Thursday, November 19, 2009

9 Month Update

So the weekly updates turned to monthly and now seem to be every 3 months. Oh well. I'm avoiding homework again.
Cameron's 9 month check up was yesterday and he is a giant. He is 20 lbs 8 oz and 31.5 inches, which is in the 96th percentile. I was curious and looked back at Brayden's chart, and he was about 2 lbs heavier and an inch taller at this age, but Cameron is definitely doing more. He is crawling, pulling up on furniture, giving high-5, and is very alert and all over the place. Yesterday he tried to stand up on his hands and feet on the kitchen floor and fell flat on his face. I'm sure he'll be walking by his 1st birthday. He has the most beautiful smile, the best laugh, and the biggest blue eyes, and he truly melts my heart. I love that little man.
I don't want to leave Brayden out. He is getting so smart. In the past month he has finally figured out how to play the Wii, and he can beat me at tennis and bowling if he really wants to. He has such a personality, and sometimes an attitude, but has the biggest heart and really just wants to be a good boy. We got his school portfolio to look at this week so we could decide if we wanted to do a conference or not. There was a note attached that they absolutely love having him in class and that he has such a willingness to learn. It's so nice to see that he is good for other people - now if I could just get him to be a perfect angel all the time...lol

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Bedtime Prayers

Tonight we were saying bedtime prayers and this is somewhat how it went (I need to start recording what this kid says so I remember everything):
He first said his typical "Dear Jesus, thank you for my mom, thank you for my dad, and thank you for Cameron. Amen. Oh and I love you Jesus. Amen."
Last week in church they talked about the Phillipines and how the people there live in dangerous conditions, don't have clean water, etc., so we have been praying for them. Tonight we explained to Brayden that the kids there don't have toys to play with, and wouldn't he want to take some of the toys he doesn't play with anymore and send them to the kids there. He said, "No, I think I'll keep all of these toys." At first we were thinking that we had an extremely selfish child, but then he explained that he needed to keep his toys because they aren't "cool enough" for those kids so we should buy them new ones. Then he said that we should get them new houses and bring them to this town where it is not dangerous. Here is how the rest of the conversation with himself went:
"Hmm, but how would we get the house here? We could just build the house and pick it up and bring it here. But how would we carry it? I have an idea! A house truck! House trucks can fly. Well, maybe they can't, but helicopters can pick up things, so they can pick up house trucks! So we will build a house and put it on the house truck and the helicopter will bring it to this town and all the kids can live here and everyone will be safe"
If only it were that easy...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Little Star



Brayden was "Star of the Week" at preschool this week!! Each day he got to bring something special to school to show the other kids. Monday he got to bring in pictures of himself to be put on the class bulletin board. Tuesday was his favorite book - he chose one that we read for the first time ever on Saturday night, but he loved it and said it was his new favorite (until next week). Wednesday he got to bring in a favorite CD or computer game. The only games we play are online (Webkinz, Disney.com, etc), and we don't really have a CD he listens to, so he took the Go Cubs Go song. Both of his teachers are die-hard Cardinals fans, so they absolutely loved having to smile and pretend to like it and not hurt his feelings :) Today he brought in his favorite toy, his remote control car that doesn't even work right.
Another fun part of being the Star is that he got to bring home the class monkey Bananas and take care of him this week. Brayden was so cute and did such a good job taking care of him. The other night we were walking into the garage in the dark and I heard him comforting Bananas and telling him that he would keep him safe. Soooo cute ;) He told me this morning on the way down the stairs and he was going to miss him so much. He has never really latched on to any of his stuffed animals - maybe we should get him a special one...
Here are some pictures of us at the park with Bananas yesterday.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Update/Procrastination






I'm supposed to be working on homework right now, so I decided it would be a good time to update the blog since I haven't been on here in a while.

Rubin: We finally think we have figured everything out!! Long story short, some of his medications were his biggest problem, he isn't taking them anymore and he feels great. We finally went to the specialist today and he gave us great news. According to him (and he is one of the best Crohn's doctors in the country), Rubin's prognosis looks great. His prediction is that he shouldn't have any more issues for at least 10 years or so. He gave him 4 things to do: stop taking his medication b/c it's not doing anything for him right now since he is in remission, get some sun (which I interpret as going on vacation to a beach somewhere, but Rubin disagrees), take a vitamin, and make sure he chews his food completely. SO, hopefully we continue to get great news and our lives can be normal again.
Brayden: is awesome! He is getting so big and thinks he knows everything. He constantly cracks me up and is so much fun. Quick story: the other night he wanted me to drive but Rubin was. Rather than deal with answering "why?" over and over, we told him that I didn't have my driver's license with me so I couldn't drive or the cops would give me a ticket. Well then we talked about his day at school, and a policeman had come that day to talk to his class. He was wearing a badge sticker, so I asked him if he was a police officer. He told me no, that he couldn't be because he didn't have a driver's license so he couldn't drive a police car or a fireman might give him a ticket. Anyway, not that funny now that I just wrote it, but we thought it was hilarious at the time. He is just too smart.
Cameron: is almost 8 months old and is getting more and more fun by the day. He says dada all the time, and only says mama in the form of a scream, so I don't think it really counts. He is laughing and smiling and ADORES his big brother. I have honestly been trying not to teach him to crawl because I like being able to put him down and know that he will still be sitting there when I get back, but those days are now officially over. He's not crawling, but is rolling all over the place.
Me: same ol' same ol' - working, going to school and being a mom
Okay so this is much longer than I anticipated - sorry. Really don't want to do this homework. I'll try and get on more often and then they can be shorter :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Family

