Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Back to our regularly scheduled program

A week or so ago we headed out to pick up a Christmas tree.  We almost didn't buy one at all because Ollie is still at the age where Christmas trees pose a danger, and I drew a giant tree on a canvas in our living room so it feels festive enough, but it just didn't feel like Christmas without a real tree so we ventured out to find one.

Friends recommended Baum's Christmas Trees (1650 N. 1250 W.), a family owned business located right in their yard, and the trees were so fresh and cheap! (And I didn't know they still sold flocked trees like that. I haven't seen one in ages)
It was so fun walking around and we will absolutely buy our tree there next year.

This year, however, we headed to a different lot because Creed spotted some tiny trees on an earlier drive by and fell in love, and a tiny tree seemed like a good idea to us when keeping Ollie in mind so everyone was happy (the tiny tree actually cost about as much as a 6 ft tree at Baum's, which made me laugh, but they didn't have any that small at Baum's)

 So we found the tree that was just right for us this year.

 And as if the day wasn't filled with enough cheer, we ran into this site on our way.
 That's right, a race with hundreds of Santa.  It was awesome! We drove around the block and got stuck in traffic and it was totally worth it to watch the Santas for a few more minutes.
 Lighting and decorating the tiny tree was so easy that I might be tempted to buy a tiny tree every year.

Monday, December 12, 2011

All is Well

Thank you Secrets of a Stylist for the idea to make this map in our living room a little more festive!

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support!  We've felt so much love these past few days and I'm happy to report, Ollie is back to his old cheerful self.

It turns out Ollie has Ketotic Hypoglycemia, which means that his liver doesn't fully function and provide him with the glucose he needs between meals so if his blood sugar level gets too low, his body goes into starvation mode and shuts down while he starts converting any fat he has stored, which was why he seemed comatose and also explains why he is so small so we'll be feeding him lots of small meals and loading him with protein before bed, and then we may have just a few of these episodes to deal with every year.  In extreme cases, some kids have to have NG tubes while they sleep, but we're hoping it doesn't come to that.  The good news is that he should outgrow it by the time he's five or six.  At any rate, his blood sugar can get so low it can cause seizures, but it's a totally different kind of seizure then he normally has so the two are completely unrelated, and it might just be the anti-seizure medication he was already on kept him from having seizures when we couldn't wake him up.  Crazy right?
In the meantime, we're supposed to do what we can to help this little guy build some fat up in his system.  My friend Kersten's dad just happens to be a pediatric endocrinologist who helped talk us through everything going on with Ollie and provided some advice to help him gain weight (Ollie is now almost up the the 50th percentile in height, but has fallen to the 3rd in weight and he can't keep a pair of pants on to save his life).  A few suggested changes for Ollie's diet: adding half and half to his cereal in the morning, adding melted cheese anytime he's eating vegetables, keeping brown gravy on hand to add to any meat that we can get him to eat, never giving him water to drink, and adding carnation instant breakfast to his whole milk which he will continue to drink well after the normally recommended age 2 cutoff.  

Things are going to be interesting around here, but this was actually the best possible cause of his low blood sugar that we could hope for and we're feeling pretty happy about the news.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

We pause this program for a message

We're in the midst of embracing this holiday season around here, and I have so many fun things to share with you, but today all that is on my mind is this little guy.  Let's talk about how happy and friendly he all the time.
 And how adventurous he is.  He can NEVER be out of sight.  This week I told Larry that I needed to make a phone call and left him playing with the boys.  He had to answer a page and the next thing I know, I hear the sound of Larry's electric clippers in the bathroom and catch Ollie's hand just as he begins to shave his own head.
 What  fickle eater he is.  He doesn't have favorites and you never know if he will hate something he loved the day before. He would much rather survive on milk.
 How he still takes his little blanket everywhere he goes and cannot sleep without it.  When you pick him up, he will often pat your shoulder and explain, "Blanket!" reminding you to put in on your shoulder so he can lay on it and nestle his little forehead up against your neck.
 How he is always watching Creed, just like the the photo below, where he's watching Creed while snacking on a half eaten apple he picked up off the ground (Creed's friend Lydia had just dropped it, and I failed to snatch it from Ollie before the damage was already done. Yuck)
 The way he giggles with glee when you put him in a swing and begs to swing the rest of the day away.
 The way he grabs my phone at every chance and has filled it with funny self-portraits. It's pretty amazing how well he can use it.
 The way he adores Mickey Mouse and Elmo, and points to the computer, begging to watch Youtube clips of them, and he's so happy, how can you not loves those annoying squeaky voices?
 The way his seizures exhaust all of us, but most especially him.
The way he didn't wake up today.

Which sent us on yet another excruciating ER journey with him.  It has happened once before, but it was no less terrifying today, in fact, it was worse because it lasted longer.  To see him laying with his eyes open, not responding to anything, not moving, not speaking strikes a terror in me that I cannot begin to explain.  I spent hours wondering what I could have done wrong and feeling like I failed him some way.

