Friday, November 20, 2015

Molly-15 months

And though she be but little,
she is fierce.

When tiny, little Molly went scampering up and down the climbing wall at the park the other day, my friend brought up that Shakespeare quote. And now I have been scouring all the cute signs on etsy because she NEEDS it on her wall. That is my Molly, oh, that is my Molly.

I mean, look at those tiny little stick-legs! Have you ever SEEN anything so tiny and adorable and hilarious in all your life?!
She has no fear. But she is not reckless. I actually find it quite fascinating to sit back and watch her at the park, or at play. Will used to be somewhat reckless and just fall, or face plant, or sprawl down the stairs quite frequently until he was steady enough to not. Molly, even at ten months old when she was walking and learning to go up and down stairs, is very methodical. You can see her little leg reach down, search for solid footing, test it out, and then she continues on down. I love watching her and thinking about how her mind is working. At the park she was mastering...everything. She may be a tiny one, but oh man, that does not stop her! She finds a way to get around. I even watched her hang on to a step on the climbing wall by just her fingertips, sway for a minute, catch her toe on the next step, and keep going. Not even a squawk out of her. I can't help but be a little proud. But it definitely does a number on how much I'm worried about her growing up years!

Oh my Molly, with your eyes that fill up your entire face. How I love you.
I'm trying to think of other milestones. She does everything. She feeds herself, except I do it a lot to escape the mess. She can completely use a cup on her own now. She is FINALLY more manageable to brush her teeth, although I do sit above her and pin her arms to her sides, haha. She thinks the top of the table is her personal stage. She LOVES soft things. Teddy bears, stuffed animals, blankets, Will's Olaf costume. She carries them around and snuggles up with them all day long. It's the sweetest. Not so sweet, she has already hit full-on tantrums. It is SO staged, which I find hilarious. If I tell her 'no', she immediately throws herself on the ground (carefully, one time she even slowly and silently lowered her head backwards and then immediately resumed her screaming haha), usually face-down, and does this terrible fake-scream and will occasionally look up at you to make sure you are noticing her distress. 

When Will was in the hospital she won over both babysitters by 'cuddling' after her nap. It is probably my favorite time of day-that cuddle I get after her nap. And yes, she is down to only one nap, no thanks to daylight savings time. Ruff. Although, she's a pretty happy camper on that amount of sleep (unlike a certain brother of hers who just kills me when he doesn't get enough sleep) and so I can't complain too much. She also just lays down to sleep. No crying, no fussing, no complaints. Just tucks a bear under each arm and closes her eyes before I even walk out. Now THAT is awesome.
Waving. She puts her lower jaw out a lot. I used to worry that it was just like that, but it's ok. She just does it on purpose.
What else about Molly. She usually goes to nursery, even though she still has three months to go. But she sits up with everyone for snack and doesn't cry and gets right in playing with everyone, so no one minds too much. She is in the 75 percentile for height, but still around 10th for weight. She can EAT though. The other morning Ruth ate one pancake, Will ate two, and Molly ate THREE plus sections of orange. She usually eats TWO pieces of pizza and just generally packs it in. I have no idea where she puts it, but I'm definitely not too worried about that skinny little thing. I guess she just uses up too much energy getting into and onto EVERYTHING.

She really is just the sweetest. The tiny babe stages are just so bittersweet. She still has those baby soft cheeks. And I still use baby wash and lotion just so she smells just right when she gets out of the tub. Her hair is still downy soft and she is still so tiny I can wrap her up in my arms and just LOVE her before she squirms. My FAVORITE thing is that she hugs you now. She wraps those teeny little arms around my neck and squeezes. There is nothing better. I hope that we get baby hugs in heaven. It seriously is the highlight of my days. It makes everything better. Even when Ruth and Will get into glue and scissors without asking (and yes, that did happen today, and no, it wasn't pretty). Also, her little screech of "MAMA" is my favorite, even though it is a pretty shrill screech and not too easy on the ears. My other favorite thing is her big-smacking kisses. She even brings me dolls and kisses them and then has me kiss them and it goes back and forth for awhile. I love hearing that smacking sound and she knows it. It's a pretty devious little grin that kisses me and she has no problem turning it on when she wants something, haha.

