Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Most Improved Singer

On Tuesday night, we attended the "open house" of Jax's school. We just stopped by quickly so Jason could meet the teacher and see the classroom in case he ever needs to do a pick up or drop off. I have a private meeting with the teacher, her assistant, the school nurse and hopefully Brady's speech therapist. We'll review all the details of Jax's care and hopefully set up Brady's session-times as well.

On Wednesday, Jax started his first speech therapy session alone with Mr. Nick at the clinic. Brady and I ran to the post office and pharmacy during this time. Mr. Nick said Jax definitely needs more practice at structured play. Jax had a small meltdown at one time and had a small spit up from it.
Next week, Brady gets to have a single session as well, so we'll see how that all goes. This will all only go on until the boys get speech at their school this fall.

Brady's love obsession with music and dancing has been increasing. He is HILARIOUS! He insists on keeping the credits running after a movie/show so he can hold the TV stand and break dance to it. He tries to sing along to most songs, which sounds like honking. He cracks me up. I wonder how this will play into his personality when he's older. If you ask Jason, he was "Most Improved Singer" in 9th grade choir AND he's the first guy on the dance floor typically at weddings :) (You're welcome honey!)

Jax and I had a chiropractic appt this morning. I'm getting better and Jax seems to be the same. He's been vomiting a little bit lately, which always seems to throw his neck out easily. I also started some silver nitrate treatments on his stoma site since there's a bit of prolapse coming out and his tube came the other day. Hopefully that clears up quickly.
We leave on Friday to go visit our friends at their cottage up north for the weekend. We're really looking forward to relaxing by the lake with great friends. Ahhhh, sounds nice, right? I'm sad to see summer go :(

Whenever the boys take off their diaper, we now put them on the potty (yes, we need to get actual potties). We're not formally potty training yet, but just sending the message that the only time you take your diaper off is to sit HERE.

Jax was patting Brady on the back and making GROWLING noises.

Jax making Jason comfortable, I'm sure.

This is what happens when a little boy named Jax hangs on the towel bar. Since I try to keep this blog PG, I didn't take a picture of Jason's face afterward. That was one UNhappy Daddy.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Taking turns

The boys had fun with Papa and Nana Letts visiting on Friday and Saturday. The boys even did decent going out to eat, although Jax had a little trouble at one restaurant.

Jason and I took the boys to the Bonin twins' baptism on Sunday since Jason is Kelsey's Godfather. The boys took turns being naughty through the day. Jax didn't like being in the cry-room of the church during mass, so Jason took him outside. After mass was done, the baptism took place. Brady was painfully shy around everyone and even started crying. Odd?? I think his small-kid-shyness has hit. Jax sat pretty well during the baptism, but Brady was not having it.
The boys enjoyed the lunch/party afterward at Craig and Shannon's house since they had toys to play with, and I thought we were leaving rather unscathed... until Jax decided to step THROUGH their plastic window well cover. Jax fell through and was VERY lucky to leave with only a scrape to his leg rather than piercing himself with the sharp plastic. Hey, it's not us unless there's a scene!
Oh, and we narrowly escaped a nasty vomit-scene in the living room as well. I was able to see Jax make the puke-face and catch most of his vomit and direct his face into a garbage can with minimal clean up. He's been having a puke-streak lately with a day off here and there.

We took the boys home to relax a little bit and then went to the YMCA for a tour and to sign up the family for membership. The boys are going to LOVE the nursery to play in while Jason and I work out.  We also think swimming during the winter months will be nice for the family.

Papa Letts wrestling with the boys. It's actually hard to tell which kid is which here!

Brady giving a round of smooches at bed time.

Jason with the Bonin Bunch.

Brady surrounded by ladies and cake pops... shocking!

