Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Advent 2015

This will be my home-base post for our Advent 2015 Season! :)

Nov. 29-Put Up & Decorate the Tree
Nov. 30- Vinnie sick, family t.v. time
1- Small Craft
2- Awanas
3-Lucas nuerology appt. & Daddy 1/2 day!
4-D.C. trip with the Putnams
5-Decorating at Gram's House
6-Church & Christmastowne with the Putnams!
11-Lucas 6 Yr Old Check-Up (Game Night with Nuemeyer Family?)
12-Mom to Cookie Swap-Guys night!
13- Church & Drive Through Nativity 
14-Co-Op Christmas Party 
24- Christmas Eve at Gram's & Church
25-Christmas at our house
27- Church 
31- Happy New Years! Happy 301th Birthday Uncle Mandy!

Activities to Add:

Cookies for Fire Dept.
Christmas Movies w/ Hot Chocolate & Cookies
Look at Christmas Lights
Send Donation to NJH
Oriental Trading Co Crafts
Handprint Ornaments

Triple R Ranch Dec. 10-19 Christmas in the Country:
(757) 421-4177 Triple R Ranch invites you to Christmas in the Country to celebrate the Holiday Season! A tradition since 1987, Christmas in the Country is a FREE community event where you can enjoy the ranch atmosphere, numerous activities, and the fellowship of your friends and family. In addition, we work well over a month in advance to cover our buildings in Christmas lights to give you a spectacular view! 

Avalon Church Train Show
Avalon Church of Christ 12/4-12/12 many different times available like 12/4 6-8:30 pm, Saturday 10 am-8:30 pm

Monday, November 30, 2015

Why we don't do "The 4 Things" at Christmas in our House

So, I've been seeing this type of image go around on Facebook for the last few years and I got inspired to respond tonight.

We don't do the 3 or 4 thing rule at our house at Christmastime and that's OKAY. Its also okay if you do it!

I do the best I can not to give the boys frivolous gifts throughout the year, and they don't get many "treats" that are worth more than a couple dollars either.  That doesn't mean they aren't completely spoiled, but I don't buy them $20 toys for no reason, ya know?

Throughout the year the boys get "spoiled" with gifts at certain times.

Valentines- a small gift
Easter--a few smalls gifts+ candy
Summer- Passes to Busch Gardens/Water Country USA
August-Vinnie's birthday--5-7 gifts that they really want
October- Lucas' birthday--5-7 gifts that they really want
Christmas- About $350 total between the boys, with a pretty even split & a close number of gifts for each kid to open

All year long, as a parent, it is my responsibility to make sure they have clothing.  I buy clothes for all the members of our family as they NEED them.  Both kids got a couple special fun things as gifts during their birthdays. (Minecraft shirts for Lucas & Jurassic Park shirts for Vin)  It is also our job to make sure they have towels and other normal things for living a healthy life.  While a fun electric toothbrush is a good stocking stuffer, I wouldn't put their normal $1.25 for 2 brushes pack of tooth brushes in their stocking.  Its my JOB to make sure they have clean toothbrushes available.  (an electric brush is a luxury though)  I don't think that #2 or #3 on this list are "fair" to have as Christmas gifts.

We don't *DO* Santa Claus, but my children both believe in Santa & will assume that some of their gifts came from Santa.  They also know that Mama has been making a Christmas list all year long and that many of their gifts come from their parents.  They can have the fun of Santa without Santa getting the credit for all the gifts under the tree.  In the past I have had some gifts unwrapped (usually stuff I got second hand) and then others wrapped...and the unwrapped stuff was from Santa.  This year I don't have any secondhand gifts but we'll probably unwrap some of their stuff.

We always let the boys WANTS lead us in what we purchase for Christmas gifts. This year they are all about toys-to-life video games.  So, that's what they are getting.  LOTS of video game stuff.

It has been our tradition since Lucas' first Christmas, when he was 2 months old, for Tim to pick out a collection of books for the boys.  They've got quite a library of classics and he actually reads them to them!

So, we actually DO, do the #1 & 4 things on the list above, but not because we feel the need to LIMIT what the kids get for Christmas.  Those are just personal choices we made.  As they get older we'll probably even cater the books to things they've asked for or that we know they'll enjoy.  For now, Tim picks the books.

This year I'm a bit bummed/let down by the Christmas stash, since I don't think a big pile of video game stuff makes for a very exciting Christmas morning, but I know the boys will be beyond themselves with excitement over their new games & accessories.

As an adult the fun part of Christmas is GIVING gifts. I don't expect anything in return & I'll be okay if the only present I unwrap is from my kid sister. (Mom gave me a new artificial tree as a combo. birthday+Christmas gift)  I LOVE to see my boys spoiled rotten on Christmas. They may think that Santa gets the credit now, but someday they'll learn the truth, and they'll appreciate all that we put into making Christmas magical and amazing for them. :) Their joy brings me happiness.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

December's Attempt at an Advent Calendar

This year's advent season was a flop.  We had so much going on that we didn't really do a whole lot to make Christmas special or keep the "season" alive. Hopefully 2015 will be a better year for us!

