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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Our first break

It happened last Monday afternoon. I wasn't in the room, and it's killing me that I don't know the full details of the incident. All I know is that Eli was going potty and Carter was in the bathroom too and trying to take Eli's glasses.  Eli was gently pushing Carter away from him to protect the glasses, and somehow Carter broke the glasses straight in half anyway and must've fallen down wrong in the process and I don't know what else. Kevin was the one that went up there first and dealt with the situation, then I went upstairs and found Carter sitting on the floor of Eli's room crying. I figured he was sobbing because of the situation. We continued getting ourselves ready to go out for dinner. There was a fundraiser for Eli's school at Pizza Hut. Carter finally calmed down in the car but started crying as soon I got him out of his car seat.  I was taking Eli and Carter in to Pamida real quick first to pick out Eli's small present for his class party and a few other things. Carter was fine in the shopping cart, but cried when I got him out. Fine when I held him, cried when we sat down at Pizza Hut. Fine when Kevin held him but cried when we tried to put him the high chair. Fine when Kevin held him in his lap but cried whenever Kevin tried to shift position.  He didn't have much of a nap in the afternoon so I knew he might be grumpy because he was undoubtedly tired, but I couldn't help but think to myself "It's like his leg hurts..." The more we carried on, the more it confirmed my suspicions. Then when we got back home and started getting the kids ready for bed, as I was changing Carter's diaper he'd cry when I tried to lift his leg to put the diaper under him. Then after the diaper I tried to stand him up on the floor and there it was, he wouldn't stand on his leg at all. Clearly he was lifting the one leg.

We finished getting the kids in bed and I plopped on the couch, heaving a big *SIIIIGH*

Carter slept all through the night wonderfully without a peep and even late. I actually had to wake him up at 8am (he's usually awake in his bed around 6am, 7 at the latest) because I wanted to check him out before taking Hannah to preschool.  He again was just not standing on his leg at all so I called the Dr. and got an appointment scheduled so I could do it in the same trip as Hannah's preschool.

The Dr. examined him and then ordered an x-ray from hip to knee. Carter layed on the table perfectly and didn't make a peep. The x-ray, however, came out clear and we were sent home with orders for him to just take it easy, and if after a few days he's not improving or if he gets a fever, then bring him back.

During those couple days Carter seemed to be improving. He went from just being content in a chair to crawling all the floor and even pulling up to standing. But he still wasn't standing on his RIGHT leg at all; he'd always leave it bent so it was off the floor. So I knew if he's crawling all over it must NOT be his hip afterall. So I set him in my lap to wiggle around his toes and foot and that seemed fine too.

By Friday morning he was still avoiding his right leg so I scheduled another appointment to get an x-ray of the bottom part of his leg. 2+ hours later alone with three kids at the Dr's office with NO TOYS or books or ANYTHING remotely entertaining other than the crayons I'd brought and counting ceiling tiles, we finally got official word that Carter does indeed have a fracture. The bone is still very well aligned so it won't take long to heal and he did not require a cast. Instead he has to wear a full-leg (past the knee) splint for at least a week, then he'll be checked and re-evaluated. I have a feeling it's going to be a long week for a busy toddler not able to walk or even crawl now. He's a trooper and does scoot himself around but you can tell he's not comfortable. =(

being so sweet and cooperative!

look at the adorable little baby "cast"!

BUT Dr decided it did in fact need to go over the knee as well so that adorable little baby "cast" gone redone

Okay, update, he's MISERABLE. Crying constantly since he woke up from nap when I was typing the earlier report. I have tried to pamper and spoil him but he's irritable and wants nothing. He was only quiet for the 3 minutes he was eating a lollipop. I even tried to distract him with an activity like play dough but he was only happy to throw it on the floor.

Getting him to bed was a doozie. He was SO TIRED, yet he just couldn't get comfortable. Finally at about 8:45pm I got him back up and gave him some Benadryl and I rocked him a little while waiting for it to maybe kick in. Then we took him upstairs and laid him in our bed with us. He was content and almost asleep, for awhile. Then he started to roll around and turning sideways, taking up the entire bed, so Kevin and I both moved to the guest bed. But I couldn't rest. I was worried Carter might fall off our big bed. I went in to position pillows along the edges but his head was already at the edge of the bed. And after all the screaming he did all afternoon there was no way I was going to move him when he was finally sleeping so peacefully. I went downstairs for a little bit to take some pictures of the Christmas tree, trying to relax a little bit. Went back upstairs to check Carter and his head was now most of the way off the bed but still sleeping peacefully. So I moved the pillows to the floor below him, went to lay down on the guest bed again, and 30 seconds later, thump and CRYYY! Carter fell off. Kevin jumped out of bed and grabbed him and he stopped crying immediately. Kevin puts Carter back in his own bed and we move back to ours. Carter's still just fussing fussing again. So I get up, surround the guest bed with proper pillows and blankets and lay next to him for a few minutes. He's calm and content so I slip out and go to my own bed. With more room to thrash around but not worry so much about falling, Carter then slept peacefully from about midnight to 5:30 am. Ahh... I then laid next to him and he stayed mostly quiet until 7am when I finally decided to just get up. We went downstairs to find the big kids coloring and Carter happily joined them. I'm hopeful that today will be a MUCH better day!

look who's smiling again!!

Praying for speedy healing for our lil' guy!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Eli and Hannah wanted a picture together and individually

and Eli wanted a picture of bear too

and Hannah ran to her room to get lamb too  =)

This has probably been my favorite Christmas so far! Every year we create new traditions, find more and more ways to make Christmas so special as we strive to teach our little ones what Christmas is really about and KEEP to what Christmas is really about, not just making it a side note. Here are some things we've done this season...

