Tuesday, December 31, 2013

An Eventful Christmas

I had to work 3-11:30 Christmas Eve, so we decided to drive all through the night to maximize our time in Ohio, since I had to work Saturday and Sunday as well.  
We made good time, and we arrived at the Ohio Blakemore's house shortly after 7am.  We somehow arrived within minutes of the Shultz family, who traveled from Nebraska for the week. 
The kids did a little sleeping on the way, but Michael slept the least.  I took a few short naps, and Jon drove the whole way. 
We enjoyed Christmas day with family in Ohio, and the following day as well. Lots of games and good talks until the wee hours of the morning.
 Might I mention here that I was the only Rook player who was undefeated?  I think they all underestimate me as a key player.  Just sayin'.  

The kids had the best time, especially Michael, who enjoyed older boy cousins to rough-house with.

We were supposed to travel back on Friday night, but Thursday night, Steve (Jon's brother) took the men out for a nice meal and to celebrate James' (Jon's nephew) engagement.  In the restaurant, Jon had an esophageal spasm, and he could not swallow his bite.  It lodged in the upper 3rd of his esophagus, and there it stayed.  They came home, and we tried unsuccessfully to get it down for 5-6 hours, and he finally relented about 2am when we headed into the ER.  

The ER doc said that they were going to try some meds to relax the smooth muscles of the esophagus, so he got IV Glucagon and a Nitroglycerin paste patch. Meanwhile, Jon could not even swallow saliva, and lots of retching continued.  The meds caused the food to drop a little bit, but it still was completely obstructing his esophagus, so they decided he needed an EGD endoscopy to go retrieve it.  So lots of IV fluid and some Versed & Demerol came aboard, and off he went to endoscopy.  The GI doc said that he thinks Jon has a condition called Eosinophilic Esophagitis (that will need to be confirmed by biopsy in 8 weeks) where the esophagus gets inflamed and narrow so that normal bites of food get stuck.  They had to slice up the food to get the esophagus clear (he might as well get to digest it after all that, right?), and then we stayed as Observation status for a while.  
Here's the EGD pictures of Jon's esophagus.  The top is complete obstruction, then the second picture is after it was cleared.  Notice also that they listed my very manly husband as a female.  
Jon now has to follow-up with a Gastroenterologist for a follow-up EDG to confirm the diagnosis and to begin treatment.  The doc that did the procedure said that the condition is managed with the same drugs that they use to treat asthma, as those meds smooth inflamed smooth muscle.  Until then, Jon has been ordered to a soft diet.  Yesterday, he discovered that pistachios are NOT soft, and he paid the consequences.  He has tried to be non-compliant, but his body responds quite quickly in protest.  Some patients learn the hard way. 

So we ended up leaving for home on Saturday, and I had to call out of work, but thankfully we are home and Jon is recovering.  
I might need some medical attention when I get the out-of-network bills, though...

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas 2013

Due to my work schedule and our Christmas travel plans, we opened presents today, on Christmas Eve
The kids were so excited to open their stockings. 

David wanted to dive into each gift right after he opened it.  We had to convince him to come back and open more presents.  He also ate a LOT of candy. 

Michael loves presents.   

David (with a mouth full of candy) opens one of his favorite gifts- a Cars storybook.  

 Michael loves Legos

Crafty Kate enjoys opening art projects 

Trains for David (more candy in his mouth) 

Michael got a scooter. So excited! 

Kate got a stamp set.  She loved this and the .99c Modeling Clay the best.   

Disney's Planes 

Cinderella (who fits with her Polly Pockets) 

 Michael loved his Harry Potter DVD collection.  I got a great deal on he movie set, and Michael is almost done with the complete book series.  

David got a new Thomas track.  Yay, toys! 

The living room aftermath.  What a fun morning!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

David's Ears

David did not sleep well last night because his ears were hurting him. I took him in today, and he has a double ear infection.  I went ahead and made another appointment with the ENT to see if he wants to put another set of tubes in David's ears, since his old tubes have fallen out.  
Lots of cuddles, too much TV, and some ice cream helped the Tylenol and antibiotics kick in quicker.  Feel better soon, sweet boy.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Library Christmas Party

Our library had a Colonial Christmas Open House last Wednesday, and we took the kids to enjoy a Christmas party from days of yore.  
We have so many historic places around this area, and we were able experience exhibits from a lot of the historians who work at area museums.  

 At James Monroe Museum exhibit, the kids were able to design their own coat of arms (Michael) and fine chinaware (Kate).  David ate a cookie.  
Consequently, I discovered that I should have been born in the days of the bustle.  

