Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Baby's 1st Stitches

WARNING:  There are some pictures.  Don't look at them if you are squeamish.

It's pretty much never good when daycare calls during the day.  So when I saw daycare pop up on my caller I.D. Friday morning, I said, "Uh no..." before I picked up.

This is what I heard when I picked up:

(With Henry crying in the background) "Natalie, Henry was walking with a helmet in his hand and he fell down and it poked him in the eye.  You need to come right now and take him to the doctor."

I'm pretty sure I jumped up, grabbed my purse, and was out the door in about .26 seconds.  I drove as quickly and reasonably as I could.  I mean, an injury to his eye?!  What would it be like?  Would he be able to see?  What do you even do with an eye injury?

I couldn't call Phil because I knew he was in a meeting.  One step at a time.  I called the doctor's office on the way there.  Since I had NO information, they called daycare and talked to directly to them.  Next step... get to Henry.

I pulled into the parking lot and one of his teachers opened the side door for me to come in to.  She motioned for me to hurry.  Needless to say, my heart was racing.  It's moments like these that you wonder how you don't end up just bursting into tears.  But somehow you don't.  Adrenaline is a crazy thing.

I walked in and Henry is on the changing table.  The director of the center is there, along with the head of the baby rooms and Henry's teacher.  As I walked up, he is still crying quite a bit.  And then I get a look at him.

He was bleeding, but it was coming from a cut above his eye.  Not his actual eye.

A huge sigh of relief came out.

Ok so he would need stitches.  But his eye was fine.  Not that I was thrilled with the idea of him having stitches, but no permanent injury to the eye.  I was so grateful.

They told me he was walking, trying to put a construction hard hat on and he tripped, fell, and the edge of the hat hit above his eyebrow.

I was able to pick him up and he stopped crying.  Then we sat on the couch and waited for the doctor's office to call me back.  In the meantime, Phil text me to tell me he was home from his meeting.  So we facetimed him.  Imagine his surprise when he answered the phone and saw this:

We ended up needing to go to the hospital.

{In the ER waiting room.  It opened up and bled a little more on the way to the hospital.  
My mom told me to not wipe it off before we checked in 
at the hospital (to get in faster).  It didn't work}

We were there about 3 hours (during naptime), it took 3 people to hold him down, and he got 3 stitches.  Things come in 3's right?

He fell asleep before we had even backed out of the parking stall.

{Missed his nap and was held down for 45 minutes.  He was TIRED}

You know what?  You wouldn't even know anything happened to him.  This was him the next day:

I think I am still a little traumatized about the whole thing.  Dropping him off at daycare yesterday (and really the whole day) was hard.

We'll have a follow-up with his doctor this week and I want to put him in a big cushioned bubble.  That accident insurance policy I took out a few months ago is already proving worth it.  I think we will add this one to the baby book.

Cute story from daycare:
While Henry was on the changing table crying, all of his friends were very upset that he was hurt.  They were all standing around the changing table, crying, yelling, "Henry!"  The teacher then used it as a time to talk to the babies about boo-boos and helping your friends when they are hurt.  How cute is that?!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Don't worry, it's the good kind

I go back and forth...

Between feeling like cancer survivor and feeling like I am making a bigger deal out of it than I really should.

I think most people probably feel like I have made a bigger deal out of it than I should have.

News of thyroid cancer is almost always accompanied by the phrase "well if you are going to get cancer, that's the one you want to get." And I get what people are trying to say. I am very thankful that my cancer had a great prognosis and cure rate. But you know what as an even better cure rate? Not having cancer.

Since when did I HAVE to get cancer at 26?! Who made up that rule?

When I was first diagnosed, I got a phone call from our pastor. He talked to me for about 60 seconds before he rushed off the phone. And pretty much the only thing he said to me was "they say if you are going to get cancer, that's the one you want to get." Then he hung up the phone.

