Friday, January 23, 2015

Missing Paradise

I started this post weeks ago, but then I got busy and never finished it.  Then the other day we were on a lovely walk.  Oh how I have missed our even family walks.  In the Spring, Summer, and Fall we take walks at least twice a week.  The kids sit quietly in the double stroller eating their two snack cups a piece and sipping on their water.  That means Brady and I get a "date" of sorts.  We get to have real conversation while the kids are awake. It reminded me of our trip to Mexico and made me miss paradise so much.  Brady and I love our kids to pieces, really it is a little scary how much we do.  But we really enjoyed our kid-free week to Mexico.  I am sure most parents of little ones can relate to this list; a list of all the perks of travelling without kids.  These are all the things we tried to soak in and enjoy before our trip was over.

  • Going through the airport is so easy.  Brady carried our one bag, I had a backpack with all my books and my hands were free.  Free! Security was a breeze without having to unload the stroller and get frisked because my hands tested positive for explosives (crazy, but baby formula will make you test positive for explosives, ha!)

  • We boarded the plane, pulled out a book, read, relaxed and slept. This does not happen when you fly with toddlers; you spend the whole flight trying to entertain them so that you are not "those people" on the plane with screaming kids. Then the stewardess brought us pop and we were able to get a Sprite and not get it spilled all over ourselves because of our grabby little lap child. 

  • We held hands everywhere we went. Seriously, everywhere.  We didn't have one child to carry, another one to hold hands with, a sippy cup and three bags to carry. 

  • We slept in.  Then we didn't have to rush to get up to make waffles and oatmeal.  We just turned on the TV because we could. 

  • We watched TV during the day and it was not the movie "Cars" or Tinkerbell.

  • We went to the beach and pool and relaxed, napped, read and drank fruity drinks.  Instead of chasing kids, scooping sand out of the baby's mouth, or swimming with one kid in our arms and following close behind the other one so they don't drowned.

  • Meals.  This was my favorite luxary.  I make breakfast and lunch for 5 kids each day during the week and then my kids on nights and weekends.  So, eating 3 meals a day for 6 days without cutting up anybody else's food, trying to entertain them, picking up the floor from all the food Beckett threw, it was amazing.  We ate s..l..o..w..l..y, talked, ate more and even ate meals at a normal hour with other adults, not 5:00.

These small luxuries are things we wouldn't probably have noticed before kids.  But to us, they were amazing. This all being said; on our travel day home I was counting down the hours and minutes until I got to see my babies.  I walked in and Kennedy ran up to give me a hug and I cried.  I really did.  I was so thankful to be home, holding my babies.  And we can't wait to go on our family vacation again in May and get to experience the trip with our favorite kiddos, even if we don't come back one bit relaxed.  Even if we don't get to experience one single thing from the list above, it will be absolutely perfect.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Beckett's 18 month pictures

I have tried several times to take Becketts 18 month pictures but we had trouble finding the time and then he was sick all week, so he is getting closer to 19 months.  But Saturday was close to 60 degrees outside and we thought Beckett was feeling better so we headed out to the park. Beckett will not stand or walk when he doesn't have confidence.  I really wanted his 18 month picture to be of him standing, but he just refused to stand.  Oh well, we got some cute pics any way.  Then we ran some errands, headed home and ate lunch and then Beckett started getting sick again.  Poor guy! Praying this all ends for him soon.

This was our trick to get our sick little guy to smile.  And of course Dada too.



Friday, January 16, 2015

18 Month Well Check for Beckett

What a week!  We took Beckett to his 18 months well check today, even though he has not been well.  We started the week on Sunday night with Beckett throwing up every 20 minutes for a few hours.  I have never seen a kid throw up so many times, it was heartbreaking!  But the next day he really seemed fine, he started eating halfway through the day but he did have diarrhea.  The next day he seemed even better and we thought we were in the clear with out anybody else getting sick.  Then Tuesday night hit, we will never forget that night! Beckett started throwing up around 6PM and then threw up every hour until 1.  At 2, Kennedy joined the party and started throwing up every hour until 6AM.  This was probably the hardest and grossest night of parenthood for us. Wednesday and Thursday they both seemed better and we thought we were in the clear.  Then Thursday at lunch Beckett started throwing up again. So, we took him to his well check today but we also had her check him out.  She said it was just a virus that he was just having a hard time fighting off.  He just doesn't have a very good immune system.  We are praying that we have seen the last of the throw up for a while, but you never know!

Anyway, back to the well-check. Everything looked great! His ears and tubes look great.  The most important part of this visit was checking in on his gross motor skills.  She was thrilled with the progress he has made through therapy and she said he doesn't need to start back up, unless he doesn't continue to progress in the next few months.  But we are both not worried about him at this point!

Honestly, it was a very uneventful well-check, which we love!  I couldn't get a good smile from him today, just not feeling like himself yet.

Beckett 18 Month Stats
Height - 63% - 33 in.
Weight - 20% - 22lbs and 5oz
Head Circ - 64% - 18.9 in.
Kennedy 18 Month Stats
Height - 98% - 34 and a half in.
Weight - 50% - 22lbs and 11 oz
Head Circ - 75% - 18 and a half in.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Grandma Stetson Turns 90

Back in May our family was vacationing in Florida and we got a call that our grandma Stetson (my dad's mom) had fallen and wasn't doing well.  We were not sure if she would make it through the end of the week, yet alone make it to her 90th birthday this January.  She got much better and is able to live in assisted living with some help from my aunt.  Praise God!

So the family decided to do a big birthday party on her 90th birthday and have everybody come back to celebrate. It is another 7 hour road trip which was sure to be filled with little sleep and situation that would cause major anxiety for the little ones.  But we decided no matter how hard the trip was, we would regret it later if we let those things hold us back from seeing family and holding my sweet grandma's hand. 

Des Moines is a little less then half way there so we decided to leave on New Years Day and spend some time at Grandpa Rob and Lois' house. Both Kennedy and Beckett just love it there and we always love the chance to see my friends.  It helped break up the trip so we were not traveling every day. We spent the morning at the Science Center and then went out to lunch with our friends.

Halfway through the day Friday we decided to leave early and head over to miss bad weather that was suppose to hit the next day. Thankfully the kids fell asleep in the car and somehow all four of us slept in one room in the hotel that night. This is such a huge accomplishment for my light sleepers.  Beckett came up with another cold (every time we travel) so was up some coughing but overall they did great. Since we were there early we had the morning free to take the kids swimming at the hotel pool, they loved it! 

We showered and headed over to visit with Grandma for a bit before her party. My dad has 6 siblings who all have significant others, there are 10 grand kids, spouses and 9 great grand kids.  We all crammed into the community room at my grandma's assisted living resistance. It was loud and filled with strangers- but for some reason it didn't bother my kids. (They go through phases where they both have stranger anxiety still) Sure they got bored and tired since we missed naps, but we were so impressed with them. 


The Stetson Kids

The Grandkids

The Great Grandkids

Family Pic- Missing Shawn, Katie, Paige and Blake

Next, we went to our aunt and uncle's house and hung out the rest of the night. We laid the kids down and we were able to stay up and play Heads Up with our cousins.  We had such a great time.  It has been 10 years since I have seen some of them! 

On Sunday we visit grandma GiGi one more time just to get a few more hugs and long stories while holding hands in. We hit the road for another 7 hours home.   

There were a lot of parts of the weekend that were hard and stressful (mostly the driving!) but it is all part of the phase of life we are in.  And we had so many accomplishments that I tried to focus on as Beckett screamed on the way home. Beckett slept in 6 different and new rooms and fell asleep in the car twice! Kennedy laid down wherever we put her and never once got off her nap mat. Kennedy didn't have a single accident the whole trip! The kids enjoyed their cousins and I enjoyed mine.  We slept in one hotel room and got decent night sleeps. I held my grandmas hand as she gushed about how great all of our kids are, she is right. :) we got to be a part of celebrating Grandma's legacy- her 40-50 family members who made the trip from around the US to be with her.  Someday I hope I am half as blessed when I celebrate my 90th. Happy 90th birthday Grandma! 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Stetson Family Christmas

I got the privileged of hosting the Stetson Family Christmas this year.  I love hosting and having every one of my family members here when I wake up in the morning.  We had an amazing couple of days.  The cousins are at such easy ages; the older 5 just run around playing together and got along really well. 

Christmas Eve is a big deal to my family, we have always had several family traditions that we do that make it so special.  Wednesday afternoon everybody got into town and we quickly headed off to Christmas Eve service at Wellspring.  This is my favorite church service all year and we have only been in town to go twice in the 8 years I have lived here.  Thankfully; Grandpa Rob stayed home and watched the little boys so that we could all actually stay in service since there wasn't childcare.
After church we got KFC (one of our weird family traditions) and then my dad read Twas The Night Before Christmas (like he did for us every year growing up) and then we laid the kids down.  Then we had our "kids" secret santa gift exchange. 

We started our morning with the "grandkids" gift exchange first.  This was so sweet.  The kids all grabbed their gift that they bought for their cousin and waiting patiently, then gave the gift to the correct cousin that they bought for.  They are growing up and figuring out these silly traditions that they make them do each year. =)

Then we also opened presents from Grandpa and Lois next.  Kennedy got an Elsa doll and Beckett got a fake remote and snow pants. 

Christmas Meal
We try every year to make sure the kids know the real reason for the season.  This year we took turns reading the Christmas story to the kids.  We also made a birthday cake for Jesus, each layer represented something else to help the kids remember who Jesus is and then sang happy birthday to him.  We also made a nativity set made out of gingerbread cookies.