, although I still have a ways to go.

The husband has had quite the juggling act, trying to keep everything running around here, making sure the boys had supervision and also attending to his work. He has been on call at the hospital all this time, which means he also has to do rounds every morning too, plus still do a lot of his regular work. Thankfully my sister was able to come and stay with the boys from Monday afternoon to Thursday morning. She is such a gift from above. We also have a friend who came and stayed with the boys the last time I was hospitalized for pneumonia and Paul called her again this time. She has been able to come yesterday and today to help out, since I am not quite able to do it all on my own yet.

It is very hard to tell how much is too much right now. I find that I tend to over do things and then I am not hungry so I end up going to bed and not eating anything. That happened last night at dinner and almost happened again this morning at breakfast, although I force myself to eat a piece of toast.

I will be doing it all by myself for half a day on Saturday and half a day on Sunday, since the husband will be doing rounds at the hospital. That is definitely going to be a challenge and I am going to have to be very selective about which things really have to be done.

This morning, the husband had a new theory on what may be causing me to get pneumonia. I have acid reflux extremely bad so his thought is that it is making it too easy to aspirate. I would not at all be surprised if this is the case. I have known it is very bad for a long time, since I live with it every day. So, I think we will likely be doing some testing and searching along these lines and try to get this under control a little better. I'm sure that means changes to my diet:( but it will also mean I will feel better over all, which is good....and I really don't want to get so sick with this pneumonia again. Twice is way more than enough for me. Hopefully we will find a good solution.