The kids made a leather jingle bell bracelet with the Patawomeck Indians

The kids wagered and won at cards with a tavern wench (her words, not mine!) from the Rising Sun Tavern, and they made tricorne hats with the ladies from Kenmore Plantation. One disadvantage of the tricorne hats in colonial days was that the soldiers would accidentally knock their hats off when they would put their muskets on their shoulders.  The lady said that the soldiers often would be found with their hats slightly off-center to avoid this inconvenience.  I never noticed this in pictures before, but sure enough...
I can tell that these ladies really enjoy history, and they are very good at their jobs.  

Santa was there, too.  

We had a lovely time, and enjoyed cookies and cider when we were done.
Have I ever mentioned how much we love our library?

UMW Philharmonic's Concert: Ode to Joy

We were able to attend the University of Mary Washington's Philharmonic Holiday Pops concert performing Beethoven's 9th Symphony: Ode to Joy last week. 
The performance was enjoyable, and the kids did well for the performance.  

We had the front row of the balcony 

We attended with Grandma & Grandpa Blakemore and Uncle David and Aunt Elizabeth
We look forward to attending more events through the university- one of the benefits of living in a college town. 

Grandma and Grandpa Visit

Grandma and Grandpa Blakemore visited recently, which meant that not only did we get to enjoy their company, but we got all the extra great things that come along with them. 

Like presents.  
Tons of toys and puzzles to keep Grandma busy playing. :-)   

And snow.  Grandma and Grandpa left for their winter nest in Florida early this year to avoid the cold weather.  Sure enough, we got some white stuff.  
The kids missed 2 days of school due to ice, which just meant more time enjoying Grandma and Grandpa.  

Jon and I enjoyed a kid-free Christmas shopping trip, as well as a late night movie alone.  It was a much-needed date night, as those are rare these days.  
Of course, it supposed to be in the 60s by the end of the week.  I think Grandma and Grandpa Blakemore are definitely winter weather magnets.  

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Michael's 8th Birthday

Michael turned 8 on Saturday, and we had a fun day celebrating!
He is not 62 years old. :-)  I made him do math since I didn't have an 8.  

The night before, we celebrated by staying up late watching movies (while reading books!)  I entered a contest for free stuff, and I won a free night at the Homewood Suites, so we used it to enjoy something different (and free breakfast!) 

We let Michael pick out a book at Barnes & Noble.  He thought that was THE best! 

Of course, a trip to the bookstore or the library is never a quick stop. 

Afterward, we headed to Fun Land.  For fun.   

The kids all enjoyed it! 

David plays Guitar Hero, complete with rocker tongue.  (David is still young enough to "play" the games without me actually feeding the machine.  I hope this lasts a while!)  

Kate made this Spiderman mug for Michael at Pots and Palates. She used one of her items as a gift for her brother.  He loves it, and she loves that he loves it.  Sweet, thoughtful girl!  

This is Michael's favorite new shirt from his favorite new place to eat- In-N-Out Burger.  He asked for In-N-Out Burger for his birthday lunch, but he had to settle for his second choice, Papa John's Pizza.  

He chose Strawberry Cheesecake for his birthday cake.  Good taste, buddy!  

 That night, we found we we had left Bear at the Homewood Suites.  It was difficult, but David did go to sleep eventually on Saturday night.  I took my dinner break at work on Sunday night to go get Bear, which the housekeeper had saved and brought to the front desk.  I took this picture so David would know that I was taking good care of Bear at work.  
It's hard to believe that Michael is 8!!  One more year until he is half-way to an adult!  How can the years be going so quickly?!

Kate's Kindergarten Thanksgiving Feast

Kate's Kindergarten class celebrated a Thanksgiving Feast the week of Thanksgiving.  David and I were able to help and attend. 
Kate always loves it when we join her for lunch.  Thankfully, she and Michael had the same lunch time, so we can visit them both when we go to lunch. 

A real feast! 

With pie! 

This is the lunch room filled with kids (as we were preparing).  I'm sure you can imagine the noise.  Or perhaps you can't.  It was LOUD! 

 This is Kate and her BFF from her class

Picky Kate's feast consisted of about 1/2 roll dipped in cranberry sauce (I think she thought it was jelly!) and 2 juice boxes.  

Sleepy David

David is going through a phase where he nightly climbs in bed with us.
 I don't know if he is scared or what, but it's not unusual to turn over after the alarm goes off in the morning and find him snuggled up right next to me.  Thankfully, he is a still sleeper, and I often don't even notice him there.  He is always sure to bring Bear along.