Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Truth of a Mother's Intuition: Our First Broken Bone

To say this past weekend was a normal one for us would be an understatement. We had a milestone - if you want to call it that - K.C. has a broken arm. My poor, baby boy.

The boys weren't home Thursday night and K.C. had a fall, as all kids do, playing on the monkey bars. On Friday, my mom, my sister, and I had plans to take them to the zoo, EdVenture, and the museum in Columbia to see the dinosaur exhibit. When I went to pick them up early Friday morning, I just knew.

That mother's intuition thing that you hear about is true. I knew when I saw his face, his eyes, and looked at his precious, swollen little arm, that it was broken. I got in the car and told my sister we weren't going. A minute later, he tells me in a little whimper that his arm hurts so bad and he thinks we should just stay home and play all day (and this from a boy who loves to go to the zoo and was so excited).

I went by my inlaws for my FIL to look at it and he reaffirmed what I thought. It was broken.

That began almost a full day at the doctor. We went to urgent care as our pediatrician's office told me they'd only send me to urgent care or the ER for an x-ray. After what felt like a few hours of waiting and an x-ray, we found out that both bones in his arm are broken. Thankfully, it's a good break.

Oddly enough, orthopedists in our town seem to take Friday afternoon off, so we left urgent care with a prescription for a brace.

On the way to pick up the brace, I talked with K.C. about what he was going to be getting, how it would work, and why he had to get it. I had one of these myself when I wasn't much older than him and wanted to reassure him that it was going to be ok. He's our thinker and I could already see the fear of uncertainty surfacing in his eyes.

He was great when we made it to get the brace, but as soon as the man came in to talk about it, the tears started. He worked himself up and couldn't calm down. It breaks my heart. By the time the man had returned with two options, he was sitting in my lap, crying, and just kicking out of fear. I have no doubt it was uncomfortable when he first got the brace, but I think the fear of the unknown is what scared him the most.

Once we made it to the car, I told myself I wasn't going to say anything and I'd just let him cry it out. It was that intuition thing creeping back in. He'll calm down. I knew he would.

He cried for a few minutes and I calmly said that I thought we needed to pray and ask God to help him not hurt. We try to point the boys to the Lord constantly. We said a quick prayer and I turned up the music really loud. "Power", his favorite song from VBS, happened to be the song the CD was on in my car. He slowly started calming down and in a minute, he was laughing and excited about showing his brace off to Kevin and Kaden.

Meanwhile, my mom and sister were with Kaden who was scared K.C.'s arm was actually broken off. I called him to reassure him his arm was in tact and we made some plans to have Kaden/Anna time. Poor baby still wanted to go to the zoo.

We made it home sometime after 2. I got K.C. situated inside with his arm elevated and Magic School Bus on TV. He requested pepperoni pizza with "those green peppers in the boxes" (Papa Johns), so my mom stayed with him and Kaden, my sister, and I went to pick up the pizza.

On the way, we dropped off the boys' book bags to be embroidered. They picked out new LL Bean bags. I can't wrap my mind around the fact that Kaden is old enough for an actual book bag and K.C. will be in second grade!

When we got home, K.C. ate half of the pizza and we played Legos. I babied him and I think he really enjoyed it!

That night, my FIL cooked dinner. We enjoyed getting to visit with them and the boys had fun playing with their cousins who were over as well.

K.C. was awesome letting me take the brace off for him to shower and then let us ice it each nice. He did great taking medicine, too.

Saturday morning, he woke up as happy as could be. We spent literally the whole day home until about 5. We ran out to pick up our niece's birthday gifts and then met my family for dinner. Kaden fell asleep in the car, so I stayed with him at one stop. He melts my heart.

We had a great Sunday, too. K.C. got to show his brace off to his friends at church and Kaden asked for prayer for his brother in Sunday School. These little God moments make my heart smile. I hope the boys will always go to God for everything and that we show them in little things each day how to turn to God for anything.

We celebrated our sweet niece's fourth birthday Sunday afternoon and K.C. even got to swim at the birthday party. Our neighbor is a nurse practitioner and she told me, after seeing the x-ray, that it was safe for him to swim with an Ace bandage wrapped around his arm and waterproof tape over that. He did great!

He got his orange cast yesterday.

But don't even think about signing it. He doesn't want it to get dirty!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

K.C.'s Lego Party

We celebrated K.C.'s 7th birthday with a LEGO party on Sunday afternoon. I joke with Kevin that I think the boys are getting a bad habit from me by planning their birthday theme almost a year in advance. Joking aside, K.C. has wanted to have a LEGO birthday since at least last August.

