Thursday, December 31, 2009

Snow Days

We're just about dug out from the 14 inches of snow we got on Christmas Eve.  Some of it has melted now, but a lot is still around, and Monday we got an inch or two more.  We're loving seeing our neighborhood blanketed in the snow.  My parents were up here for a couple days over the weekend, and they made Clayton's day when they decided to build a snowman.  Eli was content to sit on a non-icy portion of the sidewalk.  He wanted nothing to do with the snow, which was probably a good thing considering he doesn't own a pair of snowpants.  We're soaking up our time in the snow knowing it probably won't last too much longer.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Blizzard 2009

So, we're having a blizzard today.  Sustained winds in the 40s, gusts into the 60s, 22 degrees, 0 windchill, 0 visibility.  Lucky for us, it also rained a lot overnight, so under all that snow is a nice thick sheet of ice.  Ryan went into work early this morning before it got bad.  Thankfully he was able to make it home with only one very minor fender bender when someone tapped him from behind.  It was just a tiny scratch.  Praise Jesus, as there has been so much worse around here, and we're not exactly seasoned ice drivers.  They have now officially closed all interstates in the state of Oklahoma.  It's looking like most churches, ours included, have cancelled all their Christmas Eve services.  It's really bad out there, and I'm disappointed we won't be able to go to church, but now that my husband is home in one piece, and we're here in our nice, warm home, I'm pretty content.  Looks like it will be a white Christmas for us.  Good thing we didn't have any travel plans.

Our backyard

When I opened our front door, I noticed this package on the porch.  I cannot believe the USPS.  They delivered on the day of our record breaking ice storm two years ago, and now they're delivering in this storm.  I did hear someone call into the news a little while ago saying that their mailman was stuck at their house!  Our mail lady is severely cranky, so I'm relieved she didn't get stuck here.

We couldn't get the storm door opened because of the snow, so Ryan had to break the layer of ice off the garage door and go around to the front door.  Kristin, your package made it!

The view from our garage.  That's our neighbor's car.

The street that T's in front of our house.

Now if you happen to be reading this blog from South Dakota (you know who you are), this is probably no biggie for you, but this is a pretty big deal where we live in Oklahoma.  It's not too often we see this kind of weather in this part of the state. 

Times like these make me so thankful I have a warm home and plenty of food in the pantry.  I know the shelters are overwhelmed today, and I hope they are doing okay.

Christmas Cookies

Clayton and I have been busy baking.  We made, cut, and baked all our sugar cookie dough on Monday.  Then we iced and decorated on Tuesday.  It took two days with Clayton's assistance.  He thoroughly enjoyed the process, and I had a lot of fun as well.  I think our cookies turned out pretty well.  We sent half to work with Ryan the next day, and he didn't bring any home, so they tasted okay too.

Getting ready to decorate

Mommy iced.  Clayton sprinkled (mostly with my assistance, though a few had less assistance than others).

Excited to decorate

Eli took care of the rejects.

Our finished products

Clayton Tells the Christmas Story

I've been working on teaching Clayton the Christmas story.  We started talking about the birth of Jesus right around Thanksgiving and have talked about it everyday since.  At first it seemed like he was retaining zero information, but then they started learning about it at school as well, and all of a sudden certain elements began to stick.

The Christmas Story
By Clayton Zeitler

There's Mary and Josep (yes, Jo-Sep) and Baby Jesus.  There's the star of Christmas.  Mary rode a donkey... Hee-honk, Hee-honk, Hee-honk (yes, Hee-Honk, he must have learned that part at school).  The End.

Okay, so there are a few theological gaps in the story, but he's identified many of the key players, including the donkey, hee-honk, and honestly, I think Clayton often knows and understands a lot more than he let's on about.

The other day we were baking Christmas cookies, and Clayton was playing with a set of gingerbread cookie cutters.  He then identified them as Mary, Jo-Sep, and Baby Jesus.  This little boy's got Christmas on his mind.

I am really looking forward to sharing more and more of the Christmas story as the boys get older.  It's exciting to watch Clayton learn more and more every year.

