Thursday, December 30, 2010

Poor Ollie

I have so much to tell you about our holidays (do you mind hearing about our December all through January, because that's how it's going to be?) but I've been so preoccupied.  Here's the reason you haven't been hearing from me.
 Poor Oliver has not been doing well.  He's been having seizures (his fourth was yesterday) which have meant multiple trips to the ER, doctors visits, lots of tests, and lots of worry.
Today was the big test that we've been waiting for, the EEG, which will hopefully shed a little light on what's going on.
 I never thought I would want to see him this way, but it was a relief. We've been so worried about him and we've been feeling so helpless so this is one small thing that might lead to some help.
We should have the results from our neurologist within a week.  Best case senario would be that the seizures are just caused by breath-holding spells and nothing more complicated is going on.  When Ollie gets hurt or upset, he lets out a loud cry and then he stops breathing.  He basically suffocates until he passes out.  Usually he's just out for a moment, but sometimes, he has a seizure afterwards.  The breath-holding spells are scary, but the seizures are terrifying.  If his seizures are just caused by breath-holding spells, there is nothing that we can do, but most kids grow out of breath holding spells around the age of two so we're hoping that the EEG doesn't show anything else going on.

We had to sleep deprive Ollie for the EEG so it was a rough day at Casa Ford that we are all looking forward to putting behind us.  Poor Ollie was worn out.
The crazy part was that when Ollie was born, my friend Kristin, one of the other designer for Sycamore Street Press, was also in the same hospital with her newborn, Sullivan, so we got to hang out in the hospital together.  Sullivan was also at Children's Hospital today so we lectured the boys that they have got to stop meeting this way.
Here's hoping life gets better for both of these boys!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year

and we are lucky enough to live by one of the most beautiful places to see Christmas lights in the world.  All of my Christmas decorations may be in storage, but it certainly feels like Christmas around here.  Actually, having the decorations in storage have been a good reminder that Christmas is not about things, but more about celebrating our savior and spending time together as a family.  We've been busy doing just that (ok, we've been involved in some of the fun, commercial side of Christmas too, but we'll talk about that later).
 Since we live so close to Temple Square, we decided to go see the Christmas lights there more than once.  We'll be visiting when my family all gets into town for Christmas, but why wait?  Our friends the Davids joined us, and it was such a nice relaxed evening.
 I loved watching the babies, Ruby and Ollie, in awe.  And even though I'm not sure how much Ollie really comprehends, I love watching Larry lean down and whisper explanations of Christmas and the nativity to Ollie.
 Have I mentioned that I'm desperately in love with that guy?  Because I am.
 Its amazing how there can be huge crowds at Temple Square, but it still feels so peaceful.

 I had no idea that if you head east of the temple, there are large nativities from around the world displayed (you learn things like that when you go places with the Davids)
 And the walkways by the nativities are all lined with amazing luminaries.
 Before I was a mom, I had no idea how much sharing moments like these with my boys would mean to me.
 As an added bonus, Creed was so tired that he fell asleep leaning on this trash can while we were all taking off our shoes at home so I guess the evening brought us all a little peace.

Coming to you live from a new location!

We survived the move and we couldn't be happier to be settling in a new apartment.  We've been busy unpacking and trying to find places to store things.  Our new home was built over a hundred years ago, but has recently been completely remodeled so everything is new.  It's charming, but it definitely has it's quirks, like the one and only bathroom, which only has a tub with a handheld shower.  It's beautiful, but it will take some getting used to.  You can tell how deep it is from these photos, but it's sort of like swimming in a pool.
 The boys love it, but I have to say a handheld shower is not my style.
 And I have yet to pick up the three shower curtains it requires.  Good thing we can still run over to the old apartment to shower right now.
And here's the part where I have to admit something weird about myself, I have a weird phobia of showering in new places. I seriously dread it.  I HATE hotel bathrooms no matter how luxurious they are.  I HATE figuring out how the drains work and working to find just the right temperature with knobs I'm not used to.  And thinking about who might have showered there before? Yikes!  Do any of you feel the same way?  There must be a name for my condition . . .

Even though this tub has just been reglazed and this house has been under construction for years so I don't have to fear who used it before, I still dreaded using this tub, but now that I've tried it out a few times, I have to admit, if you like taking baths, it's pretty amazing.  Do you think it will make my family members want to come stay with me?  Who wouldn't want to soak in there while listening to their favorite Pandora station?

