Wednesday, January 29, 2014


S is sleeping.  He's sleeping later than normal, much later than he has the past several days.  He had a rough night last night.  This momma grabbed two containers of a snack from a shelf the other day, one wasn't safe.  I read the label on the first, and grabbed the second assuming it was the same.  Poor kiddo had red cheeks, arms, legs, and torso.  It's not a real itchy rash when he breaks out like this, but it feels warm to the touch.  He had that horrible diarrhea that comes with eating the wrong thing, so I know his stomach hurt something fierce.  I hate this for him.  And I hate that I'm the one that bought the snack and set it out for him to eat.  I know we're still new to all this.  And that less than two weeks ago we thought his rosy cheeks were just him, his on and off skin irritations were just sensitive skin.  And that a normal dirty diaper for him was, well, pretty gross.  And that he was just a temperamental toddler.  So, I'm letting him sleep as long as he needs to.  I'm enjoying the quiet time, now that I no longer am watching Luke.  I miss the little guy, but I have more time now to be the mom I want to be.

I wanted to share this though.  Dru gave us a gift this weekend. It's actually for Willy, he can put it up at work, if he starts spending more time at the office. 

I saw this and the tears came flooding out.  It took a few seconds for me to take in the pictures, then I saw the details.  The thought she put into making this complete.  Knowing that someone other than me was thinking about Lucas and Caleb as they were working with our family picture means so very much.  There really aren't words that can describe how it feels.  And even though two boys will always be physically missing from our family pictures, they are always with us.  And seeing the dragonflies here, is reminder that they are with others around us also.
So many thanks to you, Dru.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


It's cold outside.  Not the bitter cold surrounding today, but it's still cold.  I am so ready for spring to be here.  Simon is going nuts being stuck in the house.  And I have Luke through Friday, so we really can't hit up a story time or anything of the like. But next week, yeah we'll hit a bunch up.

Speaking of Simon, we're seeing a few changes.  He is cranky right now, pretty sure it's from his body detoxing the allergens and all the extras that come in processed foods.  It's been almost FIVE days now that he hasn't had soy or dairy....and very, very little processed foods.  Because soy is in just about everything processed.  But he had his FIRST solid poo today!  The first ever for him!  I love seeing a change already.

So, since things are otherwise kind of bleh around here, I thought I would share some pictures from that I never really found the time to share before.

This boys makes me laugh every day. 

Simon feeding a goat for the first time. 

This is the arrangement Mike and Dru sent for my Grandma's service.  The pitcher is the same color as the lamp she gave me a few years ago.  Simon LOVES this pitcher.  I can almost hear my Grandma laugh several times a day as I take toys out of it that Simon has hurriedly stuffed in there.

Petting stingrays at STL zoo.

The "farm park". 

I'm not sure if I've shared this before, but just in case not, I will now.  These are the original marble blocks to the fireplace.  At around 10-12 months, all three boys have discovered that they can pull some of them up.  A few are in 2 or 3 pieces, so when I have to put them back in, it's like putting a puzzle together.  This is one of the family milestones that made me really miss Lucas and Caleb.  I could only imagine that day seeing the two of them working together to get out as many as possible before I came around the corner. 

Ending on a happy note.  Love my family! 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Park Day, Park Day, Park Day

The weather this extended weekend has been AMAZING!  It's been really nice, and yesterday the wind wasn't so blustery.  A trip to the park was definitely in order.  We haven't been to a park since Simon has been walking well, so this was a big trip for him.  He's really been longing for outside time lately.  He'll bring me his shoes throughout the day.  If I put them on him, he'll go and sit in front of the back door, just waiting to go outside.  It is going to be a fun spring!

So, here are some pictures from the park yesterday.  He loved the freedom to run.  He climbed the stairs of the equipment, walked over to the slide, sat down and went for it. Like he's been doing it his whole life.  Then he would take off to another area.  And I loved every second of chasing him around.  I know the trip did us all well.

 Really not digging this piece here.  I'm really strict about my kids climbing slides. This looks kind of like a slide, but is built to climb up.  Simon picked it up real quick though.

 He just looks so very big!

 He walked between the alligator and dinosaur giving them hugs.
When he saw the dinosaur, he squealed with excitement and ran to it, giving it hugs.  Love his heart!

