Thursday, January 30, 2014

Nathan Turns 2!

Happy Birthday, Nathan!

Our sweet, generous, caring, silly, happy-go-lucky little boy turned two yesterday. In some respects I cannot believe our little Nathan is two. But in other ways, it seems like he's been with us forever. And when I think about how much he has grown up over the last year, its seems even longer! 

We celebrated Nathan's birthday yesterday. It was low key. He is only two after all! :) Plus the *real* birthday party is on Saturday! Nathan woke up to a decorated downstairs and room full of balloons! He was so excited! 

This is when Nathan came downstairs. He was a little timid about the decorations. Then he saw the balloons and was so happy! 

We had a few little gifts set out for him as well, but he really was more interested in the balloons. He kept saying "Thank you!" Everytime we'd say 'Happy Birthday you're two now!' He would respond with "I'm Two? Thank you!" It was very sweet. 

His little gift spread. Stickers. Coloring Book. Planes/Dusty Crophopper shirt. 

His 'Cheeeeeeeese' face. What a handsome two year old!

Shad went into work a little bit late so that we could have morning donuts with our birthday boy. He loved it. 

Singing then blowing out the candle. 

He enjoyed it! 

Kaisa was very interested in the balloons too! This girl is SO close to crawling. She can get all around the floor. She's pretty much mobile, she can scoot, roll, jump, drag herself, bounce along the floor... everything BUT crawl! 

Then wonderful grandma took the day off work so that she could take Nathan out on a "date." She took him clothes shopping and out to lunch at the Rainforest Cafe. He felt so special and loved his outing with Grandma! She also spent the rest of the day with us, which I also love the extra company! 

The day ended with the birthday boy choosing pasta (shells and cheese) for dinner and playing with his new stickers and coloring book. 

We are planning on having a small family party on Saturday with cake and then letting the boys go to the Disney store to choose a special gift. It can be so fun having their birthdays so close together! 

Our Nathan at Two Years Old:

-Is still a GREAT eater. He doesn't hesitate to try new foods and LOVES to eat. And I love, love, love that he isn't too picky. Too bad he is my little guy with multiple food allergies. :(

- Loves to be naked! Its hilarious, actually. Every single time we try to get him dressed (morning and night) he cries and begs to "Be nakey for a little bit?! Pleeeeeease!?" Getting clothes on him is always a challenge. Just last weekend he was in a royal bad mood, he wouldn't snap out of it. So I just stripped him down to his diaper and his mood immediately perked up! Hilarious.

- Is very caring, generous, and sweet. He always, always remembers to say thank you for everything. He asks very politely all the time for anything. "Can I eat this? Can I play with this? Can you go with me?..." He also is very good about sharing toys with brother. (Not so much with sister.) Something that he could teach his brother a thing or two about!

-Likes to say prayers. I often find him and Owen saying prayers around the house. Its very cute and melts my little heart!
Naked and saying a prayer! Makes for a happy boy! 

- Is still my chill and go-with-the-flow kinda kid. He's pretty easy going. He doesn't put up a fight when its nap or bedtime. And is just happy to be included in the fun.

-He's so Happy-go-Lucky! He walks with a little spring in his step and dance in his hips! He loves to shake his booty!

- Still has crazy curly/course hair, which is also still two-toned. Its blonde on bottom, dark brown on top! I get asked all the time if its natural; which always seems like a really dumb question to me. Of course its natural! Why would I dye my two year olds hair!? But he gets a lot of comments on it.

- Loves his brother Owen! Oh man, he wants to do everything Owen does. I mean EVERYTHING. Its adorable. He loves Kaisa too... in a big brother sort of way. He loves to give her kisses and toys to play with.
Loves to be just like BIG brother! 

-Talks like a champ! Something he learned from his brother. He can talk in full sentences and communicates without a problem. He can ask fully developed questions and speaks pretty clearly.

- Recognizes all his letters and colors. He can also sing the ABCs.

-Is learning his numbers. He can count to about 15. But he doesn't really recognize numbers on paper.

-Loves to sing! He loves to sing "I Am a Child of God," that's his most favorite. But he also loves ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle, Thomas Songs, If You're Happy and You Know it, You are my Sunshine, and other primary songs. (Wise Man/Foolish Man, Jesus Once was a Little Child, Popcorn Popping, If the Savior Stood Beside Me). Sometimes he just walks around the house singing gibberish.

-The Thomas obsession is hitting him too! Not quite to the extent that big brother Owen loves it. But its close. He can name all 40+ trains we own. Its ridiculous. And he'll watch most of a Thomas movie.

-He really loves to color and play with stickers.

