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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

8 Month Update

It's time for another monthly baby update for Myers!

In the last month, he has...
  • Started crawling
  • Figured out how to feed himself items such as puffs or cheerios
  • Flown on an airplane for the first time in his life
  • Gone on his first boat ride
  • Swam in the warm waters of the Atlantic for the first time
  • Had his first trip to an Emergency Room
  • Started waving to people, but mostly to himself
  • Met lots of cousins, aunts, uncles, and his Great Gran
  • Started to grind his teeth
  • Developed more of the reddish tint in his hair
  • Acquired the signature gap between his top front teeth, just like his Pops
  • Started saying "Dixie" whenever he sees our dog (named Dixie!)
  • Remained sick with respiratory infections
  • Refused to sleep 
  • Become very clingy and needy with Mommy

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Family Reunions

Anytime that we visit the family beach house in North Carolina is like a family reunion of sorts.  The only difference this summer is that we were able to spend time with more family than ever!

From sun up to sun down, Reagan was busy playing with her cousins each and every day.  She was the little social butterfly this year, floating from house to house visiting with family.  Of course, it is hard to stay inside any of the houses for long when we're at the beach.  There is just too much fun to be had outside and on the water...

We were also lucky enough this trip to be able to spend some time with my Grandmother.  I can not begin to explain how grateful I am to my Uncle Wayne and Aunt Evelyn (my mom's older brother and his wife) for bringing my Grandmother to the waterway to visit with us.  I was determined to see her this trip, but I couldn't imagine how we were going to make the 5+ hour car trip to Grandmother's house when Captain Cranky Pants can't stand to be in his car seat for 5+ minutes!

They arrived on Wednesday afternoon, and we immediately started having a beaching good time with them...  soaking up the sun, splashing in the baby pool at the beach house, swimming in their hotel pool, and eating up some delicious Southern seafood treats!  Reagan and Myers both loved all of the extra attention that they received (as if they hadn't been spoiled enough already by the dozens of other family members at the beach).  I'm pretty sure that my Grandmother (or Great Gran as my kids call her) was happy to see us all, but she was especially excited to meet her first great-grandSON for the first time!

It really was a special visit... THANK YOU AGAIN WAYNE & EVELYN!

Being with ALL of my family makes it even harder to say goodbye and return home to Canada, but that is what will happen tomorrow.  As the saying goes, "All good things must come to an end."

Until next summer...

Friday, July 15, 2011

It's NOT All Good

Like many moms who blog, I enjoy posting about all of my kids' accomplishments, milestones and achievements.  And I love to post about all the fun and exciting activities we do and trips we make.

But I also want to be a blogger who keeps it real, so that means that I have to make this post... 

This vacation back home to Carolina hasn't been all "rainbows and butterflies" of happiness.  There have been parts of it that have been pure hell.  And it's not because we are away from our Canadian home... the weeks (and months) leading up to this trip were much of the same.

You may recall from this post that our entire family had been sick with a crazy respiratory infection a few weeks before we left for vacation.  Well, only a few days after I had published that post, Myers was also diagnosed with double ear infections.  Reagan was then diagnosed with yet another ear infection a few days after Myers.  JUST GREAT!  Thankfully, one week before we left to come to the waterway, both Myers and Reagan were given a clean bill of health to travel.  No colds and no ear infections!  Our doctor did warn me that it was possible that a flare up could occur in either of our children, and that I would need to get them to a doctor at the first signs of any illness to make sure that we weren't dealing with additional ear infections.  I filed that piece of information away in my brain with the hope that I wouldn't need it.  Yeah, right...

You may also remember that I posted in both his six month update and seven month update that Myers isn't the world's greatest sleeper.  That hasn't gotten any better either.  His sleeping habits worsened with all of his illnesses, and then the pattern just seemed to stick for him even after he was well.  He was waking up almost every hour on the hour before we left for Carolina, so needless to say this Mommy was hoping to get some much needed rest while on vacation. Yeah, right...

