I am so ready for spring. My kids have cabin fever so bad! If spring/summer doesn't come soon I am moving to Fl. Okay, so I really wouldn't move to Fl but I understand why retirees migrate to Fl for the winter. We have been cooped up so much this winter. It is too cold to stay outside for very long on sunny days and the other days it is raining and that keeps us in. I don't want to go to many indoor play areas b/c of all the sickness going around. Now normally I am not intimidated by germs but this winter I have been alot more careful. It has been such a bad winter with so many things going around that I haven't wanted to risk it. Taylor of course gets exposed to lots of germs at school I am sure but that child rarely gets sick. She has a great immune system. Caleb too gets his fair share of germ exposure at preschool but luckily hasn't picked up anything (except the flu). Madison has had a great winter too. I believe it is b/c we have limited exposure to germs (for the most part)! But I am ready for spring! I want to let my kids play outside for hours, I want to swim with my kids (Madison has been dragging out bathing suits and asking to go to Nana's pool). My kids are ready for warm weather!!!! Anyway this is what we have been doing lately. Not much different than pictures posted a few months ago. In fact I believe Madison's obsession with lining things up is rubbing off on Carter, now he has started doing it. I find things lined up all around the house :)
Ignore the fact that in most of the pictures the kids have on pj's. We do (on occasion) get out of jammies but it seems like I grab the camera in the morning before clothes have been put on or at night after clothes have been removed and jammies put on!
Friday, February 29, 2008
Posted by Holly Aytes at 9:24 AM
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
"Little pieces of chicken"
Yesterday afternoon Matt was going to chop down a small tree in the backyard that just wouldn't grow and was kinda in a weird spot. Well out he went with Caleb in tow. As Matt was chopping ti down little pieces of the bark were flying around. They were laying on the ground and Caleb commented "those look like chicken". It was too funny. The kinda did look like chicken. Once Matt had it almost down he let the kids push it over. After Matt had it down we let Caleb "chop" a little (he was well supervised though). Then he tried to drag it to the street. Well even though it was a small tree he couldn't budge it. It was great watching him try though. Taylor got in at the very end. She isn't much for getting her hands dirty though so she didn't try too hard. She is our girly girl! Here a few pics of the "project".
Posted by Holly Aytes at 9:23 AM
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Yesterday we found out some awesome news! Matt' mom is not going to require chemo! We have been waiting for 3 weeks for some DNA testing to be done and to get the results on whether she would require chemo and radiation. The results cam in yesterday and she meet with her oncologist. He determined that radiation (everyday for 5 days straight for 7 weeks, she only gets the weekends off) and 5 years (yes, you heard right 5 years ) of hormone therapy is all the is that she will require! We are so excited. If she had required chemo we would have been ok with it but are thrilled that she doesn't need to undergo all that. She is ready to get treatment started and over with so she can be healed before her 11th grandchild makes his/her appearance in July. So she meets with her radiologist on Tuesday to get her radiation schedule worked out and underway! Let the fun begin :)
Posted by Holly Aytes at 1:20 PM
Friday, February 22, 2008
I absolutely love listening to the kids prayers both at dinner and at bedtime. I love to know what is on their little minds. Sometimes it is so hard not to laugh because sometimes they just pray for the funniest things and other times their prayers make me want to cry. It is amazing to me what all they pick up on that I am worrying about. The y don't normally hear my prayers as they are sound asleep by the time I fall in bed but they are always listening to conversations around them as their prayers requests sometimes come from things they have overheard. (This is something I am going to have to be more careful b/c somethings I don't want them to "worry" about. Anyway this is a running list of prayers lately:
* for her to have a good day at school the next day
* for her having a good day at school
* for a goodnights sleep that is nightmare free
* that Nana's cancer will be cured
* for Caleb to have a good day at school
* for mommy to get better (this applies to the strep and bronchitis I have been dealing with)
* for Aunt Rachel and Uncle Daniel's baby (to be born in July)
* for grandmother and granddaddy to get better
* for Nana, Pops, NaNa and Peepaw to stay well
* for Kelsey and Riley (his favorite cousins)
* for Peepaw to make alot of money :) (this one was out of the blue one night at dinner and had all of us chuckling)
* for his friend Turner at school to stay well
* for him to have a good day at school
* for Nana's knee to get better
not sure what she prays for but we all have to bow our heads and close our eyes while she mumbles something and then yells "amen"!
