Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Jonas at 4 months

Here's the little man in the chair at 4 months old (a little late, but eh, whatever).

4 months old!
He has the best expressions!

4 months

Yep, they're still there!
Yep, they're still there!

4 months

4 months, next to the frog

Nom, nom, nom...
Poor froggy...

Or maybe I'll just eat the chair instead...
The chair was next.

Standing like a big boy!
This didn't last very long, but I got a shot of it!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Trip to Ocean City

After getting home from northern VA, I was home for a week and then packed up again to go to Ocean City, MD, where my family has a condo. The boys and I went up on Wednesday afternoon, and spent a few days with my sister, brother in law, and nephew. Shane got home from his underway on Friday and spent Friday night with us, then my sister's family went home Saturday morning. Shane spent that day (4th of July) with us and then went home just before the fireworks started in the evening because he had duty the next day. My dad and his fiancee came up the next day, and then Shane came back on Monday and we all drove home Tuesday night. Shane had to work Wednesday, but he wanted to spend some time with the family while he had the chance.

We've been to the beach before, but this is the first time Levi really enjoyed it. He had a blast digging in the sand, and he loved the water. I tried to get him to get his feet wet and he was NOT interested in it at all, but then Darren, my brother in law, asked him if he wanted to go in and he said ok. So Darren helped him jump over the waves as they came in, and he loved it. He would have dove right in if we let him! Crazy, fearless kid! Jonas just relaxed and napped on the beach. I only went out to the beach twice while we were there, because it was just so much work to drag all the stuff for everybody down there, and then all I did was sit under an umbrella with the baby. But my dad and Jackie took Levi to a playground on the beach both mornings we were there with them, and they took him out to the beach one afternoon too. Thank goodness he's not a huge mama's boy like he used to be - he was happy to go with anyone that was doing something fun! We took several walks with both boys in the stroller, and they loved that.

Monday was Shane's birthday, so we went to a somewhat fancy seafood restaurant for dinner. I managed to pump a full feeding's worth of milk the morning before, so after dinner we dropped the boys off at the condo with Dad and Jackie and got to go out on a date by ourselves for the first time in 11 months. We played putt-putt (and I won) and then drove around a bit looking for somewhere to get dessert, then realized that most places were closed because it was after 10 on a Monday, so we just parked at the condo and went to the boardwalk and got ice cream. It was a nice couple of hours together alone, and a much needed break. Oh, and I got Shane a new laptop for his birthday. He wanted a small netbook to take on the boat but I found such a great deal on a full size laptop that I couldn't pass it up and got that instead. I don't think he is the least bit disappointed!

The 4th of July was fun, but a bit different than usual. We try to go up to the condo for the 4th of July each summer, but this summer my dad wasn't able to be there, so it was just us, and then Shane had to leave before the fireworks. So we just hung around all day, then went to the picnic thrown by the condo complex for dinner, then the boys and I watched the fireworks from the condo, because there was NO way I was taking both of them in the crowds by myself, especially when it was Levi's bedtime and I wasn't sure how he was going to do with the noise, etc. He ended up LOVING the fireworks, and has asked where the fireworks are every time we've gone outside at night since then.

Overall, it was a fun trip, but it's definitely nicer when our whole family can be together instead of people coming and going the entire time!

Here are a few videos (hopefully they work on here...they are from my cell phone, so not very good quality, but you get the general idea):

Daddy comes "home" and Levi sees him for the first time in nearly a month

Levi enjoyed the fireworks!

Levi playing at the beach (cell phone pic)

"Whitest gangsta eva" (as dubbed by Aunt Amy)

All tuckered out on the beach (and going bald!)

Having some "Daddy time"

Cute little face

Yep, the boys look like him (and that's me in the mirror, taking the picture)

Wish I could do that sometimes!

My boys! (Levi's face isn't dirty - that's a bruise. He fought the coffee table, and the coffee table won. That was his lovely parting gift.)

Ugh, ignore the fact that I have 8 chins and need to lose 25 pounds...

Cutie pie with a big ol' shiner (you can see Jonas' cute Target dollar section socks in the background)

Levi spent a good 20 minutes jumping off the dock onto the grass and climbing back up, over and over and over

More jumping (he played with the little boy in the red shirt, named Jack, for a while too)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Pray for Stellan

Stellan is not doing well at all and is being airlifted to Boston. Please pray that the doctors will be able to get his heart beating normally again. And pray for his mama, who is understandably exhausted and scared. I'm sure the rest of the family could use some prayers too. Jesus, hold this family in the palm of Your hand and bring them peace.

Prayers for Stellan

Saturday, July 25, 2009

My Trip "Home," to Northern Virginia

Just to warn you, there will be about a gazillion pictures at the end of this post!