I am not sure if I will ever forget how I felt when he said that.  It was so isolating and dismissive.  I really struggled with feeling like I couldn't be afraid or sad or upset that I had cancer because it was the "good kind".

Sometimes it feels like my cancer was "too good" to lump me into the category of cancer survivor. But where does it fit in?

My aunts participate in the Relay for Life every year. I have even joined them to walk a couple of times. And they have never asked me to join them for the survivors walk. Is my defeat of cancer any different than someone who had breast cancer? Our treatments were different, yes. Mine was much easier on my body. But cancer is cancer.

I still had 2 surgeries, radiation, and semi-annual tests for my "good cancer". And I was a lucky one. Some "good" thyroid cancer doesn't respond to radiation and other than more surgery and a few medications that slow down the growth, there isn't much they can do.

I still get anxious when I have to have my ultrasound and bloodwork. Because a 5 year survival rate doesn't make me feel super great. I am hoping to live a lot longer than 5 years. Anyone else planning on dying at 31? I didn't think so.

September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness month and it basically gets ZERO press. I'm sure part of it is because not many people know about it and part of it is because who cares about the "good" cancer.

I have no thyroid as a result of my cancer. Currently I take 3 medications to supplement my thyroid. They total about $40 a month. That's $480 a year, after insurance. If I take too much, I get heart palpitations, my hair can fall out, and I can't sleep. Not enough and my cancer can come back on top of the fact I will feel like garbage, gain weight, and get muscle cramps. The higher thyroid levels I need to keep the cancer from coming back leaches calcium meaning I'm at a higher risk for osteoporosis.  My ultrasound and blood work check ups cost $200 each time. Changing thyroid levels (which mine have to adjusted like crazy when I am pregnant) affect your vision. My eye sight has been the same for like 7 years but all of a sudden (post Henry) my prescription changed.

Did you know that cancer doubles your risk of filing for bankruptcy? And thyroid cancer in young women makes up the number one cancer than causes bankruptcy.

The only lasting physical sign of my "good" cancer is my neck scar. And it is fading. But I see it. I see the weird way the skin on my neck moved thanks to no thyroid and scar tissue. It's weird.

{Look at my neck.  It's the dumbest thing to notice, but it's weird}

One of the hardest parts of thyroid cancer in my opinion is how it gets brushed off.  It's the "good" kind, after all...

There is no "good" cancer.

Like all cancers, early detection is important.  Be informed.  And check your neck.

Friday, September 26, 2014

5 Things Friday

We survived another week!!  That deserve celebration, right there.  A part of me is mostly excited that I actually followed through with my planned meals this week.  It's the little things, right?

Super random list here for you.

1.  Probably most notable this week is that my new iPhone came in the mail.  I decided I wanted to go for the big guy... the 6 plus.  I have been thinking about getting an iPad mini and figured that the 6 plus would allow me to skip that and have my phone and tablet in one.  A phablet.

I pre-ordered my phone on September 12th and the estimated shipping date from Apple was sometime between November 9 and November 27.  So imagine my surprise when it shipped last Saturday.

The phone came Tuesday.

It is huge.

I was a little nervous at first.  The first day at work, everyone just held it and talked about how ridiculous the size was.  Or they talked about how they had read about how ridiculous the size was.

I've now had it two whole days and...  I LOVE IT!

In case you are debating 6 vs. 6+... Phil has put it in his pocket and decided that he will get the 6.  The plus is kind of big and bulking in men's front jean pockets.

2.  Have you heard that Gilmore Girls will be on Netflix starting in October?  Well, it is true!!  It is kind of dumb how excited I was about this considering I own the entire series.  But this way, I won't have to switch disks which is just such a hassle, you know?  #firstworldproblems

3.  I am aware that with ISIS and ebola outbreaks that that last comment about disk switching is insane.  Just wanted to clarify that I am aware.  And it was a joke.

