Sunday, September 25, 2011

Great America!

We ended up going to Six Flags Great America on Saturday. The weather had a few spots of rain, but the day ended up being a LOT of fun for all of us. Obviously Jason and I experienced an entire area of the park we've never hung out in (re: kiddie rides), but the boys were so well behaved and seemed to be in awe of the place. It was great that there weren't any large crowds, long rides or hot weather. The boys were able to go on 3 small roller coasters with us and they were in heaven. Everything else was pretty much kiddie ride types or play areas.

When we arrived at the park, we stopped off at Guest Relations to get Jax's food approved. There is a strict rule against any food or beverage in the park and they search all your bags. We also got Jax's backpack approved since they don't allow backpacks on rides either. They were fabulous and efficient with us!

The great thing about the boys being so amazed by the park was that they never cried, whined or begged for any of the souvenir type of things or the fair game prizes hanging everywhere. The only thing that got old was that they wouldn't ride in the stroller very much, but it was still nice to hold all their stuff (mainly extra clothes and supplies for Jax). Jax's legs get tired from walking too much, so it would've been nice if he'd sit in the stroller more. Brady doesn't mind if he has a snack in hand, but obviously that doesn't work for J-man. Brady got a little impatient when we would have to wait for the rain to stop to go out on rides, but it really wasn't too bad.
The funniest part of the day was Jax saying, "UH-OH!" each time a roller coaster was coming down from the top of a run - hilarious!

We stayed at the park for just over 5 hours and Brady fell asleep in the car by the time we got out of the parking lot! All our neighbors and their friends stayed longer since they're kids are older, so we were able to get the boys home, feed Brady dinner and give baths. We brought the boys next door in their pj's to bring over birthday gifts and play with their friends for 30 minutes. Two of the little boys that live next to us and behind us turned 6 and Great America was part of their celebration. The boys LOVE playing with the neighbors, so they were in heaven. I had a glass of wine and a sandwich, so I was too! It was a good day.

I'd like to end the post on that happy note, but I do need to do a vomit report (BOO). Jax has had an episode at least once a day (if not twice) for quite a few days in a row. He doesn't have any illness-symptoms and is totally fine after he gets sick. I'm wondering if he's going to get sick because his vomiting is usually the first symptom that something is coming, or he's just doing his normal, yet random cycling. It's only after his breakfast, or after his lunch, so it's nothing concerning yet, so fingers crossed! He drank an ounce of smoothie at dinner by mouth, so he's still allowing some small oral feeding practice. He puked a bit of it up an hour later, but hey, it still counts!

Jason is out of town until late in the night on Wednesday night, so these kiddos better stay healthy on me. Jax is scheduled to get his flu shot on Wednesday, otherwise we have a normal scheduled week and hopefully it's uneventful! It's also been one full week of toddler beds and the boys are rocking it without any problems! Now to just wait until the boys can say POTTY and we get the green light from the therapists to be tackling THAT FUN PROJECT. Until then... I'm putting it out of my mind!

Brady's first carrousel ride!

Jax too! We took a second ride on the top level on our way out of the park. (This is a two story carrousel)

Brady pretty much tackled Bugs Bunny he was so excited to see him! Jax wanted nothing to do with the large walking rabbit!

Enjoying some rides. Well, Brady is actually talking in his 'Turkish Twin Talk' wondering what is taking so long for the ride to start.

I turned around to snap a quick photo of the boy's first roller coaster. Brady was sitting with me, but I had to put my camera away and wrap my arms around him!

Smaller scale for the little guys - boats that go in circles!

Jax's super cool sticker.

They were so happy!

All the guys cheering on the Packers! (Thanks for the shirts Marley!) Jason is cheering on the Steelers right now as the boys are sleeping! We're a two-team family, good thing they're not in the same division, hey?

Friday, September 23, 2011

End of week wrap up

The boys have been doing well the last few days. Jax has definitely been having a puking episode here and there, but things are okay. He actually had his first vomit while at school this morning. The teacher called me to discuss if it were his normal behavior, or if he was sick. Yup, normal behavior today! Jax surprised me twice this morning with talking. As we were coming down the stairs from waking up, he stopped me and said, "UP!" so I picked him up. Then once we were downstairs, he came to me again trying to get his sleep sack off and said, "HELP!" so I helped him! Looooove communication :)

Mr. Nick said the boys had a good speech and feeding session yesterday. He got Brady to say "MA" a few times, but never a mama. Jax would not say "MA" at all for him, although he has had some good feeding sessions. I took Jax down the street to the library while we were waiting for Brady to finish up his speech session. It just so happened that there was a 3 year old story time going on - perfect! I put Jax's name tag on him and sent him in to the story time room with all the other kids. He REFUSED. He was too scared and didn't want to go in, which really surprised me. So I took him to the back of the library to work on puzzles and look at books. The librarian came up to us and said, "He's probably shy because that story time hour is for 3 year olds". I starred at her and didn't know what to say and then I mustered up to say, "He IS 3!" She felt so awkward and then proceeded to ask if he was premature or had "problems". Since Jax was super squirrly and refused to sit still to do an activity, we left.

