Monday, February 23, 2015

I heart Tamiflu

The second half of January was plagued by sickness for us. And then the majority of February as well.
It has sucked.
Poor David had it the worst of us, he was sick for nearly two weeks straight.
The rest of us got small reprieves in between viruses.

The last Thursday in January, David was home from work with what we thought was a nasty stomach bug (and learned later was Influenza A), and I had a cold, but the kids were healthy and we were pretty sure the end of illness was near, and the kids had managed to escape it all.
(what fools we were...)

Then I went to pick the kids of up from preschool Friday morning, and was in my van in the pick-up line (early) (which is rare), and the teacher brought my babies out to me, before school was even over. Turns out Abbey had just thrown up in class! Poor thing!! She felt miserable, and was so embarrassed she'd thrown up in front of her friends. My heart just broke for her. We quickly headed home, where she proceeded to spend the rest of the afternoon throwing up, coupled with a 103 temp. My poor baby.
 I finally drug myself to an Urgent Care that afternoon, and was diagnosed with bronchitis and an ear infection. I had 100.8 fever there. I may or may not have begged politely requested the Urgent Care doctor just admit me to the hospital, put me in a delightful little medicated coma, and just wake me when I and everyone in my family was healthy again.
She said no, but she would give me lots of cough syrup with codeine, which is a cheap but close second.
That same evening Luke was light-sabering around our living room with his usual fervor, and then randomly decided to lay down on the couch.
And promptly fell asleep.
Which has happened exactly never in that boy's lifetime.
I took his temp and was not surprised when it read 103.2. Bless his little heart, he had it too.
So. We've been hanging out around the house a lot lately. Recovering.
Luckily, these adorable kiddos have a vivid imagination...

Lots of jammies. Unlimited screen time. No regular meal times. Lots of toast.

 Because the twins got on Tamiflu the very day they started showing symptoms of the flu, they were feeling much, much better within 48 hours. *miracle drug*

But I was still down from the bronchitis, and Dave was still down from the flu, so we had to call in some reinforcements, AKA:Grandma.
David's mom came up on Saturday and spent the entire day caring for our kids so we could rest.
And rest we did!
Dave ended up taking a long nap, and I slept the entire day. Like ALL DAY LONG. I didn't even see my Mother-In-Law! I didn't wake up once in the entire 8 hours she was here. The night before I'd slept on the kids' bedroom floor (very loose use of the word "slept" just there) and with bronchitis as well, I was just exhausted.

The kids were grateful to have Gaga here to care for them, as were David and I =)

Whenever our entire family gets sick, the kids rebounded the quickest, which is always a blessing and a curse.
On the one hand you're so grateful your babies aren't miserable anymore...and on the other you're like "SHHHHHHH!!!" because you still feel like death.

Luckily, between a house full of dress-up clothes and toys, and Netflix streaming instantly, they managed to stay entertained...

The next Monday evening I went to work, only to throw up 1 hour into my shift...which meant facing the sad reality that I was not going to escape the flu like I'd thought.
Curse words flew out of my mouth as I asked one of the pediatricians I work for to write me an rx for Tamiflu. I started the med that night, and although I was positively miserable the next day, by Wednesday I was feeling much, much better. (Seriously what is in that stuff? Is it meth?!?)

I kicked the flu just in time for my bronchitis to come back in full force. I'm finishing off round two of antibiotics tomorrow, and David just finished his for pneumonia, (which his flu ended up turning into).
OH! And. AND!! Abbey got croup in there somewhere as well.
It's been a helluva month at our house.

It's nearly 60 degrees outside today (huge for Feb in Oregon!) so we've got all the windows open and are determined to get the germs outta this house FOR GOOD.
Grateful for Netflix, grateful for friends who will run to the pharmacy for you, grateful for apple juice, grateful for warm baths, grateful for grandmas, grateful for health insurance, good doctors, and good meds.

And grateful for the ability to keep twin 4 year olds entertained during so much illness...
we even pulled some old tricks out of our book, like glow-stick bath! (AKA: Baby Rave)

Here's to a Healthy Spring!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Tae Kwon Do!

