Friday, October 21, 2016

ABQ and Taos Getaway

Two Friday's ago we traveled to Albuquerque for Bennett's MRI that was on Tuesday.  We attempted the Balloon Glow Friday evening, and unfortunately it was a big bust.  It was too windy.  Just as a balloon got up it would go back down.  We saw a handful go up, but that was it.  Helena got a fun light wand, we danced to some live music, and saw the laser and fireworks show.

 Saturday morning Chris and I left for Taos.  I had never been to Taos before, and it was a great little getaway for Chris and I.  We had breakfast at The Pantry (so delicious!) in Santa Fe, and then checked out the Georgia O'Keefe Museum.  The museum was much smaller than I remember (last I was there was in elementary school).  And there weren't any of her really popular pieces.

 We checked out the plaza in Taos got checked into our room and just relaxed.  We had an amazing dinner at El Meze, with the most amazing tomatoes ever!
On Sunday we did a little shopping and checked out the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge.  So amazing!  We had a coffee shake (it was ok, but different)!  We tried to check out the Taos Pueblo but it was closed for a funeral.  We sat and drank at a local winery in the afternoon, the wine wasn't that great, but the company was amazing, everyone that was there also trying wine was from the Denver area, so it was just great chatting with "friends".  After tasting some wine we walked to dinner and had a good dinner.  We then went to the casino and played Blackjack we played for a good hour and walked away with what we started with, so we had free entertainment.  Then Chris wanted to play some slots so I picked a $1 slot machine and after a few turns I walked away with $260 in winnings!

 Monday we had breakfast delivered to our room and drove back to my parents house.  The kids did great!
Monday for dinner we met my Aunt Deanna and cousin Cheryl.  It was great to see them.
Tuesday morning we had an early start as we had to get Bennett checked in for his MRI at 6am.  Not too sure how I got so fortunate, but like Helena Bennett wakes up so calm and happy.  Waking him up at 5:30am didn't phase him at all.  We got checked in and I was able to go back with him for his MRI.  He thankfully didn't need to be put down because the MRI was super short.  He wasn't a fan of being swaddled up, but he eventually calmed down.  They put something over his head with a mirror so when he looked up he would see me, and he was such a rock star.  I've never had an MRI but it is so LOUD!  Who knows what the purpose of the loud banging noises are, but it is just so so incredibly loud.  The noise didn't even phase Bennett, he was just focused on me and smiling at me, which helped keep me calm.  At the end he lifted his head a handful of times, so the MRI lasted a little bit longer.  But from start to end I would say it lasted about 5 minutes!  After the MRI we walked over to the UNM campus to give Chris a little tour.  I showed him the dorms I stayed in and the duck pond.  We then made our way to The Frontier for breakfast.  Then back to the doctor's office to actually meet with the pediatric neurosurgeon.  She pulled up his MRI and advised us Bennett is 100% ok and 100% healthy!  Chris had her repeat herself numerous times.  I asked why even the referral, and she said because he does have a big head, and if anything his pediatrician was just being overly cautious.  There will be no follow-up!  We just have a baby boy with a big head!
Overall the trip was good, and now we know Bennett is fine.  I've always taken the phrase "hug your healthy kids to heart" but now it just means so much more.  The trip to Taos was amazing, and two nights of uninterrupted sleep was much deserved!  I truly appreciate my parents who watched the kiddos and have been there!  It was great to reconnect with Chris and have so much continuous one on one time.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Family Update

