Copyright

Monday, November 18, 2013

My, Oh My...How Time Flys!

As you can tell, this year has been a very busy one.  I'm not even going to attempt to recap what has happened in our lives since my last post -- other than to say that our in-laws moved out (and into their new home) at the end of July and we have kind of been "regrouping" in our household since that time!

I have several people who have shared that they really enjoyed my blog in the past, and to please NOT discontinue it.  So, I'm going to make a real attempt to keep up with posts from now until the end of the year!  I'll definitely try to keep up with our "life-at-the-moment" posts...and I may even try to recap a few things from earlier in the year if time allows.

Stay Tuned!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Chaos Reins!

Chaos continues to rain upon us this year.  You might recall, based on my last post, that we had family move in with us back in February.  They've now been living with us for about 2.5 months and we have another 1.5+ months to go before they move out of our home and into their beautiful, new home.

Overall things have been going very well but the kids have definitely had their moments.  They like to push each other's buttons (especially the two older girls!) and make life miserable for each other on occasion.  For the most part, however, things are going well considering we are now a family of eight living together in a four bedroom home!  I think all of us adults are just happy that spring is FINALLY upon us...since that means that the kids can now go outside for hours on end and play rather than being cooped up inside all day!

In addition to the household changes, we also have other changes that are taking place.  The end of yet another school year is quickly approaching, which means that come this fall we will officially have one first grader and one fifth grader.  It seems so odd to speak those words!  And last, but not least, "Feisty Girl" is set to have another surgery next week.

As we'll be catering to "Feisty Girl" every want and need beginning next week and likely continuing through late summer/early fall, I'm not exactly sure how much blogging I'll get around to doing.  For those with access, I'll be blogging about Emma's surgery "journey" on her private, password protected page if you would like to follow us there.  For everyone else, if time allows, I'll try to catch up on some old posts while I'm "hanging out" in the hospital for 4 or 5 days next week.  There are only so many things you can do in a hospital room you know!  (Don't hold it against me if I don't have time to catch ya' all up on the latest and greatest family news though -- I'll do my best but I can't make any promises...my family is my top priority!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

If You're Wondering...

If you are wondering where I've been hiding out since the first of the year, the answer is pretty simple...we've been in the process of doubling the size of our family!  SAY WHAT?  Yes, we use to be a family of four and now we are a family of eight.  No additional babies.  Or pets.  How does that happen you ask?  Read on to find out...

It all started with my brother-in-law and his family.  They sold their existing home and their new home has not yet been built.  In fact, the ground hasn't even been broken yet -- but the design is complete.

So, in addition to the four of us (the adults) there are now four kids in the house.  Our nine year old, our five year old, their five year old, and their one year old.  That's a lotta kids! ;)

They moved in not quite one week ago and we have all been having a blast thus far.  The kids have loved having the opportunity to play together all the time and I have really enjoyed our family meal planning and dinners together.  Today we spent the day grocery shopping and cleaning the house.  The old saying "many hands make light work" really is true!  We had a lot to do but had in done in no time.

Tomorrow we'll be relaxing, except maybe a trip to Kohls and/or Lowes.  The kiddos will have another chance to get out into the new snow and do some sledding or build a snow fort.

I'm excited to see what the next six months (approximately) will bring for the eight of us!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

