Monday, August 31, 2009

The Dumb things I do

Did I tell you that we enrolled Chris in a gymnastics class? Well, we did, and he's had 2 classes, and he loves it. He's constantly asking us to take him to "chip nastis".
Though he's a bit skiddish in the class itself. Well, THAT'S why we enrolled him. His core muscles are weak, and he hates any temporary alteration of his center of gravity, like being tipped on his back, rolled over.
Somersaults have been difficult. The first time he did it, watching a friend, he bent down touching his head and hands to the ground, then very quickly stood back up flopped down on his back and said Dah Dah! (Tada!) It was adorable.
That was the beginning of the summer. We've tried since to get him to somersault and he keeps doing the flop, and thinking he's done it. Now that he's in class, we've been trying harder to get him to do it. It's not been working. He FREAKS out when nearly upside, and now freaks when we go for his ankles to flop him.
Monday, we were home all day, watching lots of tv (much like today) and after Between the Lions (last show of the PBS afternoon lineup)was over, I flipped to watch something else and found Make it or Break it, a teenage gymnastics drama series. The were having an -athon, and Chris was IN. He wanted to watch Chip Nastis!
He started bouncing around the room, and trying to imitate some of their moves. Well, I tried to help him with his somersault. It didn't work. Then I told him, Mommy can do it!

Then Mommy did it.

A somersault, at my age, appalling. And lasting effects. I was just a bit dizzy for a moment when I came up. The house did shake, but the boy laughed. I shook it off and laughed happily. When I came to help him take his turn. He screamed again. Well, I wasn't going go to try that again.

Then Saturday evening, we're sitting around the living room. Chris and Eric were playing catch with a beach ball, and then the ball rolled away, and the two of them were seated indian style across from each other. I suggested some of the warm-ups Chris had been learning. Then I think I suggested somersaults...for both of them.
Well, after much hysterical viewing of both boys standing on their heads, trying to lift 1 leg in the air, I put Sam down.

I got up, cleared a space, told Eric to pretend like he was going to 'help me'. So he did, and I did Another Somersault.

Again with the dizzy.

But this time my back was a little achy. No worries, my back is always at least a little achy. So we put the boys down, I took a darvie and went to bed. Slept decently but hurt when I woke up. I went to church. (We were having a sample pastor who may become our new pastor come speak, and boy howdy I wasn't going to miss it!) Riding in the car made me dizzy and I didn't think much of it, because I'd forgotten to have breakfast. Then we had brunch, more on that later, and by the time I got home, I was 'fair dinkum' miserable. Took another darvie, grabbed my heating pad and went to bed for a couple hours, only getting up to nurse the boy.

God Bless Eric for taking care of us.

In the afternoon, we were going to down to have a visit with my Dad. But the car ride made me so queasy. I had to look down most of the ride. I was still pretty in pain most of the evening, so turning in at a reasonable hour was a very good idea.

This morning when I woke up I was still feeling puny. I tried ice, which felt nice but still feel crummy. Eric thought it might be a good idea for me to call the doctor. I was like, I could see if he can get me this afternoon, but I DON'T want to Drive. Eric offered to stay home and 'keep an eye on us' "working from home".

God Bless Eric for taking care of us.

We all packed up and headed to the doctor's office. Chris was funny, "Mommy do you like shots? Sam doesn't like shots." No no one is getting shots today. I went in, and upon examination Dr. C told me I had pulled a muscle, the trapezius. It's that blasted thing that is the root of so many of my troubles. He offered me a muscle relaxer drug, along with taking ibuprofen and ice.

Well, then I asked about the queasy, and he took a look in my ears. He told me my "rocks moved". Huh. Well, there are these rocks, otoliths, made of calcium carbonite, that wreak a bit of havoc when they shift in your ears. Like Vertigo, leaving you Dizzy, Queasy, and Woozy. (and some other reject dwarves names like Bitchy) Just awesome isn't it. So, he offered me drugs for that too.

And told me not to do anymore somersaults. Ever.

