Thursday, December 31, 2015

Keeping it Real

While you can tell from the previous post that we had a great Christmas.  I must keep it real and also document that this Christmas has also been full of sickies and trips back and forth to the doctor.

Our break started off with a trip to the doctor on Friday night that ended with a RSV diagnosis with sweet, Baby Ace!  Since it is a visas there is not much you can do, but we did end up getting a breathing machine and giving him breathing treatments to alleviate some of the symptoms and open up those airways.  He wasn't the biggest fan of the treatments, but I figured out if I could time them with his morning nap and bedtime I would wait until he fell asleep and then hold the mask on his face.  That worked like a charm!

 On Christmas Eve, Lydia woke up with a low-grade fever.  She had already been having a nasty cough (which we have battling on and off for about 2 months) so I called and made her appointment. After a "diagnosis" of allergies we were sent home and told to try Claritin and honey to soothe her sore throat! 

 Fast forward to the 26th.... 2 days later.  Her fever had been getting higher everyday.  When it peaked at over 103 on the 26th we called the nurse on call.  After answering a few questions and hearing a bit of her history we were told to get her to the ER "right now" because she needed to be evaluated by a doctor.  It was a wild few minutes as we worked to get everyone dressed and out the door!  Thank goodness Grams and Aunt Betsi were at the house so they helped get Mac to my mom's (because we were to be celebrating Christmas with them that night) and Ace went to Grams' house to stay with them until we could get back.  Mac was in tears for her sister, Lydia was in tears b/c she thought she wasn't going to get any presents at Granny's, and I was fighting back tears because just 2 days ago we were told it was allergies and I knew then something wasn't right!!!

After a big does of Tylenol, a dose of an antibiotic and a steroid, a breathing treatment and a chest x-ray, we left with a diagnosis of bronchitis, an ear infection, and the beginning stages of pneumonia in both lungs!!!  Really, allergies?!?  I'm just happy that we called the nurse, followed her advice, and we were seen in a timely manner.  We were only there about 2 hours total and were able to get to Granny's just in time for gifts and dessert! 

I took Lydia back yesterday for a follow-up and she is still wheezing pretty bad so her doctor wants to continue her on the steroid for a few more days and added in a dose of Singulair every night for the next few months until we are out of cold/flu season.  We go back next week for another recheck!

While we were there, I went ahead and had him check Ace to make sure he sounded okay.  He is still coughing pretty bad at night, but has just been fussier than normal.  Well... we left with a diagnosis of a double ear infection for that little guy!  CRAZY!

Let's just say, I am so thankful for doctors and modern medicine, but I am so sick of having to visit them.  We are praying that this next round of steroids will knock this out of Lydia and she will be ready to start back to school 100%!  And while Ace, isn't acting like he is in pain (or even running a fever), I want those ears to clear up so he can be back to full-speed too!

Here's to a healthy start of 2016!

Christmas Recap 2015

 It's hard to believe that Christmas 2015 is in the books!  We had a great holiday season with our family and friends.  In order to get the blog as up-to-date as possible before 2016 this is going to be another picture post with highlights from our Christmas.  Please excuse the picture overload! :)

 I never got Christmas cards out this year, but I am debating doing New Year cards.  If I do you better believe that this picture of my three greatest treasures will make the cut! :)

On the 23rd we always gather with my dad's sister (aka Jahpa) and her family.  This is the 2nd year we have had this gathering at our house.  Aunt Martha makes the lasagna (our tradition) and the other ladies bring all of the other fixings.  "All" I have to do is get the house ready which shouldn't be a big deal, but with 3 small kiddos.... Either way, we always have a great time and it is the even that officially kicks off our Christmas!

Ace and Jahpa

 Ace and Granny

 Lydia loves all things Shopkins!  

 This year the adults did the Christmas Swap for our gifts.  It was fun to switch it up!

 Me and my mommy!

 "G" and Ei

 Nothing beats this precious smile!  He is scooting all over the place.  I'm not sure he will ever crawl, but he will get to where he needs to go I promise that! 

 These two sweet girls were such a big help in the kitchen!  They both love helping out and I enjoy sharing these traditions with them! 

On Christmas Eve we always get together with my inlaws for our traditional soup dinner and gifts. This year I made Taco Soup and Potato Soup.  They were both delicious and so super easy!

 My sister-in-law, Betsi, had back surgery at the beginning of break so this was her first official outing since being home.  

Lydia loved unwrapping gifts!  We had to have more than one conversation reminding her of the true meaning of Christmas and how fortunate she was to receive all that she did.  I know that is hard for a 4-yr old to comprehend, but it made me feel better! ;) 

 Ace loved the bows and paper!

 Mackaylan... Why does she look like she is about 13 in this pic? She is growing into such a wonderful young lady.  She purchased all of her Christmas presents this year from her own money and put so much thought into each one.  So special!

 Pop O. Pop O. Bam. Ba-Lam!

