Friday, December 30, 2011

Life with a Cranky Kid

So we may have mentioned once or twice, but Bodie has a tendency to be a bit of a crankster. He pretty much wears his 1/2 a heart on his sleeve for all to see. When he's happy, he's BEYOND happy - more fun than any kid I've ever been around. Just a total goofball. But when he's unhappy, The whole world must stop and cater to him until his problem is taken care of. As one of this therapists put it a few weeks ago, when talking about Bodie's quiet cry due to his vocal cord issue, "what he lacks in volume, he makes up for in emotion." (I hear this is not uncommon in little boys, but Bodie does seem to take it to the extreme.) So, in  honor of our little crankypants (and because Daddy is occasionally known as a bit of a crankypants himself (some have said he's an "old man" already - tee hee)), I made Dusk this desk calendar for Christmas this year. Enjoy a look back at Mr. Crankypants (you can click on any of the pictures to enlarge them)...

Oh, and if you're keeping count of our "Christmas sickies," you can add 2 more - my sister-in-law came down with the stomach flu and I started antibiotics yesterday for a sinus infection. Fun times!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Merry Freakin' Christmas

So, in addition to Christmas presents and family memories, this year, we decided to spread the love via shared germs as well - BOTH in the form of the nasty splitting head cold and throwing your guts up stomach flu variety. Sounds fun, right? Super. Our family brought some cold germs, my brother's family brought some cold germs and my mom decided to throw some flu germs on top. The count so far is 4 massive head colds, 4 ear infections and 5 stomach flu survivors (and it's only a starting pool of 6 adults and 3 kids!). It was a regular ole petri dish of holiday fun.

Seriously, the everyone getting sick part wasn't too great, but otherwise, it was a super fun vacation. And I couldn't help but breathe a sigh of relief more than once that Bodie is no longer "interstage" (pre-Glenn) where either a cold or flu would send him to the hospital, or worse. Thankfully, at this point, he's stable enough that other than a ridiculous amount of crankiness, he tends to tolerate illness pretty well. And we snapped a lot of great pics around the swarm of germs...

Our whole family at our traditional Christmas Eve lunch at the Madonna Inn (the best Black Forest cake on the planet!!!)
The kids at the Christmas Eve candlelight service...
This is what my sweet angelic 18 month old nephew Michael did during most of the service. When he did wake up, he sat quietly on my sister-in-law's lap, gently playing with the pretend candles - seriously could not have been cuter...
Meanwhile, this is what my kids did...
notice what they're doing with the "candles"?
Sierra's putting hers in her ear... 
And Bodie's went straight into his mouth, and then, in his ears, up his nose, in his hair and on his head fashioned as horns - honestly, kinda appropriate given how he was behaving! ;-)  
He was also tearing apart all of the paper he could find and screaming "BARBARA! BARBARA!" at my mom's best friend, who he could see singing in the choir at the front of the church (again, thank goodness for only 1 working vocal cord!).  He was such a typical toddler boy - all I could think was how grateful I was that almost everyone in that church had been praying for Bodie for so long that they probably were willing to give him some extra grace when it came to those kind of antics...I hope.

We snapped a pic of the kids after the service. I love this pic because it so captures their personalities perfectly - Sierra, more or less trying to be well behaved, Michael innocently standing there doing what he's supposed to be doing...and then Bodie. Man this kid is a bull in a china shop. Enough said.
A family pic after the service (and no, I have no idea why Sierra is lifting her dress over her head).

Christmas morning. Ear infection had set in pretty bad for Bodie at that point, so he definitely had his crankier moments, but overall, he had A LOT more fun than last year, thankfully! His favorite gift was probably this one - a HUGE Mickey Mouse from my parents (Bodie is obsessed with Mickey Mouse and Elmo these days)... 
He LOVED it. 
 Sierra's favorite present was this doll set - we literally got it for $10 at Walmart on Black Friday. An "older sister" doll and a baby doll. Best $10 we ever spent.
The day after Christmas, we took the kids to the dunes by my parents house - how AWESOME is this??? 
Sierra LOVED it. Just ran and dove everywhere in the sand.
And, surprisingly, Bodie really liked it, too.
 Can't you tell? Haha! No really, he did - he was a little apprehensive at first, but once he got used to the colder sand, he took to it, rolling and running everywhere. He's Bodie - and it was a chance to get really really dirty - enough said.
All in all, even with the germs spread around, we had a GREAT Christmas. A wonderful chance to get together with loved ones and celebrate Christ's birth and His love for us. And to revel in the miracle of both of our children as well. Hope you and your family had a blessed Christmas as well!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Opening Act

4 years ago, we were thrown into the craziness known as hospital life. Our sweet 8  month-old baby girl was sick, so very, very sick. She had been running raging fevers and crying for hours on end for almost a week (unlike Bodie, who, let's just say, tends toward the cranky side of the spectrum, Sierra was a HAPPY baby, so we knew immediately something was wrong). She would fall asleep in my arms and the second anything woke her up, she'd be crying in agony again. The doctors knew something was very wrong, but couldn't quite figure it out. In a matter of 4 days, they had run multiple blood tests, done a spinal tap, a chest x-ray and an abdominal x-ray. All that showed up was a significantly elevated white blood cell count.