The first night that we were at the beach house, Myers had an absolute freak-out meltdown when I put him in the playpen to sleep in.  It was like something out of a horror movie!  Sound travels VERY freely throughout our beach house, and I didn't want to keep the entire household awake with his screaming.  (Of course, at the sound level he was reaching, he was probably keeping people awake even 4 houses away!)  After only a few seconds, I went back in the room to him and took him out of the playpen.  I then put him in my and Ryan's bed, nursed him until he fell asleep, and then crept out of the room.  Within 40 minutes he was screaming again.  This continued ALL NIGHT LONG, even after Ryan and I had crawled into bed to snuggle with him.  The same pattern continued the next day for all of his naps, and then again the next night.  And then again the next day.  And then again the next night.  You get the picture...

Ryan decided to sleep on the couch in the living room in the hope that maybe Myers needed a little more room in the bed to sleep comfortably.  At least that is the reason he gave me... truthfully I'm sure it was because he was thankful for the opportunity to leave the "bed of no-sleep"!  It didn't help Myers any, but at least Ryan was able to get some sleep.  I continued to keep Myers in the bed with me so that I could immediately nurse him when he would wake up every 30-40 minutes so that he wouldn't wake up everyone else.  We have now been here for 16 days, and nothing has changed.

No, wait.  That isn't true.

On day 6, things went from bad to worse as both Reagan and Myers suddenly had thick green snot pouring from their noses again, and both of them sounded raspy and wheezy.  I waited a full 48 hours to see if they would show any signs of improvement before I started making phone calls to our Canadian Insurance company to see what clinic in North Carolina would accept our insurance.  It turned out that no clinic or office physician would... our only option was to go to the local hospital's Emergency Room to be seen.

Seriously!?!

Neither kid was sick enough in my opinion to warrant a trip to the hospital.  But I didn't want to mess around with any more ear infections either, so I knew that they had to both see a doctor.  I am pretty sure that I muttered the words, "Can you just go ahead and shoot me now?" to Ryan as we walked into the waiting room at the Brunswick County Hospital ER.  Thankfully, it was a slow day in the ER, and we were in and out within only a couple of hours.  And thankfully, neither Reagan or Myers had an ear infection... but they did both have another upper respiratory infection.  But most thankfully, our Canadian insurance company footed the bill for the visit that otherwise would have cost us $1728.

Reagan got over her cold pretty quickly, which was a really good thing considering all of the cousins that are here at the waterway that she has to play with!  Myers on the other hand is still a very sick little boy to this day.  We are now having to do up to six breathing treatments a day (Hooray for Mommy planning ahead for all possibilities and I packed the nebulizer machine to bring with us!) and he no longer likes doing them at all.  My only comfort is that I know he is getting lots of medicine into his lungs with all of the screaming that is taking place during the treatments!

He also still HATES to ride in his car seat.  Without fail, within 10 minutes of being in the car, the screaming begins.  We've tried singing, clapping, nursing, comforting and ignoring.  None of it works.  This baby is just miserable.

Except for when he's not, because then he is the happiest baby on the planet! As long as he is not riding in his car seat or trying to sleep or having to do a nebulizer mask to help with his breathing, he is a VERY happy boy.   Thank God for that small miracle... I seriously think that I would have lost my mind completely if it weren't for that.

Prime example for you of my current state of mind... the night of our anniversary dinner boat ride, Reagan and Pops decided to have a dance-a-thon on the end of the pier as soon as we got home.  It was quickly becoming dark out as it was already past Myers's bedtime and would soon be Reagan's bedtime as well.  I went inside to attempt to put Myers to bed while everyone else stayed out on the pier to enjoy the shagging performance that was taking place.  Pops had the beach music blaring from the boat as he and Reagan danced the night away.  By the time I finally got Myers to sleep, it was well past Reagan's bedtime.  Being overly tired has also made me overly grumpy, so I was the party pooper that stomped out onto the end of the pier and forced Reagan to come inside to put on her nightgown and get ready for bed.  It wasn't pretty, but I finally managed to get her to go to sleep.  Of course, this whole process took about 40 minutes, which meant that it was time for Myers to wake up for his first screaming-fest of the night.