Friday, January 17, 2014

No More Pulling Labels from the Trash

Simon had his allergy testing this morning.  We've known since birth (pretty sure before birth) that a milk allergy was a definite.  I actually had a milk allergy throughout my pregnancy with him.  One that went away as soon as I delivered.  Then all the spitting up he did when I had ANY kind of dairy while I was nursing him. 

Over the past several months, his dairy allergy seems to have been more and more sensitive.  From milk to including ice cream, to just recently cheeses.  It's painful for him, and I hate seeing him go through it.  We've also suspected a rice allergy after he ate some organic puffs and had a pretty rough reaction.  A reaction that was common with other foods containing rice.  And I've spent the past couple months pulling out labels from the trash to see what ingredients are in something that could be giving him a reaction.

Well, the rice allergy is actually an allergy to soy.  Yes, soy.  Soy and Milk.  The other "common" food allergies are clear though.  I've been learning how to read labels the past couple of months, now I'm going to get a whole lot better. 

The plan is to go completely soy and milk free for a month.  Then to try and see if there are certain foods she has listed that he can tolerate....a food a week.  Things such as baked goods with milk in them, items with soy towards the bottom and so forth.  But he had animal crackers for the first time yesterday, (Willy bought a big container from Sams.) and he's been having a tough time with them. 

We do have two epi pens, one for the house and one for the diaper bag.  She told us not to wait until he had trouble breathing, but to use it if he is really rashing up and it's spreading quickly.  I've used the practice's going to hurt if we ever have to use it.  But I am happy to have it on hand.

The allergist also heard a heart murmur.  We've traveled this road with the two older boys.  The pediatric cardiologist is nice.  I am sure we'll have an appointment next month.  I'm surprised it hasn't been heard before, but Colton's wasn't heard until he was 18 months.  The big boys' murmurs are innocent, so I'm not panicking like I did with Colton. 

Simon did pretty well with the testing.  Snacks and Tinga Tinga Tales on the Kindle kept  him pretty occupied during the pricks and waiting.  He's a great kid for dr's offices. 

So, we're going to be eating even healthier around here.  Mama Jean's and I will become well acquainted soon.  I am so grateful we know now what is bothering him and am looking forward to a little one who isn't so cranky, and has normal diapers again.  I want him to feel good, and I know cutting these foods out is really going to help.

Friday, January 10, 2014

No good, rotten, bad day

That's today, so far. 

I started to write this, making a list of all the reasons this morning I feel like today just bites.  Then decided not to.  I don't need to make some list as to why I feel this way. 

But days like today make me miss them even more.  Lucas and Caleb are closer to the surface of my heart today.  The edges of the hole my baby boys left have more definition today.  They are jagged, and they scratch everything. 

And I am missing my grandma more today.  It's been three months since I've talked to her.  Someone I used to talk to every other day, for years.  And I haven't heard her voice in three horribly long months. 

I hate how mornings when things just start out wrong, grief takes it as an invitation to set up camp.  The only smiles I have felt surface this morning are the ones when Colton, Ethan, and Simon all sat on (or nearly on) my lap.  I am so grateful for those three boys.  Oh my, am I ever so grateful. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Looking back at 2013

Normally I have this up on New Year's Eve, but the day passed quickly and it was pretty late by the time I realized I had forgotten.  So, here is looking back on 2013.  The year went by really fast.  There were a lot of memories made, some really hard moments, and some great surprises!

**After writing for an hour, I realize this is crazy long. Hang in there though, there are some great pictures!**


The year started with a trip to Washington to visit my family. It was a fun trip.  We visited with my dad, Michelle and her family, and then headed to my mom's to visit with my grandma and for Aunt Boo to meet her newest nephew.

 I will hold this picture every so close.
 Miss Emmy Jo with her Scentsy pig.
Aunt Boo meeting Simon, and Emily not looking too sure.  Maybe she knew she knew momma would be having one of those little people this year.
There was a ton of family fun in February.  I still have a tough time in February, knowing that it was the month we found out we were having twins.  It's kind of an underlying thought that comes and goes.  Kind of a post first year grief thing, I guess.
 We celebrated Dru's birthday at Chuck E Cheese as we do every year. 
 Simon's first ride.  He really didn't care much.
 We had an awesome snow!  The perfect snowman snow.
 And Simon's first big snow.
 And Snickers is a HUGE fan of the snow.  The dog cracked me up!
We made a rice krispie treat train one night with the boys as part of a family fun night.  It was fun and super yummy.
March was full of more fun.  The weather was amazing for a month when it is hit or miss.

