Monday, December 5, 2016

Happy Birthday Eric!🎂

Poor Eric. 
He really got the fuzzy end of the lollipop for his birthday. 

For his 42nd Birthday, he got to take care of me all day, and do things I should be able to do. 
He took Jacob to Kindermusik class.  He made lunch for us out of leftovers.  He worked from home. He took care of me because my ankle is still quite sore and swollen. And the one thing I had hoped I could do right was give him a stellar present.  But his present was late.  Shh... it was a grill, a really nice grill from Amazon Prime, who was late with the delivery.  It said it would arrive on the 5th when I ordered it at the end of November.  A week is plenty of time.  Apparently not for Amazon Prime.  Something is going on, their shipping is going down the pooper.  They are gonna hear from me!

Meanwhile, he received coffee and cookies also from the kids and I .  The Birthday Pig brought him the Hamilton Soundtrack, which thrilled Chris and Sam to no end.  Poor Eric even had to make his own breakfast of honey flakey biscuits with sausage and cheese, because I can't cook.  I can barely stand.  Maneuvering around the house with crutches is terrible!  My armpits and hands are already getting sore.  And going to the bathroom while on crutches, in public, is quite possibly the most disgusting thing Ever.   At least today Eric didn't have to pull me off the potty like he did Sunday afternoon.   We're having small improvements.   I used to think it was so cool to have crutches.  Turns out, it's really not that exciting, it kind of sucks. 

It sucked for Eric to have to be my Honey Do all day.  
I was grateful to have home though.  It was somewhat more of a treat for me than for him.
At least I got a good nap out of the deal.
Meanwhile, the Fam took care of him, taking him out to a Birthday Dinner of his choice. 

They took us out to dinner at Hirosaki.  
Hirosaki was our favorite sushi restaurant in town.  He prefers that to any birthday cake.   But as soon as we walked in, we could tell things had changed.  There's a new owner.  They don't make the Ginza roll anymore.  The Ginza Roll was because the people that owned Ginza in Indy made this special roll at Ginza, and we loved it from back in the day when we used to go there a lot.  Then they moved to Avon, and bought Hirosaki, and we loved that too.  I'm not sure if I love the service at this new place.  My father in law had to ask for ginger sauce three times, and they had trouble keeping me in water.  Maybe my opinion is skewed because I was hobbling around on crutches, exhausted, and thirsty. The kids order of chicken tempura had only three strips, and they left hungry and demanding dessert.  We weren't sugaring them up on a school night.  No one should go out for sushi and leave hungry.  

Seriously?! Eric and I didn't leave hungry.  Eric and I split a lot of good stuff.  The quality is still good.  We'll have to give them one more try, maybe when I'm less a hot mess.  At least Eric was happy to get stuffed silly with sushi.  I'd guess the root of it was I don't do well with change.  And poor Eric was exhausted from work drama and me drama.   The up side was that it was good to spend some time with his parents.  They've been traveling a lot lately, and we just don't get much time to talk with them.  Most of the time the boys interrupt.  That happens a lot.  Happened here too, but at least, when they were eating, we got to talk some.   I dig that about this time of year, that we get to spend more time with our loved ones.  I guess we can't go wrong with Birthday Sushi. 

