December 5, 2014

thanksgiving 2014

Per the usual, I didn't take as many photos on actual Thanksgiving day as I would have liked.  But I was a wee bit occupied chasing Elsie up and down the stairs a million times.  Seriously, she has rug burn on her belly from sliding down over and over again.

We had a wonderful time with Christopher's family on Thanksgiving day.  Plenty of tasty food was had by all.  Well, Ryann didn't eat anything but the fruit cup and squeezy pouch that I brought for her, but the rest of us were quite pleased.  Elsie discovered she loves mashed potatoes, it is just something I don't really make.  The girls also received some gifts since we do Christmas with my family.  We are now the proud owners of a giant unicorn and an 8 foot caterpillar thanks to Grandma 'Nita (she did ask me if I'd allow it before giving them to the girls, I think we'll have enough space in our new house to handle them!).


Friday morning the girls and I headed to my parents.  Shortly after we arrived my sister and her boyfriend made it over, and Chris joined us in time for dinner.  My mom's food certainly didn't disappoint.  And the weather over the weekend was amazing.  The girls spent plenty of time in the bounce house and driving their car around the driveway.  We made some brownies and helped decorate my mom's Christmas tree.  And my mom and I did some holiday shopping online.


Just a little tidbit I wanted to remember... Elsie loved looking at the tree, and picked out the carousel as her favorite ornament.  It just so happens to be the 2013 ornament my mom bought to represent her birth year.  A little crazy to me that she actually picked 'her' ornament as her favorite!!

December 2, 2014

that's what she said

listening to Lorde's 'Royals'
Ryann:  "... we're driving Cadillacs in the trees."
Me:  "They're driving in their dreams.  A Cadillac is a kind of car, so they're dreaming about driving a nice car."
Elsie:  "To Hobby Wobby?  Drive to Hobby Wobby?"
Ryann:  "I think they're driving their Cadillac to magic land where there are unicorns and castles and dragons."

Ryann:  "Elsie, can you draw a caterpillar?"
Elsie:  "Yeah!"
Ryann:  "Oh Elsie!  That is a very good bird!  But not a very good caterpillar."

Elsie:  "Dadooo dadooo!"
I have no idea.  Ryann was sitting next to me while I was typing this and insisted I include that Elsie says that...


And man these two.  We were at my parents over the weekend, and the 'pink car' finally got some serious use since Ryann received it for her 3rd birthday.  Something clicked and Ryann does a better job driving (though better does not = good!), and Elsie freaking loves going for a ride.  There was so much laughter and squeals of joy filling the air as Ryann did continuous circles on the driveway.

We were crazy enough to give Elsie a shot at driving.  The first time she actually connected with the gas, for just a moment, there was a look of sheer joy and power on her face.  She definitely felt like a queen at the wheel.  She was AWFUL at driving, and regularly would just lay on the gas without caring where she was going.  I was laughing so hard that I couldn't control the car at all.  We may have smashed one of my mom's rosebushes.  But hey, she was having fun!  Haha.

December 1, 2014

our advent activity calendar

At some point this week I hope to go back and get some of our Thanksgiving weekend photos on the blog.  But if anyone else is scrambling to put together activities for an advent calendar (as I am) I thought I'd share what I've come up with so far.  You can see the first set of activities I put together back in 2011 here.


We're a bit heavy on the 'look at lights', but I don't care.  It is easy, and the girls love seeing the lights.  I don't have all my cards pre-made anymore, I just do it the night before.  That way I can easily switch stuff up or change my mind if we need to.  Some of the days are just geared towards Ryann, but I don't think Elsie will really notice.

I'm just so dang excited for the month.  My mom picked up some coloring and activity countdown placemats for the girls, they are super cute and made by Two's Company.  Our Christmas tree just makes me smile.  Our elf is back in action, but most likely won't do anything terribly exciting.  I'm giving myself bonus points just for remembering to move it.  Festive pajamas and holiday themed bows.  Christmas cookies and gingerbread houses.  I'm just giddy!


November 24, 2014

we bought a house!

Ok, well really we were under contract for this house in August.  We didn't actually close until November 8th.  And we don't plan to move until sometime between May-July.


Wait what?  Yeah.

Christopher has signed with a hospital system, so we started browsing the housing market.  We had been following it for a good 6+ months, knowing we most likely would end up there, and hadn't seen anything that I loved for a price I was willing to pay for it.  So we moved towards building, found a builder and a plan we thought we liked, and started meeting with a bank.  While we were waiting for approval on our construction loan, this house popped up on the market.

