Wednesday, December 31, 2008

He's home again

Rubin is back home, and this time we are determined that it's for good! Tomorrow starts a new year, and our goal is for it to be a healthy one! They have given him better medication to manage his pain this time, and he was on them for 18 hours at the hospital with nothing else before they sent home. He is still going to have some pain and discomfort, but hopefully this time around we can keep it under control and tolerable. We have a long weekend with me home to help take care of him before I have to go back to work on Monday, and hopefully by then he will be feeling a little better. Tonight we are just going to hang out here and watch movies, and probably fall asleep by 10 and miss the ball drop but oh well.
We wish all of you a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Things are going much better today. The surgeon saw him again this morning and explained things much better. Basically he was never ready to go home in the first place, which most of us were skeptical about. They had told him 5-7 days in the hospital after surgery, and then they sent him home after 3 and 1/2 days. He had been on some pretty serious pain medication (dilauded, which is 5x stronger than morphine) the entire time he was there. They had him skip on dose on Sat morning and he did okay so they sent him home on vicodin. The surgeon explained today that the dilauded can stay in your system for up to 24 hours, so as that was working its way out of his system, the pain started to come back and vicodin was nowhere near strong enough to keep it under control. They are trying some different things now - a patch and a different pill that he can go home with, and he is back on the dilauded until things are under control again. He is trying to wean himself off of it, and once he can go 24 hours without it he can go home. He was able to skip a dose this afternoon, but then needed it tonight. He is going to try going the day tomorrow without it and see how things go.
Other than that, they say everything looks like it is healing correctly and he is doing good.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Well, the good news is that the surgeon says it's not an abscess. She said there is a very small pocket of fluid under the incision, which is normal with surgery and nothing to be concerned about. They are still giving him antibiotics to see if it helps, but cannot get the pain under control. Nobdy seems to have an explanation as to why he is hurting so badly. They are consulting a pain specialist to see if they can change the treatment and find something that works, but the nurse told us that it can take 24 hours for someone to actually come see him. Hopefully they can get in here and figure it all out soon.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Neverending Story...

is a great movie, by the way, but unfortunately the saga of Rubin continues. He came home yesterday and was doing really well. He was able to get up and down on his own and was feelng pretty minimal pain. This morning he woke up and was miserable. He was in severe pain and could not get out of bed without screaming. We called the doctor a couple of times but nothing she suggested helped at all, so we came back to the hospital once again. They did a CT scan in the ER and found a pocket of fluid forming under the incision, which usually means an abscess. The surgeon will be in tomorrow to talk to us about what to do next, but it sounds like they will have to go back in there and drain it. He is still in a ton of pain but hopefully they can get it under control enough for him to get some sleep. Will update tomorrow.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Rubin gets to come home today!! I just got out of the shower and am heading to the hospital in a few minutes. He still has a long way to go before he is healed, but he is doing good enough to come home and finish his recovery here. He is excited to get to spend some time with my family before they leave tomorrow, and he is soooo glad to get to see Brayden, but we are a little nervous about how we are going to keep Brayden away from his stomach. At least there will be a few extra sets of hands around today to help keep him occupied. It has been a crazy week and a very strange Christmas, but we are focusing on the positives. Although we have had several struggles this year, we have been blessed in so many ways and still have it better than a lot of other people do.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Rubin

So it's been a crazy couple of days and I haven't even touched a computer until now, so here is the surgery update. They took him in around 4:00 on Tuesday for surgery and everything went well. The doctor seemed encouraged by the way things went and said it was better than he expected. They had to remove 8 inches of his small intestine, which isn't bad - they were predicting possibly a foot or more. He seems to think that this should take care of the problem for a long time, and he said that the majority of the people who have this surgery never have another one. We are hoping Rubin will be part of that group. Tuesday night was pretty rough - he was in a ton of pain after coming back up to the room from recovery and it took them several hours to get the pain under control. He's not a fan of the anesthesiologist who made the decision to switch his pain meds from what the surgeon had ordered but they finally got everything straightened out and everyone was here apologizing on Wed morning. They removed most of his tubes today so he is down to just an IV, and has gotten up a couple of days today to walk around. He looks a lot better today than he did yesterday, and are hoping tomorrow is even better. He should get to start a liquid diet tomorrow - he has had nothing but ice chips for the past 2 days.
My family is in from Arkansas, so I have been splitting time at home with them and here at the hospital with Rubin. He is pretty bummed that he had to miss Christmas and Brayden opening presents, but he also didn't want to make Brayden wait to open them, so I video taped everything and then had Rubin watch it all this morning. We are saving/freezing a lot of his favorite foods for when he is feeling better, and are celebrating Christmas with his family sometime in the next week or 2 so he will get to be around for that which is good.
Things should settle down a little over the next couple of days so I will try to be better about updating. I have a picture of his incision - 15 staples. I won't post it to spare those with weak stomachs...
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Our second home...

So Rush-Copley hospital has become a new hangout for the Chrisman family. Rubin has been in a lot of pain again this weekend (he actually spent all day yesterday curled up in a ball on the couch). He went to his GI doctor today for a follow-up appointment from the last time he was in the hospital (about a week and 1/2 ago) and the doctor sent him straight from his office to the hospital. They have decided to do surgery tomorrow to remove the portion of his small intestine that keeps causing him problems. The good news is that with the majority of patients who have this surgery, the symptoms of Crohn's go away for long periods of time - in some people forever. For others the problem just moves up to a different section and they have to go through the same stuff all over again. We are hoping that this will heal him in the long run and that he can go on living normally and not have to worry about ending up in the hospital every few weeks with severe pain.
The bad news is that he will have to be in the hospital for 5-7 days, which means he will be here through Christmas, and that he will have to be out of work for 4-6 weeks. Please pray for his surgery to go well tomorrow and that he has a speedy recovery!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Back in the Christmas spirit...