...And That's a Wrap

So 2012 has officially come to an end and we have now entered the New Year!  Although the time seemed to fly-by, we made a lot of great memories in 2012.  Here is a recap of some of my favorites:
  • "Feisty Girl" had her first pedicure on a "mommy and me" day in March
  • Birthday celebrations included - "Feisty Girl" turned 5, "Little Man" turned 9, and my man turned the big 4-0!
  • "Little Man" gave his first ever PowerPoint presentation ("All About Me") in front of his 3rd grade class at the end of the school year.
  • "Little Man" participated in his first ever city-wide track and field event.  He placed in one event and received a ribbon!
  • We were able to enjoy front-row (right about the dugout!) seats to a MN Twins game and "Little Man" had a total of three balls thrown to him, including two from Justin Morneau.
  • "Feisty Girl" started kindergarten!!
  • "Little Man" won a "Grandmasters of Chess, Rookie Trophy" through a Youth Enrichment League class that he took over the summer.
  • My husband and I, along with our best friends, got to tour the Leinenkugal Brewery in Chippewa Falls, WI, over his 40th birthday.
  • "Little Man" earned a Presidential Fitness Award.
  • "Feisty Girl" had another successful surgery (calcaneal osteotomy w/ internal fixation and gastroc-soleus lengthening) in December and recovered quickly and, thus far, without any problems!
  • We were fortunate enough to be able to enjoy some quality family time together at places like the MN Zoo, the MN State Fair, Duluth (the North Shore!), MN, and the Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort in Wisconsin Dells, WI.
Last, but not least, here a a few photos to finish off the year.  I've been lacking in the addition of photos to the website lately...so here are a few of recent events that will finish off another year of "Groh'ing family" blog posts:

Lookin' Beautiful!

Full of "Sass!"

A Small Conversation with Santa

Brother and Sister at the Hospital

A Family Christmas Photo
(Christmas on the other side of the family
has yet to take place!)


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Another Sad Day in U.S. History

It was during my lunch hour yesterday that I learned of the tragic events that took place earlier in the morning in Newtown, CT, at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  I won't "glorify" what took place by including any of the details in this post -- as I strongly believe this is part of the problem with these situations.  The media sensationalizes the event, which leads to copycat activities and people trying to "one up" the last person.

What I will focus on here are those who I believe are typically forgotten...the victims.  Most folks can rattle off the name of someone who has committed a heinous crime such as this, but few can remember the names of the victims.

So, here is my own personal attempt to make sure that the victims of this tragedy are never forgotten.  Their names will be etched here in writing for years to come.  Never to be forgotten.  Ever.

The children:

Charlotte Bacon - Age 6
Daniel Barden - Age 7
Olivia Engel - Age 6
Josephine Gay - Age 7
Ana M Marquez-Greene - Age 6
Dylan Hockley - Age 6
Madeleine F Hsu - Age 6
Catherine V Hubbard - Age 6
Chase Kowalski - Age 7
Jesse Lewis - Age 6
James Mattioli - Age 6
Grace McDonnell - Age 7
Emilie Parker - Age 6
Jack Pinto - Age 6
Noah Pozner - Age 6
Caroline Previdi - Age 6
Jessica Rekos - Age 6
Avielle Richman - Age 6
Benjamin Wheeler - Age 6
Allison N Wyatt - Age 6

The adults:

Rachel Davino - Age 29
Dawn Hocksprung - Age 48
Anne Marie Murphy - Age 52
Lauren Russeau - Age 30
Mary Sherlach - Age 56
Victoria Soto - Age 27
Nancy Lanza, mother of the perpetrator (age unknown)

May you all be embraced in the open arms of our Savior, and be remembered forever by those of us still here on Earth.  We will never forget each of you.



Monday, December 10, 2012

A Retirement Gala

My husband and I have worked at our current company for 15 years.  It is a wonderful company that cares about its employees, provides a beautiful working environment, and offers a benefit package that is second-to-none.  They know how to attract and retain quality employees...and have done so now for 108 years!

Recently, our Chairman of the Board retired.  He started with the company back in 1968, as a marketing representative, and retired in November of this year, after dedicating a total of 47 years to catapulting the company to new heights.  In these times of economic turmoil, our company is currently one of the most financially secure insurance companies in the United States.  In fact, when compared to a large group of company peers in 2011, our company "topped the list" as being the best positioned to discharge its financial responsibilities.  To boot, we consistently receive some of the highest ratings from industry watchdogs.  While our retired Chairman of the Board didn't do this "single handed," he was definitely the driving force behind some of the biggest ideas and greatest changes over my 15 years with the company.  He was, an amazing leader.

