Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pumpkin Patch 2009

Every year my sisters and I meet at a pumpkin patch to take pictures of the kids. Well, this year there were two new additions to the group shots...Drew and Malachi. It's amazing how each additional child makes a "good" shot that much more impossible. One's always looking away...or should I say that only one's looking at the camera?! Some are talking. Others are giggling. And right when we get everyone to look...Ryan acts silly. He's quite a ham...always wanting attention on him acting goofy! So, we didn't really get a good group shot, but here's what I got. (Note: there aren't very many of Ryan because he was busy running laps around the pumpkin patch and playing soccer with the white pumpkins the entire time!)

Little brother likes to do whatever big brother does! Here are Mommy's two little pumpkins looking at all the pumpkins.

Drew is one cute little pumpkin!

Fell off of the bench and the big pumpkin steam-rolled over him! (And of course, Mommy had to grab the camera and take a picture before she could console him.)

Look Mommy...I can stand up with a pumpkin! How exciting!

Who needs pumpkins when there's grass to chew on?!?

Here's Ryan showing me one of the white pumpkins. He was calling them "soccer balls" and kicking them all around the patch! I just knew we'd have to pay for them if he kicked 'em too hard!

Here's one smile I got from Ryan...after bribing him with a bag of Spiderman fruit snacks!

Ryan and Jacob playing what looks like Pumpkin Poker. "I'll see your one pumpkin and raise you three!" Hmmm....where have they seen that?!?

Enough's enough's time for my nap!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

Well, it's official...I'm no longer in my twenties. Today I have been on this Earth for three decades. Man, makes me sound really old, huh? Not to mention the massive amount of heat put off by 30 candles on a cake. Ryan helped me blow them out...and it had us both sweating. (Not sure if it was the heat or the numerous breaths we had to take to get them all blown out..or a combination of the two!)

Rob made shirts for both of the boys to wear to church that said, "Today's my Mommy's birthday!" They looked so cute in them. The plan was to take a picture of the two of them in their shirts. But as we walked in to church, Drew had a massive poopy diaper and had to change clothes. His outfit didn't last long...and so much for the cute picture. I did manage to snap a quick picture of Ryan in his shirt while we were eating cake at home. Thanks Rob for the thought that went into this was great!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Some Advice for Parents of Little Ones

If your baby has recently become mobile, I have some words of advice. They might seem obvious, but even as a second-time mom, I still forget the simple things!

First, don't take your eyes off of him (or her) for too long.

Second, if you do and he (or she) gets into a bag of "Blazin' Buffalo" Doritos, follow with a cup of juice...QUICKLY!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thinking Outside of the Box

When I was in kindergarten, I brought home a paper that I didn't do so well on. When my mom looked at it, one particular question had a picture of one side of a bus. The question asked, "How many wheels does this bus have?" Well, being the genius that I am, I answered, "4." My mom proceeded to help me count the wheels, and we found that there were only 2. My response was, "Yes, but there are 2 more on the other side." Smart for a 5 year old, huh?

Well, I guess I have passed those genius genes on to Ryan. The last time we went to storytime at the library (which was a while's just taken me this long to write about it), the craft was to make a bird. They gave us half of a paper plate. The kids were supposed to glue on little squares of tissue paper, two long tail-feathers, and one eye (since you're only making one side of the bird). Well, everything went fine until I told Ryan to get one eye to glue on. His response was priceless, "No Mommy. Bird no have one eye, bird have two eyes. Me need two eyes." How do you argue with that? So, Ryan's bird officially has two all birds should!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A future in the ministry??? young is too young to be called in to the ministry? We have started a Monday night tradition in our house. We have a family devotion time. Right now, since the kids are still really young, it's nothing too complicated. We're going through a Veggie Tales family devotional. It's really neat. It gives you a little story about Larry the Cucumber or Bob the Tomato. Then it tells a Bible story and gives you a fun activity to do with your kids. (It also includes some discussion questions, but those will still have to wait a while.) Last night's story was about Baby Moses. How "his mommy put him in a basket and gave him a push into the water to keep him safe from the king. A princess found him and kept him." (That's the story in Ryan's words!) The book had us put the boys into a laundry basket and act out a "shipwreck." Rob pushed them all around the living room floor, and they had a blast! Then we shipwrecked on "Ice Cream Island." We ate ice cream and talked about the Baby Moses story. (If you ever get a chance, you'll have to ask Ryan to tell you that story and the one about Jesus and the blind man. It's too cute!) After ice cream, it was time for a family prayer and bath. I don't know if Ryan got the idea while he was in the tub, or what. But he ran out of the bathroom with the toilet paper holder. He ran into the living room, turned it upside down, and set his "Bible story" (the devotional) on top of it. Then he was going to each of us (Rob, Drew and myself) and asking, "Do you want to hear a Bible story?" I guess he's using the toilet paper holder as his podium to hold his Bible, like our pastor does on Sundays. After he went to bed, we cleaned up the house and put away his podium. When he woke up this morning, he was upset that we had moved it. He found it and set it up again in the middle of the living room. So maybe now instead of wanting to be "a man" when he grows up, he'll want to be a preacher!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Who knew our house could be so quiet???