OK. And so I shant. However, it leaves me in a pickle right now, because both these drugs are bad for nursing, that means if I take them I'd have to pump and dump for at least 16 hours. Sam only bats about 50/50 when taking bottles, half the time he'll do it, and half he won't and he'll just end up miserable.

So the big question is, A. Take the drugs that render me stupid (both will make me sleepy individually, together I think I'll be sleeping quite nicely) and not be able to be alone withe kids, plus having to pump and dump and make Sam miserable. But I'll feel better.
Or B. Suffer with only ibuprofen and ice for a while, and have happy Sam, and Pray it goes away without me needing the benefit of the hearty lumberjack drugs.

Yeah, I opted to suffer. I'm a Mom, right? It's what I do.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Blizzard Lady

I have a confession to make. I've lost 5 pounds in the last two weeks. And not for really good reasons.

I was sitting on the couch last week, post-nap, having a blizzard. You see, I've developed this terrible habit since Sam's birth. He induces a terrible sugar/dairy craving, you see, and I found that if I order a large blizzard, I can take it home, pick at it, and put it back, and make that one treat last a couple days. So I was doing a big blizzard a least.

So, back to last week, I'm sitting on the couch, having my snack, and Chris comes up to me, bothering, picking at me. As usual I offer a bit of my ice cream (ice treams) to him, but he is not interested. Instead he points to the cup, and yells, "It's Mommy!"

I look, and there on the blizzard is indeed a woman with long dark hair, and she's super cheesily holding a blizzard in her hand. Smiling cheesy. Hmmm...

She wasn't particularly fat or thin, but it made me feel fat thinking that Chris thinks I'm a model for Dairy Queen.

I haven't been back to Dairy Queen since.

Now, if only I could break my terrible Milk and Cookies habit.

Along those same lines, this morning, he picked up my flyer for the Ovarian Cancer Run/Walk and pointed to that lady and said "It's Mommy!"

Now, That made me feel better! I wouldn't mind looking like this gal, fit and trim, and doing a good deed for Ovarian Cancer. So, I'm getting back on the Bandwagon and getting ready to do this walk. If you don't recall, I lost my Aunt Debbie to Ovarian Cancer 3 years ago this coming weekend, and I've done the Ovarian Cancer Run/Walk to raise funds. And I'm determined to start losing weight for better reasons by doing it again this year too!

If you feel so moved, please donate to help. Or you can sign up to walk with me, if we get 8 people we can form a Team!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sterling flies!

OK, so I have to brag a little bit. I'm facebooking, and I hopped on and one of Eric's cousins just posted pictures of a trip that her brother had taken her on.

Her 15 year old brother.

Yeah, he's flying planes. The ringbearer in our wedding is flying planes...around downtown Chicago. That's really scary to me. Scary and Awesome!

Which is of course, why I had to share it with you, my friends. So totally awesome!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My Super Bowl

OK, so you all know I don't do Football. I only go to games to cheer on the Band.
However, do you remember that campaign many moons ago, where at the end of the super bowl they went up to the quarter back, and asked,

(example) "Peyton Manning, now that you've won the Super Bowl, What are you going to do now?"

"I'm Going to DISNEY WORLD!!!"

Well, that's me this week. Years ago, when Chris was born and we had all those health troubles, we vowed to Celebrate when it was done. So, in 2007, we took a big cross country vacation driving though 14 states in 16 days. Then last year, Chris got sick again, and we had to put the feeding tube in, and it was a terrible thing, not only did it not work, but seemed to me the tube made him sicker. He was puking every other day last summer. He still doesn't eat very well, quantitatively, but he's growing this year, frankly the whole process strikes me a waste, and it was torturous for poor Chris. Though by not eating, his throat did heal, and he was no longer a Silent Aspirator. That's the only perk I could see. I guess Chris is theoretically healthier, and stronger because of it, but he was pretty strong to begin with.

Well, last year, while we were in the midst of the torture, I may have been actively cleaning up puke the first time I said it, but I said, "When this is all said and done, we're going to Disney World!" It became my mantra. We'll go to the happiest place on earth and we'll drown our sorrows in....who am I kidding?! I'll have No Sorrows in Disney World!