There aren't a ton of LEGO party items unless you go with Star Wars or some of the City pieces (police and firemen). He didn't really want either of those, so we improvised and made our own LEGO theme.

I always want the boys to have their party vision and that was true for this party. K.C. helped pick out literally everything for the party, made his LEGO men for his ice cream pie, and we made a few other items to use for decoration.

The first thing he asked for was a "7" made of LEGOs on the front door.

We've had this birthday banner from Target for probably three years. It's served us well.

This is one of the things we put together to have on a table.

I used a LEGO storage head as the centerpiece of our dining room table.

The boys love balloons on their birthdays, so I always get some. I put them on the mailbox, the front porch, the "birthday chair", the counter, in our den and several other places.

We had pizza for the party. This is before everything was set out. My mom made her famous Hawaiian Cheese Loaf as an appetizer. We also had some of K.C.'s favorite snacks. Kaden and I made holders for the silverware from LEGOs. 

K.C. always wants an Oreo ice cream pie for his cake, but he specifically asked for a LEGO cake to go with it this year. I like to make the boys' cakes. This cake didn't turn out exactly how I wanted, but he loved it, so that's all that matters. We spent all week making chocolate bricks. When I had some cake issues (namely, the top layer split in half so I trashed it), I decided to outline the cake with the chocolate bricks and use the rest for treat bags. I put one of his LEGO cars and men on top.

We put a collection of LEGO men on top of the pie.

 K.C. decided to open his presents before cake and ice cream, so that's what we did. He got some new LEGO sets, a metal detector, a few games, a lot of nice clothes, some other toys, and this silver bar from Uncle Barb which was a huge hit:

After cake and ice cream, Kaden was ready for the pinata. Since they don't sell LEGO pinatas and K.C. didn't want a regular one, we decided to improvise. We wrapped a box in blue paper and let the kids hit it. It was a block if you use your imagination!


My candy baby.

K.C. and Hot Rod also found something with his new metal detector:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Bowling Balls, Wedding Fun, and a LEGO Party!

We had a great weekend!

On Friday, I got up and ran a 9 miler before getting started for the day. I didn't have a lot of time to run last week and I feel like my few days off did me a world of good. I hadn't planned on running quite that long, but I was really having fun, so I kept going.

The boys and I hung out at home Friday morning. We worked on some things for K.C.'s birthday party and played. Kevin came home for lunch, so we got to see him during the day which is always nice.

Since K.C.'s birthday was yesterday, I told him he could pick whatever he wanted to do to do on Friday. He decided he wanted to go bowling. He also wanted to invite Michaela to go with him, so after lunch, we ran a few errands and picked her up.

The kids had so much fun bowling! The boys each got a strike along with me, but Michaela showed us all how to bowl with two strikes.

Friday night, Kevin and I went to dinner with my mom, Nana and my sister. After dinner, we did a little last minute shopping for K.C.'s birthday.

Saturday was a busy day. Kevin spent most of the day doing yard work and I spent most of the day inside cleaning and working on things for the party. I managed to get in a 10K run. I ran the first 5K fast (sub 20) and the second slightly slower after a break of doing some things around the house.

We went to the sweetest wedding Saturday night. Here I am with my handsome date!

Yesterday was K.C.'s 7th birthday. How is he 7 already? We taught Sunday School and then went home to finish things for the party.

He chose to have a Lego party this year. It was so much fun! Full recap coming later this week!

How was your weekend?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

To My K.C. on His 7th Birthday

Seven. I can hardly believe it. I don't want to believe it. Our big boy turns seven today and I'm at a loss for words which as we all know, is rare for me.

Dear K.C.,

Today, you turn seven years old. Seven whole years old. I can hardly believe it.

I'm so thankful for you and thankful that I get to call you my son. You are a ray of sunshine and a bright light in my life!

I often think back to the first day I met you and your brother and how along with Daddy and you two, my world felt complete. And I think back to that first birthday party - your Clemson party - just three short years ago and now, today, we'll be celebrating your birthday together for the fourth time.

I wish there were words to tell you how proud I am of you. Daddy and I have watched you grow up so much in this short year. You'll always be my little baby, but this year, you've grown more and more into a little boy. You've grown taller, that's for sure, and smarter.

You loved first grade. Your teacher, Mrs. Russell, told us time and time again what a great student you were and how smart you are. You are curious about everything and love to ask questions. I hope you'll always carry this thirst for knowledge.

You are a popular boy, too. When we went on a field trip to Pirates Voyage, all the kids wanted to sit by you. You can tell how loved you are!