Today was Ryan's first day of "school." He is attending the MOD program at our church. We took him last week to meet his teachers. He got really sad at one point and thought we were leaving him. So I was dreading dropping him off today. I didn't want to deal with lots of tears and having to convince him that he was going to have fun. We had really been talking up the whole idea of going to school (although he REALLY wishes it included a ride on a school bus). He woke up early this morning, a little after 7:00. He came bolting out of his bedroom door and shouted, "It no dark outside, me ready for school!" (He's been getting up before the sun comes up, so we tell him all the time that he has to wait until it's not dark outside before he can get out of bed.) He had a hard time grasping the concept that there was still more than 2 hours until we needed to leave. The morning went by pretty smooth. I got him all ready to go and took him outside for our "first day of school" photo shoot. We grabbed all of the necessary things, or at least I thought we did, and were out the door with time to spare. As I got him buckled into his seat, he said, "Mommy, you forgot to make my hair spiky." So we had to get out and head back inside to spike up his hair using Daddy's gel. Well, me being the crazy-camera-mom that I am, we had to re-do the entire photo that 40 years from now we'll remember that he had spiky hair on his first day of MDO. We got back into the car and buckled when he said, "Mommy, I need to go pee pee." So out we got (again). We ran inside just in time to make it to the potty. And out the door we went. (Thank goodness for the "time to spare" that we started the morning with!) He was SO excited to go to his class and see his teachers. He ran in so fast that he almost forgot to kiss me goodbye.

As I walked into the house from dropping him off, I realized that I had forgotten to pack a diaper for nap time (a necessity). So, I had to head back out the door. What a morning! When I finally got home, Drew fell asleep for his morning nap. And, for the first time in a LONG time, the Nordlander house was silent. I thought of all the things I should be doing...but a nap sounded much better. this what it'll be like every Tuesday and Thursday? Should I feel so guilty for having someone else watch my child so I can do whatever I want? Hmmm...

I went to pick him up at 2:30 and they told me that he had a GREAT day. (In fact, he was the only one in the class to participate in the "Creative Movements" class. And let me tell you, he can move quite I'm sure they'll really enjoy him during that time!) As soon as we got out of ear shot of his teacher, he said, "Mommy, my teacher no let me eat my cookie." Immediately I felt guilty...thinking back to the note they sent home. Had they told me not to pack a cookie? Did I pack too much junk food? When we sat down for dinner that night and Rob asked him about his day, he told him the same thing. "My teacher no let me have my cookie." Rob thought to ask the obvious question: Why? His response, "My teacher turned off the light....and nobody could see!" I guess we need to get him accustomed to eating a little quicker. He can prolong the meal process for hours, if allowed. I guess he took too long eating the "healthy" things that he ran out of time for the "goodies." Oh well, maybe he'll learn.

(Update: When I picked him up on Tuesday and asked about his day, he said, "My teacher no let me eat my brownie." Guess he hasn't learned yet!)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

There's a whole new world out there....FOOD!

For the past few nights, Drew has been waking up every 2-3 hours wanting to eat. I guess this was my first sign that he's ready for some REAL food. Well, if you consider rice cereal "real food." So, tonight was the big night. Follow along as I take you through his experience....

He was so hungry that he was gnawing at his toys in anticipation of what was to come. (In fact, his shirt was soaked in drool....he could hardly wait!) I guess he could smell the boobie milk being warmed. (When I pulled it out of the freezer, Ryan said, "Baby Drew eats ice cream??" I guess he thought he was getting to eat his dessert before he ate his dinner!) Drew had a huge smile on his face as he awaited his yummy cereal.

In the midst of feeding him, the cereal was a little too soupy, so I decided to add some more cereal to the bowl. Rob, who doubled as the photographer for the occasion, brought over the container of rice cereal. I scooped some out and added it to the bowl. As I put the spoon back in, Rob obviously didn't have a good hold on the container and the weight of the spoon caused it to fall out of his hand...and all over the table, floor, my lap, etc. Drew was not too happy to wait while we cleaned up the mess. But as soon as he saw the spoon coming back towards his mouth, he was happy again.

By the time he was done eating, he was covered in cereal from ear to ear, and head to toe.

He immediately went for an "after dinner" bath. He can't wait till tomorrow night when he gets another taste of heaven! (And he hasn't even had the good stuff yet!)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Kids say the darndest things....

This chocolate-faced little boy has a way of always bringing a smile to my face. He says (and does) the funniest things.

Yesterday morning, Rob took both of the boys on a walk (so I could get a few extra minutes of sleep). Ryan found a feather and put it in his pocket. While we were eating breakfast, he wanted to show me what he had found. He reached into his pocket to pull it out, but it wasn't there. Rob told him that it must have fallen out while he was running outside. Ryan got up from the table and ran to the front door. He said, "Be back. Go get my feather." I explained to him that he can't go outside with Mommy or Daddy because a bad man might take him. As serious as a two-year-old can be, he said, "No Mommy. No bad man no get me. Me run fast!" Rob and I giggled as we told him that the bad man might run fast, too. And he might take him and not bring him home. Ryan's face got really serious and he said, "Bad man get me, me hit bad man!" At this point, Rob and I were laughing pretty hard. At least our little boy has a, and if he catches him, then hit him!

Last night, I was busy picking up the house and I asked Rob to start the bath water for the boys. (They've recently started taking a bath together...and they LOVE it.) After a few minutes, I went in to put them in and felt the water. It was too cold, so I said, "Rob this water is ice cold. I'm going to have to drain it and fill it up again." So I let out the water and began filling it with warm water. A few minutes later, Ryan came walking in the bathroom with two hands full of ice. He said, "Here Mommy. Ice for my bath." I guess he took what I said literally...he wanted his bath "ice cold."

