Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Easter 2014

Well, it seems all of my Easters are beginning to have a theme when it comes to the willingness of my children to be stuffed into cute Easter outfits and enjoy the day celebrating what our Savior did for us!

And that theme is..........

It ain't happenin' without a fight.

 Easter 2011--even at 3 months old, he was giving me the stink eye over wearing a suit.
Easter 2012---one really pregnant mama and one really pissed off child

Easter 2013--ummm....yeah. Need I say anything? SOMEbody didn't like her dress.
And thus, I present to you folks........EASTER 2014.

Teary eyes....check. Red cheeks.....check. Crazy fit over wearing a dress that she was SO excited to wear just a mere 18 hours before?.....check.
I didn't even fight for a good picture this year. The photographer and proud mom inside of me wanted so badly to get the perfect shot of the two of them together in their cute Easter outfits. But the fight wasn't worth it!
Even though she fought putting her dress on, once she was in it, we had a great rest of the day! We had celebrated Easter with my family the night before with an egg hunt and delicious meal. On Easter day, we went to church and then celebrated with Nick's family. The kids had a blast with their cousins! I managed to get a "kind of" picture of them individually.....

I think someday, Tommy will win an aware for most photogenic.....but I won't hold my breath.
All the running around they did at the party wore them out (thank God!). Miss Tessa got into her Easter candy on the way home without us knowing it. She gorged herself on chocolate (somehow managing NOT to get any on her dress) and passed out in her car seat.
It had it's moments, but overall, it was a great weekend filled with family and fun and Jesus. And I loved it.
Despite the fit throwing :) And while I didn't manage to get an idyllic picture of my two gorgeous babies in their Easter get ups, I DID manage to snap this gem of a pic that I will treasure forever because it is SO them.
Happy Easter!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Tommy's #1 Enemy

Where to begin.......

When Tommy was around one year old, he fell and hit his tooth on a plastic storage bin. It chipped his tooth and eventually turned it brown. We took him to the dentist (which did NOT go well) and he said at that time, it was just a cosmetic problem and there wasn't any real damage to his tooth or nerve. As Tommy's teeth started getting bigger, the chip was less and less noticeable and the browness of it was pretty light. I was SO happy, because I hadn't wanted him to grown up with snaggly teeth, but also didn't want to pay a ton of money to fix a tooth that was going to fall out eventually anyways.

So we let it go.


About two months ago, I noticed that a large part of his tooth had chipped off further, making what was left of his tooth look very........hillbilly. He complained occasionally of tooth pain (although I was never sure if it was legitimate because Tessa happened to be getting new teeth at that time and God forbid she get attention for anything that he doesn't get it for). We scheduled a dentist appointment for both kids and they were scheduling a few weeks out. Then we got the first available date for Tessa's ear tube surgery and of course it was on the same day as the dentist appointments, so we had to reschedule another few weeks out.

Long story short, 1 1/2 months later, we finally made it to the dentist. I had my mom go with me because I had a gut instinct that it was NOT going to go well and I didn't want to have to wrestle Tommy and try to keep track of Tessa. I'd been prepping Tommy about going to the "tooth doctor" and how fun it was and how they had all kinds of neat tooth brushes. He would smile and get excited and laugh while we were talking about it.

And then we walked through their front door. And "it" started. The whining.....the fear....the uncertainty. I had a knot in my stomach the whole time because I just KNEW what was coming. I felt really bad because it was Tessa's first dentist appointment, but I was so focused on keeping Tommy from having a meltdown that I completely missed the fun of her seeing everything for the first time and getting to enjoy her experience. I didn't take one single picture of her the whole time. Mom fail.

Anyway, they called us back and Tessa sat in one chair with Nana while Tommy sat in the one right beside her. As soon as the nurse pulled out a toothbrush.....yes, just a regular, standard tooth brush.......Tommy was done. He clamped his mouth shut, wouldn't lay down, was NOT cooperating. I think I apologized to the nurse about 50 times in the first 15 minutes. We finally got him to just let her brush his teeth, but then she pulled out the electronic spinny toothbrush thing (I believe that's the technical term) and he fuh-LIPPED out. I think the phrases that came out of his mouth were, "Don't touch me, girl!" "Get your hands OFF me!" "I do NOT like dis!!" "Tell that lady to leave. Me. ALONE"


Even though I knew it was coming, I wasn't fully prepared for the frustration that comes with having "that" child. I knew people were staring but honestly, I think I've gotten to the point where I'm no longer embarrassed by outbursts. It was just making me frustrated that Tommy was acting like such a weenie (is it horrible to call my kid a weenie?) and we couldn't get done what we NEEDED to get done. I threatened no prizes, time out, calling daddy and no ice cream until the end of time, but he didn't care. I tried hugging, consoling, sweet talking, praying.........nothing.

She finally quit trying to clean his teeth and called the dentist over. It took all three of us to hold him down and the dentist managed to see his front tooth while Tommy was screaming at the top of his lungs. And he ordered an x-ray. And I was all, "Yeah, THAT will go over well." While we were waiting for the x-ray room, I was holding Tommy and trying to remember that while I was extremely frustrated, he was extremely scared. I was trying so hard to have compassion rather than annoyance. He kept hugging me and saying, "Why is this happening?" I had to keep myself from laughing and I think I actually said, "Son, if this is the hardest thing you go through in life, you're going to be a lucky man. We all have to do things we don't like at one point or another." He just stared at me with the eyes of a three year old that thinks his mom is crazy and started fake crying again.

The x-ray went about as well as the teeth cleaning. I had to hold him down on my lap and we both got covered with the heavy aprons. He yelled, "This thing is weird!! Get it off me!!" and was kicking and screaming the whole time. The nurse was trying to shove the thing you bite down on between his clamped down teeth and I was cursing Nick for getting out of taking Tommy to this appointment. After 5 minutes of literal blood, sweat and tears, we got the x-ray. The doctor said the tooth needed to be pulled because he was starting to show signs of infection. He gave us the option of pulling the tooth now or coming back another day. Pardon my French, but no way in hell was I going to bring my son back AGAIN and go through all this AGAIN. So I told the dentist to get 'er done.

The nurse put laughing gas on Tommy. It did absolutely nothing to calm him down. And the mask kept coming off his face, but the nurse didn't seem concerned about that. I appreciated her help but she was kind of rude and snippy towards the end. Granted, Tommy wasn't the ideal patient, but I would think that working in a pediatric DENTIST office, that's something that should be expected. Tommy was hysterical and I was almost crying--even if you know your kid is being unreasonable, it's still hard to see them that upset. With 5 people holding him down, the dentist gave him about 5 shots in his gum and then pulled out the worlds largest pair of pliers. I almost threw up. I looked away and he just ripped that tooth right out! In like, 5 seconds.

There was blood everywhere and they kept trying to shove those cotton pads in his mouth and he was saying, "Mommy! Dis feels funny! I don't like it!! MOOOOOOMMMMMYYYY!!!!" But it was over and I was SO glad. He ended up getting two prizes and was happy as could be that we were leaving. They gave him a big green plastic tooth to put under his pillow with his actual tooth inside it.
My sweet little three year old (turned temporarily insane due to his fear of.....everything) was back to himself in no time. But now I feel like he looks like a five year old with that gaping hole in the front of his mouth.
He was really grossed out by his tooth (so was I). He kept looking at it and saying, "Yuck!" and "What IS that?"

It was a super horrible, super traumatic, super frustrating experience for Tommy and I. Like, I'm already dreading his 6 month check up. But I'm trying not to think about it and praying that God gives him some kind of super bravery by then--it could happen, right?!
I was super excited though for his first experience with the tooth fairy. He wanted to write her a letter with instructions not to take the green tooth, just the white tooth inSIDE the green tooth. He was very worried she would be confused and take the whole thing. So he dictated this letter and I wrote it word for word.......
I will treasure this letter FOREVER. Take my tooth to the doctor and make a necklace out of it?!? Where do kids come up with this stuff? And he told me he thought the tooth fairy should leave him $5! Say whaaaaa?!? FIVE DOLLARS? And then everyone at work told me that was the standard!

So the tooth fairy decided that would be okay for the FIRST tooth. And then we she was going to go back to old-school...$1 at the most. What kid needs $5 for losing a tooth?

He was so excited when he woke up and saw his green tooth was still there and it had $5 in it!

It ALMOST made up for our horrible experience.

And now, when he's being naughty, I threaten to take him to the dentist and he straightens RIGHT up! ;) Just kidding.......kind of.

Friday, April 4, 2014


Let me tell you a little bit about the last 5 days of my life. I think they can all be summed up in one word.......

I feel like my kids are sick all. The. TIME. And I'm 100% sure I'm not the only mom that feels that way. But for the last few weeks, both of our kids have been coughing, wheezing and snotting all over everything....It's gross and it's non-stop. Last Thursday, we were at the point where they both had pallets on our floor to sleep on because we were afraid they were going to choke on snot in their sleep and we wouldn't hear them and they would asphyxiate and we wouldn't know until several hours later when we went to wake them up!!!

