Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Father's Day

We ended up having a nice, easy-going Father's Day this year. Erin was kind enough to let me sleep in which was great. Then while the kids had their morning nap I had some nice time to sip some coffee and get some reading in. I love being able to relax, clear my thoughts, and enjoy the silence once in a while. When everyone got up, we packed up and headed down to Paige and Blake's house, where they were having a family gathering of their own. We filled up on fried fish, homemade potato salad, and lots of pie and ice cream. The kids got me a Mickey Mouse card (they are nuts about Mickey these days) and played in the sprinkler and their jumpy house. Just a relaxing summer day with people I love - what else could you ask for?

Father's Day 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Lubbock Trip

We took advantage of the long Memorial Day weekend to brave the 9 1/2 hour drive to see Mimi and Papi in Lubbock. We didn't tell Mimi and it ended up being a nice surprise. The drive actually went pretty well - no crying or fussing or anything like that. We made the good decision of getting out of town really early and Owen and Mason tend to be in a great mood in the morning when they're nice and rested.

We all went to Joyland for Owen and Mason's first ever amusement park trip. They had a lot of fun riding the cars, the airplanes, the boats, and all the other rides. We pushed the envelope, though, and put them on the kiddie roller coaster, which proved to be a little too fast. Nothing some dipping dots and popcorn couldn't cure, though.

Overall it was a nice and relaxing weekend, and it got us over the fear of driving that far with the kids. Looks like there's a certain football game this fall that we'll be driving to as well ;)

Lubbock Trip

What we're up to

We've been having a fun summer so far. We've been spending a lot of time outside this year after being tied up inside for most of the last couple of years. We enrolled Owen and Mason in their first "activities" recently. They have a swim lesson twice a week with Daniel at Lifetime Fitness, who they have fun with. They are really getting comfortable in the water and they will kick their feet and paddle with their hands and they can hold their breath and be dunked underwater. They also just started a once a week gymnastics class.

As far as development goes, the biggest thing is that they are really conversing a lot more with everyone. They will play together and have real conversations using (mostly) sentences. They are learning about reason and negotiation when it comes to getting what they want.

Their new favorite thing to watch on TV is a Mickey Mouse DVD that Erin got. They follow along with the story, and point out what's going on and crack up at the funny parts. It's kind of hard to explain, but they can now follow a story - whether it's a book or a show or a sequence of events that you explain to them. It's been a really fun thing for us to see.

We're continuing to get caught up on all of our pictures and videos from our computer upgrade. This set is from a few weeks back when Granddaddy helped set up their pirate wheels on their swing set. There are some other cute ones from around the house as well.

Around the House

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Owen Update

I have to admit, I was a bit worried about Owen's first trip to the dentist. I can't get him to lay still ANYWHERE when it isn't bedtime, let alone in a strange place. That kid is always moving! I gave him a few pep talks during the day and explained what would happen. The doctor would want to look at the boo boo in his mouth with a little light and he would need to say 'aaahhh.' I told him about laying in a big chair and about getting his picture taken (x-rays, of course). When we got to the office there were toys to play with and to Owen's delight, a train table. While we were waiting for our turn, never fails...a dirty diaper. The nurse sent me into a spare room that had a chaise lounge in it (I know, is this a shrinks office or what?). I laid Owen down and in his brain he thought, 'big chair, lay down, I KNOW WHAT TO DO!' He immediately said 'aaahhh!' Smarty pants.

Once we got to the exam room, we did the x-ray and Dr. Caldwell looked in his mouth. To my great surprise and relief, Owen laid there perfectly still for both the x-ray and the exam. Only one little peep when they made him bite on the strip during the x-ray. He was totally fine with the heavy 'blankie' they put on his body for the x-ray and totally fine with Dr. Caldwell looking around in his mouth. What an awesome little guy. Knowing Owen, his usual reaction would be to cry and cling to Mommy. I guess he knew this was pretty important and Mommy really needed him to cooperate so she could stop freaking out over the whole situation.

Dr. Caldwell was surprised at how good his gums were healing already. The x-ray confirmed that the entire tooth did come out which meant no digging around up there and no sedation. Although we were fairly confident going in that his entire tooth did come out, we went ahead and left Mason with our neighbors just in case some minor surgery was needed. The x-ray also showed no damage to the bone and no affect on the neighboring teeth. What a relief! Dr. Caldwell showed us an example of the kiddie partial that Owen would get when the time is right. He explained that it is usually bonded to the back set of molars and that kids do great with them. Since Owen has only one of the back molars, we can wait until the other one comes in (in about 6 months) or we can bond it to the front set of molars right away. Of course, you know which option I'm going for! The downfall of the front set of molars is, since they are further forward in the mouth, the potential to see some silver when he smiles is greater. Luckily, it is an option to move it to the back molars once they are in. He needs about a week to heal and then he'd be ready for his kiddie partial, which would take two weeks to make. Currently we are in holding mode while we wait on answers from the insurance company. Normally they cover this type of thing 100% because it acts like a spacer, preventing the gap to close. Apparently front teeth don't shift and therefore, don't need a spacer. We are currently waiting to see if a kiddie partial for "tooth F" qualifies as preventative. And of course, since kids don't need cleanings until they are 3, we don't have either of them on our policy. Ouch. The partial is about $500 so if they won't pay for it, we'll for sure get it done right away out of pocket. I'm sure I can scrounge up $500 from somewhere. Anyone want to buy a double stroller? Or two or three? We have a few!