Sunday, July 5, 2009

What a weekend!

Happy Fourth of July! We bought some fireworks and Ryan loved them, of course. Drew got to "do" his first sparkler and watch his Daddy do some other fireworks. He liked looking at the bright lights in the sky, but wasn't too sure about the loud noises that followed. We had Papa Duck, Noni and Bumpa over for dinner and Wii golf. Overall, the 4th of July went by pretty smoothly. But once the 5th was here (and literally, I mean 12 midnight)...that's a whole new story!

At midnight, Drew woke up screaming. I sat up with him for a while. He ate a little, but overall was uninterested. He was more interested in screaming. (He was not your typical "fussy baby"...he was a monster!) He pretty much screamed non-stop until after 6:00 this morning. The entire time, he wouldn't eat (which is NOT like my child). When I spoke with the on-call nurse yesterday she said to call back if he stopped eating or became extremely fussy (which he was both by this point). So, I gave her a call. She told me that he needed to go to the ER...babies can get really dehydrated, and really sick, really fast. So, around 9:30 this morning we were off to Cy Fair Hospital. We got to the ER and were taken to a room pretty quickly. I explained that his big brother has been sick with Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease...and that he's started it, too. The doctor saw the blisters in his mouth and decided we should try a "Magic Mouthwash." Basically it's a mixture of Benadryl, Mylanta and a numbing medication. They had me swab it in his mouth. It was supposed to numb his mouth enough to where he would be able to nurse. Didn't work! He was still screaming at the top of his lungs anytime he tried to eat. They wanted to do an X-ray on his tummy, to make sure nothing was wrong in there. It came back clear. So they decided we should try straight Lidocaine jelly...we swabbed this around in his mouth. Still no relief...still lots of screaming! They put in an IV line and drew some blood. They also put in a catheter so they could get a urine sample. (They were only able to get about 3 drops after draining his entire bladder...since it had been so long since he'd had anything to eat.) We waited an hour for those test results to come back. All clear. The doctor came back in baffled. I had laid him down in his carseat and he seemed content. She was commenting on how he had finally been able to be calmed. I told her that anytime I pick him up, he begins screaming. By this time my dad had arrived with the breast pump (I was about to explode) and he tried to pick him up. The screaming began all over again! I could tell that the doctor had a thought...the expression on her face changed. She explained that the only thing she hadn't ruled out was Meningitis. And the only way to test for it was by doing a spinal tap. Not something I wanted to put my baby through. After a lot of thought, I felt it was best to go ahead and test, so we could rule it out (hopefully). They got him all prepped...and it went by much quicker than I had imagined. Then the waiting game began, again. In the meantime, the doctor wanted to run a bag of fluid through his IV. The IV was not put in correctly by our oh-so-lovely man nurse (that's a whole story in itself), so they were not able to give him the IV fluids. Instead, they had me make him suck on ice chips. This made for some really funny faces! He took several ice chips well, but then I think his mouth got too cold. By about 3:30, the spinal tap results were in...clear! Whew! They decided that we were safe to go home and to follow up with his pediatrician tomorrow. UPDATE: After 16+ hours without eating, Drew finally decided to give in and eat! Yippee! We're praying for a better night tonight...and for Drew's appetite (or ability to eat) to continue.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

It's a Family Affair

Okay...the inevitable has happened. The entire Nordlander family has gotten a case of the "spots." Ryan is finally getting over his. The spots are going away and he's back to his normal self. On Thursday I woke up with spots on my hands, feet and in my mouth. Over the past two days, however, they have gotten worse. Now they are all blistered and extremely sore. I have them on almost all of my fingertips. So anytime I do ANYTHING, it hurts. This makes me extremely irritable. (I can now see why Ryan was such a turkey when he had his spots!) Earlier this morning, Drew was fussing. When I went to pick him up, I noticed that he has the blisters starting in his mouth, as well. I checked his hands and feet...and found more spots. Not anywhere near as bad as Ryan had it. We were praying that Drew wouldn't get it...but now we'll pray that it doesn't get too serious. When I saw Drew's spots, I told Rob to inspect his hands and feet. I explained that they start out as red dots that hurt like crazy when you touch them. He found one little spot on his hand that's red and hurts...let's hope he's not getting it, too. Ahhh...I guess we've finally taught Ryan how to share!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It's always something at the Nordlander house...