Just got home last night from a trip to Arkansas for my grandma's funeral. She passed away on Saturday after living a wonderful, very long life. She would have turned 92 this coming Monday. This woman raised 10 kids with tons of love and made the most beautiful quilts I have ever seen. She just made a very detailed cross-stitched baby blanket for Cameron when he was born and I am so lucky to have it. I think he is the last great-grandchild that she made one for. As hard as it was to lose my last grandparent, I sat there and watched my dad deal with losing his mom, and I can't imagine losing one of my parents. We knew this was coming, but no matter how "prepared" you are for it, or how old you are, it is never easy to lose a parent. It was so much harder to get on that plane yesterday to come back home after being with my family for a few days. I never want to take them for granted and hope they know how much I love and appreciate them. I truly am blessed and have the most amazing family in the world. I love spending time with them and saying good-bye is still so hard each time. I really wish I lived closer so I could see them more often. For now I guess Skype will have to do...
On another note, trying to teach a 4 year old about death is not easy. I started with telling him that great-grandma was up in heaven with Jesus, which he seemed okay with. Then we went to the funeral home and she was in the casket. He looked at me, spread his arms out, and asked, "Mommy, is this Jesus?". So confusing for a little kid...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'm back...for now

It's been a while since I have posted - things have been crazy around here! What has happened since my last post...
We went to Arkansas for a week
Rubin started back to work
Took the boys to the Indiana Dunes
Took the boys downtown Chicago - train, Millenium Park, Navy Pier, water taxi
My sister went back to Arkansas
So You Think You Can Dance ended
Went shopping about a million times - twice to IKEA
Finished grad school class (got an A!)
Cam has grown like a foot! He's huge!
Cam has learned to sit up and has started trying to crawl

We have been keeping busy, and as much as I love the summer and miss my sister, I am ready to settle into a routine of some sort. Brayden starts preschool in 2 weeks, and I would LOVE to get our family on some sort of schedule between now and then. Right now I feel like we just do whatever, whenever. The next month or so of work is going to be insane, but because I'm working so many weekends I will have a few extra days off during the week and I'm looking forward to time with my boys!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A non-Crohn's update




So here is a normal update that doesn't include anything about hospitals or sickness...
On Thursday, my class was cancelled so Kaitlyn and I took the boys to Kiddieland. For those of you not around here, it is an amusement park built just for kids, so Brayden was tall enough (at 42") to ride every ride there, including the log ride, a roller coaster, and several typical fair/carnival rides. It is an old park and is pretty run down, but we had a great time. They have free drink stations throughout the park (unfortunately it's Pepsi and not Coke - good thing b/c I have a hard time spending money on Pepsi), which is nice because after 7 hours walking around that saves a ton of money. I had never been before, and now that I have gone I'm sad that they will be closing down at the end of this summer. It has been around since 1929. Crazy. Brayden wanted to ride everything, and here is how the situation went most times:
Standing in line while jumping up and down - "Mommy, I am so excite"
Once on the ride, just after it starts - "why is it going so slow? make it go faster!"
Once the ride started going faster - "Make it stop!!! I don't like it!! Stooooppppp!!! Pleeeeease!!!!!"
And although he was scared of most of the rides, it never stopped him from wanting to get on the next one. He is usually a little chicken, so I am super proud that he actually tried everything.

Then yesterday, we had a lazy morning at home and kept trying to decide what to do. We got our swimsuits on and went outside to set up the pool I bought over a month ago, and after about 2 hours it still is only about 1/4 of the way full. I guess we underestimated how much water it actually holds. We gave up on the swimming idea and decided to go get fireworks and just hang out at home for the night. We got a pack of the crappy legal fireworks we can get here, which consisted of about 4 varieties of smoke bombs, the stupid party popper things that you do on New Years Eve, and the popper things you throw on the ground. We thought they were lame, but Brayden seemed to like them. We also made s'mores over the fire pit (that I bought last night) and set up Brayden's tent so he could "go camping". He had actually convinced Rubin to sleep in the tent with him, but then he chickened out when the neighbors started shooting bottle rockets towards our house. He ended up coming in and going to bed (and then woke up this morning, looked outside and said "but I wanted to sleep in the tent mommy!", as if we made him go inside). We had a great night just hanging out in the backyard together. We should do it more often!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

24 hours later

So they decided to admit Rubin last night around 2 am, but then never moved him up to a bed. They kept him down in his ER room (which was a room with a camera and straps on the bed to hold down crazy people) the entire time. He did see one of the GI doctors there, and she told him that his doctor was completely wrong to send him there to the ER. She said they would treat him, but didnt seem to be interested in trying to figure out the problem. He eventually got fed up tonight and I went and picked him up. He did speak to this GI dr again as she was writing his discharge paperwork, and she again told him that she couldn't believe his doctor sent him there - that the ER there is scary (and it was pretty crazy). She did say that if he calls her directly, she will pull some strings and try to get him in for an appointment sometime this week or next week. So although he spent over 24 hours in ER hell, it hopefully did some good in putting us in touch with one of these doctors. It at least feels like a step in the right direction.
So anyway, long story short, don't ever go to the ER at U of C, even if your doctor tells you to. Rubin is home now and feeling a little better. Hopefully he will stay that way for a while, or at least until he can get in to see this specialist.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Long overdue update

It's been a while since I've updated so here goes...
Rubin has been in the hospital 4 times since his surgery on May 27 - fun stuff. He was home this past week and slept all day every day. He doesn't look good, he's really pale, and he is still in a lot of pain. He went to his GI dr on Friday for an appt and she has no clue what is going on with him so she tried to get him in to see a specialist at University of Chicago Medical Center. He is supposed to be one of the best Crohn's doctors in the country, and he couldn't get Rubin in until September for an appointment. So, Rubin's dr suggested coming here to the ER and then hope that they will admit him and he will get to see someone here, so that's where we are now. He was released from CDH this afternoon and we drove straight here - the drive wasn't bad at all, but we waited over 5 hours in the waiting room before he finally was brought back here. We are probably starting all over again to an extent because they are going to want to do a ton of tests but hopefully they can figure something out. Tonight is going to be a LOOOOONG night.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