I picked up Brady and switched Jax to go into speech and I was excited to let Brady go to the library but he poo'd in his diaper and of course... I left the diaper bag at home! So we went home for 30 mins to change and hang out until Jax was done.

The boys both seemed to have fun at school this morning. When Brady and I were waiting outside of Jax's school, all of Jax's class came out to hold onto a rope and take a walk around the school. Jax's teacher came to my car and asked if Brady would want to walk with them - how nice! So Brady took a walk with them and then of course, Brady took the teacher's hand to try and go inside to school. Jax had to have the teaching assistant hold his hand during the walk, because I could see that he wasn't really following directions to hold onto the rope loop that he was assigned to. So Jax was holding the rope with one hand, and the assistant holding his other hand. I'm sure that was so he wouldn't run off. That Jaxon... a total renegade... who doesn't listen! Well, he either listens and ignores, or listens and doesn't understand. It's hard to tell which one he's doing.

The boys are doing great with their beds and enjoying the fall weather. We're supposed to go to Great America tomorrow with our neighbors. The park is closed down for only Kohl's Corporate employees and their friends/family, so it's discounted and much less busy. We thought it would be perfect since we live about 50 mins and it's cooler weather and not busy. Also, who wants to pay full price for a ticket when there's a chance your 3 yr old will decide you have to leave right away? There are tons of rides and things for toddlers to do, so Jason and I are well aware we'll be spending the day doing little kid things rather than the big coasters. The only problem is... the weather looks iffy. 50% chance of rain - boo! So we'll see what we end up doing!

(Sorry, no pictures, I'm sure there will be some from the weekend!)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Toddler bed update

The boys are doing great so far! I've even been able to put Jax in his bed with his backpack sitting on the end, and he stays in bed. I tell him that he's connected and he can't leave and he's great with it at night, and so far he's good for about an hour during nap time and then I can see he gets antsy. I'm so happy that I don't have to change his feeding schedule.

Jax had school today and Brady and I went swimming at the YMCA. It's so nice to spend quality time with one kiddo. Brady loved playing in the pool with me. When I picked Jax up from school, I said, "Say bye to Miss Sue" and Jax turned to wave and said, "BYE ISS SUE!" O...M...G! I know that it wasn't unprompted, but still, that's a 3 word sentence that he repeated - so cool!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Toddler beds!

We've had quite the busy little weekend, and yet, didn't do a whole lot. On Saturday morning, we drove both our vehicles down past the Chicago area to go see about a different SUV. Since Jason got a work truck a few months ago, we've been trying to sell his car. It turns out that the value dropped a ton, so we were sitting with negative equity - neat! We owned our SUV, so it was just a matter of getting rid of this car and not having to dig into the savings account too much to do so. It turns out that our best choice was to group our car and truck together and to finance a bit newer SUV instead of coming up with a lump sum and then relying solely on the '03 truck we had. So we came home with a newer  truck, but man... having two kids at a car dealership is less than to be desired!

Jax was NOT a happy camper on the drive home, so we ended up stopping at a hobby farm off the highway for a break. We took the boys on a quick choo-choo ride around a small pond and chased some geese. That helped quiet Jax down for the duration of the car ride home.

This morning we headed down by the lake at Southshore park to get our family pictures taken. I never know if we got any good shots until I receive the photo disk a few weeks later! The boys LOVED throwing stones in the lake and certainly got their shoes all wet from the waves.

Jason was happy once we were home so he could immerse himself in football during the boy's nap and I took a quiet leisurely trip to the grocery store. I LOVE not having to push the huge cart with the big plastic car connected to the front. I actually got to have a lengthy conversation with the produce manager about how to bake this season's squash for dinner - heaven! For those of you who don't live in Wisconsin or the Midwest, it's always neat to see the produce and prices change with the season. Right now all the berries are getting expensive and all the squash, pumpkins and apples come in abundance and at price-steals! (okay, enough about produce).

