Monday, November 30, 2009

4 Years Ago Today...

This sweet boy was born!
Dear Michael,
I remember that first + on the pregnancy test, and Daddy saying, "Uh, can those things be wrong?" Since then, I have a-million-times-over thanked God for HIS perfect timing.
During the pregnancy, I was pretty nauseous, but can only remember actually getting sick on two occasions. I was working full-time at the hospital, and had to cut back some hours at about 24 weeks, as some contractions started, and you wanted me to slow down a little bit. I worked 8-hour shifts instead of 12-hour shifts, and you were happier. Around 35 weeks, I started to get puffy and had to go on bed rest for a couple weeks until you were born at 39 weeks. Those were the longest couple of weeks I can remember, just sitting and waiting for you to come! After a couple weeks, the doctor decided to induce, as you were measuring big, and since my blood pressure wasn't coming down. I remember being very excited after hearing your induction date- Wednesday, November 30th, 2005- that you would get to have a November birthday.
Though I had been through nursing school, and had many rotations through Labor & Delivery, I don't think anything could have prepared me for labor. You had a very difficult arrival into the world- Late Decels (HR ~50) & Shoulder Dystocia, and they had to call the NICU team in, but our doctor did a great job and delivered you perfectly healthy. I remember crying when I first saw you, and being utterly amazed that God, through us, had created this wonderful little new life. It was overwhelming, to say the least. Thank you for giving us new names- Mommy and Daddy.
You were a fat & happy baby and were full of energy from the beginning. We have loved watching you grow from a baby to a toddler, then to a smart, inquisitive, sweet & happy preschooler. We are so thankful for you, our first-born, and for the joy and energy you bring to our home. You are truly a blessing from God! Happy 4th birthday, Michael Andrew Blakemore!
Love, Mom & Dad

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Oh, DEER!

Thursday night, Jon and I put the tree up and some Christmas decorations. We had a few lights out, so Saturday, we headed out to buy more string lights for the tree. I couldn't resist a picture with these darling reindeer ears.
Kate was a little unsure of having that thing on her head.

Michael, of course, thought it was the best thing ever!
Speaking of Michael, my big boy will be FOUR years old tomorrow! Wow!!! He's so excited about his birthday, and we plan to have a big day of fun-ness for him. I'm hoping Kate is feeling better by then, though. We were home from church today with her snotty nose and nasty cough. It's that time of year.

Thanksgiving Blessings

My sister Meredith and her family were coming down to Fredericksburg for Thanksgiving, and we had plans to go to Ryan's (since I wasn't willing to commit to making a big meal which would require lots of time and preparation right after Michael had surgery). My friend Brandy was kind enough to invite both my family and my sister's family over for Thanksgiving dinner. We are so thankful for her hospitality and for their friendship!
Dinner was fantastic, of course, and we all ate way too much! All that Tryptophan led to quite a few mid-football-game naps. The kids had SO much fun playing, and we old folks had a pretty great time, too! We have so much to be thankful for!

Brandy worked long and hard on Thanksgiving dinner. Here she is making some delicious turkey gravy.

Jerry making coffee to go along with our pumpkin cheesecake

Kate took a nap in Hannah's bed, and as an afterthought, I put this big pillow down in case she tumbled off. I went to check on her, and she was sound asleep, half-way on/off the bed. This is right before I helped her back up. Cutie!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day of Surgery- Anenoids Out, New Tubes In

Michael was the second surgical case of the day on Monday, so we didn't have to be at the hospital until 8:15 on Monday.
Our kind nurse Remie let Michael pick out his own hospital gown, and he picked the gown for ages 9-12, simply because he liked the green one.

Michael complimented the Anesthesiologist on his cool blue hat, so he went and got Michael his very own hat to wear. The doc immediately became Michael's favorite person of the day.