4 Years and 4 Months

Wednesday both boys had a doctors appointment - Brayden for his 4 year check up and Cameron for his 4 month. Both of them are perfect and healthy, and both of them got shots (which Cameron handled MUCH better than Brayden did). Cam is 15 lbs, 8 oz and 25 inches long - in the 63rd percentile for both. Brayden is 40 lbs and 42 in, and is in like the 87th percentile for his height. He has always been way up there - Rubin hopes this trend continues so he can be a basketball player. I prefer baseball or football, but we'll see...he'll probably end up playing soccer, which neither one of us care for.
They are both growing up so fast, not just physically. Brayden has something new to say every day and is constantly cracking us up. Last night he was in trouble and Rubin was talking to him about it, and Brayden looked at him and said "Daddy Casey, you stop that". It was hilarious, especially since that is Rubin's actual middle name. Cameron is holding his head up really well now, and he talks and giggles constantly. So precious. I find myself snuggling him and holding him a lot more than I feel like I did with Brayden. Maybe it's because I realize now how fast they grow up and how quickly they stop wanting to be held. Maybe it's because (Rubin says) this is my last one and I want to hold onto having a baby as long as I possibly can. I can honestly say though that I love being a mommy now more than I ever have. Most people think that having 2 kids is so much harder, and it's not that it's easy, but I just love having so much love to give to these boys. I have 2 adorable, healthy kids and I am so blessed. I have 2 boys to hug and kiss and cuddle and make me smile and make me laugh (and make me want to pull my hair out!). I absolutely love it!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Home again

Rubin is home again...hopefully this time for good. I don't know how much more our poor family can handle. I don't know how much I can handle. I'm exhausted. I need my husband. Our boys need their daddy. Rubin needs to feel normal. He was first diagnosed with Crohn's on November 18, and since then I think he has been in the hospital about 15 times, and I'm not exaggerating. We haven't spent any holidays together since then. We haven't been able to spend time with Cameron and do things as a family. We haven't been able to take Brayden places or do things with him. We haven't been able to spend time together as a couple. Since I've gone back to work I feel like I've been pulled in too many directions and have tried my best to stay strong and be superwoman but it's starting to wear on me. We need a break. Please, please, please be over.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Unfortunately, there's more to update...

Rubin came home yesterday and was feeling pretty good, but then last night noticed that he was losing a lot of blood (I won't go into details, but you know what he was here for so think about it...). He called the surgeon and he said he wasn't too worried, that it could be normal, but if it continued to call back today. It continued all night and he was dizzy this morning, so we called and he's back at the hospital. We waited for a couple of hours, and as soon as I decided to run down and get a Diet Coke, the doctor came in, of course. All he really said is that his blood count is a little low, and they are going to continue to monitor it to see if it gets worse - if it goes below a certain number then he will have to have a transfusion. They are hoping that he can just stay here and be monitored and it will get better. If not, they may have to go back in to find the problem. Looks like we're just waiting for now - will update when something changes.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rubin is doing great today! I spent a few hours with him this afternoon, and he got up and walked around twice. He is getting up and moving around on his own and feels a lot better. The pain in his stomach is gone for the first time since November, and the only pain he feels now is from the incision. All of the nurses and doctors are impressed with how good he's doing and how much better he looks than he did before the surgery. He thinks he should get to come home this weekend! :) I am so ready to have my husband back! Although he hasn't spent every day in the hospital, he still has never felt "good" when he has been at home in between episodes. And we both knew that making plans was impossible because his health was so unpredictable. It will be so nice to get back to "normal" - whatever that is!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Rubin is finally back in the room after 3 hours in post-op recovery and he looks great! He said the pain was MUCH better this time and he is feeling good! Hopefully the overall recovery time will be shorter this time since it was laproscopic and there is no inflammation. Then I think we deserve a vacation once he is feeling better!!!

Surgery

I just talked to the surgeon. He is out of surgery and everything went well. It took a little longer than expected b/c of all of the scar tissue from his last surgery that they had to cut through. They were able to do it all laproscopicly, so the incision is smaller than last time. They did not have to remove any of his intestine like he originally thought. They just closed up the hole that was there and created a new opening next to it. By not having to cut out a piece, there is less area that has to be stapled and heal, so it should minimize the risk of more problems. They found no active Crohn's, which is awesome. He is in recovery now and should be back up to his room in an hour or 2. The dr said he is doing good and they are being very proactive in trying to keep his pain under control. Hopefully the recovery from this surgery will be much easier and shorter, and we can go back to living some sort of a normal life soon. Thank you all for your prayers, and continue to pray that this is the last of his issues for a long time!!
Rubin called me at 1:00 this morning to tell me that his surgery would be at 10 this morning. Glad he called b/c I wasn't planning on getting here until 10 or 11! Of course, they didn't come get him from his room until about 10:30, and then we were down in the prep area for another hour. They took him back to the OR around 11:35 and the dr said it will probably take about an hour and a half. He is extremely nervous about waking up in severe pain like he did last time, but after talking to the nurses and anesthesiologist (he was wonderful!), I think he is feeling a little better about everything. So far the experience here at CDH has been much better than Rush Copley and I am very confident in the surgeon - he seems like a great guy who really knows what he is doing, and he is very nice and takes the time to explain everything and answer all questions. Will update when he is done and I get the report from the surgeon.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Here we go again...

So Rubin has been in and out of the hospital about a million times since November, and he is currently there now. They did a colonoscopy this morning to try and find the problem. They found the problem, but unfortunately the solution to that problem is another surgery. Apparently, his problems over the past few months have been related to a stricture (narrowing of the intestine) at the connection site from his last surgery and not the Crohn's. They think this was caused by scar tissue - not that the last surgeon did anything wrong, it is just unfortunately a possible side effect of the surgery. They are going in tomorrow to remove that section and re-create the connection. The hope is that since he is not having an active flare-up or inflammation right now, the chances of this happening again are lower b/c his body will hopefully respond better and heal correctly. I guess only time will tell.
The surgery will be tomorrow afternoon, and will require another week in the hospital and 4-6 week recovery time. He had a REALLY rough time after the last surgery, so please pray that he does better this time. This should fix the problem, but we just hope and pray that no new problems develop anytime in the near future. Our family needs a break.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I'm Jumping!