Well, last month Chris graduated from the feeding team at Riley and this month we pulled the feeding tube!

That's It! We fought the good fight, we perservered, we made it through this storm. Sure, others can come, but we survived another one, and we're stronger, closer, and still Faith Filled because of it. See, God gets us through the storms! And on the other side...

In this case, we're going to Disney World. We just booked ourselves a trip, 11/29 - 12/4. (Yeah I'm going to be That Parent, too, and pull Chris out of Preschool. I could dig up all kinds of therapeutic value in visiting Disney World...increased spatial awareness by riding rides, exposure to other cultures, all kinds of 'animal' identification... I could go on.) We'll be staying next to some friends at the Port Orleans, and last night when Eric was on the phone with the gal, booking the trip, she asked the loaded question, "Are you Celebrating anything?"

Eric says, giving the abridged abridged version, "Our son was born with health problems, and it's been a long road, and we said when we were done, we were going to Disney World, and he just graduated from the feeding team and got his feeding tube pulled."

There was silence on the other end. "Hello?" Eric asked.

"Sorry, you just made me cry." she replied. Embarrassed, "I'm such a Girl." she laughed through her tears. I wish I could meet this girl. She got it, what a wondrous Celebration this Truly is. She said, Mickey will arrange something special for Chris. I can't wait to see. I was watching Eric, and he got a bit teary too, well who wouldn't? Reminds me of Steel Magnolias 'Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.' It's wonderful to shed Tears of Joy. I just wanted to Sing some Praise and toot the Lord's horn for giving us this small victory to celebrate.

Because, Baby!, We're going to Disney World!

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Family Reunion

So, I meant to finish writing about our exciting weekend activities, and wouldn't you know it's taken me until the next weekend begins to finish up details on the last. Oh well.

These weekends only happen once in a lifetime, ie the wedding. Or like the theme of today's, once a year.

The Willman Family Reunion

Have I mentioned how blessed I feel to be welcomed into this family. They are so loving, and welcoming, and I LOVE Family get togethers with them. These reunions are the get-togethers of Eric's Grandpa, Wilbur Willman, (I know ;) ) who was the youngest of 8. There are quite a few of his nieces and nephews floating around, and he's the patriarch as the oldest one left living, plus the usual crowd; Grandpa's 4 boys, and their broods. It gives me such great warm fuzzies to see these folks, be loved by them, and to have them love on all 3 of my boys.

Since Grandma's passing this past year, Grandpa has begun documentation of his memoirs, which he read the first 5 chapters aloud for all of us. Yes. 5 chapters aloud! We giggle, but we Love him.

Sam and his Grandma Willman.

I hardly had to mess with him at all, except when he was hungry, dirty, or tired...which come to think of it, was a fair bit.

Sam makes his rounds. Above, he is with Eric's cousin Travis, flirting with his girlfriend Kelly. Here below, with another of Eric's cousins, Heather. Eric has a lot of cousins. I had 1, he had 11. Toss in some spouses, and a couple kids and it can get pretty wild and wooly.

Though Chris made his rounds too. Here, Eric's Uncle Dean was RACING him on a chair around the room. He made 2 laps and stopped, and Chris was thrilled to yell "Adin Adin!"

Rumor had it, that after our "family meeting" , there was going to be swimming in the Lake. Chris couldn't wait. He was taking off his shirt before Grandpa was finished with his speech...and wondering around in circles with tubey belly hanging out. (This week we pulled the feeding tube, if you hadn't heard, so now that tube is ancient history!)

Chris could NOT wait to Swim!

So we took him!

These boys were having some FUN together!

There was volleyball net, and he traipsed around with Daddy, but mostly he was just content to wander around. We even took Sam into the water!

He enjoyed cooling off by dipping his tootsies in.

Of course, the cousins wanted to help him do a bit of swimming. Here he is above with Cousin Heather. And Heather passed Sam off to Cousin Katie. Hard to tell who was having more fun the boys or the girls?

