Friday, July 25, 2014

Ikea Whaaaaat?

Mom and I wanted to go to Ikea.  Since Hollyn had an eye appt in Portland already, we figured it would be a good day to do that as well.  And because I knew my boys love the playland at Ikea I brought all the kids along.  But things never go quite as you expect, do they?

Hollyn's appt ran very late and long.  But that was o.k.  It was also the first time the other kids had come and when they realized that the tram ran right up next to our building, well we had to ride it of course!  We got a little off course trying to find the tram's loading platform and wandered through all sorts of levels of an OHSU hospital, including the laundry room! (And that was following the signs/directions.) But we found it and rode it.  I've been wanting to do that for a while now, so I can officially check that off my bucket list.

 View over the river from one tram while the other passes in the opposite direction.

It was rush hour traffic when finished that and we could see it didn't look good in Ikea's direction.  Plus we were all hungry so it seemed like the perfect time to stuff ourselves at olive garden.  Asher walked in and straight up to the greeter/host and jumbled out something about their name being olive garden and does that mean they have a lot of olives.  Somehow his questions worked it so that we were brought endless olives to go along with our endless breadsticks.  He even got his very own personal bowl of them.  Hahaha.  I love that kid.

The clock was ticking but I checked Ikea's hours and they don't close until 9.  It was about 5:30 so we should be fine even after the additional hour's driving.  The boys really, really wanted to go play there.  And it was the whole reason my Mom came at all!

 So we left.  And traffic hadn't cleared.  At all.  It was slow going.  But we made it.  We FINALLY made it to Ikea land!  Aaaaaaaaand, their play area closes at 7, which was 15 minutes away by then, and they weren't accepting any more kids.  Aaaaaaah!  My kids were SO upset.  Because it had taken us all day to get there, we wandered through anyway.  But Ikea is a lot less magical with all four of your kids, including a baby who hasn't slept more than 10 minutes and a three year old who thinks she should NOT have to sit in a cart, let me tell you!  I promised them we'd go again sometime.  Much earlier in the day!

That's right, we dangled by those cables you see!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Busy Summer

Our summers tend to be really lazy.  We don't generally go anywhere except for maybe a camping trip or a couple of fun day trips.  But for the most part the days pass at home with the kids playing with their neighborhood friends.  This year has been different though.  We are SO busy.  I'm not used to it.  Isn't it interesting how life changes and phases come and go as children grow up?  I've spent so long as a Mom of exclusively "littles" and learning the ropes of parenting and homemaking around that phase's challenges.  But darn it if my kids keep growing on me!  I somehow gradually moved into a phase that includes not just the littles but also some bigger kids simultaneously.  I think that's part of what keeps us so busy - the overlapping challenges of more than one age range.

Anyway, we're having fun and looking forward to even more!

Kieran had an ear follow up and general one-year checkup today.   I posted previously about how his ears had been hurting him and he'd been super grouchy for weeks.  And he was put on amoxicillin after getting fevers and the blocked Eustachian tubes causing bulging ear drums.  Within about a day and a half he was back to his old self, only better!  Kieran just spent about 2 weeks so darned happy!  It was so nice to have my sweet little guy back.  And not only was he patient and happy again, but perhaps from being sick he'd become quite the Mama's boy.  It was so funny - he'd play shy with everybody else.  If Brian attempted to call Kieran to him, Kieran would play hard to get by smiling sheepishly and taking his time.  If I called Kieran though he'd light up like a beacon and come running.  In fact, Kieran frequently smiled so big at me that he'd fall down! (Like, he'd smile and tilt his head up in joy, which would cause him to lose his balance).  He loved me so much in fact, it would kind of break my heart.  I'd being going about my business, say, taking something to the garbage.  We'd make eye contact.  Kieran would immediately light up and look at me with these hopeful eyes.  They'd be looking at me with a longing, hoping beyond hope that his Mother was going to be paying attention to him now.  Would pick him up or play with him.  And I'd of course have to keep going on my way to the garbage can.  I mean, I can drop everything and play with him sometimes, but obviously not literally every.single.second of the day.  It would kill me to have to reject that hopeful little face.  I love that I finally have a Mama's boy though. ♥

Yesterday was his final dose of the medication.  Today he was super grouchy again.  * sigh*.  He cried at the play ground and wouldn't let me put him down the entire time - at least until I put him in his stroller - but he did NOT want to wander around.  He very much cried and fussed at the Dr's office, perhaps because he just generally isn't a fan of it there.  I'd be surprised if he remembered past vaccinations, but he dislikes being checked out.  Especially pinned down for ear checks, which he probably does remember.  Anyway, he was super grouchy again.

It's just as well that it occurred on the day he happened to have a check up.  The bulging is gone but the tubes are still blocked and filled with fluid.  Which tends to be painful, apparently.  Sooooo, Dr. Rampton thought about our options and gave me these two: Send him to an ENT - though he didn't love that idea as Kieran would most likely be recommended for ear tube surgery.  Or, do a low dose antibiotic for an extended time - 60 days!  Dr. Rampton said he would choose the latter for his own child.  I guess the antibiotics are a lesser "evil" than ear tube surgery at this age, at least in his opinion.  He feels the surgery should be an option reserved for when other attempts (like this one) fail.  Aaaaaanyway, despite feeling like Brennan's two ear tube surgeries were pretty easy and painless, I decided to follow Dr. Rampton's advice.  Besides, Brennan's tubes failed both times, so I guess it was a waste in a way.