Additionally, a foundation co-chaired by him and his wife has managed to raise over $20 million dollars for at-risk youth in the state of Minnesota.  Both his corporate and personal "citizenship" is second-to-none. 

Why do I share all of this information you ask?  Well, because this past weekend our retired Chairman of the Board was honored in front of a group of 600+ of his friends, family, and colleagues...and my husband and I were fortunate enough to be included in that group of 600+ attendees.  It was a black tie event and was a completely amazing evening.

How amazing you ask?  Well, in the group of 600+ attendees you could find the following:
  • Former Minnesota Governor and Former First Lady, Tim & Mary Pawlenty
  • Reverend Bill Lies - University of Notre Dame Vice President for Mission Engagement and Church Affairs
  • David Sokol - Chairman, Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans
  • Overtone (South African Vocal Harmony Group)
  • Pia Toscano (American Idol Season 10 Favorite)
  • Kenny G. (Grammy Award Winning Saxophonist)
All were there to honor our retired Chairman of the Board and his beautiful, supportive wife.  That, in and of itself, speaks volumes to his life and his character. 

But, enough of the idol chatter for now...here are some pictures from the evening.  (Sorry they aren't better but I had my tiny point-and-shoot camera and it doesn't produce the best photos).


All Dressed Up --
(Can you believe I didn't think to get a
full-length picture of the two of us..uggh!)


Pia Toscano during one of her performances



Friday, November 30, 2012

December? Already?

Tomorrow marks the beginning of December and the start of a very crazy month for our household.  We have Christmas choir concerts to attend (two of them), tickets to a Minnesota Timberwolves game, "Little Man's" basketball practices (and starting next weekend, games), a black tie event to attend, and last...but certainly not least..."Feisty Girl's" next surgery, which is scheduled for December 17th.  Then, of course, there are the Christmas and New Year holidays quickly approaching.  True Chaos!

However, as the days pass and the year inches ever closer to being over, our family has so much to be thankful for.  The roof over our heads, well-running vehicles, a consistent supply of food on our table, our health, and probably the biggest thing to be thankful for -- each other.

Tomorrow we will be spending a good portion of the day together; something I always enjoy!  We have a full schedule tomorrow, beginning with "Shop With Santa" at 8:00 a.m.  This is a wonderful event sponsored by a local church and 4-H club.  Weeks and months prior to this event each year, local 4-H'ers spend time making hand-made gifts for young children in the area to purchase and give as gifts to those that they hold close in their hearts.  Children in grades six and under are paired-up with an older 4-H volunteer and then they can spend time Christmas shopping for their loved ones.  The gifts are unique, cute, fun, and inexpensive.  We generally give each of the kids $20.00 and they tend to purchase 4 - 6 gifts each year for that amount.  The money raised during the event is then funneled back into the community through, I believe, the church and our local 4-H club.

Santa and Mrs. Clause are on hand each year in the "secret shopping area" (no parents allowed!) and the children each get a small gift from Santa and Mrs. Clause at the end of their shopping spree.  While the children are doing their shopping, parents can sit in the lobby area and enjoy an ice cold juice, milk, or even coffee and a doughnut.

Once the children are done shopping, the 4-H volunteer returns them to their parents (along with any left-over money!) and, generally, then each parent helps their child or children take all of their presents out to the vehicle.  Our kids, well, they are normally smiling from ear-to-ear and are simply dying to tell us what they have purchased for us and everyone else!  (It is hard for them to keep their presents secret all the way until Christmas).  Nonetheless, it is a wonderful time.  Generally we are there about 2+ hours and we all have a blast...the kids with their shopping, and us watching their faces light up once they are done and are returning to us with all of their "goods!"

After the Shop With Santa event tomorrow our daughter has a birthday party to attend and I am going to get a long-overdue haircut, color, and wax.  I'm not sure what the "boys" have planned for later in the day but I'm sure they have a couple of ideas/options that they have already brewed up.  Tomorrow evening we may try to take in "Rise of the Guardians" at our local movie theater...it should be a very fun and exciting day for all of us tomorrow!

