Archive for September, 2011

Back to normal!

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Finally, Nathan is 100% back to normal. We discovered that he had a childhood virus called Roseola. His fever broke on Friday, and when that happened, he developed the telltale rash on his back and chest. As anticipated, the rash had completely cleared up by Sunday. His eyes are no longer swollen, and his mood is quite pleasant, which is awesome because the irritability was about to drive me insane! I’m glad he kicked the virus. It’s frightening when your child has a high fever (especially one of 105.3!) and is not acting like his or herself.

In other news, I spent the majority of the day yesterday helping my parents with some yard work. I pulled up tons of weeds, pulled fence-steaks up out of the ground, sprayed weed killer all along their house and the fence perimeter, pruned trees, and picked up large branches from the yard so my dad could mow. It always feels great to do physical work like that because it makes me feel as if I’ve accomplished something. It’s a good feeling. My legs, however, are protesting today from all the kneeling, squatting, and getting up and down! But I don’t mind too much. I had a great weekend, especially with Nathan being back to his happy little self.

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I hate sickness

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Wow, this has been such a long, stressful week. Nathan got really, really sick on Monday with a high fever that stayed between 104 and 105.3 degrees. I took him to the doctor who said he had a nasty virus and a respiratory infection. He tested negative for strep and the flu. I had never seen my poor baby so sick before… he even fell asleep in my arms at the doctor’s office, which is highly unusual for him. He had no energy and was simply miserable and nothing like his normal, happy little self. Neither Paul or I got any sleep this week because we were so worried about him, so we were constantly checking on him, monitoring his temperature, heart rate, respirations, etc. Nathan was waking up every hour or so during the night, screaming in pain. During the day, all he could do was lay on the couch and cry, barely able to move because he was hurting so bad.

Today there is some improvement, thankfully. His fever is finally gone, but he’s definitely still sick and VERY irritable.  But he is eating a little more and is finally drinking fluid on his own. (Before this, he was refusing to drink anything, and I was having to administer Pedialyte in a medicine dropper to him to prevent dehydration.)

I’m hoping that he will be better in a couple of days. In the meantime, bear with me because it’s been incredibly hard to post anything with him being so sick.

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Our trip to Michigan!

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So a couple months ago (in July… I know, I know, I am Queen of Procrastination when it comes to getting up a ton of pictures. I am so sorry guys! I will definitely work harder at not taking so long next time!) we went up to Michigan to visit with my grandparents (my dad’s parents) and to celebrate their wedding anniversary. My Grandma isn’t doing too well. She’s in her eighties and her health is rapidly declining, so everyone on my dad’s side who was able to make the trip went up there to see her before she gets worse.

My dad’s side of the family is spread all across the United States. They’re in Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, Colorado, Washington State, Tennessee… so you can imagine how hard it is for us to all get together. The last time we saw each other was in 1987. Yes, you read that correctly… it had been TWENTY FOUR years since I had seen most of my aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Although I took a lot of pictures of me and my family, for privacy reasons, I only posted pictures of me, my husband, and my son.

Here we are leaving Tennessee. My mom and dad rented a minivan and although I must say I borderline LOATHE minivans, this one was pretty bad ass. I packed tons of stuff for Nathan to play with, including his favorite thing in the whole wide world- books. He did remarkably well, considering this is his first long road trip ever. We had to stop a number of times for food and diaper changes, but it wasn’t a problem. Nathan did get a little fussy at times (who can blame the poor kid?) and we’d just simply find a restaurant or gas station and let him walk around with us to work off some energy. Traveling with Nathan wasn’t bad at all.

My dad, wearing his aviators. And you see mine in the first picture? They match. That’s because my dad knew I have been dying to have a pair of REAL aviators (not those knockoffs you get at the local store) so he went to the PX and picked me up a pair… the exact same kind he’s been wearing ever since he flew in the army.

Happy once we got out of the car

Keeping a watchful eye on Nathan... we both kept our fingers crossed that we wouldn't have to wait long for the food!

Since my husband, brother, and my cousin P flew up, we stayed near the airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The day after we arrived, we made the 45-minute drive from Grand Rapids to Grand Haven, Michigan. Since Cousin P was pretty familiar with that area and armed with maps and directions, we all decided we would follow her to Grand Haven. Only she missed one of her turns, and instead of ending up at our destination, we ended up in South Haven, which is approximately an hour or so south of Grand Haven. Adding a VERY hungry and tired Nathan to the mix made for a rather stressful adventure, but once we found a little pizzeria in South Haven and got some food into his little belly, it was all good.

Once we ate our fill of delicious pizza, we made the trek to Grand Haven, where we sought out the beach. That’s right, we totally went swimming in Lake Michigan! If you don’t know anything about Lake Michigan, it is COLD. I mean… coooooooooooooooold. That was the coldest water I have EVER been in. In fact, the day we were there, the temperature read a whopping 55 degrees.

Nathan didn’t let the frigid water stop him, though. That kid loves, loves, loves the water. He played in it, splashed around, and enjoyed watching the boats whizz past.

He was completely oblivious to the cold water. Well for him, it doesn’t matter. Water is water, and water is fun to play in, regardless of the temperature. This kid is seriously a total water bug!

He loved walking in the sand, and that odd sensation you get as you stand on the sand and a wave laps at your feet. He walked up and down the beach, smiling and clapping his little hands. It was a rather hot day… Michigan had a heat wave while we were up there. And even then, notice how there is NO ONE in the water.