4.  Henry has had a rough couple of days this week.  His last molar is just right under the surface and I know it is bothering him.  His finger has been in his mouth and his poor chin has had a rash all over it.  But the biggest thing I have noticed is that he doesn't really want to be touched.  He won't let me give him kisses or hugs.  I would be lying if I said it wasn't hurting my feelings a little bit.

But then tonight I found this picture from Sunday:

And I remembered the 30 second kiss he gave me at church Saturday night.

And I'm trying to tell myself that he just doesn't feel well.  I don't really want to kiss anyone when my mouth hurts either.

5.  Up until recently, Henry had very little interest in being read to.  He had to be in just the right mood and even then, it only lasted a couple of pages.  But this week, we decided to start adding a bedtime story to the nighttime routine.  And he seems to really like it!

We have been reading 1 or 2 books every night, after jammies right before he lays down.  And since I don't enjoy reading the same 10 books over and OVER and OVER again, Henry and I will be heading to the library this weekend to check out some more books.

I'm excited for multiple reasons.  First, I love libraries.  Second, this will be Henry's first trip to the library.  Phil and I love books and I am hoping Henry will share our feelings.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A little lesson about Maslov

I went to pick up Henry yesterday and one of his teachers asked, "Have you had a good day?"  Without thinking, I looked at her, sighed and said, "I've had a pretty interesting week."  And it wasn't until later last night that I had a chance to really think about it.

I've had a few very vague blog posts recently where I mention that I had a rough day or that I was particularly stressed.  And without really talking about work, those types of posts are annoying after a while (in my opinion).

The truth is that, yes, I have a stressful job.  And the more my experience grows, the more stressful it will become.  I design buildings.  We represent our clients at public hearings and have to deal with angry neighbors.  I had a contractor call me the other day and yell at me because he didn't like my design.  Literally yelled at me.

And I find that stressful.

But then I think back a few years...

Looking at Facebook or blog posts doesn't send me into a crying fit over the half dozen pregnancy and birth announcements that happen daily.

I'm not worried about whether or not I have cancer.  Or if that newly diagnosed cancer has spread to my bones, lungs, liver, or brain.

No close relative is dying from a terminal illness.

Really, when I look back over what we have gone through in the last few years, it is easy to laugh off getting yelled at by a contractor.  That's kind of the only silver lining cancer sometimes offers: it kicks your priorities into order.

But is that really a healthy perspective?  Life is stressful and there are different kinds of stress.  For me, if it isn't related to death, it seems like it shouldn't be a big deal.  And sometimes I have a hard time with other people's stress and how that might be affecting them.  Sometimes I think get some real problems.

But they are real problems.

I started to think about it in terms of Maslov's Hierarchy of Needs:

Most life stresses deal with the top 3 levels.  I was definitely on the second level for a good year.  And it's really hard to get past it.  But doesn't mean that any of the other levels are less important.  We are all just trying to get to the top of the pyramid.

Almost all of the time, everyone has something going on in their life that is challenging.  And just because it may not seems like as big of a deal to me based on what I've been through, doesn't mean that it isn't a HUGE deal to them.

Since I have realized that my perception is SO off (comparing everything to death is a little weird), I need to just do my best to be as kind as possible to everyone.  It isn't necessarily something that comes naturally to me (I tend to just mind my own business), but I'm working on it.  Being kind doesn't require my judgement on what someone else is going through, and that's definitely a good thing.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Lunch Time

The schedule at daycare changed a little bit and Henry's teacher is no longer there in the evenings when I go to pick him up.  I kind of hate the change.  Call me crazy, but I kind of like hearing how his day way and if anything went wrong.

The nice thing is that she is usually pretty good at writing notes on his daily rugrat report.

But I was a little confused when she wrote that Henry had "refused" to eat his lunch.  So I asked her about it this morning when I dropped him off.

She said that when they put his food in front of him at lunch yesterday, he looked down at his food, then up at them and huge tears started streaming down his face.

{I wasn't there to see it, but this was the look I got in SF when I took away his ice cream sundae.  
I'm imagining it was similar to this}

I felt like a pretty great mom at that point.