Again, I'm reminded of all that I have to be thankful for -- I am truly blessed.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Holiday #1 - COMPLETE

We did it...we managed to visit our entire immediately family, on both sides, or have them visit us over the past four days. 

We started out with a trip to Rochester to visit my side of the family.  We got there late Wednesday night, so we basically just unpacked once we arrived.  We visited for a short while but then everyone hit the bed.  I didn't sleep very well, at all, for some reason.  Maybe it was the anticipation of spending the next two days (Thurs/Fri) with everyone!  We awoke Thursday morning and, for the better part of the morning, let the kids play while the adults chit chatted.  And, of course, we made a "paper run" for the local newspaper containing all of the Black Friday ads!!  In the early afternoon hours we had a wonderful traditional Thanksgiving meal prepared by my mom -- turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, warm buns, pie, etc.  After eating some of us helped mom clean up the kitchen while others started combing through the Black Friday ads for the biggest and best deals of the day.  Late that afternoon my husband and I took our niece to see "Breaking Dawn - Part 2," a movie we had all been waiting to see and just couldn't find the time to do it...what better time then over the holiday?  Plenty of babysitters, a fun way to spend time together, and a great way to sit back and relax after such a great meal!

Then, Friday arrived.  The Friday.  Black Friday.  My husband and I had both decided that we were boycotting the whole "shop at 8 p.m." gig.  This pretty much summerizes our thoughts on the whole Black Friday creeping into our Thursday holiday...


In fact, we really didn't find any "must have" deals in any of the ads...so we slept in until 6:00 a.m. and then hit the road.  We shopped until around 3:00 a.m. then, after not finding much at all, my husband said "lets cut our losses and call this thing D.O.A."  We did and returned to my brothers house to visit some more with family before finally leaving later in the afternoon.

Upon arriving home we unpacked and settled into bed early, as my husband's side of the family was set to arrive on Saturday.  As it turns out, no one showed up until around 4:00 p.m. (which actually worked out just fine) as my husband's brother and his wife were signing on their soon-to-be-built home.  They had a meeting with their builder at 12:00 p.m. and got done later than expected.  But it all worked out, everyone arrived at our place after the signing and we were able to enjoy a nice relaxing evening together.  We had more turkey, stuffing, etc. and there were a few Bakers Square Pies to boot!  (YUM!)  Grandma G. and all of the kids were in bed by 9:30 or 10:00 p.m. while the rest of us adults stayed up chatting and playing card and board games.  The last of us hit the bed around 2:00 a.m., while comes really early when the kids still get up around 7:30 a.m!

Sunday morning we had a big breakfast, visited some more, and watched the Vikings game.  As it turns out, it was an all-around bad weekend for football.  First our beloved local football team lost the Prep Bowl (first time they had made it to state finals since 1999...and the fourth time not bringing home the title), and then the Vikings played and got whooped.  The kids were starting to get cranky, as the extended weekend and late nights appeared to be catching up with them -- we all parted ways around 4:00 p.m., after discussing our upcoming plans for the Christmas holiday!  It is amazing how quickly time passes.

"Fiesty Girl" sumed it all up when we were putting her to bed for the night.  She started crying and said "I just wish we could all have just one more stay-at-home day."  We told her that we couldn't agree more and that it is ALWAYS wonderful to see our families but, unfortunately, when tomorrow comes it is going to bring with it a return to school (for the kiddos) and a return to work (for the adults).  And, with that, we await the Christmas season so that we can see everyone once again!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Speed-Treating"

Happy Halloween to Everyone! 

Sorry the blog hasn't been update for so long...once again "life" has gotten in the way.  However, I've had several requests to post pictures from this evening, so I've decided to force myself to spend a bit up time updating the blog background and creating a new post highlight our Halloween "outing."

We started off the evening around 5:30, visiting a few of our closest neighbors...none of whom were home.  So we proceed to move a few streets down "into" the neighborhood -- where we found lots of kids already making their way from home-to-home.