We spent the first of many outings with our long time pals.  Colton and Carter have been friends since Colton was 10 months old.  We love this family!  And the pictures we have through the years with the kids and this tiger are priceless.
Simon's first Easter
 The first trip to SDC for the season.  Simon's first train ride.
I can't believe how much he has grown!

His first egg hunt.
 Simon had his first play date with Kye. 
 Colton turned 7.  My oh my, what an age.  This was the first birthday without a big party.  It's when we decided to do the family birthday bash in the summer.  Which is one of the greatest ideas we've ever had!
The only picture with this hat before it was too small.

A haircut for my Ethan
Simon's first trip to Lambert's.
The boys with Grandpa Tim. He surprised them by coming down and a trip to Lambert's.
The most beautiful sunset to start the month.


The first of many days at the park.  Love my boys.

My lil bug graduated from Pre-K.  Oh what a tough moment that was.

 The boys' first Amtrak ride.  Ethan still swears that it was the best day of his life!
Love it!

Memorial Day fun.  The holiday is always, and will always be tough on my heart.  But spending it with fabulous friends always helps me make it through.

Lucas and Caleb would have turned 3 on the first.  Their birthday comes in with a roar still, but leaves quietly now.
 The first trip to White Water was fun.
 My oldest rocking the monkey bars.
Simon's first day trip to the lake to visit grandma and grandpa.  He wanted to fish food also.
Our first birthday bash.  This was a huge hit! I can't wait to do this every year!

Our friends and family.
July was a cooler than normal month.  I really wanted to embrace this summer, and we totally did.
 The boys filled up water balloons and attacked daddy when he came back from the store.
 And daddy attacked them back.

We always go to the Fourth of July parade in Marshfield.  And we always take a family picture.  This is one of the pictures we take that always, always has a hole in it.

 More park fun
 And Miss Emmy Jo stayed with us for a week!
School started mid-August.  Ethan's first day of Kindergarten.  Colton's first day of Second Grade.

My eyes swell with tears every time I see this picture.
 September brought us Lucy.  The two weeks we had her were great.  But I'm glad she's in a loving home with close friends that we can visit anytime.

And Simon turned ONE!  What a day it was!

Willy and I celebrated seven years married. 
October was full of fun.  And it was the hardest month of the year.  Losing my grandma has been the hardest moment since losing Lucas and Caleb.  I believe I grieve harder than before.  And it still hurts sometimes.

This woman was so amazing!  I learned so much from her, and her love for life.  She was there for me always.  I still pick up the phone sometimes, ready to call her, whether it is to share a funny story about the boys or just to check on how she is doing.  And last night was tough.  Saying good-bye to the year that we said good-bye to her.
We did have some good moments in October also, though.

Boy Scout camping trip, made awesome by camping with the Harts.

And of course, Halloween.
I was happy to see October go.  November was came in quietly, but left with a ROAR!  Thanksgiving fell late, Black Friday was on Ethan's birthday, and 10 out of 14 of us came down with a stomach bug that last weekend. 



Maddie and Austin were down for Ethan's birthday this year.  We had an impromptu small party after dinner.
Over a foot of snow fell in December.  Lots and lots of snow.  We had FOUR snow days before Christmas break, and embraced the first three.

And Christmas.  The awe and exploration from Simon just warmed my heart all month long.

 Our Santa screaming photo
This boy couldn't have been happier.

 My Christmas surprise.  Erika moved home with her family.  I met Ellie Mae.  The tears that fell when I saw her get out of my mom's car, wow, it was pretty incredible.
I have to say I am glad to see 2013 go.  The year was mostly pretty wonderful, but losing my grandma really overshadows some of the good stuff some days.  But I also look at all these pictures and realized how blessed I truly am.  I am hoping 2014 brings more great memories, and not so much heartbreak.  I know there are some great moments coming up.



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