Ryan woke up Sunday morning and asked for OJ. When he took a drink, he started screaming. I thought he had bitten his cheek (which is something he's recently learned to do). I looked in his mouth and saw a HUGE ulcer on his tongue. A little while later, I noticed what looked like ant bites all over his hands. In the past we have had a problem with fire ants getting into his bed and biting him in the night. I looked down and noticed that he had them all over his feet too. That's when it clicked....hand, foot and mouth disease. He's had it before, when he was a baby. And I'm guessing he picked it up at VBS last week. I called the doctor and he said that's what it was. He started with a rash on his bottom that afternoon. Then yesterday morning, Ryan woke up and the rash had turned into blisters, too. I called the doctor again and he wanted to see him. We went in around 4:00 yesterday and got seen by Dr. Dockray. When he looked at his hands I could tell he was thinking I was crazy for bringing him in (it doesn't look that bad there)...then he looked at his feet and got a little more concerned. But it wasn't till I took off his diaper and showed him all of the blisters on his bottom that he realized how serious it was. He said (and I quote)..."It has been many, many, many...and I mean MANY, years since I have seen a case of it this bad. This is pretty serious." He said that basically the blisters form on the nerve endings...hence why they hurt so bad. (I got it too the last time he had it, so I know the pain that each blister causes.) He gave him Tylenol with codeine to help with the pain. I asked him how long he needed to stay away from other kids. He said that he needs to stay away from everyone (not just kids) for the next week and a half. He said that since the blisters just showed up on Sunday, he's still at the beginning of it and it will get worse. The spots need to be gone for 4-5 days before he gets around people. (I'm going to go crazy being stuck in the house for over a week!) Fast forward a few hours. I get a call at about 6:15 last night that his fever had shot up to over 102 and he was shaking and throwing up everywhere. By the time I got him, he was lethargic and still throwing up. I called the doctor for a third time. I finally talked to the on-call doctor about 9 last night. We had put Ryan in the bath and gotten him to stop shaking...and the throwing up had slowed down some. She said to keep him hydrated and wake him up throughout the night to make sure he would respond. Luckily, we had a smooth night. He woke up this morning...and the fever is back. It's almost 103 today. I'm doing my best to keep fluids going in.

I tell you all of that to say, please pray for my little boy. Pray for his body to fight off this virus. Pray for him to not get dehydrated. It's hard to see him just laying there with no energy...that's not like him. I'm ready for my crazy two year old monster to be back! Also, please pray that Drew won't get it. It's impossible to explain to a baby that he has to drink or else he'll end up in the hospital. Thanks!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Drew's Song

We have come up with an "official" song for Drew. Each of the lines in the song have meaning (to us, at least). Here goes....

Hey little merman
Shaped like a coke can
With hair like Papa Duck.
You're cute as a muffin
You drool like nuthin'
And you bee-bup everywhere, yuck!

Now to explain (in case you're curious)...
Hey little merman - Drew can do this crazy thing with his feet...he makes them look like a mermaid tail. But since he's a boy, he has to be a "merman" according to his Aunt Bebe (Molly).
Shaped like a coke can - Each time we go to the doctor for check-ups, Drew is in the 75th percentile for weight and less than 25th for height. So, he literally is the shape of a coke can. He's short and round!
With hair like Papa Duck - My dad (aka Papa Duck) has lost almost all of the hair on the top of his head. He pretty much just has hair around the bottom, along the back...very similar to the "do" that Drew has.
You're cute as a muffin - No real significance to this line, it just goes.
You drool like nuthin' - Man, this boy can drool! He always looks like we've just pulled his clothes straight from the washing machine...without drying them. His shirt is always SOAKED from the neck, all the way to his belly button.
And you bee-bup everywhere, yuck - Ryan tries to tell us when Drew has spit up, but he calls it "bee-bup"...and Drew is REALLY good at this, too. After eating, the first burp is always dry. (And then people think he's done and go back to playing with him...but really he has more in store.) Then comes the oh-so-lovely WET burp...which can soak you!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

You could poke someone's eye out with that!

Well, here we are on vacation in North Carolina...and what a time we've had so far. On Saturday, our first REAL day of vacation (we won't count Friday since we spent 15 hours of it traveling), we woke up and decided to head to Cracker Barrel for breakfast. Pretty much the entire family went...minus my mom and grandparents. Ryan is in a "do everything myself" mode right now...and he doesn't want help with anything. Our food came to the table and Rob was helping him butter his pancakes. Ryan, with fork in hand, got upset and said "No, Daddy," as he threw back his arms. Rob's face was in the dangerous path of Ryan's fork. The next thing we know, Rob has his hand over his eye and is running from the table. Steve went to check on him (since I'd be a little out of place in the men's restroom)...and soon enough they were headed back to the table. We assumed everything was fine...until Rob sat down. He had been stabbed in his eye with Ryan's fork...and was bleeding from his eye ball. Gross! We ended up calling our doctor in Houston, and he said to get straight to the ER. So, we did what every family would do in that situation...we finished breakfast and then headed to the hospital. (As Rob put it, "You never know how long you'll be there, so we might as well eat first!") Rob spent 8 hours of the day in the Pardee Hospital in the mountains of N.C. (I bet he's glad he finished his food first!) He ended up being seen by 4 doctors because they all wanted to get another opinion. In the end, he was told that he had a "punctured cornea"...luckily only one prong of the fork got him. He had to see an ophthalmologist on Tuesday to make sure there was no permanent damage (it could've changed the shape of his eye, somehow). He got good news from his follow-up...she said everything was healing just fine. This has really taught Ryan a lesson about hitting...too bad it was at Rob's expense. (Molly took a nice close-up picture of his bleeding eye as we were heading to the ER. I'll post it once she sends it to me.)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Birds Strike Back!!!

