Big Brother vs. Little Brother

What happens when big brother and little brother have a couch-cushion fight?

In today's case, the big brother loses a tooth.
Thanks, little brother.

Daddy says little brother gets half the payment, so little brother definitely wins.

And, yes, Liam is still home and in pj's. Garrett shared his cold with his big brother over the weekend. Since Liam is asthmatic and recovering from surgery, this cold has hit him hard and requiring lots of breathing treatments, so he's home all of this week.

This means we're going on TWO weeks of recuperating at home. To say that we're a little stir crazy is an understatement, which probably explains the cushion fight, too.


Last Friday, I signed the dotted line that said, "Yes, I agree to allowing your doctors and nurses to torture my child while under anaesthesia, and then I'll take him home to deal with the aftermath." In other words, I signed Liam up for a surgery in which his tonsils and adenoids were removed, and his turbinates were coblated.

(Brownie points to anyone who can explain that last procedure without WebMD or any other internet tool.)

Liam was born with tonsils and adenoids large enough for a young elephant, if elephants have such anatomy. If not, then let's just say that his breathing has been very limited since he was quite young. Doctors had told me to wait and see if he would grow into them, but he certainly did not. Instead, his tonsils and adenoids continued to grow to the point that removal was necessary.

Here he is before the surgery:
He's on the giggly juice, which didn't make him any sillier than usual. He was very sleepy and couldn't lift his head off the bed or form any coherent words.

And after surgery, he was pitiful! He moaned in his sleep. It took me all of 0.2 seconds to start crying crocodile tears over him in his recovery bed. And he cried every time he awakened.
This picture was taken after THREE doses of morphine. It took all three doses to get him to stop crying and to suck on ice chips. And then he asked to play a game on Daddy's phone.

His recovery has taken us on a roller coaster ride. Some days are pretty smooth, and we're even able to go outside. Other days, I watch the clock to know when I can give him another round of pain meds.

On the first night, he whispered, "Mommy, am I dying?" Be still, my heart! "No, baby, you're not dying. I know you're miserable, but we just have to get through this recovery and you'll be so much better."

He's home all of this week per the doctor's orders. Lots of ice cream, juice, and video games.
He's such a trooper. In spite of the pain, he has still smiled every day.
As for his little brothers, they are their typical, busy selves. They fought so much yesterday that I sent them to their beds. Perhaps fatigue was part of the problem, since I found Garrett asleep.
How do you like those black socks with football pants and tennis shoes? Such style.

Jack didn't fall asleep that particular time. He has spent a lot of this week in his own little world. In fact, he was singing the National Anthem to his dinosaurs this morning.
Tomorrow I think we'll try to conquer some of Liam's homework, which includes writing a fractured fairy tale. Writing assignments are not my idea of a fun time, no matter the topic. There's a reason I taught math and science, people. I may need to sample Liam's pain meds while I torture myself in assisting him with his writing.

Smile, You're on Candid Camera

I blogged very little between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That crazy time between the holidays sure makes me wish the world would stop for a breather during that time period.

How 'bout you? Shall we commission Mr. Calendar and request that life slooooow down for the month of December 2010?

Now that we're settling back into the norm, I wanted to rewind and post some pictures. Edie, my niece, came down from CO for Thanksgiving. While she was here, we had a photographer take pictures of my entire family. After a 2-hour photo session, we had over 300 pictures to sort through, which is slightly overwhelming to me. Anyway, I thought I would share some of the outtakes for grins.

Edie, the Michelin Baby

Yes, her cheeks are just as delicious as they look.

She brought her parents, too. (My brother, Ben, and his wife, Jessica)
We did get some really good pictures, but some of them caught us a little off guard. Like this:
But this was a little better:
What I really enjoy is candids of my boys like this:
And some weren't quite so "candid" but a little posing never hurt anyone:
And sometimes we were just a little confused on what the photographer wanted from us:
Liam really wasn't enjoying himself without his glasses, so we got a lot of squinting from him.
But I love this one:
Garrett had a hard time relaxing for the stranger lady behind the lens.
But this looks like my baby boy with caramel skin:
Jack was dubbed "Mr. GQ" that day:
A lot of our family shots were similar to this one, where Jack is looking somewhere else. Hello, Jackson?
I can't tell you how many times Rick and I had our eyes shut!
I love you, too, but can you get your nose out of my eye?
Thank you. That's much better.