Swimming as a happy little Family of 4! (I just love being able to say and do that!)

And yet somehow, I ended up with both swimming boys. At one point, Chris 'swam' up to me, and Sam kicked at just the right time so that his feet were on top of Chris. Their first in water traffic jam....I'm sure this won't be the last...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

First Day of School!

Leave a Caption.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Wedding

This past weekend, we ventured away from the house for our first overnight trip since Sam was born. The boys came with us, to see Eric's cousin Sean get married. We spent the night at a hotel in the thriving metropolis of Howe Indiana. It was a 1 stop light town, however, minutes from the 80/90 toll road and the Michigan border made it fairly civilized. Chris and Mommy didn't care, as long as the hotel had a pool! We arrived, checked in, and Chris and Mommy got a quick swim in before having to get ready for the wedding.

Picture it: A summer's evening, in the woods, by the lake. Warm. That was our setting in Camp Lutherwald. OK, it was hot. But it was beautiful.

Here Sean escorts his mother down the aisle. Apparently, he always said he wanted his Mom to walk him down the aisle (just like Dad was going to escort his sisters). Aunt Betty was teary already, and got us all teary by really sniffling through her role in the lighting of the unity candle.

Sean and Anna met at Church Camp. That's why we had the outdoor Camp wedding. At camp they gave her the nickname Tuka, so we spent the weekend calling her Tula/Anna or Tulanna or Anna/Tula. But when she appeared coming down the aisle, Christopher yells out, "She's a Princess!" He's pointed to my wedding picture and told me that I was a princess, but whatever name she is called, a princess she sure was.

Sunset wedding by the lake. Just gorgeous!

Chris was not content to just sit still while waiting for the wedding. Luckily, it was an outdoor wedding, so he just stepped aside into the woods. And Grandma was there ready to chase.

Sam, on the other hand, was pretty content, at first sign of a murmer, I fed him, and he did great. He just didn't appreciate the heat. We were thrilled to hear the reception was air conditioned.

Receiving line. Chris receives his hugs and cuddles from the beautiful bride...oh and the groom too. Chris just loved her dress, he kept calling her a princess.

The reception room had no seating available by the time we finished the receiving line. So we sat outside on the deck overlooking the lake. Mommy and Daddy weren't too festive initially when we realized our seats were going to be where the music / dancing were. Chris, on the other hand, started dancing the moment the music came on.

And Dancing. Here he's dancing with his cousin Alexis.

And Dancing. Here Chris is dancing with his cousin Kaylee.

I think Chris was afraid to stop dancing. That boy didn't stop moving for 3 hours. He barely sat still to eat. He did stop to share some wedding cake. Chris had NOT slept on the 3 1/2 hour drive up there (which took us 5 hours because of stops) and so he got No Nap. In general, Chris without a nap is a very bad thing, but at the wedding and reception, he did pretty well. He just wasn't going to stop moving. At. All. I think he knew that if he stopped moving, he'd fall asleep. And he didn't want to miss the party. Sam wasn't too interested in dancing, but he was happy to be cuddled and loved on by lots of family members. When he finally pooped out at 10:30 on Eric's cousin Katie, we took that as our sign to go home.

Alas it was but a power nap. But we were hot and getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. I put on some stuff, but too late to save my legs which are covered with at least 20 bites. Glad we did turn in on the earlier side, because the boys were so wound up, it was midnight before they finally fell asleep. Then Sam was stirring at 6. Snarf for Mommy. But it was a beautiful wedding, and worth every minorly troublesome thing to be there and see our family so happy.

Friday, August 14, 2009

State Fair, Part 3 The Rides

Big Doin's here now! Look who finally exceeded 36 inches tall! Now I've been saying for a while that when Chris gets that Feeding Tube out and he's 36 inches tall, we're going to Disney World. Looks like our days are getting numbered!

Now State Fair rides are kind of a new animal to Eric and I. We NEVER went on them, until last year, mostly because we're too cheap. But last year, we went with friends, and they wanted too, and Chris flipping adored it. And so we sent him on rides this year.

