Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pendleton King Park

Last Thursday, Greg and I took the boys to a new park in town. The moms group I'm meets at this park and I wanted to check it out before taking the boys there by myself. It's actually a 64-acre bird sanctuary and has a disc golf course and dog park also. There were tons of trees, so there was a lot of shade. When we got there, we weren't particularly impressed and I don't love how the playground is in the middle of the disc golf course-with Frisbees flying around, but the boys absolutely loved this park. So, we'll probably go back.

There were two different playground sets, both with lots to do. The boys love anything they can climb. This rock wall was pretty tall, but they got up it easy without any help at all.

The boys loved all the things to climb on this playground.

The second playground was the big hit for the boys, there was a bridge (which the boys love) a little part with a bench, a couple steering wheels, etc. So, the boys pretended it was a pirate ship and the bridge was the plank. The ground was the water that was filled with crocodiles. Haha, I could not make this up.

There was also monkey bars. They were the perfect height for the boys. When the boys let go, they didn't have much a fall.

Every Thursday, all the kids at the boys preschool, wear matching shirts. It's really cute. The boys were so excited to put these on that morning.

Carter helping Evan on the monkey bars. How sweet is that!?

I don't know exactly what this was, but the boys liked climbing it and then jumping off.

Overall the park was a success. We have a different list of things we look for in a park and the boys have their own lists of things that make a park great for them. This was one that the boys loved, so even if it wasn't our favorite (or in our favorite location) we'll probably be back.

The boys have all the playground they need in our backyard now, but Greg just found out yesterday that he's going to be working nights for the next 2 months. Midnight to 8am. So, the boys and I are going to be getting out of the house more than we normally do, so Greg can get some sleep during the day. So, I'm looking up parks tonight and making a lists of ones we haven't been to yet and we'll start checking them of while Greg's sleeping next week.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Weekend Trip to Tennessee

Last weekend, we made the trip up to Newport, TN to visit some of my dad's side of the family. The boys haven't been to Tennessee since their first trip, when they were 10 months old. (you can read about that here) I bought these iron ons a couple of years ago to wear the next time we went to Tennessee, so I was excited to finally get to use them!

Greg and I set our alarms to get up about 6:00 and we got ready and loaded the car and then woke the boys up. We left about 7:00 and it's normally a 4 and a half hour trip (without kids) We ended up getting there about 12, I think, so we made good time. We packed all our food and snacks for Saturday and just stopped at a rest area and had a picnic. The weather was absolutely beautiful. It was the first day that we had fall weather, it was a high of 75, perfect for our outdoor family bbq.

Greg made me take a picture of him with the pay phone. He couldn't believe these things were still around. :)

The boys got to stretch their legs at the rest stop, they were happy to just run around in the grass. They were actually yelling "look at me, I'm running in circles" haha.

We checked into our hotel as soon as we got there, before heading to my aunt's house. We had a ton of stuff for just one night because of the boys, but it wasn't nearly as bad as when they were babies. I remember having our car packed to the brim on our last trip to TN, so this wasn't too bad. The boys thought they were something, getting to ride on the bag cart.

After dropping off our stuff at the hotel, we headed to my Aunt Ethel's house. We were there for 4-5 hours and the boys stayed outside for all but about 10 minutes of that.

Family brought chairs and got them set up, probably thinking that they'd get to sit in them, but the boys had other plans. ;)

My aunt has a swing on her porch that the boys were obsessed with! Anybody that went anywhere near it got suckered into pushing the boys for awhile. I think they would have been happy just swinging all day.

The boys decided that Meemaw and Papaw need one on their porch.

Once the first little cousin showed up, the boys were busy, busy, busy. We hardly saw them after that, we'd make sure to keep an eye on them, but they just played and played. They had such a good time with their cousins. Kendra got there first and she's 6. I thought she might think the boys were too little to be any fun, but she was SO good with them. She was sweet and got them drinks, pushed them on the swing, played with them.

The boys loved all the attention.

Carlene and Cristine, their 5 year old twin cousins, arrived a little later and all the kids just had such a blast playing. This was the first time the boys met Carlene and Cristine, they just turned 5. It was fun to see a set of twins a little older than the boys, it's nice to get an idea of what the boys will be like in a couple of years. This was the best picture I could get of the little cousins together. I know my cousin Holly got a great one of them all on the swing, so when she posts that on Facebook, I'll just steal it and put it on my blog. ;)

Carter found a tin can and went and got two sticks and had a little drum set. He had the best time with that, so much so that Papaw told him that's what he'd get him for Christmas. (thanks a lot, Papaw!) I love how Evan is just smiling at Kendra in this picture, he just loved playing with all them so much.