 Aunt Betsi

Grams puts so much thought into the purchasing, wrapping, and giving of gifts each year.  Yes, she does go overboard, but from one whose love language is also "Gifts" I totally understand! I am so blessed with the BEST in-laws!

 Mackaylan is into Simply Southern shirts right now!  (Just in case you couldn't tell! LOL)

Christmas Day always begins with everyone opening their stockings on our bed.  I'm not sure how that started, but it's a fun tradition!

 Santa brought Lydia a Marker Maker!  She didn't have many things on her list, but thanks to You Tube she did have the Marker Maker and the Chocolate Pen on it.  Santa came through with both! 

Santa brought Mackaylan the America Girl Flip-Top Desk and the Mary Ellen TV along with several other things!

 One of Ace's big items was a Fisher-Price Race Track.  He also got an activity table and a kiddie robot that sings and dances.  

After we "did" Santa we went upstairs to the Family Room to open gifts from each other.  Mickey started off by reading and discussing the Christmas Story with us.  I'm so blessed to have a husband that is the spiritual leader of our household.  

 Christmas jammie shot!

 We didn't really do presents with each other this year, but I couldn't resist these Chicago Bear sweatpants when I saw them!  Go Bears!  (The funny thing is they are "joggers" which are supposedly really in style, but maybe not for a 36 yr. old man. LOL  He likes them though and said he will wear them to lounge around the house!) 

 Mac wanted Just Dance 2 Disney Edition and Daddy came through!

 Mickey and Lydia working on making markers.  It amazes me how she knows exactly what to do since watching all of her You Tube tutorials. 

 Mackaylan loves Lego Friends and she got a set from Santa and Lydia.

 The afternoon consisted of going to The O'Shields for Christmas with the Rush family.  We always have a great time eating, opening gifts, and being together.  

Yep, you can tell by these smiles we had a great Christmas! 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

December has been so busy!  I'm not sure why that surprises me, but it does. With all of the events, gatherings, and traditions, we have managed to have lots of fun!

WARNING:  Picture Overload

Urtle, our Elf, returned in early December.  He always brings "The 1st Gift of Christmas" so this year he brought Inside Out. We are lucky that Urtle is not one of those that gets into lots of shenanigans. He is pretty laid back and sometimes he gets SO comfortable in one spot he doesn't even make it back to the North Pole before morning! ;) 

We always kick off the Christmas season with the Landrum Christmas Parade and this year was no exception.  They switched up the time this year and it was completely dark the entire time so it was not the best for taking pictures.  Ace was diagnosed with Croup earlier that day so it wasn't the "first" that we wanted, but he was still mesmerized by the lights nonetheless.   

This year Mac is playing in 2 different basketball leagues.  She is playing with Boys and Girls Club through the school and for LifeSprings, which is sponsored by a local church.   She is definitely learning how to be more aggressive in the BnG Club League!  I am looking forward to watching her grow as an athlete over the next few months and years.    

Our church, The Well, has started having a GNO each month.  In early December, we had a "Pajama Party!" It was so much fun.  We had delicious food, fun games, and a great time of fellowship.  I was asked to lead a game so we played a game I found on Pinterest where you stuff pantyhose with balloons to make reindeer antlers. I was worried that it was be a flop, but it was hilarious and everyone seemed to love participating! 

Mickey, his dad, and sister, went to the Clemson vs. UNC ACC Championship Game one Saturday so I took the kids to see Santa and do a little shopping.  Of course, before we left I had to get a shot of my 3 greatest gifts in front of the tree. 

The girls go to LFBC on Sunday nights and are part of the Children's Choir.  They had their performance the following Sunday night and they did a great job.  Mackaylan had a speaking part and she rocked it.  Acting is her thing for sure!!

We couldn't believe it, but Mackaylan won her class spelling bee and made it the school-wide bee.  She and her BFF pulled #s 13 and 14 so they were able to sit beside each other the entire time.  I think she was more excited about that than anything!  She didn't win, but she gave it her all and made it through the 3rd round before getting out.  I was very proud of her effort and fearlessness! :) 

I tried to add a few new touches to our outside decor this year.  A friend at work gave me a wreath she won at our back-to-school program so I used it for inspiration to make some lighted garland to go around the door.  Ace was a great helper! 

So many times I wonder how I lived without Amazon Prime.  It is truly a lifesaver, especially at Christmas!  All of Mickey's side of the family make Wishlists and it makes shopping so much easier!

For the past few years, we have ventured up into the mountains to cut down our own Christmas tree and this year was no exception.  We put an artificial tree upstairs, but like to have a real tree downstairs. On the way, we stopped by my alma mater, Mars Hill University, visited the book store and took a quick ride through campus.  From there we went on up to the Christmas Tree Far, found the perfect tree, brought it home, and got it all decorated for the holidays! 

Mickey, Ace, and I went to our church's Ugly Christmas Sweater Party last week.  We had a lot of fun with our Bucket Group friends and church family!  We are so blessed to be apart of a church that values relationships and the importance of growing together in Christ!

I have a few more pics to post to get caught up before Christmas so stay tuned!