Thursday, November 18, 2010

Love Letters

Let me just start out this post with how wonderful my mom is.  My mom is fantastic!  She is a wonderful and a fantastic grandmother.  Her life is all about her grand kids. ( Her kids too, but I really think she would take the grand kids over us kids any day!)  One of the many things that my mom is so wonderful about is sending cards in the mail.  It doesn't matter what holiday there is a card for each one of my kids in the mail box.  She does this for all seven of her grand kids, even the babies.  She doesn't send it all in one envelop, but one for each kid.  On days when I know the cards arrive in the mailbox this is what it looks like.

The kids usually run like a bat out of Hades to the mail box. Laughing the whole way, just imagine what kind of card will be waiting for them. 

Then there is usually a small fight over who gets to actually pull the cards out of the box.  Then comes my favorite part,
There faces...

 It is pure joy.

It is utter happiness.

 It is sheer bliss.
As you can tell my mom really loves to do this.  She covers them in stickers and writes long love messages on the inside.  You can tell that she really tries hard to pick out a special card for each one of them.  The kids will them play with these cards, sleep with these cards and take them everywhere.  I eventually have to steal them so I can put them in there book of remembrance. 
Thanks mom for sending all the love letters!
You are the best.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Costumes

For the past few months my life has been consumed by making costumes.  Every other year I go a little batty on our families Halloween costumes, this  year it was Alice in Wonderland.  Making these costumes was a journey!  One of the added bonuses this year was that my niece, Autumn got to join us! 


I made Autumns costume first.  I had to make sure it fit her and she had to have it in time so she could use it in her own neck of the woods.  (Autumn lives about six hours away from us.)  One of the hardest parts was that I had to use a pattern that was three sizes too large for her and then guess from my children's size if I was making it the right size for a five year old.  Luck was on my side and it worked.  She was the most darling red queen I could ever hope for!  It was so much fun to be able to watch at the Halloween party and the trick or treating we did.  She is so full of life and excitement!  (Autumns response to all the make up on her face was: "I look like Mulan!")

Warren as the white rabbit.
 Warren's was the second costume I made.  This one was fun and easy.  Warren is at home with me all day so I was able to work on this one at really convenient times.  He LOVED helping me and being able to try on the costume.  We even worked out a system were he would push the foot pedal and I would direct the sewing of the fabric.  He really loved it when he found a bag of poly-fil in my craft room!  His imagination went nuts.  That stuff became his best friend.  Not only did Warren look darling in this costume, he owned it.  He lived and breathed his part.  He would walk past people and casually say, "white rabbit hear!"  Or he would stop random strangers and tell them that he was the white rabbit. I just can't get enough of him in the costume!

Kimball as the Cheshire Cat
Kimball was a trooper this Halloween.  He wanted to be every character in Alice in Wonderland, including the piano that is in the scene were Alice falls down the rabbit hole.  But after I told him that he got to have a huge smile painted on his face and that he was the only one with the smile for the part he was in love.  He sure loved having a tail.  He made the best Cheshire cat I could ever want. 

Phoebe as the white queen
Once I started Phoebes costume I knew I was getting to the harder ones.  Phoebe really wanted to be the white queen  over being Alice.  I asked her why and she told me that she is a lot like the White Queen in that she does not like to hurt animals.  Wow.  This girl blows my mind everyday.  She also told me that she wanted to wear a princess dress.  So a princess dress she gets!  It wasn't too difficult but I had to battle with HUGE sleeves and slippery fabric.  I really had a special experience making Phoebes costume.  Because Phoebe is so tall and skinny you have to alter her pattern.  She has the waist of a four year old and the height of an almost size 10 child!  As I was making the costume it because apparent that the neck line was incredibly too low and at this point there was no starting over.  I was a little upset and stress.  Okay, I was  a lot upset and a lot stressed.  But I was able to clear my head enough and say a little prayer for help.  Once I did, my stress melted away and I felt the presence of my great grandmother, aka Granny in the room.  Granny was such an amazing women,  she is whole other blog post, but know that  I want to be like her!  Granny could sewing anything you could imagine too.  Once I prayed,  I felt Granny in the room with me and the idea of how to fix the problem was mapped out in my head.  Almost like a mental you tube tutorial.  I had the extra sheer-ish fabric and I was able to make the costume how it looks now.  By time time I was done I was moved to tears.  It was a special experience that I will treasure forever.

