Tuesday, December 29, 2015

On the Second Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me...

...a trip to a walk-in clinic, followed by a trip to the ER!

As I mentioned yesterday, Jackson threw up out of the blue on Christmas morning, which we assumed happened because he was chewing on his hand (from teething) and wound up gagging himself. It was such a weird thing because he threw up all of his breakfast and then went on playing like nothing happened. Anyway, we didn't think much of it...

...until the next morning when he woke up at 10am acting lethargic.

Brandon, my dad, and brother all went to see the new Star Wars movie early Saturday morning, and my mom, Jax, and I planned to go shopping, but after seeing him acting so strange (laying on the floor just staring at the wall, grabbing his throat, etc.), we decided to take him into a King Soopers walk-in clinic. Lucky for us, we were able to get in right away and the PA prescribed him amoxicillin for a double ear infection and warned us to keep a close eye on him since these things tend to go from bad to worse quickly.

That didn't leave either my mom nor I feeling very confident, but we decided to head home so he could rest and eat homemade chicken noodle soup. Not even two minutes after we left the PA's office, Jackson randomly threw up all over himself, me, and floor near the bakery department. I frantically ran around the store to find my mom and told her something was very wrong (Jax's skin was starting to look different and he seemed so weak) and that I was ready to take him to the ER across the street. My mom agreed and quickly paid for the chicken soup ingredients so we could run home, change, and get our boy a second opinion.

Upon arriving to the emergency room, Brandon texted to say they were on their way home from the movies, so my mom called and told him what was happening and where to meet us. Since we were the only patients in the ER at the time, we were immediately given a room and a doctor to examine Jax/sit down to talk with us.

Long story short, Jackson didn't even have an ear infection (which the doctor seemed very sure of), strep, or anything else like that... He was, however, fighting a tummy bug (which also explained his bought of tummy troubles on the night of his birthday) and was severely dehydrated because of it. Her prescription was alternating Motrin/Tylenol every 4 hours, lots of rest, and LOTS of Pedialyte.

Jackson spent the rest of the afternoon eating Pedialyte popsicles and sleeping, and woke up acting more like himself at around 7pm that evening. While he was napping, my mom and I were even able to sneak out for a little after-Christmas shopping while Brandon and my dad stayed with him. It was exactly what I needed!

(...except that I broke down crying in the middle of Target after the events of the day caught up to me.)

Jax woke up Sunday morning acting like his normal, happy self and has been active ever since! Going to the ER was probably the overreaction of the year, but apparently my mom-game is still pretty weak and I have a lot of things left to learn!

Our 2nd day of Christmas was nothing short of eventful... here's hoping that the rest of the season stays somewhat calm!


Monday, December 28, 2015

On The First Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me...

Merry Christmas, everyone!

(Yes, I do realize that Christmas Day was Friday, but technically it's still the Christmas season, so I'll continue to say it!)

Anyway, I hope you all had a wonderful day filled with good tidings, good food, and good company -- we sure did! As I have stated in years past, Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the entire year... I love the anticipation, the standing room only church services, visiting with family, wearing crowns, staying the night at my aunt's house, opening stockings, eating way too many finger foods, and bawling like a baby at the end of "It's a Wonderful Life." This Christmas Eve certainly did not disappoint!
Jackson with his Grammy (left) and Great Aunt Nancy.
Christmas doesn't begin until the poppers have been popped and the crowns are being worn! 
Since 2009, my Aunt Nancy and I have taken our traditional Christmas Eve crown pic! 

We were all extremely blessed this Christmas Eve -- between the beautiful message at church, homemade meatballs & prosciutto pinwheels for dinner, stocking stuffers, and lots of laughter, it was the perfect evening! 

This year, my parents stayed at a nearby hotel Christmas Eve night, and when they arrived back early the next morning, we began the traditional Christmas festivities: breakfast (this year I made these sticky buns), gifts, naps, dinner (prime rib this year -- so good!), and lots of relaxing/visiting.
Santa surprised Jax with an easel and a new art set!
Jax wasn't feeling very well the entire time we were there and messed with his teeth/threw up once... LOTS more on that tomorrow. 
I am so sad to see this time of the year coming to a close, but am so looking forward to another (hopefully) awesome year! I hope that you and yours all had a wonderful Christmas! I will be back here tomorrow to tell you about our second day of Christmas...

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Jackson's Birthday Week Shenanigans

Are you shocked beyond belief that I'm blogging two days in a row?!