One of Ryan's favorite things to do outside is scare the birds. Any time he sees a bird, he asks if he can scare it away. He runs at them screaming...until they fly off. I don't know what's so amusing about it...but he could chase birds all day if I'd let him! Well, today the birds struck back (or one bird in particular). I decided to take the boys to Bear Creek Park this morning, just to get out of the house. Because of all the rain a few weeks ago, most of their animals weren't out. But, there WAS a rooster running loose. As soon as Ryan saw it, I heard those oh-so-familiar words, "Mommy, me scare bird. Peas. Peas. Peas." Not knowing much about roosters, I said it was okay. So...he took off running and screaming at the rooster. The rooster did not runaway, however. Instead, he started doing this little dance in a circle around Ryan. I thought it was so cute that I got out the camera and started snapping pictures. I looked up from behind the camera right as the rooster jumped and attacked Ryan. All I saw was a rooster in the air, feathers flying, and Ryan grabbing his arm screaming. Ryan ran to me still holding his arm. I looked...and he has battle wounds on his arm. I guess he messed with the wrong rooster! One thing I do know about birds is that they are dirty. So I ran to the car and got the's all that I had handy. I cleaned it as good as I could till we could get home. (Don't worry, I called the pediatrician just to check and they told me to keep it clean with peroxide and keep an eye on the marks to make sure they don't become infected.)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ryan's New Friend

As of today, Ryan has a new friend...his shadow! (As always, Ryan is able to keep everyone around him laughing.) We were on our way walking home from the neighborhood park when Ryan looked down and noticed "someone" following him. We explained that this is his shadow. We were "jumping" on his shadow's head. He thought it looked like so much fun that he wanted to do it too. He started running towards his shadow's head...and kept on running...not realizing that his shadow kept running, too. He ran quite a ways before he realized his shadow wasn't holding still. So, we diverted his attention and had him jump on other people's shadows. When we started heading home again, he turned to his shadow, waved, and said, "Bye bye shadow!" Then began walking. He turned around and noticed that his shadow was still following him. So again he waved and said, "Bye bye shadow!" and continued walking. He turned for a third time, and his shadow was STILL there! This time (with a little more attitude in his voice) he told his shadow good-bye. His shadow followed him all the way home...despite how many times he told it bye. When we got to the front door, I told him that his shadow would stay outside until next time we go out. So now every time we go out the front door, he looks for his shadow...making sure he's still there!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Wow....It's been a while!

Man, it's been a LONG time since I've had time to update this! After my appendectomy, it has definitely taken me a while to get back in the swing of things. I think we are FINALLY back to normal, as far as our schedule is concerned. There have been some other "issues" that have come up recently. First, several weeks after my surgery, I developed a very painful lump in the vein where I had my IV. I asked the boys' pediatrician and he said that it's a blood clot. But it was nothing to worry about since it's in a superficial vein. Over the next few weeks, I would wake up in the morning and new clots would have "popped up" over night. I now have 4 of them, all in the same vein, going up my arm. They hurt like crazy. I called my doctor and they said to take Advil and apply heat. With two little ones in the house, I've yet to find time to do that. So, I'm just dealing with the pain. The second issue...I took a short nap on Monday, and when I woke up I could not see out of my right eye. With my left eye closed, I wouldn't have been able to tell you if there was anyone standing in front of me. It looked like I was in the middle of a cloud. I went to the eye doctor on Tuesday morning and she said that my eye had gotten dry while I was sleeping and when I opened my eye, I ripped off the outer layer of my cornea. She said that she could see where the cells were healing. I was given a prescription for eye drops and go back to see her in a week (so Tuesday). Hopefully the drops will work and restore my vision completely. We'll see, I guess.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Back at it.......

The Nordlanders just can't stay away from the hospital, can we??? I started having stomach pains on Monday and thought nothing of them at the time. Over the next two days they continued to get worse. I woke up in the middle of the night on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning with pains so bad that I couldn't sleep. The pains went all the way from my c-section incision to up under my ribs and around to my back. When my ob's office opened for the day, I called to see if it might be a complication from the c-section. The nurse told me that it sounded like really bad constipation and that I should take milk of magnesia and I'd feel better soon. So I took her advice....and nothing happened! I had a doctor's appointment for Ryan at 3:45 that afternoon, so I headed out. When I walked in with him one of the nurses saw me and said that I didn't look good. She said that she wouldn't let me drive home, and asked if Rob could meet me there. Rob came up and on our way home he dropped me off at the urgent care center. They checked me over and the doctor said that it looked like I had some crazy stomach bug that is going around. This isn't your typical 24-hour bug, he said that this one lasts a week. He told me to take a prescription for the cramping, and to see my doctor in a week if I wasn't feeling better. By Friday afternoon I was in worse shape than before. So that evening, my mom brought me to the CyFair Hospital ER. They did a CT scan of my tummy (after drinking 4 cups of the world's nastiest "berry smoothie" flavored barium). The tech said she saw something funny on my right side and she would have the doctor take a look. He came back with the results...a ruptured appendix. He told me that, for some reason, instead of the infection going all through my abdominal cavity, it had contained itself on my right side. (I know that "some reason" was God's hands inside me, keeping everything under control.) They informed me that I wouldn't be going home, but I'd be heading to surgery to remove my appendix. I finally got into a room around 3 am Friday morning. The doctor that was set to perform the surgery had a super-busy morning, with several operations in line ahead of me, so mine wouldn't be until sometime in the afternoon. At 2:30 pm they wheeled me down to get prepped for surgery. I had a chance to meet all of the doctors that would be present during the surgery...everyone from the actual surgeon, to the anesthesiologist, to the nurse. I was totally impressed with each one of them. God definitely hand-picked these doctors just for me! (The old-man anesthesiologist did a little dance to distract me while I got my third IV line inserted! It was pretty funny to watch.) They started some meds in my IV, and off I went! I don't remember anything until later that night. The doctor told Rob that everything went well, but that there was a lot of infection. (It was supposed to take 20-30 minutes, but ended up taking them an hour to get it all out!) So, now I'm in my room and starting the healing process. I am really sore, so getting up out of bed to go to the bathroom hurts like crazy. The doctors brought me a "potty chair" to put right next to the bed so that I don't have to walk far. I call it my "latrine"...since it starts to get a bit funky smelling if they take too long to empty it. I also have a drain coming out of my lower abdomen that drains any infection and fluid that is still trapped inside. It looks like a ball attached to a tube that goes into my belly. I have nicknamed my drain "Clifford" because it's almost like walking a dog on a leash...only it's with me at ALL times. And Clifford is the appropriate name because the fluid coming out of me is red. So, I have Clifford the Little Red Dog!