I think Ryan could tell that I was on the verge of a meltdown myself, and he didn't want to witness it.  He took Myers outside to scream on the end of the pier, while I sat on the couch and tried my best not to cry. I was doing pretty good at my attempt until my parents began to tell me that I ruined the perfectly fun night that everyone was having watching Reagan dance with her Pops by making her come inside to go to bed.

(And the poor camel's back was broken by just a tiny little straw.)

That was it.  I started crying.  My dad looked at me and asked what was I crying for.  In a voice just above a whisper, I said, "Because I can't stand it that I both love and hate my child with every fiber of my body right now."  I was referring to Myers.

Seriously, what mother in her right mind would even think that, much less say it out loud?

I know, I know... I am tired.  It has now been almost 4 months since Myers slept for more than a few hours at a time, if even that much.  And it is only getting worse.  But what kind of an excuse is that?  Don't get me wrong, I do love my son.  I love him and Reagan both with all that I've got.  There is no question about it.  But I don't know how much more I can take!  At least here at the beach house, I've got lots of extra hands to help me bounce this baby boy that is struggling to figure it all out himself.  I guess I am just scared that things won't even get better once we head back home to Canada in a few more days. Or, what if they just continue to get worse?

Plus, I NEVER EVER EVER do well when it comes to saying goodbye to my family, leaving the beach, and returning to Canada.  And like I just said... that day is fast approaching.

But again, it's no excuse.

So, there you have it.  A no-holds-barred honest post about the struggles of being a sleep deprived mother with sick kids.  I've talked to lots of friends recently who have been through the same struggles, so at least I know that I am not alone.

And at least I know that they lived through it to share their stories with me!

Update:  Seeing as how it is now February 2012 when I am finally publishing this post, I can tell you that it does eventually all get better!  And now you all have a better understanding as to why I have been missing from the bloggy-world for so so long!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Teach Me How To Kayak

My parents have been kayaking since they first started spending their winters in Florida back in January of 2009.  After a few months of lessons and guided adventures, they decided that they were hooked and bought kayaks of their own.  They have been kayaking like pros ever since.  

Ryan and I on the other hand have never even thought about taking up the sport.  Or at least I hadn't given it any thought... apparently my husband had been considering it because this is what I discovered when I walked out onto the deck of our beach house this morning...

Yep, Pops was giving Ryan his first dry-land lesson in kayaking.  Too a novice such as myself, this looked quite ridiculous to see.  But apparently this is step one in the learning process!

It wasn't too long after that they moved the lesson to the water...
 

I nervously held my breath as they paddled out into the middle of the Intracoastal Waterway, thankful that Ryan and I have really good life insurance coverage on each other as I could envision him falling out of the thing while still somehow being attached/trapped/stuck in it and drowning to death!

I never should have doubted the skills of the instructor or the student, as Ryan had a fabulous time out on the water with my Dad.  They did "the loop" around the waterway... up to the backside of Long Beach and back around to Blue Water Point, and then back home.  Ryan said that it was no easy task to accomplish, but that he absolutely loved doing it and being out on the water that way.  He was DRENCHED in sweat by the time that they made it home, and he said it wasn't because it was hot out... it was because he was working every muscle in his body!

Hrmph... maybe I should consider taking up kayaking to lose the last of my Myers baby weight!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Myers Chillaxin' in the Pool

While his sister enjoys life in the fast lane at the waterway, Myers is more inclined to just chill out and relax the day away.  (This may have something to do with the fact that he spends his nights screaming his bloody head off instead of sleeping, but that is a discussion for another post...)

We set up the perfect little baby pool for him to enjoy, and that is exactly what he has been doing!  

On a hot summer day, there really is no better way than to cool off than by splashing around in the pool.  Of course, running through the sprinklers is a pretty good idea as well!

Isn't he just the most adorable little man you've ever seen?!?!

Let's Ride the Jet Ski Daddy!