Last month the kids have been taking Tae Kwon Do class at a local community center.
If you haven't picked up on it yet, I'm in love with these little classes! This particular one was $15 (per kid) for six classes. They're really well taught, and our kids get a taste of some activity to gauge their interest without breaking the bank.
I'll be honest: I'm really hoping Martial Arts is something they want to do for a long time. I love how it teaches self control, discipline, and strength.
All good things =).
The instructor for these classes was so great. Each class he would talk about how even the best students make mistakes, and how and when are appropriate times to use their Tae Kwon Do moves. He held their attention well, and was very firm but still incredibly positive.
(Luke on the right end of the back row, yellow shirt. Abbey on the right end of the front row, pink sweatshirt)

At the end of each class, the lead instructor would pick two or three kids as "Star Students", he was clear to explain (each and every week...which this over-sensitive soul appreciated ;) ) that each student did really well and he was proud of them, and that all he expected was that they try their best. He explained that this award was just for who he noticed did a particularly fantastic job keeping their eye on the teacher.
He also said that before the six classes were over, each student would receive one.
Well...Abbey was recognized her first week!! We were so proud of her!!

She got to select which color headband she wanted, and received a paper award ;)
Luke was a little down that he didn't get an award that first week, but to his credit, he really tried to be happy for his sister.
(it just came out later that evening when he puddled over something was one of those "there is wayyyy more to this story" kind of meltdowns)
But, such is life. You can't win all the time, and you have to *try* and be happy for those who do.
Abbey was positively beaming as the other kids in the class came up to check out her headband and congratulate her! And good for her. She earned it She was a model student.

Looking pretty proud in our kitchen after class...

The next week,  Abbey got another award. I'm telling you, that girl obeyed when she heard the instructor say the best students have their eyes on the teacher. BabyGirl was not distracted even once.
Luke didn't seem to mind at all that time, thank God, and seemed genuinely happy for his twin.
Bless his little heart.
Finally, at week three, Luke got his award! 

Abbey was positively thrilled for her brother.
I love love love how she is waving to him here...

We took this class with some of our twin friends, and it was particularly fun week three because one of our buddies was awarded at the same time!

Luke picked a green headband.

 He was so happy.
And both my kids finally had their headbands, and were therefor (self-declared, mind you) "Real Ninjas now", so my life was pretty complete.
I mean, check out these fierce moves...

Proud boy showing off his award and headband...

And show us how you bow...

Monday, January 19, 2015

Winter Break

The college that David teaches at takes a very long break each Winter. This year, Dave was off from the week before Christmas until last Thursday.
I know.
In the past I've usually planned a fun trip for us, but we just hung around close to home this year, for several reasons. One being we didn't really feel like a trip was in the budget this close to Christmas, two, Dave had a minor surgery over the break that required lots of rest, and three, well, we're just homebodies =).
So we've spent lots of time, cuddled up under our new cozy blankets from Christmas, watching movies together...
It was really, really lovely.

Our kids just love it when we're all home together, and I notice how settled they become at home when we have days and days of it in a row.
They do things like choose to sit in the hallway and read Christmas books quietly, and are perfectly content to do this for a long while, just pleased to know we're around =)

Luke adores his Daddy, and getting to have him around so much had such a fun affect on afternoon he even declared he wanted to cut his hair "just like Daddy's hair!"
We were shocked.
I've said it before, but it bears repeating; Luke is a super easy-going kid. Don't get me wrong, he can be incredibly passionate about many things, it's just that he rarely puts his foot down. Which is why when he was insistent that he wanted his hair long, we didn't fight it.  It's his head. The only rules were that he couldn't fuss when we had to brush it, and every once in awhile he had to let us pull it back so we could see his eyes =).
And he was thrilled.
So it seemed out of the blue when he insisted he wanted it shaved.
I was at work when he announced this and asked Dave to shave it. Dave (wisely) told him he needed to wait 24 hours, and if he still wanted it cut then, we'd do it.
Next afternoon, he was still sure.
Lo and behold...look at my baby boy!!