The boys playing on some equipment during our YMCA tour.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Helpful chefs

What a day it's been!
Jax's eye seems better with the antihistamine. It's not completely cleared up, but it is better, so I gave another antihistamine dose before bed, and I'll see how he is tomorrow.
The boys had an exciting nap time today. I heard a huge THUD, and I had a feeling Brady went over the edge of his crib so I ran upstairs. I was greeted by JAXON at the top of the stairs! I frantically checked his tube site to see if he did damage and it appeared that he disconnected himself and climbed out! I hated having to strip his bed AGAIN, but I was so releaved that he didn't rip the tube out. We're discussing the transition down to toddler beds, but we keep coming up with issues for Jax's tube. Our idea so far is to have him take his nap (which he doesn't sleep anyway, so it's just quiet time) in his peapod tent that zips up, and then put him on his backpack from 5:00p - 7:30p and then go to bed without needing any further tube-feeding for the night. The reason we haven't been doing this all along is because we were trying to maximize Jax's time off the pump during awake hours to help him with his physical development.

The boys had speech therapy outside today. The therapist agreed that the boys need individual therapy out of the house now. Brady only gets every other week though, so when school starts for him, the 30 mins/2x wk will be a nice increase.
I spoke with Jax's teacher on the phone last night and we set up an individual class visit the week before school starts. Here we'll meet with his aid as well and go over his special needs. We're hoping Brady's speech therapist will be there too so we can set that all up as well.

The boys wanted to help me cook tonight. Wow, what a disaster! Brady always brings a little chair up to the counter and tries to help, so I give him a bowl with things to "mix". Well, Jax decided he wanted to do that too, but when I turned my back, there were eggs on the floor and Parmesan cheese all over the place. We had a little bit of chaos, but it all worked out.
I happened to get a lot of photos today, enjoy!

I love all the green around the house. I can smell fall in the air already and will miss all the leaves!

The boys being boys.

Jax waving to neighbor kids riding by on their bikes. He yells, "HI!!!"

My silly guys.

Melt me!

Brotherly love!

The boys each banging my pots and pan tops together like they're in a marching band.

So helpful at dinner.

Don't they look helpful?

I found one little last surprise. That's the butter dish.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Swollen eye alert

We've had an interesting few days. Jax has vomited every day now for the past 5 days. Ugh, I hope this doesn't continue. On Monday, Jax had a small lump/bump beneath his eye that was assumed was a bug bite. Today he woke up with a red swollen eye. I called the nurse to ask for advice and she said to come in to make sure there wasn't an infection.
I brought Jax in and he was an angel. He did everything the doctor and nurse asked him to do. Brady was a wild monkey running around and screaming, turning the lights off and on, opening the door and running down the hall, tipping over the garbage can to stand on to get to the sink, standing on the exam bed and taking out all of the otoscope attachments. It's like a fire lights under his bum whenever he's in an exam room and he just turns into sassy pants!
The doctor can't tell if Jax is having a reaction to a bug bite or if it's an infected bug bite. Usually swelling happens in the first 24 hours, so she thinks an infection is possible, but wants to be sure. She sent us home with some antihistamine that I gave him through his tube when we got home. I can give it at bed time as well and if he wakes up the same or worse, we'll go in to be treated as an infection. If he gets a fever at all, I need to take him directly to the ER. Jason will be getting home around 10pm if his flights are on time, so at least he'll be here over night.

Brady was able to get the flu mist vaccine since it's in. Jax can't get the mist because of his respiratory issues, so I'll take him back in for the shot when they came in. The doctor said she'll be having flu shot clinics at the end of Sept, but she'd like Jax to get the shot before he starts school, so I'll be calling over the next two weeks to find out when they come in and get one for Jax a bit early.

Otherwise business as usual here. Brady dumped a box of goldfish crackers all over the couch and rug. Jax emptied a tape roll, and Brady also dismantled his bed frame from his mattress to try and get out from his crib underneath (unsuccessfully).
I'm officially a monkey wrangler.

Jax's red swollen eye. He looks THRILLED in this mug shot!