Dear Family and Friends,

I have exciting news to share. I am 'jumping' for the Western DuPage Special Recreation Association (WDSRA) Foundation...literally!

I have decided to take part in the Jump-A-Thon for WDSRA. By taking part in the Jump-A-Thon, I will be taking a tandem parachute jump from approximately 13,000 feet reaching a speed of 120mph! This will take place at Skydive Chicago (Ottowa, IL) on Saturday, May 30th.

Please help support WDSRA and the important programs and services they provide by making a donation on behalf of my jump. You can make your donation online at www.wdsra.com/jumpathon/amiechrisman.html, with me directly, or at the address listed below. Either way, you will be helping to make a difference in many lives. The WDSRA Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization. Your donation is tax deductible in accordance with IRS regulations.

Thank you for your support and...see you in the drop zone!

Sincerely,

Amie Chrisman

**WDSRA offers more than 1,000 programs, trips, and special events to more than 8,000 individuals with special needs each year and has been providing recreation services for people of all ages with disabilities since 1976. We offer Special Olympics and adapted sports programs, dance and art programs, as well as social clubs and camps.

In addition, we provide a full range of inclusion services for any program offered through a participating park district. As a service to the community at large, we offer disability awareness programs that educate groups, such as schools, about living with a variety of disabilities.

WDSRA is a nationally acclaimed cooperative extension of nine park districts including Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, Glen Ellyn, Naperville, Roselle, Warrenville, West Chicago, Wheaton, and Winfield.

For more information, visit www.wdsra.com.

Western DuPage Special Recreation Association
116 N Schmale Rd
Carol Stream, IL 60188
(630) 681-0962

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Brayden Dictionary

My son is hilarious. He has so many funny little things that he pronounces wrong, and things that he has given his own names to:

People Street - sidewalk
Long Water - river
Groad - road
Gyard - yard (don't know where the g's come from)
Nilk - milk (he can say this one right if he wants to, but he doesn't)
Building House - hotel (learned that this weekend in Iowa)
Swimmin Water - pool
Water Swimmin - swimming
Water Pants - swimsuit
Strippy Cup - sippy cup
BigDonald's - McDonalds

And there are so many more that I can't think of right now. I just wanted to make sure I wrote them all down somewhere so I can remember them (I haven't written anything in his baby book in um...about 3 and 3/4 years).

3 and 4

Cameron is 3 months old, and he has been pretty much sleeping through the night for the past week or so. He usually wakes up around 4, but I give him his paci and pray he falls back asleep...it works most of the time (until about 5:45). This morning he slept until past 7!! Amazing!!! He is so interactive. He smiles, laughs, and talks all the time and is such a happy boy. I have been giving him cereal every once in a while too and he loves it!

And yesterday was Brayden's 4th birthday. I can't believe I have had this kid for 4 years! I remember when he was little like Cam...crazy. This boy keeps me on my toes. I am constantly laughing, and often ready to scream and pull my hair out. Yesterday I tried to give him a special train birthday day. We went to 2Toots Grill and ate lunch, which of course he loved (and he actually ate his food - normally he is too overwhelmed).

Then we went to Blackberry Farm and rode the train...and rode the train again...and rode the train again...you get the picture. We also rode the carousel and looked at the animals, but mostly just rode the train.

And then, we came home and had train brownie cakes.

And all this is done while wearing a Thomas the Train shirt. He capped off the evening by watching his Thomas the Train dvd. Fun times!!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

More Brayden-isms

We're sitting at the table eating lunch last week, and Brayden tells me:
"I"m not 4 yet, I'm just still 3. When my birthday is here, I'll be 4 and I'll get a birthday cake. I love birthday cake, and birthday cake loves me! Can I give my birthday cake a kiss?"
"Sure"
"Can I give my birthday cake a hug?"
"Umm, probably not a good idea"
"It might make a mess. I would get birthday cake all over. For my birthday I'm going to sit in my beach chair and my friends are going to come in a limo to come play with me."
He has become obsessed with the beach lately - he says he wants his birthday party at the beach. Hope he's not too upset when everyone shows up here instead!

He calls the sidewalk a "People Street" Makes sense to me...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Cameron

Cameron had his 2 month check up on Tuesday (he was 2 1/2 months by then) and the doctor said he is absolutely perfect! (which I already knew, of course) He is 13 lbs 8 oz and 24 in long, both in the 75th percentile. I think he's going to be smaller than Brayden - Brayden was long and skinny. His length was always in the 99th percentile until about a year ago when he leveled off at the 90th. Cameron seems more solid but has smaller features.
Cam had 4 vaccines on Tues - 3 shots and 1 by mouth - and he has just finally started acting like himself again today. He has been pretty cranky all week, and that is not like him at all. He is such an easy-going baby. Everyone in Arkansas commented on how quiet and happy he is. He never cries, and just loves to lay in the floor and kick and talk. He is sitting in his bouncy seat right now just kicking and smiling. Yesterday he screamed every time I put him in there.
Here is an awesome picture from playing outside the other day - this may be one of my favorite pictures I have ever taken of him!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Goodnight Kiss

First of all - do I have to come up with a title for all of my stinking posts? I was always a decent writer in school, but have had trouble coming up with titles my whole life. Ugh.
Anyway, I woke up at 4:30 this morning with Brayden standing next to my bed crying. "Mommy you didn't give me a goodnight kiss" (Rubin had put him to bed last night and told him that I would stop by his room and give him a kiss when I put Cameron down. Well, I ended up holding Cam and letting him sleep on my chest, so I didn't put him to bed until we went to bed at 11, and Brayden was already asleep by then. I gave him a kiss but he didn't know it.) So I get up and walk him back to his room, lay him in bed, kiss him and tell him I love him. He cried. "But you have to say goodnight" Tried saying it as I was walking out the door, but that wasn't good enough. I had to walk back to his bed and say goodnight AS I kissed him. I think he was back asleep before I made it out of his room.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Home Sweet Home

We made it home on Monday, and the flight home wasn't terrible, but it didn't go as smoothly as the flight down there. It was completely full so I had to hold Cameron, and Brayden was tired and cranky. Oh, and I got to experience changing a poopy diaper in an airplane bathroom...interesting. This is Brayden on the ride home from the airport.

