Wednesday, December 19, 2012


On Monday my right side hurt.
My rib cage, specifically, ached.
 No big deal.
 I lug that 24 pound baby around pretty much every minute we are together. Not only is there lugging going on but I am also emptying the dishwasher, cooking, laundry, making beds, vacuuming, etc. during previously mentioned lugging.
On Tuesday, I felt fine.
 Must have slept wrong.
On Wednesday, my side ached again and now a tiny spot of what appeared to be poison ivy showed up on the right side of my stomach. It itched. Then by the end of the day, a tiny spot on my back showed up. 
Both spots would be places I might have scratched after touching poison ivy which we have been known to have in our giant backyard.
Odd, but believable.
 I have never been one to experience terrible reactions from poison ivy but my mother glances toward the leafy vine and instantly collapses into a heap of red and itchy - so I figured maybe now is my long-overdue, inherited poison ivy time?
Thursday I was an itchy mess Calamining myself numerous times. Friday I continued treating this mysterious poison ivy. Poison oak?
So strange.
Get ready, it's about to get WebMD all up in here.
I was prepared to deal with this hideousness as it ran its course accept that the pain in my side was not subsiding. It was getting worse. It was like an ache that no matter how I rearranged myself, would not disperse.
Sunday morning I couldn't take it anymore. My side seared with pain. I went to urgent care where a doctor said "Well, it probably isn't something like shingles because that would be really rare for someone your age, but let me take a ... OH DEAR GOD IT'S SHINGLES!"
I was given an antiviral to take five times a day and pain meds. (Just for fun fact: The antiviral is safe for nursing.) I figured the pain meds were unnecessary as I would just try to control this with ibuprofen. That evening I could not reach for the pain meds fast enough. The pain was so intense and there was no relief.
Slowly, I have been feeling better and it appears as though its course is coming to an end but little did I know the shingles were just the kick off to our illness-series, brought to you by Children's Motrin.
One week after my itchy self left the urgent care the boys and I returned. 
Eventually we would learn that Eli's simple cold had turned into RSV/pneumonia/ear infection/stomach bug, etc. Jackson was the best assistant as I was back to lugging a sick baby and all the items with which they arrive: lovey, bottle, Cheerios, burp cloth, diaper, etc.
 Jackson carried my purse as we went from waiting room to exam room to x-ray and so forth. He did explain to me that he was going to carry it with the flower embellishment hidden toward his stomach so that no one would mistake him for a girl. 
Only a day later Jackson would be up next, catching the dreaded stomach bug that has been circulating. But like a champ the five-year-old made it to the bathroom every time. We all high-fived him on that feat. Plus, getting to snack on saltines, a little Coke and a few Christmas movies was a pretty good bargain.
And now as Eric and I are noticing our own scratchy throats, all I can keep in my heart is joy.
In light of recent events, it is more clear than ever.
How lucky am I to be able to care for my children? To clean up this mess? To change sheets and towels before administering more breathing treatments?
How happy am I to be able to cool foreheads and walk the floor with our unhappy boy?
We are sleepless. Sleepless because our children need care.
How happy are we to be sleepless?
So very, very.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


During the season when everyone is reminded of their favorite things, I've been thinking of the things my favorite things are up to.
 Did that read right?
Jackson and Eli are my favorite everythings. They make me laugh. They amaze me every day.
 Eli blows enthusiastic, noisy kisses that melt your heart. He will tell you what an elephant says and what a cow has to say, too. Surprisingly, what they have to say is very similar to each other. He now says thank you, hello, night-night, bye-bye, sock and he calls for Jackson (his favorite thing!).
But the most adorable thing he does is something I've never seen another baby do. When holding Eli on my hip, I'm able to walk around the house and get quite a bit done - make dinner, vacuum, put away laundry, etc. Eli enjoys being carted around and observing my tasks. However, every now and then he will suddenly twist himself around and pop his tiny face into my view as if to say "Why hello there! Don't forget there is an adorable baby on your hip!" It cracks me up every time. Right when I am focused on finishing up the moment's chore, Eli's face peeps in with a big grin. Just his way of checking in.
Eli officially loves bath time. Popping Jackson and Eli in the tub makes for some hilarious moments. Jackson is such a sweet big brother and makes sure Eli's hair gets washed. As for rinsing, Eli loves to duck his head under the faucet. He is definitely a child interested in doing things himself. Hand him a sock and he will work so hard at trying to get it on his tiny foot. After pulling out every single diaper from the box, he will work on trying to diaper himself. When that gets to be too difficult, Eli will crawl into the box. Like a cat, he is most comfortable after squeezing himself into a tiny spot, whether it is an empty box or his little foot stool turned upside down and into a make shift seat.
Eric's favorite Eli noise is when he plays (steals?) with one of Jackson's Hot Wheels cars. Once he starts rolling the tiny car back and forth, he makes a very loud, non-stop vroom-vroom.
Fortunately, Jackson is very good about sharing a few of his wheels. Jackson is loving his sandbox and the tree it sits under. He has become quite a skilled tree climber. The swing set is another favorite past time. At the end of the day, before the sun dips out of sight and the chill shows up, I will push Jackson as high as he asks on the swing. With every launch to the sky, he bursts into giggles. It is as if he can barely stand the awesomeness of swinging. Such uplifting music.
After years of "commissioning"other children's art work,  Jackson has finally discovered drawing. He always dabbled but rarely committed to art projects, coloring, etc. But during the last six months, he has started to really enjoy art. He loves to draw. He asks me to draw something so he can learn it and will try to recreate it.  He loves to draw cupcakes, dragons, castles, spaceships, boats, birds and family portraits. His favorite medium is markers. This makes me cringe, but I am so overjoyed that he has finally discovered his artistic side.
Soccer has started up again and he loves everything about it. From the shin guards to the goal, Jackson loves the game.
We are gearing up for Christmas. Eli loves the tree. I have strategically hung tiny bells on the bottom of the tree so as to alert us when Eli is on the hunt for Christmas tree ornaments. And Jackson enjoys trying to find Abraham Lincoln our Elf on the Shelf every morning.  We will be hitting the road soon. This year we will be taking our first lengthy road trip with two kids and the dog. Should be quite an adventure with these characters!