Michael had post-anesthesia vomiting in the recovery room, so he got some anti-nausea medication, which knocked him out. He stayed a little longer in the Stage II recovery waiting for it to wear off, but we were glad to stop that vomiting! Michael got about 1,000ml IV fluid, and he was feeling it the rest of the day with multiple quick, emergent bathroom trips. :-)

After we left the hospital (and the vomiting was long gone and a Ginger Ale -aka "the bubbles"- was kept down), we went and got an ice cream cone while we waited for his prescriptions to be filled.

Michael was a little sleepy Monday, and today went in cycles of rest/snuggle and full-speed-ahead. He enjoyed some soft foods for lunch, but wasn't interested in anything but *real* food after that. His throat is a little sore, but when you ask him where his "owie" is, he will show you his IV site. He's slowly having memories come back about going into the OR and being put to sleep. He told me today that he "cried and screamed and threw that blow-ee thing (that blew lots of wind in my nose) on the floor because it pinched and hurt my nose like a crab." He has pretty clear memories of the anesthesia nurse as she was putting him to sleep. He even showed me how she was standing. That was his only bad memory, thank goodness.

Michael brought Kate home an OR hat as a souvenir.
Thank you for all your kind notes and for praying that he would do well through it all. He was a big boy, and the OR/Recovery nurses told me afterward that Michael just won their hearts with his big smile and sweetness.

Playing With The Queen of Hearts

Michael was playing with an empty box and saying that he was a card from Alice in Wonderland.
So we decided to make it more card-like.

THAT'S more like an Ace of Hearts

Here's Michael acting out the scene where the Queen of Hearts pushes all the playing cards over.

Kate takes a turn. What a card! ;-)

Katie-Snuggles

Katie is a snuggler, and loves to spend time with her Daddy.
She has successfully ruined all her Pacifiers by chewing holes in them all. She prefers to "eat" them rather than to suck them, which is fine by me.

Duck, Duck, GOOSE

Two-man Duck, Duck, Goose has got to be one of the funniest things to watch.
Can you guess who will be the goose?

Then they run around and chase each other for a few minutes, then start over again. Fun stuff!

Princess Katie Dresses Up

Katie loves to dress up in her dress-up clothes. Here she is twirling in her princess dress.
I love how she pulls that elbow back for extra spinning momentum.

Twirl, twirl, twirl

Friday, November 20, 2009

DADDY'S HOME!

Jon has been working long hours lately, with early mornings and very late nights. We appreciate all his hard work, and know he is doing it for us. We miss seeing him, but that makes home-comings that much more exciting. The kids (and their mom) get SO excited!
Daddy attack!

Helping Daddy take his lunch box to the kitchen.

Computer Nerd

I taught Michael how to use the computer a couple months ago, and he is hooked. I have to really limit how much he can use it because he would spend all day on the computer. He loves to play Super Why!, which is his all-time favorite PBS kids' show in the morning. It does a great job teaching pre-reading, and is fun and educational.

Crazy Boy

This silly monkey is due to have his adenoids removed and ear tubes re-inserted first thing Monday morning. He's been kinda crabby and ornery this week battling an ear infection and lots of fluid behind his ears, but we are hoping that is solved after Monday.

Katie Loves Her Minnie

Katie LOVES her Minnie Mouse that the Scantlins gave her for her birthday. She sleeps with her and takes care of her, and spends most of the day with her. So sweet!
Here is Minnie swaddled like a baby.

Kisses for Minnie's nose.

Who Got the Better End of This Deal?

Kate loves to have Michael push her around in the baby stroller. I'm not sure how long it will last at this rate...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Alice in Wonderland

We took the kids to see the opening night of the Christian Youth Theater production of Alice in Wonderland. Our friend Hannah Scantlin (age 11) had a couple of roles in the play, and we all really enjoyed seeing it. We'd been watching the Disney version the 2 weeks prior to the show so the kids would get familiar with the plot. Michael's favorite character was the Mad Hatter (though he told me later that it is wrong to be angry like the Hatter :-) and I really enjoyed the caterpillar and her rousing & sassy rendition of Zippity-Doo-Dah. What a fun night! Oh, and if you haven't seen it yet, tickets are still available for next weekend. Let me know if you want tickets, and I'll pass your info along.
PS I have a new camera ordered and should be receiving it this week, so I hope to be able to have more regular posts, instead of stealing Jon's camera for a few minutes when he's home.