Easter weekend we were at my grandma's house, who lives on a farm, and Brayden had a blast. He got to ride 2 tractors, a 4 wheeler, and took a trailer ride down to the creek. He dyed Easter eggs, played trucks with my cousin's 2 and 1/2 year old son, and opened Christmas presents (first time we've been down since then) - and this was all just on Saturday! The weather was beautiful and he had a very full and busy day.

Easter Sunday was cold and pouring down rain. We planned to get a picture of the boys and Bailee (my 8 month old niece) all dressed up in their Easter outfits, but we were rushed getting out the door for church (about 12 ppl sharing one shower) and then by the time we got home we were all soaking wet. We spent the afternoon at my aunt's and Brayden played with all of my "little" cousins. I remember them all being his age, but they are all 7-16 now. Crazy. He actually enjoys playing with older kids, and they were all really good with him. He played so hard that day that he just walked in the living room around 5:00, didn't say a word, laid down on the floor and passed out within seconds.

Oh, and while we were gone, my wonderful husband had our entire downstairs painted, the basement stairs carpeted, our bathroom countertop refinished, and had laminate wood floors installed in the kitchen/family room. The house looks amazing, but now I have a TON of work to do to put everything back where it belongs. Oh, and I plan to paint the kitchen cabinets and table, so if anyone enjoys that kind of stuff feel free to come hang out for a day or 2!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Quick Arkansas Update

So everyone has been asking how the flight went with the boys. It was great! The plane was only about 1/2 full, so I was able to keep Cameron in his car seat and put him on one side of me and Brayden sat on the other. It was nice to have my hands free to be able to deal with both of them. It was also great that nobody was sitting in front of Brayden so it didn't matter that he kicked the seat about a million times. Hopefully the flight home is just as empty! All was well, and then we landed. Here is our conversation:
B: "Mommy, I don't want to go to the airport, I want to go to Arkansas!!" (while crying)
Me: "Honey, we are in Arkansas. The airport is in Arkansas"
B: "No it's not! I said I don't want to go to the airport. I want to go to Arkansas and to Nana's house!" (by this time everyone is standing in the aisles and laughing at him, which made him more angry)
Me: "Baby, we are in Arkansas - what do you think Arkansas looks like?"
B: "It's tall. It's like a store"
I somehow convinced him that if he got off the plane maybe he would find Arkansas in the airport somewhere. As soon as we got inside, he looked at me and said "See, this IS Arkansas! I TOLD you!!"
Crisis avoided. He is such a goofball.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

2 Months

Cameron is 2 months old today! In a way it seem like it has gone by so fast, and in a way it seems like he has been around forever. He is a super sweet and snuggly baby, and I love holding him while he sleeps on my chest. He still hasn't been back to the doctor since his 2 week check up - but according to my scale he weighs 12 and 1/2 pounds. He is such a little chunk! He is a super good baby and is so easy, but still is not sleeping through the night. He has actually been waking up a lot more often the past week or so. I think it's because I had been putting him down on his stomach, but then I got paranoid about it and have been putting him on his back and he just doesn't seem to be as comfortable or sleep as well. I have also tried just giving him his paci when he wakes up, but that doesn't work - the boy is hungry! I think I'm going to start trying cereal in his bottle and see if that helps. We are leaving in 2 days to go to Arkansas for over a week - we leave Saturday afternoon and don't come back until the day after Easter! I am so excited to spend time with my family - my mom is the only one who has met him so far and my dad and sisters are dying to meet him! (I have a brother too but I don't think it's really killing him too much - he's not too fond of babies...) Rubin isn't going with us, so the airport/flight with both boys by myself should be interesting, but I'm really excited and not too worried. I think they'll both do fine. Poor Rubin is going to be lonely while we're gone, but I'm sure he will find things to do. I will update when we get back!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Pictures







We went and had pictures taken today, and it was such a frustrating experience! I worked so hard to find the perfect outfits, drove 45 minutes to go to the last place we went since we loved it so much, and had a horrible experience! Ugh. The photographer drove us crazy (the guy who did them last time no longer works there) and missed about a million opportunities for good, candid photos because she was trying too hard to pose everything. She wanted Brayden to stand still in an exact spot, put his hands in his pockets, turn his body one way, look a different way, and not move. Ummm...did you not see my child running around the studio like a madman while we were waiting for our turn? And then with Cameron we didn't get any good shots of him that showed his adorable matching hat and pants - she kept taking his hat off. And I really wanted a picture of the 2 of them together and that didn't happen - they only gave us 2 of those to choose from and they were both horrible. I could dress them up and take a picture in my living room floor that looks better than hers did. Just an all around annoying experience. I hate the background and wanted the white, but she thought the brown would look better. Why? I want a do-over! Here are the only 4 decent ones we got out of the deal (after I have edited them and touched them up), and Cameron is crying in the family shot.

Friday, March 27, 2009

2nd Opinion

So I went with Rubin to his doctor's appointment today and this woman seems to think that his Crohn's is back and that is what has been causing his problems since the surgery. She is having him go do a barium x-ray on Monday morning so she can see what is causing his blockages, but she doesn't think it's scar tissue. She was floored that they did surgery on him so soon without trying other treatments first. There are several medications/treatments out there that have been proven successful for a lot of people that he has never tried. She also couldn't believe that a general surgeon actually performed the surgery - she said that most surgeon's won't touch someone with Crohn's and that they don't understand it. She sends her patients downtown if they require surgery. So to sum it all up - it sounds like surgery was the wrong decision in the first place, and that it was all for nothing because it didn't solve the problem. It got rid of the inflammation in the places that already existed, but doesn't prevent it from occurring somewhere else. She wants to start him on a medication that he can self-inject every 2 weeks but it will probably be a couple of weeks before we can get that process started. Until then she is going to put him on steroids and another medication he already has (but was told by his other doctor he no longer needed to take) to try and get him feeling better. He also has to stay on liquids for a couple more days and then can progress to Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast by Sunday. The poor guy hasn't put a bite of solid food in his mouth since last Friday.
So, basically what I'm saying is that although we didn't want to hear that the Crohn's is back and that he suffered through his horrible surgery for nothing, we are glad that someone is acknowledging what is really going on and is going to actually treat it so he can start to feel better and try to get our lives back to normal.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Crohn's Disease Sucks!!