This whole thing has been quite an experience, and I thank everyone for their continued prayers. I was supposed to get discharged today, but because of the large amount of infection they found, they say that I will be here for a couple more days. Please pray for me, as this is the longest I have ever been away from my kids. Pray for my kids as they are missing having Mommy at home. (When I left for the ER, I kissed them like I would be back in a few hours. If I'd have known I would be admitted to the hospital, I would've taken a little longer to love on them before walking out of the door!) Rob is at home with Ryan and Drew, so pray for him to have the energy it takes to be "Mr. Mom." Also, continue to pray for my milk supply...not being able to nurse is doing some damage on my production. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your prayers. I am blessed to have so many people who care about me and are supporting me (in all different kinds of ways) through my healing process.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bug Catcher

Last week Ryan, Drew and I went to the library for some "toddler time." One of Ryan's favorite things to do during this time was swat little plastic bugs with a fly swatter. (It was funny because he's never played with a fly swatter before, but saw it and knew exactly what to do with it!) He had the best time swatting all of the bugs. Okay, fast forward a few days....

Rob and I are watching tv (The Amazing Race, as you can see)...and all of a sudden, Ryan is standing on a chair in front of the tv holding one of Rob's shoes. We were wondering what he was up to. Then we figured it out. Look at the top of the above picture. A mosquito-eater had gotten in the house and was flying around behind the tv. Ryan was going to use the shoe like the fly swatter from the library. We decided to give him a REAL fly swatter and let him go to town on the bug! The chair wasn't giving him enough "height" he climbed on daddy's shoulders. And my two biggest boys had one heck of a time chasing it around the house. See below.....

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Noni and Bumpa brought Ryan some Batman Valentine's cards to decorate for his friends and family. The set came with little heart stickers to seal the cards with. My genius child, the one who can come up with the most random uses for simple items, decided that these little stickers would look much better as "Valentine's beards!" The picture above is the beard that Ryan gave Drew while he was sleeping!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pictures Galore

Just wanted to share some random shots of our new little guy!

What a hard life, huh?

Papa Duck and his two little Nordlander boys.

The new "Sideways Joe." Ryan used to lay sideways in the swing, too.

Beautiful little baby boy feet! (They won't be cute for long!)

Ryan will fight you if you try to take bis brother away!

Another sleepy shot! Must be nice.

Crazy picture...I'm rarely this awake!

This one makes me laugh...hee hee.

As cute as can be...

I think it's time for another nap. It's been a long day!

Ryan's version of "Whose Line"

Have you ever seen the show "Whose Line is it Anyway?" with Drew Carey. One of my favorite games on that show is the one where they are given random objects and asked to come up with other (not-so-normal) uses for them. Well, Ryan is GREAT at coming up with random uses for everyday things around the house. However, with a new baby there are a lot of "new" items in our house for him to get creative with. Here's one...

Those of you who have had a baby that breast feeds will know what that is a picture of. Ryan is having a great time creating his own game of "Whose Line" and coming up with off-the-wall uses for this! See below....

It can be a microphone. It has been added as one of the new "instruments" in his marching band. Last night he had Rob marching through the house with him. Ryan was singing into the breast pump and Rob was playing the tambourine. It was quite a sight. If I wasn't feeding Drew at the time, I would've grabbed the camera and snapped a shot!

It can also double as a small cereal bowl. Ryan likes to pour his cereal out of his normal bowl and walk around with this full of cereal instead. (It does make more's a LOT easier to hold and not spill!)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ryan's New "Trick"

Ryan has decided that he needs a "baby" too, so his Elmo doll is getting lots of attention these days. Last night he got out his doll stroller (nothing wrong with a little boy having a pink stroller, right?) and had Elmo buckled in. He was pushing him around the house while I rocked Drew in the living room. Ryan came walking in next to me and said that Elmo (aka "Mamo") was hungry. He took him out of the stroller and lifted up his shirt. He proceeded to put Elmo's mouth on his chest and said that he was eating "boobie milk." So, my two year old is now breastfeeding his stuffed animals.