You want to know what was in his lunchbox?  Cheese pizza, zucchini casserole (which he has been eating), a banana, peanut butter crackers.

He didn't like the cheese pizza yesterday I guess.

Then his teacher said, "We thought maybe the food might have been a little weird, but we tasted it and it was good!"

I know I tend to err on the healthy side of things, but I don't think I have sent him any "weird" food.

They fed them some of their own lunch (which made me feel even worse) along with some crackers and things so he would, you know... STARVE.

Thankfully, we went back to the old stand-by of black beans, sweet potato sticks, a whole peach, grapes, and a banana today.  We also threw in some buttered toast.  Hopefully he will find that lunch acceptable.  He's been a bit of a challenge lately to feed.  We had a bit of a reprieve last week when teething seemed to let up, so I am hopeful once this last molar comes in, his palate will expand.  I mean, how many meals can a toddler eat black beans?

I'm going to try to get the mental image of him looking down at his lunch and then bursting into tears out of my head.  Wish me luck.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Case of the Mondays

I didn't blog yesterday and it is a good thing.

It's been an emotional couple of days.  So much so that I checked to see if it was a certain time of the month.  It wasn't in case you wanted a lot of personal information.

I can't blame it on that.

Really all that does is tell me that I am not overreacting to anything and my feelings are all justified.

Since I operate under the premise that you don't drink to make a bad day better, only drink to make a good day great... it meant I needed a different coping mechanism for unwinding this evening and hopefully setting the rest of the week back on track.

I chose this:

Works EVERY time.

I did have one bright spot during the day...

I spent all day yesterday doing the structural design for a custom house.  The house is HUGE.  2 stories with a daylight basement.  All the walls have windows and there are large open spans with no walls or beams.  It was complicated.  And as I'm looking through the plans, talking through the design challenges with my boss, I realized that I was pointed things out to him more than he was pointing them out to me.

It was just this awesome feeling of... expertise I guess?  I don't know.  It was nice.  And tomorrow, when I am working another 9 hour day with no break, I will hold on to that feeling so that I don't lose my mind.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wine and Bubbles

You know it has been a rough first half of the week when someone put at the end of an e-mail to you:

Have a good evening and enjoy a big glass of wine.

Was it that obvious?

I guess it was.

So you know what I did?

I had a glass of wine.  Willamette Valley Vineyard's Oregon Blossom to be exact.  Along with a bubble bath and some Netflix.  I'm currently enjoying Hart of Dixie.  It's cute and fairly mindless which is right up my guilty pleasure alley.

How long is too long to stay in the bathtub?  Because I was totally in there for an hour and a half.

One of the main things I wanted in a house was a big soaking tub.  No joke, it was BIG on my list.  This tub is perfect.

And you know what?  I feel much better now.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Make these. Trust Me.

Some people are gifted in the kitchen.  They can just walk in, throw some ingredients together and whip up a delicious meal.  I have a couple of friends that are like that.

I am not one of them.

I'm a recipe girl.

Don't get me wrong... I can follow a recipe with the best of them.  But when it comes to instinctively knowing what will go well with what, I'm lost.

Thankfully, the internet and Pinterest keep me filled with plenty of instructions.  However, not all Pinterest and internet recipes are winners.

Have no fear.  These recipes are DELICIOUS!  So much so that I am chronicling them here so that I can look them up at a later date.

-  Which is exactly what I did with these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I have made these the last 2 autumns and they are always a hit.  I couldn't remember where the recipe was the other day, so I googled my own blog reference and found them.  I make them with whole wheat flour so I can pretend like that are healthy.

--Henry's daycare has a policy that for lunch you have to send at least 4 food groups.  If you don't, they can write you up and I don't know what the ultimate punishment would be.  I'm a rule follower so I have ZERO intention of finding out.

It was pretty easy when Henry was on an all breastmilk diet.  And it was still fairly simple when he ate baby food.  But now that he is 100% on people food (baby-led weaning and all that jazz), he has turned into a bit of a picky eater.