My mom called yesterday to let me know that my family is coming up here for Christmas!! My entire family - Mom, Dad, Tara, Kaitlyn, 4 month old Bailee are driving over 12 hours on Tuesday to come see me, and they are flying my brother up (he has to work and can't stay as long as them). My mom is baking and bringing food, and planning to cook us a Christmas dinner on Christmas. She said that if I can't go home for Christmas, they are going to bring Christmas to me. I am so excited and can't wait for them to get here!!
On another note, today is mine and Rubin's 4 year anniversary. He is amazing. We had agreed that we are not buying each other anything since we just got new furniture and that is our anniversary/Christmas/my birthday present. I came home from work today to a completely spotless house, with laundry even done! With everything that has been going on lately, I have definitely been neglecting the housework. Being able to lay here on the couch right now and not feel guilty because I should be doing something else is the most amazing feeling.
I love my husband more and more every day and the past 4 years have been the best 4 years of my life. He is the best husband and father I could ever ask for and I am so blessed to have him by my side every day. I don't brag about him enough and I want everyone to know how much I love him!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Holidays

We have just recently found out that we can't go to Arkansas for Christmas this year. We alternate Christmas and Thanksgiving each year between here and Arkansas, and this year was our year to spend Christmas with my family, but life has a way of getting in the way of plans. Rubin has spent 9 of the last 25 days in the hospital, and has had to use several vacation days to do so (sounds like a fun vacation, huh?), so he doesn't have enough time left to go down there. My blood pressure has been elevated at my past few appointments and the doctors are keeping a close eye on me to make sure it doesn't cause any complications. The doctor told me this morning that he doesn't think a 12+ hour drive is a good idea and advised me not to go. I'm having a hard time with it but there's not really anything we can do about it. I'm trying to convince my family to come up here and spend a few days after Christmas but I'm not getting my hopes up. I guess I need to make an attempt to finish decorating the tree and hang up our stockings since we're going to be here now. I'm just having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Back to "Normal"

This will probably be my last Rubin update for a while and then my blog will be back to my stupid stories. He went to a new doctor today and he really likes him. They took him off of 2 of the medications b/c he was taking 2 steroids and 2 anti-inflammatory drugs and he said there is no reason to be on all of them. He also reduced the dosage of the steroid he is on, which will be tapered off until he isn't taking it anymore. There is one drug they want him to stay on long-term, but he has no long term diet restrictions at all - just low fiber for another week or 2 until he is healed completely.
On another note - Brayden lost a toy car yesterday and when I asked him where it went, he said "Ugh...Cameron took it". How does he know to already blame things on his brother - he's not even born yet!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

He's Home!!!

Rubin was finally released today around 12:30. We just got home after picking Brayden up from his parents and filling his EIGHT prescriptions. He is feeling great. When I got to the hospital to pick him up, he was standing in his room with everything packed up and was practically singing and dancing. I'm pretty sure that if the nurse had taken 5 minutes longer he just would have ripped the IV out of his arm and left on his own. They gave him a copy of all of his medical records so he can take them to a new doctor when he leaves. The only thing we don't have is the biopsy result that confirms that he has Crohn's. I am getting ready to sort through his medications and read the instructions to compile a spreadsheet for him. One has to be taken an hour before he eats, another has to be taken on a full stomach, one can't have any exposure to alcohol (not just drinking but like salad dressings, wine sauces and even aftershave - no exposure at all), and one of the steroids is like 4 pills a day for 2 weeks, then 3 pills for a week, etc until he weans himself off. Thank you for all of your prayers! I am so excited to have my hubby home!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

He just texted me and said they have moved him back to clear liquids because he is experiencing pain since being on full liquids. I just called him and he is getting very frustrated and says that if they don't release him tomorrow he's breaking out. Hopefully the doctor will have better news in the morning. Please pray that he is able to come home. He is very anxious to see a different doctor - we both agree that this guy is not someone we would ever choose to see again, but right now feel that we are stuck with him until he gets out of the hospital. He is going to ask the nurses if there is anyone else there that he can see instead, but at this point we don't know if that will happen.
Things have been going pretty well today. Rubin went for over 12 hours without any pain medication, so the steroids are obviously working. He has progressed to a full liquid diet and has added cream of potato soup and ice cream to the other things he was eating. Since switching to those, he has started to have a little more pain, but the nurses say that is normal because the area is still inflamed - it's getting better but not healed yet. They are still saying that he can probably go home tomorrow. He is determined for that to happen, so I hope they don't change anything and decide he needs one more day. Thank you all so much for the prayers - they are obviously working because we weren't planning on him getting to come home until Monday or Tuesday! It looks like he might even get to have turkey on Thanksgiving now! I will update tomorrow once we know something - they don't have a time frame yet for when the doctor will be by to decide if he gets released or not but we are hoping for late morning/early afternoon.

Good News!

The GI doctor just came in to check on him. He is progressing him to a full liquid diet, and said that he is going to keep him on oral steroids for probably a month to make sure they get all of the inflammation gone. He will be on a low fiber diet for at least 2 weeks once he goes home and will have to follow up with several doctors visits to determine the other ways they will treat the Crohn's. We are not a fan of this doctor, so Rubin is planning to follow up with someone else once he leaves here...which could be TOMORROW!! We were planning on Tuesday, so if he could go home tomorrow that would be wonderful. We still have to talk to the other doctor (who will interpret what this GI doc actually said to us - he is horrible at explaining things) and she should be by anytime. If anyone knows of a good GI specialist please share! It sounds like Rubin will have to become good friends with one from now on...

Friday

So far this morning he is feeling much better. I got here around 8:30 and he was up and on the computer. He said he slept like a baby last night, so they either didn't come in as much throughout the night, or they did and he slept through it. His pain is much better, and he just scarfed down 2 popsicles and some jello. We are watching Oprah now, and when it's over he wants to go take a shower. He is really hoping for the ice cream, and I'm sure they'll let him move up to the full liquids since he is doing so much better today. Hopefully the doctor will come in sometime this morning/early afternoon and give us an update. I'm not sure how they are going to monitor if his inflammation is going down - they are taking his blood daily, so I'm sure they are using that to monitor it, but I don't know if they'll do another set of x-rays in a couple of days to be able to see everything.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday recap

They have started Rubin on the steroids and so far today he has been able to eat jello, chicken broth, and a popsicle. He has actually had 2 "helpings" of each so that's good. He seems to have an appetite again and is able to eat those without feeling nauseous. Hopefully tomorrow they will progress him to a full liquid diet (he is still currently on clear liquids) and he can add pudding, yogurt, ice cream, and various other things to the mix. He is very ready for that to happen and can't wait for ice cream! I know they are treating him as Crohn's and everyone is pretty certain that's what it is, but I still would like to have the official test results so we know for sure what is going on. It hopefully won't be too much longer before we know.
I'm home tonight with Brayden and will be taking him to daycare in the morning and heading back to the hospital. I feel bad leaving him there alone with no one to talk to and nothing to do, but we need to make sure Brayden has some sort of a normal routine for at least a couple of days. I brought Brayden to see him at the hospital and he did better tonight than he did on Tuesday. He keeps saying "Daddy's too sick" and doesn't seem to really like hanging out in the hospital room, but he stayed for about an hour tonight and did okay. I'll take him back over a few times this weekend. Rubin really misses him.

The "Good" Doctor

Shortly after the GI doctor left, the hospital doctor (the one we really like!) came in to check on him. She had just talked to the GI doc in the hallway to get the update. They have both decided after looking at the barium that it is best to go ahead and start the steroid so the inflammation and pain doesn't get worse. She said that typical steroid treatment includes 5 days in the hospital, and then they send you home with a pill steroid and you slowly wean yourself off. Again, the 5 days is the "typical" time period, so we could be looking at more or less time. She said that he should be able to notice a difference in the way he feels in a day or so, so that's good. It sounds like an actual diagnosis is still days away, but since he is in a monitored setting, they feel comfortable with starting the steroids anyway. The nurse said she will check, but they will probably give him the first dosage at either 12 or 2, and he will get it every 6-8 hours after that.

Doc 2

The GI doc just came back in and said that the barium tests shows severe inflammation in the small intestine, which is exactly what he saw in the colonoscopy. He said there is also another spot in the lower part of the SI that is pretty inflamed. The upper portion looks okay. They are going to start him on the steroid, which should help the inflammation. He just said that they will keep him for a few more days, but when we asked about the 5 days he said that it depends on how well he responds to the steroid treatment. If he responds well to it and it starts to work, he may be able to go home sooner than that. I guess the 5 days is a worst-case scenario and they just wanted to prepare us for that. He said the pain is being caused by the fact that his intestine is so inflamed and swollen, and anytime anything gets near the affected portion, it causes irritation and pain. They still have not confirmed that it is Crohn's because the biopsy and blood test results are not back yet.

Doc

The GI specialist just stopped in to check on him. He still hasn't read the barium test results, so he didn't have any updates. He was just checking in on his pain since they called him about the additional pain medication last night. We asked him about the steroids, and he just said "it depends". I don't think he wants to give us anything definite until he has the test results back. He is going to read the test results and will come back later today.

What day is it again?

I think it's Thursday, right? So far this morning we're just hanging out. Rubin asked the nurse this morning what time they thought the doctor would be here so he will know if he has to be here another 5 days, and they said that it's already been determined that he will be. I guess his charts have already been updated to prepare for that, but without the "official" diagnosis I don't think the doctor wanted to tell us that it's a for sure thing. The GI specialist should be in sometime today late morning/early afternoon and we should get a definite answer from him.
Right now he is comfortable and looks and sounds pretty good. The pain medication they had been giving him was a kind that works immediately, but then wears off after about an hour, but he can only have it every 3 hours. Last night the nurse called the doctor and they are now also giving him Vicodin in between the shots of the other pain meds to keep him comfortable. He has just ordered Jello for breakfast but hasn't tried eating it yet because he's too busy sending emails and working. He is very anxious about missing another 5 days of work, but his boss is awesome and I think she is helping put his mind at ease. I will update again after we see the doctor or if anything else exciting happens.

And I just realized that by posting this, it now takes up more than an entire page of my blog. If you are just now "tuning in", go to the bottom and click "Older Posts" to start from the beginning and work your way up.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Goodnight!

I'm going to sleep. Rubin is watching the Bulls game and I'm sure he will pass out before too much longer. We will see the doctor sometime tomorrow morning. I'll be back to blogging tomorrow...check back for the latest info. Again, thank you all so much for your prayers and support. Goodnight!

Doctor Update

The general doctor came by and gave him a TB test. She said that they will have the preliminary results by tomorrow to determine if it is Crohn's. She said he has a lot of ulcers and they are really bad. "If" it is Crohn's, he is in the middle of a pretty major flare-up, which will need to be treated with steroids. She said they should know by tomorrow if they can start steroid treatment or not. If they do, he will need to be on an IV steroid for 5 days, which means he will be here in the hospital for another 5 days. He was pretty bummed to hear that and is worried about missing that much work, but understands that he has to get better. This doctor seemed pretty confident that that is what will happen. We will see what the GI doctor says tomorrow.

He's Back again...

He had the barium test and chest x-ray. He said it was a little frustrating, because he had just gotten back from the colonoscopy and they told him he shouldn't get up and try to walk on his own b/c he was still under the effects of the anesthesia. Then he got downstairs for the barium test and they made him drink more junk and walk around for 15 mins, which was still uncomfortable and painful. He was gone for over 2 1/2 hours getting those tests done and we should have the results of them tomorrow. They have started him on medication for Crohn's and on an antibiotic for the infection. The doctor (not the GI specialist, but just the regular hospital dr) came by to see him while he was gone so she should be back any minute now. He has finally had the chance to lay back down and rest, but they have told him there is more bloodwork to be done so not to get too comfortable. The doctor will also do a TB test to rule that out. The nurse said that it's possible he could go home tomorrow, but he will have to make some very major improvements between now and then for that to happen. My guess is he will still be here tomorrow night but let's hope and pray for a quick recovery! I'll update again after the doctor comes in.

2:45 pm - He's Back!

He's back and the doctor just came in. His colon looks good, but his small intestine is very inflamed and swollen to the point that nothing can get through. They won't have the biopsy results for another 2-3 days. He will be here again definitely overnight tonight and will be on a liquid only diet. They are going to start him on medication to reduce the inflammation and are going to do more tests to rule out other possibilities. They are still pretty sure it's Crohn's. They just came up to get him to take him down for a chest x-ray and a barium test. The barium test will hopefully show the inside of his small intestine better - they could not get the scope through in the colonoscopy b/c of the swelling. The chest x-ray is just a precaution to make sure he doesn't have pneumonia or some other infection. Once he gets back from there, they will do blood work. If the antibiotic does not reduce the swelling and relieve his pain, then they will try a steroid to see if that helps. He will be in the hospital until he is able to keep down food and his pain is under control. The doctor will be back in the morning to talk about the results of these other tests. I guess at this point it's still a waiting game. They kind of threw a lot of information at us all at once, so I'm sure I'm leaving something out. I will update as I remember things, and feel free to ask questions - I will answer them the best I can.

Update 1:45pm

They just came and got him and said he should be back in 30-45 minutes. I'm going to eat while he's gone - the poor guy is hungry and wants a cheeseburger/chicken fingers (although I'm sure that's the last thing they would advise him to eat at this point) so I don't want to eat in front of him. Will update with fun stories of the crazy things he says while drugged up!

Update 12:30pm

The nurse just gave him another dose of pain meds and said that it will probaly be another 1/2 hour before they come get him. So I guess now we're looking at him being out sometime around 2:00 and will hopefully see the doctor shortly after that with the results.

Rubin

Most of you already know, and some don't, that Rubin is in the hospital. I have been trying to follow up with everyone's emails and phone calls but I don't remember who I have told what to. I will try to update here anytime we hear something new so you can all look to one place for the latest. First, I will start this one from the beginning so everyone can be caught up:

Monday: Rubin woke up that morning and was sick and throwing up. We thought it was just a stomach bug and went on about our day - I went to work and he actually even went to a meeting. I had a meeting scheduled for Mon night but stopped by on my way home to check on him. He was still throwing up, had a fever and chills, and had a very sharp pain in his stomach. It was mostly on the right side so I was concerned about his appendix and we decided to come to the ER. We came to Rush Copley and they did an ultrasound to check his gall bladder and it came back fine, so they did a cat scan to check his kidney and appendix, and both of them were also fine, but they noticed some inflammation in his small intestine and wanted to do more testing. He said that they could send him home and do outpatient tests, but since he was in so much pain they wanted to keep him overnight so he could stay comfortable. I think we finally got this news sometime after midnight. I finally went home to sleep for a few hours (we live across the street from the hospital).

Tuesday: A GI specialist came to see him early in the morning, and I missed him b/c I was home showering and getting ready to come back over for the day. They scheduled a colonoscopy for Wed. He said it could just be an infection that can be treated with antibiotics, but they have to rule out anything more serious. He mentioned Crohn's disease as a possibility. Later Tues afternoon the general hospital doctor came in to see him. She said that from looking at the cat scan, it looks like Crohn's to her. She said there is a partial blockage of his small intestine, and that is most likely what is causing him so much pain. The other problems she said look like they have been there for a long time and he has just never recognized that he has had symptoms. Most of the day Tues was just spent sitting and waiting. He is on pain and nausea medication and an IV. He hasn't had anything to eat since Sunday and tried to eat a little italian ice yesterday (one of the approved "clear liquid diet" items) and he felt sick after just a couple of bites, so he hasn't tried anything else. He had to drink a gallon of the fun colon cleansing stuff last night as prep for the colonoscopy today.

Wednesday: So far this morning we are just waiting for the procedure. He is scheduled to go in at 12:30 for the prep and they said it shouldn't take more than an hour. They will do a colonoscopy and several biopsies, and this should tell them anything they need to know. They have said that he could possibly go home today, but it doesn't sound like he will be able to. Since he hasn't had anything to eat in 3 days, they are going to have to start him off with a clear liquid diet and gradually progress to solid foods, and he can't go home until he is able to keep them down. He is also still in severe pain so that is still a concern.

I will update more after we hear the results of the procedure - probably sometime this afternoon. If you are like everyone else I have talked to and are saying "What is Crohn's disease? I've heard of it but don't know what it is", check out this website. http://mayoclinic.com/health/crohns-disease/DS00104
I have obviously been reading a lot about it the past few days and I think this is the best website to give the basic info and isn't so scientific that you can't understand it.

I have my laptop and they have free wi-fi, so feel free to email etc. I'll be here all day. We appreciate all of your prayers and are just very anxious to find an answer and know what the next step will be.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Layouts

Why do I lose my thingy on the side every time I change my layout/background? I save the blogs I read there for a reason - because I don't know the websites individually. I changed my background today, going for a more "fall" look, and had to go find everyone's blogs again and set up the list. I am going to want to change it again in a couple of weeks for Christmas - how do I keep this from happening next time?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Survey Results

It was super close, and over 75 people voted, which is crazy! Thank you to everyone who voted and we are really excited with the winning name! We have both always really liked the name Tyler, and it has been one of our top choices as a first name with both kids. Since Rubin says we aren't having any more kids, I'm glad we are going to use it now.

1. Which name do you like best? Think of all 3 names together, and please vote only once!! :)

Cameron Tyler Chrisman 27.6% 21
Cameron Carter Chrisman 17.1% 13 (We still really think this one is cute)
Cameron Evan Chrisman 5.3% 4
Cameron Jordan Chrisman 7.9% 6
Cameron Ryan Chrisman 26.3% 20 (Soooo close!)
Cameron Richard Chrisman 18.4% 14 (Sorry Daddy, but you got a lot of votes!!)

answered question 76

Big Boy Party

Today we had a "Big Boy Party" for Brayden. Yes, our 3 and 1/2 year old has still been sleeping (note, sleeping only) with a pacifier. He was really having a hard time giving it up, so we decided to make it a big production. Anytime he gets a balloon, he wants to let it go and watch it fly, so we decided to tie the paci to a balloon and send it flying. We have been talking about it for a couple of weeks to get him ready for it and he was really excited. We decided that today would be the day so we have all weekend to deal with the crankiness before he has to go back to daycare and we have to go to work. We made a big deal out of him being a big boy and had a little party to celebrate. He got a cake and a new toy. Now we're praying that it goes over well. I know that he will still ask for it when he goes to bed, but we're hoping that instead of telling him "No, you can't have it anymore" or "We threw it away", the explanation that it flew away with the balloons and is up in the clouds now will go over a little better, especially since he watched it disappear. Pray that I get some sleep these next few nights - I'm already having a hard enough time sleeping as it is...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'm on a mission....

to find the perfect diaper bag this time around. I absolutely hated the one we had with Brayden, and we ended up using a backpack. Rubin loves the backpack and wants to use it again, and I'm fine with him doing that, but I want something a little bit cuter and easier for me to carry around. I know what I'm looking for but can't find anything. I'm having a little more luck online, but I can't tell how big they are when I'm looking at a picture. I am starting my search now so that if I end up ordering one online and don't like it, I will have time to send it back and get another one. I'm afraid I may end up doing this more than once, but we'll se how it goes. I want 2 straps (like a purse or tote), no flap over the top (just a zipper, tie, magnet, anything), and plenty of pockets for bottles, diapers, my keys, wallet, etc. I don't want to have to carry a diaper bag and a purse - I want it all in one. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know! I've become obsessed.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween....

is finally over!! Now it's time to move on to the good holidays - Thanksgiving and Christmas! Spending time with family, watching football, and eating good food - how can you go wrong with that?
I had not planned on dressing up for Halloween, and said that if I did I would put very little effort into my costume. Well, on my way home from work yesterday my sister mentioned an idea that she had seen online, and my plans changed. I started working at about 8:30 last night and then woke up at 6:00 am to go to work and finish my master design. I went as a "Bun in the Oven".

Brayden was Thomas the Train and he finally figured out what this whole trick-or-treating thing was all about. He had a lot of fun but didn't last too long before he was ready to go home. He enjoyed handing out candy to the other kids and it was really cute.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Baby Name Poll!!

Follow this link and vote on our baby's name!

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=Y4f8SnBEYqd7g4I46lHOwQ_3d_3d

By request, the names are:
Cameron Tyler Chrisman
Cameron Carter Chrisman
Cameron Jordan Chrisman
Cameron Evan Chrisman
Cameron Ryan Chrisman
Cameron Richard Chrisman

I'll give an update in a couple of days and let you know which name is in the lead!

Jack-O-Lantern


I decided that I wanted to carve a pumpkin with Brayden yesterday. We went to Wal-Mart and bought a pumpkin and a carving kit and he was all excited...and then he laid his head down in the cart and said he was tired and wanted to go to bed. I expected him to just crash and not contribute at all, but he was a trooper and wanted to "help" and stayed with me through the entire process. He didn't help much. I thought I could get him to help clean out all of the seeds, but he said it was yucky and wouldn't touch it. He wanted to make a "silly face pumpkin" so we free-handed it and didn't use any of the stensils that came with the kit. He helped me decide what shapes to use for the eyes, nose and ears and then we started carving. I haven't carved a pumpkin since I was a kid, and I don't think I realized how much work it is! Brayden did help at times and he seemed to really have fun. He was so proud and couldn't wait to show his daddy when he got home. It was fun bonding experience.

With that being said...I hate Halloween and can't wait for it to be over. Only 2 more days! I am ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I very much prefer the holidays where I get to spend quality time with my family and eat lots of good food. November will be here on Saturday!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Arkansas Adventures

Brayden and I have been in Arkansas at my parents house since Friday and Brayden has experienced some fun things since we've been here. On Friday we took him to a state park and he got to see all of the fun animals and then feed the ducks and fish at the pond. He also "helped" my dad, who has a bum ankle, walk the walking trail.

Yesterday we went to my aunt's house. Brayden jumped on the trampoline with his cousins and we spent a lot of time down at the pond. He caught his first fish, rode on a paddle boat, rode a 4 wheeler and played in the mud. He had so much fun and really enjoyed playing and getting dirty. This is what I did growing up and I hate that he doesn't really get the opportunity to do things like that all the time. I guess that's one more thing about going to Nana's that makes it that much more special.







Sunday, September 14, 2008

Brayden-isms of the week



So this week (like most) has been full of funny stories about Brayden. Each day I have meant to post a blog but never got around to it, so here is a summary:
  • We drove his car around the block. We had to stop every 5-10 feet to "put gas in it", which meant putting grass in it. The normal 15 minute walk around the block took almost an hour, but at least it was a nice day


  • We came home from the store the other day, and he was upset that my van was wet from the rain. Before I realized it, he had found a used paper towel in the garage and proceeded to dry it off



  • Tonight we were in bed reading Brown Bear, and when we got to the goldfish page, he asked if he could ride a dolphin. He had seen a Discovery Cove commercial earlier today and somehow this triggered that he needed to ride one.


  • At some point this week, he developed an obsession with "chocolate" (snack pack pudding, which he had never eaten before in his life), and carried one of the containers around for an entire day kissing it and "keeping it safe". He did finally try one and actually ate some of it.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Last Fling

So last night we took Brayden to Naperville's Last Fling. He had never been to a carnival before, so we just kept telling him we had a surprise for him (worked great as bribery to take a nap!). We weren't really sure how he would handle it - at first he seemed scared to death but then he wanted to fight through the crowd of people to be the first in line. He didn't quite get the concept of having to have tickets to ride things, or that only so many kids could fit on one ride at a time. He seemed to think that it was just like going to the parkWe were starting to get frustrated with him and were just going to take him home, but after seeing his face once he finally got on a ride it was all worth it! He had so much fun and really enjoyed everything he rode on. He still struggled with waiting in line, but I think it's just because he was soooo excited!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Prayer

Wow - 2 blogs in one night!! And I very rarely blog at all...
We just sat down with Brayden to say his goodnight prayers. Here is what he had to say:
"Thank you Jesus for my Sharon" (his daycare teacher)
"Thank you for the store. I got a cookie."
"Thank you for my friends."
"Love you Jesus. Goodnight Jesus. Amen."
Nice to know he is thankful for his wonderful parents!!!

Adventures in Savannah

We went to Savannah Georgia this past weekend for Dave's wedding. The wedding itself was beautiful and wonderful, but the weekend was filled with story after story. Here is the abbreviated version (it would be pages for me to give all details):
Thurs 8am - My sister calls to tell me she thinks she's in labor (she isn't due until 8/25). Her water didn't "break" like normal, but it seemed to be leaking out. She went to the hospital and was told her water did not break and they sent her home. Our flight left at 1:30 and the trip down there was pretty uneventful.
Fri 8am - My mom calls to tell me my sister is having her baby - they had gone to the hospital in the middle of the night and found out she had been leaking amniotic fluid for an entire day. Everything went well and my new neice Bailee Laine Proctor was born around 11:30 am.
Fri 6pm - The boys are at the rehearsal, and Laura, Lauren and I are having appetizers on the 13th floor (thanks to Brad being a Hilton Honors member!). We see a fire out the window several blocks away. Someone turns on the news - it is an underground electrical fire. The power goes out. We walk down 10 flights of stairs to our room and attempt to get ready with no electricity or air conditioner (in 90 degree, 90% humidity Savannah weather).
Fri 8pm - We walk several blocks to the rehearsal dinner b/c the street the restaurant is on was closed down b/c of the fire. The restaurant is on the 2nd floor. It has no power. Dinner was by candlelight, with no a/c. The food was amazing.
Fri 10pm - We get back to the hotel, which still has no power and are told it will not be back on until noon Sat. We gather a few clothes by flashlight and go find another hotel.
Sat am - Power is still not on at the Hilton, which is where the reception is planned for that night. They have to come up with a back up plan. Luckily the power comes back on around 11:30. We go back and get ready for wedding.
Sat after wedding - We run back to the room before heading up to the reception and cannot get in. They replaced the lock earlier that afternoon and it closed itself when we left. We had maintenance get us back in the room, only to then be locked in b/c the lock was put on crooked nad was sticking. I had them rip the whole thing off - we didn't use it anyway.
Sun 12am - Will calls Rubin. He had gone out with some friends after the reception (we headed to bed) and witnessed a robbery at a convenience store. He has to tackle the guy and hold him on the ground until the police got there. He leaves and 2 blocks down the street watches a Jeep hit a guy on a motorcycle and then drive away. He gets the description of the vehicle and calls the police. He was the Savannah Superhero of the weekend.
Sun - fairly normal day...took a trolley tour of the city. Witnessed a drug deal in the middle of the street.
Sun 11pm - Board the plane to head home. Pilot leaves. Flight attendants tell us our pilots were needed to fly another plane, and unfortunately they can't turn the air on w/out a pilot in the cockpit. We sat there for over an hour before they finally found someone to fly our plane. It was getting difficult to breathe.
Mon 2am - Finally get home, think we are getting to sleep in for at least a little while
Mon 5am - Phone rings. Rubin's parents had watched Brayden overnight on Sunday. My sister-in-law had gone into labor and they were going to the hospital and needed us to come get Brayden.
Mon 8am - I called into work b/c I was dead. We drove to the city to see the twins...2 more new neices, Claire and Jillian!
Mon 1pm - Get home, eat lunch, leave for doctor's appt.
Mon 9pm - Finally got sleep!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Babe...