Stupid Cute Shoes

Don't you hate, when you want to get dolled up for a special occasion, and you end up missing the thing in favor of going to the hospital?!   Yup, that was me yesterday.   On Sunday, I had volunteered with my Christ Care Bible Study Group to host an Advent Tea at Messiah, the same church that Jacob goes to Preschool.   We were hosting 40 something women to come have tea, including the church members as well as visitors from Wheeler Mission.  This was a great opportunity to Serve.  I knew I'd be on my feet all afternoon, when we did this last year, I was toast by evening.   Still, I couldn't wait.  We'd spent our Bible Study time Thursday doing Food Prep.  We were making cookies, quiches, and tea sandwiches.  It was gonna be so nice.  
I skipped church to bathe, and Eric took the boys to Sunday School.  Afterwards, he wanted to go to Scotty's for lunch (Kids eat free, yo!) to celebrate his birthday.  I was dressed cute in a new pair of brown cords, and my cute brown Dansko shoes (from my working days).  We were walking across the parking lot to the restaurant, and I looked up, and rolled my ankle. I almost fell into Christopher, whose hand I was holding.  But I recovered, limped a little, and thought, oh that's gonna hurt tomorrow.  And on we went for lunch.  
As we stood though, waiting to be seated, I felt more pain, so I sat down and put the ankle up on a bench. That wasn't so bad.  We got seated in a big booth, so I put my foot up between Sam and Daddy on their bench while we ate.  I seemed ok, as we left the restaurant, I could feel my foot getting a little swollen, which was uncomfortable in these pre-children shoes.   So we swung by home to change, slather up in Panaway, and Go. It was slow going.
I got to the Church, I had texted in advance how I'd rolled my ankle and was swelling.  My bible study crew is full of health care professionals, 2 nurses and a PA, and therapist.   They didn't want me moving much, but it was so crazy, I still had to hobble around for things like knives, wash this real quick between uses.   By 2:30 I couldn't get comfortable on my chair anymore.  The Tea started at 3.  I couldn't even put my foot out of my shoe in the air without pain.  I hopped away for a moment to reapply my Oils (panaway and deep relief) and when I took off my sock, I couldn't see my anklebones anymore. :(
I had such trouble getting up that I started to cry.  I couldn't stop.  I realized I needed to go home, ice this badboy down, and put it Up!  
My gals were Too Nice to me, as I said Goodbye, and I was sobbing before I was out the door.  One friend offered to wheel me to the car.  I appreciated that so much, because out of kindness for the guests, I parked at the far side of the lot.  There would've been No Way.  I assured them I'd be fine driving.   I really wasn't.  I was trying to drive left footed.  But that's really jerky.  So I'd use the right, to break, in and out of turns.  Coming into my neighborhood was especially painful, so that by the time I pulled into the garage, I was a hot sobby mess.
And then, oh yes, I had to get into the house.  I should've let someone take me home, or let E come for me, but I thought I'd made it this far alone, I could do it.   Dumb.   I hobbled my way into the house, literally crawled up the back stairs, and by the time I hit the couch, I couldn't breath I hurt so bad.
Eric came running.   He brought me ibuprofen, ice, and tried to get me situated.  But I couldn't handle the ice.  It was too painful to put even the weight of the ice pack on my foot.  I was so swollen and lumpy, even the air hurt my foot.   Eric overruled me, and told me as soon as Jake woke up, we were ER bound. The man had to heave me up off the toilet.  I couldn't argue.  He let me change into comfy clothes, which was another whole ordeal.  It's so hard to put pants on two legs when you can only stand on one!  So we hobbled all into the car.  Mom W. was watching my niece and nephew, but I couldn't take anymore.  I needed painkillers!  The boys were much more understanding in this instance, I told them how icky it was to have hospital visits that are not on the schedule.  They agreed, it sucks.  It was kind of funny hearing them agree with me, all of us saying 'it sucks'.  As we were driving to the hospital around the corner from my inlaws, they called to see what was up, and offer to take the boys off our hands.  We dropped them off, and continued on to the ER at IU West.  Glad we did too, because that ER was crowded.  I guess when it's the Only Place Open, it fills up.   Eric's theory was we had nothing to lose, we had maxed out our insurance, so in theory it was all going to be Free.  As we often joke, MRIs around!  Only, I think I'd rather not be in so much pain as to need the work.  I think by the time we got into the hospital my ibuprofen was kicking in, because the pain wasn't so bad as long as I was seated in the wheelchair.  I just couldn't bear any weight on it.  

My foot looked pretty nasty in the car on the way to the hospital.  It had swelled through my sock.  I brought my Boston Birkies, but I didn't want to wear it, it felt better to be barefoot. 

We sat there so long though, the pain started to dissipate.  I'm not sure if it was just Not Walking on it, or if the Ibuprofen finally kicked in.   It was so much better.  And the ER folks didn't make me walk on it to prove it hurt.   It was obviously swollen, but not too discolored.  We rolled down for an X-ray.  Sitting in the wheelchair was just like old time, just like being on bedrest.  Ugh.  

When they came back an hour late, and announced it was a sprain, they giftwrapped my foot in an ace bandage.   It actually felt better bound.  Not sure why that is, but supported was good.  
Then they told me I'd be getting crutches.  

When I was little, I always thought crutches were cool.  I'd heard they hurt your armpits, and were hard to use, but I just thought they were so cool.  The little kids got to leave early to go to the bathroom, or to lunch, missed gym class, and all kinds of 'perks'.   I was so jealous, little did I know. 

My girlfriend sent me this Meme while I was in the hospital, and it was my first genuine laugh in hours. She really caught me.  

Then it was time to go.  3 1/2 hours later.    
Here I am with my extra cool crutches.  
I didn't get the cool boot though. 
My sock wouldn't go over the swollen wrapped foot, so I put what bit of sock I could over my toes, which were finally beginning to feel cold.  Oh, and they gave me a Pain Pill.  That helped immensely too.  I felt like I could plowed right out of there.   But after about a half dozen crutched steps, I realized how weak my core is, it's Hard Work.  Using crutches is rather a workout.  