The test results came back slowly one by one, each normal result leaving us a little more baffled and feeling a little more helpless until, finally, we got an answer, or at least a symptom; extremely low blood sugar.  Easy to temporarily fix, but very scary as we are now left to consider the possible causes.  The nightmares are cycling in my mind: hormone and pituitary gland problems, maybe.  A tumor secreting extra insulin, possibly.  Something in his brain . . . I try to remind myself, that it could all be nothing, right?

The ER doctor has probably been practicing longer than I have been alive and he has never seen a patient with provoked seizures like Ollie.  He said it makes him a zebra among horses.  This new problem seems to be unrelated so he said it makes him something like a rare subspecies of zebra.  The whole conversation I kept losing focus and thinking about how zebras are Ollie's favorite animal and how we just got him a new Christmas book about Ollie the Zebra.

So now we will head in for more testing and we will play the waiting game, and I stop trying to imagine the what ifs, and focus on how grateful I am to have Ollie the zebra in my life, walking and talking again. And I feel grateful to look around me to see Christmas everywhere, a reminder of another baby who lived at another time and provides much needed hope and peace.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Creed Finds a Place to Call His Own

Someone mentioned to me the other day that I've never shown Creed's room on my blog (so much for the home tour, I have yet to show you about half of our house).  Creed has one of the coolest rooms in the house architecturally, and we have big plans for it, but they'll have to wait until next year while we take care of more immediate needs.  I'm a little embarrassed that I've put so little effort into, but why bother for something temporary (and I must admit Ollie's room is much worse off at the moment).

Another reason that I haven't posted pictures is that with so many windows, it's really hard to take pictures in Creed's room so I hope you'll excuse the messy photos.

Welcome to Creed's room for now.
 For the past few years I've been picking up letters here and there with the hopes of someday spelling "abracadabra" on Creed's wall.  I know I could have easily gone on a site like Etsy and picked them all up, but the fun was in the hunt.  Most of them are vintage sign letters picked up from neighborhood consignment shops when we lived in Salt Lake.  The last letter that I picked to complete the collection was the letter A with wings, and it actually is a new letter from Etsy, but it was too amazing to pass up (You can custom order any letter in several colors at Edie's Lab. They were remarkably fast, and they happen to be having a holiday sale right now).

I'm not even sure how we ended up with The Cat in the Hat wall stickers, but Creed found them in a donation pile when we moved and begged to put them up in his room, which is fine for now.
 The original plan was to spray paint the letters in different gold finishes, but I ended up loving them just the way that they are.

In the corner we have the bookcase that my dad built to hold bedtime stories, which we are always rotating from our bigger library, and a rocking chair to sit in during the bedtime stories.  The map of the US is from a printer from our old hometown, Columbus, Ohio, These are Things and it looks like they just got in back in stock.  We've had this printing sitting around for a year and I'm glad we finally found it a home.  I'm pining away for a few of their other maps because they are all so cool.
 In the opposite corner is a shelf to hold Creed's toys plus a couple of odds and ends that I have yet to find a home for.
 And next to that is a whole wall of sliding glass doors with a balcony (did I mention that every bedroom in our house has a balcony and they all have big gaps at the that my children could easily fit under?  Yes, we keep those locked)
 The view is pretty amazing.  It's the best place to watch thunderstorms when they cross the valley.
 The wall next to that is basically covered in doors so it's not terribly exciting, but you can see our one splurge on this room, that David Trubridge pendant.  Luckily, we got it for an amazing deal and had out electrician install it when we were remodeling.
 My fingers sure hurt after putting it together, but I think it was totally worth it.
And that's Creed's room.  What do you think?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Making Spirits Bright

Friday was one of those days; I was tired, I was having a terrible day, both boys were melting down, and I tried to sneak into the bathroom to shed a few tears and calm myself when both boys stood outside the door, banging on it and crying.  It's moments like that that I try to take a deep breath and think about how all of those little frustrations that come along with being a mother are signs that I truly have everything in life that I could want; if I didn't have those frustrations, I also wouldn't have kids. There was a time in my life that I thought that maybe I might not be a mother, I would have done anything to have even just those moments of frustration.  Instead, I made other plans for myself; I went to graduate school, I thought about a PHD, I worked really hard at my job, but all my daily actions felt hollow.  I didn't have what I really wanted.  In a strange way, I think those days have made me a better mother. Now all the yogurt Ollie throws on the floor, all the snot I find wiped on my shirt, all the crying and banging on the bathroom door, are little reminders of how I have two little dreams come true in my life.

Friday, I picked myself up off the bathroom floor, and took Creed and Ollie to the lighting at the Shops at Riverwoods.  I promised Creed we would go as a reward if he memorized his part for the Primary Program.  Larry was stuck late at work so we headed off to fight the crowds on our own.  I wish you all could have seen Creed's face light up when Santa arrived!  The line was so long and Ollie was so tired so I promised we would visit Santa the next day.