 So much to cover! We went to the Alamogordo Fire Station last week to drop off baked goods, say Thank you for your service, and get a tour.  It was a lot of fun.  Helena got a nasty reaction to some mosquito bites on her face (in this picture you can see a red spot on the tip of her nose, the worst of it a few pictures down).
Have I mentioned that Helena is a rock star?!  My daughter has completely potty trained herself!  It started about a month ago now?!  Well let me back up.  We started putting her on the potty around her 2nd birthday (back in May) before her bath just to familiarize herself with it and would always congratulate her for just sitting on it.  Then more recently she would tell Chris in the middle of her bath (Chris does bath time) that she needs to go potty.  So Chris would always get her out and put her on the potty, ...but nothing.  Then about a month ago she went!  We were all excited!  After that she went potty in the middle of her bath almost nightly.  Then one day while I was doing laundry and Bennett was just waking up from his nap; Helena was playing in Bennett room entertaining him while he stayed in his crib and I folded laundry in the bedroom. Helena comes running into the bedroom naked from the waist down exclaiming that she went potty.  I immediately thought Oh Dear!  Where's the mess?!  So I ask Helena to show me where she went potty and she brings me into Bennett's room and she had brought out her Minnie Mouse potty that was put away in Bennett's closet!  ...we got the Minnie Mouse potty a few months ago, but she just played with it so we put it away.  Anyways, she peed in the Minnie Mouse potty!  From that moment on we said good-bye to diapers, and now only use diapers at bedtime (we eliminated the nap time diaper a couple of days ago).  She's amazing at telling us when she needs to go and has even pooped in the potty!, which happened completely unsolicited.  After she peed in the Minnie potty we brought it out into the living room for easy access and one evening she sat on the potty then stood up happily announced "mommy there's rocks in my potty?"  Again I thought Rocks?!  But it was poop!  She struggles the most in the mornings, so if there is an accident it's in the morning (but has never had a poop accident!).  Even driving back to Alamogordo on Tuesday she let us know she needed to go potty (even though she had a diaper on).  She takes advantage of the fact that we drop everything when she announces she needs to go potty, especially when we are out to dinner, and this makes it tough to eat, but she's just a rock star and I'm so proud of her!  Now the Minnie Mouse potty is put back away (who wants to clean that up?!) and we got a little seat for her toilet in her bathroom with ducks on it so she calls it her ducky potty.
In other Helena news, I miss her listening to me.  I swear we repeat ourselves all day long.  She'll ask a question, and I'll give an answer, and she just asks the same question and I give the same answer.  There used to be a time when she would easily eat her dinner and would do what I asked.  But that short phase is over.  She now doesn't want to eat unless you beg and she no longer thinks cleaning up her toys is fun.  She's so independent.
She sometimes wakes up crying and it's so sad because she can't fully communicate what's going on.  She had a super rough time going to bed about 3 weeks ago.  It was brutal.  She wouldn't sleep.  It lasted 3 nights and I'm so happy that it ended just as fast as it started.  But she'll still sometimes wake up crying.  I'll go into her room and hold her and ask her if she's ok.  She'll respond and say I'm ok.  I'll ask her what's wrong or what happened, and she says nothing.  Then I'll ask if she's ready to go back to bed.  And she goes ok, back to bed.  It's always short lived, I just wish she could tell me what's wrong.

 I am currently at the end of the Hair Lose Phase of post pardom (thank goodness), I seriously thought I was going to lose all of my hair.  I was losing hair for probably 6 weeks straight.  I'm thinking about becoming a doula.  During my pregnancy with Bennett I had thought about becoming a ultrasound tech, but now I think a doula might be a better fit.  Since Bennett is most likely our last baby, I've decided I need something to keep me around babies!
I'm so happy that MOPs is back and enjoy going to the meetings every other week, along with all the playdates.  One of the nice things about living her, is everyone has a different story.  Because Alamogordo is a military town everyone is from someplace else, and love hearing where people have come from and where they are going.
 Bennett has a clean bill of health!  We traveled to Albuquerque last week, and Bennett had an MRI on Tuesday (at 6:15am!) and his brain looks completely normal.  He was a rock star during the MRI (he didn't get put under) and the pediatric neurosurgeon repeated herself numerous times in saying Bennett is 100% healthy, and that he just has a big head.  Praise God!!!  Thank you all for your prayers!
He's sorta working on sitting up, and crawls like crazy on is back...he pushes himself all over the place, he really can't be left alone.  I call him a rolly poly because he also rolls and rolls all over the place!  He is still not a fan of tummy time.  He loves his big sister!  He hasn't shown any real interest in food so he hasn't had any food yet, he continues to love his bottle!
He laughs and laughs and is SO ticklish.  You tickle his belly or legs and he just giggles, it's so much fun!  He also loves the water and enjoys his nightly bath!
He's in 9 month clothing and overall sleeps really good.  I'm up with him maybe two or three times a week.

 Chris is currently looking for another job.  Back in August he was notified that the hospital is ending the Aramark (the company he works for) contract 120 early (which is mid-December).  He's working with Aramark recruiters to place him in another job, and they've said they'll continue to keep him on payroll until he does find another job.  So our family life is back up in the air.  I of course haven't handled this news well, in fact I'm scared out of my mind, but I'm working on praying and trusting God, and that He'll place us where we are suppose to be.  But I hate not knowing.  I really really really want to be back in Colorado.
Helena's swollen eye (we went to the doctor and got medicine and it is now almost healed completely)

Tuesday morning after Bennett's MRI
We're coming upon one year in Alamogordo (I have a whole post in mind for that).  I desperately want the weather to cool's been in the 80's all week.