We probably hit a total of 75+ homes.  With the kids literally RUNNING from house-to-house.  I told my husband that the kids were "Speed-Treating."  I have never before seen the two of them move so fast on Halloween.  Maybe it was because the outside temperature seemed to be warmer than it has been the past several years (it was 52 degrees outside when we started) and they didn't have to jump in the van every 10 house to warm up -- or maybe it was just the thrill of the "candy chase!"

Either way "Little Man" and "Feisty Girl" had a blast tonight.  Their buckets were literally overflowing by the time we got home -- and they were filled with everything from books and toothbrushes to full-sized cans of pop and popcorn.  (Of course, there was the convential stuff too...crunch bars, fruit snacks, kit kats, pixie sticks, etc).

Here are some photos from our evening.  Sorry I don't have more.  I just couldn't get them to hold still long enough to snap more than a dozen photos over the course of the night!  I hope you enjoy them as much as we did:

The Start of the "Race"

Finally Caught Up with the Neighbors -- Ed
and Tracy (who was at work)

A Lovely Ladybug!

A Super-Secret Spy!  (Complete with night vision goggles,
an evidence kit, secret "invisable ink pen"
and many other secrets!)

Back at home -- The "Trick-or-Treat" Meter
on "Little Man's" Bag read JACKPOT!

P.S.  In case you are curious (like "Little Man" was!) his candy haul came in at a total of 9.6 pounds.  And that doesn't include his sisters candy -- which probably weighed in at an additional 5+ pounds!


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Traveling Soccer

This year "Little Man" was old enough to join our state and local soccer associations and begin playing U10 traveling soccer this fall.  They boys played their first game last weekend and won 2-0.  This weekend they have two games.  One home game, which they played this morning and tied 1-1, and another tomorrow afternoon.

"Little Man" is loving it!  He has great coaches, great teammates, and we've really enjoyed watching him move out of the "Park & Rec" type leagues into the next level.  He has learned a lot, although there is much more to learn, and he is doing great!

Here are a couple of pictures from today's game...a series of them in which "Little Man" (he is in the white) steals the ball right out from under his opponents feet!  (Way to go bud!!)





Thursday, September 6, 2012

Carseat Canopy Promo Code

Carseat Canopy has some neat carseat covers...and right now, using Promo Code, PC8912, you can get one for free!  Or, if you prefer, you can use the credit to get $49.95 off one of their "Whole Caboodle" sets.  You only pay the cost of shipping, which is $12.95.  Hurry though, this particular promo code is only good while supplies last.

P.S.  For all you parents out there...check out FamilyFun magazine.  It's a favorite in our household and is where I found the code for these darling covers!!

"Aiden" Carseat Canopy

"Belle" Carseat Canopy

"Belle" Whole Caboodle

"Hawkslee" Whole Caboodle

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Summer's End - Back to School

Summer has officially come to an end in Minnesota.  The travel season has ended with the passing of Labor Day weekend and children in the state, ours included, have now gone back to school for the 2012 - 2013 school year.  In our house, that means that we now officially have a 4th Grader and a Kindergartner!  How did I suddenly become a mother to two children this old?!

In typical end-of-summer fashion we headed out on one last family vacation over the Labor Day weekend.  Instead of our normal trip to Duluth, MN, (which we visited in July of this year) we opted to make the trek east to Wisconsin Dells, WI, this year.  As with most of our family trips, we had a blast once we were actually there and doing things...in terms of the car rides there and back...not quite as much fun! ;)

So, without further ado, here are some pictures from both our trip to the "Dells" and the first day of school for both of the kiddos:

Riding the waves at "The Great Wave"
(Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort)

Dad and "Little Man" enjoying some time together!

"This place ROCKS!"

"Thank goodness for wi-fi at the waterpark!"
(My husband's best friend)

Me...enjoying my first "blended concoction"of the trip!

"Feisty Girl" on the carousel at the Indoor Themepark
(Kalahari Resort)

4-way air hockey anyone?

The view of Lake Delton from our 3-bedroom condo!

Officially a 4th Grader!

Officially a Kindergartner!

