Sunday, November 23, 2014

Monday, November 10, 2014

Bye Buddy

Last month, on October 13th, 2014, we had to put down our biggest baby, our 100 lb. chocolate lab, Jonas. The month before, he had unexpectedly been sick as I was heading to work with the kids and I had to leave him as he was heaving, almost gagging, and wouldn't let me get near him (he wandered off into the back woods in our yard). I called David in tears and asked him to check on him, but I was fairly certain that whatever was happening wasn't good and it was possible that he was dying. David wasn't able to get home until later that morning and he found him barely able to move, but alive. He picked all 100 lbs of him up, loaded him in the back of the Xterra, and drove him to the doggy ER. There we learned that his stomach had flipped. He's a big dog, but this was not something that had ever been mentioned to us before (I had heard of it happening with Great Danes and other large breeds, but it wasn't on our radar for our own dog). I was at work, the kids at daycare and preschool, and David was at the vet. We went through the whole emotional roller coaster of debating between an expensive surgery and putting our dog down. We had made the decision to put him down, but then at the last minute, decided to do the surgery which would put his stomach back in place and tack it down so that it couldn't flip again. He made it through surgery with flying colors and was home a couple of days later.

As soon as he came home, we ended up running him back in to the ER as he started to physically blow up again (he was extremely bloated and not moving anything through his digestive system and thus, filling up with gas). They sent him home with some motility drugs in him and told us to give him some Gas X. He slowly recovered, enjoying an extended stay in the house and things appeared to be back to normal. However, just under a month later, we noticed that he didn't have much of an appetite and was getting lethargic. David took him back to the ER and they concluded that he must have an internal bleed somewhere and that there wasn't much they could do (they could have done transfusions for a few days and then try to open him back up to find the bleed, but it didn't sound like a good option). I ended up leaving work to meet him at the ER where we got to say good bye to our buddy of 8 and a half years.

The kids took it pretty hard (and we did, too - more so than we would have imagined!). Mia didn't sleep well for a week or so and Fynn still doesn't completely understand where Jonas went. We made a pet gravestone for him, which I think the kids enjoyed doing with me, and we have it back in the wooded area of our yard so we can 'visit' him.

It's still hard to believe that he's not hanging out in the backyard or isn't going to be there to greet me when I pull into the garage every night. He's not there to bark at the random people that walk by the house or howl at the train or emergency vehicles that go by. Or, you know, his random adventures in which he would get lost at the farm and disappear for days (weeks) at a time. He is greatly missed. Bye buddy.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Happy fall!

So, I've decided the only way I can keep this blog going is to accept the fact that the posts will be random and interspersed and there's absolutely no way I'll ever be able to keep the same timeline I was able to keep before 2 kids and a 'big girl' job.  :)

In the spirit of random, I'd love to give you all an update on the kiddos and share some photos from the last few months! Fynn is 19 months old!! He flew by his 18 month mark without even an official photo, as I was busy starting my new school year (year two as a prof!). We haven't even had a chance to get him in for his 18 month well-child check (not our fault, as our doc wasn't available until the end of October!), so we don't have updated specs on him. I can verify he's growing by leaps and bounds - fitting into 24 month clothing no problem. He still has his beautiful blond hair, all curls in the back, and his clear blue eyes (like papa EIO). He does still look a lot like uncle Stephen! He still has a nuk (pacifier), but we're working on getting rid of it (it's so hard when it gives us such an easy way to calm him down - plus, when he's teething, he just wants to chew on a cold one!). He loves being outside, playing with the balls, on his fire truck, and going to the park (he loves the swings and big kid slides already). He also loves dogs, so when we had a BIG scare with Jonas a few weeks ago (his stomach flipped and we almost put him down, but ended up having an expensive abdominal surgery done in order to save him), we knew we had to make the right decision in order to not only take care of our biggest baby, but also to keep our kiddos happy. (As Jonas is back on track, it was definitely the right decision!) "Dog" was one of Fynn's first words, so he has a special place in his heart for them - as you can tell by this adorable photo of him and Oakley, uncle Dan and auntie Kendra's new puppy!

Fynn pretty much followed Oakley around all weekend the first time we met him. He really enjoys reading books, so much so that when we put him to bed, he would stay up all night reading books, but as soon as we turn off the lights, he emphatically points at the crib and insists on going straight to bed, no more rocking and singing like we used to (it made this mama cry the first time he did that!). His favorite books are currently: Peek-a-Who, a Harvest book that has John Deere tractors, a Freight Train book (chugga-chugga-choo-choo!, which he says along with me!), Llama Llama Nighty-Night and Zippity-Zoom, Eyes, Ears, Nose, and the Foot Book (a couple of the same ones Mia loved at that age). He may be even more fascinated with computers, ipad, and phone than Mia was at his age - as I am trying to type this, he's constantly trying to 'help.' It doesn't help that my new work laptop has a touchscreen, so he can easily 'help' and see an effect! He also loves Jake & the Neverland Pirates, and so does Mia, so we've been watching a lot of Jake these days. He has learned how to give the sweetest kisses (big, sloppy, wet ones, with or without a tongue sticking out), but they are filled with loads of love!

Mia, meanwhile, is 4.5 and getting closer to being a big 5 year old every day! She keeps asking us if we want her to turn 5, and we both say "No!" - we're not ready! She is still going to preschool at the daycare at Concordia, so we ride to school together every day, which is nice. She loves it there, so it's been a great opportunity for her. She's learned a ton, and at her most recent parent-teacher conference, they confirmed that as she's at the high end of the scale for her cognitive abilities. Grandma and Grandpa EIO brought baby chicks to preschool this fall and it was a big hit with all of the kids!