Reagan is such a little dare devil on the water!  She absolutely LOVES jet skiing with her Daddy.  And she only has one speed that she wants to use... SUPER FAST!

You may want to click on each of these pictures so that you can get a closer look of the pure joy and excitement that is on her face.  Like I said... she LOVES it!
   

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Let's Go For a Boat Ride Pops!

My children LOVE going for boat rides!  

Reagan, of course, had been boating with Pops numerous times before.  But this was a new experience for Myers.  When we first put him in his life jacket, he was a little unsure as to what we were planning to do with him.  However once he discovered the fun of licking the salt off of his life jacket, he was all smiles! Speaking of life jackets... Reagan is sporting the exact same jacket that I wore when I was her age!

Once we were moving, Myers was in love and was all smiles.  Again just like her Mommy used to do, Reagan perched herself at the very front of the boat for the best view and most fun ride of all.

Myers enjoyed just relaxing and taking in the views of the waterway.  Reagan loved going over the waves, and then she loved getting up and dancing around the boat when we would enter into any of the no-wake zones.  (Again, she is her mother made over as I used to do the EXACT same things!)

Tonight, Ryan and I celebrated our 8 year wedding anniversary, and we did so with a boat ride to a fabulous restaurant called The Inlet View.  Pops and Momsey had been to this restaurant before and encouraged us that we would enjoy not only our dinner, but also the fabulous views of the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean from the upper deck.  I think they were expecting us to go on our own to enjoy a romantic dinner, but we had a different plan!  We wanted to spend our anniversary with the whole family, so we ALL loaded up into the boat.  My parents were correct... the dinner and the views were both amazing.  But it was the fact that we were able to enjoy it with them and our kids all together that made it even better... especially the boat ride!

Pier Jumping

Not only do my kids like to fish, I am beginning to think that they are turning into fish!  

You may remember from last year, that Reagan loves the game of pier jumping.  She must have jumped off the end of the pier over 50 times the other night just as the sun was starting to set, and I think that she would have done it 50 more times if Daddy hadn't started to get tired from treading water the entire time.  Of course, Mommy screaming that she had just seen a jelly fish in the waterway probably didn't help matters much either!  
  

Even Myers jumped in on the fun for his first official dip in the warm waters of the Atlantic!  He was instantly in love with this gigantic new bathtub to splash around in.  

Needless to say, I've got two little beach bums on my hands!

Monday, July 11, 2011

"Here, Fishy Fishy"

Both of my kids have turned into little fishers! 

Myers went fishing for the first time ever, and he absolutely loved it from the very first moment.  It's obvious even in pictures that he is having tons of fun. He's so curious and excited by the process, and he is simply AMAZED when Daddy reels in the line and there is a fish on his hook!

Reagan decided that this is the summer that she turns into a pro. She's caught more fish off of the pier than the rest of all of us combined I think!  We used to joke and say that it was something about her purple fishing rod, but this year she is catching them left and right no matter what pole she uses.  Everyday, without fail, she heads out onto the end of the pier to see what her catch of the day will be.  And everyday, she succeeds!

She's one tough and determined little fishing lady!  Can't you tell?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I'm BACK! Or at least I plan to be...

Don't fall out of your chairs!  Yes, you are seeing correctly... I'm finally making a new post after over a 6 months hiatus from this blog!

I have been debating on how to make my return to the bloggy world... should I back-track to create and date posts from 6 months ago, or should I just pick up with current time and start anew?  I finally decided to back-date the posts because there has just been TOO much going on to skip right over it!  How could I not go back and post about Reagan starting Kindergarten, Myers turning one, Myers starting to walk, and of course all of our holiday activities like Halloween and Christmas!?!?

So, even though today is really January 23, 2012, this post and my next few posts will be posted as if it is still July of 2011!  Thankfully, I had already created a few "draft" posts from back in July and August, so it shouldn't be too hard to catch up on the long ago months.  And thankfully, even though I haven't been blogging, I've done a great job of taking pictures and keeping the kid's calendars up to date so that I can refer back to them!