Oh wait. Was that just me? Maybe it was just me.  (Insert awkward silence here)
But I'm SURE Nick felt the same way and just didn't happen to mention it while I was pleading my case to letting both our kids sleep in our room.
We talked about scheduling doctor appointments for them Friday, but we were SUUUUPER short staffed at my job and Nick was acting as general manager while his boss was out of town, so there was really no way either of us could take them in. We decided to just keep an eye on it and see how they were on Monday.
Yeah. Friday night sucked. Lots of coughing, lots of tossing and turning, lots of snot, lots of wheezing. With Tommy having asthma and the way both of their breathing sounded, I woke up Saturday morning and just wasn't willing to let it go any longer. Nick agreed, so we decided to take them to St. Francis immediate care. They opened at 9am, so we got there as close to 9 as we could. There were already at least 15 people checked in and waiting, so I was dreading the wait ahead.
However.....I ended up being very impressed with the whole process. We got seen within about 30 minutes (which is no worse than a regular doctor office). We only paid a $25 copay for each child, which was SO much better than an emergency room fee! The doctor started Tessa on a steroid and antibiotic and told us to continue the breathing treatments we'd been giving. She just said she had some wheezing in her lungs and since it had been going on for almost 2 weeks, she wanted to treat it before it got worse.
And then she listened to Tommy. And within 15 seconds of her seeing him, she diagnosed him with a  double ear infection and pneumonia.
That explained SO much of our life the past week. He'd been crazy grumpy and frustrating, but hadn't said a word to us about his ears hurting or anything. I felt so bad for the little guy. She gave him a breathing treatment in the office and it didn't help at all. She gave him a steroid and antibiotic and we have to go back to our primary care to make sure the pneumonia's cleared up.
I'm so thankful we went in. We were really hesitant because we weren't sure about the wait time or how the service would be or what the copay would be. But I'm so, SO glad we went. I can't imagine if we would have let it go and his pneumonia would have gotten worse....such a scary thing.
On the flip side........taking care of 2 kids on steroids and albuterol breathing treatments is a little like when you walk through the jungle house in the Sedgwick County Zoo. Kinda dark and kinda creepy. You never know what's lurking around the next corner. You might not always see the animals, but you can always hear them, smell them or sense them watching you. You keep your eyes peeled because you know at any given moment an animal can swoop down and attack you or run across your path and trip you or crap on your face or pee in your hair. Even the caged animals are scary because you can see the rage in their eyes.
And that is what my kid's are like on steroids and albuterol. Nick has affectionately nicknamed it The Devil's Juice.
They're slowly on the mend. Lots of coughing still and some occasional wheezing, but better. In the midst of the week of steroids, we had a dentist visit, which added a whole other level to my exhaustion and scarred me and Tommy for life. But that's a completely different post for another time!
In the mean time, raise your glass to the end of the The Devil's Juice and a fresh week to come!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

It's getting closer!

Just in case you didn't know.........my brother's getting married on May 17th! We get to add these pretty ladies to our family and SOON!
I met JJ (and her 2 sweet girls) through her twin sister, Nicole. Nikki is one of my great friends from NCW.
LOVE these girls! I always joked with Nicole that I wished we were sisters.......and then she provided the PERFECT solution! Her twin! I introduced JJ to my brother (through Facebook) and they hit it off and the rest is history! Now they're getting hitched and I'm getting an awesome sister in law and a couple of SUPER cute and SUPER sweet nieces!!
We had a bridal shower for JJ a few weeks ago. Prepare for a barrage of pictures.......
The super cute cupcake cake Nicki made in the shape of a wedding dress--and they were deLISH.

Can't wait for her to be Mrs. Whitson!

 My sister made these cute little cards stamped with a  key and we had people write their "key" to a successful marriage and then gave them all to Joanna.

We made these favors for the guests--bags of popcorn drizzled with white and milk chocolate!


Mother of the groom and mother of the bride--both so excited for this wedding!

Opening gifts--she got all kinds of fun things.

JJ and her sweet mama

Hmmm.......they don't all look anything at all alike ;)

 We're so excited to have her as one of our girls now!
Now that the shower's over, it's onto the wedding! We're all so excited for the big day! And I'm not at all bitter that it's only 4 days after my 30th birthday and that it'll be stealing all my 30 year old glory..............ah-hem.
Just kidding. :)
Maybe it'll help me stop thinking about how I'm going to be THREE DECADES OLD!!
Hurry up and get here, May 17th!!