Owen's will be similar to this one. The only difference is that this one replaces two of the front teeth, where as Owen only needs one.

So after all of this rigmarole, Owen got to pick out of the toy chest! The first thing he spotted, he grabbed. It was this bright green, plastic piggy bank. He totally ignored me as I was rummaging through the toys trying to show him his other options. Instead, he grabbed ANOTHER bright green, plastic piggy bank...and said, "it's Mason's." (Pause to wipe tear).
My sweet little guy had just performed beautifully for this strange man he'd never met, and the only thing he could think of was his brother, who wasn't even with us. He finally settled on two little race cars, exactly the same. And when we got back to the neighbor's house, Owen ran in and excitedly showed Mason what he brought him. The neighbor couldn't say enough nice things about Mason and how sweet he was. I have to say that at the end of the day I was one proud Mommy. I sure have some amazing little boys.

Our outlook is great, Owen is completely back to normal, and Mom and Dad have calmed down since Monday evening. Thanks to everyone for your kind and encouraging words. We really appreciate it!

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Rough Day for Owen

Today was not such a fun day for us. Although, I think Mom and Dad are taking it harder than little Owen. I was at our post office annex which is literally smaller than my master bedroom. This little room was nothing but walls. No chairs, no tables, nothing to get hurt on. Just a built in counter top and a postage stamp machine. I was putting stamps on a stack of envelopes while Owen and Mason entertained themselves by looking out the window and saying hi to the people as they walked up. The windows were down to the floor and, as in any commercial building, the bottom of the window was framed with a metal frame. There was also a metal mullion running through the middle of the window separating the top and bottom window panes. The kids were stepping up on the little (I'm talking 3 or 4 inches high) metal ledge so they could peek over the top of the mullion in the middle of the window. I heard a clunk on metal and then he let out the most terrifying cry I've ever heard and I knew without looking that he had actually hurt himself somehow...not just the little bonk or scrape that they usually whimper at. I rushed over to him (all of 3 feet away from me), knelt down, and tried to figure out what happened. I was checking his chin, his head, anything. He was still trying to catch his breath and his mouth was so wide open with a breathless cry that his lips were covering his teeth. All of a sudden his mouth started filling up with blood and I assumed he caught his chin on the mullion which caused him to bite his tongue or cheek. As the blood started pouring out of his mouth and he caught his breath, I noticed what had happened. His front right tooth was GONE.

Owen lost his footing and as he stepped down (no, he never actually fell down), his mouth caught the mullion he was peeking over and hit it just right to rip his whole tooth out, root and all. Because we have not needed to take the kids to the dentist, I had no idea who to call. I went into complete panic mode. 911 wasn't right. My pediatrician didn't even cross my mind yet. All I was thinking was how the heck I was going to figure out where a pedodontist was in time to get his tooth put back in. Did I mention it was 3 minutes until 5 pm? What office is going to answer at that hour? How long do I have before the tooth can't be replaced? What about my perfect, beautiful baby boy and his beautiful smile? It will be years before his permanent tooth comes in. I need to call Aaron. Oh my gosh, what do I do first? Cry. I couldn't help it. I kept thinking about how everyone was going to use this as a way to tell him and Mason apart. It made me feel sick and I was about to start throwing up. Luckily, a stranger stepped up and ran to his car and brought me about 50 napkins, another stranger happened to have a case of water in his car and gave me a bottle, and another stranger, named Cathy, told me to wrap the tooth in a wet napkin and put it in milk as soon as possible. I immediately wet the napkin and then Cathy said to me, "load your kids in the car and meet me across the street at Kroger. I'll go over there and send my son in for some milk." Her son, maybe 8 or 9, ran in and brought me a little bottle of milk and a container to put it in. I tried to write Cathy a check but she told me to pay her back by paying it forward. Cathy stayed with me at the car and entertained Owen and Mason while I frantically talked to Aaron who had already gotten in touch with a pedodontist (after hours on his personal cell phone). We were told that baby teeth can't be re-implanted because of the risk of infection or damage to future adult teeth which are forming. NOT what I wanted to hear. The glimmer of hope though? In six months or so we can possibly do a 'pedi partial' (a little fake tooth for appearance and spacing purposes). In the mean time, after freaking out over the phone to my mom, she called our long time family friend who happens to be a dentist. He talked like we may be able to find someone who would re-implant it. So I frantically called as many of the pedodontist google results I could find. And yes, I called the emergency number with no shame. I figured they'd feel bad for me since I was STILL crying when I talked about it. Same answer though. No re-implantation from the second, third, or fourth opinions.

It was approaching 6 pm now and Owen had long since returned to normal. I was still a wreck though. He was goofing around with Mason, sucking on his pacifier, smiling, laughing. Thank God! But what's for dinner. We (Aaron and I) felt so bad for him and we wanted to get out of the house and do something to take our (read mine and Aaron's) minds off of it. We were going for something soft and something we knew Owen liked. We ended up with spaghetti, pizza, bread, fruit cocktail (Owen liked picking out the cherries), and banana pudding. He was feeling great because he ate like a 10 year old! That boo boo in his mouth didn't hold him back at all. Now we're on a rigid Tylenol routine to keep the pain under control until morning.

We're heading to the pedodontist tomorrow for x-rays to make sure the other teeth are still intact and that there are no more pieces left from the tooth that did come out. I will update once we know what the next step is. I am not ready to post pictures of my baby boy just yet. I'm still in shock and I feel so bad for him. I just don't feel right about posting pictures to "show it off." You know us and you know we take lots of pictures. On our next adventure we will take pictures just like we always do. Somewhere in there I'm sure there will be a picture of little Owen's battle scar.

Since writing and posting this recap of today, a strange thing happened. Aaron went to bed and left the TV on TLC. I was bored with the show that was on so I switched it to Discovery Health which was showing 'Mystery Diagnosis.' The story they were profiling was about a 3 year old little girl who had a bump on her shoulder. After tests, it was decided that surgery was needed to remove the bump. Once in the OR, the doctors decided the only option was to amputate her arm, up to her shoulder. As it turns out, she was misdiagnosed and the amputation was unnecessary. What she actually has is not any better. A disease that causes bone to calcify and creates a second skeleton which of course leaves the person immobile.

I don't think it was a 'fluke' that I happened to turn this show on. All afternoon and evening I have been having a very hard time believing that Owen actually lost his tooth. While it still makes me sad, I am so thankful that it is just a tooth. It is nothing permanent, and it is definitely not an arm, leg, eyesight, etc. God has a funny way of keeping me in check. Things could be worse, much worse. And as soon as I start to feel sorry for myself, for Owen, He reminds me how lucky I am. I know He is looking out for my babies. In fact, just last Saturday Aaron and I were on our way home from dinner with friends. My mom was in town and she was keeping the boys. We exited off of the Beltway and made our usual turn onto the Fort Bend Tollway. As we were turning under the Beltway, a car traveling at least 60 or 70 mph blew through two red lights right ahead of us. We were literally 5 seconds or less from that intersection. 5 seconds from being t-boned on the passenger side. I have no doubt in my mind that my life would be very different right now had we been just 5 seconds earlier. And as much as I hate to say it, that car was going so fast, I can't help but think that I am lucky to be alive. It really shook me up and I cried for the rest of that night and was still very upset the next day. If Aaron's key would have opened all 4 doors of the car instead of just the driver's door on the first try, I would have hopped in the car and we would have driven away, 5 seconds or less before we actually did. Thank you God for watching out for my babies. You know they need a mommy and a daddy, and You know I need my babies.

So no more taking things for granted. Say a prayer and count your blessings. I bet we all could do it a little more often.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Family Photo Booth

It is so strange to us but we actually get better pictures out of Owen and Mason if we set the camera up on a tripod and use the remote. They are SO over the loony toon behind the camera making annoying noises. Here is a fun series from their birthday/Mother's Day.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Take Me Out to the Ball Game - May 10, 2009

After the big pirate bash the weekend before, Owen and Mason's actual birthday came along with Mother's Day. We knew we couldn't let the day go by unnoticed, so we planned something fun for the boys. They got to go to their very first baseball game with Mom and Dad and we even started them an autograph ball! We thought it would be cool to be able to look back and say their parents took them to their first baseball game on their 2nd birthday and have the ball as a special keepsake. The plan is to take the balls back each time we go so they can fight their way through the crowd of other kids for more signatures.

Of course, at two years old, the highlight was the Minute Maid smoothies, the escalators, and the giant baseballs along the curb outside the stadium. They were, however, paying attention when Tejada hit a home run and they clapped along when they heard the crowd. We played in the kid area for a while and Owen tried to beat the giant runner to home plate. He got about half way down and decided he was better off turning back around. We got a funny video of him giving his best shot.

Because I'm a sentimental sap, we each took a picture with them at their birth times...2:03 pm and 2:04 pm. We also spent some time playing on the giant baseballs on our way out. We got some cute pictures but unfortunately, they were SO tired by this point (we skipped nap to go to the game) that not everyone was willing to participate in my 'Mother's day' picture. It still turned out cute but there was NO chance of ditching the pacifiers for the picture. Oh well.

As soon as they hit their carseats they were OUT!

Aaron drove around for a while to let them sleep and then we headed to Hermann park to ride the train. They LOVE this train. There was a long line when we walked up and had to wait for the next train. Owen was SO worried that the train wasn't coming back for him and he couldn't understand we were next. There's a funny little video of this, too.

We got off the train by the playground for a quick play but didn't last too long because we were hot, tired, and it was approaching 6 pm already! We finished our ride back to the station and headed to Amazon for my Mother's Day dinner.

Once we got home, we did presents, took a family picture, and had our birthday cupcakes. It was a long day for everyone but it was so much fun sharing Mother's Day with their birthday. We had a great day with just our little family.

And here are all the pictures from the day: