Thursday, February 20, 2014

Is it Spring?

I know I am among many when I say that it can't become Spring soon enough!  Although I feel in my family times is rushing by far too fast, I am so over this winter season.  The gray days, the cold (and icy) temperatures, and the lack of blooms around is beginning to get to me.  Brett has literally been working around the clock recently due to terrible road conditions around our state.  I know there are many that are without there spouses on a regular basis because of work schedules, but it's just not something that I'm used  to, and when I'm already feeling down and depressed, it's just not a good combination!  I have felt very overwhelmed with work and mommy responsibilities that I have felt even more alone.  I have easily forgotten that I may feel alone in a physical way, He is with me.  I got a sweet Valentine from one of my students, a bracelet with Psalm 145:18 engraved in it.. "The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth".  My prayer life and daily reading as been minimal, to be very generous, and it is showing.  I needed that reminder that we are never alone, and even when down in the dumps and overwhelmed, He will here my cry, He will see me through.  And He will bring the Spring!!

This little one is growing too fast, and that too makes this mamma a little sad

 a couple weeks ago we took a surprise trip down to Greenville one Sunday morning.  We walked to church while Mr. Ronnie was giving announcements, he was so surprised and tickled to see us, he couldn't finish :) mission accomplished ;)  We couldn't leave lunch without putting a few balls

 and after lunch we had some driving practice in Pops & Meme's back yard

From Jan 17 - February 17 John William has been on Augmitten for his lungs.  For most this doesn't cause any sleep side effects, but for this one it does.  If we give him his second dose after about 4:00 he will wake up sometime in the middle of the night.  Just wanting to play.  Crazy I know, but we've done our own trial test, and this is the only conclusion we can come up with!  So many mornings this is what my bed looks like.  Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE sleep..

No matter if he keeps me up all night or not, I love this little Valentine!

after not seeing Brett for the entire week, we were able to celebrate Valentine's Day by going on a date to one of our favorite local spots, Five.  They said there would be a 2 hour and 45 minute wait.  Normally we would have walked right out, but Meme was with John William, and we were just looking forward to time together no matter where we were.  We ended up only being there about an hour and half total with a delicious meal.

speaking of meals… John William isn't a picky eater, he'll eat just about anything. When HE wants to.  Lately he hasn't wanted to eat anything. Accept ketchup.

Going back to the augmitton.. We got off of it last Sunday, and by Wednesday we were back at the pediatrician with cough, congestion, green snot everywhere, and fever. *Sigh*

We did a chest x-ray, and while it looks MUCH better than our previous x-ray before our procedure at Children's and our month of antibiotic, but there was still junk in there.  His poor lungs just loves to catch infection.  So we are back on the medicine for 2 more weeks and the nebulizer is our good friend again.  I'm hoping this will get all the junk good and gone before spring allergens come in full bloom!

Even though he's sick, I do enjoy a nice day at home with my boy.  Especially when he loves such classics as these!!

I hate to complain, because I know this too shall pass, and there will be days when I long to have this time back.  So I will vamp up my time with God, enjoy my family when we are all together, and look forward to the warmer days that are near.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

I'm proud to say that I am ahead of the game as far as Valentine's Day goes.. well, it's not like I'm doing that much!  We have a busy week ahead, so I knew I needed to get things done before the craziness begins.  I don't usually decorate for Valentine's day, but for some reason, I felt like adding a little splash of love around the house.

One of my favorite verses

the mantle needs a little more.. I may add a banner, just for fun… but I may wait for next year for that

I made this over-sized heart for the front door last year, I was happy to pull it out again!

John William will be having a Valentine's party at school Friday, so I thought he needed to bring valentine's for all of his friends!

I found these melamine plates in packs of 2 in the dollar section at Target, and couldn't resist!

I then got my cheesy creative juices going (along with help from google of course) and made these tags

I was proud of my work.  I know he will soon want to pick out his own Valentine's,covered with whatever theme is popular at the time, so I had to take advantage of being able to be corny without embarrassing him!

Happy Valentine's week to you all!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Snow Days 2014

What a wild weather week we have had!!  I have to be honest, when we were told we were going to have some dusting come our way, I was secretly- well, not really secretly, wishing that we would some snow and get to have an extra day at home with my little guy by the fire!  If it's going to be so cold, I'd rather be at home all cozy!  Little did I, or anyone for that matter, know that my wish would come true! The morning started out like any other, and we were all buzzing wondering if we'd get the call to leave school early.  When the snow began to fall we took our class outside to play in it for a little while, we couldn't handle the cold too long!  We then began to notice this dusting wasn't stopping!  The snow kept falling!  It really was pretty!

that was the view out of my classroom window when it just began.  About 10:00 we got word that we would be closing at 12 and parents had been notified.  Parents began coming in, and were telling us awful stories of how slippery the roads were and of cars in ditches.  This made me very nervous!

here's the view out of the other window in my classroom.  You can't see it clear from this, but that's McFarland boulevard straight ahead, and it was already backing up.

Parents were having issues getting to the school by 12.  As was anyone trying to get anywhere!  Traffic was backed up due to high volume, driving cautiously slow, and several accidents.  About 12:45 our directors at school said that I could leave because I had John William and he was getting quite restless.  I was also alone, in that Brett was out of town.  Yep.  Happens every time there is 'inclement' weather.  April 27 tornado he was in Montgomery, last years snow day he was in Huntsville.  He had a scheduled meeting in Jackson MS and he had left early Tuesday morning.  What should have been a little over 2 hour drive for him turned into a little over 7 hours- and this was BEFORE everything got bad.  Even if Brett could've left his meeting early to come home to us, he wouldn't have been able to get home.  
While I was hesitant on leaving the school while there were still 4 children from my class still there, our directors ensured me they had spoken with their parents and they would definitely make it to them, and that they were waiting on rides from their husbands themselves.  So, John William and I left and started our adventure home!  

I was thankful he fell asleep before we even made it out of the parking lot!

but I was even more thankful I had gotten gas that morning before work.  I NEVER get gas on the way to work.  Especially when it's 18 degrees outside.  I even had issues with TWO pumps I went to and had to go to a third.  I was dangerously low on gas that morning, and while on a normal day I would've made it to a station after work-  on this day, in traffic, there is no way I would've made it home.  God led me to get gas that morning, I'm sure of it.  Being stranded in the ice/snow with an almost 2 year old, alone, with no gas was nothing I wanted to deal with.

after about an hour and half, we made it home.  This normally an 8 minute commute.  I have heard way worse stories of people in their cars much longer.  So I'll take my hour and a half!  I did slide a little, and felt my brakes lock up, but we had no major issues, and were happy to be home to stay!

this is the view from our bedroom porch… winter wonderland!

 I bundled John William up to see what he thought of the snow….

and he didn't just love it!  When we were getting in the car at school the snow was still falling, and he didn't even like that.  He doesn't love to be messy.  Finger painting, shaving cream, even some foods- he doesn't want on his hands (or feet!)  When we poured the concrete near our driveway I tried to get his handprints in it.. let me just tell you we both face planted in the we sidewalk.  He also doesn't like different textures under his feet.  Sandy beaches were not his thing last summer, as well as being barefoot in the grass.  I have to say he gets some of these traits from me as well as Brett.  He's the perfect combination of both of our weird quirks!!

so instead of freezing outside in the wet uncomfortable snow, we sat inside and watched this.  I'm thankful to Andy for helping me get some firewood cut and fire started!

I had not been to the grocery store… so dino nuggets and puffs it was for dinner!  He didn't mind!

Since Brett was gone he helped me keep our fire going!

While I didn't have groceries to make any real meals, I did find all the ingredients I needed to make my Grandmother's sour cream pound cake.  These snow days are going to make me gain 10 lbs!!

And when we began getting cabin fever, we just walked next door to the Boykins.  John William fit right in with the other kids watching the Heat basketball game.  Thankful to them for helping me while stuck home alone!