I had to pause and rest by the exit, we'll say it was so Eric could get the car.  I don't think I could've gone any further at that moment if the car had been there.  My first thought was there is No Way I'm gonna make to Sam's school concert this week, I can't even make it out the ER. But I sat down by this pretty tree.  The waiting room was overflowing into the entrance, more people than when we arrived.  There was this nosy L.O.L. who thought she needed to give me pointers on how to sit down, and had to gripe about how she'd been there for 3 1/2 hours already, and there were all kinds of sick people there.  I could hear them hacking.   It was so gross in there.  I thank goodness I had my Thieves Spray, I slathered up while in my little room, and the minute we got to the car.  Hopefully that will be the Only hospital adventure we have for the rest of the year.  

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Secondary Thanksgiving

Yesterday, we had a secondary Thanksgiving lunch/dinner with Eric's family.  Just the 15 of us. 

We had smoked turkey, green bean casserole, and all kinds of pumpkin fabulousness.  We brought buns and cranberry jelly, which were a big hit with the kiddos.   It was a good meal, with good company, and it had been a long time since we got to all hang out together.  

Jake and Jeremiah were actually getting along!  It had been a while since they'd gotten to play together too!  
After lunch, while the kids played, I got to have a concert just for me as the girls practiced their instruments. It was the most time I'd spent with the girls in a year.  Most times lately I see them, they are on their phones, or watching youtube videos I don't understand.  But this, Music, I could understand! 

Here's Lexi playing the cello. She has such a Gift!
She's modest, saying she messes up, but she's brilliant.  She shouldn't play poker, I can see her face twitch when she hits a doozy, but she plays with so much more skill than I ever did, it's amazing to watch.  I couldn't tell the mistakes unless I watched her face.  Even more miraculous to listen.  I got a video snippet of her playing her Solo/Ensemble piece for me, but it's like 4 minutes long, and crashed Blogger to load it.  


Meanwhile, I got to hear Kaylee play bells for the first time.  
She's got great rhythm.  I love how her foot flies. 

She's having a great time with all of the percussion instruments.  And her school seems to be teaching her quite well.  It was impressive.  And being able to just listen to them play was so calming and therapeutic for me.  Around here, we start most mornings with the boys practicing the piano.   But on vacation, that schedule gets off, throws me off.  This was perfect.  I hope they come and play for Willman Family Christmas just like we used to do at Grandma Willman's back in the day.  

Erica and Karl stepped away from the NICU, and brought Cole.  Cole would not look at me.   He's probably exhausted from doing things and going places Every Day.  But he played with the boys for a while, and I did get a smile at one point.  I gave him some Batman toys, and at first he didn't want them, and was more interested in telling me no, but we won him over eventually. He and his baby brother have the same Willman furrowed brow when they get upset, just like all three of my boys.  


Meanwhile, our family members are silly. 
Uncle Ryan and Jacob were having so much fun.  
What a hoot!

Then Grandma borrowed Jacob while we took the big boys to the movies!  Chris, Sam, Eric and I got to go see the new Disney flick Moana.  I liked the movie but I feel like they were just setting things up for major merchandising though.  I thought, Oh, every little girl is gonna want one of those necklaces for Christmas.  And won't he be cute as a stuffie?  And I wonder if they can save Animal Kingdom with some of this bioluminescent stuff when the Avatar exhibit flops. Most importantly, when are we going to Aulani, the Disney Hawaiian resort that probably will have Moana huts and dance classes?  It felt like I'd stumbled into Spaceballs - the Gift Shop.   But it was a cute movie, they tied the merchandising in well.  I will say the music was great!  I expected it to be because it was Lin Manuel Miranda and I loved a number of the songs, in fact, I was happily surprised Dwayne Johnson really sings his own number! 3 snaps in Z formation for him!  Alan Tudyk steals the show without saying a word, and that's all I'm going to say about that.  

It was good to have some family fun.  

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

With Love, from our home to yours. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Baby Blue

Last night we packed up our boys to go visit Baby Bryce, and kidnap his Mama and Daddy from the hospital to feed them.   He had gotten hooked up to the bilirubin light.  It's working really well, it just means they can't hold him as much.