So Rubin was back in the hospital this weekend - he went in Saturday afternoon and came home this morning. This is his 6th time there since November, and his 3rd time back since the surgery that was supposed to fix his problems. We were told that the surgery would put his Crohn's in remission and that he would most likely experience symptoms again someday, but that it could be years before it returned. He went through hell and back with his surgery and recovery, and still has never felt healthy since. He has had 3 bowel obstructions: the first time they told him it was caused by the scar tissue from surgery and shouldn't ever happen again; the second time he didn't go to the hospital and just dealt with it at home; this weekend he went to the hospital but nobody would really give him any answers - they just treated him and sent him home. His GI doctor wants to blame the surgery for his problems and won't admit that the Crohn's is acting up again already, but I'm pretty sure that's what is really happening. I would rather not be lied to (and told he doesn't need to be on any medication). If the Crohn's is back, let's admit it and move on so we can deal with it and try to get things under control. This whole situation is very frustrating for us. He is miserable, and I just want him to feel better. He has made an appointment with another GI doctor for this Friday to get a second opinion. We want to get an unbiased opinion from someone who isn't trying to cover their own butt and will just be honest about what they think is really going on.
Well, that was my vent/update for now. Please just pray that he gets some answers on Friday and that we can move forward and hopefully get this stupid horrible disease under control.

Random Questionse

1) I work with, love, respect, and admire people with disabilities. However, I do not think it is very likely that 90 people with a "handicap" will be at Wal-Mart at the same time. Why are there soooo many handicap parking places? It makes it impossible for a mother of a small baby to park close when it is cold, windy, and raining outside.
2) Do calories work like Weight Watchers points? If I cut out a few extra each day, can I use them as "flex" calories and go eat at Chili's or On the Border?? That would be nice. According to the calorie log I use, I was 3,097 calories under my weekly budget last week, so do I get to use them or do I just lose them??

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Yellow People

Brayden: "That light is really too high for me to jump over it" (pointing to the light over the dining room table - random)
Me: "Um, yes it is"
Brayden: "But I just can't jump over it because it is too hot and that would make me all red. I don't want to be red I just want to be yellow"
The light wasn't even turned on.

Sometimes I just wish I could be inside his head so I could understand what in the world goes on in there. He says some of the most random things.

On another note, I bought the Wii Fit on Tuesday night and worked out on it for the first time on Wednesday, and I started dieting on Monday (counting calories). Between the 2, I have lost a little over 2 pounds. I woke up this morning and I am extremely sore. I don't know if I should be happy that I feel sore b/c that means that its working, or to be completely embarrased that a video game can make me hurt so bad!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Jetsons?

So I saw a commercial the other day for a car that will stop itself to avoid an accident if something stops in front of you. Crazy. Between back-up cameras, this new thing, and GPS, why do we even have to drive? Pretty soon we can program our destination into our GPS and our cars will just drive us there. Then we can talk on our cell phones or sleep in the car. Sounds good to me! :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Well there is nothing much to update about Cameron - he eats, sleeps, poops, and grunts! He has done really great at night this week - most nights he has slept 5- 6 hours straight and it has been awesome!
Brayden, on the other hand, is hilarious and I have to start writing down the things he says because I always forget them. So here are some "Brayden-isms" of this week:

Tuesday: I am tying his shoes and his backpack is hanging next to us. He kept saying, "Mommy my truck is in my pack pack - do you see it? Do you see it? It's right there, Mommy, do you see it?" I continued tying his shoes and just said "Sure" to get him to be quiet. He said "Oh, you see it? I can't see it. Do your glasses make you see it?" Yes, I have super-powers. My glasses give me x-ray vision.
Wednesday: I was messing with my shirt and Brayden saw my lovely stomach. He asked me "Mommy, what happened to your tummy?" "Oh nothing buddy, Cameron did that to me when he was in my tummy." "Oh, did he paint stripes on it?" Thanks.
Today: We made cupcakes, and he licked the bowl, very literally. His face was covered in chocolate and I told him to come over so I could wipe it off. He said "But I can just use my tongue to clean it!"

Monday, March 2, 2009

1 month

Cameron is a month old today! I can't believe it has already been a month - time has gone by pretty quickly. He is filling out and getting so much bigger, and he spends more and more time alert and awake during the day. He makes adorable little noises and smiles. And no, he does not sleep through the night - I seem to be asked that a lot. We are far from it... He is still having issues with gassiness and I'm trying to figure out the magic solution. We have tried different formula, bottles, and have just heard of gripe water so we are trying that now.
I am feeling a lot better, and I'm done "taking it easy". There is too much stuff that needs to get done and the longer I sit here and let it go, the more overwhelming it is going to be when I decide to finally tackle it. I am still extremely sleep deprived, which makes me kind of cranky most days, but there isn't much I can do about it. I am able to get back into 3 pair of jeans already, but shirts are a different story - I still have the flabby nasty tummy pooch and probably will for the rest of my life, but I'm going to try and make it smaller. I officially decided to start a diet today, and plan to start working out once the doc gives me the okay in 2 weeks. Until then, I still have an excuse...lol
Brayden started preschool today at the park district and he was so excited! He seemed to really enjoy it, and the teachers said that "he just needs to get used to the schedule" so we aren't sure what that means, but it doesn't surprise me at all. He likes to do what he wants when he wants and isn't used to being in a structured setting (he has been in a home daycare for the past year). This is part of the reason we put him in preschool so hopefully he'll adjust pretty quickly.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Big Brother Brayden