So Rubin and I often call each other "babe", especially when we are yelling from one room to another asking a question. Brayden obviously hears us, and now thinks that both of our names are Babe. He will just casually ask one of us "Hey babe, can I have some juice?" Most of the time he has only done this at home, and we think it is cute so we don't really correct him, but he is starting to do it more often. This morning we were sitting on the couch and he asked Rubin something, and called him babe. I explained to him that his name is not Babe, it's Daddy, and he looked me in the eyes and said "No, that's Babe." I hope it is just a phase?

Friday, August 8, 2008

TV Night

Tonight I am laying on the couch watching TV. There are a million other things I should be doing, but I'm tired and it's Friday. Right now I'm watching the Olympics Opening Ceremonies and it is amazing. I haven't watched the Olympics in years, but used to love them as a kid, especially the summer ones since I was home from school and could watch them all day long. Once I get bored with this (which may be a while from now), I have to watch the finale of So You Think You Can Dance. It didn't come on until 11 last night because of the Bears game, so I still don't know who won and have been avoiding the news all day in case I accidentally saw it somewhere! I hope it's Joshua!

Friday, August 1, 2008

What a day...

So I had to take the day off today to stay home with Brayden because his daycare is closed. We had a pretty busy day. We had a patio poured today, so they were here at 7:30 to get started, and Brayden was in heaven. There was a truck, a tractor, and a dump truck at our house and he loved it. He didn't really like the fact that he couldn't ride the tractor, but he just stood at the door watching them work. Then we left and drove up to Carol Stream to meet some people from work for lunch because today was Sara's last day. I normally would be thrilled to have to stay home from work on a Friday but I was really sad that I couldn't be there today because we are really close. They did a little going away party for her this afternoon and I missed it, but at least we got to be there for lunch. Then Brayden fell asleep on the way home and wouldn't go back to sleep when we got home, so his nap was about 20 minutes today, which leaves me with a cranky kid for the rest of the day. Then, to top it off, he attempted to eat his first booger. I freaked out and was able to successfully dig it out of his mouth, but then I spent the next 5 minutes gagging and trying not to throw up. Now when I'm done folding this load of laundry (gag), we have to go to the grocery store because I have no food in my house. And it's only 5 o'clock...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Minivan

We finally broke down and bought a minivan...and I'm actually excited! I'm a little bummed that the doors don't open by pushing a button, but I don't think it will kill me to open them myself. It has plenty of room for us, both kids, and a few other people. I guess I'm officially a lame "soccer mom" (even though Brayden doesn't play soccer), but I'm proud of it!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fireworks

I think I have traumatized my child. Last night we went to Cerny Park in Warrenville to enjoy the festival and fireworks. We thought that Brayden would be old enough this year to watch them without freaking out. We talked to him all day to prepare him for the fact that fireworks are loud, but they are very pretty and they don't hurt so there is no reason to be scared. With the first one that went off (from someone's yard down the road, not even the real ones), he was in Bonnie's lap trembling. She held him and covered his ears and he buried his face in her chest. I don't think he ever saw a firework. He begged them to stop, but we couldn't get him out of her lap to get him to the car so we could leave. We kept telling him that he was safe with Grandma and they would be over soon.
This morning I woke up with him sitting in my bed. I told him good morning, and he said, "No more fireworks. You're safe with Grandma. Fireworks are over." All day long he has randomly repeated the same thing. He obviously is still terrified, but at least he knows he is safe with Grandma! I don't think we'll try fireworks again with him for a while. Some people just really don't like the loud noise and I'm pretty sure he'll be one of those people for a long time.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Lake Geneva

This weekend was amazing. Words can't even describe the house we stayed in...I'll post pictures later on this week. It was 6800 square feet of "a cottage" on the lake: 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, a casita (with another bed/bath), an apartment over the garage, 6 indoor fireplaces, 2 outdoor ones, a hot tub with waterfall, pool table, ping pong, boat, wave runner....the list goes on and on and on. Rubin's parents are really good friends with the couple who own the house (this is their vacation home, not their everyday house) and they set aside one weekend a year for our entire family to come up and stay. Brayden had a blast and experienced his first boat ride. He wouldn't step foot in the lake, but we turned the temp down in the hot tub and turned it into a kiddie pool - it was perfect!
I am also very blessed to have such wonderful in-laws. I hear so many horror stories, but I must be really lucky! They are great and we had so much fun! There were 12 of us there (Brad had to work) and we all get along really well - it's awesome! We are all already looking forward to next year and planning to stay as long as possible!

Friday, June 27, 2008

I haven't posted in a while, but I don't really have much to say. I started my class this week - it is Monday and Wednesday nights in DeKalb so those days were really long. Yesterday I took Brayden out in the yard to play in the sprinkler and he had a blast. Here are a couple of pictures I took on my phone.



