Sunday, October 30, 2011

Storybook Forest

On Saturday night we took the kids to Arcadia Lake for their annual Storybook Forest.  It opens around sunset.  You walk along a trail in the woods in the dark, and there are scenes from many fairy tales and nursery rhymes.  The kids get candy along the way.  At the end of the trail, there are games and a hayride.  Then there are campfires set up along the lake, and you can purchase hotdogs and s'mores supplies and sit around the fires.

The whole thing was pretty much my cup of tea.  I love being outside, slightly chilly, and sitting around a campfire.  The storybook stuff and hayride were really fun too.  We all had a blast. 

The boys getting ready to hit the trail.

Humpty Dumpty (kind of creepy, I know)

The big boys trying to pull the sword out of the stone.

Waiting in line for the hayride, showing a scary face.

Keeping warm.

Eli's first s'more

Clayton's first s'more (he really loved it, I just couldn't get him to open his eyes while taking a bite)

Aaron's first s'more (he demanded at least half of Clayton's)

I think they liked them.

The event was advertised as a "non-scary" event for children under 10.  However, there were a series of scenes from Hansel and Gretel that ended with an oven that had a witch's legs hanging out.  Eli recently burned his finger on our stove (I know, I felt terrible), so he's obsessed with not being near hot things lately.  He was a little freaked out by the witch in the oven.  It was at the very beginning of the trail, and he talked about it the rest of the night and half the way home until he fell asleep.  "Why was that witch in the oven?  Is that witch still in the oven?"  I was afraid he was traumatized, but he didn't mention it today, so maybe we're in the clear.

Otherwise, it was a great evening, and I'm sure it will turn into an annual event for our family.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Sneak Peak

Alvin and the Chipmunks

I can't believe how my children's personalities line up with those of their respective chipmunk!  Clayton (Simon) loves to read and learn new things, and he's a pretty cautious kid.  Eli (Alvin) is impulsive, always in trouble, yet everyone loves him anyway.  He wants to be in the spotlight.  Aaron (Theodore) wants to stick close to home and always have a snack on hand.  It's true... especially for Eli and Alvin.  I've got my hands full with that one!

Aaron at 15 Months

This boy is such an important part of our family.  I know I always say this, but it's true.  I can't imagine our family without Aaron.  I love his little budding personality.  He knows he's one of the brothers, and whatever they're doing, he needs to be a part of it.  Whatever they're eating, he needs it.  He takes so much abuse from his older brothers, but he always comes back for more.  Aaron loves toys, toys, toys.  Tonight after his bath he had a little matchbox car that he was driving back and forth across the carpet.  When did he start that? 

At two days shy of 15 months, Aaron's not walking yet, but don't worry.  I think Eli was very near 16 months, and Clayton was almost 18 months before he started walking.  My boys take their time, and I'm definitely okay with that.  The crawling is hard enough for me to keep up with.  Aaron is an eater, but lately he's become a much pickier eater than I appreciate.  We are pretty strict about serving one family dinner, so if Aaron chooses to throw it all on the floor, he's done.  Lately he'll do just that.  Then a little later, I'll catch him pulled up in front of his high chair fishing for some leftover crumbs in his seat.  Gross.  I guess you change your mind when you really get hungry. Hopefully it's just a phase.  I think the other boys go through phases like that every now then, then all of a sudden they'll request a second helping of broccoli.

Otherwise, everything is well with Aaron.  He brings so much laughter and love into our house, and we're so blessed to have this healthy baby boy.

Post bath curls.  Love, love, love that fine baby hair.  It will be hard to say goodbye to these curls one day.

Love my little man!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Tooth Saga

Two weeks ago, on Saturday night, I brushed Eli's teeth before bed.  I'm a pretty detailed brusher, and I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary.  On Sunday morning we were rushed, as usual, and I put toothpaste on the toothbrush and let Eli do his own thing.  Eli went to the nursery at church.  Picking him up was uneventful.  We got home, ate lunch, and then the protesting of the afternoon nap began.  In mid-whine I happened to look in his mouth, and I was shocked to see a broken tooth, and I was even more shocked when I could see blood in it.

