Friday, October 31, 2008


Tonight was a good reminder of what Halloween should be about. It was a glimps of what pure and simple fun a little boy can have when he dresses up like a cat and runs around the neighborhood getting free candy!

I was so glad that Grandma and Grandpa Beebe could come over for dinner and go out with us. It was so fun to share the evening with them and they got to see how cute the boys were.

Nathan wanted to be a cat again this year! Yesterday he told me he wanted to be Blackie for Halloween. Blackie was Grandma & Grandpa Beebe's cat. He recently passed away after an accident. I thought it was so sweet that Nathan remembered him and wanted to be him for Halloween. I didn't really know what to get for Evan or how interested he would be in staying in a costume at 7 months old! So I found a really cute lion costume. To my surprise, he didn't mind the costume and hat at all and was content to stay in it for the evening!

After getting dressed and a few photos, we were on our way. Nathan had a blast! He ran up to each house anxious to see if they had candy. He was very polite but seemed to be a little dazed when people would open the door. He would often stand there and forget to say "Trick-or-treat", staring at the people. And sometimes he would stay "thank you" on his own.

There were a couple of times when we were walking to a house and a group of people would be leaving. Nathan would tug on my hand just a little and speed up while asking "do you think they will run out of candy?" To his delight, most houses we stopped at had plenty of candy and often let him pick what he wanted.

When Evan got tired of being in the stroller, Nathan wasn't quite ready to stop so I was so glad we had Grandma and Grandpa with us. They were able to take Evan home with James for a bottle and play time while I took Nathan down one more street. Soon his bucket started getting heavy and Nathan agreed it was time to go home. He was hot and tired (thanks to our 80 degree evening!). I carried him the rest of the way home and his last trick-or-treat was at our front door.

Not only did Nathan have a lot of fun, but he ended up with a good bucket of candy. He enjoyed sampling several different kinds while Daddy handed out candy to kids who came to the door. It was a surprisingly busy night! After looking through the candy, I told Nathan he could have anything but the gum - still a little too young for that. I asked Nathan if we could give the gum to Daddy to give to the other kids that were coming to the door. He said yes and jumped up right away. He took the candy to the door and gave it to the kids! Then he rushed back to sit on the floor and decide which candy to try next.

It was so fun to see Nathan's excitement and joy throughout the evening. It was also a good reminder that Halloween can still be sweet and innocent for little children. It also turned out to be a fun way to see some neighbors we don't talk to nearly enough! Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Another busy weekend!

It was a crazy weekend but lots of fun. Sure makes Mondays hard though - I’m exhausted! We started Saturday with voting and donuts and then off to the pumpkin patch! Nathan was so excited and all he wanted to do was go to the bounce house.

I enjoyed the ride taking some photos from the backseat between my two boys. It was a really great day with lots of nice weather.

Nathan had a blast and is becoming a really good jumper thanks to Dance & Play and Gym Class at the rec center. He was hoping all over the place and telling Daddy and any other parent nearby how much fun he was having. We got him out of the bounce house long enough for a hayride, quick run through the pumpkins and to play briefly in a little playhouse.

Evan didn’t have as much fun as Nathan, but he enjoyed being out. I could tell he wanted to go in the bounce house too - he kept squirming and trying to get out of the sling. He really wants to do everything Nathan does! But, just hanging out and watching was enough to wear him out. Surprisingly, these tired boys did not nap well all weekend!

On Sunday we went to church for the first time in forever. Nathan is finally over his last colds and I guess I was ready to consider the fact that if we go back to church he will get sick again. I hate that but it’s just the way it’s been since we started letting Nathan go to Sunday School. He enjoys it and we want him to be there, but I spend every day after that watching to see if he’s going to get sick this week.

We will have to make an effort to get there early next week. Nathan is in a new class and they meet in a big room to dance and run and play before story time, craft and snack. We were running a little late and got there just as they were finishing up the play time and were ready to start the story. I’m still amazed at the great system they have for the kids programs and how much they do for the kids each Sunday. They also have a very nice nursing room now that we enjoyed hanging out in so I could pump. James had to leave when another mom came but it gave him a chance to walk around and talk to some volunteers.