Tonight Brayden was upstairs watching TV and yelled downstairs for me to come up and talk to him. He told me "When I'm 4, I get to go back to BigDonalds (translation - McDonalds); when I'm 6, I get to go to Wal-Mart; when I'm 3, I get to go back home; and when I'm 5, maybe I can ride on a steam train." I have no idea what goes through that head of his, but he is hilarious...
I have been meaning to brag about how great he has been. I was terrified of how he was going to react to Cameron - I expected a ton of jealousy, him acting out for attention, and us to both go completely insane being here together all day since he is so used to being at daycare and playing with other kids all day. I have been pleasantly surprised...he has been awesome! I mean, he still has his moments, but he's still a 3 year old who has a ton of energy and is stuck inside b/c it's winter in Chicago. He has been an awesome big brother - he loves Cameron soooo much and wants to do everything with him. He has turned into a complete "momma's boy" and wants to hold my hand and "talk to me" and sit in my lap - and I'm loving it! I don't think I ever realized how much I was missing out on by working and not spending time with him. However, he is getting cabin fever and is going a little crazy not having someone to play with all of the time, so I have enrolled him in preschool and he starts next week so that should be good for all of us. We are really excited for him to get that social interaction and to start preparing for school, and it will be good for me to get a break and spend some 1:1 time with Cameron. I absolutely love my 2 (well, 3) boys and love being home and spending time with them!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

3 Weeks

Well week 3 was pretty uneventful. My mom came back up and stayed the week to help me with the kids since I was told to take it easy (and couldn't drive). We pretty much stayed home and relaxed. Cam's umbilical cord finally fell off this week and he took his first real bath. I was afraid he would scream the entire time, but he loved it! He is still a great baby, but has been having some tummy problems this week. He constantly grunts and moans and groans and seems really uncomfortable - he seems to have the type of discomfort that would make most babies scream and cry all of the time, but he doesn't. We are experimenting with different bottles and I just switched him to the "gentle ease" formula for gassy babies so hopefully that will help. Poor little guy...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

2 weeks (almost 3 at this point)

Well, my plan was to update my blog weekly for at least the first few weeks/months of Cameron's life. I don't have a baby book for him (not that I would write in it if I did - Brayden's is pretty much empty), so I am going to try and document fun new things on here. He turned 2 weeks old on Monday, and we took him to the dr for another check up. He is doing great - very healthy and had gained a pound from what he weighed when he left the hospital. He has clogged tear ducts, so they get kind of gross at times, but they don't seem to bother him at all. I missed 3 days of the week with him b/c of me being in the hospital and it seemed like he got bigger in that small amount of time. It was really hard to not be with him, and it was definitely much earlier than I had planned on letting him sleep over anywhere else, but it's not like I really had any control over anything. Although I missed him, I wasn't in any condition to be able to take care of him either. It was so great to be able to hold him when I got home on Sunday night - I love snuggling with him!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I am blessed...

I finally got to come home from the hospital late this afternoon, and for the first time in 3 days my headache is gone. I feel a lot better, but still am very weak and have no appetite at all. I've eaten some pringles and fruit roll-ups today and that's about all I can get down. Hopefully I can keep this headache under control and will feel a little better tomorrow.
I am truly blessed to have a family that loves and takes care of me. On Friday it took an army of people to watch the boys since everything happened so fast - I think there were 5 different people in shifts throughout the day. Rubin's mom watched both boys all weekend which was a huge help. When I got home today, Rubin's step-mom and her sister had cleaned my house, and my mom is flying back up here to spend another week with me to help me take care of the kids. Rubin HAS to go back to work - he just went back on Tuesday and already had to miss Friday so he can't afford to take any more time of to stay home and help me.
Things should get better each day from here on out. It will take me a while to regain my strength and replenish my blood supply. I don't really have any medications to take - they just said to continue with the prenatal vitamins and that I probably should take an iron supplement. They also told me I shouldn't drive for 2 weeks b/c of the blood loss so that should be interesting - I think I might go crazy.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The latest Chrisman health saga...

So we can't seem to catch a break in our house. Yesterday morning I woke up bleeding pretty badly. I called the doctor at 5 am and he said that it was probably nothing to worry about - he said to lay down for a couple of hours and if it didn't seem to stop that I might want to go to the ER. He made it sound like it wasn't a big deal, so I sent Rubin to work. Shortly after he left, I decided I needed to go to the ER, so I got up to change clothes and felt a huge blood clot coming out of me. I went to the bathroom and took off my pants in the bathtub and a clot about the size of a volleyball fell out. I managed to crawl into the bedroom to get my phone and called Rubin, who called 911 and headed back home. He got there about the same time as the ambulance and I was barely conscious by the time they got there. I have never been so scared in my entire life - I seriously thought I was dying, and I don't think I was overreacting. The EMTs were all pretty freaked out by the amount of blood I had lost, and I pretty much had no blood pressure when I got into the ambulance. At the hospital they did an ultrasound and found pieces of the placenta still inside my uterus, so I had surgery (a DNC) yesterday to remove it, and while I was in surgery they also gave me a unit of blood. Things are looking much better now - I still feel like I got hit by a truck, but I'm off of the IVs and able to get up and move around. Please pray that everything continues to heal correctly, b/c if the bleeding doesn't stop from what they have done so far, the next step would be to do a hysterectomy. The doctor is pretty confident that I'll be fine and I should be able to go home tomorrow.
Oh, and I dropped my phone in the bathtub full of blood, so it no longer works, so if you have tried to call or text in the past couple of days I didn't get the message. I have a new phone now but don't have any of my contacts so I haven't been able to really keep everyone updated.