I've been wanting to go up to the hospital every day.  But logistically it doesn't work everyday.   So yesterday, Eric and I went on a mission to find Preemie My First Thanksgiving onesies.  Turns out no such thing exists. But Carter's had a decent stash of Preemie clothing.  It still looked like it was going to swim on him.   However, Tuesday night, Scouts got cancelled, and we found ourselves with a smidge of time.  I wrote and asked if we could Kidnap Karl and Erica for supper. I remember how much it meant to me when people brought us food.  So when Eric finished his yard work project, I packed up all the yahoos and we headed north.  The boys and I hung out in the waiting area, while Eric visited.  Then I got to take my turn.

I didn't get to hold him.  But that's ok, I did get to reach in and touch these little toes.  He's so soft.  When I visited on Sunday, I got to touch his head.

They were trying to put him on his back, all swaddled up.  
He didn't want that.  He doesn't want to be bundled up.  
He's so feisty, and has so much personality. 

At first he was not a fan of the bilirubin glasses.   But he has finally decided they are ok. 
Before he got them, he hated bright light, and Mr. Drama King would put his whole bundled arm over his head.   Now he seems more content to just put up with it.  It's just hard to see his face. 

This foot cracks me up.  I always like to sleep with my foot kicked out a bit. 
He fits into this family well. 
Tiny but mighty.  

That's what one of the onesies said that we got them.  I cried in the store when I saw that one.  I have trouble.  I told her not to expect much from me for him for Christmas.  But I couldn't help myself.  Our own NICU experience is still fresh in my mind.  I remember Christopher's first Christmas, us missing all familial celebrations, and spending it in the hospital.  We were the first folks we knew that had a NICU baby.  But this time, we are a bit more prepared to help out.   And after being Blessed by such family members and friends when we've been in a mess, we can share it.   Looks like we'll be sharing for a while.  Bryce is amazingly resilient, and feisty.  I can't wait to see what he is going to grow up like.  And his parents, well, they are amazing too.  I didn't handle it as well as they are. But God gives us all the strength to handle these things.  

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Bryce means Swift

So, this morning, I had a terrible case of ants in my pants.  I wanted to go to the hospital.  I wanted nothing more than to see my new nephew.  I wanted to make sure my sister in law was doing ok.  Having a NICU baby can be really tough.  

So, I decided to skip church.  I told the boys, I'm going to worship God and giving thanks for his creations in a slightly different manner.   As Chris put it, I'm going to see some of God's other miracles. <3

Mommy gets to hold Baby's hand.  
When I arrived, Erica had just finished pumping, and I they were letting the baby have a snack.
Apparently, even if the preemie is still too young to swallow (which he is), he can still absorb a bit of that Liquid Gold through the lining of the mucosa.   So they dip the paci into the colostrum and give him a snack.  He seemed to be a fan.  He was not a fan of people messing with him.  He was having a blood draw when I arrived, and his wee squeaky cry was almost heartbreaking.

Mommy gets to hold the baby for the first time. 
After they messed with him, they set Erica up with some kangaroo karry time.   
See how tiny he is!  

Once he got all bundled up on Mama's chest, he calmed down.   
This was my favorite photo of her that I took.  

Aww, the happy family.  

Here's another good one too.  He's so tiny.  

Daddy watches over them.  
It was an honor to witness this visit.  

Big hands, tiny hands.  
Erica looks so amazing after giving birth. 
Of course, this was a quick birth.  He shot out 20 minutes after she walked in the door.  They didn't even have time to check her yet until she told them she felt like she needed to push. 

Aww, aren't they sweet?!
They make a Beautiful Product!

By the time I had arrived, they had narrowed it down to two names: Bruce or Bryce. But still hadn't chosen one specifically yet.  Eric and I had discussed it the night before, when we heard Bruce was Erica's favorite, he thought Bruce from Finding Nemo.  "We're having Fish tonight!"  I was like, no way, Batman is her favorite, it's for Bruce Wayne.  I was right, I found out I won.  

He's a boy on the move.  He wasn't content to just sit and chill on her chest.  He kept scooterbugging down.  What a speedy little wiggler.    

Look at those long fingers!  
He is so long!  He's a skinny little mini, but he has these long fingers and long legs, and he keeps kicking them out.  

Finally he started to go sideways.  He'd wiggle his oxygen off his face, and squawk about it.  And we'd try to fix it, and that just made him angrier.  

He was actually happier on her belly than on her chest. 
I was kind of glad of that.  

This way I could get in and get some good shots. 
Look at all that fuzzy hair.  Even this early, he exceeds his Big Brother at birth in hair!  

When he was sideways, not only could we get better views of him, but he got better views of us. 
At first he just kept turning his head towards Karl every time he spoke.  Then he was opening one eye, the left, and it would flash open and we weren't sure if we'd seen it, but then he 

Then we got to see a flash of dark blue.  
Yup, there were two eyes open! 