It was 1200+ square feet more than we could afford to build, and was listed for over $100,000 less than we were going to spend to build.  And while I loved the house we were going to build, I wasn't 100% I love loved it, if that makes any sense.  There were still some things missing from my dream house list, and it was a lot of money.  So since I didn't hate the listing photos and the house looked to have more space than we could have dreamed of, Chris called the listing agent to see if we could look at it.

Honestly I was hoping I'd hate it.  I wanted a new house.  I'm tired of dealing with some of the issues in our not so new house right now.  But I didn't hate it.  I actually really liked it.  Well crap!  I mean who buys a house 9+ months before they actually need it?  Us, apparently.  We went back and saw the house again.  I still liked it.  A lot.  The laundry room is huge and there is space for a playroom and a workout room and the number of closets in the house is just plain insane.  We were referred to a relator who could help us since the listing agent couldn't really be our agent.  There was some back and forth with the sellers, but ultimately we got the house and they agreed to a long closing period.

We decided to buy this house because if we were going to have to put down the money now to build, why not put down the money to buy instead.  We plan to do some renovations, and a whole lot of painting.  I'm so excited to have a house to decorate and renovate again.  And a little stressed too.  But mostly just excited!

Here are some photos of the house right now...


So. Much. SPACE.  Those pictures don't even begin to capture it.  I can't believe I didn't snap any pictures of the mudroom/laundry room area.  It is easily the space that made me really REALLY want the house.  There is going to be a lot of trim painting happening (hopefully by a painter!).  And a complete gut job on the master bath.  I can't wait to get started and have before and after pictures to share.  But it will probably be a while!

We are truly so excited and blessed.

November 23, 2014

the aftershock

Throughout Elsie's little breathing ordeal earlier this week, I was surprised by how calm I was.  And how much I assumed she'd be fine.  I never panicked.  I never cried.  I trusted the doctors to take care of her and was really at ease for the most part.

It wasn't until Wednesday, when Elsie was taking her nap and I was alone, that the weight of the prior couple of days hit me.  I just started thinking over and over again, what could have happened if I hadn't taken her to the ER.  Chris was scheduled to travel with the men's basketball team that night.  It was a last minute decision for him to run by the imaging center to see us.  Had he not stopped by, I would have taken Elsie home and done my best to give her breathing treatments like the PA had said.  Heck even Chris was hesitant to have me take her to the ER that night.  Her attitude was so perky, she was eating and drinking just fine.  Her breathing just wasn't right.

But what if I had just put her to bed?

I know it isn't good to dwell on things.  I have no idea what would have happened, and it doesn't matter, because I did take her.  I trusted my instincts.  I just can't get it out of the back of my mind, that if I had put her to bed, she may never have woken up.

All the crying and stressing out I didn't do on Monday?  I did it on Wednesday.

People always ask me if I feel better about things such as this, knowing I have a doctor in the house.  And on one side, I do.  I know that he is quite knowledgeable and can take care of our kids.  But there is a flip side.  A)  Through med school and residency he wasn't home all that much.  The parenting and medical care of our children was almost completely in my hands.  Fellowship has been so much easier on us, but as I said above, there are still some days we don't see him.  B) I think I am regularly less inclined to take our kids to the doctor.  I know that there are so many viruses and little sicknesses that nothing can be done for, and I don't want to 'waste' anyone's time.  So something has to be pretty bad for me to want to take them in.

When it comes down to it, I DID take Elsie to the ER.  She is perfectly fine now.  Well, minus a nasty cough that I'm sure will linger for quite some time.  But she is fine.  I'm so incredibly grateful for that.


Love you Elsie girl!

November 19, 2014

this and that

I planned to write a post about my second half marathon this season, but honestly I'm so over my race play by plays, so I figured throwing in some race info along with other tidbits was the way to go.

::  So yes!  I did it!  Survived half marathon number two of the season.  It went pretty well, and I got to run half of it with my friend Laura, which made it infinitely more entertaining.  We started off with the 2:05 pace group, but about half way through Laura wanted to slow down a bit, and I was feeling good and wanting to speed up, so we split up.  The course had one pretty significant hill, but otherwise was flat or slightly rolling and went by pretty quickly.  The worst part honestly was the last mile, it seemed to drag on for no apparent reason.  But I finished in 2:04:03.  Laura completed her first half marathon and Meaghan also ran!  It was a good day.