By the time I was left to the last two costumes I was just days before our first party.  I had to get started.  Jake's costume terrified me.  I had never sewn a suit coat.  It took my a few weeks to find the right kind of fabric and a lot of searching at good will for a vest.  Would would think it would be hard to find a suit vest?  I sure didn't.  But apparently it is very hard to find one.  I actually found on at Good Will in the ladies department.  I cut the back in half  and added about eight inches of fabric down the middle and then it fit!  Yippee, and no one could tell!    Basically I spent 24 hours with out sleep to finish Jake and I's costumes. The jacket wasn't as hard as I though it would be but I don't think I will be sewing another one anytime soon.  I am glad to say that I have sewn one. It about killed my machine too. (Don't worry, my macine hung on till the very last costume, then bit the dust.  Again, another blog post coming really soon!)  Jake looked so amazing.  I found a tutorial on You Tube to do his make up and it just came together like a dream!  
Jake as the Mad Hatter
Now to my costume.  I am not a huge fan of dressing up in costumes.  Two years ago I got stuck being Glenda the Good Witch.  A huge puffy dress.  Ugh.  But I took one for the team.  When I first started the Alice idea with the family I though Phoebe would be Alice, Autumn would be the Red Queen and I would get out of it!  Wrong. Phoebe through that not hurting animals thing at me.  We couldn't NOT have a Alice, so I was stuck.  By the time I got to my costume It was about two o'clock the morning on the day of the 1st Halloween party.  I was grumpy, tired and cold, but I pushed through telling myself it was for the family!  I woke the family up that morning wearing my Alice outfit.  They all thought is was funny.    

Me,  as Alice.  Again a costume with puffy sleeves.

If you think I was done having special experience with this Halloween you are wrong.  The first Halloween party on the day I had, had no sleep.  It was a trunk or treat.  I immediately claimed the honor of sitting in the trunk of my van passing out candy while Jake took the kids around to all the cars. That is what he really wanted to do anyways.   I have to say I was sitting in the trunk, cold and sleepy and feeling a bit sorry for myself, when I hear a squeal.  I looked  up to see a very special little girl with her mother.  This young girl was glowing with happiness and showing her mother Alice, me.  This special angel really thought I was Alice.  She tired to give me a huge but I was sitting down.  I hopped up fast then I ever thought I could knelt to her level and started talking to her as if I was Alice.  She couldn't say much but I knew she was thrilled to meet Alice.  Little did she know how thrilled I was to meet her!  Her mother asked if she could get a picture of us together.  I felt a little like I worked at Disneyland as a princess.  I agree and we got a picture of me hugging her.  I cried a little as she moved on to the next car.  She really touched my heart.   I didn't mind the puffy sleeved costume anymore.  In fact, I happy to be wearing it.  Not only did I bring joy and happiness to my immediate family, my sister, my niece but this little girl.  I felt like Scrooge after his night with the Spirits.  I was happy to be out in my costume and making people smile. 

It was a really special Halloween. 

PS  I also made my little sister a costume.  She wanted to be a white rabbit.  I still laugh when I see her in the costume. 

Warren was thrilled to have a partner in crime.

We found the best looking Captain Jack Sparrow ever!  Totally impressed!  Get this, he even wanted a picture with us!  What a complement! 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I think I really do have a good excuse!

 I really have wanted to blog about life for the past few months but life has been all too crazy to do much of anything but get through the day.  After the kids started school I started to work on Halloween costumes and deal with some crazy headaches.  I will post about the headaches later as well as the Halloween costumes.  What really has been on my mind is Warren had his tonsils out on Nov. 1st.  I really wasn't that worried, Warren was going to be the last one in the family to have them taken out.  I had mine taken out when I was ten.  Kimball was two, Phoebe was five, Jake was just this past June, and I was very excited to have Warren join the ranks.  The kid was stuffed up,  had sleep apnea and  was tired all the time.  When his ENT looked at the tonsils for the first time he turned to me and said, "Those suckers are huge!  They need to come out right away!"  Well we waited till after Halloween so he could enjoy that holiday with his family.  We needed our white rabbit!  So Early Monday morning we headed to the hospital.  Warren is quite happy about this.  I really don't think he understood what was going to happen. 