Actually, one of my New Year's resolutions is to blog more... it is truly something that makes me happy/de-stress, so I am figuring out a way to manage my time better so that I can sit down and write. Anyway, enough about me, because today's post is all about Jackson's 2nd birthday shenanigans!

As I mentioned yesterday, we hosted Jax's 2nd birthday party last Saturday at our local rec center -- and I'm pretty sure that we will host every single birthday party there from now on! The price to rent both a party and gymnastics room for an hour each is extremely reasonable, they supplied EVERYTHING (cake, ice cream, juice, plates, napkins, decorations, etc.), and we had a hostess who took over the minute we walked in. It was by far the lowest maintenance party we've ever hosted and waaaaaaaay less stressful than Jax's 1st birthday party.

Anyway, not everyone we invited could make it, but we had a great group -- my parents even came out for the weekend which made it even more special.
A failed attempt at getting a group of toddlers to play musical chairs... only 3 of the girls played in the end!
He wouldn't take his eyes off the hostess as she cut the cake...

After the party, my aunt and uncle came over and we had a pizza party (with my fruit pizza for dessert) and opened presents! 

On Monday, Cassie (our favorite babysitter) came over for a couple hours so I could get ahead on work and then Jax and I made cookies and left over party cake and ice cream in bed with dad... this doesn't necessarily pertain to Jax's actual birthday, but it was fun nonetheless :)

Yesterday (Tuesday) was Jackson's actual birthday and we started the day off on the right foot by meeting his buddies Joshua and Jeremy at a nearby shopping center for cake pops and playtime at B&N. (I'm not sure who has more fun at our get togethers; the boys or the moms!) The rest of the afternoon was pretty laid back and consisted of a long walk/stroller nap, gift wrapping, and resting in anticipation of our big dinner at Dave & Busters! 
My aunt gifted him this "dos" shirt for his birthday, but he wanted nothing to do with my photo shoot! 
The J's: Joshua, Jackson, & Jeremy. 
Nap time in the stroller. 
At around 5:45pm, our good friends Logan and Tracy (Jax's honorary uncle and aunt) met us at our house and we carpooled over to Dave & Busters, where we met Brandon for dinner. The meal itself/the service was a hot mess (long story short, we sat there for literally 2 hours because our server kept messing up orders, forgetting to bring us our check, eventually charging both bills to Tracy's credit card, etc.), but the arcade itself was a blast! Go figure that Jackson's favorite thing to do was to insert the card into the card reader...
We had to wait 30 minutes for this slice of cake, but it was worth it! 
Skee Ball with "Uncle" Logan.
Jax and I ended up leaving D&B's before everyone else because he was having tummy troubles and I didn't have enough diapers :( It was a rough evening of teething/bottom pain, but our guy is sound asleep now and will hopefully feel better tomorrow.

I just love this little boy and can't believe he's ours... Happy 2nd birthday, Jackson Lee!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Jackson's 24 Month Update

Well, it finally happened... my baby turned 2! HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN?! Weren't we just in the hospital anxiously awaiting our little guys release from the NICU? Weren't we just bringing him home to meet the entire family Christmas morning (2013)? Wasn't he JUST trying to learn how to roll over from his back to his stomach?! Bear with me a moment as I take a look back at the last two years... (For your viewing enjoyment, please YouTube Barbara Streisand's "The Way We Were" as you look through these pictures.)

*long heavy sigh*

Okay, before I get even more mushy, let's take a look back at Jackson's month:

Weight: 23.5 lbs.

Length: 33 inches (that's a total guess...)

Nicknames: Jax, Buddy, Tinks, Stinker, Jacksie, Bubs, Buttercup, Stinker

Wearing: 18 month pants & 24 month tops (he has short legs and a long torso) and pajamas; Size 3 diapers.

Sleep: Between teething troubles and a bit of a cough/cold, we didn't sleep very well... the last few nights, however, he has slept in his crib until at least 6:30 before coming into our bed for another hour or two.

Jax likes: Bella, friends, building things, reading, opening presents, going for walks, doing puzzle, coloring/drawing, taking pictures on mommy's phone, Grammy & Grandpa's house, Mickey Mouse, "helping" around the house, showing off, church, playing at open gym, Family Feud, clapping

Jax dislikes: Snow, being told no, time out, bed time

Food: Cheese, veggie pasta, sweets, breads, oatmeal, Belvita, strawberries, peanut butter crackers, Greek yogurt... and that's about it for our picky boy!