-Loves to help around the house. Really loves to clean. He got a vacuum for Christmas and loves to vacuum, dust, sweep, unload the dishwasher, and is so helpful when its time to clean up toys. Its great!

-Is still a pretty big Daddy's Boy. he doesn't cry anymore when Shad leaves for work, which is nice because it was so heartbreaking! But on weekends he follows Daddy all over the place. ;) He also really loves his Grandpa too!

-Has learned to fight back a little bit! Owen and Nathan can really get into some spats. There is lots of throwing toys, hitting, and LOUD screaming. They feed off one another. It can be a little tiring on some days, but for the most part its under control, mainly because Nathan is so willing to let things slide. Owen does not.

-Loves planes! He loves to all things that fly. More so than Owen. He is more excited about planes than cars and trucks.

-Does great in nursery even without Owen there now! Whoop!

-He loves wearing hats, crowns, glasses, anything silly for dress up!

-Can throw a tantrum with the best of them! When he gets in a really bad mood there is little that can snap him out of it. His favorite word becomes 'NO!'

-Is just so lovable! He will melt your heart within seconds. He is just so sweet. Something I knew from birth. There was just something extra special about this little boy... and its his kind heart.

 Happy Birthday, Little Man! We just LOVE you! 

 Dear Nathan,

What a privilege and joy it is to be your Momma. I am so underserving of the unconditional love you give me and the faith you have in me to be a good parent and mother to you. You are so innocent and loving. You love and trust with your whole heart and those who are on the receiving end are beyond lucky. You are just so lovable, its easy to fall in love with you! You are just too cute.

This year you have grown up so much! You have grown from babyhood to full blown walking, running, talking, funny toddler boy! You have such a fun and silly personality! You went from crawling and babbling just 12 short months ago to walking/running and talking like a champ! I am so impressed with how smart you are. You quickly have picked up words and sentences. And your brother loves to help you learn new letters, numbers, and words.

You absolutely adore your big brother! You try so hard to be just like him! You copy every little move he makes. Its so cute. You guys can also be the worst of enemies! You often can fight and scream at one another... but that just seems to be a part of having siblings. I hope that you guys will always have a close relationship and friendship. You are a very sweet big brother too! You love Kaisa very much, and are always willing to help out with any of her needs. You always want to give her kisses and hugs and make sure she is happy.

Nathan, you are such a helpful little boy! You love to help Mom around the house with any chores. And you always want others to be happy. You are selfless with your toys and willing to give to others, especially your brother if he is crying or upset. Like I've said before, you are just so sweet. I knew it from the moment you were born. I could see your good nature and sweet spirit. You have such a kind and loving heart.

We all just love having you as a part of our little family. It certainly would not be complete with you! You bring so much love and joy into our home with your silliness and fun personality! I am so blessed and lucky to have you as my son. I love you more than you could ever know. I love watching you learn and grow and look forward to more.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

'Welcome, to the Epi-Pen Club!'

I never thought it would be us. I literally never thought allergies were something our family would have to worry about. I'm not sure why I was so optimistic or why I always thought we were immune.

But here we are, and I have an allergy prone child with multiple severe to moderate allergies. It's pretty devastating, overwhelming, and super scary.

It all started a couple of months ago. Back in November I made a dinner we have every few months: Chicken Cashew. Its delicious, and one of the few "grown-up" meals Owen will eat. Nathan wasn't very into it, which was weird, because he is my best eater. He took a few bites that I forced him to eat and then he was done. After dinner both boys took to running around the house. Not totally unusual. When I was doing dishes, Nathan began to throw up. A lot. Its that time of year and I had heard of a few people from church that had the stomach flu... so I thought maybe he caught it from them. OR he was just running around like crazy, so he probably just overdid it and threw up dinner. About an hour later he threw up again. I was in panic all night. I thought at any given moment we were all going to catch this stomach flu and Nathan was going to be throwing up all night. Luckily, nothing else happened. No one got sick. Nathan felt fine the next day with a perfect appetite.

Last Sunday, my mom prepared our usual Sunday dinner. She made Chicken Cashew. I told her I was a little wary of it, since Nathan did throw it up last time. Maybe there was something in it that made him sick? But Shad and my mom assured me it was just because he was running around last time. The boys were hungry. So while my mom was cooking my dad gave the boys a couple of cashews as a snack. (Maybe 4 or 5). 20 minutes later we sat down at the dinner table to eat. Nathan refused to take any bites. Weird. Then he started throwing up. A lot. Again. And again. Not good. That's when we knew. Nathan is allergic to Cashews.