I've also been trying to teach him "Away in a Manger" and have had zero success.  He's not really a singer though.  Maybe next year.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Looks Like Christmas

The boys at church this morning

I love little boys in sweater vests.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

On the Canal

I've been looking for fun Christmas things to do around town.  Last year, having just had a c-section and having a two week old baby, we didn't get out very much.  Tonight we went down to Bricktown to ride the watertaxis (think San Antonio on a MUCH smaller scale).  I found out they have free rides on the weekends in December, and the canal is all decorated with Christmas lights.  It was 30 degrees, but there wasn't any wind, so tonight was our chance.  We bundled up and headed out.  Unfortunately, it is very hard to snap pictures on a boat ride when each adult has a child whom they are trying to prevent from jumping overboard, so I didn't get much on the boat, but I did get a few a we were loading up back at the car.  The boys looked so silly and were so good on the ride.  Afterward we drove through a recommended neighborhood to look at Christmas lights, so it was a good night out for the family.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Santa through the Years

I took the boys to the mall for their annual Santa picture today.  I guess Clayton has grown a little since we lived in Florida.  I fully expected a meltdown from Eli, and he totally surprised me.  He does look a little "deer in the headlights" in the picture, but he sat there for a long time checking out the beard.  Clayton just hopped right up there because he and Santa go way back. 

PS I loved Santa's new outfit this year.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Birthday Boy is One!

How can it be that Eli is a year old?  I constantly remind him that he promised me he'd stay little forever, and he's definitely not holding up his end of the deal.  We love this little guy, and he's made a priceless addition to our family.  I love that the boys have each other now.

Having already celebrated last week, the big day (Saturday) was not so big, but we did have a few birthday activities.  We continued our birthday breakfast tradition and sang Happy Birthday to Eli (AKA The Snoozer) when he finally got up.  He didn't care much for the candle.  It got in the way of what was important... food.  This boy doesn't miss a meal.

The beast devouring his birthday muffin.

The boys spent most of the day with Ryan while I did some Christmas shopping.  They even visited one of Ryan's coworkers whose wife just had a baby.  When I asked Clayton if the baby was a boy or a girl, he replied, "a baby sister."  That evening after dinner Eli opened a few more family gifts.  Clayton was definitely the "Big Brother in Charge" and was much more excited about the gifts than Eli.  While Eli played with all the packaging and boxes, Clayton tried out all his new things. 

At one year, Eli does still act like my baby.  He snuggles when he's tired.  He loves to sit on my lap for long periods of time.  He still refuses a sippy cup.  And he's very definitely NOT close to walking.  Why walk when Mommy can just carry you, or worst case scenario, you can crawl?  He's definitely a mama's boy and will almost always cling to me if someone, including Ryan, tries to take him from me.  He's testing out how to throw a proper fit these days, and this is new to me, as Clayton's fits are more inward and silent, while Eli's a screamer and thrasher.  He's got some fire in him.  That's for sure.  I'm definitely NOT looking forward to dealing with that.

I took Eli to the pediatrician for his one year check up on Monday.  He weighed 20lbs, 1 oz and was 29 1/4 inches long.  His head circumference had only increased slightly (thank goodness) to 19 1/4 cm (wow), so CT scan considerations are on hold once again.  I promise, big heads just run in my family.  He also had a double ear infection AGAIN, which I was not completely surprised about.  This is his fourth set this fall.  We also got the results of Clayton's follow up chest x-ray, and it looked greatly improved from the pnuemonia one 10 days earlier, an answer to prayer. 

Other than the ear infections, Eli's doing great.  He's showing more and more of his personality these days, and we love most of what we see.  Clayton is taking on more and more big brother responsibility too.  Tonight as I was loading the dishwasher and attempting to keep Eli out of it, Clayton piped up with, "Eli, you're trouble."  Yes, Clayton, and believe me, Eli's not the only trouble around here.

