Saturday, September 26, 2009

Apologies, Revelations, and Lots of Pictures

First of all, I want to apologize to the Grandparents. National Pet Memorial Day was on Sep. 13, and my rescue had a big event with lots of vendors and we were threatened by a monsoon and almost had to cancel...and with all the energy I put into this, I forgot that it was also GRANDPARENT'S DAY!!! Bad, Mommy, bad! So...Grandma and Grandpa Bane, Grammy and Grandpa Wilhelm, and Grandma Pat- Happy Grandparent's Day!! Dalton and Jackson love you (and so do Daddy and me...Daddy and I...whatever) and I'm sorry that we forgot this important day.

A lot of people have told me that with each child you have, the first kid gets TONS of pictures taken of them. Tons of pictures and tons of video. And then you have #2, and you take less pictures, record in their baby book less, and so on and so forth with each child you have. I find that I have actually taken MORE pictures of Jackson than I did with Dalton. Maybe part of it is that Dalton and Jackson are being cute as brothers...maybe part of it was the drama with Jackson's arrival, and I am amazed at how well he's doing. I don't know. But we take more. Now, we do take less video than we did with Dalton, but hey, I never said I was perfect!!

Do you notice anything about this picture below? Maybe that the blanket that Jackson is pouncing on is kind of lumpy??
Well, that would be because Dalton is under that blanket. :) That's a new favorite game of theirs. They are constantly wrestling on the floor. And if Dalton is under a blanket then Jackson is, of course, pretty much jumping on top of him.
Jackson is pretty much into everything now. EVERYTHING. He is pulling up to standing all the time, and can walk if he is hanging on to something. He's learning slowly....he's learning that he can stand on his tip toes to reach things on the dining room table. He's learning that he can grab all sorts of stuff that he shouldn't, and quickly shove it in his mouth to "hide" the evidence of his thievery (is that even a word??).
Dalton is none too happy with this...more and more I hear Dalton complaining that "Jackson has this, Jackson has that" or "Ew, gross, now it's covered in baby slobber!" That's a real big one. Everything has slobber on it and Dalton is kind of grossed out by that!
Jackson is also quite the climber. He's on top of everything. "Hey, Mom, look at me! I'm on the table!"
"Hey, Mom, look at me! I'm on the dish washer door, and I'm going to poke my eye out with a steak knife...Cool!"
Now, with his favorite place being on TOP of something, his second favorite place is in our bedroom. The windows go almost to the floor, so they are low enough that he can stand at the window and be face to face with the dogs...he also likes to bang on the window, I think he likes the noise it makes.
"Let me out of here! They have me confined! I'm being held against my will!!"
And for the final fantastic picture of this post, Jackson is now wanting to do everything that Dalton does. And who doesn't want to stand naked in front of the bath tub?!?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Doctors, Doctors, Doctors

Yesterday was a very tiring day. We started the day by going to Jackson's orthodics doctor in Fayetteville to have his new helmet (cranial band) fitted. For those of you that have asked, the actual condition is called deformational plagiocephaly. Dalton, Jackson and I went (Daddy had to work)...I actually took the camera with me with the intention of getting a few shots of the actual fitting being done, but it just didn't work out. Of course Dalton had questions about everything in the place. When we went in last time, they had "scanned" J's head...basically he sat in my lap, with this sock looking thing over his head (to keep his hair from interfering) and with a sensor that ran up through the back of the sock and stuck out the top of it. (He reminded me of a tella-tubby). So they scan him to get a 3D image which they made a mold from, then made the helmet from that.

The helmet is big to start out with. It shifts over his head and we're constantly readjusting it. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

So they made the helmet, and we went to have it fitted. Twice they had to take it off and trim areas of the helmet around the ears. We were in the office for about two hours. Jackson actually did pretty well, although he was tired by the time we got done. Funny story...the doctor asked me if I wanted to keep the model they made of Jackson's head, and I said, sure, why not? So it was sitting on the counter. When we were almost done I told Dalton to grab the model of Jackson's head and put it in the diaper bag, and Dalton says "How about we put his body in there, too?" I guess he thought I was talking about Jackson's actual head. :)

The doctor also does prosthetics for missing limbs and such. When we went back to the front, I sent Dalton to play in the lobby while I took care of the bill. (Which is another story for another day...the insurance company has denied the claim, and the office is sending in an appeal, so I only paid a portion of the bill). While Dalton was playing, I heard another person in the lobby with him, but they were behind the door and I did not see her. This is important for another story later!

Then we left and came home. We were home only long enough for both boys to eat and for me to grab a quick something, and then we headed back to Fayetteville for an appt for me. I had tried to find a sitter for the afternoon and couldn't. I also tried to find someone in Fayetteville that would have been home so that we could hang at their house in between appts, but that didn't work out either, so we ended up spending 2 hours driving total.

Anyway, the boys are tired, and here we are sitting the waiting area for my doctor...there's one other lady in the room. And Dalton says, "Hey, there was this lady at Jackson's doctor..." (I think he was referring to the woman in the lobby with him that I didn't see while I was paying...) "...and she was missing a leg and there was a man pushing her in a wheel barrow." Of course I laughed, and the lady in the room with us died laughing too! So I had to explain to him the difference between a wheel chair and a wheel barrow.