After church was a quick grocery shopping trip. I went without a list and have thought of several things we forgot to get - oh well at least this trip was under $100! That’s a first for us. I was able to get peaches steamed and pureed for Evan and bought plums to work into our schedule somewhere. That takes care of the 7 month foods except green beans and peas. Those are such a pain to puree that I am not looking forward to them. I’m still surprised by how much Evan doesn’t enjoy food. I thought for sure he would snatch that first bowl of rice cereal, down it, lick the bowl and insist on more!

Instead I have to trick, sneak in and just plain push the spoon past his closed mouth to get bites in. Only to endure the sour looks, coughing, gagging, and letting the last bite dribble out on his chin. Ugh what a mess. But by the end of the bowl, he’s pretty much ignoring me and the protests have slowed down. We’ll just keep trying because the pumping stops after he turns a year old!

We got to end our fun weekend with dinner out at Red Hot & Blue thanks to a coupon from the pumpkin patch! It sure was yummy!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Paper or Electronic?

Well, we did early voting today and it was a breeze. I highly recommend it! I arrived at 7:30 am and was out and home in 30 minutes. The line wasn't too long and moved fast. Our location offered both electronic and paper voting. My first decision was which to try and to my surprise, both lines moved at the same speed so it didn't really matter which you chose. I did electronic.

With both boys now, I was worried about working voting into our busy schedule. The first time we voted, we went after work and stood in line for hours. Can't do that now. The second time we did the early voting on a Sunday during the football game and we were in and out in minutes - way to go! So I decided if it was going to happen we better take advantage of one of the early voting days. It's nice to have that out of the way and the boys didn't even notice. When I got home they were both up and playing with James. I shooed him out of the house as fast as possible to get his voting done and he was back soon with donuts!

So, James got there about 8:30 and he said the line was even shorter. He did paper!

If you have the time, avoid the lines and check out early voting in your area! My vote is cast, my part is done. Now it's up to the winner to not screw up our country! Like the nice lady in line behind me said, "I'll be praying for the winner, no matter who that is." Our country needs all the prayers we can get!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's beginning to feel a lot like....

Well, maybe not quite yet. But I got to enjoy a crisp cool walk from the parking lot to our office at 41 degrees this morning!

I LOVE the cold weather and am looking forward to cooler days.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Simple Joys of Life

Right now, I think what I enjoy the most about my boys is seeing their joy. I feel blessed to have such happy boys and wonder some days if every baby and 3 year old are this happy. I sure hope they are.

I get so much joy from their joy and most of the time it is the result of a simple decision on our part or just taking a moment to have fun with them. Most of these moments are delightfully free and worth more than gold!

Evan was thrilled to be kissed by Daddy or smiled at by Mama this weekend. His giggles filled the room and our hearts. Nathan loved to skip a nap for an hour at the park with Daddy!

But a truly golden moment for Nathan came quite unexpected on Sunday afternoon. He had turned down a second trip to the park to play in the backyard in his sandbox. That was all he wanted to do! I stayed inside with Evan to try to get a few things cleaned up (what was I thinking!). Before I could get started, the phone rang - it was James’s Mom. They were about 10 minutes away picking up a load and wanted to know if Nathan could come and see their truck!

James’s mom and step-dad are truck drivers. They drive for Schneider National - the big orange trucks you will see all the time on the highway if you start to look for them. When Nathan was one year old they gave him a great diecast metal Schneider truck bank for Christmas. (“It’s not a toy, it’s a bank”) Well, we couldn’t really tell a one year old not to play with the coolest truck he had ever seen, so that truck is a much loved toy. Soon after that Christmas and to this day, every time Nathan sees a Schneider truck he will point and scream “Big Bank Truck!!!” It’s our favorite game when driving.

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, these are just a few novels from our brief visit with Grandma and Grandpa Vandever.

Can you just see the joy! Nathan had a blast running all over, around and under that truck. What a thrill! He got to sit in the driver’s seat, check out the bed in the back, stand on the cat walk, walk all around the underneath and every child’s dream - pull the airhorn!