We got one picture of the cousins, that were able to make it. From left to right, me, Caroline, Carla, Jennifer, and Holly. (there were about 3-4 cameras being used and I don't think I ever looked at the right camera)

After all the "boys" went to sleep, me, my mom and my sister snuck down to the lobby to hang out and talk until midnight. The next morning, Greg got up with the boys and took them down to breakfast and then gave himself and the boys a hair cut. We went back out to visit with my Aunt Ethel and Aunt Sherree for a little while before hitting the road. On the way out of town, we stopped at McDonald's to let the boys eat and play on the playground. We were hoping for a nice, long car nap on the way home, but they only slept for about 1/2 an hour. They still did really well on the way home, though and we got home about 4-5 Sunday afternoon.

I'm so glad we all got to make it back to TN. Greg and I were excited that we've only been in Georgia for 2 months and we've already taken a trip to Tennessee. One of the many pros of moving to Georgia was that we were also closer to family in Tennessee, so we're hoping to make trips there more often. It was just so nice to see everybody. We had such a great time.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

First Day of Preschool

The boys started preschool last week. They're going to Abilene Baptist Church for preschool and they're going 9-1 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. We had decided on another preschool before we moved here, but they required the kids to be potty trained. When it looked like it wasn't going to happen before school started, we started calling around to different schools. Abilene was one of the few that accepted kids that weren't potty trained and the only one that did that had openings.
I took the boys there for a tour and to get the registration paperwork back in July. They liked it immediately.
We had parent orientation 2 weeks ago, where the kids get to meet the teachers and play with their classmates while the parents sat in on an orientation about the upcoming school year. The boys had a blast. They played with other kids and their teachers seemed really sweet.
I tried to get a picture on the first day of school, but it did not go well for me. We're doing car line this year, so I wasn't able to get the traditional picture out front. I think I'm going to go there this weekend and try and get a couple of them in front of the church.
All the kids use the same bag that the preschool monogramed their names on.

I knew I wouldn't be able to get a good picture on the first day of school. The boys were so excited, we were a little rushed since it was our first day in a long time that we had to be somewhere in the morning.

I ordered the boys personalized lunchboxes and sippy cups from Zulily a few months ago and I think they're perfect for preschool. You have to label everything anyways, so this works out so much better. Plus, the boys love them.

The boys were more excited about bringing a lunchbox than anything else. They both insisted on holding them in the car.

You do have the option to take you kids in, but I knew that we were going to be doing the car line this year (it's much easier) and so I wanted to start off the school year doing things the way that we'd be doing them all year. The boys did fine, they waved bye when the teachers got them out and ran inside. No tears or hesitation. It was kinda sad doing it like that on the first day, but the boys did so good with it. This is what car line looks like for pick-up. You're not allowed to get out of the car, the teachers do everything. It works out nicely and the line goes so fast.

They gave us schedules at orientation of exactly what the kids would be doing during the day. Obviously, with 3 year olds, things change and the teachers are flexible, but I love having a list of the things they do every day and at what times.

We also get a calendar every month of what they'll be working on. This month it's letters A, B, and C, the color yellow, 1 & 2, the shape is circle. It tells you the month's theme, the bible versus and they'll be going over, the song they'll be working on and the nursery rhyme they're learning.

This school is set up differently than the boys last preschool. It's at a much bigger church with a bigger preschool program. There's good things and bad things about that, but the boys absolutely love it. They have not complained about going, they're so excited on mornings we go to school, they ask to go on days we don't have school. I think they're going to learn a lot this year at preschool. I'll definitely be doing posts on how school is going and the things that they're up to. For example, they have a program that they're putting on for the grandparents on September 26th, so I'll take a picture/video and do a post on that.

Evan's First Dentist Appointment

On Monday, Evan had his first dentist appointment. Carter had his first cleaning before we moved and I wanted to try and keep them on the same schedule as far as dentist appointments. My mom came over and stayed with Carter, so I could take Evan.