Monday, August 22, 2011

All the boys in the clubhouse

The boys and I hung out together all weekend while Jason was at Kurt's bachelor party in the Dells. We had a rainy morning on Saturday, so we had a Target run - yes, this was the highlight of my day. Thankfully the sun came out after the boy's nap and we played outside the rest of the day. We had a long morning of playing on Sunday as well, until Jason came home. The boys were pretty excited to see him, and he got the kids a few DVDs. Sure enough, the kids LOVE the movie, The Cat in the Hat with Mike Meyers. I can't wait to bring them to their first real movie at the theater. We want to see The Smurfs, since the boys are obsessed with their little Smurf figurines. Each of them has to sleep with one in each hand every night.
The Bonins stopped by late afternoon on Sunday to pick something up, and we ended up having a nice little visit! Jax likes to say, "Bye Bye BeeBee" to the babies. There was no bottle-steeling this time thankfully!

Jax got upset at me outside on Saturday and vomited a bit. He then woke up dry heaving on Sunday morning, but has been fine since. He continues to be doing pretty good with trying new words when asked, but not too many spontaneous yet. Brady is still our hold out. I'm going to take advice from a fellow MoM friend and make pictures of things like milk, water, snack etc and make them into magnets. When the kids want something I need them to point to the picture instead of whining and crying. Then we can talk about the word and I can give it to them. That's my project this week.
I'm still seeing the chiropractor for my sore neck. I can't believe it still hurts. I'm about 75% better, but it's certainly still sore. I really need to start doing some strength training as these boys get bigger!
I started my 'work from home' job this past weekend and have already accomplished a decent amount. And so the marathon has begun ;)

Jason with his Goddaughter, baby Kelsey.

Brady putting his baby Ben to sleep on the couch with a blanket and a smooch. Awe.. he'll be such a good Daddy himself some day!

Then he put himself to bed next to him.
While I was making dinner Sunday night, I looked out into the backyard and found Jason and the boys all up in the clubhouse of the swing set.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Rotting bottles, pains in the neck and a job!

Brady left me a fun little surprise in the fridge last night. He found a baby bottle with rotting breast milk inside of it and put it in the fridge. Let me rewind a bit. A few weeks ago, Shannon was visiting with the babies. Each of us were feeding a baby and I had to get up so I put the bottle on the coffee table. By the time Shannon had to leave, the bottle walked away. That is... one of my children took the bottle and hid it. They hid it so well, that neither Shannon or I could find it. I cleaned my house as usual the following weeks and still couldn't find it. That is, until last night, when I opened the fridge. These kids are a riot!

Since we're on the subject of pains in the neck, I have a real physical one! My neck hurt a bit yesterday and by today, I feel slightly paralyzed with pain! I had to bring Jax in for his chiro adjustment today and I hoped to get myself looked at, but unfortunately our chiropractor was on her way out to do a lecture after Jax's appointment. I came back later in the day with just Brady since Jax actually took a nap today. Jay had his hands full at home with work and our driveway was being re-tarred (I think that's how you say it). Needless to say, I really screwed up my neck. I need to go back on Friday and I've been lectured about getting massages frequently since I'm lifting the boys so much - ahem *cough, did you hear that Jason? Haha, yeah right! I had a bad back ache this past weekend, but what do you do? If you know me in person, then you know how pitiful my upper body is. I need to do some strength training.

In other news, I'm officially employed again. Other than being a domestic goddess and all that that entails (ha!) I've been wanting to do something that will bring in a bit of actual income AND allow me to have conversations with adults on a daily basis. Our biggest hurdle has been the question of... WHEN? I'm obviously tied up at home until 5:30pm daily and usually 3 days of the week I'm on 24/7 duty by myself. So that leaves weekends.With Jason gone so much, our only time as a family are really on weekends, and the boys are still at an age that really requires 2 people on a regular basis to really enjoy anything. I'm also nervous to commit to a job and to have fall/winter coming up and knowing how sick Jax may get this season being in school - yes, I get anxiety thinking about things that haven't even happened. So WHEN was our obstacle.
Well, an opportunity arose at Jason's company and we requested it. They know our situation and that I can talk on the phone when the kids are down or asleep at night. I work on my own when I have the time. They're sending a Blackberry so I can work from that with email etc. That will be nice when I'm waiting for Brady outside his classroom while he's in speech twice a week.
I'm going to be busier than ever starting next month when Jax starts school and I'll be out of the house with Brady those two days. But I'm up for the challenge. The position is as an independent contractor working on quality assurance on a trial basis for a few months. If it works for me and I can show a benefit to the company, we'll re-negotiate and go from there. Wish me luck!
Although, I'm not sure if anything will be harder than trying to potty train these boys this coming winter!