We usually put off visiting Santa until much later in the season, but Creed REALLY wanted to see him, and I must confess that Larry and I had an ulterior motive. For weeks Creed's been telling us he's going to ask Santa for a Barbie Princess Dream Castle. Yikes!  It's not the princess castle I have a problem with, it's the massive unstorable size of the plastic monster and the $150 price tag.  I tried to explain to him that it's too big and too expensive and he patiently reminded me that it doesn't matter how much it costs because Santa's elves will make it in his workshop. Hard to argue with, so Princess Dream Castle it looked like it would be.  We let it go. Who are we to crush his Christmas Dreams?

But then, with no prompting from us, Creed told us he would wait until next year to ask for a Dream Castle because this year what he really wants in an accordion.  What?  And AWESOME!  So we were in a hurry to get Creed to Santa to make that wish official.  Wouldn't you be?

Saturday evening we went to the mall, we got in line, and about a minute later one of Santa's helpers told us Santa was leaving to feed his reindeer and would be gone for an hour.  Creed was heartbroken.  I told him we would visit Santa another day, there is still a lot of time before Christmas.  He looked at me with eyes full of tears and told me this was really important to him, he needed a chance to actually talk to Santa.  So we headed off to see where Santa's reindeer took him next.  Luckily, he didn't fly too far and we found him at the Riverwoods (Which is an awesome place to visit Santa if you're in town.  There was no line, Santa was wonderful, and they didn't even have a photographer so they expected you to take your own picture.)

Ollie was a bit bewildered by the whole experience, but he didn't mind sitting on Santa's lap one bit.  And Creed was all smiles once he had the chance to tell Santa how much he wants an accordion for Christmas (we've taught him that he can only ask Santa for one gift. Is that wrong?)
PS-earlier in the day we took some pictures for the Christmas card I have in mind this year.  Here are the out takes.

Poor Ollie!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Have you seen my sister Candice's mantle all decked out for Halloween?

And my mom's mantle, which was equally amazing?

 Incredible, right?  You should check out both of their blogs to see all of their decorations.  I, on the other hand, was sort of a Borup family fail.  My style has evolved and I don't really love most of the decorations that I have anymore nor do I think they really belong in my house so I just put out some pretty pumpkins and some mouse silhouhettes and paper decorations my mom brought over, and called it good.

But then I was hosting bookclub and the only part of my house decorated for Halloween was my kitchen.  What's a girl to do, but call her mom into action while she whisked her son off to ice skating lessons.

An hour later, I arrived home to this, because my mom is magic.

Don't let the pigeon Steal Your Candy

 Creed started out Halloween as a bee at our neighborhood preschool and he was stinking cute. He decided on his own to take a break from being a pigeon. We have a lot of dress-ups to choose from, but instead of a shark or airplane or doctor, he opted to wear this slightly too snug bee costume.  He regularly wears it around the house so I guess it was ready for its public debut.
 By the evening he was ready to be the pigeon again.  He waited oh so patiently for the rest of us to get ready to go trick-or-treating.

 This year we made it to more than five houses, we made it all the way around the block. I'd like to credit the company of friends and the wagon ride for this great accomplishment.

Who knows, maybe next year we'll make it to two blocks?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Don't let the pigeon drive the bus, but a pony ride may be ok

It's not even Halloween yet, but we have been busy, busy, busy with Halloween happenings.  Creed has an amazing memory and kept asking me when he'd be able to go to Barnyard Boo at Thanksgiving Point to ride a pony.  This was not a wear your costume kind of event, but Creed insisted and who can resist a pigeon on a pony?
 This year instead of having a punch-pass, you could do any activities you wanted and I though tit was much better.  Creed loved all the not so spooky games.
 On the way there he asked me if I knew there was a real witch who was not pretend, and I figured out he was talking about a witch who did storytime last year and talked about growing up as a witch with Glenda as her best friend.  He really believes she is a witch and he was so excited to see her again.

 Ollie on the other hand, just loved running free and checking out all the animals.
 He loved the wagon ride and kept pointing to the horses with a big grin.

 We also headed up to Red Butte Gardens After Dark again this year.  We arrived just at dusk.

 We learned the hard way in the past to paint your pumpkin first so it's dry when you take it home at the end of the night.
 I love that they have a different theme every year so never know what to expect.  This year's theme was "Light up the Dark" and they had glow-in-the-dark decorations and blacklights all over the garden.  You tour around the garden to do different activities and crafts.  Creed loved coloring an owl mask with a highlighter so it would glow.
 Creed would have stayed in the snake maze in the children's garden all night.
 Since everything was glowing in the dark it was hard to take many pictures so I gave up after a few like this.
 One really cool thing Creed loved was this sheet they covered with glow-in-the-dark paint and then let the kids "color" on it with little pen lights.
If you have the chance to go next year, I recommend it.  Maybe we'll see you there!