I wanted the boys to see a pediatric dentist (not just a family dentist) and I got a recommendation for one from a Facebook friend and I'm so glad I went with her suggestion. The waiting room was great! There was a movie going, a train table, a bead maze, etc.

Evan and the other boys who were waiting played with the train set for a long time.

They were running a little behind, which I wouldn't even have known if the hygienist hadn't apologized when we took us back. But, Evan was so good. Right before they called us back, he sat down next to me and started reading a bible he found in the waiting room.

When the hygienist took us back to the room, Evan hopped up in the chair before she even had to tell him. It was like he had done this a million times.

She gave him glasses to wear so the bright light wouldn't bother him while she was cleaning his teeth. She let him choose his toothpaste flavor (grape!) and he was a happy camper.


I couldn't believe how well he did for the cleaning. I remember when they were younger, thinking that I wouldn't be able to send them to the dentist, that I was going to have to find one of those ones that put you under sedation for your cleanings because they're so active, I never dreamed in a million years that they'd sit still for something like this. The hygienist got so tickled with him because he was being so sweet and good for her. He actually asked her to brush his teeth again and she was happy to do it. He loved the taste of the grape toothpaste and thought he was getting a treat getting his teeth cleaned.

Evan bumped one of his front teeth a couple of months ago. It turned dark grey and I was so worried that it'd stay like that, but it's been lightening up more and more recently. They decided to take an x-ray to be sure everything was ok with the tooth and it was. They think it'll keep lightening up, too, which is great news.

Evan was perfect during the x-ray.

He followed all the directions so well.

Evan was just as good for the dentist as he was for the hygienist. He let them count his teeth (20) and was very polite.

When the dentist was done, Evan made sure to tell everybody in the office that he had to go home and see Meemaw. Haha. On the way home, I picked up some pumpkin munchkins from Dunkin Donuts for Evan. He's been asking for donuts every day for awhile now, I don't know why, but I thought it'd be a nice treat for being so good at the dentist. He made sure to tell me to get enough to share with Meemaw and Carter. He got two stickers at the dentist and gave one to Carter as soon as he got home. He told me the whole way home that one of them was for Carter. Even if it was a trip to the dentist, it was nice to spend some one on one time with Evan and I just loved seeing how excited he was when he got home to share his stickers and munchkins.

Carter's Hospital Stay

About a month ago, Carter was admitted to MCG for two nights. It all started on Saturday afternoon. We noticed that Carter was complaining that his nose hurt, it looked a little raw, like he had blown it and it was just red and irritated. As the day went on, I thought it looked swollen. I immediately thought "staph infection". I read a blog post awhile back on Kelly's Korner (you can read the post here) and ever since then, I've been so paranoid about staph infections. After his bath on Saturday night, I was able to drain the puss filled bump in his nose (gross, I know) Greg thought it was just a zit or something. We decided to give it another day and see how it was.

This is what it looked like on Saturday.

When Carter woke up on Sunday, it was still swollen and luckily our pediatrician has weekend hours. So, we were able walk in at 12:00. Carter was acting completely fine, just one side of his face was swollen. We even took the boys to the park before going to the pediatrician and he played good. He even played a little too good with Evan in the waiting room (getting a little wild) so Greg took Evan home and we called him when we were done to pick us up. The doctor agreed that it was staph and didn't think it was the antibiotic resistant kind and gave us an antibiotic. She said it should start looking better as soon as he started taking the antibiotic. I gave him a dose right after the dr. appointment and a dose before bed.

Carter did not get better, he actually got worse. I called the on call doctor about it before he went to bed and the doctor said that he thought it was fine and to just wait. Before Greg and I went to bed, I went in to check on him and his face was even more swollen. Greg and I agreed that he needed to go to the ER immediately. Greg stayed home with Evan and I took Carter to a pediatric ER in Augusta.
I took these pictures in the exam room at the ER, I just could not "wait and see" this swelling scared me and I had to take him in. When he shut his mouth, his lips didn't even come together because his face was so swollen.
MCG is a teaching hospital, so I saw a couple of med students first. And let me just say, I have no idea who was a med student, who was an intern, and who was a resident. I knew who the attending was and everybody else I just refer to as "students" The first "student" came in and said he didn't think it looked that bad, that I probably didn't give the antibiotic enough time, and that they'd probably just release us to go home. Normally, I would think "oh no, did I freak out, am I overreacting, should I have brought him in?" but I KNEW something wasn't right, so I just nodded and waited on the attending. As soon as she walked in, before I even said anything, she said "this is very concerning, especially being on his face, we're admitting him" They gave him an IV so that they could run some IV antibiotics. You can see his pitiful IV and that the swelling is so bad that you can see it in his profile pic!