This was leg 2 of 3 of my summer travels. Shane was still gone, so it was just me and the boys. I should add that we dropped our dog, Indigo, off before I left for North Carolina (Shane left the same day to go underway, so he was around the evening before that) and at that point we had come to a decision that we would find a new home for her. She is a great dog, and was very gentle and tolerant with the kids, but she just had SO much energy and such a high need for activity that I couldn't fulfill for her no matter what I did. So she was always bored and getting into trouble (with Levi's help) because of that. I knew it would not get any better when Shane leaves this fall for his long cruise, so we decided that it would be best to find a new home for Indigo sooner rather than later. While I was gone, our friend that watched the dog for us found a great family for her and she went to live with them. It was sad for us to let her go, and we miss her, but it was definitely for the best and a huge weight off of my shoulders.

So, back to our trip... My nephew's 1st birthday was the 12th, and his party was on the 13th (yes, the day before Levi's actual birthday), so we first went up to be there for that. We stay at my dad's house when we go up to visit. Tyler (my nephew) had a great party a few days after we made it up there. Levi had a blast playing with the kiddie pool/fountain that my sister bought, and Jonas was happy as a clam socializing in the bouncy seat between eating and sleeping. I got some great photos, which I will share here.

On Levi's birthday, we had a small cookout with the family and Levi opened his gifts from the family. He got a preschool gaming system from my sister's family, a fun "hairy" green ball from Jackie, my dad's fiancee, and a kiddie basketball hoop from my dad. It took him a little help to get the hang of the game, but he caught on quickly. And he loves to play with the ball and the basketball hoop in the back yard.

A few days later, I started getting a sore throat. It's not uncommon for me to end up getting a cold while visiting my dad's, so I figured it was just my "luck" to get another one. The next day I felt about the same, not really sick, but that nagging scratchy throat feeling just before you get sick. Then dinner time rolled around and suddenly I was exhausted and could have gone to sleep right then and there. We went out for dinner and I was freezing but I couldn't tell if I was having chills or if it was just chilly in the restaurant.

Well, I got my answer when we got back home and I took my temperature and saw that it was 102.1. I took some ibuprofen, but my temperature continued to climb and climb, up to over 103. I called my midwife at home to ask her opinion on if I should be seen that night or if I could wait until the next day since mastitis was a possibility, and she told me to go right away. So I spent my night in the ER, getting poked and prodded and swabbed (for strep, flu, etc.) and x-rayed and IV-ed, and eventually was told that I most likely had a virus and sent home at 3 am.

I continued to have soaring fevers, up to 104, and chills for several days after that, but no major symptoms other than a slightly sore throat and the side effects of the fever, so my dad made me a last minute appointment with his nurse practitioner. She tested me again for strep and flu, both of which were negative, so she gave me antibiotics to cover me in case I had mastitis, and Diflucan for the inevitable thrush the antibiotics would give me. That night I suddenly got very congested and had all the symptoms of a sinus infection, so I guess that's what I had all along, and it just presented itself in a very strange way. It took another week or so to feel better from that, and a whole month for my sore throat to go away!

So, I spent most of my time at my dad's being sick. Thank goodness it happened up there and not at home, where I wouldn't have had any help with the boys. I spent a few days alone with them during the day while my dad worked, but I had help in the evenings, and my dad was off Friday and through the weekend. My aunt also came into town on Friday so that she and the rest of my dad's siblings and the available extended family could have a small ash-spreading ceremony for my grandmother, who passed away in September. My sister and brother in law brought all the food over for a reception after the ceremony, and we stayed at Dad's with the kids while everyone else went to the site where the ashes were spread.

I had intended to do an outdoor birthday portrait session for my nephew, but between being really busy, being really sick, and the weather not cooperating, we ended up only doing an indoor session with all three of our boys, to try and get a cute shot to frame for our dad for Fathers Day. I didn't get any shots with all 3 boys looking at the camera, smiling, in focus, etc. at the same time, so I had to use my (limited) Photoshop skills to take the best shot of each kid's face and combine them into one photo. I did manage to get a really cute one of just my two. I'll share those in this post too.

Sunday was Fathers Day, and I was still feeling pretty sick, so I sent Levi to church with my dad and Jackie, and tried to get some sleep. I met up with my dad, Jackie, Levi, my sister, her husband, and my nephew for Fathers Day brunch, and then later in the day I went to the drug store to pick up the prints of the photos I had taken the day before. They didn't turn out as well as I had hoped, but I guess you can't expect a lot from a drug store photo lab. If I'd had more time I would have ordered them from somewhere nicer.