Pre surgery
Pre Surgery

 As you can tell from the photos above he was the center of attention.  The nurses just adored him.  He is such a little flirt.  I let the doctors take him from me and as he was going through the O.R. doors he said, "I'll be brave mommy."  I have to say I cried a little.  You think it would get easier doing this as much as I have.  Nope.  Not at all.  I think I cried a little with every one of them.  Even Jake.  Everything went great in surgery with Warren.  The doctor came out and talked to me and told me that he was waking up in recovery and that I would be called back soon.  It was just a few minutes later that I was able to go back to recovery and see my little baby.  I knew right a away something was different.  He was naked (besides his pull up) there was blood on the sheet and he was coughing.  Who coughs after having throat surgery?  The nurse told me right away that the blood was from him ripping out his I.V. when he was waking up.  Apparently he really had a hard time because he had scratches on his face and they had really bandaged his foot tight to keep him  from ripping out the new I.V.  Also, the doctors had a really hard time finding the right spot for the I.V.  It was three pokes in one hand, four in the other, then they found the spot in the foot.  He ripped that one out and now had a new on in the other foot.  Warren couldn't stop coughing.  He was spitting up bloody mucus stuff.  Again, none of my other kids, or Jake did that.  Warren started really struggling for breath and started to choke and cough and choke and cough.  The nurse attending him started to suck out his air way and sit him up.  Warren started fighting back and somehow ended up on his back and that  really choked him up.  His stats started to drop.  His lips started to turn blue.  He was so pale.  I started to panic.  Four doctors RAN to Warren's bedside and another nurse came just to take care of me! I think I almost passed out I was so scared.  The doctors put Warren on a breathing treatment, gave him O2 and continued to suction him out.  After about 20 minutes Warren was finally able to breath normally.  The doctors sent the nurse away and they each took turns sitting by Warren and monitoring him for the next three hours. Warren went to sleep. The poor baby was so beyond worn out from the ordeal that he slept for the entire three hours that he was being observed.  Other doctors would come and check on him too. As scary as it was, I was very thankful for those doctors and the concern they had for my little boy.  And that nurse that kept comforting me when all I could do was stare at my baby getting jerked around by doctors who were trying to open up his airways.  That is what happened.  Warren's airway swelled too much.  They don't know what caused it, they think just aggravation from the tube they used, but they are not sure.  I am not letting that boy have surgery anytime soon!   

This is my poor baby after all the trauma he went through.  It still makes me want to cry.

After about five hours in the hospital Warren really woke up, sat up, and started to devour Popsicles and watch Sesame Street. After one very long day we were cleared to go home. We were both very happy.

Post surgery and really ready to go home

You couldn't tell all that he had been through from this face!

I  love this little boy so much and am so thankful he is happy and healthy!
It is hard to believe that those last three pictures are the same day as the previous one!  We were thrilled to be home and I though that we would have a smooth recovery.  Boy was I wrong.  The first two days went fine.  But on the third day he got a fever and stopped eating or drinking and even threw up.  That mom alarm in me went off.  We went to the emergency room.  Waiting about four hours just to see a doctor and then they started to check him out.  To our relief everything with the surgery was fine.  But after the x-ray, they found out that Warrens large intestines were completely full of poop!  That kid was so backed up he couldn't eat or drink because there was no room.  The codeine they gave him as pain killer was the culprit.  We had to take him off codein and gave him regular Tylenol and started doing suppositories and mirlax.  We tried that for two days and he still hadn't pooped.  He was starting to get dehydrated and lost about two pounds.  We had to take him back to the ER and they had to do an enema on the guy!  Hadn't he been through enough?  It took a while but that worked.  I can only imagine the relief he felt!  We were able to get the rest of it cleared out at home.  It has now been two weeks and Warren is FINALLY better.  He still has a bit of a sore throat but he is eating around the clock.  One night he woke up and asked for a hot dog in a hot dog bun.  I told him no way am I doing that at three in the morning, but he can have a banana and yogurt.  The next night he woke up asking for Mac and cheese and fish sticks.  Again, I told him no, but that he could have some more bananas and yogurt.  He didn't wake me up the third night. 
Now that my baby is on the mends and the Halloween costumes are packed up I am trying to get things back in order and start focusing on Thanksgiving.
More post to come. Can anyone tell me how to change the blog template.  Blogger apparently made some changes in my absences  and did not consult me.  I want to put a cute fall back ground but I can't find how to do it.  Thanks!