Tomorrow we are heading to Lake Geneva for the weekend. Rubin's parents are friends with a couple who has a gorgeous house on the lake and they have invited the entire family up to stay for the weekend. We are really excited! Since I'm pregnant I'm sure I can't go tubing, but I'll enjoy laying on the boat - I don't think I've been on a boat in 8 years!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Update

Blaine didn't make it. He passed away at 3:00 this morning. My mom and her other 2 sisters are on their way to Florida to be there with my aunt (Blaine's grandma) and cousin. Please keep them all in your prayers - everyone is obviously taking it really hard.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Prayer Request

I just found out that my cousin's 8 year old son was in a bad 4-wheeler accident today. He is in a coma and they don't think he's going to make it. Please pray that he will be okay.

Friday, June 20, 2008

News....

We're pregnant!! We just found out about a week ago that we are going to be having another baby! To answer your questions before you ask them:
- We weren't exactly trying, but we weren't trying to prevent it. We just decided that if it happened, it happened, and we should have learned from the first time around that it was going to happen really fast!
- I haven't been to the doctor yet, but according to babycenter.com I'm due on February 18 (I'm only like 5 weeks)
- I'm feeling fine so far, just a little tired. I was miserably sick with Brayden and am hoping that it doesn't happen this time, but morning sickness usually doesn't kick in until around 6 weeks
- Rubin wants another boy, I kind of want a girl but I'm totally fine either way. I think we both agree that little girls are great, but raising a teenage girl is scary.
- Yes, we have told Brayden, and no, he doesn't get it. When I first told him that I was going to have a baby, he looked at me very seriously and said, "NO, Mommy is not a baby. Mommy is a mommy." When I tried the mommy has a baby in her belly approach, he said, "I'm sorry. Does it hurt?" He has no clue...

We are extremely excited and can't keep secrets so we're completely breaking the 3 month rule with telling people!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Free Willy

I don't know if anyone even reads these things, but I'm going to keep writing anyway. Apparently my son's favorite movie (this month) is Free Willy. It was randomly on tv a few days ago and we ended up watching it. He cried when it ended. Today I made the mistake of mentioning that we should watch it, and then realized that it's not on On Demand. He refused to watch anything else. I had to go to the store anyway, so we headed to Wal-Mart and found it in the $5 movie bin. He watched it twice when we got home. I love the movie, but find it funny that a 10 year old non-animated movie about a foster kid and a whale would be so interesting to a 3 year old. Kids are so weird sometimes...at least mine is anyway!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance

I am obsessed with American Idol, and though I am always sad when it is over, I love that I get to go straight into So You Think You Can Dance. I have never taken a dance lesson in my life, and I definitely dance like a "white girl", but I absolutely LOVE this show. Here is a video of Brayden imitating one of the dancers - of course we think it's adorable...





video

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Tomorrow....

I am going to start eating healthy and trying to work out. I did Weight Watchers last summer and did a great job, but then I took the week off for vacation and that week has turned into almost a year. I can no longer fit in any of my clothes, and of course it is always more depressing to be fat in the summer. You can always hide behind sweats in the winter, but if you want to be comfortable in the summer, you have to wear shorts and tank tops and then everyone can see every roll. Not fun. So tomorrow is the day. I am going to start doing yoga every morning and then walking or working out as many days as possible. It's hard to find time to go to the gym when I'm working full-time and then going to school 2 nights a week. If I work out the other 3 nights then I don't see Brayden the entire week. I don't know how people find the time, but I'm going to do something. As of right now the plan is to throw Brayden in the stroller and go for a walk - that way I'm at least doing something and still getting to spend time with him. Hopefully I can get together with my sister-in-law a couple times a week and we can walk together with the boys. Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Parenting

It's funny that I posted what I did last night, because tonight at small group we talked about parenting and discipline (and would have learned about it at church on Sunday - read my first post for the explanation of why we missed that one). Basically we established that discipline and punishment are not the same thing (I also learned that from Dr. Phil), and that discipline is the process of teaching, correcting, and molding your children into responsible adults. Of course, it is important to be consistent, which is something we struggle with. But the thing that was harder for me to grasp is that we should discipline with the same joy that we praise our children. Both are equal opportunities to shape and teach our children. I get that we discipline our children because we love them and want the best for them, but I definitely don't enjoy it. I wish someone could just give me a handbook of exactly what to say and do in every situation.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Our Little Monster

We have created a monster. I love my son dearly, and one of the cutest things that he does is come cuddle on the couch with us every night. The problem is that he comes downstairs repeatedly when he should be in bed sleeping. The kid has managed to stay up until almost 11 for 2 nights in a row now. Last night the only way to get him to go to sleep was to go lay in bed with him, but then I fell asleep also and woke up at 6am today in a race car bed. How do I get him to stay there without physically laying in bed with him until he falls asleep?

Monday, June 2, 2008

My First Blog

Well I'm starting off my first blog with the saga that was yesterday morning. I got in the shower to get ready for church, and just a few minutes later Rubin was in the bathroom yelling that he needed my help because there was blood everywhere. I jumped out of the shower and found my son covered in blood - it was coming out his nose and his mouth and running down his chest. He was crying, obviously because it hurt, but I think he was equally upset that it was making a mess. I cleaned him up, calmed him down, got dressed, and then we took him to urgent care to make sure his now-crooked nose wasn't broken. He was great for the nurses and doctor, but not so much for the x-rays. Luckily nothing is broken and my 3 year old doesn't need plastic surgery. It just looks crooked because only one side of his nose is swollen, but everyhing is fine. We still have no clue what happened - Rubin was in the bathroom and just heard a thud. By analyzing the blood spatters and getting Brayden's extremely unhelpful version of the story, we decided that he either fell up the stairs in the kitchen or just ran into the wall. Either one is a very likely possibility considering how clumsy the child is.