Mainly, he doesn't really eat meat or vegetables.  There's where the next 2 recipes came in:  Pumpkin Pancakes and Black Bean and Quinoa Casserole.

The pumpkin pancakes are a feeble attempt to sneak in my veggies (I count squash as a vegetable not a fruit).  Again, I use whole wheat flour to throw in some extra nutrition.  These things take FOREVER to cook.  I make a batch on the weekends and we put them in the fridge to heat up for his breakfast all week long.

The black bean casserole is so easy and pretty darn good.  In an effort to make it not too spicy for Henry, I used about 1/3 of the chili powder it called for.  And because I am lazy and hate chopping up cilantro, I used way less of that as well.  Plus I only had 1 can of enchilada sauce.  It was still a hit with Henry.

-  I have a small obsession with buffalo wings which is why this recipe for Popcorn Buffalo Bites was right up my ally.  They are pretty easy to make (although time consuming when making them popcorn size) and WAY healthier than traditional buffalo wings because they are made with chicken breasts and baked, not fried.  I have made them again, making chicken strips instead of popcorn bites (because I am lazy).

What's not healthy is the amount of bleu cheese dressing I dipped them into but we just won't talk about that.

-  Fall just wouldn't be fall without pumpkin bread, right?  My mom makes THE BEST pumpkin bread.  But I am pretty sure the 2 main ingredients are sugar and butter (read: NOT PUMPKIN).  I just can't eat very much of that, so I found this Low-Fat Pumpkin Bread recipe.  I omitted the pumpkin seeds.

My coworker brought me a piece of Starbuck's Pumpkin Bread and we had a taste test one day.  No joke, there was almost ZERO DIFFERENCE between the two.  And I doubt the Starbuck's version was only 100 calories a serving.

-  Zucchini is almost out of season, I know but while you still have some in your garden make this Zucchini Casserole.  Trust me.  I found this recipe a couple of years ago and we loved it so much we ate it about once a week for a month.

-  Even though it is still in the 80's here (and sometimes in the 90s), I am breaking out the crockpot.  Throw in the fact that I have been hankering for Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana and we have a Google search on our hands.  After looking at several different recipes, I was not at all surprised at the amount of whipping cream required.


I like to operate under the "ignorance is bliss" camp when it comes to my food sometimes.

So my Google search got modified.  HEALTHY crock pot Zuppa Toscana.

That's how I found THIS recipe.  It is currently in my crock pot so I have no idea how it will turn out.   But I am optimistic and will keep you posted.

So there you have it!  Some relatively healthy recipes that have been a success in the Janney household as of late.  If you have any wonderful recipes, I am all ears (or eyes).  I really don't like being in a food rut.  For some reason when I don't have a plan for what to cook I can only ever think of spaghetti.  And you can only have so much spaghetti.

{Don't be fooled... He threw a lot of it on the floor} 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Saturday Night Church

For once, we had a weekend that I didn't feel like flew by in a flash.  Our church started a Saturday evening service this week and since the church service we usually attend is RIGHT at the beginning of Henry's weekend nap time (he has a different nap time for daycare and for us, completely self imposed), it can make church a little... distracting.

As in Phil and I spend the entire hour passing Henry back and forth to each other while he does a crocodile death row.  We also attempt to distract him and keep him quiet through any means necessary included books, drawing, and food.  Whatever scenario takes place, it isn't super conducive to paying attention to the sermon.  Most of the time, we leave and I have no idea what the sermon topic was about.

We could take him to the nursery, but he already spends all week away from me at daycare.  I'm not too keen on having him with someone else watch him for any more than I have to.

Long story short, we went to church Saturday night.  It was excellent.  The service was nice and relaxed.  Henry was calm.  I think we found a new church service.

Another bonus... we had Sunday morning totally free, both in terms of time and guilt (I've got the guilt thing down.  I would have made a great Catholic).