As of right now, I have not been able to capture this on the camera...but as soon as I do, the picture will definitely be posted here!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Stay-at-Home Mommy of 2 Boys

Today was my first day alone with my two boys...and what a day it was! This morning my dad came over to help me take Drew for his 2-week visit to the doctor. He has gained 6 ounces in the last week and now weighs 6 lbs 9 ounces...what a big boy! We also found out that he had to go back to Memorial City Hospital for his second newborn screening (we gave already paid for them to do it there). So, off we were for a day's adventure at the hospital. We parked where we thought we needed to be...which was about 3 miles too far. We only had a stroller for Drew's car sea, so we had to take the 3-mile trek at a two-year-old's pace (stopping to look at everything along the way). I'm used to walking at that rate, but I think Papa Duck was getting a bit frustrated. Anyways, the visit went well. Ryan was a good big brother...and a good sport to be patient through it all!

Then we got home...and that's when the fun began! Ryan had fallen asleep in the car. I am still not supposed to lift anything heavier than the baby and my dad has a hurt back, so we faced a bit of a problem. He brought Drew inside, then left (knowing my mom would, or should, be at my house soon). So I had one kid inside and the other asleep in the car. I sat in the car with Ryan for more than 10 minutes...and no mom! So I had the neighbor bring Ryan in...which woke him up. By this time, Drew was awake and hungry. Drew an I went to lay down with Ryan and try to get him back to sleep (while waiting on my mom to get here). She showed up and relieved me of Ryan's nap duty. Only one small problem...Drew was sleepy and starving by now. So hungry, in fact, that he couldn't calm down enough to eat. He just kept on screaming! Which kept Ryan awake! Finally around 2:00, Drew had cried himself to sleep, but I could still hear Ryan having a conversation with Ghi, my mom. (Just a side note: Ryan is normally asleep by I can't wait to meet the little monster that walks out of his bedroom soon!)

So my question this what it's going to be like every day as a stay-at-home mommy of 2 boys??? Or will their schedules eventually mesh...and give me some sort of break during the day??? Today seemed like a "them versus me" day......let's pray for a better tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Drew's First Bath

Here are some pictures of Drew's first bath. (Notice the strategic placement of the wasn't even planned!) And Ryan, being the great big brother that he is, had to help!

Thing 1 and Thing 2

Drew's cousin (or twin) has arrived! Malachi Milillo was born at 3:59 pm yesterday. He weighs 7 lbs 4 oz and is 20 inches long. We are referring to Drew and Malachi as "Thing 1" and "Thing 2"...since they were born so close together...they could practically be twins!

Here is a picture of "Papa Duck" just as proud as he can be...holding his "twin" babies!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Drew's First Girlfriend

When I was in my recovery room, there was a lady named Jamie next door to me. She had a little girl, Griffin, on Tuesday. Both of our babies were admitted to the NICU on Friday. And, ironically enough, they ended up as next-door-neighbors on the 4th floor. All of the NICU nurses referred to Griffin as "Drew's girlfriend." They were joking about how he followed her up to the NICU. We were truly blessed by all of the nurses that took care of our baby while he was there.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Headed Home!

Today was Drew's BIG DAY! He got to come home. We were up at the NICU before 8 this morning. I brought along the bottles of milk that I had pumped in the night. (I figured a little "reverse psychology" couldn't hurt...if we brought the milk, we could go home....if we left it at home, he'd have to stay and we'd need to go home and get I was prepared!) He was REALLY ready to eat when we arrived. I quickly fed him (you don't keep a hungry newborn waiting!)...and then the real waiting game began. On Friday, when he was admitted, they took his blood at 9:55 am. They were doing a 48-hour blood culture. To my knowledge, 48 hours after 9:55 am on Friday would be 9:55 am on Sunday....but not in the NICU. Their definition of 48 hours is really 52 hours...speaking from experience. We sat around in the big, comfy green chairs waiting on the test results to come in. At 1:55 pm, the good news was in! The culture had come back negative! So we were headed home...again! By the time we had "signed" for our son, it was almost 4 pm...and Drew was a free man! We are now home...and adjusting. Ryan absolutely LOVES his new baby brother. (Hopefully the excitement lasts!) He has had so much fun holding him, burping him (he gets REALLY excited when Drew actually burps for him!), and he is a super-big help with diaper changes.

A cute story...
Right after we got home, Ryan wanted to show Baby Drew his new bed. He took us into our bedroom and told us to put him in his bed. Then he stood there and rocked his cradle for a while. I told him that Daddy was going to get Baby Drew's monkey blanket out of the car. Ryan ran into Drew's bedroom and got the blanket off of his crib to cover him. Drew was still in the cradle and started crying. Ryan immediately dropped the blanket and sprinted back into our bedroom. When I got in there, Ryan was standing next to the cradle rocking it...and Drew wasn't crying. Ryan is such a great big brother!!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Last night....

I can tell you that last night was the WORST night that I have experienced in my life. For the last 9 months, Drew has been with me 24/7. I have known of his every move...all night and day. And last night I had to leave him! I can not explain the emotions that I experienced. Driving away from the hospital without my baby was extremely upsetting. I have decided that they need to have a special "discharge class" for parents of babies that aren't going home. It's nice when you're taking your baby home to hear about bathing, eating, sleeping, etc. But when your baby is going to be spending the next however-many days in the NICU, you need to hear a different type of to deal with the emotions of leaving without your little one. We had been all ready to be discharged. Had the room packed up, the flowers in the car, the car seat ready to go...and then we had to put the car seat back in the car EMPTY. Lots of emotions there! Just a thought, but it would be nice to hear how to deal with all of those emotions.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Baby Drew Update