My Kitchen "Helper"

We made cinnamon rolls the other day, and Michael always loves to help me in the kitchen, especially when it involves baking.
He listens carefully to my instructions,

but he's really just in it for the perks.
(BTW, that's straight white flour he's licking there. Ewww!)

Special Delivery

It's always a fun day when we get a package in the mail because the kids get to play with the box.
Katie carefully packages the goods.

All ready for shipment.

Give to Daddy for transport.

And OPENED! It's a MICHAEL! What a great gift!!

Baby Girl Strollin' with a Baby Girl

Kate loves to push her babies around in the stroller. Like her mom, she over-prepares and always has a blanket, 2 bottles, some baby lotion, and sundry other objects with her, just in case.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ice Cream & Adenoids

The kids were really good during our errands and doctor appointment today, so I treated them to .50c McDonalds ice cream cones.
Kate enjoys her ice cream until her cone gets soggy and she gets any on her hands. Then she's done. She's eating her last bite here.

Michael ate every bite, and licked a little drop of ice cream that dripped onto the counter. We're really high-class here...
I took Michael to the ENT this morning because he has had some notable hearing loss in the last few weeks. The doc said that his typanostomy tubes had dislodged and were in his ear canal. He had a massive effusion (fluid pressing on the ear drum making it bulge) and infection in the middle ear, as well. Since it is effecting his hearing, we had a hearing test done that showed some hearing loss. He decided to schedule him for the first available slot (Mon, 11/23) for a removal and reinsertion of tubes, a middle ear washing, and removal of his adenoids. I'm glad we were able to get this scheduled pretty quickly, and hope that my boy will be back to his old self again soon! So next time I head to the grocery store, I'll be stocking up on freeze pops and ice cream.

Mr Independent

Sorry this is a little overexposed, but I thought it was cute.
Michael has been wanting the help do everything, especially things in the kitchen. Here he is peeling his own orange. It's a little messy, but I'm glad he's wanting to learn, and doing more for himself. I can't believe he will be 4 in just 3 weeks!

The Girl Can Walk in Heels!

Actually, it's more of an old lady shuffle,. but she loves her dress-up heels.

It's Hip To Be Square

Dad is teaching the kids how to use a level. Look at Michael's expression, taking it all in. My kids have no hope to ever be normal...

Hide & Seek, Part 1

This is my favorite hiding spot that Michael chose! Face down on top of the couch. They'll NEVER find me here...!
What a cutie!

Hide & Seek, Part 2

I love that Michael likes to announce that he is going to hide in the same great new hiding spot that dad just came up with. And I love that Kate hides right beside him and they both giggle until they are found.
Where are the kids?

There they are! Right where dad previously 1/2-way hid (it's a small area!)

HERE WE ARE!
Kate's hair got a little tousled in the process.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Sweet Katie Pumpkin

I realized that I forgot to post my Kate's stats from her 2-year-old well child visit. She was deemed to be in exceptionally good health and growing perfectly, and doesn't need to go back for another year. No shots were needed, and both kids got the flumist while we were there.
WEIGHT- 26.5lbs (47th percentile)
HEIGHT- 35in (77th percentile)
HEAD- 18.11in (13th percentile)


I Voted

Proudly displaying an "I Voted" sticker:
The kids went with me to the polls today so I could vote. Michael asks TONS of questions daily, and wanted to know why I would want to "boat." As I was explaining to him the voting process, I was struck by the incredible, providential grace of God that allowed us to be born in America, where we can actually elect our leaders in a safe, peaceful way. I will try to remember and be more thankful for the blessings of God that I often take for granted!

See, They DO Love Each Other

This was a real hug, too, and not a disguised infliction of injury!