My Cousin P, me, and my brother braving the frigid waters of Lake Michigan. It was so cold that it felt like needles were piercing my skin as we walked. Cousin P dared us to go out as far as we could stand. Our goal? To get up to our necks. Mission: failed. We were, however, able to quickly dunk ourselves up to our necks though. And see my brother on the right? He is a brave, brave soul. He kept himself mostly immersed, even though he was shivering.

Paul and Nathan’s footprints in the sand. I can’t believe that one day my little boy’s feet will quite possibly the the size of his daddy’s…

Nathan and Daddy walking along the beach. Watching Nathan pretty much REQUIRES a lot of walking around. That child does not stay in one place for long!

A lovely picture of the sun over the lake. And see that pier in the background? Grand Haven has it’s very own pier. We didn’t actually go there (Nathan would have balked had we taken him out of the water too soon) but it was beautiful to look at.

A random stranger at the beach said Nathan could use a sand shovel she had. And let me tell you, Nathan thought he had hit a gold mine! He had so much fun scooping sand and flinging it everywhere.

Of course, whenever you have your children anywhere near water, you must remain vigilant at all times, especially when that kid loves to be around water. So there I am, keeping an ever-watchful eye on my little water bug.

Another shot of the pier. Beautiful, isn’t it?

That’s my dad, Nathan’s Grandpa (or as Nathan calls him, Papa), helping Nathan dig more proficiently. See how my dad is even guiding Nathan’s arm? I think it’s so precious.

Running around near the water, looking for more digging ground. He is holding onto that shovel for dear life… he totally loved it. (And believe me, wringing it out of his tightly-clenched little fists when it was time to give it back and go home was a feat in and of itself.)

That’s me wiping some sand of Nathan’s cheek. I was sooooooooo cold that my already pale skin had this icy blue-purple tinge to it! Totally worth it, though. I would go back in a heartbeat.

I think Nathan was looking at a seagull here… or maybe it was some of the other kids who were building a sandcastle nearby. Whichever it was, Nathan was completely enamored with everything about the beach and tried to soak up everything he saw.

It was hard to get him to stand still long enough to get a smiling picture of him, but at long last, SUCCESS!

Leaving the lake. It may have been the COLDEST water I have EVER been it, and my whole body may have turned purple from the freezing temperatures, but it was the most fun I think I’ve ever had at a lake. It was such a great experience, and now I can say that I SURVIVED LAKE MICHIGAN!

So the next day was the actual celebration of my grandparents’ wedding anniversary. I won’t say exactly how long they’ve been married, but it’s more than SIXTY YEARS… and counting! My grandfather is doing a stellar job helping my Grandma out since she can’t do the same things she used to be able to do. It was so good to see them. See, they live in Michigan… and before my Grandma became ill, they used to drive down to Florida for the winters. And every time they came through Tennessee, they would go out of their way to stop and spend a night with my mom and dad. So twice a year, I was able to see them. The last time they did that, however, was about four years ago. Since then, my Grandmother has become unable to travel… and it’s almost impossible for us to get up to Michigan to see them. Oh it was so good to see her. I miss her so much.

Nathan happily playing with a toy at my Aunt D’s house. Everyone, naturally, was completely in love with Nathan. This was the first time anyone on my dad’s side has met my husband and my son. My grandparents met Paul when we were first dating, though. I can’t even tell you how good it felt to give everyone a great big hug and see my family face-to-face for the first time in 24 years.

There’s Paul, helping Nathan open a gift. Aunt D had gotten all the kids little gag gifts, and of course, Nathan thoroughly enjoyed ripping off the wrapping paper. And Paul was amazing… the whole time we were at my aunt’s house, he watched Nathan for me so that I could socialize and hang out with my family. And you know how I mentioned earlier that whenever you watch Nathan, there will be plenty of walking around involved? Well, Paul walked around after Nathan so much that he developed a blister on his toe! THANK YOU, HONEY! It really means the world to me that I was able to spend time with my family.

Taken the day we were leaving Michigan. We ate a delicious lunch in Grand Rapids before my husband had to catch his flight home. Nathan and I rode back with my parents.

The looooooong ride home. (Well, long when you have a two-year-old with you!) See Nathan holding an orange? Yeah, I totally bribe my kid with fruit. Well, it works! Nathan loves fruit, and he loves to play with it as well. We also had some Blue’s Clue’s and Sesame Street DVDs for him to watch during the drive, and he totally loved it. Our trip to Michigan was super awesome and fun, and it was so good to see my family. I hope that another 24 years does not pass us by before we are all able to get together again.

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In which my child discovered his nostril

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Yesterday Nathan his after-breakfast snack of Cheerio’s, I notices his right eye started to water. Then he started rubbing at his nose, paying particular attention to his right nostril. As he was rubbing it, he started sneezing. Again. And again. And again. Until finally, a huge glob of something gelatinous and sticky shot out of his nose.

Horrified, I at first wondered if it was some of his nasal tissue. I plucked the glob off his cheek and upon closer inspection, I discovered that no, my child was not losing his inner body tissue. He had sneezed out a Cheerio. A SOGGY Cheerio that had apparently been in his nostril for more than a few seconds.

Gross. Why do kids like to put stuff in their noses??

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