Oh yeah, she has also started 'singing' along with the other kids in the van lately. Ruth sings songs pretty much word for word. Will joins late and LOUD on the last word of every stanza and Molly just generally hums over the hub bub in baby babble. I love it. OH she also fake laughs. The other day we were driving somewhere and Sterling was so enchanted by everyone. Will and Ruthie were doing something--I think saying a word that they thought was funny--and laughing HYSTERICALLY about it. But the best was that they'd laugh and laugh and then Molly would pipe in with a forced "HA. HA. HA." and then Ruth and Will would go off in fits of laugher again. While there is often whining and bickering from the back of the van, it is definitely worth it to hear that magical laughter every now and again.

And to end, here are a few pictures I caught of Ruth and Will playing in the back the other day. I don't know what they were playing, but one would pretend to be dead, be carried off, and then be kissed to wake up. It was seriously the most adorable thing I have ever seen.

Will was pretty tough trying to carry Ruthie haha.
Molly had to join in on the 'playing dead' part.

Will tickling Ruth. Look at her face!!! Haha!
Ruth got a kiss from Will and Molly.
This outfit was pants and a low-waisted dress on Ruth. We've adapted to Miami climate and  it is now capris and a high-waisted tunic. HAHA.
And two more pictures of Molly, because she is just THAT cute.

Oh how I love you.
When did my baby get to be 15 months?!?! This is definitely NOT allowed. Sigh. Sob.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


We FINALLY got Christmas decorations up! We usually do it the first FHE of November, but it was already into the second week when Sterling asked why we hadn't put them up yet. Hmmm, cause we are SOOOO crazy busy I haven't even had a chance to think about it yet!??!?! 

We really have had a TON going on. It's been a pretty big emotional roller coaster over in these neck of the woods and we've had a LOT of big decisions coming our way. A big culmination of a semesters' worth of decisions, really. A semesters' worth of roller coaster-ing. Luckily, we are feeling pretty awesome about life now and are hoping to enjoy all the holiday excitement and joy to the fullest. So... we got our decorations up!
Ruthie putting the star on top!
She totally destroyed our tinsel/beads. Oh well.
As per our usual, for the past couple of years, the Fisher Price nativity was the main event and heralded with great excitement. The kids haven't stopped playing with it since. I am SOO glad every year when we pull it out that we decided to get it when our kids were babies so they could enjoy it so much. And I love that it brings in a little bit more of the true spirit of Christmas. 

My favorite thing every year is our stockings. I just love them SOOOOOOOO much!!!!
We put our wreath inside our door so it wouldn't get wrecked by rain. I like how festive it makes our living room!

Sterling remembered we had a strand of outdoor lights from a couple apartments ago and decided to run upstairs and surprise the kids. He put it on the railing outside their bedroom sliding door. They LOOOOVE it! 

Here's what it looks like from outside:
Can't get any more Floridian than Christmas lights and palm trees!
We started a new tradition and had hot apple cider while we were setting things up. Sterling went to Michigan on his mission and always RAVES about the apple cider they'd have there with specific 'dipping' cinnamon doughnuts. Nothing compares, obviously. But since he always emphasizes how the cider should have 'chunks' and not be completely liquid, I decided to try out the Sam's Club version when I saw it. He approved, so that was fun!