Evan napped through part of the visit, but I think he was a little overwhelmed by the truck! He calmed down quickly and enjoyed looking around while Nathan played.

It was such a wonderful surprise in our day and brought so much joy we would never have wanted to miss it. Thank you so much for calling us Melanie - Nathan had a great time! (And after we got home he got to play in the sandbox while I made dinner.)

Thank you for adding to our joy!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Feeling Nostalgic

It's a quiet day at the office and I'm feeling nostalgic. I'm working on a Handbook so I can let my mind wander while I format text. It's my favorite weather - a little grey and cool. If we could get a little rain it would be a perfect day. Yeah, I'm weird that way. Lunch time seems a perfect break to get some of these thoughts out of my head.

Last night we watched ER after the boys went to bed. Hard to believe we have been watching that show for 15 years! I remember stumbling on to it one night when James and I were dating. A lot has changed since then - on the show and in our lives. This is the last season and I can't imagine not watching ER. It's the only show we have really kept up with all these years and the only thing I have tried to always tape and watch since the boys were born (except for Survivor). One of my favorite characters left last night.

To add to my day, I checked email and saw the weekly message from our pastor. On his email he mentioned a concert coming up and I skimmed the names only to find Charlie Peacock! Ah, more nostalgia.

I LOVE Charlie Peacock one of my big time favorite Christian musicians and just a super cool guy. We used to see him in concert any time he came to town. Boy I miss those days. I love good music and Christian concerts are so fun!

I snitched a photo from his myspace page:

Sure do wish we could go and take Nathan. Wonder how old is appropriate for a concert? Well, I know 3 isn't quite there yet. His attention span isn't long enough. Since Charlie's performing with other artists, who knows when he would get to come on and I would hate to have to leave early and miss him! (not to mention the show starts at 7, my pump time! I can't wait until I'm not pumping anymore.)

Ah well, nice to know he's still out there performing and recording music. One of my favorite memories of a concert we went to was the last time we saw Charlie Peacock. It was quite a few years ago when our friends Tim & Marilyn were still in town. We went to a church "coffee house" for a very informal, laid back concert. The crowd was really small and we picked a round table next to the piano. About 10 minutes before the show started Charlie came in, got settled and then walked over to our table. He introduced himself! and shook our hands. "Hi I'm Charlie". It was really funny. I'm sitting there thinking - I know, we're here for you! It was just so 'Charlie Peacock" to see him walking around the room introducing himself as if we didn't know who he was! It was a great show of music, stories and spending time with God. Who could ask for more this side of Heaven!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Was that 6 hours?

Well, it was a better night last night! We stayed for dinner at Mom's house again...James had a rough day trying to get all the returns back and in the mail. So it was another late night. But the drive home was much better and our sleep adventure went well. Plus yesterday ended James's busy season so we will be back to our normal routine soon!

When I got to Mom's house Nathan was cuddling and watching TV, he had had a good nap, and Evan was sitting on the floor playing. His favorite game right now is to sit up. He will roll from sitting to laying on his tummy and then back up to sitting. He still isn't actually crawling yet, but there is a lot of pushing up to his knees and I expect him to take off any day. After I finished pumping, I gave Evan a bottle with the hopes that he would take a little nap and let us eat dinner. He loved the bottle but wanted no part of a nap so we let him play on the floor while we ate some of Mom's really good homemade soup! Perfect end to our rainy day. Nathan loved the soup and oyster crackers with cheese!

We had a nice evening eating and playing and when I had to pump again at 7 (every three hours!) everyone was content. After that Evan was hungry, fussy and tired so I gave him a quiet bottle while Nathan played computer games upstairs with Grandma. That was all it took to put Evan to sleep. I let him sleep on the floor while we loaded the car. Once everything was in, Nathan was buckled up and Evan was slipped still sleeping into his carseat, I held my breath all the way home. He slept the whole way!

When we got home Evan woke up so I could change him and give him another bottle. I was back downstairs in time for most of Nathan's bath and bedtime routine. Evan woke again for a little more milk about 10:15 pm. So I finally slipped into bed about 11:30 exhausted but hopeful that we would all sleep through the night. To my surprise, I woke up at 5:30! I haven't slept through the night in a really long time and it sure felt good! Can't make a habit of it but it was nice. I had just enough time to pump and get ready for work before I heard Evan waking up. It was nice to give him a bottle before rushing off to work, even though he didn't go back to sleep.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Ahh, sleep. I am finding that it has many faces and personalities. Last night I experienced the extremes of 3 of them all at once.

Today ends James’s busy season for this year. We will be enjoying a sigh of relief tonight and praising God for an easier year. Reflecting, we have gone from 6 month busy seasons at James’s last job where he worked late nights and weekends with mounting stress to his current job where the busy season lasts from August to October and has had varying degrees of weekends and late nights. Before kids I would miss James but fill my free time with “things” and projects. With Nathan it was stressful, now add Evan it’s, well, I can’t think of the word to describe it. Doable but not easy in any way. If I weren’t pumping, things would be so much easier. Even with my new portable, cordless pump that I really love taking care of two boys by myself is more than challenging.

Each year James would tell me next year will be better because we won’t have “x” to do like we did this year. Over and over I heard that and wondered. This year we arrived. It was still stressful for James and a lot of work. But almost unbelievable that he didn’t work a single weekend and only 3 really late nights.

Monday and last night the boys and I enjoyed dinner at my parents house and took leftovers home so James could stay late and I wouldn’t be stressed out of my mind. My parents are so amazing and I just wouldn’t want to do any of this without my Mom’s help. She’s an incredible woman. Not only does she watch both boys all day for me, but she makes me feel welcome and like I’m no trouble at all to stay for dinner. She won’t even let me help and I get to play with Nathan or feed Evan a bottle in her calm and comfortable home. Monday we gave Evan a bath in the sink which he loved because he was able to sit up and play in the water. Baths at home have been in the tub with a big spongy cushion and it’s too hard to keep him in a sitting position to play. I think we will be doing sink baths more often!

To my surprise, on Monday night when we left Grandma’s house Evan cried all the way home. Actually he screamed. I thought sure he would fall blissfully asleep after a big day at Grandma’s and a nice bath. Yeah right. He was a tear covered sweaty mess when we finally got home and Nathan had his fingers in his ears the whole way. I had hoped we could listen to the new Imagination Movers cd I got for my birthday on the way home. But all we heard were Evan’s screams.

So after dinner at Mom’s house last night we thought a bottle might be good for Evan. I didn’t want to take the time to give him a bath because we were running late. Evan had better naps and I thought he might sleep on the way home if we gave him a bottle. No Nap Nathan was running around having a good time and soon we all piled into the car.

Backing out of the driveway, I waved to Mom & Dad and sighed. My headache was going away and we would be home soon. As I shifted into drive Evan started to cry...Oh No. Not again. It was one awful drive home. I hate being in the front seat where I can’t reach Evan, comfort him, see him very well or help him. All I can do is drive and try to hold on to my sanity. The crying turned to screaming, the screaming mounted until he only stopped to cough. I could feel my nerves shattering and my headache coming back. As I struggled to get us home I glanced back to see how Nathan was doing. I expected to see him staring out the window or sitting with his fingers in his ears. No. His little head was turned toward Evan and he was blissfully sleeping while the banshee next to him raised the roof! I couldn’t believe my eyes. I literally looked twice. I was impressed.

So there we sat, three extremes meeting for a 20 minute drive home. Me sleep deprived, nerves on edge fighting off frustration. Evan exhausted but angry and determined not to sleep by screaming and crying. Nathan one step away from from snoring and enjoying the sweet blissful sleep that Evan and I were craving.

When we finally arrived home and I pried Evan out of his seat - tear soaked, sweating, shaking but wide-eyed - I had to laugh at Nathan who continued to sleep as if he was cozy in his bed. Holding Evan, I brought all the bags in the house, put James’s dinner in the fridge and finally stood at the car wondering what to do. As Nathan slept on. James wasn’t home yet but on his way. I had no idea how long it would take for him to get home and I didn’t want to just stand in the garage holding Evan. As much as I hate to wake a sleeping boy, I finally started unbuckling Nathan and he began to wake up. He was really out!