Posted by Holly Aytes at 11:53 AM
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I decided today that we were going to start back with the potty-training. We gave it a try a few months ago. Madison was really interested (I wasn't too interested b/c no more diapers mean that my baby is growing up and I am not ready to deal with that just yet) and was doing good. I think this is where having older siblings is a good thing. Madison tries to do everything that Caleb does. She doesn't see Taylor doing things as much since she is in school but is always noticing what Caleb does. Luckily Caleb goes to the bathroom sitting down when at home, in public he stands (he is afraid of public potties and will only use them if it is an emergency). Anyway I bought some of those gerber training panties a few months ago and today bought some plastic panties to go over those as I refuse to buy pull-ups for Madison to go to the bathroom in. Now whenever she goes to the bathroom she wants to be changed so thought that feeling the wetness of panties (with plastic ones over that to protect clothing) would drive her crazy therefore making it easier to train. Well she did really good. She wore panties for almost 3 hours this evening and didn't pee in them once. She was upset when she had to put a diaper on at bedtime but I know we aren't there yet and I don't want to change jammies or sheets in the middle of the night. I told her when she woke up we would put back on her panties. So we are now embarking on a new adventure. Hoping that everything goes well and this is a short process. Taylor was a breeze to train, no more than 1 week and she was fully trained. Caleb was easy too but it was on his timing. I tried a couple of times but he wasn't ready. Then a couple of months before his 3rd birthday he did it pretty much on his own. In about a week he was fully trained with no accidents. Let's hope Madison proves to be as easy as her siblings :)
Posted by Holly Aytes at 10:31 PM
Friday, February 15, 2008
Matt did such a great job taking care of everything and everyone while I have been sick. I took care of Caleb (which didn't require much since he slept most of the time right beside me). Madison is normally glued to my side but Matt did a great job keeping her entertained. The few times I got up to get me or Caleb a drink or go the bathroom she was always happily playing but would come running to me yelling "my mommy". After a few quick hugs (b/c I couldn't tell her no) she would go back to playing. I did manage to "muster" enough energy to grab the camera and take a few pics of her doings.
She made lots of organized piles of toys. Here is some of her bitty baby stuff.
And here is the food items lined up.
She did have a few melt-downs though. The pictures of her under the chair crying are due to her not being able to have candy b/c she wouldn't eat her dinner. It was very hard not to laugh at the temper-tantrum. I mean who ever heard of laying under the chair to pitch a fit :)
Posted by Holly Aytes at 12:18 PM
Well when our family does something we do it big. I had been feeling pretty crummy since Monday afternoon and finally decided I wouldn't get well on my own and it was time to call in a dr for myself. Good thing I did. My diagnosis was strep throat and bronchitis! I can't remember the last time I was sick but now I am sick :( I feel a little better right now so I am updating my blog. We had a very boring Valentine's Day. I believe Taylor is the only one who celebrated it. Her covered wagon Valentine Box was a huge hit at school even though she lost 2 wheels :) (See previous post below for details on valentine mailbox). I didn't even get Matt or the kids cards :( I had meant to get out all week and take care of that but just felt too lousy.
Caleb seems to be doing much better. I am still not convinced that he has the flu. He woke up this morning and got right to playing and eating. He ate a whole container of strawberries. (We were going to dip them in chocolate that we bought at Sugarbakers but I haven't felt up to it) He then laid back down with me and slept for a couple of hours. I guess it could be the flu but the flu I remember knocks you out. You don't feel like doing anything but laying around. Maybe it is different with kids though. We finally got him to pee so no trip to the ER for IV fluids was necessary :)
We are praying everyone else stays well. So far Matt, Taylor and Madison seem to be feeling good. We hope that continues. We have had a great winter so far really. I had just boasted last week that we hadn't had the typical winter illnesses. None of the usual runny noses, etc. We all had some stomach bug and Madison had a double ear infection that took 3 rounds of antibiotics to get rid of but that was it. Guess this is what I get for bragging on our healthy winter :)
To answer some questions: The kids had flu vaccines, Matt and I didn't. Caleb is taking Tamiflu, he got his first dose a couple of hours after going to the dr (that is how backed up the pharmacy is). He has no other respiratory symptoms in fact he has no flu symptoms except for being lethargic. Like I said I'm not 100% convinced he has the flu but we are going to treat it as that for now. I think that answered all the questions we had.
Posted by Holly Aytes at 7:14 AM
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
It snowed today! Well it didn't really snow it teased us with some white stuff. Snow is what my parents saw last week in Vermont. It snowed 30 inches at the resort they were staying at. This isn't total snowfall so far but the amount of snow the resort received while my parents were there. Now that is what I call snow!!! Anyway we got some white stuff today. At first it was little ice pellets and then became snow. It actually came down pretty hard for awhile. It covered all our outside toys. This bothered Madison. She kept talking about her car in the backyard that was covered in snow. It was too funny. We took her out for a minute but she didn't like it. She kept saying cold and she didn't want to touch the white stuff. She is going to be a sand and surf kind of baby not a snow bunny.