We didn't go anywhere.

Eventually, I will learn to use my camera.

Oh and I gave Henry a haircut.  And cut him.  Mother of the year.

After a rough couple of weeks feeling like we are drowning a little, we had a nice relaxing weekend.  And I even feel like I am mentally prepared for the week ahead.

I'm still working on getting our house more organized.  I have a couple of ideas in the works, I just haven't gotten a chance to get them totally figured out.  But when I do, I will share them.  Secrets don't make friends.  :)

Friday, September 12, 2014

5 Things Friday: Migraine Edition

So my grand plans to type up my 5 Things Friday last night was thwarted by a migraine.  Nothing like a visual aura and really bad headache to knock you out for the night.  Poor Phil had to deal with me saying things like, "Please don't bang the dishes" and "Don't move the bed, please."

It was a fun night, for sure.  And you know what helps you be productive?  It certainly isn't a migraine.

It's a little better today, but definitely not gone.  I have a feeling the gym is out for lunchtime today.  Pretty much anything other than laying down is out for lunch today.

So in honor of the current state of my head, today's 5 Things Friday are my tips for dealing with a migraine.

It was this or nothing.  I probably should have stuck with nothing.

{Image stolen from the Wall Street Journal}

1.  Take something

Excedrin Migraine works really well, but sometimes I just can't take it.  First of all, we don't have any at our house.  Second, the caffeine has proved to be too much for me.  The last thing I want when I'm dealing with a headache is to be jittery.  Plus my headache came on at 8:30 at night and I like sleep.  Excedrin Back and Body contains the same acetaminophen and aspirin dose as it's migraine counterpart without the caffeine.  Score.

Or if you are like me and foolishly took straight Tylenol thinking it might help and therefore can't take something else containing Tylenol (because I like my liver), I like to throw a dose of Advil in there as well.  It was my saving grace last night.  Took away just enough pain so that I could sleep.

2.  Cold wash clothe

Phil seems to fight me on this one when he gets a headache, but really a cold wash clothe on your temples/eyes/sinuses/forehead is nothing short of magic for headache relief.  Doing this early in the headache process seems to keep it from getting worse (sometimes).  When Phil starts to get his headaches, I usually don't even ask if he wants the wash clothe.  I just get it for him.

When I reached for the wash clothe last night, Phil knew I meant business.  I think until then he thought I just had the aura without the headache (which happens for me sometimes).  Nope.  Not this time.  Lucky me.

3.  Loose hair, no socks

It's amazing what a difference cool feet and no tight hair makes.  Loosen the pony and air out the toes.  Trust me.

4.  Caffeine

I didn't have any caffeine last night (because I wanted to sleep) but you'd better believe I will be having coffee this morning.  In migraines, blood vessels expand and caffeine helps to constrict the blood vessels thereby helping relieve migraines (hence why it is in Excedrin Migraine).  Or vice verse.  Whatever.  It counteracts whatever causes migraines.  That's all you need to know.

I just used hence and thereby in the same sentence.  Can you tell I don't feel well?

5.  Cool, dark, quiet room

Most migraines are made worse by loud sounds, bright lights, and heat.  Let your body cool off and relax as much as possible.  This can't always be helped.  Thankfully last night, my migraine started after Henry had gone to bed.  But if he had been awake, I wouldn't have been able to do the quiet room thing.

And here's a bonus since I know nobody is still reading this...

Avoid migraine triggers as much as possible at all times, but especially right after having one.  Typical triggers include alcohol (especially red wine), chocolate, MSG, dehydration, changes in sleep, hormones (i.e. some birth control), etc.  I am pretty sure mine was caused by the weather change and not eating/drinking enough.

So there you have it.  I'm off to drink more coffee and slowly make my way through the work day.  I hope everyone is feeling well today!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

If we are being honest...

... I would have to tell you that I am struggling.

I do not have this working mom, graduate wife down.  AT.  ALL.

I am 5 minutes late to work more days than I am not.