While our snow days weren't as adventurous as most, and I am thankful for that, it was still a little uneasy knowing my husband was away for 2 nights.  I've heard so much negative talk about us southerners not knowing how to handle a little snow.  Blame being placed on meteorologists and school boards.  But more than that I saw many stories of neighbors helping neighbors, strangers helping strangers, first responders going above and beyond the call of duty, and road crews working overtime to return our cities to it's normal self.  God has a way of putting us all in place at times and reminding us He is in control, and while in this crazy life we must love our neighbors.  
Brett comes home today, and John William and I are both excited about that.  My wish now… That Punxsutawney Phil does NOT see his shadow!

Monday, January 20, 2014

John William's Lungs

Well I haven't posted in 3 months.. I've just about decided to give the blog up, but I love reading others!!  I want so bad to keep it up and print at the end of the year as a scrap book for our family.. but I have failed.. oh well- better luck this year??

I know I only have a few readers,  but for those that were wondering I will fill you in on John William's lungs and recent visit to Children's Hospital.  December 2012 brought our first round of pneumonia, and to be honest, the 'junk' (as we like to call it) has yet to leave his lungs.  March of last year we had our first visit to the Pulmonary Clinic at Children's hospital and have gone back every 3 months for routine checks.  They decided John William has Middle Right Lobe syndrome which is common in young children and it is basically when the 'junk' just stays localized in that one area.  The week of Thanksgiving John William spiked a high fever along with coughing.  I took him the very next morning these symptoms started and sure enough the x-rays showed all the junk in there and we decided he had pneumonia and after results from a nose swab we found he had RSV.  We got over it after about a week, but then found ourselves back at the pediatricians office the week of Christmas with the same symptoms.  We were treated with antibiotics once again.  We had our normal Pulmonary clinic check up scheduled for January 9 and they of course knew about our most recent bouts with the pneumonia.  Our doctor decided he wanted to do a bronchoscope to go into his lung to get a better look at his airway passages, chambers of lungs, as well as getting some of the 'junk' out to get cultures on it so we'd know specifically what this junk was.  We had the procedure set for the next week in hopes he wouldn't get sick within that one week.  Of course John William stays pretty congested and has a wheeze on and off most of the time.  The day before our procedure I just knew he was going to spike a fever and we'd have to postpone.  Thankfully, even though he started acting as if it was sure enough coming, he didn't.  We were at Children's thursday morning at 6 to prepare for his 8:00 procedure and were hoping to be home by about noon.  We gave John William one last breathing treatment before they took him back to try and clear things so they could get in without any problems.  They took him back and about an hour later the doctor came in telling us everything went great.  He actually said he was shocked at how clear his airways were because of how he always sounded and due to what his lungs look like.  They explained that he has something called Malacia in his middle right lobe, which is where the cartilage is weakened in that area so that part of his lung his more floppy so it makes it that much harder to get the junk out.  There is nothing you can do for this other than get whatever the infection is in there out, and it should cure itself.  He said we would know what the infection was in a few days.  He was to be in recovery for about 30 minutes to an hour.  They called the room we were waiting in about an hour later saying that John William was fine, his oxygen just wasn't going up so they were going to keep him a little longer.  This was a side effect we were warned about.  Because he keeps a wheeze and has the lung issues anyway his oxygen level varies.  Children's likes your number to be above 92 before they let you leave, and he was staying about 88.  About 30 minutes later they called us back and told us his levels just weren't staying up so they were going to admit him so he could stay on the oxygen and wanted to  make sure it would stay up as he slept.  This was something I wasn't prepared for, so my heart sank a bit.  However I knew we were in great hands and in the best place we possibly could be in.  I'm definitely one of those better safe that sorry kind of people so I was on board 100%.  There are many many sick children at this hospital, and it is very humbling to see.  I am so thankful that for the most part John William is a very healthy boy, but walking around the corner to see your baby with tubes in his nose helping him breath is hard on a mamma- or at least on this mamma.
We got into our room and got John William to take a nap.  He started the morning at 2 liters of oxygen and by late afternoon we were on half a liter.  For a little boy that likes to just be put in his crib with the door closed, it was a long night getting him to sleep.  He sleeps much like a helicopter spinning around, this made his oxygen tubes come out, so there was about 4 times in that night that the buzzer went off because his oxygen was getting too low as he was sleeping.  We'd get it back in and he'd be fine.  When morning came the doctor took it out to see what would happen, and he would just hang out at a level of 89.  We were now on .25 of a liter- not much, but he seemed to like it.  They decided to give him some steroids to boost him up.  That made all the difference.  About an hour after that he was able to keep his oxygen at 91- even while sleeping!  we got to the magic 92 number and he stayed there the rest of the afternoon fluctuating from 91-94.  This was a good thing!  We found out that he is growing a bacteria in his middle right lobe ( a really long H word) and for that we are on a month of antibiotics, plus prednisone steroid, and his normal asthma inhaler, and breathing treatments.  We are home and doing much much better!!!!  We are very thankful for Children's hospital and all of their care.  The doctors and nurses are wonderful along with the facilities.  Again, there are many very sick children there, especially on the 10th floor pulmonary unit, we are so blessed to be on the mend.