We waited in the front room for James to get home so I could put Evan to bed and James could play with Nathan and bathe him. I just shook my head at these two boys. Evan now sitting up and thrilled to be chewing on a toy while he watched the meowing Niles come and go. Nathan playing under a blanket pretending to hide with his toys. Such a different scene from the drive we had just had...Can I collapse now?

It ended up being a pretty good night. Nathan was asleep before his story ended. Evan was in bed by 9:15 pm. He fussed and made noises while he sucked down 5 ounces only to wake me from a dream at 12:30 to have 3 more ounces and a diaper change...but James said he slept until 8:30 this morning. We will hope for a better drive home today!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Vantage Point - Check it out!

Today was my birthday and I turned 38. It wasn't too bad a day. I spent the morning looking for bugs with Nathan, playing and laughing with Evan, eating lunch and dinner with my family (my parents, James and the boys) and watching a movie with James. I couldn't ask for more! I think one of the best parts was getting to watch a movie with James.

My parents are really great. They watch Evan and Nathan all week while we work. Mom does great little extras for us like bake her awesome Cinnamon Bread, freeze dinners for us to help during the week and anything else in between. We are so lucky to have my parents near by and blessed to have such great parents that we can trust with the boys. There are so many days that I think I couldn't do all this without their help.

And then I get a call from my Mom on Saturday. "Your Dad and I were talking and we really wanted to offer to watch the boys on Sunday afternoon so you and James could go to a movie." My parents really love me and know me so well! I love movies. I always have. We grew up watching them together as a family and I have always been a movie fanatic. Ask me about just about any movie or actor (before July 2005) and I can tell you all about it. My first movies were The Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights. Then it was Cary Grant, Sidney Poitier, Hepburn & Tracy, Doris Day type movies with Mom and my sister, Westerns with Mom & Dad (Big Country, anything John Wayne, Giant) War movies with Dad (The Great Escape, Bridge on the River Kwai) and best of all was Christmas (It's a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, Holiday Inn, The Bishop's Wife). Then in high school I dragged my parents to just about everything that came out! James and I bonded over movies and worked the movie theater at UNT.

I crave movies and I miss them so much now that the boys are here. We enjoy Cars, Finding Nemo, Aristocrats etc with Nathan but since he was born have only seen one or two adult movies a year. I've completely lost touch with the movie world.

When Mom made that offer of a special birthday gift for me, I was so excited! It was the perfect gift for me and such a fun and exciting idea. But being such a movie fan, I wanted to be sure I picked a great one - not just any old movie would do. I didn't want to waste my day on average. So I looked at everything in the theater, brainstormed the movies that had come and gone and finally decided what I wanted more than anything was to sit at home, with popcorn on the couch, crank up our nice surround system and watch a video. And I knew just the one...Vantage Point. I remembered how good the previews had looked and how much I wanted to see it. Dennis Quaid, Forest Whitaker, William Hurt. Suspense, action, awesome car chase! I'm screaming at the characters from the couch, on the edge of my seat, trying to figure it all out. Well, shall I just say it was the perfect movie! I loved it!!

So, run, don't walk to your local blockbuster and if you haven't seen it already, rent Vantage Point. You won't be disappointed. The president gets shot at an event in Spain and the story gets told from the vantage point of 5 different people involved. Very cool filming and approach to the story. Just my kind of movie.

And then if you like it, and want to see something else just as cool, try one or all of these: Momento, Run Lola Run, Twenty Bucks, and Sliding Doors.

And don't forget the popcorn!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Count Your Blessings!

Yesterday I was reminded of just how lucky our family is. How blessed we are to have a healthy family and how good God is to us!

Before Evan was born, we decided to finally take Nathan to a dermatologist to see what they would say about his skin. He has bumps on his face, arms and legs that looks like little pimples. When it started, I thought it was just baby acne and didn't think much of it. When it didn't ever go away, we asked the peditrian about it. He said it is keratosis pilaris. It's a blockage of the hair folicals by a buildup of keratin. Supposed to be extremely common, hereditary, and not curable. I have it on my arms and my Dad has it on his arms too. It doesn't seem to bother Nathan at all, it is just very noticable and his cheeks get really red when he runs and plays a lot. Mostly I am concerned that he will be made fun of at school and would like for him to have smooth, nice skin - at least on his face.