Teeth: This poor kid... he FINALLY cut his 4th eyetooth and now his 2-year molars are beginning to emerge! You can tell he doesn't feel good at all and tries his hardest to shove his hand/wet washcloth/anything he can possibly find toward the back of his mouth to chew on :(

Happenings: Meeting his BFF Oliver for the first time; 2nd Thanksgiving (at the Hansens); tree/house decorating; Hays trip to see Nana, Russell, Aunt Britney, and the kids; singing carols and delivering Christmas cards to the senior center; snow day; visit to Grammy & Grandpas; 2nd birthday party at the rec center.

~This boy is all about Christmas and I couldn't be happier! On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Brandon put up the Christmas lights on the house and then we went to mass, ordered a pizza, watched Frosty, and decorated our tree! It was such a fun night!! Aside from loving our tree (and occasionally giving it hugs whenever we come home), this kid is all about outdoor Christmas lights! We've had a few unseasonably warm December nights, so we've taken advantage by walking as a family around the neighborhood to see all the decorated homes. On the first night, Jax was so cute and kept saying "MA?" (more.) Christmas really is more fun when you have kids!

~A few weeks ago, we had our weekly popcorn night and shared a bag while we watched Family Feud in bed. Anyway, once the popcorn was finished and I'd taken the bowl back downstairs to clean, Brandon and I both noticed Jackson still chewing on something. When I asked him what was in his mouth, he said "NOTHING", clear as day! Brandon and I looked at each other puzzled and asked each other, "did he just say 'nothing'?" Of course, he hasn't said it since, so I'm not sure if it was a fluke or if he's just holding out on us... 

~For his birthday, my Aunt Nancy and Uncle Rolf gifted Jax with a Melissa & Doug puzzle containing a bunch of different locks (which is the same one he LOVES playing with at the library). Anyway, he was all about latching and unlatching every lock, but eventually started pointing to the numbers on the board. That's when everyone started asking "Where's 1, 2, 3, etc." and he actually pointed to each one -- I was shocked!!! We count all the time but I have never actually sat down with him to show him what each number looked like, so the fact that he could point to each number (even when we didn't do them in order) was amazing!! 

~We hosted Jackson's birthday party at our local rec center on Saturday and it couldn't have been more fun! MUCH more to come later this week.

~I mentioned earlier that we've had a rough month of sleep and I'm starting to think that part of the issue is night terrors... I've done a lot of research and it seems like he's too young to have them, but it's the only explanation I have for him waking up screaming in the middle of the night, freaking out if I try to pick him up, standing in a corner of his crib staring at the wall, and repeating the process over and over for the next 30 minutes, when he finally collapses and falls back asleep. My dad had night terrors as a kid and our nephew has them, so I'm not sure if it's a genetics thing or what, but will definitely be bringing it up to his doctor at his 2-year well check.

Since Jacksie is now two, I will only be posting these updates quarterly... so, we'll see you again in 2 1/2 months! 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2015 - Hot Chocolate & Marshmallow Cookies

My favorite time of the year is upon us and one of my favorite activities has come to an end... 


For the second year in a row, I participated in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2015, which is just about the coolest thing ever! If you aren't familiar with the swap, here's how it works: "The GREAT FOOD BLOGGER COOKIE SWAP brings together food bloggers from around the world in celebration of all things scrumptious. The premise is this: sign up. Receive the addresses of three other food bloggers. Send each of them one dozen delicious homemade cookies. Receive three different boxes of scrumptious cookies from other bloggers. Eat them all yourself (or, you know, share. If you want. No judgement either way.) Post your cookie recipe on your blog. See everyone else’s cookie recipes. Salivate. Get lots of great ideas for next year’s cookie swap. Rinse and repeat."

Super fun, right?! In addition to receiving 3 separate boxes of homemade cookies in the mail, you are also benefiting Cookies' for Kids Cancer, which funds new therapies for children with cancer. 

Since I was crunched on time with all of our recent travels, I decided to make these Hot Cocoa Cookies with Marshmallows that I found on Pinterest. Best. Decision. Ever. 

Dianna from The Kitchen Prep, who received a shipment of my cookies, took this picture and I absolutely love it!

Since I wasn't the mastermind behind this recipe, I won't be taking credit and will forward you along to where I found it :)

As I mentioned before, we not only mailed cookies, but received some fabulous ones as well, including: 
Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies from Stark Raving Delicious.
Double Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies from Chew Nibble Nosh. 
Chocolate Ganache Filled Gingerbread Cups from the Suburban Soapbox
Mystery cookies from a mystery baker :(

If you think this sounds fun (trust me, it is), be sure to get yourself signed up for next year!! As always, thank you to Lindsay and Julie for organizing this highly anticipated event <3 
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