Taylor was excited (she came home early from school with a tummy ache which turned out to be nothing. I think she just freaked out at first b/c back in December she had that lovely stomach bug that was going around and she got sick at school. It really embarrassed her. Anyway she is fine now.)
Caleb could have cared less. He has felt pretty crummy all day. He has run a high fever all day even the Tylenol can't keep it down long. We went to the dr and they tested for strep and the flu. The flu came back positive. He really doesn't have flu symptoms and the flu normally doesn't cause high fevers (his has run 103.4, 104.1, and 103.8 and this is with medicine every 4 hours). We may go to the ER later. We can't get him to drink and he hasn't peed since this morning. I am trying to decide what to do. I hate the idea of the ER and all the germs and the treatment I know they will give him (IV fluids) but also don't want him to get any sicker. I will make a decision in the next few hours. I guess if we end up there I will bring the camera so I can get some good "blogging" pics :)
Posted by Holly Aytes at 9:34 PM
So Taylor's class is having a Valentine Party tomorrow. Each child was to turn a regular old shoe box into a mailbox to receive their Valentine's in. Well Taylor came home with great plans to make "no ordinary" mailbox. After some internet searching she found a cute idea on a website for a wagon. So we got the stuff to make it and this is how it turned out. Matt and I both helped her a little b/c it involved a saw to cut the dowels to attach the wheels and the hot glue gun. She was very proud of it and I am thrilled with her very creative side.
Posted by Holly Aytes at 9:21 PM
Friday, February 8, 2008
I am so excited! I get to see my mom today. I know I sound like a child with my excitement but my mom and I are really close. I see her everyday and I haven't seen her since Monday so I can't wait to see her. And my dad too. They have been in Vermont for the last week. My mom always wanted to go there and ride in one of those horse-drawn sleighs you see in beer commercials so off they went. I have talked to them everyday. They have had a blast!! My dad went snow-mobiling and snow tubing. Due to my mom's recent knee surgery she wasn't able to participate in those activities but she was happy just sitting by a fire drinking hot chocolate and watching everyone
else. They went up to Montreal one day and also went to see the VanTrapp (from the Sound of Music) family home. They have had a great week and I am so glad. They needed it! But again I'm glad they are coming home today b/c I get to see them!
Last night I took food to a family in our Heart 2 Heart that had a baby on Monday. Seeing that little bundle of innocence kinda made me want another one. He is absolutely precious (reminded me of Caleb). Then I remembered being up every 3 hours and recovering from a c-section and I quickly buried those feelings. I am content right now watching everyone else experience it and just loving on their little ones. One day we add #4 to the bunch but for now I love our family of 5.
I have been going through old pics I put on the computer and found some of my favorites! I love looking at pics from years ago or even months ago and seeing how the kids have grown. It makes me so thankful that they are healthy and growing the way God planned. I will leave you with a couple of favorites from last year. Enjoy!
Caleb would take a bath everyday for awhile. We joked that he was the cleanest kid in TN!
Madison has a purse and shoe obsession. Here she is showing her talent at being able to carry multiple purses at 1 time. Also notice the lovely safari hate she is wearing. Taylor brought that home from First Baptist Concord's VBS last summer. Madison loves hats so she quickly snapped this one up!
And then there is my beautiful big girl. I love this picture up at Cades Cove!
Posted by Holly Aytes at 10:33 AM
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
This weekend we went to Nashville to celebrate our neice, Shelby's, 3rd birthday. The kiddos all got haircuts while we were there. Caleb has the best hair, thick and wavy. I always wanted hair like that. Anyway we have to get it cut about every 4 weeks or it starts to look shaggy. I decided to let Aunt Gabby take the clippers to his hair. This had never been done before. He gets haircuts all the time just not with clippers. This is a big step and takes him from a baby to a big boy look. I know, I know he is going to be 5 in a few months so he isn't a baby. I just haven't wanted to make that "cut" so to speak. Anyway I did and it looks good. It does seem to me that he aged in just a matter of minutes. though nobody else seems to think so! In fact everyone else like it.
Taylor and Madison got their's trimmed also. Next it was my turn. I originally was just going for a trim but decided to cut it all off. I joked with Taylor awhile back about cutting my hair like hers so Saturday I did it. Taylor and I look like twins now.
Posted by Holly Aytes at 9:18 AM