So James found a dermatologist to try at the Children's hospital. We made the appointment so long ago (I can't even remember - something like February), but they were so busy we couldn't get in until October. Our date finally came and we went yesterday. It turned out to be a very frustrating adventure. First we found out we would not be seeing a doctor but a nurse practioner. Not a problem but a little annoying since we waited so long to be seen. It was as 1:15 - the middle of my pump time! - so I pumped on the way. We brought Evan so she could look at his skin too and he was having a truly aweful day of teething. No real naps and super fussy, he fell asleep on the way only to wake up as soon as we arrived. James has a big deadline on the 15th, so he really needed to be at the office and was a little stressed.

And it was at the children's hospital. From the minute we walked in the door we saw family after family coming in with children in wheel chairs, with severe problems, very ill. At one point in waiting I even saw a young child wheeled through with so many tubes that you almost couldn't see the child. Parents everywhere looked concerned but almost like this was just another trip to the doctor. I knew we were glimpsing a world we knew nothing about. Praise God we had never experienced the true pain and concern these parents did. Our sweet boys could run and play. They could talk and sit up straight. They were carefree and healthy. I have so often been reminded since Nathan and Evan were born just how lucky we are to have 2 healthy boys. It's a miracle from God. A true blessing. Sitting there waiting our turn I just thanked God over and over for our health.

With all that surrounding us, the wait was long and unpleasant. Our paperwork from the doctor stressed the need to be on time. Our appointment was for 1:30 but we were to be there no later than 1:15 or our appointment would be cancelled. We did not get seen until after 2 pm. "The doctor is running a little late." After about 15 minutes of waiting, Evan became a fussy fountain of spitup all over James. And I do mean all over. Not just a small spit up either - a true gusher. I, of couse, in my ability to pack everything and the kitchen sink in a single diaper bag, forgot all the burp rags except the ONE in the car carrier. I have spare clothes, extra bibs, snacks, bandaides, drinks, milk, breast pump and other parts but no burp rags! Ugh!!

In the midst of it all, Nathan was an angel. He enjoyed playing with a big activity box in our waiting area (with magnetized mazes and a cool one that was round, spun and had a little chip that moved through a maze. He also played with Daddy, wandering up and down our hallway, "You can't step on that red circle. Whatever you do, don't step on the purple circle" etc. At one point a very pretty lady came in with her son and daughter and sat right by the activity box. Nathan was spinning the round maze around and around - not to really do the actual maze, but to spin it. The two children played on other sides of the box and everyone eyed eachother. I was doing my usual mother hover stance by Nathan so finally I told Nathan not to stare but say hello. That broke the ice a little. Soon the other little boy (maybe 4 or 5 yrs old) came over to the spinning side and started to spin it with Nathan.

Nathan was such a riot. I was hopeful he would share okay. Instead he started cheering the boy on. Jumping up and down as the other boy spun the round maze over and over. Nathan started saying over and over "That's it! That's how you do it! Spin it again, spin it again!" It was really fun to watch. The little girl was shy but played and looked at me a lot. At one point the mom asked how old Nathan was and I told her 3. She just smiled and shook her head "crystal clear! crystal clear" she kept saying of Nathan's speech. I was very proud. Then her daughter stepped closer to me and said something I wasn't entirely sure of but really sounded like "No one got shot". She looked up at me with big brown eyes. Then she said "My daddy got shot." Her face would have broken your heart and mine sunk. "I'm so sorry" I said, "is he okay?" She rubbed her eye and just looked at me while she shook her head no. Before I could really respond they were called for their appointment.

It left me with even more to think about.

When we finally saw the nurse, our 10 minute visit did not seem much worth the wait. The news was nothing we had not heard already and not encouraging at all. According to her it is keratosis pilaris, extremely common, there is nothing we can do and it won't go away. Evan will probably get it too.

To say the least. I was disappointed. I had hoped for encouragement, options, ideas. We left with a prescription for a lotion that only helps some people and can cause the skin to burn. Gee...thanks...we'll think about it.