Look at that face!  
So tiny, so amazing! 

This was my favorite picture.  
I just happened to catch it with my phone, I was trying to catch a photo to send to Grandma.  He looked right at me, and blammo, I got a great shot!   Well, a little zoomed in, but still, a great shot!

For some reason, the phone decided to take this shot with the flash.  Ugh! 
It was pretty dark in the room.   
Baby did not like the flash.  But I think he forgave me after a minute. 

He kept opening his eyes to look at Daddy!

It's not my best shot, but check out how schemy our little Speedy Pete is already!  
He's checking to see if Ma is looking while he tries yanking that tube out of his nose. 
He likes to pull a fast one. Ha Ha!

The nurse came in and busted him, she didn't believe us that he had slithered down by himself, that he didn't want to be kangarood on Erica's chest.  Nope.  So she bundled him up with a hat.  He was not amused.  She didn't believe us that he didn't want to be bundled on her chest... until she tried to make it so.  The whole process was exhausting.  Being born is such hard work! And the nurse said, oh you're so feisty, and fast, just keeps kicking those feet out.  Not surprising at all.  He's fast when he wants to be.  

After he was taking a look at Daddy, it was Daddy's turn to hold him.  

Karl's a natural.  
He was totally unphased by all the cords and things.  He did really well with him.  
It's so strange, I remember this guy laughing and cracking fart jokes as an 8 year old, now he's a Dad!

They had to get that darned oxygen tube back up his nose.  
Isn't it great?!

During our conversations about the names, I asked what they meant, because I thought maybe the meaning would help give them some insight as to which name to choose.  So I googled Bruce, and it was English for thick brush.  Not too bad for a thick haired sweet baby brother.   But Bryce, that was from Celtic for swift.   Now, not to prejudge, but I knew which name I was voting for.  But I remained reticent.  Diplomatic, I said nothing.   So I began jumping up and down for joy when she replied moments later, it's a Good Thing we chose Bryce Phillip.

Perfect!   For Bryce means swift.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

A New Member of the Family

Disclaimer:  I didn't take these photos, but Mom Willman and Eric.

Tonight, we had a big surprise.  While we were organizing clothes in Jacob's room, and cleaning up we got a strange text from my mother in law, it said OK. When we were done, we sat down for a moment to rest before putting yahoos to bed.  And a bigger note came through - apparently Mom's first note was to let us know that Erica was headed to the hospital in premature labor contractions.  But before Mom could tell us about that, the baby was here.  He was just ready to come.  Dad's taken to calling him Speedy!

They immediately headed north to Carmel, because the baby was born at 33 1/2 weeks and went straight to the NICU.  Blessedly, Erica was fine.  And surprisingly, so was the baby.  They of course, put him on oxygen and started and IV him on antibiotics and such.  My inlaws raced to the hospital and got to see him.   Eric and I both wanted to go too, but it was bedtime for boys.  We opted to send just Eric, because I had gotten to go first when Cole was born.  This was his turn.  They don't say many words, but these brothers have a bond, especially during a time of need.

This picture Mom sent made me fall in love at first sight.  
It literally took my breath away.  

After the boys were down, Eric headed north too.  
Later, Eric sent me these photos from his visit. 

He was allowed into the NICU to meet the baby. 
He's so Long!  16 inches and 3 pounds, he's all bones!

I see a lot of Cole in there.  
He doesn't have a name yet.  They thought they had 6 more weeks to figure it out. They know his middle name will be Phillip, just like Karl's.   But he's got a choice of first names, Bruce (like Bruce Wayne, is Erica's favorite choice), Bryce, Blake, and Henry.  We'll see which name fits him best. In the mean time, I think I'll just call him Speedy Pete.  Eric's Grandpa used to call Karl Pete, because Mom picked names one couldn't nickname, but Karl's middle name is Phillip, so he called him Pete. I'm not sure why, but it seemed to fit him, and we all smiled when Grandpa called him Pete.  So I'm going to call the baby Speedy Pete.  
Karl also had to go home for supplies. They hadn't packed anything.  They had no spare clothes, and hadn't even packed phone chargers.   It looks like they're going to be in for a long haul.  He should be in for a few weeks.  The rule of thumb is until he would be normally full term.  Maybe he'll be home by Christmas.  He's a Miracle. 

While Eric and his parents were visiting they let the new Mom and Dad go visit.   
Normally they don't let so many family members into the NICU, but it was a special night.  

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!