Thursday, December 27, 2012

{ embrace the camera :: sisters }

{ maggie, nancy, & i }

Almost 4 weeks ago, my youngest sister Nancy was involved in a car crash that killed the driver and left her in a medically induced coma for almost 2 weeks.  The day before she woke up, we were talking with the doctors about long term coma care - and then she surprised everyone by waking up.

Her recovery journey is just beginning.  She's not the same sister I remember before her accident.  I hope that she will be one day.  She's more kid-like and speaks with a thick southern accent that she never had before (she's lived most of her life in Minnesota).  Each day she remembers a little more and is able to recall names without too much thought.

Visits with her are short & funny, but her accident has a clear reminder how short life can be and how quickly it can change.

{ 3 months :: a lot late }

{ yay!  3 months on December 17 }

nicknames ::  billy goat, fuss bucket, squeaker, little one, baby

diaper size :: one

clothing :: 0-3 months - good thing we just had Christmas because they were getting a little tight!

food ::  nurses or expressed milk

firsts :: Thanksgiving!  Meeting Aunt Nancy.  Rolling over - kinda.  Spending every other weekend with Ma/Bumpa while I'm at work.  Meeting Grandpa Gordon.  Going to a sit down restaurant.

Life with Alex ::

Life around here has been busy.  Mr. Alex certainly makes it known his opinion on things.  He's quite the talker and prefers to spend his days hanging out with you talking to him all day long.  He also smiles quite a bit - especially at Mike, Evan, & I.

He is still very fussy.  We're still not sure why.  He's being treated for GERD.  And we're still being told that his kidney would not cause him any pain or discomfort - but I'm still not buying it.  However we did meet with the urologist again.  His kidney isn't better but it's not worse.  So in another 2 months we go back again for another ultrasound and followup to see where we are.  However with how it is looking Alex has a 1 in 4 chance of needing surgery.

More pictures of the little one ::

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

{ merry christmas }

Just stopping in to say

Hoping y'all are having a safe and happy holiday!

Monday, December 10, 2012

{ it begins with a step }

I don't know how many times I have started a diet.  Claimed that I was going to start eating right and exercising each and every day.  I have failed.  each.  and.  every.  time.  Part of that is I'm an emotional eater.  And I make poor food choices because it's quicker to pick something up after working all day and having to run errands or take Evan places once I get home from work.

But this time it needs to be different.

After having Alexander, I realized how unhealthy I was.  I am teaching my boys that it's okay not to take care of themselves.  Not to respect themselves and what they put in their bodies.  And it needs to stop.

Like most people, I don't like what I see when I look in the mirror.  And a start to panic whenever I see the numbers on the scale creep up.  So, it needs to change.  I NEED TO CHANGE.  and it starts tonight.

I know that I am going to struggle.  I will fail.  But the difference is this time I will pick myself up and dust myself off and try again.

My plan is for us to start eating cleaner.  Stop eating out so much.  To exercise 30 minutes a day either by an exercise DVD or in the new exercise room at our apartment complex.  I'm going to track everything I put in my mouth - review and tweak the things that aren't the best.  I hope to lose between a pound to 2 pounds a week.  I'm going to take a look at weight watchers or some other weight loss group that can help me when I am weak.  And I've done the math and I can reach my goal weight in the next year by losing weight a pound to two pounds a week.

I can do this.  I know I can.

current weight:  222 pounds
goal weight:  126 pounds
pounds to lose:  96 pounds

{ the last time I will be this "heavy" }

Thursday, December 6, 2012

{ it's been a long few days }

I was all excited on Saturday after I got home from work that I was going to get a "free" day off on Sunday simply because there was no clients for me to see.  I spent the evening messing around and getting things in order for the Ward Christmas party.  Around 10, my middle sister called and since I was almost asleep I let it go to voice-mail figuring I would call her back in the morning.

So I fell asleep...

...and woke up to a phone call on our home phone at 12:45 am.

It was Mike telling me that my youngest sister, Nancy had been in a car accident and had to be airlifted to Regions Hospital in St. Paul.   Joe, my brother in law, came and picked me and the boys up to first drop the boys off with my in-laws and then to take me to the hospital.

It was there I learned Nancy had been in the passenger in a car that collided with a semi-truck trailer, going underneath the trailer, and the hitting the rear axel.  I also learned that the driver didn't make it.  We didn't  know who the driver was or what Nancy was doing with him.  But the accident had left my beautiful, talented sister in a medically induced coma and on a respirator because of a brain injury, a crack in her C3 vertebra, and a break in her left shoulder blade.

So we (mainly my middle sister, Maggie and I) have spent the past few days getting my parents from the airport,  and running back and forth to the hospital, while trying to keep our lives as normal as possible for our kids.

As of today, Nancy is still in a medically induced coma.  She had a drain placed into her skull to relieve the pressure in her skull from the excess fluid and blood from her brain injury.   They were hopeful that they may be able to take it out tomorrow, but it's looking like it may have to stay in for another few days.  Nancy has been fighting her sedation (both a good thing and a bad thing) which as meant changing the medications that are keeping her "under" which has messed with her blood pressure.

She has had a PICC line put in to help deliver medications, especially those to help with her blood pressure. and because she still has yet to prove she can follow directions enough for them to remove her off the respirator and take her out of her sedation - they put in a feeding tube to give her nutrition.