So I am back to the drawing board, scouring the internet and searching for answers. Yes, I am the woman who won't take no for an answer.

But in the mean time, I will try to take from this doctor's visit what I can. To appreciate what we have, never take our health for granted and praise God that our "problems" pale so much in comparison to those around us.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Take a deep breath and cough for me...

Yesterday we took Nathan to an Asthma & Allergy specialist. I’ve just been having so much trouble understanding this whole Asthma thing and I feel like I am getting conflicting information from our pediatrician. Once I am told Nathan has mild asthma to use breathing treatments as needed when he is sick and then stop. Then I am told he will have to do maintenance medications from now on. Then he got a nagging cough that didn’t sound like asthma and wasn’t responding to the breathing treatments so I was prescribed two more maintenance medicines... Calgon take me away!

We still love our pediatrician and think they have done a great job helping Nathan when he is sick. But it was time to call in the specialist. I am so glad we did!

I found a truly wonderful doctor that put my mind at ease. He started by asking us questions and our concerns about Nathan and from there he gathered enough information to give us very good news. After examining Nathan, reviewing his allergy blood test from the pedi and talking with us the Specialist said that Nathan is very healthy. He said we should feel very lucky because Nathan has no allergies and in his opinion no asthma! I am so grateful to God for his blessings.

The Specialist determined that the cough was probably from a slight sinus infection that would have gone away with antibiotics but since the pedi was only treating it as asthma we were using steroids and breathing treatments that weren’t clearing it up. The cough is almost gone now so he said there was no reason to continue any maintenance medicines and just wait until Nathan gets another cold. Then we are to start breathing treatments to prevent the cold from going into a cough. If a cough develops and persists more than 2 days we are to return to the specialist. For now he is labeling what Nathan has as Reactive Airway Disease - which is a fancy term for asthma like symptoms that are not asthma/colds developing into bronchitis.

I walked out of that office with my heart soaring. I felt such relief that Nathan is doing so well and a renewed confidence that my instincts had been correct. We did not need to be using all those expensive medicines so often. In the right situation the medicines are life saving, but why over medicate when it’s not necessary. So we will keep Pulmicort, Xopenex, Zyrtek, and Dimatap in the medicine cabinet for future use as needed and Nathan can go back to being a carefree little boy!

And by the way, he says that the Specialist has good lollipops!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

"2 For $" Not a Deal!!

So maybe I've just missed it and they've been ripping me off all this time, but I just noticed something at my favorite neighborhood grocery store! Don't be fooled by that "2 for $" sale price!

I hate to grocery shop. I don't know why, but it makes me crabby. As soon as we walk in the door all I want to do is get my stuff and get out as fast as possible. Watching James and Nathan has helped me appreciate the fun of the grocery store a little, but just a little. Those two could spend an hour in the vegetables if you let them. I tend to buzz around the fruits and veggies with Evan hanging out in my sling. Filling bags and running them back to the cart to smile and nod at the weirdest veggie James has found to show Nathan or smell the peppers. Only to return to the fruit bins for more. Grumbling about the prices or what's not in stock, rotten stawberries hidden in the center of the box, is that the price of grapes?!?, oh, and don't forget the bananas. It's fun to watch Nathan exploring foods with Daddy from across the store, seeing him fascinated by something or hearing his questions and Daddy's funny answers. But I still don't like the grocery store.

If I have to shop, I like Kroger best. I always have. Their brand products often taste better and are cheaper than name brand - try the Kroger Vanilla wafers, yogurt or Private Select Ice Cream - yummy! I'll go out of my way for a good Kroger store. I hate them for the car carts though. Nathan has decided he's ready to ride in them and it's all I can do to hold my tongue and let him get in one. James is great to lather it up with the free disinfectant whipes they offer at the door, but still...I want to get Nathan a tetnus shot after every trip. Is stripping him down and hosing him off in the parking lot too extreme? Knowing the germs and "stuff" that's been on that thing makes me want to gag. But Nathan's enthusiasm and excitement reminds me he's just a kid, we used to ride in carts without coverups and survived. So it just adds to the whole shopping experience to watch Nathan gleefully riding in the car and praying the whole time that he won't catch the plague.