At 6 years old, you took swimming lessons, played two seasons of soccer, and coach's pitch baseball coached by none other than daddy and me. It was fun being on the field with you and not just cheering you on from the stands. You also lost your first two teeth at six!

K.C., you are a thinker. You want to know why to most everything. You are very careful with the way you do things and love to plan out what you're going to build. You like things done right, which is a very good thing.

You are very competitive, too. You ran in your first race - a 2K - for fun in the fall. Running hand-in-hand with you the full 1.2 miles is one of my fondest memories. I love seeing how determined you are in everything you do.

This year, you accepted Jesus as your Savior and Lord, and daddy and I couldn't be prouder of you. You've asked us many questions about Jesus and about what being a Christian means. A few weeks ago, on June 26, you prayed and asked Jesus to live in your hearts. My heart smiles when I think about this night and I hope you'll always have a thirst for the Lord.

You are an awesome big brother to your little brother. Kaden adores you like no other. I hope you'll always be best friends with your brother and show him the way to go. He looks up to you. I love seeing the two of you snuggle early in the morning and share your love for each other.

Not only are you an awesome big brother, you're an incredible son. I am so blessed to have sons like you and Kaden. You are always encouraging, sweet, and kind. I love to snuggle with you each night as you still fall asleep playing with my hair. Some of my favorite moments are those few minutes when we're going to bed and we have sweet conversations.

K.C., I hope you always know how much you're loved by daddy, Kaden, me, and all the rest of our family and friends. You are so special! It is my prayer that you'll continue to grow in Christ and let Him lead you in your life. I thank God everyday that He entrusted us with you. There is nothing more special in this world that being Annabelle to you and Kaden and daddy's wife.

You bring so much love and joy to our lives everyday! I love you, my sweet blueberry ocean eyed boy!



Friday, July 11, 2014

A Day in My Life

When I saw that Leslie's normal Friday Confessions for this week was going to be A Day in the Life, I knew I wanted to participate. I was planning to do a post like this soon, so this worked out perfectly.

What didn't work out so perfectly - normal, that is - was our day. I decided to go ahead and record our Thursday even though parts of it were a little unordinary.

5:45AM: I wake up before the alarm goes off and think it's time to get out of bed. I realize I have 15 more minutes before I need to get up and run when I glance at our clock, so I close my eyes.

6:00 AM: Alarm goes off and I hit off instead of snooze, sleeping through my morning run. (I typically run 3-5 miles four mornings a week before work.)

6:43 AM: Frantically wake up as I've officially slept way too late. Wake up sleeping husband who has also overslept.

6:45 AM: Jump in the shower, very thankful that I had my hair trimmed and colored yesterday and won't have to wash it this morning. (I normally wash my hair every day, mostly because I run and get sweaty, but I always try not to wash it the day after I've had it done.)

7:05 AM: I'm showered, my makeup is on and our boys have made their way downstairs to our bed. I give them good morning kisses as I walk to the kitchen to turn on the waffle iron.

7:08 AM: I get the kids' clothes out (I typically do this at night, but we had a softball game last night and watched Covert Affairs after the boys were asleep and then fell asleep ourselves.), look in my closet for a dress I don't have to iron, and get dressed.

7:12 AM: I tell the boys to go potty, put their clothes on, and to get ready for breakfast. I go to the kitchen to mix up waffles. As I'm pulling out the Bisquik, my pretty pink ceramic drink dispenser falls and breaks into a million pieces. My sweet husband comes in to clean it up and saves the morning while I go curl my hair.

7:20 AM: Boys have made it to the den and Kaden wants to help make breakfast. Since the waffles are already cooking, he asks to set the table (proud of him!). He gets out forks and napkins for everyone. Kevin's fixing our drinks and I'm taking up the waffles.

7:25 AM: We're all at the table eating breakfast and talking.

7:35 AM: I'm done with breakfast, clear off a few plates while Kevin grabs the others, and run to brush my teeth. I also brush the boys' teeth and ask them to put on their shoes while Kevin finishes getting ready.

7:45 AM: I'm already running late, so I refill my water, grab my bags, and kiss all my boys goodbye for the workday. I don't have time to make lunch.

7:50 AM: I talk to my best friend on my morning commute. We've been doing this since college.

8:10 AM: I make it to work. I spend my first few minutes of each day checking my email, voice mail, doing a daily Bible reading and devotion, logging into Facebook to check my company's page, and reading through my media report from the afternoon before.

