Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Warning: Mass Update Ahead

Oh, you poor, poor neglected blog! I can't believe it's already been a month since my last post. How lame is that?! Having a very active 1 year old and (now) 4 year old + loooooong hours of basement construction makes for very hectic days around here, so when 9:00pm rolls around and the kids are finally in bed, I finish the dishes and put away some laundry and tidy up the house, if I have an ounce of energy left it's usually a choice: upload photos and think of something clever to put on my blog OR lay on the heating pad and watch TV for 20 minutes / work on something crafty? Guess which choice has been winning out for the last month! :-) Add to that the fact that I've been pretty pathetic about taking photos and, well, there you go. I'll try to do a series of posts over the next week or so to "catch up"...since I have Halloween, my birthday, Maddie's birthday, then Thanksgiving and Keith's birthday this week! Whew! For Keith's birthday, he gets to travel down to Eugene with my dad and go to the Ducks game, relax, have a beer, go out to dinner, stay overnight, and then watch the never-to-be-missed Ohio State vs Michigan game on Saturday before heading back home. I bet the part he's looking forward to most is a full nights sleep! He deserves this break BIG TIME.

After dinner tonight, Keith realized something we need to celebrate...today marks the 1-year-anniversary of bringing James home from the hospital! ONE YEAR! Can you believe it?! Last year on this day I was about 30% thrilled and excited + 70% panic-stricken and totally overwhelmed. I remember it took us a couple extra hours to get out of the NICU, then literally about 10 minutes after we walked in our front door at home, our home health nurse showed up with an IV pole and about 6 big boxes of medical supplies for our training session! I can't remember if it was an hour or two hours long, all I know is it felt like we were cramming days worth of training into a speed-crash-course. I felt like someone had just read me "How to Become a Doctor in One Afternoon" Cliff Notes and then shoved me into the middle of an Emergency Room. Looking back, I'm actually quite proud of Keith and I and how far we have come. Injecting meds into IV bags, hooking up machines, performing sterile bandage changes, drawing blood, administering IV antibiotics...these have all become second nature by now. We have now become "that family" who is the exception to the rule when we head to the hospital--we push hard to get out as early as we can, assuring them that we can do the needed medical procedures at home. And our docs have enough confidence in us that now they listen when we "push" and they argue with our home health services on our behalf to change the usual protocol. Lord knows I've never wanted to be a nurse {I've always hated going to the doctor!}, but somehow when it's for the good of your child, nothing else matters and you do whatever it takes.
{Coming home from NICU: November 23, 2009...look how tiny!}

{Thanksgiving Day 2009}

And look at our little buddy now! 19+ pounds and getting bigger every week. Happy as always.

{One year later: November 23, 2010}

My mom has called him the Human Tornado because he never stops moving! He literally never sits and plays. He's getting so confident with cruising walls and furniture that now he's doing it 1-handed and practically running at the same time. He's taken some steps and walked a few feet between objects, so now it's just a matter of time. He'll probably go straight from cruising to jogging! :-) Oh, another bit of good news...James' lab results continue to look great and his doctors just approved him to be off his IV nutrition for 8 hours a day instead of just 6...two extra free hours! Yahoo! That makes life sooooo much easier!

Maddie is doing great as well and I can't believe she turned FOUR at the beginning of this month. She's even beginning to act older most of the time. I do have to say, though, I feel really guilty for the lack of attention that gets paid to her on most days. When James is hooked up, you have no choice but to literally follow him around, since he has about 2 feet of slack on his lines. {It's funny, he now knows when his lines are pulling tight and he'll turn around and yank on them and then whine at you like, "Ahem, you are slacking on your job, here! I want to MOVE!"} Even when he's unhooked, he's a typical 1-year-old, getting into trouble at breakneck speed, and can't be trusted on his own for more than a few minutes. So Maddie definitely gets the short end of the stick. You know how verbal she is, so it breaks my heart when she comes to me teary-eyed and says, "Mom, I'm feeling really left out. Nobody is paying any attention to me!" Oh, if I could just clone myself, I could be such a better mother! Thank goodness for Nana, who comes over to help me once a week and also takes Maddie on dates every week and sleepovers at her house at least twice a month--she's our saving grace!

Now on to some random photos, the only kind I seem to take lately: One gift Maddie got for her birthday was cute socks with designs on the top. And apparently she is bringing the 80's back as a trend-setter...

{"...because Mom, if I didn't tuck my pants in, then you couldn't see how cute my socks are!"}

{also notice the super-cool glitter shoes from Aunt Dana!}

Today we had an exciting delivery...Maddie's new "big girl" carseat/booster! TWO cupholders and armrests and everything! {Actually, this was WAY more thrilling for Mommy, since it means that James can upgrade to Maddie's smaller forward-facing carseat! He hates his infant carseat and can literally make it about 5 minutes in the car content...then it's screaming for the whole rest of the drive. Fun for all, I tell ya!}

But you know how it is with kids...the actual gift is never what ends up being exciting. It's all about the BOX! Here's how Maddie spent most of her day...

The basement remodeling job is speeding along and an end is in sight! Sooo exciting. Keith has worked tirelessly down there and has done all the plumbing and electrical himself {with a few bonus Saturdays with help from my dad--Thanks Dad!}. The heating/cooling system is done--with an AC unit! Awesome!} The furnace / hot water tank /washer & dryer have been moved into one central room. Insulation has been started. Drywall is scheduled to begin on Friday. When that is done, the concrete floors will be smoothed and stained chocolate brown with a glossy sealer on top. Hopefully within the next 3 weeks I'll have a paintbrush in my hand! It's going to be amazing to have that whole lower floor of our house finished--definitely a dream we've had for a long time. The space will include a media room, storage room, playroom/craft studio, Keith's office, laundry room and full bathroom. So awesome. We'll probably live down there. :-)

Whew, okay, I think I'm out of steam for now. Sorry for my long absence...hopefully look forward to more regular posts! :-)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


Christine said...

Woohoo! So happy to read a new post. ;) Can't wait to see more updates in the coming days! What a busy time it's been. It's great to hear good news for the little man. So exciting! Give Maddie lots of big hugs from us. Jonathan keeps asking when he gets to see her again (they are married, after all ;)). xo

Heather Elizabeth said...

I loved your whole catch up news. BUT, I have to tell you Lisa I am SO proud of you. You are a great momma and I truly celebrate your long, exciting, hard working year. You and Keith should have yourselves some chocolate and wine. We are in it for the marathon so you should celebrate your awesome start! And I am going to pray for you two tonight for some Thanksgiving blessing for your dedication to James and Maddie. Love you sweet friend.

Katy said...

YAY! I MISSED you! I'm glad all is well and I am so proud of you and Keith. Thank you for the update. Happy Thanksgiving to you too.