Anyway, we approach the strawberry rack and I glance longingly at the prices... Ohh, ohh they have "2 for $6" on strawberries! I rush over to take a look. Then I notice the large containers and think 'huh, what's the difference between 2 small boxes and 1 large box'. Evan and I lean back a little to check the price. 2 for $6 or 1 for $5.49ish...2 for $6 or 1 for $5.49ish. What?!? One small box is 1lb and one big box is 2 lbs. My jaw drops. They are making 50 cents more for selling two and people are walking away thinking they got a deal! How many times have I done that? How many people already figured that trick out? How long have they been doing that? Is it just the strawberries? Well, I'll show them - and I picked a big box.

Through the rest of the trip I wondered how often have I lost money on that "deal"? Then I saw it again. Kraft American slices (a must have for grilled cheese sandwiches) 2 small packages for $5! ... Bigger package for $4.50ish. Grrrrrr!

Next time you see the "2 for $" sale look again. You might just be paying 50 cents more!

Friday, October 3, 2008

I do not like them Sam I Am

Evan is now 6 months old and with that comes solid foods! Nathan loved all his solids when we introduced them...except for steamed papaya. Have you ever steamed a papaya? Well don't! That thing stunk up the whole house. My instinct was to just throw it away, but I thought who knows, it might be good. Well Nathan would have told you it was not!

I'm using this great book my sister gave to me with Nathan - Mommy Made & Daddy Too! by Martha & David Kimmel. We love it!! It tells you everything you need to know about introducing solids and when to do each food. They have a pretty extensive list - that's why I steamed a papaya - and lots of great recipes for older foods too.

My sister swears by the book and says it made good diverse eaters of her 3 kids. Nathan's the best eater I know. There's very little he won't eat and he loves peas and broccoli! What 3 year old asks for broccoli for dinner? So it was a no brainer that I would do the same with Evan.

Their advice is to start with store bought rice cereal for 3 days - did that. Evan seemed to think it was okay. For his first solids, he did pretty well, wore a little and actually ate a lot. Tonight was apples.

I was having trouble finding Golden Delicious apples so Mom helped out and got me a nice big bag. On Sunday I steamed them all, pureed them, put them in ice cube trays and froze it all. Today I defrosted the first cube - a perfect portion size for baby.

Dinner is now another new challenge that I am finding is harder with 2 boys. After 3 nights of trying 3 different tactics, I decided what seems to work best is Evan taking a bottle while we all eat dinner. Then after we are done and the TV is off (yes, we eat dinner with the TV on) I can feed Evan without distractions while Nathan plays. Evan isn't frantic for the bottle and distracted by TV and I get a few more bits into him!

We were all set and ready to go. First bite of apples went in and Evan gave me the worst face ever! You would have thought it was bitter to see his face. I took a bite of the apples and they were really pretty good - sweet and smooth! He did not like them at all. Not sure if it was the texture, the taste or what. I got about 4 or 5 spoons in him, but with a lot of protesting and coughing. He was so funny! Every time I would get some apples on his lips or tongue, Evan would look at me like "Hey stop that!" and cough like he was choking. I knew he wasn't choking because there was nothing in his mouth, but boy did he ham it up!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Look at me Mommy!

Some days I am really amazed by my boys. All Nathan wanted to do was find and catch lizards yesterday! When we got home from Grandma's there weren't any to be found and I had to make dinner so we put off the lizard search for a while. Finally when Daddy came home, Nathan got to play out back and search for bugs.

Evan had quite a day today with teething and although Nathan kept asking me to "put him down" so we could look for bugs, I just couldn't.

So with Nathan and Daddy outside finding bugs, Evan in the walker and cats screaming at me to not forget them either, I worked on dinner. Suddenly there was a knock on the back door and when I looked out the window, there stood Nathan with a grasshopper! I just had to grab the camera for a few snaps. So gentle and brave, my little boy held really still for photos and then chased after and recaught the poor grasshopper over and over to get more pictures. It was a sad moment when dinner was ready and we all had to return to the table.

Thank you grasshopper for making my little boy's night!