Before the procedure.

Pops brought him a ball, which made him very happy!!

Oh how I love this little boy!

Hey!  He loved sitting in the big window.  Looking down 10 stories was a bit scary for me!  Notice he has his tube over his nose…  He surprisingly only did this about 4 times!

Sleeping.. with no oxygen!!

Coloring in the big window.  We had a great view of the new Birmingham Barons new baseball facility. 

Once we got the word we could go home, we got comfy, and he was out.  Ahh, relieve!  Thankful to the wonderful nurses and doctors.  And now thankful to be home!  We go back in April after we've taken antibiotics for a month and then off a month to see that hopefully the bacteria is gone and hasn't decided to grow back!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

At the Car Wash, yeah!

A couple weekends ago, after our Sunday afternoon naps, I talked Brett into washing  my car- that was long over due a wash!  A certain little helper saw this going on and had to get in on the action.  So, we did what anyone from South Alabama would do.. he stripped him down to his diaper and let him have a great time!  The sun was shinning hard, so I threw a swim shirt on him so his sweet fair skin wouldn't get fried!  He thought he was big stuff!

He wanted to squirt the water so badly

and did a few laps around the car

but his favorite part was 

was me filling his bucket with water...


dumping it out :)

A perfectly fun afternoon at home... with a clean car to boot!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Mrs. Sharon's Birthday

So a little out of order, but, Mrs. Sharon's birthday was at the end of August and we took a quick trip to Montgomery to visit.  Mrs. Sharon is such a special person to me, and so much more than a mother-in-law.  She has, and continues, to do so much for me, and teach me so much.  She is always there when we need her, and has come to my rescue many times!

and this little fellow sure loves his grand mamma!

Mr. Ronnie surprised Mrs. Sharon having some of her closest friends be at the Montgomery Biscuits game

and have all her children show up

I really think she was surprised!

it was a fun night celebrating Mrs. Sharon.  She is very special to so many, and blessing to everyones life that she touches!

Oh September

Where did you go???  Time sure does fly these days, and most days we feel as if we are running through a revolving door, that I know will only spin faster as John William gets older and more involved in activities, and we will love every minute of it I'm sure.  I'll try to get caught up on September, so here comes blog over load this weekend (hopefully!)

September starts with MY birthday!  Yes, I'm still like a little kid when it comes to my birthday and get so very excited!  This year it fell on a Saturday, and after many weekends of going, going, going, I was  very excited to just sit at home with my sweet family of 3 that morning and have friends and family over for dinner that night.  In the Paulk family you get to pick whatever meal you want for your birthday, and Mrs. Sharon will make it happen, something I hope to continue for John William!

On Saturdays Brett gets up with John William (which is usually around 7:30, so thankfully not too early), so when my birthday fell on a Saturday it was a wonderful morning to sleep in!  Once we were all up and moving around we decided to go to the park that is just down the street from our house.

it was a beautiful morning, not too hot and felt wonderful in the shade!

I think all children are programmed to go up the slide automatically!

but going down is so much fun too!

it was a great morning!  We then ate lunch and went home and spent some much needed time together! Family and friends came over for dinner, and really was the perfect day.  Although this is the last year of my 20's, I am so thankful to be growing another year older.  Every year brings new challenges, adventures, and blessings.  I look forward to ending this decade of life and starting the next with the ones I love!