Monday, February 9, 2009

1 week


Cameron is 1 week old today - time has already gone by so fast! We came home from the hospital on Wednesday, and since then we have made 2 trips to Wal-Mart, been to the doctor, church, Rubin's mom's house, his dad's, and taken my mom to the airport....pretty busy first week! We have spent the day today relaxing and recovering - I think the past few days have been harder on me than they have on him! He is such a good baby, and Brayden is completely in love with him. He has been a pretty good big brother so far - he still needs to work on being gentle, and he doesn't quite understand that Cameron can't play with him yet.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Cameron Tyler Chrisman

Cameron is finally here! He was born today at 2:55 and was 7 lbs, 13 oz and 21 inches (and he was 2 weeks early!) and we are both doing great! He is so precious and we are so excited that he is finally here! Although I wasn't excited at first about having him on Groundhog's Day, it is pretty amazing that Brayden's birthday is 05-05 and Cameron's is 02-02. We will hopefully be able to post pictures tomorrow - we don't have the cord for the camera with us today...guess that's what happens when you don't think too much about what you're packing in your bag! Brayden came to see him today and he was so excited - he wanted to hold him immediately, and kept telling us to "wake him up". We will be going home on Wednesday and we are looking forward to raising our 2 beautiful boys!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I'm here!

Well I finally started having regular contractions around 5 this afternoon (with a little help from disgusting castor oil), and we came to the hospital during halftime of the Super Bowl. Yes, I'm nice like that. I am dilated to about 4.5 cm and my contractions are about 6 mins apart. We're hanging out in the delivery room and will probably be here for a while. They are not giving me pitocin yet b/c I'm not technically considered full-term until Wednesday so they want things to move naturally. We aren't expecting anything to happen until tomorrow morning sometime. I'm going to try and get some sleep and hopefully things will get moving faster sometime soon.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Baby Update

Well, I am officially 37 weeks today, so Cameron is due in 3 weeks. I had a dr appointment today, and asked if they planned to check my cervix. They told me not until next week, but I asked them to anyway b/c I was planning to go to a conference in the city this weekend and just wanted to see if anything was going on. Good thing I asked them to check, because I am over 3 cm dilated and 75% effaced. I'm still not 100% sure what those numbers mean, but I know that when I was 3 and 1/2 cm with Brayden, I had him 3 days later. I'm not really expecting to make it through the weekend, but you never know - it could still be a week or more. We realized today that we still had a few things left to do! I installed the carseat in the van tonight, and still need to pack a bag for the hospital. I also have a lot left to do at work to prepare everyone else for me being gone! Good thing the next couple of days will be really quiet, since everyone else will be at the conference that I am no longer going to. My mom is flying up on Saturday so hopefully everything works out for her to be here for the delivery and then to be around for a week or so after we get home to help out around here. For those that don't know, I plan on going back to work part time after maternity leave. I will be working 30 hours/week in 3 10 hour days. Rubin's mom will watch the kids one day, Rubin will be home with them one day, and we still don't know what we're doing the other! My work has been very flexible and accommodating, but the one thing that can't really be negotiated is the fact that I will need to work on Tuesdays. If anyone knows a reliable, responsible person (college student maybe?) who is looking for something to do on Tuesdays and would want to hang out with a baby and a 4 year old, please let me know! It's hard to find a daycare that will accept kids for just 1 day/week, and we are obviously trying to keep the cost down since my salary will be reduced along with the hours I'm working.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bulls Game

I got an email at work this morning from a co-worker who's husband had 9 Bulls tickets to give away for tomorrow night's game. They are 6th row in the 100 level, so they are great seats....for free! The decided method to decide who to give them to was to put your name in a hat if you wanted them and they would draw 3 names for 2 tickets each, and 1 name for 3 tickets. I ended up being one of the lucky ones, and I am so excited to be able to take Rubin! I'm not sure how well it will go, or if we'll even make it through halftime, but we are sure going to try. He hasn't really been out of the house since the surgery other than going to doctors appointments and 1 quick trip to Best Buy. Since this drainage issue with his incision, he has to spend a lot more time laying down flat so it doesn't drain as bad, and since they decided to rip open a bigger hole, it is pretty sore. He is worried about sitting in the car for an hour and then trying to sit up straight for the whole game, but he is willing to try for free amazing seats! Hopefully it will go well - he deserves it. The poor guy has had nothing but bad luck for the past couple of months and it's about time something good happened to him.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I'm moving!

That's it - I'm moving back to Arkansas!! The weather has been crazy here this winter, and it's not getting any better. We have had way too much snow, and now we are supposed to have wind chills tomorrow of -30. It doesn't help that neither Rubin or I can physically shovel right now (well I could do it, but I would get yelled at), so getting in and out of the driveway has been fun. Rubin's dad has come over a couple of times to do it for us, and Brad has done it a few times. We ended up paying someone from Craigslist to do it today.
Rubin is feeling better and moving around a lot better, but now we are dealing with fluid draining from the incision. Stuff was leaking out of it yesterday so he went to the doctor and they opened it up more to drain all of the fluid. We have to pack it with gauze and then cover it with several more layers to keep it from leaking through everything. It's not an infection, but it's still pretty gross!! He is a little sore from this fun new problem, but overall is still doing much better.
On another note, I am so excited that American Idol is back on!! I have already been impressed by a few people and it's only the 2nd audition episode. I was a little nervous about the new judge, but so far I like her. The auditions are my least favorite part of the show, so I'm excited for them to move on from here - but it won't stop me from watching! I don't think I've missed a single episode in 3-4 years. I love DVR!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Things are going good here - finally! Rubin is feeling much better, and is getting better and better each day. He is able to get up and down and move around much better. We have finally folded up the sofa bed and he is just laying on the couch now. They took his staples out on Monday and said things are looking good. He's still off work and probably will be for a couple more weeks. He is still in the process of getting the short term disability paperwork figured out. We figure that by the time he gets a check for that he'll be back at work already.
I'm feeling find - starting to feel more and more fat and uncomfortable with each day. It's starting to get to that point where my body is saying it's done being pregnant and is ready to have the baby, but we aren't ready yet! We still don't have the nursery cleaned out and put together or any of the baby stuff dug out of the basement yet. I'm hoping to get that done in the next couple of weeks. I only have 5 and 1/2 weeks until my due date, and I will possibly be induced a week early, so the reality is we only have a few more weeks left to get everything done. Oh well - I guess all you really need the first few weeks are diapers, wipes, formula, and a place to sleep.