* I never did get around to starting The Jesse Tree devotions this year. But, using an idea I got from a friend, we individually wrapped all of our Christmas story books and each night, or every other night or so, the kids got to open a book from under the tree. It's been a year since we've read them, so every night was a new surprise. We'd pull out some applications and lessons from the book, and if applicable, we'd do an activity that went along with it. Mostly we just read the books with no activity and that was fine enough. But I have already been brainstorming some ideas for next year! One of their "books" was actually a puzzle so that night we worked the puzzle together. For next year I have ideas of "unwrapping" cookie mix and making late-night cookies. Or family movies. Spread it out so there are more of those "activity nights". Such fun and definitely a highlight of this Christmas. Many nights as soon a I said, "Kids get your pjs on, then we'll unwrap a book, Carter would dash off straight to the tree and rip open the paper before we even had a chance to stop him!" LOL And many nights, there was great arguing over who was going to pick the book and who was going to open the book. Ahh, the realities... but a fun tradition regardless.  =)

* For this last week heading into Christmas I've also been reading aloud The Nutcracker chapter book. 2 chapters each night and we'll finish the last one tonight, and Netflix is sending us the movie on Tuesday. It's actually a strange story, but the kids and I have really enjoyed it. Perhaps we'll read it every year? Or perhaps we'll read a different book every year? We'll see... For this year though, it was fun.

* I created this fun family board game, and we've had a great time playing again and again as we learn the real Christmas story and the meanings behind traditional Christmas symbols.

* We didn't do much with presents. We did select a few simple things for each child and a few things for the kids as a whole, but we didn't talk much about it, and gifts didn't get put under the tree until last night. They haven't spent the whole month talking about what they want, what they want, what Santa's going to bring them, and I've so appreciated that. I hadn't yet talked to the kids about getting something for each other but a couple weeks ago Eli whispered to me that he wanted to get Hannah a Barbie doll. So I helped him find one and wrap it for her, and I'm so happy for him. He's such a sweet boy. And they've been along with me as we helped choose some things for family members. But that certainly has NOT been what these weeks have been about.

* I also haven't spent all month baking and giving and baking and giving to everyone I know and love. I would love to. But that's just too BUSY for me. In most cases I find a meaningful card enough. And I'm also brainstorming a "Christmas in July/every month of the year" sort of thing regarding blessing others and their families...

* Christmas Eve I really like to watch The Nativity Story movie as a family. The kids watched it last year for the first time and Eli remembered much of what was about to come, like "Ooo, this is when the snake is to come out!" He was also thrilled to stay up late and asked often, "Is it past YOUR bedtime yet??"

Kevin's been working this weekend, so I planned many fun activities for the kids and I at home.

Shape blocks on Christmas patterns

Christmas game

A short lesson about Santa and Jesus, from here and here. (Brainstorming about Santa for next year. The real St. Nick didn't just give gifts at Christmas time. This was his life. Want to maybe also talk about some other people who have dedicated their lives to serving the poor.)
Book reading and coloring sheet

Cookie making

Tomorrow when Kevin's off work we'll celebrate as a family and open stockings and presents and have brunch and a nice dinner.  We are so blessed and our hearts are full of JOY!!  MERRY CHRISTMAS to all our readers!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Holiday Concert

A couple weeks ago the kids had their Christmas programs. The same night, the same time, in two separate towns. And Kevin had to work that night. So Grandma and Grandpa came to the rescue so they could take Hannah to her program and I could attend Eli's. I couldn't stand having our family split like that.  I want to spend great effort through the years having the kids support one another in their activities. And if that means we can't sign up for certain things, then that's how it'll be. But for that Friday night, that's how it had to be.

Being a school program, of course Eli's choirs couldn't sing about anything ACTUALLY about Christmas and Jesus. It was some goofy program about Santa in the 50s. But the great thing to watch was Eli participating and having fun with it. Such joy.

After the elementary kids were done with their portion of the concert, there was an intermission so parents could retrieve their kids from their classrooms. While there they took a few class pictures.
Look at Eli. You can tell he's getting so comfortable in his own skin and proud of his class. I'm so proud of him and happy to watch him grow!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

In case they never get posted...

... in October I took the two little ones to an AWESOME pumpkin patch with some MOPS friends. There was sooooo much to do there, all appropriate for small children. It was a bit chilly at first, but then the sun came out and we had a grand time!

... in early November we participated/hosted a fall family scavenger hunt for Hannah's preschool class. My friend Nikki and I spent quite a bit of time preparing in the weeks prior, collecting pine cones, and feathers, and acorns, and pea pod thingies, and leaves of different colors and shape, and caterpillars, and pumpkins, and apples, and corn, and measuring devices, and pencils. It ended up being REALLY windy that afternoon for such an event, and the leaves we'd spent so long collecting and even pressing blew away instantly, BUT the kids and their families had FUN and had a good learning experience in the midst!

... we spent Thanksgiving weekend in Minnesota. It had been a couple years (since before Carter, for sure) since we'd been up there, and since Carri and Lucas couldn't come down that weekend, we went to them! We had a fun time! Carri had thought up some fun activities for us to do while we there, and we spent a morning at House of Bounce and an afternoon at a Christmas Tree Festival.
Carter was playing ball with the boy. But the other boy had no idea. lol
Hannah's favorite tree

this was Carter's FAVORITE tree. he wanted to just sit and look at it.
we don't do Santa but the kids wanted their picture with him anyway

While we were there I also got to visit my good friend Emily!
And then on the drive home, we stopped in Des Moines to visit my friend Amanda!

... Kevin had a birthday. He turned 31. Eli often tells people that randomly. Kevin was working nights then, and he happens to love breakfast food, so as soon as Eli was home from school we enjoyed a breakfast feast together, complete with eggs, muffins, sausage, hash browns, fruit, and goblets of orange juice.