::  After that weekend I bit the bullet and ate Whole30 compliant foods for a week.  I had been enjoying all the Halloween candy and my new found love of Dominos pizza WAY too much, and I needed to do something about it.  It was amazing how quickly I just felt better.  Of course there were days that I wanted to say screw it, if I'm only doing it for a week, it isn't worth it.  But I stuck with it thank goodness.  With Elsie getting sick and not really eating Monday or having my food and stuff prepped Tuesday I'm already way off track again, but back at trying to make healthier food choices.  The right food just does too many good things for me.  Plus I know Thanksgiving through Christmas is going to be tough so every day counts!

::  I love to read, but I rarely do it.  Partly because once I pick up a book I just can't put it down.  I absolutely have to know what happens.  So when I started reading Maze Runner, I ended up plowing through all four books in the series in like six days.  It was ridiculous.  I just couldn't stop reading.  I wasn't super happy with how the story line played out, some parts kind of pissed me off.  But it was definitely something that kept me engaged and was entertaining.  I also read Four: A Divergent Collection.  I can't say I really loved that one.  While it was interesting to see Tobias's perspective on some things, I felt like I wasn't all that interested because I knew where it was going.  Next on my list of things to read is Gone Girl, because I just have to read books before I see the movie.  It is just the way I am.

::  Who decided that this was put your Christmas tree up three weeks before Thanksgiving year?  All of the sudden my instagram feed got bombarded with Christmas decor shots.  Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas and the decorations and all that good stuff.  I've been debating holiday wear and headbands and leggings for far too long already.  But it is not put your tree up time.  It just isn't.  Plus then I just have to fight with my kids and my cats about not touching the damn thing.

Well little miss sicky is refusing to nap (%#$@^%!) so I guess I'm done.  Wahhhh.

November 18, 2014

an er visit

Currently Elsie is quickly becoming the more expensive child in the medical department.  Ryann has had a non well visit, maybe, um, twice?  Maybe?  Yeah Elsie, I don't even know.  Not an absurd amount, she doesn't have chronic ear infections or anything.  But I can almost guarantee that at 21 months Elsie has gone to the doctor more times than Ryann has in her 4.5 years of life.

So a little recap of our last couple of days... over the weekend Elsie developed a cold.  She goes to mother's day out, the gym daycare, gymnastics, playdates, you get the idea.  That kid is going to get something, there is almost no way around it.  I wasn't worried.  It was a cough and congestion, totally normal.  Monday morning she was coughing a TON.  I felt like she couldn't get a break, it was continuous.  So after dropping Ryann off at school and attempting a Target run (dumb idea, not even signing Christmas toys could comfort my little miss) we headed back home for liquids and some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  I try to refrain from using shows outside of our regular one in the morning and the evening, but she was so darn pitiful there was no other option.

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Since she was pretty content and occupied, I opted to clean out the pantry.  I mean if we aren't going to be playing I might as well make the best of it, right?  I periodically checked on her, made sure she hadn't spilled her food, wiped her nose, etc.  I got to the point where I had a pile of Chris's food left that I wasn't sure if he was ever going to eat, so I texted him a picture of the stuff and went to cuddle with Elsie while I was waiting for a response.  It was then that I noticed how labored her breathing was.  Her breathing was fast and shallow.  She couldn't complete words or phrases because she just didn't have enough air.

Part of me thought I was imagining it.  I was already on watch because she wasn't feeling well, so it was possible I was over thinking it.  But she just didn't sound right.  I took a video and sent it to Christopher.  After a bit of him not responding I sent the video to Sarah and asked her if she would take her kid in with that kind of breathing.  She replied without a doubt, that it sounded scary.  Even after that I stalled a bit more, called my mom, waited a few more minutes for Chris to respond.  But he didn't, so I called the pedi.  They said that anytime someone suspects breathing distress they need to be seen, so we planned to arrive in just over an hour for their urgent care hours.

In the meantime Elsie asked to take a nap (NEVER HAPPENS), so I let her lie down.  Christopher finally finished his morning clinic and said she didn't sound great but he couldn't make any guesses without listening to her lungs, so taking her in was the best bet.  We were fairly quickly taken to a room when we arrived at the pedi.  The nurse asked me some standard questions, and about her symptoms.  Then she hooked up a device to check her oxygen levels (I don't know what those things are called, whoops).  She kept moving the thing around on Elsie hand without saying anything.  At first I thought she was having a hard time getting a reading.  But then she opened the door and asked for another nurse, the PA, tape and bubbles.  I was a wee bit confused, and worried.  Truthfully the bubbles confused me the most at first.  :o)  Apparently her oxygen level was in the 87-88 range.  She was pretty lethargic and non responsive (not completely though), but I figured I dragged her out of her crib and she was sick.  Not surprising that she was just laying around.  They blew bubbles to try and perk her up, but it didn't help a ton.