After seeking advice from other mothers. We took Nathan into the doctor to get a blood test to confirm the suspicion that he's allergic to cashews and possibly other tree nuts. We already knew he wasn't allergic to peanuts. He eats peanut butter almost daily.

His doctor ordered a full allergy test. To test every common allergy and all nuts with him. I thought that was weird, because like I said we knew he wasn't allergic to peanuts, milk, wheat, etc. He eats them daily.

We waited a week for the results. It felt long, but I knew he was allergic cashews. The phone call came. Nathan has an extreme allergy to cashews and almonds. Then the phone nurse preceded to tell me he also tested high and positive for a whole slew of other allergies. Umm... okay. "Like What?" I asked. "Oh let me see: Milk, Wheat, Kiwi, Peanuts, Eggs... you need to come in and talk to the allergy specialist today."

This is where things got really confusing and worrisome for me. How? He was sitting eating yogurt and wheat waffle at that exact moment, a breakfast he eats all the time. What!? Have I unknowingly been poising my child for over a year?

I immediately called my sister-in-law for peace of mind. Her poor children have had every allergy in the book. Wheat, eggs, soy, diary, peanuts, tree nuts... etc. I'm not sure how she feeds them. After talking with her she helped ease my mind and I was able to stay focused and calm until his appointment that afternoon. Throughout the day I wrote down questions, seeked advice from other moms, and tried to think of every possible thing I wanted to ask at our appointment.

We went to the doctors office and sat down with the allergy specialist and hashed out all the details of Nathan's results. I asked my questions, concerns, and tried really hard not to cry. This allergy stuff is serious, serious business. This is basically what it comes down to for Nathan: He has a severe Cashew allergy. One that will send him into anaphelaxis if he consumes any. He also has a high allergy to almonds. He has a moderate allergy to eggs, where he cannot have straight eggs. Like scrambled eggs. But he is allowed to have eggs in baked goods such as cookies, brownies, pancakes, waffles, etc. The most surprising allergy was peanuts. He showed a pretty high allergy to peanuts. I told her that he eats peanut butter on a very regular basis. I was informed that he could PROBABLY be fine with peanuts, but at the same time the allergy could manifest itself at any moment. She said if it where her children she would stop any peanuts. He also tested positive for milk, kiwi, and wheat. However, since he eats those things daily, and since it was low enough numbers we luckily don't have to cut them out of his diet. (Phew!) He also tested high for iGe levels, meaning he is just an allergy prone kid. Any new food we will have to test on his skin first, and be very wary and cautious of.

We are retesting in a month. Mainly because I want to make DOUBLE sure of everything, and because we tested so close to his allergic response his number could have been elevated all together. Also because he was on the border of a lot of things, like peanuts. He will also be retested in a year. Shad and I have also discussed having him skin tested by an allergist so that we can be super confident in what we are feeding him.

Its all so overwhelming. Its all so unsure, unnerving, and confusing. And all so scary. One thing we know for sure: Nathan is very allergic to cashews and almonds. We are cutting out nuts, peanuts, and straight eggs from his diet and go from there.

Also at the appointment I was given a prescription and training on how to use an Epi-pen. This is where it got super scary for me as a mom. Anywhere Nathan goes, the Epi-pen goes. All people who know, watch, or around Nathan needs to be very aware of his allergy and the whereabouts of his Epi-pen.

My sister-in-law texted me after his appointment and asked how it went. Later that night she sent a text saying "Welcome to the Epi-pen Club!" I guess we passed initiation and are official card/pen carrying members. We have allergies.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Photo Friday

A Friday Tradition. A single photo from the week. A single sweet moment. A moment to savor, cherish, and remember. 

iPad + Thomas is how this Momma fits in a shower during the day! Complete with 'Froggy Crowns!' 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Photo Friday

A Friday tradition. A single photo from the week. A single sweet moment. A moment to savor cherish and remember. 

Our sweet Owen started preschool this week! He absolutely loves it and is doing great! He didn't even need me to stay! What a big boy! 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bath Time with This Girl!

We're old school around here.... no fancy Baby tubs for us. Just a good old fashion scrub down in the kitchen sink! 

We adore this girl so much. She is just too much fun, and oh so cute! I couldn't resist a photo shoot with my girl in the bath before church on Sunday. She makes us melt. 

Please oh please... just freeze time a little bit longer! She is growing too fast. 

P.S. Hopefully I will get to blogging about our Christmas!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Photo Friday

A Friday tradition. A single photo from the week. A single sweet moment. A moment to cherish, savor, and remember. 

Funny Boy. Trying to help Owen get dressed in the morning. Love this kid!

Okay, one more...I know I'm cheating. But this was Owen after his first Sunday in Sunbeams! He loved it! Such a big boy now!