Dec. 5, 2008
A healthy baby boy

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Eli's Birthday Party

Because we were in Arkansas the week before Eli's birthday, we decided it would be fun to have a little party for him with some of our family and friends there.  We haven't ever had a party with more than one kid there (we love William).  Wow.  There were a lot of babies, but we had TOOOOO MUCH FUN!

Guests included my grandparents (since it was at their house and all), my parents, my uncle John, Meghan, Luke, and Lizzie, and Pamela.  We also had my mom's friend, her four daughters, their two husbands, and their five kids, as well as my high school friend Erika, her husband, and baby Faith.
That means we had 9 kids, of which Clayton was the oldest by nearly a year.  Wow.  That was a very busy house.

 The party started off a little rough for the birthday boy.  He didn't know what to think about all those kids.

An attempt at a group picture was quickly abandoned.

Birthday cake

Not so sure

He figured it out.


Happy early birthday Sweet Eli!  We all love this boy so much.  How did we live without him so long?

Thanksgiving Week

The week of Thanksgiving started on a low note for us.  Clayton had been sickly over the previous weekend, but on Monday he was looking better.  That night it became obvious that he was going to need to see the pediatrician in the morning, and he was going to miss his Thanksgiving feast at school.  I was so sad about that, but I took him to the doctor, and he was diagnosed with double ear infections. 

I mentioned to the nurse that I felt his color had been off that morning, and so the sat monitor was pulled out, and surprise, Clayton was ranging 69 to 73%.  Yikes!  That's pretty low for him.  He's usually in the mid 80s.  We immediately headed to the hospital for a chest x-ray, and it was quickly evident that Clayton had pneumonia.  No wonder this boy felt so bad.  Good thing I mentioned his coloring. 

An antibiotic, nebulizer, and lots of albuterol later, we were headed home.  We started breathing treatments every four hours around the clock, and I took him back to the doctor the next morning.  He was still satting in the low 70s, but he hadn't gotten any worse, and he was actually feeling a lot better.

That night we decided to go ahead with our plans and drive to Arkansas to be with my family for Thanksgiving.  I knew Arkansas Children's was right down the road, and they are very equipped to handle Clayton if needed.

By Thursday morning Clayton was a new kid, and we ventured over to the Bryant Senior Center, where we rent a large room to have our family dinner.  Thanksgiving is a big deal with that side of the family, and this year there were exactly 50 of us there.  It wasn't our largest turnout ever, but it was still good sized.  As usual, there was more food than we knew what to do with, and the company was great.  I always enjoy Thanksgiving in Arkansas.  It's the only time I see a lot of those cousins, and we really have a great time together.

On Friday we had a little birthday party for Eli, which I'll get to in another post.  It was soooo much fun.  Then that night my sisters and I went out to eat (without children... GASP) and to a movie (The Blindside, which was excellent) with our four friends, who are also sisters.  An interesting fact about us, is that of the seven girls, the two that look the most alike are not sisters.  I think Pamela and Melissa could pass for twins.  I don't remember them looking alike as little girls, but the older they get, the more alike they look.

Melissa is on the left, Abby in the middle, and Pamela is on the right.  Don't Melissa and Pamela look alike?

Mom, her three daughters, and her three grandchildren, and Mary Ann, her four daughters, and her five grandchildren.  Mom and Mary Ann grew up together, and we seven girls have been friends forever.

My sweet friend Hannah and our munchkins

On Saturday we visited for a little while, and then hit the road to come back home.  I really wanted to get Christmas decorations put up on Sunday, and it's nice for Ryan to have a day at home before heading back to work.  Our trip was so much fun, and thankfully, Clayton was feeling much better.

On Monday we headed back to the pediatrician, and Clayton's oxygen sat was about 80%, closer to normal, so now we're doing the breathing treatments three times a day, instead of around the clock.  Thank goodness.  We go back on Friday for another sat check and follow up x-ray.  I feel like we're living at the hospital lately because today we also had Clayton's GI appt.  Quick summary: lost half a pound since July (sad), grew an inch (happy).  Dr's summary: Stanford's 15kg goal by next summer ain't happenin!  No way, no how.  We'll see what Stanford says.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.