Tonight we made the plunge! We switched the boy's cribs to toddler beds. We think Brady is going to be fine with it, but Jaxon... now he's a completely different kind of renegade. Brady sleeps every way in his crib, while Jax will only sleep in one direction and one way ONLY. I think it's from years of having to have his body pointing one way with the medical pole and tube.

Well... Brady went into bed fine. Jax had to be chased and scolded and put into his bed... then we realized he was not getting into bed because we had it facing the wrong way. And blankets, they were all wrong. He ONLY likes his blanky touching him which he holds like a teddy bear. Then when I usually take him off his pump at night (he's sleeping) I cover him with another blanket. So yes, Jason had to take out the old screw driver and completely switch his toddler bed rail the other way, so Jax could lay the "right way" and I pushed all his blankets down to the end so they weren't touching him. Talk about a creature of habit!
I think the boys will fall asleep in their beds, I just don't know what they'll do once they wake up in the morning! We put toddler handle on the door knobs, so at least they'll stay in their rooms. We removed things like the clock radios and fans just in case they get mischievous... not that they couldn't find other things to get into! We've been watching them on the video monitors like their the newest comedy on TV right now. So far so good tonight.

I'm still not quite sure how to handle Jax with his feeding and the bed situation. Tonight we put him on his backpack at 5pm, so he was done around bedtime. He gagged during getting his teeth brushed and vomited easily since he had a full tummy. So that seemed very counterproductive. I feel like we're in a race to make sure he starts his pump before 7:30am, and around noon and then by 5, mind you each feed takes 2.5 hrs and now he's on his back pack almost all day. Sigh... maybe we'll get lucky and he'll handle falling asleep in his toddler bed being connected to the pump. Since he doesn't sleep during nap time (and just does quiet time in his crib) I may still just put him in his peapod tent because I think he'd definitely get up and walk away while connected to his pump. It's apparently a big experiment! Why are there not instruction manuals on these things!

We were all in Brady's room talking about the beds and instead of listening, Jax kept pushing the button on a singing duck and Brady danced.

And danced...

Still dancing.

A little bit more.

Brady going to bed just fine.

Jaxon refusing - nothing was right!

(Sigh)... anything for our kids, right?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Brady's first day of speech-school!

Brady had no problems with me leaving him for his speech class this morning. The difference with his class is that I walk him in, compared to Jax having to be walked away from me outside. There's about 5 little boys in Brady's class, and he also looked a bit younger than everyone given his size. Although... the stinker definitely had a growth spurt and is quickly growing out of the size 2T jeans we bought him during the Memorial Day sales in May. Grrrr.... don't get me wrong, I love seeing him grow, but darn... I like getting more than a few months use out of jeans :) Anyway, I looked at some size charts while scoping out some deals (I mean, the kid needs some jeans now!) and noticed that his weight is at the tail end of size 12-18m and his height is on the tail end of 2T... hmmm, why am I not shocked?

So Brady loved his class today, and I hated getting lost trying to find it. It is a HIKE from Jax's school and it's about 25 mins from our house, so I'm kind of in limbo out there waiting for the kids to finish with their classes. After I got Brady, I found our way back to Jax's school and we played on the playground until he was done. When Jax came out, Brady took the hand of Jax's teacher and tried pulling her inside for his turn - too cute! Oh, and Jax has NO problem going off with his teacher to class now, he loves it. Although he did have a random tantrum getting into the car and he would NOT sit in the car seat to let me buckle him. Thankfully Jay was home working this morning, so he came out to help. Well Jax got all worked up and puked. Thankfully we have a puke-basin and towels handy in the truck at all times so I didn't have to clean him up and re-dress him.
Jax came home with his first craft project of coloring a mouse and gluing yarn for his whiskers - awe, I'm totally "that mom" and loving it.

We went over to Marshall and Cecilia's house tonight for a pizza-playdate and the boys had a BLAST. They tore the house up with the kids and pretty much ran non-stop.
We had planned on converting the boys to their toddler beds tonight, but we ran out of time, so we'll be doing that either tomorrow night or Sunday night.


Brady did a fashion show for his first school day... oh I love this kid...
(If you've ever seen Toy Story 3, Brady wants to be the Ken doll doing the cat walk, and yes, he did the cat walk for me!)









Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Jaxon's first day of preschool

Jax had a great first day of school today, although it started out a bit shaky. I pulled up to the school and saw all the parents and their kids standing outside the door. It was a beautiful morning and I figured I'd walk Jax up for his first day (we have car pickup for future drop offs). I walked both boys up and they said hi to the other kids. The teacher, her assistant and the nurse came out to get everyone and suddenly the little boy in front of us started screaming. Well, you can imagine what that did to the kids. Jax clung to my leg and started whaling himself. The teacher had to pry him off me and pretty much drag him in. I knew he'd be fine as soon as he saw the classroom and toys. The nurse quickly asked me when I started Jax's pump and then they were all inside as if I blinked!
Then of course poor Brady threw himself to the ground crying realizing he wasn't going in.... yup, car pick up from now on!
I took Brady to a nearby park, so that made him pretty happy. He ran around just as happy as can be. We talked about the leaves, flowers and grass since I figured I won't have many more weeks to show him these things. I got a few errands done and suddenly it was time to get Jax.
Sure enough, he came out with the group with a big smile on his face and pink frosting on his shirt and cheek. A little girl had brought birthday cupcakes, so it was nice to see that Jax participated with that. He had a princess ring in his backpack that was a cupcake topper and some papers from the teacher. It feels like opening a Christmas stocking to see what Jax did for that morning. Apparently today he learned about "school" (that is the topic this week through books, songs etc), had some speech therapy, played at a water table, celebrated a birthday at snack time and even sat on a potty so he wasn't left out (not that he did anything other than smile I hear).
I'm happy that I get to bring Brady to his school on Friday so he can experience some of what Jax does. I need a photo of him now for his first day!
Jax had a nice 4-day break from vomiting and then had a big episode late this afternoon. Both the boys are doing well right now, and are currently at the YMCA with Jason while I prepare dinner (and update my bloggy blog).

I keep finding Brady in the basement putting train tracks together all over the carpet. He's really into putting things "together" right now. I need to find some little-kid puzzles for him that aren't just the shape-match kind that we have.

Jaxon coming out of school. As you can see, he is SUCH a little peanut compared to the other 3-4 yr olds.

Jax with his teacher and teaching assistant.

Monday, September 12, 2011

And so it begins...

This week marks the first week of our new schedule for fall and winter. Here is the normal schedule:

Monday - Free day. This is when I'll schedule appointments
Tuesday - Jax's school
Wednesday - Jax's chiropractor adjustments
Thursday - Speech therapy at Health Reach
Friday - Both boy's at their school program

I get about an hour to myself on Friday mornings while both boys are at their schools, but I'll be 25 minutes from home, so I'll need to explore the new area out by Brady's school and either get grocery shopping done during this time each week, or hit a coffee shop and get some work done.

Both the boys still have runny noses, and now that they're starting school, I have a feeling it may continue that way until June next year :)

We gave the boys haircuts out on the patio last night. Thankfully I was able to convince Jason to use a #3 guard on the razor so the boys will have some hair for family pictures this upcoming weekend.

Did anyone see the weather forecast for the Milwaukee area this week? I took a peek to get an idea of clothes for the boys and I was shocked! I know that spring and fall weather is rather odd in the midwest, but this is extreme! There's a 25 degree difference from today to Wednesday - wow...

Friday, September 9, 2011

A soft "ma"

The boys had great speech sessions with Mr. Nick yesterday. They did them at the clinic individually and Brady said "ma" when going through an activity.  He would say "gaga" if you asked for "mama", but he definitely said a very soft "ma" by the 5th or 6th attempt. Mr Nick said that he'll have the boys through fall, so it looks like they'll have A LOT of speech help. It's a lot of running for us, but this is a good time to pick up the pace for the boys.
Brady had a complete tantrum waiting for Jax in the waiting room and then had the mother of all breakdowns after my quick meeting with Mr Nick and it was time to go. Imagine me carrying a kicking and screaming kid down the sidewalk while trying to hold Jax's hand - it was delightful.

The weather is SO nice right now, so we I got outside to meet the new fall nannies at the neighbors. The boys played nice and hard for a long time with the kids, and of course hated coming in with me to make dinner.  

The boy's colds haven't gotten any worse, and pretty much remain as only runny noses. Yesterday Jax vomited his entire breakfast on our way out the door - poor kiddo. He did something odd last night that I was wondering if anyone in the Internet universe had any insight to. I took Jax out of the bath last night and while he was wrapped up in his towel laying down, I started to clean his ear with a safety Q-tip (the ones that can't go in very far), well it made Jax gag and vomit everywhere. He did this a couple months ago as well. Is it because he has a runny nose and something with the mucus and laying down and pressure on the ear drum?? I felt awful, so I obviously skipped the other ear last night!

