Monday, May 25, 2015

first ambulance ride

On New Year's Day, we had a rather scary parenting experience.
Gus started having a raspy voice in the afternoon that day, but I didn't think too much of it.  I just thought he was getting a cold.
He was still in good spirits and was happily playing "Clone Wars" with Aunt Erin, Uncle Gene and Nora.
These are their costumes designed by Gus...
We started to notice that Gus was making a gasping sound.
We thought maybe all the running in the game was the cause so we made him lay down for awhile.  
We had been texting our family doctors (aka: Nano and Aunt Angie), but hadn't been too alarmed yet.  We talked about taking him in to the ER or Urgent Care, but decided to wait.  I wish we hadn't.
We were keeping a close eye on him, but let him go to bed.  Zach laid with him (thank goodness) to keep an eye on him.  About a half hour later he woke up completely gasping for air.  Zach started to put him in the car to take him to the hospital but Gus was flailing his body and I knew we needed to call 911.  We took him back inside while Zach called.  I was holding Gus for the scariest minutes of my life so far.  He started turning blue and his eyes were rolling to the back of his head.  I was frantically trying to get him to breath while Zach was giving me advice from the 911 operator.  Thank goodness the firemen arrived in about 3 minutes.  They gave him epinephrine to get him breathing, but he was unconsious.  He and I road in the ambulance to Phoenix Children's Hospital.  He doesn't remember any of it, but later on he thought it was cool that he got to ride in an ambulance.  Once we were in the ER they diagnosed it as croup.  It was a very bad case for a kid as old as Gus.  Usually they only see it that bad in infants.  His gasping is something they call "Strider" (which sounds cooler than it is).  After three breathing treatments in the ER, he was still having the strider so they admitted him to the hospital.   Once we got to his room he was wide awake for most of the night thanks to the drugs.  He got to watch lots of movies.  I mean LOTS of movies.  It was a grand total of twelve before we left.  
The next day, he was doing so much better and having lots of fun at the hospital.  He got French toast and sausage for breakfast and people brought him lots of presents.  
The nurses also gave him lots of fun toys from the hospital.  He was in good spirits again pretty fast...
He thought his glowing thumb was pretty cool.  
The doctors decided to keep him the next night because croup often gets much worse in the night.  They were right, but he didn't have a very bad night.  The next morning we were ready to check out with a happy little boy whose memories were only of the fun parts.  If you talk to him about it, the hospital would sound like a blast.  
He later asked if he could go back.  I said, "I hope not."

Friday, May 22, 2015

happy 2015

This New Year's Eve we hung out at home with just our family.
We played games and waited for 10:00 to watch the ball drop in NYC.
Then we went outside to play with our sparklers.
Back inside we popped some poppers...
... and drank our sparkling cider and champaign...
We prayed for a Happy 2015.
The very next day God gave us a challenge that would require more prayers.
More to come on that.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

a shower for my sister

My sister, Erin, is pregnant with her first baby so we managed to squeeze in a shower while she was here for Christmas.  I will be honest, I am not usually a fan of showers (expect the kind where I get wet), but it is different when it is your sister and you get a great excuse to hang out with all your aunts, cousins, and other favorite ladies that you don't get to see often enough.
The food is usually pretty good, too.
Nora stole lots of the attention...
And, of course, we left it to the Smeck ladies to plan some silly games to play...
We left it up to Dot to provide the entertainment...
She got Nora up on the fireplace to perform with her, but she was the ring leader and Nora just copied what she could.
Dot is quite the ham, but apparently doesn't actually like to share the stage...
The pictures end here because shortly after this she pushed Nora head first onto the floor.
A sad ending to a lovely party, but both girls have recovered.
Erin's baby will have to be tough to hang out with this crowd.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

boxing day 2014 and other days after christmas

The day after Christmas may mean you have to wait a whole year until next Christmas, but it is still a pretty darn good day.  We refer to it as Boxing Day which we claim to be able to do thanks to our English Heritage.  It is a little more relaxing than Christmas (but I don't really want a relaxing Christmas) and we get to stop and really enjoy our presents. Then we have a big family dinner at my house.
I always try to take pictures of all my kids with their loot so they can look back and remember someday.  Actually, Jimmy already loves looking at his Christmas pictures from each year and then rounding up those toys to "play Christmas."   I still love looking at my old Christmas pictures, too.  What is it about seeing all your presents in one big pile?  I guess we just like stuff a little too much.  For Gus that stuff is mainly weapons...
For Jimmy it is probably more games and Legos...
For Nora it is babies...
(And as I was typing this with her next to me she pointed out that she was wearing a hat.  I didn't even notice that the Santa wine bottle was perfectly placed right behind her to make it look like it is sitting on her head.  I love that she pointed it out to me.)
...
Baabee saved his present for Boxing Day so that it would be more exciting.  It was Nerf guns and cut-outs of dinosaurs to try to shoot.  Of course, the boys quickly discovered it is more fun to shoot real people.
Aunt Nat was scared of them...
The boys loved them...
We also did the grown-up t-shirt exchange.  We all drew names and had to buy each other funny t-shirts.
And we all got a special pair of custom made Christmas "wristers" of my dad's own invention (they are socks with the toes cut off the you wear on your wrists).  Just you wait.  They are going to be all the rage.
The kids were thrilled to watch a movie...  Cant' you tell by all the expressions?... But seriously this is all of them very happy.
We did our traditional poppers filled with paper crowns, goofy trinkets, and bad jokes.
The days after that are a blur to me now, but I am pretty sure they were filled with lots of playing with our new toys and games.  The boys loved the game Aunt Nat gave them called Suspend:
We made our gingerbread house a bit late again this year so I think I am just going to make that a tradition. 
Not only does it give me one less thing to cram in before Christmas, but also the aunts love being in town to help.
We never want to let them leave, but sometimes we have to...
We try to enjoy our weather by getting outside to play...
We got some good days in with Uncle Danny.  His trip was short, but we were so happy he could come.  He is the most fun...
We took Jimmy to a bike store to pick out his new bike. It was his gift from Nano and Nana.  It is his first bike without training wheels so it is going to take some practice.
We got to see our dear friends a few more times...
We all made it to the train park one night before we had to say goodbye for awhile...
I realized I still had some shortbread cookie dough we still needed to bake.  I made a double batch this year so it was the first time I have ever had more than I had time to bake.  The kids were not happy that I had opted out of making and decorating sugar cookies this year so I let them use the cookie cutters on the shortbread dough instead.  Not sure why I never thought to do this before.  Shortbread cookies are way better than sugar cookies.  The kids had fun decorating them with various colors and nasty sprinkles...
And I think that was the end of our Christmastime celebrations.   We do our best to keep our tree up until the Epiphany and keep the spirit of the season going.  We are always sad when it is all over.  Until next year.