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Spotted and Hearted

Nothing makes a girl feel better than having a lot of supportive friends.  Thanks so much for all of your kind comments.  We're trying to tackle one thing at a time around here.  It looks like we will have both apartments for a month so we can take our time (although I don't want to, I just want to get the move over with so we can have some fun and focus on Christmas around here.)

Speaking of Christmas, if you're looking for some holiday cheer, fun things are popping up all over town.  If you follow the tradition of setting out your shoes for Sinterklaas and you want to really be authentic, you can pick up chocolate letters at the old Dutch store (or you can order them online if you don't live locally).
Even if you don't need chocolates, I love just stopping by to look for fun Dutch candies and chocolates for stocking stuffers.
And have you been to Costco lately?  Who can pass up a huge, fresh wreath like this for $15.00?  They also have fresh 25' garlands for $15.00, and if I had already moved, I couldn't have resisted them!  Hurry, the garland tends to go fast.

Oliver at 9 Months

Oliver is going to be considered a toddler instead of a baby in no time.  Can you believe how big he's getting? This happy little guy keeps things cheerful around here.
He's learning so much.  He's started to say "Ma Ma Ma Ma Ma Ma" when he wants me and "Da Da Da Da Da" when he wants Larry.
He stands on his own a lot more.  I think his record this week was about 15 seconds.
He still growls a lot and has startled quite a few people when we're out on the town.
Luckily, we took these pictures for he got really sick the next day.  He has croup and just lays and whimpers most of the day so I've been spending my time cuddling with him instead of packing because who can refuse this cute little face, especially when he makes the effort to crawl over to you and pull on your pant-leg so you'll pick him up?
Larry says he wants to remember how this month, when he comes home from work, Ollie grins and crawls to him as fast as he can.
He's also very busy exploring, and I love watching him get around which works out well since he often needs to be rescued.
He goes everywhere I go; voting, shopping, pre-school drop-offs . . . The life of a second child who goes along with our busy schedules.

Creed's been helping me introduce Ollie to life's simple pleasures, like swings.
Larry's also trying hard to introduce Ollie to the good things in life, like Ikea.
When Creed was this age, I was always so excited for him to move on to the next thing, but with Ollie I'm happy to let him take his time.  Too bad Ollie has different ideas and is growing up impossibly fast.

Monday, November 29, 2010

I have reached my breaking point

Many of you have been asking for an update on what we are doing with our lives, and I've been putting off answering because  . . . well . . . we don't really have any answers yet.  When we moved into this apartment Larry was just about to finish his fellowship and flying all over the place for job interviews, and we figured it wouldn't be long before we were settled somewhere so we found a small apartment with a nice landlord who agreed to let us lease month to month and we hunkered down for what I thought would be a couple months, tops.  We sent most of our belonging to storage, but it didn't matter, it wouldn't be long, right?  I remember saying that if we still lived here for Halloween I would be really sad because I wouldn't have the space to throw a party and all of my decorations would be in storage along with my sewing machine.  Larry said he was sure I didn't need to worry about that.  Christmas in this apartment didn't even occur to me.  Decorations, winter coats and boots, down comforters, bigger clothes for Ollie and Creed: all in storage.

Well, now it's been almost seven months and things are . . . the same.  Larry's had some offers, but he's still interviewing, and it doesn't look like he's going to make a decision anytime soon. Luckily, his research team at the U has let him stay on as a consultant, and he's picked up some moonlighting shifts so we are doing ok, but this is not how I imagined life after supporting him through nine years of medical training.

About a month ago, after an awful grown-up neighbor taunted Creed to tears, I reached my breaking point.  I cannot control Larry's job situation, but I cannot live in this tiny apartment any longer! Ollie still wakes up several times a night and we can't let him cry or the neighbors complain (the very same neighbors who made Creed cry, but let's not get into that one), and I hate for the landlord to have to deal with that when he did us a favor by letting us have a month-to-month lease.  We have no yard for the boys to play in.  Larry has to haul all of our laundry to the laundromat which takes ages.  Ollie makes a mad dash to the furnace and water heater, which are exposed in our hallway, every time I set him down because he is fascinated by the flames and the pipes, which is terrifying.  We don't have any extra storage space so it's impossible to put everything away; I'm constantly tripping over everything and hiding Christmas gifts is a joke. And did I mention that Ollie doesn't have a room?  He's nine months old and he sleeps in a pack-and-play that we shuffle from room to room and he doesn't even have a dresser, he just has a couple of messy plastic bins I threw into the back of Creed's closet.  I'm definitely feeling some mom guilt over that one.