I've had laundry clean, unfolded on the couch for at least 2 weeks.

In the last 2 weeks, we have had to eat fast food for dinner (Phil and I) twice because I was too tired and we literally had NO FOOD.

Today marks basically the 1,400th day I haven't gone to the gym in the morning.

We won't even talk about the last time my house got really properly cleaned.  
As in completely dusted, vacuumed, bathrooms cleaned, dishes done all at the same time.

There are so many projects that have been started and then never finished.  
I actually think I bought a photography tutorial a year ago.  Still haven't gone through it.  
As a self-motivated person, I hate that.

I go into kind of a panic when I think of adding in another baby to the mix.  I don't think we are quite ready for that.

I feel like I am just putting out fires and trying to do what I need to do to survive the week.  I can't seem to get ahead of the game.  The other day, Phil and I were talking about getting new phones and I almost don't want to do it because I don't want to deal with learning a new phone.

That's dumb.

But I'm not throwing myself a pity party!  Nobody ever said being a working mom was easy.  And I've never really heard anyone talk about how easy it is to have their spouse near the end of their dissertation.  But just because something is hard doesn't mean it isn't worth doing.

I'm determined to not sacrifice my family's health, our relationships, or our finances as we navigate the next 3 months.  We can't eat fast food all the time.  We can't be so stressed out that we are grumpy to each other or other people.

The truth is that we are in the home stretch.  This is the hardest part, not only because we both just want it to be over, but also because it is when a lot of the work has to happen.

I'm going to figure out a plan.

I just haven't figured it out yet.

My mom reminded me of the phrase, "You can have it all, but you can't have it all at once."  And I am minding of feeling like that is true.

So what do I give up?


I'll keep you posted on what I figure out.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Rubbing it in

This is my nephew David:

He's been the subject of many a blog post around these parts.  It's because he says the darndest things.

He's the type of kid that when you give him the consequence ahead of time, you can actually see him thinking about whether or not the punishment is worth committing the crime anyway.  Mischievous.  But he also has a huge heart.

Before Henry came around, during the infertility and cancer, David helped fulfill my desperate need to nurture.  He was also so sweet when it came to my neck scar.  I mean, this very restless, rambunctious little boy would very gently touch my neck and be very careful around me.  I never had to worry about him.

He was the youngest person in our family for quite a few years before Henry came around.  I was kind of nervous that he would resent Henry a little for taking his place as the "youngest" but I think the opposite has happened.

He likes the Henry looks up to him.  And boy... does he ever.  Plus I think he likes that his isn't the baby anymore.

David and Henry are buddies.

Henry and David went to the same daycare center last year.  And I would always ask David to "check" on Henry for him.  Their classrooms were right across a little lawn from each other.  David did a great job of checking in on Henry at least once a week.  When he graduated kindergarten, I was a little sad.  I miss having David there to keep tabs on Henry.

But I think it helped form a special bond between them.  Henry LOVES him.

Anyway, I have more stories about David on my blog than the other boys simply because I didn't have a way to document all the funny little stories about the older boys.  And I'm pretty glad I have this space because I can reread THIS STORY.  And THIS STORY.

So here's another sweet David story to add to the mix...

David and I have this routine.  I go up and give him a big kiss on the cheek.  He then takes his hand and wipes his face (for the nonexistent spit I leave behind I guess).

Then I say to him, "Are you wiping it off or rubbing it in?"

He always replies, "Rubbing it in."

It's our thing.

So a couple of months ago, before we said good-bye we went through our little routine.  At the end he said, "You ALWAYS do that!" which I took to mean that he was getting too old for me to kiss his cheek.


But I don't want to be that super annoying relative that he dreads seeing, so I decided to give him some space in the future.  The next few times I saw him, I would just give him a hug and say good-bye.

While we were camping on the beach, we were getting ready to head home on our last day there.  After I gave him a hug, David turned to me and said, "You haven't given me a kiss in a long time!"