Ugh.  My kids and their ears!

He gets so many comments about his gorgeous big eyes.  From YW to total strangers.  Never fails.

A good angle for those lashes too

Kier-bear LOVES playing with balls.

And a whole bunch more pictures from my overnight beach trip with some friends.  It was so magical  ~*~*~
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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

And I FINALLY Have a Complete Sectional

Me So Happy!

Trying to capture the color right.  All my shots are either a little too light or too dark without/with the flash.  You can lookup Ashely Larkinhurst if you're curious about pictures online.

Guess which piece has already been lived on for a couple weeks?

...It wasn't this one ;-)

The stitching is my favorite feature

It goes down the sides as well

Not a style I thought I'd go for AT ALL, but I love it!

June and July-to-date

Reverse Chronological Order:

Kier-bear has been under the weather lately.  Like all summer, actually.  After several weeks of grouchiness and some ear-touching I had him seen.  He had fluid in his ears but it wasn't infected so we left it as-is and were told to treat the discomfort/pain as needed.  A few days later (last weekend) we left for the mountains and Kieran was NOT a happy boy.  We didn't have a thermometer to check, but he felt really hot too.  And he wasn't eating or drinking much.  Yesterday's temp check said 100.4 so I took him in again and one of his ear drums is "bulging".  He has what Asher was just treated for a few months ago. Yet another blocked Eustachian tube.  I guess that makes 3 of the 4 kids with this problem so far.
So, he's on an antibiotic to prevent the infection he's susceptible to, and hopefully that will clear things up like it did with Asher. In the mean time, the little guy suffers from the pain and is seeking some extra snuggles from Mama.  In fact he's been quite the Mama's boy lately - seeking me over Daddy.  Not gonna complain about that aspect.


P.S. See those curls?  He had the straightest hair ever, then all of a sudden this warm weather is curling it.  I'm hoping the warm part is a coincidence and it's actually just turning curly on it's own, but that seems unlikely.  So we'll just enjoy the cute curls while we can.

Over 4th of July weekend we took the opportunity to camp for the first time as a family of 6.  It was... hmmm.  No, it was good.  I reserved a spot earlier in the week and found two whole camp sites available within a 3 hour drive of us among ALL the campgrounds in Oregon.  We ended up at a very popular campground, actually, plus it was a prime location in the campground itself, so there must have been a cancellation that we took advantage of.  It was at Loon Lake between Reedsport (Coast) and Roseburg (Valley).  It was a gorgeous lake, apparently well kn.own for water skiing and other boating and swimming.  Our particular site sat just above the beach.  Which meant it was quite loud all day - campers and day-users come in droves and bbq and play their music and such.  If you are camping to "get away from it all" you would have been very disappointed.  In our case, as we went camping for fun, and since our kids are noise-makers themselves, we were o.k. with it.  Plus the view from our site couldn't be beat.  We weren't, though, prepared for the noise of the campground at night.  There was one group playing their music full blast and singing along at the top of their lungs until well past midnight.  I was pretty ticked at their rudeness and baffled that the camp host never attended to that.  By the second night, which wasn't so bad, but still had people all over the campground talking and laughing loudly, and playing music, I'd decided that this campground is just a party one.  And I promptly tuned it all out and fell asleep.

Kieran, being sick, had a rough first night.  The noisy campers had all turned in around 2am, then at 3 Kieran woke up.  I took him to the car where he sucked his thumb but never did fall asleep again. I gave him medicine but nothing seemed to help.  He started fussing again at 4, so I tried putting him back in his bed where he fell asleep until like 11:30 that morning.  But between the unexpected noise in the first half of the night, staying up with Kieran, and my other kids waking up around 6/6:30, it was a no-sleep night.  Also mine and Brian's air mattress apparently has a leak.  Hah!

He spent all of about 10 minutes over the 2 1/2 days enjoying the beach.  Mostly he was just unhappy.

While Dad sets up the tent, the others will play!  Dinner time meant the lake was empty.

The lake is sort of zigzag shapped.  We were on one end, so it curves around those mountains in the back right.

Kieran at church a few weeks ago

Marching out the door to church, Hollyn was ready.  She had her snack, her bunny, her baby doll, and of course the cow hat.  Check.
 A few weeks ago the kids and I went and visited my sister Shannon in Tricities Washington.  We had a great time!
Awww.  Kinda sweet when she's sleeping

Actually smiling.  Woop!

Fun splash pad and playground next to the library

More camping pics

Made it to the waterfall
 On the last day of school some girl friends and I stayed at a beach house.  SOOOO much fun!

We've taken advantage of the Kidzbowlfree thing a few times.  They're getting better.

Hollyn's eye Dr. at OHSU wanted me to email a picture of her eyes so he could decided whether or not to see her or just treat with Ibuprophen.   Thought ya'll might want to see the Browns Syndrome in all it's glory.  Weird, right? (Her right eye is correctly looking at the item, the left eye isn't moving up as it should)