8:30 AM: I get my real work started for the day. I return emails, voice mails, and begin to proof. On my desk today are a few information pieces that I need to get to the appropriate department by the end of the week. I also finalize billboard locations, look at a proof of a new commercial, and talk with my boss about some upcoming commercial concepts. I send emails to our talented designers regarding various projects and get the status on some other things. During one of my meetings, I decide not to go to the gym for strength training and a run (since I missed mine this morning) during lunch (I normally do strength training during lunch twice a week and can squeeze in two miles on the treadmill with enough time to shower and get back to my desk.) since I have a busy afternoon and I'm tired (we have been go-go-go lately, and while I can normally get up and run, something about these late nights and no downtime has me spent!).

12:07 PM: Since I didn't pack my lunch today (I normally pack lunch three of my four workdays each week), I decide to pick up Chickfila. I know I have a busy afternoon with a tight proofing deadline, so I want to get out of the office. I call my grandma and talk to her while I drive to Chickfila. On my way back to the office, I order an ice cream pie for K.C.'s birthday and talk to Kevin.

12:40 PM: Get back to work. I took my lunch in to eat at my desk. I always close my door when I'm having lunch at my desk to eliminate people walking in and wanting to talk. This rarely works as more people come to visit and walk right in while I'm mid-lunch than when my door is open. Oh well. I check out a few blogs, read my personal email, get in touch with someone about something at church, and call my husband back while I'm having lunch about a detail on an upcoming trip we have to DC (can't wait to share this!).

No pickles: just how I like it unless my K.C. is around. Then, I order extra pickles and give them all to my boy.

1:00 PM: It's time to start proofing. I spend the next few hours proofing a magazine that heads to print this week. I check for grammar, but I'm also checking content and design. I stop after every five spreads or so to check email, proof a few ads, return calls, book some ads and other things that need to be done, and talk to my boss about some upcoming things.

5:13 PM: I finish proofing our magazine with two minutes to spare. I deliver it to my colleague who'll take the next stab at it. To say I'm pleased with our new design that my fab designer has done is an understatement! I go back to my office to check my email one last time before leaving for the day.

5:26 PM: Leave for the day. I talk to my same friend from the morning on our drives home.

5:50 PM: I make it home. All my boys are home before me. I give them all kisses, talk to Kevin for a minute, and watch the boys running around in circles laughing. They are having a ball.

6:00 PM: I'm in the kitchen working on dinner and straightening up. We ran our dishwasher during the day, so I unloaded it and reloaded it while getting things out for dinner. I make hickory smoked pork chops, Annie's Organic Macaroni and Cheese, and fresh blueberries for dinner.

I also work on another batch of chocolate bricks for K.C.'s birthday. Kaden sets the table, K.C. fixes our water, and Kevin helps me get all the food out and to the table.

6:50 PM: We sit down to eat dinner. One of the boys always says the blessing and we talk about our days.

7:10 PM: We've finished dinner. The boys are playing while Kevin cleans up the kitchen. I put the leftovers in other containers for our lunch tomorrow. My sister and our niece stop by to see us. I help my sister with a few college-related questions. Her boyfriend stops by and the boys run to see him.

7:30 PM: We decide to go outside. K.C. wants to play baseball and the girls and I could definitely use some practice since we're playing on our church's coed team. We play for a bit and then I do sidewalk chalk with Kaden because he doesn't want to play baseball.

8:40 PM: We go inside and it's bathtime for the kids. They're typically getting out of the tub at this point, but we stayed outside and played later than normal. We normally have them upstairs by 8:45-8:50 during the school year, but in the summer, we try to make it upstairs between 9 and 9:15. The later to bed, the less we read. While I give the boys a bath, Kevin is gathering up our trash because Thursdays are trash mornings. Once the boys are clean, I put up the laundry Kevin has folded and jump in the shower myself.

My running clothes pile always tends to be the largest!

9:00 PM: The boys are out of the tub and ready for bed, but they're hungry. Kevin takes a quick shower and the boys and I go to the kitchen for a snack. As K.C. says, "My tummy was full, but baseball made me hungry." He must get that from me! He has some bread and cheese and Kaden has a ham sandwich. (We typically don't feed them food this late, but they were hungry and I'm not the kind of parent that won't give them something. They usually eat fruit or baby carrots when it's this late, but I'm not opposed to a sandwich.)

9:20 PM: We're all upstairs and we read our Bible and say our prayers. Since it's late, we don't read any other books (we usually read 3-5 books at night in addition to our Bible and devotion). We turn the lights off and snuggle with our boys until they're asleep.

9:45 PM: The boys are good and asleep and Kevin and I go downstairs. We talk and relax. My sister texts that she's going to spend the night, so we hang out with her.