Brady playing with his fire truck and Daddy's hat.

The fireman needs a hat too!

Jax sitting on top of his play kitchen. Sigh...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Jelly seeds are evil

I'm a bit behind, sorry for the delay!

The boys had fun with the speech therapist on Thursday because we did our session outside! We had a bit of rough time during feeding therapy afterward though because we moved Jax to thicker food to try. The therapist said that since Jax can "chug" water and will drink flavored milk a bit, his throat is mechanically stable for food - as we all know he has a feeding disorder because of the tube-feeding since birth, so it's mostly psychological and he needs to be taught HOW and WHY to eat. Hence, he needs the inpatient program once his weight is sufficient.
Well, we wanted to try some jelly and maybe some peanut butter. Of course, we're talking tiny amounts to lick off a spoon to start moving Jax past purees. Well... Jax took some jelly, but a TINY seed got into his mouth. He panicked and it made him so sick. The poor guy vomited repeatedly until his entire stomach was empty. The therapist, the table, Jax, his chair, the floor, and myself was pelted with rapid fire vomit.
Needless to say, the session ended and Jax went into the bathtub. Damn seed...
This just reinforces how badly Jax needs an intense therapeutic program with a feeding psychologist. Jax has been so reluctant to enjoy purees off a spoon since his pneumonia last spring, and I just don't know how to move forward. So we need to plump him up!

Over the weekend the boys got to see Nana Letts because she came to babysit while we enjoyed dinner with friends for my birthday. That was a nice night out. Jay had his monthly softball on Saturday, so Nana Letts and I packed up the boys and took the drive to his game. We had nasty pouring rain half way there and it wasn't much better at the game, so we stayed for a short time and headed home. While we were there, Brady ended up on the field while I was talking with Jax about Daddy on the field. They stopped the game and yelled that there was a kid on the field which made Brady SCREAM and cry. I was mortified... we played on the wet playground and promptly left shortly after. I spent the rest of the rainy day home with the boys.
Jay and I took the boys to the State Fair on Sunday and wow... it was a lot more enjoyable last year when the boys stayed in the stroller and didn't WANT everything that they saw. Jax is so difficult since he won't sit and eat a treat. He wanted me to hold him, then he wanted to walk, then he wanted to be on Jason's shoulders, then he wanted to run.. ugh. Wake me up when they turn 4 :)

After the boy's impromptu bath on Thursday afternoon I sent them downstairs in their diapers while I got them some clothes. This is what I came down to. Yes, those are winter boots on Jax. I have no idea where he found them.

Jason and I Friday night for my birthday.

The boys in their rain boots at Jason's game on Saturday.

The boys enjoying the kid zone at the State Fair on Sunday.

The boys realizing that there are other goats in the world other than the ones at the zoo!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Shush that kid up!

My little men are crazy lately. I mean, more than usual, and I think it's because they're becoming more demanding and don't have the words to express it yet. Although, I will say that Jax is kicking butt with attempting more words now. He'll try to say many words that you ask of him and his pronunciation is adorable. Brady is still our hold out, but he really enjoys screaming and yelling as loud as he possibly can. Just for fun. When I'm on the phone. When someone comes to the door. When acting along with TV characters. When the radio is on. At 3am when acting out his stuffed animals in a story. You know... just for fun. Eh, what can I say, he's a free spirit!