Nancy has full use of all her limbs and has followed some directions.  However it seems to be sporadic and at times even sluggish.  She does not like to be moved or really even messed with and on several occasions it has taken several staff members to hold her down while they increased her sedation.

The staff at Regions has been AMAZING and they are optimistic about her making a full recovery.  However, until Nancy is able to follow directions and is taken off the sedation, we won't really know badly her brain was injured.  We know she is somewhere in between being perfectly healthy and needing to relearn everything.

Her recovery will be a S.L.O.W. one.  With many setbacks and hiccups.  It will now be measured in years versus weeks or even months.  The days are getting longer as we wait for her to heal enough to be taken out of the sedation.  We're hoping it will be any day now, but it may still be a week or two away.

Please pray for my beautiful sister and for my parents as they deal with having to make tough decisions about her care.  We  have also started a website for Nancy if you would like to follow her story.

Friday, November 30, 2012

{ insta-friday :: catchin' up again }

life rearranged

I'm so bad at keeping up with this...but here's what we've been up to the past few weeks according to my cellphone pictures...

::  monster butt :: the boys at Pahl's Market ::

::  How Evan loves being a big brother ::  Alex in the Corn pit ::

::  I seriously want one of these chickens - not really sure why ::  what a punk! ::

::  So tiny in his red crib ::  In our home - boys rule - I'm so out numbered! ::

::  Alex in his SwaddleMe ::  Putting Evan to work scrapping the windows ::

::  waiting for shots at Alex's 2 month checkup ::  where we spent Wednesday evening...not fun ::

::  Some days all you want is your mommy ::  huge stuffed horse at costco ::

:: scripture study ::  Evan doing his homework ::

::  infected toe a couple weeks ago meant soaking Evan's feet three times a day ::

Thursday, November 29, 2012

{ embrace the camera :: me & my boys }

I'm so in love with this picture of me & my boys...

my little two month old cuteness & my super silly goofball...


Sunday, November 25, 2012

{ (nearly) naked }

Some days you just want to be (nearly) naked & scream your head off.
Today apparently was one of those days.  

Saturday, November 24, 2012

{ cousins }

When I grew up we didn't live very close to any of our cousins - the closest cousins were a couple hours away.  When I got married to Mike one of the things that I loved about his family was how close his extended family was - they always seemed like they were doing something.

Of course we have had our hiccups and bumps in the road with so much family living in such close proximity.  But I love that we only live about 30 minutes from all of Evan's and Alex's cousins.  I'm hoping that this won't ever really change (and I honestly doubt it - since on Mike's side they all live here - and for my sister - my youngest sister & I are here & all her husband's extended family is in the area too).

I'm so glad that my boys get to know their cousins and will hopefully have good friendships with all of them and happy memories of growing up together.

{ Max & Evan }

{ Alex & Addy }

{ Addy & Levi ( who are 4 months older than Alex) & Alex }

{ Max, Levi, Evan, & Alex }

{ Evan, Ellie, Max, Levi, Alex, Addy }

{ Evan, Alex, & Harper }

{ Evan & Harper }

Sunday, November 18, 2012

{ 2 months }

{ yay!  2 months...a day late...opps! }

Nicknames:  Billy Goat, Chunk-a-Munk, Fuss-bucket, Little Boy, Little One, Squeaker

Weight:  Not sure but a little over a week ago he was 11 pounds 15 ounces with his clothes on

Clothing: 0-3 months...still loose - but he's starting to fill them out

Diapers:  size one

Food:  Nurses or drinks expressed milk.  Definitely prefers to nurse whenever possible & will pretty much only take a bottle from anyone but me.

Firsts:  Made it through church twice!  Met Uncle Joe, Aunt Maggi, and Harper.  Met Milli.  MN Zoo trip. Halloween & Trick or Treating.  Met Cousin Jen, Dave, and Jon.  Home with Daddy while I'm at work.

Life with Alex:  It's been an interesting month.  Our once easier going baby has seemed to be more fussier this past month.  I'm not exactly buying the company line that his hydronephrosis (extra fluid in his left kidney) doesn't cause him any discomfort.  He doesn't act that he's severely uncomfortable, but there are times where he's incredibly mad about something and will scream for hours - not fun for anyone!

BUT...when he's not fussy, he's super smiley and loves to "talk" (or coo, technically).  Some days he will take 2 really good naps and a few cat naps, other days he will only cat nap the entire day.  He definitely knows when it's bed time, because around 7, he starts to get fussy if I don't start our bedtime routine - turning off the tv, bath, jammies, nurse, & then he will lay either in his crib or on our bed while I play a lullaby station on Pandora until he passes out.  He doesn't really want to be rocked to sleep - he's perfectly content with just laying there swaddled in a SwaddleMe or Halo blanket with his nuk until he falls asleep.  

Going back to work was hard.  What makes it easier is that he is home with Mike 4 days out of the week, and then I'm home for 1.  So no daycare.  Not that I'm anti-daycare.  It's just super expensive and it works out with how our work schedules are not to have that extra expense.  I'm sure there will be a time when he will go into daycare - but for now I enjoy my days off with my littlest sidekick and Mike and Alex seemed to have really bonded.

Here are some more pictures of the boys: