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Saturday, August 30, 2014


It's been one week since one of my scarier moments as a mom (ok, the scariest), and I figured I might as well write it all down before I forget.

It started probably Friday night if I had to really pinpoint a time. We decided in an effort to help the boys go to bed without distracting each other, that we would bunk their beds. So we moved their furniture, vacuumed every inch of the floor that had been covered by beds, and then bunked them.

The next morning while at the farmer's market, we noticed that Nathan had a little bit of a cough. Chalked it up to allergies, and made a mental note to start giving him his Claritin again in the morning.

The day went on completely normal, just that little cough that got a little worse as the day went on.

He woke me up at 6am crying because he was coughing so hard that he couldn't sleep. He seemed slightly out of breath, but mostly it just seemed like he was worked up and tired because he hadn't been able to get back to sleep. I got him some hot water with a bit of peppermint and had him breathe the steam for a while. It seemed to relax him enough that he was able to sleep the rest of the night. I decided that I would take him to urgent care in the morning since his cough seemed pretty bad, and after a small wheezing incident earlier in the summer, we were concerned he may have developed asthma.

By the time he woke up at 9, you could tell he just didn't feel well, he was tired, wheezy, and still coughing. Without eating breakfast, we headed straight to urgent care. When we got there, he was so tired he cried about having to open the door, but once inside, chatted with me as we watch Nickelodeon in the waiting room.

They called us back, took his pulse ox, and then we went back with a nurse. The Dr didn't seem interested in seeing him. But after just a few seconds with the nurse, she called the Dr in. He hardly had to look at his at this point labored breathing and told someone to call 911 and they put on a mask with a breathing treatment and oxygen. The Dr quickly explained to me without going into too much detail in front of Nathan, that kids that young have a hard time breathing, then get less and less oxygen and more carbon dioxide in their lungs, and then they just fall asleep. At which point, I realized just how serious this was and felt instantly guilty that I got him back to sleep at 6.

The EMT's came, and Nathan had his first ambulance ride to the Medina hospital just down the street. He had a second breathing treatment in the ambulance. We were at the hospital no more than a few minutes when they asked if we would like to be transferred to Akron Children's or Cleveland Clinic main campus, because his condition was too serious (for a child) to be treated there. He was on continuous breathing treatments and oxygen during the 2 hours that we waited for the ambulance from Akron Children's. It was just near the end of that time that he started to perk up a little bit and show interest again in watching tv or answering questions. He was scared, and wanted to hold my hand. Right around this time I went to the bathroom and dropped my phone in the toilet. I can't think of a worst time to completely cut off my communication with Anthony and anyone else. Thankfully, I was still able to text (but not make or receive phone calls) until shortly after we arrived at Children's, so I could at least share where we were going.

When Akron Children's EMT's got there, they checked out the bloodwork, x-rays and his stats since arriving at Medina, and determined that he would be automatically admitted to the PICU. So he then took his second ambulance ride to Akron Children's.

We got there, the EMT's were fantastic at explaining a bit to me as we walked through the hospital to get to the PICU. Telling me who would be in the room, where I would be able to sit, and what they would be doing before talking to me. It really helped me mentally prepare for the rush of people who came in when we got there.

Once things settled down after the initial rush, I was able to talk to the Dr about exactly what his condition looked like. Severe enough that he needed to be on constant oxygen, and albuterol and a steroid for at least the next several hours. Not severe enough that he needed a breathing tube placed unless he started to get worse, but they didn't think that would be happening. Best case scenario, he would be moved out of the PICU the next morning and would get to go home the next evening. Worst case scenario, we could be there for the good part of a week. And when I woke up that morning, I thought we were just headed to urgent care for a breathing treatment and a follow up with our Dr during the week. It's crazy how fast things went from bad to BAD.

Anthony had to wait for some help with the other kids before he could come up, siblings were allowed to visit, but no one under 2, plus it wasn't exactly a great environment for a bunch of kids. I stayed with Nathan throughout the day, Nina came to keep us company for a little bit. Nathan loved having the remote to himself, and became more and more demanding the better he felt. We could also tell he started feeling better when he started complaining more about his IV and the mask he had to wear for the oxygen and albuterol. He took a few short naps and got some much needed rest.

Anthony arrived around dinner time, and I headed back to be with the other kids for the night (and to eat since I hadn't had the time to eat anything all day!). Shortly after I left, they were able to lower his dosage slightly, and then throughout the night were finally able to slowly wean him off of needing to wear the mask 100% of the time and he could tolerate room air for an hour at a time. He started getting hungry, and was making jokes that Anthony was made of bacon and hot dogs among other foods.

Monday morning, he got to eat for the first time since Saturday night! He was starving, and ordered what sounded like half the menu :)

Anthony stayed with him at the hospital for most of the day, while I was home with the kids and getting updates. He was completely off of the mask by lunch, and moved to the regular floor around 2. Anthony had class that night, so I was able to come up and spend several hours with him. There was a game room on this floor, so we got to play air hockey, Candyland and Lego Star Wars on the playstation. He was still wheezing, but looked SO much better than when I had left him 24 hours before. Lots of energy, wanting to talk to me and tell me all about what he had done that day (apparently I am much better at air hockey than Anthony). I got to eat dinner with Nathan and Anthony when Anthony came back from class, and then again, headed home to be with the little kids.

Tuesday was fairly uneventful (in a good way!), he continued to wean off of the albutrol until he only needed it every 4 hours. Anthony and Nathan went to a class offered at the hospital on asthma and learned about his at home plan, and then he got to come home!

It was a long and exhausting 3 days (that felt more like a week), and I admit that I asked him probably 100 time a day the first day he was home if he was okay, and if he could breathe alright. I woke up several times throughout the night to check on him too. Sort of like that first night a baby sleeps through the night and you just can't believe they are actually okay.

Since he's been home he's run around the house like a crazy person, played at the park, went on a hike, and he's still using the albuterol 4 times a day, but hasn't had any wheezing or difficulty breathing.

The rest of the kids developed coughs a few days after he came home, and mine showed up yesterday, so my best guess at this point is that it was a combination of the dust, allergies and getting sick all at the same time that triggered the attack. We meet with his allergist next weekend, and hopefully with some more knowledge, can avoid something quite so severe in the future.

I only took one picture while he was in the hospital, the night before he came home. While I wish I had one to compare it to so that you could see how much BETTER he was by the time he was getting ready to come home, it just never crossed my mind when he was still feeling so sick and all hooked up to everything.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Love Picture

"Mom, do you see this picture I made? The one with the two hearts? That's you and Dad, it's a love picture". - Noah

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


There really isn't much I enjoy more than packing for a trip, unless I am packing with 2-4 little helpers climbing all over me. These 2 were very interested in the fact that I was packing their clothes today. Maddie kept trying to take things out of bags and put them on, while Elise was trying to convince me to pack more clothes for her.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Maddie 1

Obviously Maddie didn't answer these herself, but I tried to answer how I think she would, or based on things she enjoys doing so we can look back later.

Hard to believe she is 1 already!

1. What is your favorite color? Unlike her sister at the same age, she doesn't seem to have much of a preference.
2. What is your favorite toy? The little people princess castle and babies, she LOVES baby dolls lately.
3. What is your favorite fruit?Before her party I would have said blueberries, but now that she's had them, she loves strawberries!
4. What is your favorite tv show? Frozen? She still mostly doesn't notice the tv is on, but will stop and dance for catchy songs
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Macaroni and cheese
6. What is your favorite outfit? She likes dresses that are long enough to chew on if she's in the mood, but not so long that she trips on them while she crawls.
7. What is your favorite game?Probably "baby monster" with the big kids
8. What is your favorite snack? Frozen peas
9. What is your favorite animal? She loves my grandma's Pomeranian Ebony, but seems to be a little freaked out by most other animals so far.
10. What is your favorite song? Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
11. What is your favorite book? There are a few with textured spots to touch
12. Who is your best friend? Mom
13. What is your favorite cereal? Hasn't tried any yet
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside?Chase the big kids
15. What is your favorite drink? Milkies
16. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas was fun since she was starting to be able to unwrap things for herself.
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Mom ;)
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Pancakes
19. What is your favorite thing to eat for dinner? Shredded chicken and black beans

20. What do you want to be when you grow up? So far she seems pretty set on staying a baby forever.

In addition to this list, she's cruising, and really really wants to walk. She'll walk all over the place if she has something to hold on to.

Saying just a couple of words. Mama, Dada, yum, hi. She likes to wave constantly. She really thinks she can talk, but isn't quite there yet.

She loves music and dancing and playing with her big brothers and sister. She is a very no nonsense sort of little girl, no fear, and not interested in all of that girly stuff like clothes and hair stuff like her sister. She does love jewelry and shoes though.

Friday, May 16, 2014

 Finally getting used to her bed, one week before her birthday. What is it about being one that makes them suddenly grow up so fast?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

4th Child Syndrome

*Started this post 2 weeks ago and am finally getting around to finishing it. That's what happens when you're the youngest of 4!

Poor Maddie. The main purpose of this blog was to keep better track of things my kids were doing, and as with most things, I haven't quite kept up in the same way that I did for her other siblings.

I realized lately I have ZERO videos of Maddie. None! I need to change that soon before she stops being a baby. It's already happening.

She will be 1 in 3 weeks  1 week. I really can't believe how fast this year has flown by. It's crazy to look back on everything that has happened in the last year.

She is cruising all over the place, and a few times, has let go for a second before she remembers she can't walk, and then grabs back on again. I bet we have about a month before she starts walking for real.

She really thinks she is one of the big kids, following them around all over the house, climbing on things, playing with them. They've done a great job at just including her in their play. She especially loves playing with baby dolls right now, which has been fun (and frustrating!) for Elise. I need to get started on her birthday doll so that she has one of her own to play with!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

It's Spring!

Finally! And boy do we have a lot planned now that it's warm enough to come out of hibernation.

Our garden!
Anthony has been reading a ton of homesteading and mini farming books, I'm researching the best ways to preserve and store the most food. We even used some Christmas money to purchase a pressure canner, which opens up all sorts of new canning possibilities.

We're *just* about ready to till the garden and just a few more weeks until we'll feel safe planting. We both really missed having a garden last year with the craziness of having a new baby and then Anthony's ankle surgery, and are really looking forward to it this year!

We're had a tent for a couple of years, but haven't tried more than backyard camping with the kids yet (and even that didn't really go as planned). We're sort of easing in, a few days near Cape Cod in a yurt with beds and electricity, and then hopefully take a few tent camping trips this summer.

The swingset
So I found someone giving away a large wooden swingset, it turned out to be MUCH larger than I imagined, and there are a few family members and friends who will probably never volunteer to help me with anything ever again. Sorry guys!

It's sitting in our driveway right now, because it was just too big to get up right away, but the kids are practically drooling watching it out their bedroom window. It will be so nice for them to be able to play outside in the yard with their own swingset instead of having to go to the park to swing and climb.

And so much  more fun stuff to come! Maddie will be 1 in a few weeks, I'm attempting to run a half marathon, and I'll be 30 in 7 weeks! It's going to be a great spring and summer.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Elise: 3

I can't believe she is already 3! Wasn't she a tiny baby just yesterday?

 And somehow she has turned into this big girl!

1. What is your favorite color? Pink
2. What is your favorite toy? A princess toy
3. What is your favorite fruit? Blueberries
4. What is your favorite tv show? A princess one
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Sandwiches
6. What is your favorite outfit? Pink dresses
7. What is your favorite game? It's like a batman game
8. What is your favorite snack? Fruit
9. What is your favorite animal? Pooh Bear
10. What is your favorite song? singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to Maddie
11. What is your favorite book? A princess one
12. Who is your best friend? Sawyer and Gabe
13. What is your favorite cereal? Granola
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play with the parachute
15. What is your favorite drink? Juice
16. What is your favorite holiday? The costume one
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Babies
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Fruit snacks (I promise, I have never given her fruit snacks for breakfast!)
19. What is your favorite thing to eat for dinner? Puffs for Maddie, and water for dinner, that's it.
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? Go potty, and drink some water. That's it.

I think she was done with the questions near the end.

She insisted on posing on this crate with her legs crossed, she's never had professional pictures done, I don't know where she gets these ideas!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Year

Maddie is learning consonants sounds this week and has been yelling "blog blog blog" all morning, think she is trying to tell me something?

Happy New Year!

I guess I'll start off the year with my goals/resolutions.

1. I am going to run a half marathon. I signed up. It's real. I'm kind of scared. But it's going to be awesome. Yesterday was supposed to be my first run and wouldn't you know it was -40 with the windchill. Yeah, that didn't happen. I'll try again next week when we have warmer weather. I never thought I'd use "warm" to describe 30's and 40's, but gosh is it cold right now!

2. I am going to organize my house. I know what you are thinking, this has been my resolution for the last 2 years. Still chipping away, it's going to be my resolution until it's done. So far I'm making some progress, the girls room and closet is all cleaned out and organized, hall closet and shoes are done, all of the kids clothes are organized and sorted. THAT was a project. Who knew Elise had enough 18 month-2T clothes to clothe 6 children comfortably for a year? But I also learned she owns about 6 3T items, which explains why she often is walking around the house in shorts or pajama pants when she decides to dress herself.

We're only a week in, but I'm feeling good about them.

I'm also doing a few things just to make my life easier, not exactly a resolution, but just a good time of year to add things to my routine.

The first is to be a little bit more deliberate with menu planning, we always plan out our week, but I usually end up forgetting what we planned on halfway through the week, or losing the piece of scrap paper I wrote it on and then trying to guess what I was going to make with the ingredients that I bought.

I figure if I post here, or at least on google drive with links to the recipes I looked up and then closed, I might actually remember.

Here was last week
Thursday: Lasagna
Friday: Mashed potatoes and parsnips, london broil, broccoli
Saturday: Bean soup with kale and leeks
Sunday: Quinoa/couscous salad, kabobs
Monday: Sweet Potatoes, green beans, rice
Tuesday: Chicken Tortilla Soup

helping daddy do dishes while he was home over Christmas break

tasting some kale

came out from putting Maddie down for a nap to the kids helping Anthony make dinner