They did pretty good during my appt, but they were both tired and a little cranky. And to top it off, I have to go back to Fayetteville before Saturday to have an EKG! Don't worry, all is fine, it's just that my doctor wants to double the dosage of a medication I am taking for my stomach. If you have a heart arrhythmia, and you get on the higher dosage of the meds, it can kill you. But if you don't have a heart arrhythmia, then you're fine. So they are just wanting to make sure my heart is okay before they increase my dosage.

So needless to say, I will not be taking the kids with me! It was actually kind of funny b/c we were standing at the desk checking out, and Dalton is whining, and Jackson has been in his stroller for two hours, and he's starting to melt down, and the nurse calls in the order for the EKG and then looks at me and says "Could you go get the EKG right now?" Hmmm...well, sure, if you're going to keep my cranky kids! What a dumb question!

Anyway, Jackson's helmet is big to begin with. Basically as he grows into it, it will slowly reshape his skull. Since it's big right now, we're constantly shifting it to keep it from rubbing his ear or falling over his eyes. He actually doesn't even care that it's on. I've only caught him a couple times trying to take it off. Yesterday he wore it for three hours (split up over the day) and today he wore it for six hours. Tomorrow we're supposed to do eight hours (and this will be the first day he'll wear it through his nap). The next day will be 12 hours, then 16 hours, then 18 hours, and then on day seven, he should be at 23 hours a day from here on out. It's made our bedtime routine stink...because we must wash his hair every day now, and he can only have the helmet off for one hour a day after the first week, and during that hour we'll have to get him cleaned up and also clean and disinfect the helmet and dry it.

And the best part is that the helmet makes him so sweaty! He just stinks all the time like sweat now (which they said the excessive sweating should taper off by week 3, but we'll see). Here's a couple pics of him right after we took the helmet off tonight...

And I know you're all just dying to see what he looks like in it, so here it is!! In this one, he was bound and determined to get Peanut's tail!!

"I'm not so sure about this, Mom. Can we take it off?"

From the back...of course Chris made them put a stupid Razorback on it!! I asked if they could upload my rescue's logo, but they couldn't do it. :)

All in all, it was a long day. But I'm pleasantly surprised at how well Jackson is adjusting to it. On average, treatment is about four months. Ours may be shorter since we started so late and his skull may fuse before then, so we'll see!!
I've also occasionally caught Dalton hitting him on the head (with helmet on), and I tell him to stop and he tells me that "it's okay for me to smack him, he has a helmet, he won't get hurt". And Jackson, the goober...if we're in the bathroom or in Dalton's room, and it will only take a minute, I shut the door to keep Jackson out. And Jackson sits outside the door and rams him head into the door over and over!! Now, the few times he's fallen and bonked his head, it's been nice b/c he doesn't cry as he is protected with the helmet. But I'm thinking that after treatment is done, he's going to get a rude awakening when he slams his head into the door and it suddenly hurts!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Well, Well, Well... (Drum Roll Please)

...Look who decided to join us in the land of the upright!!

A week or two ago, he finally pulled up to standing, three times in a row! And then nothing until two nights ago.

Now? It's all he does!! If you try to place him on the floor after holding him or carrying him, he straight legs it and refuses to be on his bottom.

He also needs work on his landing. If he's standing, and wants to get down to crawl, then he just plain falls down. And when he's up...well, he just doesn't understand that he can move those little chubby feet in a different direction and actually move! He stands up, and maybe his toy rolls away, or Dalton moves away, or whatever, and then he looks at you like "What the heck do I do now?"

It bothers me that he mostly uses the bricks to stand up. And it also bothers me that last night we found him standing on the table! Dalton has a Little Tykes plastic picnic table in the living room, and somehow Jackson managed to hoist himself up on the bench, then onto the table! And Jackson just LOVES that he can reach all kinds of stuff that he wasn't able to get to before! Like magnets! It's SO MUCH FUN to put magnets in your mouth, and choke on them, and make Mommy come running and have her dig her finger through your mouth and then bite her with all your tiny sharp little shark teeth! That's so much fun! Believe me, Mommy isn't crying from pain, she's crying from joy, I promise.
Oh, well. Get a good look at his hair and his cute little lopsided head! Jackson goes in tomorrow morning to get his helmet! So it's pretty much going to be helmet head 24/7 from here on out...well, for about four months or so anyway...J's orthodics doctor told us that is the average length of treatment, so we'll see.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Mom!!

Also forgot to give a shout out to my mommy....she celebrated her 75th birthday on the 8th. Happy Birthday, Mom!

Thanks for giving life to the most awesome person in the world (me!)... :) I love you!!!

Oh, Mother Nature!!

Yup, it's been a while since I've posted. Sorry about that! I've been keeping up with jogging every other day or so, and last week even jogged three days in a row. I haven't been since Monday because the others girls have been sick and I just can't find the motivation to do it by myself yet! I started jogging almost 4 weeks ago, and to the best of my calculations, we've logged a little over 40 miles! I still don't have a distance measuring pedometer, and one of the trails that we run, I have a feeling that the distance is NOT what is marked. Hard to explain. But I'm very proud of us for having gone that distance to date!!