While Rick and I were posing together, the boys were running amok, or so I thought. After our part was finished, we tiptoed to find Liam and my dad playing around.
And Garrett was climbing trees and would only stop to make faces at the stranger lady.
Jack often asks for my dad to do the "tick tock".
Yes, Rick and I stand around with our hands on our hips frequently.

And then my brother joined in all the horseplay.
My boys love all that rough play.

And I love my family portraits.

Friday Funny

After watching "That Darn Cat", Liam asked, "Is there a 'That Darn Dog' movie?"

Look Out World, Jack is FIVE!

Yesterday was Jack's 5th birthday! I am having a HARD time believing it. Time flies for me, but the big day couldn't get here fast enough for him.

I guess waiting for his birthday is a lot like waiting for his cupcakes to bake the night before. (Tick, tock, tick , tock....)
And, of course, Garrett was right there with him. He has a hard time allowing Jack to have a birthday first. He has to wait a mere 26 days for his 5th birthday, which is an eternity in his mind.
Those two are quite the characters lately.

On Jack's actual birthday, Daddy snuck (Or is it sneaked?) out of the house early that morning to bring home donuts for breakfast.
Gee thanks, Daddy! Bring home the sugar and leave me here to defend myself.

After taking Liam to school, the littles and I headed to a fun bouncehouse to burn off some serious sugar highs.
Our little friend, Reagan, met us there.
Finally, we ended the day with dinner and cupcakes with the grandparents and two cousins.

And Jack scored some loot.
Naturally, his brothers were right there to assist him with his gifts.
He took care of his own candle though.
Currently, I have a 6 year old, 5 year old, and 4 year old. And that's a wrap.

(For my newer readers, Jack's adoption story is an amazing testimony of God's work. Please see my sidebar for links to his story.)

A Christmas of Firsts

On the morning of Christmas Eve, my mom informed me that we were to get snow later in that day. I laughed and said, "I'll believe it when I see it."

As I was baking in the kitchen a couple hours later, the rain that fell all morning turned to pretty, fat snowflakes. The wind blew like crazy, and before long, we were telling the boys that we were going to have a white Christmas!
That photo was taken before the snow stuck to the roads. By Christmas morning, we had 4 inches, and the roads were icy. It was a true Winter Wonderland around here!

We kept telling the boys how unusual it was to have a white Christmas here, but I'll bet my last dollar they'll ask for more next year.

Lo and behold, four days later, it happened again!
We only got about an inch that time, but it was the THIRD snowfall for the month of December at our house. It is amazing, and I am grateful the Lord blessed us this way this Christmas season.

But a white Christmas wasn't the only unusual occurrence around these parts.

Garrett learned how to tie shoes! He's not even 5 yet, so we're all quite proud of him. Apparently, he's proud of himself, because he stopped all gift-opening to show off his new skill to his grandparents.
His eldest brother couldn't be shown up, so Liam sat down and finally figured it out.
Jack didn't take the time for tying shoes, but he pulled his firth tooth!
And he learned how to ride his bike without training wheels.
Go, JMan! He's extremely proud of his new accomplishment. He rides with a beaming smile upon his face, and we watch with wonder. Never did we imagine he would learn so quickly.

But, at age 4 years 11 months, he still needs the occasional encouragement from Daddy.
Meanwhile, Liam is riding circles around him and acting like his usual silly self.
And Garrett was content to carry on with training wheels.
Daddy did, however, convince him to try riding without.
But it ended in a fit, which Daddy tried to remedy with hanging him upside down.
It didn't quite help the situation, so we won't force the issue any further.

At any rate, our Christmas and New Year's holidays have filled our minds with good memories, and we look forward to whatever the new year may bring our way.