This looks like one of many terrible stock photos I looked at on all kinds of dental websites trying to figure out what to do for Eli.

I have no idea how or when this happened.  Of course it was the weekend, and he didn't seem to be in pain, so I waited until Monday to start making calls.  Unfortunately, Monday was Columbus Day, and apparently many dentists, or at least the ones that will accept our cheap-o military insurance, were closed.  So Tuesday rolled around, and I got Eli into a pediatric dentist near our house.

It's a really long story, but the only option this dentist wanted was basically a root canal and crown placement under general anesthesia with a breathing tube all placed by a nurse anesthestist in his office.  Then there would be clear liquid diet for 24 hours, and then soft foods for two days, and all kinds of pain killers.  Oh, and I was going to have to go back to work in order to finance the whole deal.  Not really, but almost.

I ended up getting a second opinion with another dentist who said she would also do general anesthesia for the procedure, but she would only do it in a hospital with an anesthesiologist.  Then she talked about extraction.  She said in the long term, it will make very little difference whether or not Eli keeps this tooth.  Extraction is traumatic, but she said she could probably make him loopy and the whole thing would take ten minutes.  He should be back to himself by lunch time.

After a lot of back and forth, we've decided to have it pulled.  As much as I would love for him to have all his teeth, I have had to put my children under general anesthesia waaaaay more than I ever wanted, and it's not something I take lightly.  Not to mention, there's the whole almost needing a second income to finance the whole thing and all the recovery drama.  I'm hoping to get it taken care of this week, so wish us luck.  It will not be fun, but hopefully it will be quick, and then we can just forget the whole thing ever happened.

Once I put my two year old through a tooth extraction I think it's going to be time to face the music and finally get the old wisdom teeth removed.  Then again, maybe I can put it off a little while longer.

My Firefighters

Alternately titled: Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum

These boys are into firefighting lately.  They can often be found running around with the attachment hoses to my vacuum cleaner putting out fires all around the house.  I love all their games, and I especially love that every now and then they can play nicely together.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Catching Up!

It's been a while, again, but we're still here.  We're in the groove of school and t-ball these days, and those things keep us pretty busy.

The last time I updated, we were waiting to hear a date for Clayton's surgery.  And now, we're still waiting.  Last week I started to feel a little impatient and made some calls.  Apparently Clayton's cath results were never mailed to Stanford, and that's why we haven't heard from them.  Honestly, it just wasn't that surprising.  Infuriating, yes.  Surprising, no.  Over the years I've learned that when you have a child with issues, everything is pretty much all your responsibility.  If you don't double and triple check everything, nothing gets done or done correctly.  EVER.  So that's that.  And you can bet Stanford's phone will be ringing this Friday to confirm that OU actually mailed the package this time.  So that's that.

Eli is growing, growing.  At Clayton's doctor's appointment, Eli was two pounds heavier than Clayton.  He's still about two inches shorter, but that gap is narrowing quickly.  The kids all seem to go through phases where one requires more attention that the others, and we've definitely got our hands full with Eli these days.  He's everything you've ever heard about two year olds.  We're working on it.

Aaron is also growing, growing.  At 14 months he's wearing mostly 18 month shirts and 12 month pants.  He is really turning into quite the butterball.  He's my heaviest, chunkiest little guy, and I love it.  He's so squishy.  He's a pretty happy kid, but has lately become a little bit of a picky eater.  I'm trying to hold my ground on that.  We'll see.  The past week or two we've seen Aaron stand alone for a few seconds, but I don't think we'll see walking anytime soon.

Also, have you met the newest member of our family?

This is James.  Clayton named him.  James has been living on our patio all summer, and he's still there.  He was hanging out under the grill as I was cooking tonight. 

I think he was smiling at me.  It's sad that I have more recent pictures of a toad than I do of my children.  I think I need to work on that.