Dec. 1
Dec. 2--decorated the tree at Grandma & Pap's with Mandy
Dec. 3--decorated our tree
Dec. 4--Sleepover with Grammy & Grandpa (Pap in hospital & Mom went to be with them)
Dec. 5--Go to Emporia for weekend
Dec. 6-7--Emporia
Dec. 8--No school Croup :(
Dec. 9--Family Movie Night
Dec. 10--Waiting on Jesus Craft & new toys from Grandma & Pap
Dec. 11--Program at school
Dec. 12--Bake cookies
Dec. 13-14--Mommy sick
Dec. 15--Babysit Lia, Lucas got to go to James & Missy's
Dec. 16--Grocery Shopping
Dec. 17--Cubbies Party & Mom & Vinnie dinner date
Dec. 18-19
Dec. 20-- Lucas spent day with Grammy & Grandpa
Dec. 21--Church
Dec. 22-23
Dec. 24-Christmas in Emporia
Dec. 25--Christmas at home, Dinner in Emporia

I don't have any amazing pictures or even details.  Dad was in the hospital from the 4th-20th and it was a very hectic time.  Vinnie was sick, I was sick, we were just way run down.

Friday, May 1, 2015

What a Doozy

Wow! I could never have anticipated how long and tiring our trip to Colorado would be!  I did take detailed notes almost every day so I have every intention of getting our story up here on the blog.  Unfortunately, Vinnie is *VERY* sick right now.  He's running high fevers, coughing and struggling to maintain an O2 reading over 93%.  I am still recovering from our 24 hour long day of travel home & no full-nights of sleep following.

Please continue to pray for us & look forward to hearing about our amazing journey to National Jewish Health!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Shopping List for Denver

These are the items that I need to shop for and purchase before we fly out...some of the items are things we can BORROW and return when we get home.

2 Full Size Suitcases (borrow)
3 Carry On Size Suitcases (borrow)
3 Heavy Duty book bags (like Jansport--for carry on toys/food, etc.) (borrow)

TINY tube socks--like XXS for 3 year olds to play soccer x 12 pair (preferably in colors since they will show)
SMALL tube socks--approx size for a 4-5 year old to play t-ball x 8 pairs

Sheets-from Mom

CeraVe lotion x3

Vanicream lotion x3

Reclining Stroller (suitable for a 27 lb child to nap in) w/ cargo area -- From James & Missy

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A "heart attack"

Amanda, my sister, treated Vinnie & I to dinner tonight at Outback Steakhouse. Unfortunately, before we'd even gotten food at our table, Vinnie found a tiny shred of cheese in the booth and picked it up. My sister grabbed it from him and I rushed him to the bathroom to wash his hands, but it appears the damage was done. By the time I got his hands washed (there was an issue there because they only had heavily scented soap in the ladies room), and back to the table his eyes were swelling, his face was hivey and itchy and he had hives on his stomach. I gave him a dose of benadryl and took him outside and he got some relief from the symptoms. I'll have to re-dose him with medicine at the four hour mark. I'll be watching for a more serious reaction as we near the two hour point (now). *THIS* is why National Jewish is important for Vinnie. His skin is so broken that even casual contact with his allergens can cause a serious (possibly life threatening) reaction.

This is his face almost 2 hours after it happened.  You can see his eyes are still swollen/puffy & the scratches on his forehead and the redness from the hives. (the scratches around his mouth are old)

He'll get 24 hours of benadryl following a reaction like this. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Wet Wrap Therapy

At National Jewish Health, the therapy program relies heavily on wet wrap therapy.

This involves a 20 minute "soak" in the bath tub followed by a "smear" of a thick layer of ointment/creme/medicines/steroids on the child's ENTIRE body, which is then covered with a layer of WET clothing, including tube socks over the hands & feet.  The final layer is warm pjs and dry socks on the hands/feet.

Vinnie wears exclusively 100% wool or wool/silk blends that have been lanolized for his normal clothing.  Anything else we have tried has irritated his skin.

The wet-wrap therapy is done with 100% COTTON clothing.

Obviously this poses a problem for us.  So, I went out & bought a set of cotton pjs and a fleece sleeper for Vinnie to do a trial run to see if maybe the "barrier layer" of cremes would be sufficient to protect his skin from irritation.

We did our first trial run this morning.  Vinnie did NOT like soaking in the tub.  He did NOT like getting the lotions smeared on him.  We did triamcinilone steroid creme on his eczema spots and CeraVe lotion on his clear skin.

When we finished dressing him, it only took a few minutes for Tim to calm him down and he was happy.  He was a little embarrassed about leaving the house all wrapped up but we made him comfortable & he was able to enjoy Chic Fil A for lunch while shopping at Target. (he had to eat with a fork, instead of his fingers)

He took a nap on the car ride home and it was right around time to take off the wrap (he wore it for 2 hours) when we got home.  His skin showed NO signs of irritation, which is wonderful.

We kept him dressed in long sleeves and socks/shoes all day, so he wouldn't be able to scratch & undo any healing that took place.  At dinner time his skin still felt moist/soft.

After dinner we did another soak/smear/wet wrap routine.  Vinnie did okay with the bath, he was pretty upset at first but eventually calmed down and didn't want to get out.  He cried pretty badly during the smearing and dressing in wet clothing though.  Tim was able to calm him down and get him to bed pretty quickly though, so we'll see how his skin is tomorrow.

UPDATE: 3/15/15 AM--Vinnie slept well during the night & woke up with no irritation.  The pjs that had been wet were mostly dry but cool.  We tried to leave them on him but he was quickly scratching under them, so we switched him back into his regular wool clothing.