Not gonna lie, I didn't exactly love where his hair was at, and was thrilled when he wanted it shaved!! It was super adorable as it was growing out, but he'd reached this awkward helmet-mullet stage and it was always in his eyes and I just missed seeing his sweet little face!!!!! But I loved giving  him the freedom to make the choice about his hair, and I loved how happy his long hair made him.
But now I super love seeing his whole face again =).

This break is also the happiest I've ever been to have twins.
Sure, they argue and fight and don't share and hurt feelings and drive us and each other crazy need to be separated, but they are also best buds. They have a built in playmate to adventure and imagine with at all times, who is the exact same age. Pretty cool. 
(in the fort we made with the supplies Auntie Mem gave us for Christmas!)

(can you spot Luke's little face peeking out from under the kangaroo??)

We've loved ringing in 2015 with such an easy pace to our days, and we do not take for granted what a gift it is. Stephanie once wrote "We treat time as our most precious resource (because it is)..." and I completely agree.
We even spent some time on New Years Day reviewing family movies we'd taken throughout all of 2014. It was fun to see which things Abbey and Luke remembered from earlier in the year. 

I found these 2014 Year End Reviews on Pinterest. 
(sense a theme?? =) )
(oh and never fear, David already corrected my "Hans" error..."it's HAN, not HANS!" Noted.)

(I am in love with the way she currently makes her lower case "g" =) )
The kids and I did several cooking and baking projects over the last month, which is one of Abbey's Love Languages =).

 And if I had a dollar for every time this break that they made "Lovie Pile" (all their pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals in a big pile to then be climbed on top of) I'd have a zillion and two dollars by now...
I picked up several extra shifts throughout the break to make some extra money, and it is always so good for the kids and David to have all that time together, and David did tons of cooking for us, which I am a huge fan of =). I actually do enjoy cooking, but I'd been in a recipe rut and welcomed the break, and he loves the time and opportunity to be creative.
It's win-win folks.
 We also went on fun little outings around town together, like self-serve Frozen Yogurt...
 David was off work again today and the twins didn't have preschool (MLK day) and I don't go into work until 5pm, so we've been incredibly blessed to have another Home Day Together on a weekday. David got up with the kids and I slept until well after 10am (totally my Love Language) on a Monday! I work Saturdays and we have Church on Sundays, so I always treasure a day where we all get to just wake up slowly (well, as slowly as two preschoolers can ever wake up...) and hang out at home. Most of the time, we try to get our kids out of the house often, both to burn off energy and also to have changes of environment (fends off boredom), but I really feel it's also a discipline and a learned skill to be able to entertain yourselves at home.

(I love how he has his tongue out while concentrating. Classic Luke =) )
This morning they made a "bakery" for Dave and I to shop at and purchase goodies...

Loving my little family a lot today =).

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Grandma Brown

In the week between Christmas and New Years, my grandmother passed away.
Grandma Brown - Verna - was my Dad's mom.
During my childhood and early adult years, she and my Grandpa lived about 4 hours away, and so we visited them a few times a year.
I have such fond memories of the way my Grandma would make those trips special...the tiny, fun, tasty cereal boxes she'd always get for us top the list for sure.

I was blessed enough to get to spend some time with her in the hospital the night before she passed.
There was my grandmother, literally on her death bed, smiling. And laughing, when she could. And even making the occasional joke!

As I left that evening, I told her what I believe to be true about her life...she was leaving behind a legacy of Love.
She and my grandfather were married throughout his being deployed, serving in the war, raising three children, and until death did them part in 2004.
What a committed couple.
And they had three amazing, loving children, who have all grown into wonderful adults...two of them now grandparents themselves.
 Here are some pictures of my Grandma Brown, meeting my babies for the first time...(June of 2010)...