Then, on December 21st, Sierra's pediatrician finally gave up. She had us admitted to the hospital for an MRI and said we weren't going home until we figured out what was wrong. Sweet baby girl was so sick she didn't even need to be sedated for the MRI. She just lay there quietly while I recited "Moo, Baa, Lalala" over and over again in  her ear. 2 hours later, we had our answer - pnuemonia throughout her entire right lung. They were baffled as to how she had managed to sound totally clear and not have any breathing issues and were amazed it had not spread. They started agressive IV antibiotics, but her fever continued to rage. By the next day, they realized why - the pneumonia was caused by staph, probably MRSA, given the magnitude of her illness. They brought out the big guns then, the crazy, icky IV antibiotics that blow your veins out and require new placements of IV's every day or 2. (Have to say, with what I know how, I'd have insisted on a picc line, but what can I say - I didn't know what I didn't know then.)

Within a couple of days, her fever broke and a day after that, she was 100% back to herself. But they kept us as long as they could, to run the longest course of IV antibiotics that they could, basically, until all of her accessible veins were blown. And so, 9 days later, they sent us home on oral antibiotics and we had to quarantine her for another 10 days.

 If you're counting, she was in the hospital December 21 through the 30th. Her first Christmas was spent in the hospital. :-( We walked into the hospital with all of the anticipation of Christmas in the air - and walked out to decorations all having been put away. Although my parents and brother, bless their hearts, brought Christmas to us in the hospital, Christmas truly sort of passed us by. Of course, this feeling would become second nature with Bodie, who spent almost every holiday between Valentine's Day and Labor Day of his first year in the hospital, but I'd never experienced it before. It was the oddest feeling.

We were blessed to get home in time for New Year's Eve (just in time to catch food poisoning from the pie we ate on New Year's Eve, actually - ah, fun times! Way to ring in 2008!). The whole experience was truly petrifying, not only for Sierra (who developed an apparently lifelong aversion to oral medicine as a result), but also for me (who walked in with Sierra and didn't leave the hospital until she was discharged) and Dusk (who wasn't allowed to stay overnight in the hospital, except on Christmas Eve - due to a ridiculous 1-parent rule). We were so scared we'd never get our little girl back. Praise God we did and she was totally fine - hasn't had a reoccurence (although we had been warned it might happen) and has been so healthy since then. But at the time, it was so frightening. We thought it was the worst thing any parent could go through.

Turns out, she was just the opening act. Sibling rivalry runs deep in our family apparently.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The fashion police

So, Sierra's always been known for her "unique" sense of style.

So, when Bodie came out with boy parts, I breathed a huge sigh of relief that the crazy (read: embarassing to mommy and daddy) dressing days were over. Clearly, I was delusional.


Now that he can and does pick out his own clothing, it is generally variations on the above outfit - 1 of his 3 monkey shirts, swim trunks (yes, swim trunks - EVERY.SINGLE.DAY), either a whistle or a beads around his neck and legwarmers (our general rule with the kids has always been that if you want to express yourself through clothing, that's totally fine as long as (1) you're not showing too much skin and (2) it's weather appropriate - so the end result is that we have a rather prolific use of Babylegs legwarmers in our household). His therapists tell me he's the most fashionable one at TWISPP. But I know - that's just a nice way of saying "wow, what a weirdo!" It's ok - we love him anyway. :-)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Grateful Hearts

Top 10 Things the Bennetts are Grateful for this Thanksgiving

1. NO one throwing up! (If you need to know why we're specifically grateful for this, look here). 

2. A ridiculously inquisitive little boy, who just wants to know how everything works.

3. Living somewhere warm enough the snowmen shirts almost always go with shorts.

4.Multitasking mamas (toddler in arm, backpack on back, older child holding hand, marching down the hiking trail . In the pic, daddy is holding our "other child," our Canon SLR camera - but rest assured, we quickly did some switching around!)

5. NOT being in the hospital! (We spent Sierra's first Christmas (and the 4 days before and 5 days after) as well as all but one holiday between Valentine's Day and Labor Day of Bodie's first year in the hospital!)

6. An independent little boy who just wants "WALKING"

7. Enough said. ADORABLE face.

8. Brand spanking new Christmas jammies (Bennett family tradition: new Christmas jammies and watching A Christmas Story on Thanksgiving night - hello holidays!).

9. 2 HAPPY AND HEALTHY kiddos!

10. A loving God who made this beautiful creation for us to enjoy!
(all these hiking pics were taken in palm Springs - who knew there was this much beauty here???)

Happy Thankgiving from our family to yours!!!