Temps were suppose to be in the 90's today...
so water bottles were mandatory!

Chillin' before the start of school!


Friday, August 17, 2012

Fun at the Fair

It has been some time since my last post and I'm happy to report a couple of things:

1.  "Little Man" has recovered from his pneumonia and is breathing much easier.  (Now we are just dealing with his seasonal allergies!)
2.  "Feisty Girl" had a renal ultrasound and the results were good.  They looked at her kidneys, bladder, and spleen and everything looked good.  So now we are going to meet with a pediatric urologist in a couple of weeks to try to determine what, if anything, might be going on.

But now on to the fun stuff...this week is fair week!  I decided to take today off from work and take the kiddos down to the fair for the day.  The kids rode rides for about four hours straight, with a very short break for lunch.  The weather was perfect and we really enjoyed the day together -- the only thing missing was dad, who was at work.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the day:

At the top of the big slide

Fun on the Moon Buggies!

Going for a drive

What da'ya looking at?  I can do this thing!

Trying hard not to slide to the outside

Lil' beauty in a Super Truck!

"Hi mom and TT!"

"Little Man" and the goldfish that he won
(He was sooo happy!)

And, of course, no fair is complete with a treat.
"Feisty's Girl" chose an Icee

"Little Man" chose chocolate chip cookie dough...
dipped in chocolate...
with candy sprinkles!


Monday, July 30, 2012

One of Those Months?

Okay, this is not a trend that I want to be experiencing right now...not only is "Little Man" battling pneumonia right now, but we found out this afternoon that "Feisty Girl" is also having some issues -- not with pneumonia but it could be just as bad, or worse.

Two weeks ago we had her in for a routine well-child check and during the visit she received her kindergarten shots and also had a routine blood draw and urinalysis.  The next day (which has now been a little over two weeks ago) we received a call from her doctor telling us that she had a "very significant amount of blood" in her urine.  He thought it might be a fluke, but could also be a sign of something more serious, so he asked us to bring her back in to be retested in two weeks.

Last Friday was the two week mark so we went back to the clinic and they did another urinalysis.  Today, "Feisty Girl's" nurse called and said that the results were essentially the same -- not good news.  Soooo...now we need to make an appointment for her to see a pediatric urologist for a consult and also make an appointment for a renal ultrasound.  I'm trying to keep a level head and believe that it will all turn out to be "nothing" but that is hard to do.  Especially with thoughts creeping into my mind of the whole melamine scandal in China that broke during the very time (July 2008) that we were in China finalizing "Feisty Girls" adoption.  I'm sure there is no connection to the issues that she is having now, but it does make me pause to contemplate the possibilities.  Especially since the long-term effects of exposure is not well-known.  So for now well just wait, pray, and take things day-by-day!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

One of Those Weeks!

Ever had one of those weeks?  We have...

All of "the goods"
Wondering what all of the stuff in the picture is?  It's all of "the goods" that we were sent home with over the weekend.  On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, "Little Man" wasn't feeling the best.  Just cold-type symptoms, nothing major.  We kept him home from his childcare facility all day on Wednesday and half a day on Thursday before he said he was feeling better...and we allowed him to go to daycare Thursday afternoon.

On Friday we started noticing a pretty bad sounding cough.  My husband wanted me to take him in to Urgent Care but "Little Man" didn't want to go ("it's just a cough!") and since he seemed to otherwise be okay, I didn't want to take him in either -- I assumed he just had a bad cold and that with the weekend upon us he could rest and be back at it on Monday.  So, against my husband's advice, we stayed home to rest and skipped Urgent Care.  Boy, did we make the wrong decision.  By 2:00 a.m. "Little Man" starting throwing up and continued to throw up all night/morning.  His cough was also sounding much worse.

By about 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning, "Little Man's" breathing seemed labored and shallow.  We had seen these symptoms once before, in 2009, when he had pneumonia.  Watching him struggle to breathe, I abandoned the "No Urgent Care" ("it's just a cold!) line-of-thinking on Saturday and told "Little Man" that he needed to go see a doctor.  He agreed and we left the house around 7:40 a.m. in hopes of being on of the first people at Urgent Care when the opened at 8:00 a.m.