She loves coloring and constructing things (books, airplanes, kites, fishing poles, a sled for Piglet that she used to pull him around her school). She'll even take a scissors, tape, paper, and markers with her on our trip to school so she can make things in the car. She still loves doing science experiments with mama, or simply mixing potions of water, oil, baking soda, vinegar, and food coloring!

 She's also growing by leaps and bounds - I think her summer growth spurt was one of her biggest. She's in size 5 clothes, and even some 6s, and has a shoe size of 11. I can't seem to keep pants on her that are long enough, and there was a point this summer where she jumped a couple of shoe sizes! She still keeps Piglet with her, but we've started talking about him staying home more....we'll see how that goes. It's hard to argue with a kid that truly believes Piglet is her best friend (and frequently makes wishes that he'd come to life and play with her!). She did gymnastics and soccer this summer, soccer was a bust, but she still loves gymnastics. No dance this year - it was just too much to do a season that lasted from September to June! She's started talking about piano lessons, so maybe that will be in her future. She loves being outside and going to the park, she plays with Rafe (our backyard neighbor), and she's recently started hula-hooping -and is really good at it! (Better than David or I!) Last night we hit up a Concordia VB game for the first time and she and one of her preschool friends spent most of the last match with the college students - she ran back and forth between them and us, and at times would go straight through them - pushing them out of her way so she could get where she wanted. She's definitely not shy!

Both kiddos are keeping us BUSY, along with two very busy careers - life is flying by and we're just trying to enjoy it as it goes!

 The whole family at Waverly Lutheran Church's Harvest Homecoming!

 Last weekend we had a beautiful fall day, and got to enjoy hiking around William O'Brien state park with David's folks!

 Mia got some binoculars from Concordia (old ones from a field ecology class that doesn't exist anymore) - she loves them!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Summer Fun

We've had a fantastic summer weekend - one of our only full weekends AT HOME this summer (since daddy works every other weekend, and we've been traveling - Cole Camp in Colorado update to come - it's been busy!). Yesterday we made time to go on a bike ride/family walk, go to the local beach, play out in our backyard, and roast hot dogs over the bonfire. Today we loaded everyone up and hit the MN Zoo, a first time for our kiddos! It was awesome! We got there right away at 9am, when it opened, hit the outdoor exhibits hard, took a break for a picnic lunch, then hit some of the 'indoor' stuff before letting Mia run through the splash pad and loading everyone back up to come home. Fynn passed out towards the end, so he missed out on the splashpad fun. 

 Fynn was fascinated by all the animals! He barely looked at the camera!
 Mia's favorite part of the zoo was the snow monkeys - she even got a stuffed monkey to take home!
 The grizzly bear exhibit was pretty impressive - they swam right up by the window and neither kid was afraid. Fynn just pointed and said "doggie!"
 First carousel ride! He loved it! He was giggling the whole time!
 Mia loves carousel rides!
 The farm exhibit had a big goat petting area - the kids loved it!

 I missed it in the photo, but Fynn just tried to give this goat his bag of animal crackers!
 Big bugs exhibit.

 The kids would have stayed all afternoon watching the underwater reef! They were chasing the fish and sea turtle around!

 The butterfly garden was beautiful! So many butterflies and awesome flowers! Fynn even had one on his arm for a bit!

Kid update:
Both are growing by leaps and bounds! Fynn still fits into his 18 month clothes, but has no problem fitting into most 24 month stuff (he's 16 months right now). He was 24.5 lbs and 32.5 inches last month at this 15 month checkup. He is still climbing on everything - he has no fear! He'll be climbing out of his crib before we know it (and are ready for it!)! He's fully walking, if not practically running now, but he still walks kind of bow-legged - he definitely has the toddler toddle down! He is still chomping on a pacifier (his nuk), but the doctor indicated that it may be close to time to get rid of it (but then changed his mind by the end of the appointment as he was dealing with some ear wax buildup and we were headed to the CO mountains the following week). Speaking of which, he came down with an ear infection while we were in CO (thankfully we had a prescription with us because the doctor thought one may develop), but then he developed an amoxicillin reaction a week later. He broke out in crazy hives the day we were headed home for the 4th of July, we took him into urgent care, we pulled him off amox and put him on Benadryl, he didn't get better, he got worse, we ended up in another urgent care on the 4th, we upped the Benadryl and watched for his tongue to swell (it didn't thank goodness!), and eventually he swelled up all over (in waves) and then got better. So between the ear infection in CO and the hives over the 4th, both of our 'vacations' were dealing with a sick baby. Now his canines are breaking through, so he's been through the ringer this past month!

He loves dogs - it's one of the few words that he's saying. At the zoo today he called everything doggie. He also loves the fire trucks that we have strewn all over our house - he's started doing a siren call, which is pretty hilarious! He loves playing with balls and splashing in the water toys. He gets to giggling and will have everyone laughing along - he's just too cute!

Miss Mia is stretching up like a weed! We bought her new tennies this spring and she informed me (correctly) that her toes were curling up in them a few weeks ago - so off to the store to get new ones! She's in gymnastics and soccer this summer - so far both are going okay, but she seems a bit more into gymnastics than the soccer at this point. She's still loving pre-school (it's a daycare with a preschool room, so she's still there over summer). They have bike days every other week where they bring in their bikes and get to bike around campus together and she loves that. They even decorated their bikes on the week of the 4th and had a bike parade across campus, which was pretty great! They also have plenty of play time outside, including water play days, and at least one swimming outing so far. She loves the water, too, so she enjoyed the lake time over the 4th and begs to go in the wading pool or run through the sprinkler just about every day at home!