They admitted us and by the time we got to his room and were examined and checked in, it was almost 1:30. Carter was SO good the entire time. He let all the doctors (and students, nurses, etc) examine him, he did great for the IV and blood draw, etc. I wasn't sure how he'd do going to sleep, but it was so late, he ended up falling asleep fine. He was asleep in probably 10 minutes. There was a crib in the room but he said it was scary and he wanted to sleep on the bed, so I slept on the couch and he slept on the pull out part.

We ended up switching spots sometime in the night and he slept until 8:30 the next morning. He was so tired and looked so pitiful to me.

His little IV and swollen face, it all just broke my heart.

The next morning, my mom came over first thing to keep Evan so that Greg could come up and stay with Carter. I went home and took a quick shower and packed some toys and stuff to bring back. When they did their morning rounds, they decided to keep him another night. His face was still as swollen as it was when we got there. It wasn't worse, but it wasn't better, even after 2-3 rounds of IV antibiotics. They were assuming it was staph, but they didn't know exactly what it was, just that it was an infection. They didn't want it spreading because it was in his face, I don't know if they would have kept him another night if the infection was somewhere else. And because they didn't know what it was, he was on isolation precautions which means that he couldn't leave the room and the staff that came in had to put on a gown, gloves, et. Luckily, we had bought some stuff for the boys birthday and this happened about a week before, so we had a couple of toys we were able to give him in the room that entertained him the entire time.

During the day, he didn't think the crib was so scary, so he had me put him in there to play with his toys. He was so good the entire time we were there. It's a small room, he was away from home, away from Evan for the first time ever, and he didn't whine, fuss or cry about anything except when the doctor came in and tried to get a sample from his nose--which didn't work but hurt really bad. Carter was a mess after that, but it didn't last too long. My parents and sister were came to visit and I think them being there really helped him calm down faster than he would have if it were just me.

Greg brought Evan by to visit. It was so cute to see them reunited, and Evan brought Carter a snack and Carter couldn't wait to show off some of the new toys. But, it's a small room for 2 adults and 2 active toddlers. Evan had passed the kids play area on the way to Carter's room, so he was eager to go play. I took Evan out there while Greg stayed with Carter and played for a little bit, then Evan and Greg went home and Carter and I stayed our second night at the hospital.

This was taken before he went to sleep on the second night, it was getting better, but still swollen.

When they came to do their rounds the next morning, the attending did not feel comfortable releasing him since it was still swollen and there was a hard knot next to his nose and cheek (the infection) that they assumed would be getting smaller with the antibiotics. He called an ENT (I think, I can't remember) to come see Carter and let the ENT make the call on whether or not to release him. At this point, I had learned that a million people will come in and examine Carter and every single one told us something different. Some thought it looked bad and he needed to stay another night, some thought it looked fine, but all these were "students". So, when the ENT attending came in, I was ready. I had a million questions and he was the one that got stuck answering them. He felt that Carter was ok to come home and the doctors at the hospital actually scheduled him a follow up appointment with his pediatrician for that Thursday (he was released on a Tuesday) and they also scheduled a follow up with the ENT attending we saw for the following week.

This is what he looked like when he got released about 4pm on Tuesday.

He looked a little better on Wednesday morning and was doing even better on Thursday when he saw his pediatrician. So good, that they told me I could cancel his ENT follow up, which I did. They're assuming it was staph, but since they were never able to get a sample to test, they can't say for sure. They all said that infections like this are common in kids, and places like the nose are common to get them. I'm hoping that is the first and last hospital stay for either of the boys. Greg and I both know that we will be back to the ER for some stitches, broken bones, etc--we've mentally prepared for that with as wild as our boys are, but we can do without the infections, sickness, etc. The only time Carter cried was when the doctor tried to get a sample out of his nose. He was a perfect angel the rest of the time we were there. He didn't whine or fuss. He slept fine at night. He was so good for all the exams he got from all the different doctors and nurses. He was such a trooper.