Thursday, June 30, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

It feels like it has been a very long journey, but in reality it lasted only a mere month before we received our answer.  My darling baby boy is now fever free, and I'm still having a hard time believing the cause.  According to blood tests that were done, Ethan has a "very severe peanut allergy" (those words being a direct quote from his doctor).  I couldn't fathom how a peanut allergy could be causing his fevers, especially considering the fact that he isn't old enough to eat anything but baby food!

Once we took extreme steps to contain the peanuts in our home (those steps being making sure that the counter is wiped down each and every time my kids make a peanut butter sandwich on them, making sure that the kids wash their hands and brush their teeth any time they eat peanut butter, making sure we only wipe Ethan with clean paper towels instead of a wash rag, etc), his fevers have gone away completely!  I found it really hard to believe, and really hard to grasp.  How on earth are we going to adjust to keeping a peanut-free bubble around our baby?  Peanut Butter truly is a staple in our home, so this question is one that I don't yet know the answer to, but yet I do know that God is giving me peace that this isn't something that I need to be afraid of, but rather it is something that I need to again completely trust Him with and something that I need to leave at His feet.

So I am.

I know that this is in God's hands and that He is in control, and that's all that matters.

The great thing is, since we've been more careful about keeping the peanuts contained, we've seen a lot more of these beautiful smiles on my little guy's face!

There are very few things that make this mama as happy as seeing those smiles, so life is really really great!

Beyond these newfound allergies, life around our house has been busy and crazy and I'm loving every minute of it!  Claire and I were able to sneak away to the Wisconsin Dells for a weekend with a bunch of her girlfriends and their moms.  We had a blast at the water park and wore ourselves down to exhaustion, which in turn means that the weekend was phenomenal!

While we were gone, the boys got their summer haircuts.  Monte captured it on camera and sent a couple of photos to me, one which I just can't stop laughing at:

Don't worry, Colin didn't really give them their haircuts (Monte did it), but he sure likes to pretend that he did! :)

In the midst of all of our busy, Monte and I have had a few opportunities to sneak away for date nights, and we fully take advantage of it when we can!  I love our summer date nights because we almost always do the exact same thing: pick up sandwiches at Subway and take our boat out on the lake and fish.  It's a fabulous time that we get to spend together and we love this newfound tradition!  Here are a few pictures of our last date night on the lake.  Monte caught the first fish ...

... but I caught the biggest fish!

Yes, that is Monte holding the fish that I caught.  I don't hold or touch fish, partly because I'm allergic to them, but mostly because I think it's really gross!  Thankfully my husband is amazing and doesn't mind taking care of those things for me!

So, things around here are busy, but that's nothing new and it's fully the way we like it!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Do you ever shop here?
(Image courtesy of Google Images)

We shop at Dick's Sporting Goods a lot ... I mean a LOT a lot.  What could make your shopping experience even better?  How about a $100 Visa Gift Card (good for anywhere that Visa is accepted, including Dick's Sporting Goods!).  BlogHer and Dick's Sporting Goods have teamed up to give away this gift card.  Visit my review blog to enter!

Monday, June 6, 2011

This past weekend was a really really LONG one.  You see, my husband was out of town on a fishing trip with some of his guy friends.  This left me home alone with five fabulous kids (which I truly am not complaining about - I gave Monte the go-ahead to schedule the trip!).

The catch?  My baby is STILL sick.  It all started almost three weeks ago.  He was running a low-grade fever at his six-month appointment, so he never got his vaccinations.  The problem is that the low-grade fevers have not stopped.  I think, of the past three weeks, he has had a total of 36 hours of being fever-free.  It has been a hard road for my little guy and for his mama!  So, on Friday, I made an appointment to have him seen at his doctor's office yet again.  Talk about hard appointments to get through, this one was the worst!  They had to use a catheter on him to collect a urine sample (which he did NOT like one bit!).  They also had to draw some blood from him to do testing.  What I did not expect, however, is just how hard it would be for them to find a useable vein on such a little guy.  After a poke in his right arm and a poke in his left arm, they finally got what they needed by a poke in his left hand.  I kid you not, this was the most miserable thing I think I've been through in ages.  I had to hold him down on the table as he screamed and kicked and cried and stared at me with those BIG sad eyes.  I felt like a horrible mama!  Thank God that babies don't remember those type of things!

After his appointment, I brought him home where he fell instantly asleep (and slept for a couple of hours, which is really unusual for my 45-minute napper!).  I fell instantly into tears, as I had been holding back all of my emotions from the appointment.