10:15 PM: We decide to watch Wreckless. We watched it On Demand last week and really enjoyed that it was filmed in Charleston. I eat a bowl of cereal while we're watching as I'm daydreaming about my next Charleston trip.

11:17 PM: Wreckless is over, Stephanie goes to bed, and Kevin and I talk for a few minutes. I read some on my daily Bible reading plan. I'm playing catch up in the Old Testament, so I'm only in Exodus. I'm reading 3 additional days' worth of OT each day to be caught up by the end of this month. Kevin watches ESPN or something as I'm drifting off to sleep.

11:37 PM: I take a screen shot of my iPhone at 11:37 PM and put it down. I talk to Kevin a few more minutes, watch some TV, and snuggle up with him. I'm probably asleep by 11:50 PM.

Maybe I should add updating my apps, deleting voice mails (don't ever leave a voice mail on my cell; I'll return your call anyway), and getting rid of junk mail to my to-do list for tomorrow!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Because I Said So.

A few days ago, a friend and I were talking about telling kids no. As parents, we can't say "yes" to everything, but I don't want to be the parent who says "because I said so" when my kids ask why I've said no to something.

I think it's important to give explanations to our children about things. Good things, bad things and in between things. I like to know the why behind things and I think my children deserve the same.

In our home, we encourage our children to ask questions and we try our best to answer any they ask the best that we can and in a way they can understand. Even if it sometimes means Googling a question.

When I tell the boys no, I always like to tell them why. Now of course they don't always want to know why; some things like no, you can't have a Reese Cup while I'm putting your plate on the table for dinner don't warrant an explanation, but some things do.

I'm going to use an example from earlier this week at our house.

Here's the scene: We've eaten dinner, Kevin and I are cleaning up and K.C. asks me if he can help me make some chocolate bricks for his birthday party (We're having a LEGO party Sunday and I've been brick making all week.). I tell him yes.

K.C. starts stirring the melted chocolate and spooning it into the mold. At this point, Kaden gets really upset because he isn't helping make the bricks and he wants to. (Kaden is my big helper. He and I had already made several batches of chocolate bricks among other items for K.C.'s party the day before.) I told him no, that K.C. was doing it and he could when his brother was finished.

He didn't quite understand that no and got upset.

I decided to break it down with an example. He loves to play with the blocks at school. I told him to imagine he was building a really tall tower and only had a few more blocks to go before it was complete when his teacher told him to move away and not finish because another kid wanted to play with the blocks. We talked about how that wasn't fair. Through this explanation, he understood that he was going to get his turn and that I wasn't not wanting him to help, it was just K.C.'s turn.

This may be an usual example, but it happened recently and prompted a discussion my friend and I had.

We generally have very obedient boys and for the most part, don't have to offer a lot of explanations to why or why not something can or can't be done. That said, I still think it's important for children to understand why. I also think it encourages them to always ask questions which will serve them well throughout their lives.

Do you explain yourself to your kids?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Staying active on vacation

While it sounds nice to think about going on vacation and not working out, that's just not something I'm able to do. It's not that I'm OCD about it (ok, maybe a little) or can't take a break, it's more like running is a part of my daily life and I can't really not do it for seven days.

A few weeks ago when we were on vacation, I didn't stress over running or not running, but I did make sure I had time to run a few days.

We were staying in a gated community and thanks to my Garmin, I had a nice route worked out. I felt completely safe while running on this vacation thanks to the guard at the end. In the past, I've had some scary hair-raising incidents where I didn't feel like I needed to be running, so I was thankful for the safety I felt a few weeks ago.

My husband happened to snap a few pictures of me from the dock at our house.

We're pretty active when we're at the beach, so I didn't stress about mileage. In fact, I even took a few days off when we got home. The reality of it is this - when you're on vacation with us, you're moving constantly. With two very active sons, a husband who loves to explore and me being me, there's not much stopping. We walked on the beach every day, walked across the point a few times and trudged through the pluff mud looking for things. That's not even counting pulling kids on a boogie board, jumping waves and playing in the ocean.

When we're on vacation, instead of trying to squeeze in a run, I plan for them around downtime. For instance, if everyone was sitting around after breakfast and I knew it would be an hour or so before we did something, I went for a run. In the afternoon while the boys were resting and someone was in the house to listen for them, I'd go for a run before getting ready to do whatever it was we were going to do that night.

I didn't try to run 25 miles that week, but I didn't want to run just 5. I ran 3 times during the week for a total of 12.25 miles. I felt good, it didn't cause a conflict with plans and I got a chance to get used to our humidity as all I've run (for the most part) has been treadmill miles lately.

Do you exercise on vacation? 
How do you fit it in?

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