I still didn't feel well, but I had a doctor's appointment the next day (a consult about the surgery that I just had on Thursday) that I had been waiting on for nearly a month, and would likely have had to wait several weeks for again if I rescheduled it, so I drove home that evening, as planned. A few days later I came down with pink eye. You know, since it wasn't bad enough already. :oP But it was nice to be home, even being sick and on my own with the boys.

And, *drum roll, please* here are the photos I've been talking about (sorry for the quality on some of them - Blogger's picture uploader makes them look awful, but I am too lazy to resize and upload all of them elsewhere, so you will just have to bear with me):

Birthday balloons

Jonas and Grandad (my dad)

Emily (my sister's friends' little girl)

Jonas hanging out in the bouncy seat

Tyler splashing

Levi jumping in the fountain

My sister, Amy, with the birthday boy

Brotherly love

The almost-birthday boy

Birthday cake!

My brother in law, Darren, with Tyler and his cake

Logan and Grant, they would bend down and drink from the fountain for a few seconds, then get up and run to the other side and do it there, then turn around and run back, etc. They had a blast! I need to get one of those splash pools for Levi. They are only $10 at Toys R Us!

My dad and his fiancee, Jackie

Levi opening his gifts on his actual birthday

Going for the slam dunk on his new basketball hoop (with a little help from Grandad)

Looking very smug about his candle on Tyler's leftover cake (I knew Levi wouldn't care about the cake, just the candle, so I said it was fine to use the leftover pieces of Tyler's cake on his birthday. It was yummy cake from Wegman's!)

And here are the portraits I did of the three boys:

My Sweet Boys
I only snapped one shot before Jonas started sliding down out of Levi's arms, and I was amazed that it actually turned out really cute!

Kisses from the big brother
I wish I could have gotten Jonas to smile in at least one of these, but oh well. At the time, "not crying" was enough for all of us!

Jonas looking serious
A very serious Jonas

The cousins, featuring my mad Photoshop skillz (not really, but it turned out ok for my ability level)

And I think that's it. Enjoy!

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Trip to North Carolina

Back in the second week of June, I went down to North Carolina. The main reason I went was to attend a tour for child passenger safety technicians of the Britax plant in Charlotte. Since I have family in NC, I drove down a day early (and the portable DVD player I bought "for Levi's birthday" was a God-send - I actually got it mostly to keep Jonas distracted so he wouldn't cry when he was bored in the car, and it worked really well) and stayed the night at my grandmother's house, and then my grandmother watched Levi for me while I went on the tour. I took Jonas with me since he is nursing and there's no way I would have been able to pump enough milk to leave him all day.

The tour was really, really neat. I got to see the assembly lines for the seats, the wear and tear testing on different components of the seats, and even a live crash test of one of the seats. It was fascinating for a car seat geek like me! My favorite part of the day: the president of the company joined our group on part of the tour and held Jonas! He said he loved babies and I looked like I had my hands full, so he'd love to take him. Who was I to say no to that?! That made my geeky day!

I spent one more night at my grandmother's (and we celebrated Levi's birthday a few days early with cupcakes for dessert) and headed home the next day. Before leaving, we stopped to visit with my 98 year old great grandmother (the boys' great-great grandmother), and my cousin, who lives next door to her, happened to be home on her lunch break, so I saw her too. She was a month away from her due date with her first baby, and she wanted me to look at her car seat, so I checked it for her.

That was leg 1 of my summer travels. More about legs 2 and 3 later! (I should also add that this trip started some pretty stressful sleep issues with Levi. He had gotten used to Daddy laying in his bed with him to go to sleep at night and absolutely refused to stay in his bed without someone laying with him. I stayed with him until he fell asleep the first night (after fighting with him for almost 2 hours) and then he woke up a few hours later and ended up in the twin bed Jonas and I were sharing. The next night I pulled out the trundle bed so we'd have more room if Levi came in, and my grandmother laid down with him to get him to sleep, but thankfully he stayed in his own bed all night. It was still nice to get the extra room.)

Oh, and of course I wouldn't leave you without pictures!

Levi blowing out the candles, (for the first out of three times that night - he didn't even care about the cupcakes, he just wanted to keep blowing out the candles! My little pyro...), birthday "party" 2 of 3

Playing in Great-Grandmom's dining room

The boys with Great-Grandmom (yes, I dressed them in matching outfits)

Jonas with MawMaw

Me, the boys, and the grandmas

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Jonas at 3 months

Jonas turned 3 months old on June 3rd!

Wow, Blogger really made this one look fuzzy!

"Hey, I have feet!"

Just a cute little expression.

The closest thing I got to a smile. He was content, just not in a smiley mood.

My sweet baby boy!