I had to go grocery shopping badly on Monday and there was no way around taking the boys with me. I dreaded it since they were sassy that morning and haven't made it through a grocery store the last two times we tried (Jason took them out to the car to sit while I finished). So I put my game-face on and headed out.
I walked in the store and Brady started SCREAMING. The kind of scream that you can't just ignore and shop through. He then started pushing Jax which lead to insanity. I mean... I was in the store for 5 seconds! I ran through the store pushing this cart full of screaming 3 yr olds and went STRAIGHT to the bakery area. A lady saw me and dashed to the counter where I said, "COOKIES STAT!" She grabbed two and said they were on her and I'm rather sure I exclaimed my love for her. I gave Brady one, and broke the other in half for Jax to play with. Ahhhh, silence. I saved the other cookie for when Brady finished his. I had approximately 25 minutes to get through the store and I did. Whew...
 gone are the days where I can pack them up in their carriers and attach them to their snap-n-go stroller and browse around for what I need during carefully timed trips out. This is a whole new type of survival mode I guess, haha!

In calmer news, I made the boys their first dental appointment for the end of next month. I received a referral to a pediatric dental office who has experience with children who have oral aversions and feeding disorders. I'm happy that we've taught Jax to open his mouth and say "AHH" for the doctor finally, but I still have a feeling there will be gagging, forcing and possible vomiting, so I'm a bit nervous for that day. Although, I really need to know what condition Jax's teeth are in with all the chronic vomiting he's had over the years. I'm hoping Brady will have a clean report with how well we've been able to get into his mouth for brushing, but ya just never know I guess! Hopefully they won't be too scared.

It's not easy to see here, but Brady fed his Mr Potato head water. There was water everywhere...

The kids have busted into our board games. They INSIST that we lay out the Twister mat first thing each morning now.

It's also their wrestling mat.

Let's be serious... it's the only thing they use it for...

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Daddy time

The boys enjoyed some "daddy-time" this weekend with Jason while I went to Lake Geneva with Rachel. They did manly things like switching cable companies, finding dead varmints in vent spaces of the house, mowing the lawn, trimming trees (the boys pick up branches nicely!) and of course a zoo trip to talk about gorillas and buy a "mold-o-rama" of one - ha!

Jax only had one episode this morning while at the zoo, otherwise he's doing well. I hear that Brady did some mighty fine counting with Elmo, so I'm excited to see that for myself this week!

Rachel and I with our fun hats from a 20's restaurant

The boys showing me their driving skills tonight.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Crash, boom, bang as usual!

The boys have had a rough day with diggers. While at the chiropractor's office this morning, Brady ran into Jax and his teeth smashed against Jax's head. Brady's gum line above his already beat up tooth was bleeding and Brady was NOT happy. I had him screaming and bleeding in my arms and Jax was running around like an animal. That was neat.

Later today, I noticed Jax's left eye had a pink tint to it, so I've been watching that. There's no gunk coming out of it, so hopefully it's just irritated for some reason and it's not the actual "Pink Eye" virus. (sigh)
While playing outside tonight, Jax fell down hard on our patio. Our patio concrete slabs have come apart and are a bit of a hazard with a few people taking some nasty falls. We plan to fix this when the budget permits, but until then, I try to have the boys WALK rather than run... that works out great (hear my sarcasm?). So Jax scraped up his knee pretty bad tonight and is VERY angry about it. He refused to go back outside and refuses to take a bath. You might be thinking, "how can a small three year old refuse anything? Aren't you the parent and tell them what to do?" Um, yes, but if you tried to pick up Jax right now and tell him you were putting him in the bathtub, I'd pray for your soul.
I cleaned up his knee, put some Neosporin on it and put a Scooby Doo Band Aid on the scrape. Jax now hates Scooby Doo for touching his boo-boo. He's angry at Scooby Doo... that's how bad this scrape is. It's getting ugly up in here folks.

Impromptu cookout

Jason and Brady watching baseball - Go Brewers!

I walked in on this scene while Jay was getting the boys ready for bed. Yes, he basically stripped them of their clothes and continued to watch the game :)

Caught ya! Brady trying to sneak donuts that Jason got for a client.

Jax refusing to move with his scraped up knee. I can already see all the "man-colds" in my future...