First he wanted to ride the giant slide. When he sat down with Daddy, he freaked out.

But by the time he hit the bottom of the ramp, he was happier. Then he wanted to do it again, and wanted to ride more rides.

When riding this motorcycle, he sat in the back, and I swear he looked like a Low Rider. Thumbs Up, Baby.

You Spin me right round. baby, right round.....

Of course, there had to be dinosaurs. Eric saw a dino T-shirt the other day that Chris should have, "RAWR! is dinosaur for I Love You." Wish it came in his size.

While Chris rode rides, Sam enjoyed chilling in the shade, when we could find it.

Speaking of what Sam likes to do. He really appreciated the opportunity to get cool on the Ferris Wheel. Our first all family ride. However, no one was willing to move to get a group shot. So we did in phases.

Mommy and Sam.

Daddy and Chris.

On that note, it was a beautiful perfect state fair sort of day.

State Fair, Part 2 The Farm and Animals

Growing up my sister and father were allergic to everything that grows. Only dogs seemed to make their list. Anyway, Daddy and Lisa were deathly allergic to hay. So we never made it to the State Fair. Until I was in college and Eric took me. In addition, I am a City Girl. Suburbian, but still a city girl. I missed out on things like animals or farms, or Farms With Animals.

I don't want that to happen to my boys. Their friends aren't going to try to talk them into going "Snipe Hunting."

When we first arrived at the Fair, we came in the back (which Eric and I never made it over there before) by the Riley Fun Park. Holy cow. They have this little sidewalk path the kids walk on.

They give them a bucket, and then have all these little stops along the path. The first stop is to go out and "Pick" your grains, in this case little packets of corn and soybeans. And they had plastic eggs under fake feather chickens in real wire pens, plastic fruits and veggies you could pick apples "off trees" and veggies "from the garden". All plastic gardening, without getting dirty. :)

Then he got his own spiffy Farmer Boy hat. (Which he hates whenever I take off of him.)

That he could wear while he went out to Tend the Fields... in his Tractor. They had a tractor trike racing loop.

And a real Tractor to climb on.

Then he got to take the "fruits of his labor" and feed the grains to fake cows and pigs, or "sell" his fruit and veggies at the market, where they'd give him a "dollar"' and send him into the store. Where he got a real treat. He bought Orange juice with his EARNINGS, and even drank most of it, which is unusual since he dislikes orange juice.

Even Sam enjoyed the Store. He likes watching People, mostly I think because they think he's gorgeous and they faun all over him.

Also on this trip to the fair, Chris wanted to see animals, and so we did.

We started off with the Largest Pig! They called it the World's Largest Boar...but I think it's only the State's Largest Male Pig. Though right across they had the biggest mama's and their babies, but Chris liked the big pigs better. I never saw so many clean pigs in one place!

Of course, we had to stop in the Cattle Barn, that has been a favorite of Chris's for the last 2 years. No change while we were there, except it must've been Judging Day or something, because the folks were frantic with primping and trimming the cows. What's up with the shoe polish? I never realized, but a clean cow is actually FLUFFY! Fluffy like Sam's head is fluffy.

Speaking of whom, while Chris was loving the animals, Sam was entranced by Chris's balloon from the Lactation Station.

Sam also was checking out the Chickens in the Poultry barn.

I'd never been in there before, and was thoroughly tickled by the noises, all stereotypically chicken, we would be walking down the aisle, and we'd hear, "Er Er Er ER Er!" (Cock a doodle doo from the roosters) Chris even got Bawked at. Bawk bawk bawk. Here he is with the biggest Chicken! It's bigger than Chris!

The most adorable were the baby chicks!

The funniest was when Chris walked down the aisle of Geese, and one poked his beak as far out the cage and honked the loudest HONK! at Chris. He came running back to hide behind the stroller. Well, then Daddy took him to make friends with the goose, as you can see Daddy had to hold on tight.

Didn't work. This goose did not like that goose either.