The next part you can just scroll through, but my sister Kami asked to see what my stockings look like. They are my Christmas pride and joy. I bought a book to make them for myself, realized it was a little out of my crocheting league(you have to use two strands of yarn at once?!- and asked a friend to make them for me. She exceeded all expectations and I am just SO HAPPY every single time I look at them. Thanks Bry! And here you are Kami:
Mine. The lacey ribbon yarn she used on the toe and heel is very soft and plush looking. It is my favorite. I adore my stocking.
Sterling picked out his color and his stocking. I like it. I think it looks manly.
Molly gets the peppermint/candy cane one.
Will gets the court jester one. I think it was a little bit unfinished from the original version, but I still LOVE it.
Ruth's snowflake stocking. I love this one so much. This is the one that turned me off from doing it. You have to use a regular strand of yarn along with a glitter strand of yarn and since they stretch differently I was having all SORTS of problems. When you see it in real life it sort of shimmers. So pretty.
Now we are in full swing Christmas spirit over here! And lest you be of the scrooge-y variety, Christmas spirit does not interfere with Thanksgiving spirit. No, joy and thanksgiving and love and excitement abounds for ALL of November AND December around these parts! It's one big roll of happiness!

Backyard Play+Mini Festival

Several of these are blurry. I think it's a combination of being dusk and the kids moving so quickly. But Ruthie and her twirling is simply the sweetest.

They thought they were so funny. I can't even remember what they were playing now.
WILL'S FACE!!!!! Heart eyes all over the place.
She rides this little car around all the time, but she can only push backwards. It's pretty adorable.
She also tries to scooter all the time, but doesn't really go anywhere.
Our friends' complex was having a massive garage sale/little festival with food trucks, so we decided to come join for lunch. It was quite impressive and we had a lot of fun! 
That purple hat. I am still in awe. Also, I was SUPER impressed with how still Will sat.
Ruth saw a couple of girls with butterfly faces when we first got there and she was dying with excitement. She decided to go with a 'princess' face and she was OVER THE MOON about the jewel they put on.

Tough call between Captain America and Batman, but Batman won out and he LOVED it!

I have to say, that massive bucket of nachos is the best $7 I ever spent, haha.
Molly mucho nacho lover.
That face has to be the prettiest thing ever. Oh, I love her!
And that's it for the random assortment of pictures, folks.

Friday, November 13, 2015


We've had some colds floating around these parts. Whenever Will gets a cold he gets wheezy and we pull out the trusty old nebulizer and give him albuterol treatments. Everything is then just fine until we hear wheezing again, and the process continues.

Molly's cold got pretty bad last week, and as previously documented, we took her to the doc and she had a generic upper respiratory infection. No RSV, yay!, but still not good news. Of course, Will caught the bug and we were doing more and more nebulizer treatments.

Which brings us to Monday night. He had been at a babysitter's and she noticed he was wheezing, so I gave him a treatment that night before bed. He seemed totally fine but woke up coughing and crying at around 11pm when Sterling and I were coming to bed. Another nebulizer treatment, and he was back in bed. Then at two he woke up coughing/crying and we did at all again. And again at 4am. But the nebulizer treatment didn't seem to help that much, and as we woke up a little bit more we got more concerned and noticed his nostrils were flaring and he was having retractions (on his chest where his muscles are working hard to breathe--they taught us all about that with RSV) so we got even more concerned. We went back and forth for a couple of minutes and then I told Sterling to go back to bed so he could manage school in a few hours and I took Will to the ER. We weren't going to try an insta care since they just sent us to the ER last time anyway.

Entered the ER, doctor noticed Will's nostrils and retractions and pretty soon I was sitting on a bed with Will in my lap and they were all scurrying around. All. Too. Familiar. and not in a good way. It seemed like instantaneously they had a nebulizer going, an iv in his arm with bronchodilators, in a couple of seconds when that didn't produce the results they wanted (they were monitoring his O2) they gave him a shot in the shoulder and then another iv in the other hand. Then they gave him antibiotics--my pediatrician was unsure why, she thought he must have looked pretty impressive coming into the ER to warrant that and I can't really remember why except that someone was saying they were worried about pneumonia? It's all a little fuzzy when six people are saying things and a nurse is still trying to ask you questions like what is your phone number. 