We arrived at Urgent Care about 7:55 a.m. and "Little Man" was the first person to see the Physician's Assistant that was on duty.  The nurse took all of his vitals, then the Physician's Assistant came in to talk to us and do a quick exam.  After the exam he decided that he wanted to measure "Little Man's" oxygen level.  That was the beginning of the end...

"Little Man's" oxygen level was at 89.  It should be closer to 100.

After those results came back, the Physician's Assistant told us that "Little Man" would need to be seen in the Emergency Room and would possibly be admitted to the hospital for observation.  Uggh!!  They immediately put him on oxygen to try to bring his level up and then put him in a wheelchair and carted us off to the ER.  It was, lucky for us, quick work at the ER!   We got right in and as soon as we were in a room the ER staff started to work their magic.

They got "Little Man" out of his clothes and into "hospital wear" and then immediately got him hooked up for continuous monitoring of his pulse, heart rate, oxygen level, temperature, etc.  Next they sent someone down to draw blood.  Then we talked to the doctor and nurse.  They gave "Little Man" something to help him stop throwing up, which was a big relief.

After that they turned on a cartoon to try to keep "Little Man's" mind off of everything that was going on.  It was all a little bit overwhelming for him, so the cartoon was a great distraction.  Then, a respiratory therapist came in to visit and do an evaluation.  After talking to "Little Man" and asking me a bunch of questions he determined that a nebulizer treatment and some steroids were necessary.  After that was done then they sent us down to radiology to take a chest x-ray.

Once we were back in the room, awaiting the results of all of the tests, there was talk of IV fluids.  I knew that wouldn't go over real well...we barely made it past the blood draw.  Since "Little Man" had quit throwing up (finally!) and was able to hold down fluids, I asked if we could hold off on the IV and the doctor agreed that that would be fine for the time being.

Finally the results were back.  "Little Man's" blood counts were fine, but the chest x-ray came back showing pneumonia in his right lower lung.  Luckily, the nebulizer treatment and steroids were doing their thing and his oxygen levels had come back up into the mid-90's.  At that point, they agreed hospitalization would NOT be necessary.  Yeah!!  So, we packed-it-up and headed to Target to up some prescriptions on the way home...an inhaler and some antibiotics.  We were also given a Peak Flow Meter (which measures a person's ability to breathe air out of the lungs...and thus the degree of obstruction in the airway) and asked to start recording "Little Man's" peak flow numbers three times a day.

It is now Sunday night.  "Little Man" slept most of the day Saturday (once we were home from the ER) and slept in pretty late this morning.  He has been lounging around most of the day today.  The bad cough is still there but he is definitely breathing a lot easier than he was yesterday.  He'll be staying home until he is better.  His dad is staying home with him Monday and Tuesday, and then I'll take over on Wednesday.

The respiratory therapist also thought that "Little Man" might possibly have some form of asthma (possibly allergy-induced) and asked that we just keep that in the back of our minds in the future, should something like this happen again.  Since this is now the second time in three years that "Little Man" has had this type of thing happen and been diagnosed with pneumonia, that id definitely something that we will continue to monitor going forward.

It's late Sunday night, the weekend flew by, and the work day is going to come early...I'm signing-off.  (And checking on my little guy before I hit the bed).

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, "Little Man's" dad is also sick.  Sore throat, cough...all stuff we could do without at the moment.  He's managing though -- and I'm hoping by later this week everyone in this household will be back at 100%.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

One of Those Days!

Ever have one of those days?  "Little Man" had one yesterday...

After getting mad at us "Little Man" fell asleep
on the couch...and left a little note for us to read.

This was the note!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

We Have a "Grandmaster" in our Midst!