Good news! Rob and I went to see Drew in the NICU around 11:00 today. They pumped his tummy and found only milk and stomach juices. They also inserted a tube all the way down to his belly. They were able to hook a syringe to the end of the tube and suck out anything that his stomach might produce (looking for any more blood clots). When we arrived, he was hooked up to all kinds of monitors and was in a heated bed to keep his temperature up (it had dropped a bit this morning). The doctor came up and told us that they had tested the blood clots, and that they were maternal...meaning they came from me. Whew! She said that they have two theories of what could have happened. First, I could have had a cyst that popped while he was nursing, and he "sucked" it out while eating. Second, (they said this isn't unheard of in preemie babies) he could have swallowed some of the blood from the c-section...and it just took several days for him to spit it up. This is extremely good news! They are still keeping him in the NICU for at least 48 hours. They have taken some of his blood and sent it off to be cultured (which takes 2 days or so). They said with little ones, you have to be especially careful. They are checking to make sure he doesn't have any type of infection. While we were there, they sucked out his tummy several times...and everything was clear (literally), so they took out the tube. At 2:00 today, I get to begin nursing him again. I will be able to feed him every 3 hours. However, we get kicked out of our room at 11:59 tonight, so we will be having to head home...without our baby. I will be coming back up here first thing in the morning to continue feedings every 3 hours. (He will have to have a bottle of pumped milk while I'm away. Boo.) But there's nowhere for me to I guess I'll be sitting in a chair next to his little bed from sun-up til' sun-down...until he gets to come home. Please continue to pray for us. It's really beginning to hit me that we will be leaving without him. Pray that we would trust the doctors to take good care of him while we are away. Pray for us to have the right words to explain the situation to Ryan. Pray for Drew's test results to come back quickly. Just pray for God's peace to be with us through this crazy time. Again, thanks for your prayers. We are truly blessed to have such wonderful friends and family!

Please Pray!

Well, we were practically on our way out the hospital doors this morning...ready to be home and back to "normal." I had just finished feeding Drew and was wrapping him back up in his blanket, and he started spitting up blood clots. The pediatrician had not yet checked on him this morning, and she walked in shortly after. She checked his mouth to make sure he hadn't cut the inside of his mouth...and didn't see anything. At this moment, they have a neonatologist looking at him. They are going to move him up to the NICU sometime soon. They will be running tests. First to find out if it was my blood or his (since I had just fed him). If it's mine, I guess we will be good to go. If it's his, they will have to figure out where it came from. They are going to be putting him on an IV for fluids...and he will be "NPO" (which means "nothing by mouth"). Please just pray that the doctors would be able to find out what caused this. And that we would still be able to go home today (with our baby). Ryan is really missing us, and we're missing him! But we want Baby Drew to be okay. I will keep you updated as I know more. Thanks for your prayers!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Introducing the New Little Nordlander

Well, Drew decided to make his appearance a bit sooner than we had expected. On Monday, January 19th, I went in for my normal weekly doctor's visit. She did an ultrasound and saw that he was still in the breech position. She also checked to see if I had progressed any, and found that I was 2.5 centimeters dilated and 50% effaced. Her response to this was, "Looks like you're having a baby today!" I was totally not expecting came as a complete shock! This was about 11 or so that morning. She scheduled me for 12:30...only an hour and a half to process what was going on! (She saud that I had to go straight to the delivery floor. I wasn't allowed to go home and then come back. In her words, "If I let you go, by the time you could get back here, you would have a foot hanging between your legs. You'd be running into the ER like a crazy woman with a leg hanging out!") Rob hadn't come to the appointment because he had some things to take care of at work. I had to call him and let him know those things might have to wait. I had no bags he and my mom shifted into overdrive and threw some things together for me.

Fast forward an hour or so...

I arrive at the delivery floor of Memorial City Hospital. They told me that they had to push my surgery back to 1:30 because I had eaten a Pop Tart earlier that morning. So I went to wait (all by myself) in a room. My family started showing up. My doctor came in to check on me and I asked if I could have some pain meds...because by this time I had started having some pretty serious contractions. She said that there were 3 c-sections ahead of mine (which would push mine back to sometime around 4 or 5 o'clock), but between the first and second ones, she would come back in and give me an epidural for the pain. We waited about an hour for her to come back into the room. She sent everyone out so she could check me before giving me the meds. It was at this time that she realized I was already 4 centimeters (and "will be 6 if she sneezes") and in active labor. She stood me up and said, "We're taking him right now!" With a breech baby, it's obviously not a good thing for you to go into labor. So, my "you-can-wait-awhile" c-section turned into a "you'd-better-get-up-and-go-right-now c-section." She rushed into the hall and got Rob. (He was on the phone cancelling some meetings he had at work.) We walked across the hall...and the rest is history!

Fast forward another hour or so...

At 2:16 pm, Drew Jeffry Nordlander was born! He weighed in at 6 pounds 4 ounces. He was 18 3/4 inches long. From the moment his mouth came out (which was last), he was screaming! It was the most beautiful sound. I hadn't gotten to "know" what was going on throughout the surgery, so to hear him cry let me know that everything was okay! We can't wait to show him off to all of our friends and family. (He's WAY cuter in person! The pictures don't do him justice!)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Second bath

Drew got his second bath today. The first one doesn't do much besides clean off all of the goo from birth. But the second is a miracle bath. As you can see from the picture, his hair gets "puffy" when it's clean. Maybe he will have thin hair like Mommy, too.