THEN he had an allergic reaction to the antibiotic-cipro-and had to have benadryl. Then he had a chest X-ray. And another seven bouts of nebulizer stuff. 

Through all of that the ped ER nurses were AMAZING! Seriously, they are SOO good at their job. They cajoled Will and made him SOOO happy--which was incredible since they also poked him for ivs and shots and did all the mean stuff to him. They asked him how old he was and he did his classic hold-up-two-fingers-and-say-'tree' move. They were enchanted. So then everything they did they acted as if Will was the man and could totally handle cause "He's tree, guys, don't ya know?" haha. And then they asked him who he was for Halloween "Lola!" after which they brought in a life-size Olaf cardboard guy. Will seriously LOVED it. They brought stickers for the first iv and when they had to do a second they brought him a ninja turtle ball to hold so that if he kept holding it, they wouldn't put a board on like they did on his other hand. They were just so quick and clever and kind and amazing. I loved them.

Then we had a shift change and a second nurse who I hated. I asked him three times if he could tell me what Will's official diagnosis was (I still hadn't heard anything about the X-ray or pneumonia) and if he could tell me the name of the antibiotic he had a reaction to (cause Sterling was asking) and he kept coming in and saying "well, I feel pretty sure it's asthma." FEEEL???!?!? Oh he was just so aggravating and annoying and unhelpful. Then Will had to go potty and I do understand that his orders were to keep him in bed, but after trying three times to no avail to get Will to go in a cup and even another nurse (who was much more helpful) came in a tried to bribe Will with a popsicle and he STILL wouldn't pee in a cup and he was seriously WIGGING out at this point, the nurse still wouldn't let me go. I found the other nurse and she let us. I have no idea how Will did it but immediately upon being on the toilet he went. But then he had mini anxiety attacks about going to the bathroom every. single. time. he had to go the rest of his hospital stay (which was a lot because he was on fluids) and he had three accidents since being home (this boy NEVER has accidents) so I'm just a little annoyed at this nurse. And he didn't even come in to see how hard I was trying with Will, he just avoided me. Sigh. Anyway. Rant over.

They sent us to the ICU and Will did just fine after that. Besides hating the bathroom. And hating being on all fluids. By then it was later in the afternoon and he slept and then ate and then really, slept some more. 

I have to count our HUMONGOUS blessings (that is Ruth's new fav word right now--she kept using it when looking at newborn pictures of her newest cousin and she had big bows on) because we are so dang lucky in the friend department here in Miami. I texted my good friend Tricia first (she is usually up to work out) but didn't hear from her so then I texted our friend Kelly because I knew she'd be up taking her girls to early morning seminary. She totally was, so she came and picked up the girls at 7am so that Sterling could go to school. Then Tricia picked up the girls from her at around one (I met up with them to give them some car seats) because Kelly couldn't keep them all afternoon. Then Kyle, Tricia's hubby, picked Sterling up from campus and met everyone at the hospital so that we could trade carseats back and Sterling and I could trade places. They even came up to the ICU room so that Sterling could carry Molly and they carried the carseats. And THEN they left their car with us because Kyle was flying out for the week and they didn't need it. Which made maneuvering back and forth from the hospital SO MUCH LESS of a stress!!! It was all just so kind it makes my heart wring with happiness that we have so many people who would be willing to help us so much. 

The next morning I dropped the girls off at Summer's at SIX AM (special kudos to her) so I could switch out at the hospital with Sterling and he could get to class on time. She kept the girls until we were discharged and then brought us dinner and everything. Bless her. When we got home our neighbors dropped us by a pizza and breadsticks which was HEAVEN SENT and was also perfect the next day as I succumbed to a massive cold and cough and we needed the leftovers.