One of the main reasons I've kept this blog going was because of her faithful reading and appreciation.
When we went to visit her a few year back at her retirement home, she dutifully took us down to the lobby to show us the communal computer, and showed us how she'd had my Dad put all our blogs (my sisters and I have all kept blogs at one point or another) in the "favorites" tab so she could easily locate them.
Before it became too challenging for her to write letters, she used to read my blog and then send me letters with her comments to my posts.
I will always treasure her love and dedication to my little family.
I will miss her here to be sure, but I'm grateful she believed in Jesus, and I will see her again someday.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Christmas 2014

We had such a fun holiday season this year, and I don't want it to get even a day further into the New Year without blogging about our Christmas =)
Christmas Eve David and I were both off work and blessed to have a family day at home together. We decided pretty early that morning that it might be a fun day to open the small, rectangular package under the tree for "The Whole Family."

Which was a How To Train Your Dragon game for the PlayStation!
A few months back, David ordered the kids a Toy Story game for the PlayStation, and showed them how to play it. They LOVED it and have had so much fun playing it. While Christmas shopping on Amazon, this game popped up on my feed and after a quick read of the reviews, Dave and I decided to order it. It's been a fun game for all of us to play together!

We all took turns, and it came as a surprise to no one that I am by far the worst player in the family. The kids got a kick outta watching Momma attempt to fly a dragon.

We hung out around the house all day, and that evening headed to our Church for a Christmas Eve Service, then back home to host some friends for dinner.

Luke assisting with the mashing of the potatoes...

 Aunt Mem spent a good chunk of the day with us, much to our delight =)
The kids all hopped up on Christmas Crazy after dinner on Christmas eve...

After our friends left that evening, Luke and Abbey each selected one present to open. They both chose the present the other had purchased for sweet =).

They both picked out perfect gifts for the other. Abbey received a Toothless toy and Toothless lovie, and Luke got a Yoda, Luke SkyWalker, C3PO, and R2D2 toy from Abbey. They were thrilled. We have it on video, and it's just priceless listening to Abbey's voice get higher and higher as she becomes more and more excited.
And they both say "oh thank you!" to each other and hug so sweetly.
And I hold back the weeping.

We let them stay up late Christmas Eve, so that they could have some time playing with their newly opened toys. They were giddy with Christmas was adorable!
We got them to bed, and set out their filled stockings and some gifts I'd kept hidden in my closet...

...had a glass of wine, and went to bed ourselves. 
For a bit.
For some reason (excitement? anticipation? nerves? too much wine? no idea.) I was wide awake around 4:30am, and could not go back to sleep. Around 5:30am, I quit fighting it, got up, started the coffee, and watched Christmas episodes of my favorite sitcoms on Netflix.
 Because if you're going to be up hours before your children on Christmas Morning, you're going to need coffee and Christmas merriment.
 The kids were so so so so so excited when they came out and saw new presents!!

Luke gets his LightSaber!

Our Little Jedi =)

The kids and I got David this book.
One of my favorite books to read to my babies is this one,  and I'd been looking for something similar for Daddies. This one was a hit!

At the very top of our Abigail's Christmas Wish List was a Viking helmet and axe, accessories from How To Train Your Dragon...her favorite movie, if you hadn't already sensed a theme here...
Love her.

Luke and his new Tie Fighter and Darth Vader (you may sense a theme to his gifts this year as well =) )

Dave was a total trooper being in charge of putting everything together...

And the kids just played and played and played...

...and David put toys together...
Sweet Dory seemed pleased with the bones she found in her stocking...=)
It was a great morning. The kids were so grateful for everything and kept saying "Thank you so much!" about anything and everything. We're definitely in that sweet spot at 4.5 years, where their expectations are low and their anticipation is high =).

They really seemed to love everything they opened this year, which made it even more fun. Favorites are the Toothless toy for Abbey (in hand, above) and the LightSaber for Luke...

He let Daddy try it out in battle...

Abbey getting Hiccup ready to ride Toothless around the house...
 I was so blessed to sit and watch all the excitement happening in my living room. This was the 5th Christmas we've been a family of four...our 11th as a married couple. God has been so faithful to us...shown us such favor. This Christmas, I'm grateful for so much...especially these three Family.