I've also been super busy preparing for an event this weekend put on by my's for National Pet Memorial Day, celebrated on the 2nd Sunday of September each year. I've done SO MUCH to get ready for this event....we have a lot of local businesses participating. Big Wag Dog Bakery is giving out samples, Dog Watch is promoting their boarding facility and also giving an agility demonstration, Camp Bow Wow is promoting their boarding facility, the dog trainer for the City of Bentonville K9 unit is giving a group is microchipping (for only $15.00!!), we're selling tshirts, and low cost collars/leashes/toys. We are doing a candle lighting and moment of silence, and will have a local pastor there to give a blessing. And I spent a good hour writing up what I'm going to say to everyone and how I will introduce everyone. We'll have our foster dogs there, too, up for adoption. I've put a ton of effort into getting this organized...we're also decorating the graves at the local pet cemetery...Chris helped me make 400 flags to mark the graves.

At first, there was a 40% chance of rain because of a front coming in from California/Oregon area...but that's not an issue any more. But now there's a tropical storm moving up from Texas, and they are calling for an 80% chance of rain on Sunday!!! I am so mad that this may get rained out. We have a rain date set for a week later...but I have all this stuff sitting in my garage and sitting on the dining room table to take to the event, and I put so much effort into getting it all organized and arranged, and now we may have to postpone?!? I am so ready to just be done with it!! And on top of that, CNN was supposed to be there on Sunday to do a video feed of the event, which would give us much needed exposure, but if it gets postponed, I can't guarantee that they will be there for the rain date. Plus, the pastor doing the blessing can't do the rain date, either, so if we do post pone, it will be a mad scramble to find another pastor to do it and to redistribute all the ads to notify of the new date.... Ugh. Freaking mother nature! I'm very irritated with her right now!!

On a different note, I got some much needed shopping for the boys done last week. The big consignment sale was in town and I got Jackson some pants! The child had one pair of pants for this winter, and money is so tight right now that I couldn't see spending $12.00 a pair at the store. I also got a jogging stroller...for $35.00. It retails new for almost $500, so great buy, right? I took Jackson one night last week...and running with that stroller just kills my back!! So I guess I'll be selling it. If I can't use it, there's no sense in it sitting taking up space. I also went back to the sale a couple days later to get stuff for my friend Marcie in was fun shopping for her b/c she has a daughter...I never get to shop for girl stuff! And I never get to shop for stuff with someone else's money, either! All around great time. :)

Of course, right after I spent all that money, several things broke at our house...the hedge trimmers. Which our bushes are out of control HUGE right now and really need to be trimmed. And the TV in our bedroom broke. But we can live without that. Best of all, our lawn mower broke too!! Chris was mowing when a chunk of metal flew off the mower and oil and gas spewed all over the place. You can now see all the gears and inner workings of the mower...and the metal piece that flew off? It broke right out of the middle of this big piece of metal, and it was a couple inches long...and a half inch thick. I can't imagine if one of us had been standing in it's path when it happened.

Time for bed for me now, so off I go to stare at the ceiling for several hours. I will try to get some new pictures posted tomorrow...the boys have been very cute lately!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

No Girls (Or Babies) Allowed

Last Saturday, Chris and Dalton went on a "big boys only" fishing trip to Roaring River. Chris got up pretty early (5:30 on a Saturday...egads!!) and Dalton got up soon after. Chris said he did pretty good...he said "Dalton, it's time to get up to go fishing." and Dalton said "Okay" and just got up! Which means he was pretty excited!!

They started out by getting their fishing licenses for the day.

They also got to feed the fish, too. Roaring River is really cool because they breed the fish and then release them every morning at 7:00 am. So if you go at that time, you're pretty much guaranteed to catch a fish. It was funny when Chris asked Dalton a few days earlier if he wanted to go fishing, and Dalton said, "I already went fishing and I didn't catch anything." But, see, you've never been to Roaring River!! Here's Dalton feeding the fish...
And then they just kind of chilled out!
I was pretty glad that I wasn't there for this trip. Dalton standing on the edge of this concrete thing would have really freaked me out!!!
They only fished for about an hour, and Dalton caught THREE fish all on his own!! Daddy caught four. Chris said that Dalton got so excited, yelling "I got one!" and that other people around them were giving them dirty looks (I guess because he was scaring the fish??) Party poopers. Here's Dalton with his Trout...
There's this big cave with a pond in front, and Dalton thought that was pretty cool.
Chris said that the batteries went dead after only taking a few pictures. He took our old small camera so as not to risk dropping the big fancy one in the water. :) But I am SO proud of him for taking the camera and getting some good pictures!! Usually I'm the one that wants to take the camera everywhere. I took this picture of the boys when they returned home.
Neither of us really eat fish, and Chris doesn't know how to clean them, so I called my sister Julie and she came and relieved us of our fish problem. All in all, a great trip for the "big boys"!!