"Little Man" is really enjoying his summer this year.  He started SAC (School Age Care) rather than the childcare center that he was attending previously.  And while he will be the first to tell you that there are positives and negatives to both places, he loves the activities that are available to him through SAC.  To name just a few, here are some of the things that he has been able to participate in so far this summer:
  • Weekly trips to the local water park
  • Weekly trips to the local library
  • Weekly "guests" that come on-site to share things with the kids (including an astronomer, farmer, and a chef)
  • A trip to the MN Science Museum to learn about real life pirates
  • Volunteering to help set-up for our local "Relay for Life" cancer fundraising event
  • A trip to a regional theater to see a play
The list of activities goes on and one -- but this week was a favorite...

The Youth Enrichment League visited and provided an instructor for a four day chess class.  Participants had to pay a fee to participate in this particular class, but the class was with a local (and highly sought after) instructor so it was worth the cost.  Anyone who knows "Little Man" knows that he loves to play chess -- and that he is fairly good at it for having had so little instruction this early in his life!

So what does four straight days of instruction with a highly-accomplished player get ya?  (See below to find out!)

"Little Man's" Grandmasters of Chess Trophy
"Rookie" Level

One happy little man!

Moving up from "Cadet" to "Lieutenant!"


Monday, July 9, 2012

Our First Family Vacation of the Summer!

Several weeks ago, you might recall that I blogged about the recent Historic Flooding in Duluth, MN.  What I failed to mention in that particular post was the fact that our annual trek to the North Shore was actually slated for the July 4th Holiday this year...and that I had considered cancelling due to the extensive, devastating floods Duluth and the surrounding areas.  However, thanks to a friend who grew up in Duluth and who still has family there we were encouraged to "stay the course" and make our way to the North Shore.  She assured me that she had just been up there and that most of the "touristy" areas of Duluth, including the infamous Canal Park, were virtually untouched.  So we hedged our bets and went anyway...and boy, am I glad that we did!

Nearly every area that we typically visit was untouched, already cleaned up, or a clean up was in progress.  We didn't encounter any issues with detours or delays due to damaged roads and found that most places were easily accessible to us.  However, there was a lot of destruction to be seen if you chose to seek it out -- side streets riddled with sinkholes or missing altogether, a few restaurants and businesses closed (not ones we normally frequent) and in the process of being repaired, EROSION...like I have never seen before, and the water in Lake Superior was still clay-colored from all of the run-off.

At a time where the economy is already so unstable -- a blow like a 500 year flood event to an area such as this one (very high levels of tourism over the entire summer) would seem like it would have the potential to send the city to its knees and bury it forever.  However, we saw people out working their hardest to breathe live back into every nook-and-cranny of the city and the outlying areas.  Inspiring really.

Needless to say, our tourism dollars were greatly needed (and appreciated!) throughout our four day stay.  Folks went out of their way to provide us with information regarding what was open, or wasn't, whenever we asked questions.  We attended the "Fourth Fest" and watched the evening fireworks light up the sky over Lake Superior the night of July 4th.  Breathtaking.  Beautiful. 

They will rebuild.  And we will come again.  Thank you again to the wonderful folks in Duluth and the surrounding areas for making our family vacation a wonderful one...even amidst one of the most devastating times in your history!

Some of my favorite photos from the trip:

"Little Man" looking out over Lake Superior

Ms. Mischievous!  (Do you see the Devil in her eyes?!)

Hilton Honors "Welcome Gift"
A four pack of Red Bull...with a funny card to boot.
I guess being a Diamond-level member really does have its perks!

"Feisty Girl" at Gooseberry Falls

Little Man's "Serious Face"
(He was doing some rock climbing and was all business!)

A little jog through the forest!

Mom, "Little Man," & "Feisty Girl"
in the river above the Upper Falls at Gooseberry

Physical therapy exercises in the great outdoors...
my man is committed like no other!

Dad & the kiddos (upper falls in the background)

Letting off some steam!

And the winner is?!?

OH!  That is cold!

Skipping rocks on Lake Superior

Beautiful rock-lined beach

Family Photo-Op!

Best little joint in Duluth to purchase a cold treat on a warm day!