We ended up doing two breathing treatments at the pediatrician's office.  They helped a little and her numbers went up to 94, but the PA still wasn't super thrilled, so she sent us for a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia or anything else, plus gave us a nebulizer to take home.  I quickly drove to pick up Ryann from school and headed over to the imaging center.  Chris had finished with his afternoon patients so he stopped at the pharmacy to get E's meds and met us there.  Elsie was perkier at this point, but her breathing had already become more difficult again, and it hadn't even been two hours since we finished her last treatment.  Got the x-ray done and everything was all clear.  The PA said just be consistent with the breathing treatments, but to take her to the ER if she got worse.

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We did another breathing treatment when we got home, but it just didn't really help.  Her attitude was fine.  She was up and trying to play.  Eating some food.  Drinking some water and juice.  Chris and I waivered back and forth about taking her back in.  We almost planned on just giving her breathing treatments throughout the night, but her little chest was working so hard, lots and lots of retractions.  It really was just better safe than sorry.  So after bath her and I headed out to Children's Mercy. 

It was only about 7:20pm when we got there, not terribly late.  The nurses were great and got us through triage in maybe 15 minutes.  Her oxygen level was about 92, and the retractions were still as strong as ever.  We were taken back to a room and waited to be seen by the doctor.  A respiratory therapist came in and gave Elsie a couple puffs of albuterol on a spacer, but confirmed it didn't seem to be doing anything to help her breathe.  We waited a bit longer and then the doctor came to see us.  She said E had a viral infection with bronchiolitis.  Essentially the little tiny airways in her lungs were infected, swollen, and full of mucous.  She said she wanted to do a deep suction to help her breathe a bit better, and test for RSV.  Sounded like lots of fun.  HA.  Not at all.  And it wasn't.  E was PISSED.  But they got a ton of crap out of her lungs and she instantly sounded so much better.  She passed out on my chest while we waited for them to run the RSV test.


I was just sitting there with her asleep, happy that she looked like she was breathing so much easier, when all of a sudden a nurse popped in with an oxygen mask.  Damn.  I couldn't see the monitor screen from where I was sitting, but her levels had dropped back in to the upper 80's.  They put her on blow by oxygen which helped.  The doc came back in and said the RSV was negative but if she couldn't maintain her levels we'd have to be admitted.  She turned off the oxygen and sure enough, her levels dropped.  Boooooo.  Admissions came in, followed by the doctor on call that night, then we waited for them to get the room set up.  At some point Elsie woke up and freaked the heck out.  She kept slapping the oxygen mask away from her, pushing me, thrashing around.  I tried to get her to go back to sleep so I could hold it on her, but her levels dropped too quick so a nurse came in telling me to get the darn mask on her.  Yeah, I know lady, I'm trying.  It took a bit, but she gave in.

About 30-45 minutes later we were taken to the room we'd be staying in.  Once we got up there they decided to take her off the oxygen to see how she did.  She surprised me and stayed above 94.  They took all her vitals and did all the necessary admissions stuff and left us to get some sleep around 11pm.  Elsie flat out refused to get in the crib, I don't really blame her, so she ended up sleeping on me in a recliner all night.  I didn't sleep much, and I got so uncomfortable, plus the nurse was in and out a couple of times, but E slept.  That is what matters.

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Around 5:30AM Elsie started really stirring and just couldn't get back to sleep.  She asked for a drink and to eat, and really started to perk up.  Her oxygen levels went up a bit to the 95-97 range and stayed there.  I was thrilled they hadn't put her on oxygen all night.  The nurse told me she was close at one point, hovering at 90 for a bit, but it never dipped in to the 80's again.  Even though she was still tired I just couldn't get Elsie to go back to sleep, so we watched movies and Mickey Mouse, played iPad games and colored.  Elsie kicked me out of the recliner and claimed it as hers, and got some of her spunk back.


The remainder of the morning was pretty much spent waiting for rounds and waiting for discharge papers.  My mom drove up to take care of Ryann so Chris could come hang out with us (which at the time she left we weren't sure if we'd be discharged or not).  By the time they came to let us leave Elsie was crawling all over the place, full of energy.  Or as much energy as you can have as an almost two-year-old on six hours of broken sleep.

Overall Elsie was a champ throughout the whole thing.  She was great during the day yesterday, letting the doctors do what they needed, and didn't really start to get upset with them until she was incredibly over tired, and they had already tortured her with the suction :o).  I'm so glad we followed our guts and got her in.  Everything might have been fine, but it might not have been too.  Always better safe than sorry!

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