That evening I had a girlfriend of mine and her daughter over for dinner.  We visited, I comforted my sad baby boy, the kids played.  It was a great night.

Saturday morning, however, I woke up to a different tune.  Ethan woke up crabby (which is really unusual for him), my kids were fighting and I was beginning to feel stressed and felt a little like the walls were closing in on me.  I made a last-minute decision (after talking to my mom) that we were packing up our things and going to stay at her house for the night!

We left our house at about 11:30am, making a couple of stops along the way, and arrived at my mom's house a little after 3:00pm.  The kids and I unpacked, then the boys headed straight to the dock to do some fishing.  Mom got home from work shortly thereafter and we visited for awhile.  We headed to Zorbaz (a local pizza and mexican restaurant that we all love!) for dinner with some long-time family friends.  We came back to my mom's house and the boys fished some more.  Mom and Claire made cookies.  We called everybody in and watched the movie "What About Bob?".  It was hilarious (and has always been one of my mom's favorites)!  After the movie, everybody tried to get some sleep (though I didn't sleep so very well that night).

Sunday morning I was up bright and early with Ethan (around 6:00am) and tried my best to keep him quiet until everybody else woke up around 7:30am!  We ate breakfast, the boys fished, Colin played with Papa Bob (who had come home from his daughter's house late the night before).  We visited and tried to keep Ethan happy, though he was pretty crabby with me, as I had denied him his morning nap in hopes that he would sleep on our journey home.  We had lunch, then packed up our stuff and headed home to allow enough time for the boys to run around before their soccer game and to allow us to get home right around the same time Monte did.

The drive home was difficult!  I made the little boys sleep on the first part of the ride, but when I looked in my rearview mirror, I realized that ALL of the boys had fallen asleep!  We stopped half-way home to get some snacks.  Ethan cried a little ways down the road after that, so I stopped again to make him a bottle, which Ellis fed to him.  We kept getting closer and closer to home and the kids kept getting goofier and goofier.  I'm certain that this was too much time in the car for them.  They played silly car games.  We sang "99 Bottles of Milk on the Wall".  It took 22 minutes (17 miles following a slow car) to sing the entire song.  They told weird jokes, started poking and hitting each other and I knew I was in for it if I didn't get them home soon!  Thankfully, at this point, home was really close.

Upon arrival, we all piled out and the kids went running (literally)!  They helped to unload and clean the truck and then scampered off to play.  Monte was already home, so after greeting him with a much anticipated kiss, he took Ethan from me and went to change his diaper and feed him.  Aaahhh yes, the amazingness that comes with being a parenting team! :)

The rest of the night was low-key, filled with yard work and car washing.  We came inside, put the kids to bed and intended to fall asleep ourselves, but then we heard Ethan's cries.  Monte went and got him from his crib.  We checked his diaper (it was clean), we tried to give him a bottle (he didn't want it), we gave him medicine (which he fought, and he normally doesn't), I swaddled him and tried to sing to him, but his cries just wouldn't stop.  So, I took him out to our rocking chair, swaddled and crying, and held him close and rocked him and sang praise songs.  Eventually, he settled down and just stared at me and listened to me sing.  His eyes began drooping, slowly he fell asleep again.  I put him back into bed around 11:00pm.  I was exhausted.

... and he woke me up bright and early at 6:45am today.  He was crabby (which is unusual for him in the mornings!).  He was clearly uncomfortable.  And again, he was running a temperature.  I'm so tired of this!  So I gave him some medicine again this morning (which I'm also tired of, as I know it can't be good for him to be relying on Tylenol), and he's now peacefully resting in his swing as a "Baby Einstein" DVD plays next to him.  Please pray for him.  I should know the results of his blood tests today, and I'm just praying that we find some answers and he can be back on the road to being his happy, giggling, sweet baby self again.

Please, Lord.  Please.

Could you use a $100 gift card to Dick's Sporting Goods?  Then head over to my review blog for a chance to win!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

We love sporting goods stores.  I'm not kidding, we love them.  Whether we're looking for equipment for softball, soccer or baseball, or just searching out some new fishing gear, we always have a great time in a sporting goods store!

You can, too!  BlogHer and Gatorade are sponsoring a giveaway on my review blog.  The prize?  A $100 Gift Card to Dick's Sporting Goods.  I think we could all use a little more sports equipment in our lives!

Don't wait, visit my review blog to enter!!