"Do you like it when I give you a kiss," I ask.

A cute little grin came across his face and he said, "Yes."

I quickly ran over and gave him a nice, big kiss on the cheek.  And you can bet money on it that I will every time from now on.  :)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

I swear it must be Friday yesterday

Sometimes I wish I could blog about work.

I really can't.

But this week would be a great source of blog material if I could.

Honestly, blogging about work would probably be fine because I'm sure NO ONE would read it.  I mean who really wants to read about an engineer anyway?

Let's just say, it's been a long week, even though it's been a shorter week.  And I've felt that way since yesterday morning.

Since there are still 2 whole work days left in the week, I have decided I need to do a couple of things to make myself feel better and to get through the week.  It's not time for 5 Things Friday, but frankly, it feels like Friday so here it goes.

1.  I need one of these:


One of the things I love about our house is that it has a nice, big bath tub.  This thing is calling my name!

2.  I'm not going to lie... I couldn't wait until September for my first Pumpkin Spice Latte.  I went ahead and got one last Thursday.  And then my coworker brought one to work for me on Friday.  Then Phil and I split one on Saturday.  I tried to make one at home on Sunday, but forgot to add sugar (kind of an important ingredient).  And then I got another on Tuesday (which was the original plan).

But I kind of want another one.  Like NOW.

3.  Time with this guy:

4.  What cheers you up better than a little retail therapy?  Nothing, that's the answer.  We are going to get family pictures done next March (I like to plan ahead) and I am already thinking about what we will wear for them.  Henry and I have super blue eyes, so blue is obviously a good choice.  But Phil is a fan of earth tones.  So far, I am OBSESSED with this sweater for Henry:

{Sweater from Gap}

If only it weren't $37.  But I am kind of having fun window shopping for the moment and thinking of combinations of outfits for the photos.

5.  Last night, I went to bed early with a cup of hot chocolate, some fleece pants, and a book. It was wonderful.  I'm trying to read through all of the books I have before I buy too many new ones.  The one I am reading right now is kind of weird.  I threw away the book jacket, so I don't know where it is going.  Once I told Phil what was happening with the plot, he suggested I just stop reading.  But now I am just curious what happens.  Only 300 pages left.

When I first started this list, I was a little concerned all 5 things were going to be food related.  Comfort food is fine, but not when it is the ONLY thing.  Then I might have a bit of a problem.

I hope your week is treating you well!

What do you do to relax after a tough day?  I could use all the suggestions you have.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Three day weekends are so wonderful.  And they don't come around often enough.  Amiright?

Of course I am!

In addition to the plethora of sales we took advantage of this past weekend, we added some additional things to our to-do list.

Ok mainly one thing.

Apple picking.

Nothing says fall like apple picking, right?  Especially when it is 80 degrees outside and you are sweating.

We live not too far from a u-pick orchard with dwarf apples trees.  And it is only $10 for a 5 gallon bucket of apples.  We picked a bunch of hone crisps, gala, and smoothie (an early golden delicious) apples.

Henry wasn't so into picking the apples.  He had more fun picking the leaves.  But he did enjoy throwing (and I mean THROWING) the apples into the bucket.

 And, of course, eating them.

 And feeding the same apple to Phil.

I was kind of nervous for him to eat apples.  I don't know why.  I guess I was just worried they would be a choking hazard.  He did fine.  The fact that he has at least 4 teeth coming in right now is even more reason I shouldn't be concerned.  And no, that's not an exaggeration.  We can feel at least 4.

Henry's method of gently throwing the apples into the bucket left about half of them very bruised.  I was forced to make THESE.  I used a cup of liquid (part water, part grape juice), added a tsp of vanilla, used white sugar instead of vanilla sugar, and about 2/3 the cinnamon listed.  They are SO GOOD!

Here's what Henry thought of them:

{"Mo.  Mo.  Mo."}

Hated them obviously.

We are hoping we can get through all the apples we picked in a couple of weeks so we can go pick more!
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