Give me some time, but I hope to back up to date and posting on current life within the next couple of weeks!

STAY TUNED!

Summertime Sprinkler Fun

What could be more fun than running though the sprinkler on a hot summer day?  Why, running through the sprinkler on a hot summer day AT THE BEACH of course!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Declaration Dash

We are AT THE BEACH! We left the June-uary temps of Canada the day after Reagan finished with preschool to head back to our favorite place in the world... the family beach house at Sunset Harbor in North Carolina where the sun seems to be always shining!  We arrived early in the morning on June 29th after flying through the night.  Thankfully both children slept on the plane... Myers slept better on the plane than he does at home.  Maybe we just need to be international jet-setters all the time!

After a few days of adjusting to the jet lag, time change, heat and humidity, it was time to head to Wilmington, NC for the Declaration Dash race.  Reagan ran in this same 2K race last year with her Daddy and her Pops.  This year, she decided that she wanted me to run the 2K with her so her Daddy could run the 10K race by himself.

Ryan trained for his race... I, on the other hand, decided to just suck it up and run the day of the race with no training at all.  Reagan probably wishes that I had put forth a little more effort because I'm pretty sure that I slowed her down tremendously while we were running.  I even asked her to slow down a couple of times early on.  She only stopped to walk one time... at the water station right at the midway point.

Once we had made the turn to return to the Start/Finish line, I told Reagan to feel free to run ahead and to leave me if she thought that I was going too slow.  She stayed with me for a short while longer, but once she realized that the Finish line was in sight, she took off sprinting on her own and left me in her dust!
 

The crowd went wild cheering once they saw her coming.  She, of course, was eating it up and running faster and faster!

After the race, the only thing left to do was to cool off with a fresh fruit smoothie and a slice of watermelon.  Oh, and of course she had to tease mommy for getting beat by a 5 year old!  I was just relieved to have finished the race and to still be able to stand on my own after it was over since it had been more than 18 months since I had done ANY form of running!

She finished the 2K with at a time of 12:58, and she placed second in her age group.  She was the youngest runner in the entire race, thus also the youngest runner in her age group of over a dozen 5-8 year olds.  All of the children that participated received a medal and an opportunity to stand on the podium!

Ryan finished the 10K with a time of 42:49!  That's a pace of 6:54 per mile!  Way to go, honey!  I think he's got the running bug now and I'm going to need to find a few races for him to run in once we get back home!  And who knows, maybe I'll get back into the running groove myself...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Graduation Day

The day before Reagan's preschool graduation, as I was ironing her favorite dress for her to wear, she was humming a song that I couldn't quite place.  Every once in a while, I would hear a note or two strung together that I knew I knew from somewhere, but then she would go on and hum a little more and I would be clueless once again.  I finally asked her what she was humming, and she told me that it was the song that would be playing the next day when she walked into the auditorium while she wore her graduation hat.  Of course!  Pomp and Circumstance!  And of course, I had to fight back the tears as I realized that my little girl was suddenly all grown up!

All of the kids in her preschool class had been working hard to learn their parts for a series of short plays that they performed for us on Graduation Day.  Reagan was the littlest billy goat from the fable The Three Billy Goats Gruff.  She was the cutest littlest billy goat I had ever seen!


After the plays were completed, it was time for graduation.  Just as Reagan had informed me the day before, they all marched into the auditorium to Pomp and Circumstance wearing their graduation caps.  Just as I had expected, I was quite choked up!


Teachers Bev and Anne presented each child with their diploma and shared with all of the parents what each child wants to be when they grow up.  It was no surprise to us to hear that Reagan wants to be a veterinarian!


I'm not sure who was the most proud of the diplomas... the kids or the parents!

The kids ended the day with a farewell to preschool song:

Kindergarten here we come!
Kindergarten here we come!
So long preschool, it's been fun!
Kindergarten here we come!

Reagan is now counting down the sleeps until summer is over and the first day of kindergarten arrives.  Me, I'm trying to hold on to the last lingering moments of my pre-kindergarten girl as long as I can!