Jax also played around with his tube last night and disconnected himself resulting in the bed being fed instead of himself. You would think he'd hate that wet feeling, but instead he just snoozes away not caring. He sure cares when I have to wake him up and strip his bed, wash him down and change him!

We're doing last minute things at the house this morning and are about to head out for the weekend. Have a great few days!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

School Meeting

 I had a great meeting with Jax's teacher, aide, nurse and both the boy's speech therapists. I found out that Brady was able to get into a preschool language program at another elementary school for 1.5 hrs on Friday mornings. So I'll have Brady alone on Tuesdays while Jax is in his class, and I'll be running between the boy's schools on Fridays.
It turns out that the teacher and aides can come out to the car to get children, and bring them in for class. That is perfect for us so Brady doesn't get upset seeing Jax's classroom and then leaving. It's also easier for me to not be lugging the boys out and in with all their gear while Jax is connected to his feeding pump 4 times each school day.
Brady's session is more of a preschool setting with 5-6 other children, and I think it will be good for him.
I was able to go through all the details of Jax's care. I have it set up with the nurse that she'll contact me if she feels he needs a rescue Albertrol nebulizer for any reason, so that's nice to know it's available. I'll be contacted if his tube comes out, and we went over pretty much everything else including his role during snack time - which is to have his water and be able to taste anything that is a puree consistency or thinner.
I feel a lot better after this meeting and feel much more secure about it all. I can't believe they start next week!
Jax started a really runny nose today and Brady's is still going, but he hasn't had any more of a fever. I had them both adjusted at the chiropractor appointment today, which is supposed to help, but we'll see.
I seriously can't wait for Jason to come home from this business trip because I'm running around with my head cut off trying to get everything done before we leave again in a day and a half. There's just so much paperwork, housework and errands that need to be done on top of the boy's appointments and care. Even though I'm slightly postal and crazy busy, I still had a moment of "awwwwwe...." today watching the boys walk down the hall together of the school holding hands.
I'm so proud of them...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

Well HiYa everyone!
We've been busy running around the last few days, and now I find myself running around again with the short week and Jason gone. Let's see, I need to go back a few days.

Last Thursday, Jax decided to remove his clothing and diaper during nap time and poop all over his bed and himself. Yup, he and his brother got an early bath that day. Jax also started a vomiting cycle that day which lasted into Saturday resulting in a Pedialyte pump that day. He's been fine since and I'm working his pump rate back up again now. I also found a bug bite on his arm that turned into a big hive. So he got antihistamine again for 48 hrs. Apparently his body has decided right NOW, that it's allergic to bug bites like Daddy and Nana Letts.
Otherwise, I packed the boys up on Friday and met Jason up in Green Bay to go up to the Garber/Freemore cottage for the weekend. Sadly, the weather was yucko, but the kids still seemed to have a blast playing with Layla.

We went to see my mom on the way home on Monday and of course the boys were in Heaven playing with her toy bin and chasing the cat around. Jason took the boys home after lunch and I stayed to get my hair cut and then do some solo shopping at the outlet mall sales on my way home since we have family pictures coming up soon and the boys start at the school next week.
Now I'm trying to get in paperwork, cleaning, laundry, appointments, errands and repacking everything again since we're leaving Friday for Kurt and Mary's wedding this weekend.
Brady started a runny nose this afternoon and now a low grade fever tonight, so it's a matter of time to see it on Jax. I hope it doesn't blow up into anything big and/or respiratory.

I have a meeting at the school tomorrow with the teacher, nurse and speech therapist, so I'll update here with any exciting details about that. I'm hoping and assuming that the boys can just play in the classroom during this meeting, which means Brady needs to be ok. I've got the boy's backpacks filled with all of Jax's medical and school supplies that I'm hoping the teacher will allow me to give her tomorrow so I can have an extra hand to hold both boys (and Jax will be on his feeding backpack). That will be my biggest challenge this winter - holding both boy's hands, their backpacks and Jax's feeding backpack with all the winter gear on. I'll figure it out like always!

The boys caught a fish!

Brady loving all the pink things.

The boys were obsessed with standing on the stool and drinking water from a play tea cup.

The boys dipped their feet on Saturday and brave Layla took a full swim for a few minutes.

Apparently we love the GAP?!

Brady on the 4 wheeler with Scott driving around the driveway.

Jax's turn with Daddy.

Brady getting a bike-lesson from Sidney's Grandma.

Some day boys!

We took a walk down to a neighbor's cottage and the boys enjoyed their swing. Thanks for the push Sid!

God knows the boys must sit on anything that has an engine!

Nana Jayne and Jax hanging out.
Backpacks ready to go!