Back to the hospital, Will was doing just fine the next morning and BOUNCING OFF THE WALLS. Making the bed go up and down, twisting around (how do you even do that with all the wires he had going in and out of him?!?!) and throwing the ball back and forth. They let him eat a few more things, like vanilla yogurt and hot cereal. I was starting to get really worried about how I was going to survive three days in the ICU with him acting this bouncy. Luckily, the doctor agreed and said the three meds he was on we could just as easily give him from home and if his condition worsened again, we could bring him back in. YAY! It was really funny when the doctor came in, Will took one look at him and in the meanest, most sinister voice I have ever heard him use he said "Go away. Me go my home!" Haha! I was so surprised and it was so hilarious!

My day from that point on, however, did not improve. I stopped at the pharmacy with all three kids on the way home (huge mistake as it was lunch time and nap time and Will was super ornery after they took out his ivs and it really hurt) and they wouldn't fill one prescription without an actual phone call from the physician. Which they said is pretty impossible through a hospital and we'd have better luck contacting our pediatrician and having her rewrite the prescription. She was an angel and even though she was off that afternoon, she worked it all out for us. I had a massive, eye-watering coughing fit while there to the point where I almost puked. That is when we made our exit. Sigh.

We came home and I thought life would settle down a bit. But Ruth decided to spill an entire glass of Sprite (which we got with the pizza) and there was sticky mess everywhere. Then Will had an accident in Ruth's bed so I had piles of sheets to clean as well as the one square of carpet/rug that is in their room. Then while I was mopping, he pooed in the tub, and I started breaking down at that point. I felt miserable, I was still hacking my life away, my head was spinning, my legs were shaking. I can't remember what else happened that afternoon, all I know is we survived. And I went to bed at 730pm and slept through til 630am when the kids woke up and felt MUCH better. I don't think getting a few hours of sleep in 48 hours time with a cold was cutting it for me. It was so miserable. I'm so happy it passed quick.

The next day Will was scheduled for a re-eval and come to find out Ruthie and Molly were due for check-ups so we made a family day of it. Ruth and Molly got shots and the doctor thought it was ok to not put Will on the meds they recommended him taking every day forever, yay! She said that was mostly given to kids who deal with asthma regularly. Will hasn't dealt with it since last year's cold season, and so she didn't feel like he warranted it. It would've been ok to have him on it, I just also felt like it was a bit overboard since he's usually just fine without any kind of treatment at all. But colds really do him in. (Oh yeah, they did a BUNCH of testing at the hospital and it really was just a little cold-rhinovirus.) 

Today--we went to the library. Watched some iguanas. Let the kids take LONG afternoon naps and then they played on the back patio. Life is back to normal and I couldn't be happier. I am just so, so grateful to the wonderful friends who helped us out so much. I really could never thank them enough. I feel so much love from all of them and I am so happy that we have met such wonderful families here in Miami. Thanks so much!!

But first, the Beach

Just looking at that photo makes we want to go back immediately. The shimmer of the sun on the waves. The sand that felt like walking in chalk dust. The beautiful, endless sky. Oh beach, I love you.

Pretty sure Molly is eating a shovelful of sand right here. Oops.

This is my favorite part. Where the waves stop having white caps and just gently roll in with that clean, clear beauty onto the clean, clear sand.

This is heaven.  

Tiny little person in my lap, eating slightly sand-covered licorice.
Gah it's just SOOOOOO beautiful!!!

Molly likes where the clear water meets the clear sand just as much as I did. She didn't walk over and play in the sand with the other kids at all, really. She was content to keep her feet in this gorgeous water. Who can blame her?

It looks like these really big waves are coming to eat her up. I promise they weren't.
That grin!

Their water hole/fountain that drained to the ocean.
And now our obligatory lunch under the palm trees after rinsing off in the splash pad. 
I will post about Will and asthma and the hospital soon. Probably tonight. But these beach pictures are just too enchanting to wait.