We need to move.

So we started looking for a house to rent, but that's difficult when you can't commit to at lease a year-long lease.  In fact, if you want to live in a decent house in a safe neighborhood, it's nearly impossible.
After walking through several options that make me cringe, we have found a new apartment.  It's a shared house and the apartment isn't much bigger than where we live now, which I'm not excited about, but it has a long list of benefits: the boys will have a yard, we will have a garage, there's an unfinished basement to stow away the extra things we need on hand, there's a washer and dryer in the basement, I won't have to roll the dishwasher across the kitchen and hook it up to the sink, it's only one block away, there's not a furnace in the hallway, it's just been completely remodeled so everything is brand new, the landlords seem really nice, AND it was the one and only decent place we found that would let us have a shorter lease.

So now we are moving.  This week.  And I am in charge of a bunch of things for Enrichment Tuesday night.  And I am sick.  And my mom is out of town.  And Larry's step dad is having surgery so his mom will be busy.  And we have not packed a single box yet. And we have not called any of the utility companies. And we have not reserved a moving van.  And there is a foot of fresh snow outside. And I'm am feeling a little sick about the whole thing because moving to a new apartment is like admitting to myself that I don't see Larry accepting a job anywhere in the near future, and things are going to continue to be uncertain around here.

And that's my whiny, blogging-at-2-a.m.-update.

I better get to bed because things always look better in the morning, right?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Once Upon a Time, Long, Long Ago . . .

Amanda, Kristin, and I threw a baby shower for Eva.  If you read the Sycamore Street Press blog, you know that sweet baby Ingrid has arrived!  I have yet to meet Ingrid since Creed's been sick, and now I'm sick so I'll just have to make due with posting about her shower and looking forward to holding that little one when we're all better.

We knew Eva wanted something simple and relaxed so she could chat with all her friends so we put together a cookies and milk baby shower.  We held the shower at Kristin's house and Kirk insisted in pitching in by letterpressing the invites that Kristin designed.
We all made a few different kinds of cookies and some of the guests brought cookies too so it was a feast!

I was happy to finally have a reason to test my new message cookie cutters and I loved how well they worked.
 Two days before the shower, Kristin and I realized that we had no activity planned for the shower, and we thought it might be nice since a lot of the guests didn't know each other so she picked up some onesies and trim, and I picked up ribbon and brought sewing supplies, and we let Eva's crafty friends decorate onesies.
 I wish I would have taken pictures of all of the onesies because they turned out really cute, but I did get a picture of my favorite made by Susan.

It was so much fun to watch Eva open all of her gifts because there were a lot of lovely homemade things.  She really has some clever friends!
And thanks to the bounty of cookies, we were able to let each gift fill a box with cookies to take home.

I borrowed this last photo from Eva's sister-in-law, Kirsten's blog.

Kirk and Eva are such great friends so it was really nice to be able to help do something for them.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Turkey for me and Turkey for You

This was a low-key Thanksgiving with most of our siblings and family out of town or otherwise engaged (like being busy caring for our first niece ever, Lucy Ford!).  We stayed at my parents' and feasted at Larry's mom's, and even though I only took a few blurry photos, I caught a lot of what I want to remember, a glimpse of everyone in their element.

My dad working on one of his gourmet concoctions to feed us on Wednesday night (chicken pesto pizza with grilled onions and red peppers, topped with potatoes and cheese, which was as amazing as it sounds. Why didn't I inherit his cooking skills?  I love just being in the kitchen with him watching him work)
 My mom starting on the holiday decorating while listening to Christmas music.
 Creed excited to help me in the kitchen.  We made 10 dozen rolls because Thanksgiving just isn't Thanksgiving without my mom's recipe for rolls.
 Catching a little of the Macy's Parade Thanksgiving morning.
 Ollie getting ready for his first feast
 Creed playing with the same toys Larry played with at that age.  I don't usually hesitate to toss things when they are no longer being used, but Larry's mom's collection of his old toys makes me want to hold onto the favorites at our house to share with the next generation.
 Larry's mom playing with the kids
 And Larry shopping his heart out.  I wanted to avoid Black Friday, but he couldn't wait to get out there, which entertained me enough that I was happy to go along with him.
Oh, we have so much to be grateful for!