Thursday, January 31, 2008

Just a Few Pictures



One day last week, Gavin got himelf completely dressed. The last time I had seen him he was just in his diaper and then the next time I saw him, he looked like this. He picked out his clothes from the closet, got them off the hangers, and then put them on all by himself. He even picked out his socks from the sock basket and put them on as well. As you can see, they weren't quite matched up yet.



Just a cute picture of Ethan in his swing. Also, I forgot to mention that when he got his RSV shots last Friday he weighed in at 18lbs 12oz. He is getting so big!



I was on the computer yesterday morning when I heard this loud banging sound coming around the corner. It turns out to be Gavin wearing Tim's shoes.

---Allison

Monday, January 28, 2008

It's been too long!

No, we haven't dropped off the face of the earth. Our computer has just been down for the last week. It's been killing me to not be able to write and keep in touch with people. When I make posts I love getting comments because I know people are thinking about us and I don't feel so isolated and cooped up. In turn, I also love to read everyone else's blogs because, again, I feel like there is, in fact, a world outside my home. So needless to say, without my computer, I've been lonely. Tim finally did bring his laptop home from work for me to use in the meantime since this is my only source of "outside" entertainment and socializing (pathetic, I know). There is just not much else I can do until the weather gets better and I can start going outside again with Ethan.

We are all still doing relatively well. Ethan, however, was really grumpy last Wednesday and was just not acting like himself. I had considered that it could be because his 2nd front tooth has been trying to come through and is very tender. He's also had some congestion and a boogy nose for the last week. So being a nurse I always try and trouble shoot things before I just run my kids into the doctor. I listened to his heart rhythm and lungs and they sounded good. I checked his oxygen sats and temperature and they were both good. There was nothing that I could see that would be causing him to be so grumpy and upset. Regardless, I decided to take him in because more than a nurse, I am his mother and I still felt something was not right. I took him in and it turns out that he had a bad ear infection. (This happened about a month ago the last time he had a cold.) We were started on antibiotics and he has been feeling much better. So, again I count my blessings and know that of all the things that can go wrong with these little heart babies, I can definitely handle an ear infection.

Well, Spencer and Emily start back to school in the morning and I am hoping to get the house cleaned and back in order. They won't go off track again until April. They will be off the whole month and we are trying to plan a trip down to Texas. This of course all depends on finances and health, but so far, so good.

I will try and post again soon. Thank you all for your support and interest. I have been truly blessed to have such supportive family and friends. (Jody-call me, I lost your cell #)

---Allison

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Teething Again

Ethan LOVES his johnny jump up! He will be in this and just jump and bounce his little (half) heart out for as long as we will let him.


This was taken last week. Gavin LOVES his picture taken. He is such a little poser!

This is Ethan sitting in his swing eating his favorite fruit puffs. I guess you can't see any of them in the picture. He must have eaten them all.

This was taken yesterday while Emily was holding Ethan as they were watching TV together. Emily LOVES to hold and play with Ethan. She is the one who is constantly asking if she can hold him. The moment just prior to this picture is what I was trying to capture. Ethan was snuggled right into Emily's arm and chest and was sitting so still and was so relaxed. It was only when I stood up to get the camera that I ruined the moment and Ethan had to sit up and find out what was going on.


Last night was a very restless and fussy night for Ethan (and therefore myself). His first upper front tooth (on the left) broke through a couple of days ago and he is now working on the other upper front tooth. He also was very stuffy last night and I had to bulb suction him a couple of times during the night and again this morning. I am hoping that his congestion is due to teething. We have all been healthy recently and so I don't know where he would have gotten anything from. Anyway, as always, I will keep a close eye on him and hope it doesn't turn into anything bigger.

The kids are enjoying time off track right now and for the most part have been behaving pretty well. I have been assigning them chores each morning and at that time we also decide what fun thing we would do for the day when their chores were completed. So far this has worked well. It eats up some of the time that if left unstructured, my kids would be running, screaming, fighting, and driving me crazy. It also gives us a guideline for the day and something for the kids to look forward to. I have to mention something Spencer said the other day that I thought was cute. He approached me and asked if when we were discussing the daily jobs for the kids if I could change the term from "chore" to "responsibility", because it sounded nicer. So when I am done with this entry I have to discuss with the kids their "responsibilities" for the day.


Well, I hope you are all doing well.

---Allison

Monday, January 14, 2008

Not Much Happening

Well, as the title reveals, not much is happening in the Curtis household. I've been busy with work this last weekend with my shifts and a couple of meetings that I had to attend, but now I get some time off until my next rotating weekend comes up. The older kids are off track and out of school for the next 2 weeks. I am finally getting motivated to get my house cleaned and my life back in order, but I guess we'll see what the next couple of weeks have in store for me. It might have to wait until the kids go back to school.

Ethan has been staying very healthy. He got over his cold and is doing well. However, I am starting to get worried about his physical development. He hasn't been behind on any normal developmental goals thus far which is a real blessing considering what he has been through. He is now 8 1/2 months and he is not crawling yet. He will sit unassisted where you put him down, but he can not get into a sitting position by himself. He also seems to get "stuck" when he is on his tummy. I realize that his upper body strength has been a little lacking since we haven't had as much "tummy time" due to his surgeries. I've really been trying to work with him but he also is a very relaxed and mellow baby and doesn't seem to have a real drive to push him. He also has the unfair advantage of following Gavin who was scaling furniture at 7 months and full on walking at 10 months. I shouldn't worry too much, I know he will get there. I just hate to see him fall too much behind if there is something that I can do to help him. If any of you have any suggestions, PLEASE share. I would love to hear any ideas or exercises that you may have. (He is also starting to do more weight bearing and loves to be in his "Johnny Jump Up".) He does have another well-child visit in about 3 weeks and I will check with the Pediatrician to see if he is now in need of the Early Intervention program. ( The last time I had inquired about it he was meeting his goals, so I will check again). It is so hard to know what is heart related and what is personality driven. He is doing much better with eating (he has been fairly picky with his flavor choices recently and will throw up if peas even touch his tongue) and is beginning to self feed. He really likes his little star shaped fruit puffs.

Moving onto Gavin, he will be 3 in March and is flat out refusing to go potty in the toilet. He has done it in the past, just not consistently. But now he tells me that he wants to go "poo poo" in his diaper. He will also refuse to say that he is a "big boy" because he knows that the next sentence is that "big boys" go potty in the toilet. He has underwear that we've bought and he's had zero interest in them since day one. We've pointed out that his hero "Hercules" goes potty. And he has also recently seen his boy cousins ( similar in age) wearing "big boy underwear" and then just says that he wants to wear diapers. He is not motivated by treats or rewards. In fact, yesterday morning when I was changing his diaper I asked him if he wanted to try and go potty in the toilet for a fruit snack (which he will usually do anything for). He told me NO! and then did his business in his diaper just a few minutes later. I am not sure if there is some competition with Ethan and that he doesn't want to lose his place as my "baby" anymore? I don't know. Just in case, I did have a talk with him that even when he is a "big boy" he will always be my baby. But this too did not seem to effect his decision. He obviously has a mind of his own and can be fairly stubborn. Again, if any of you have any suggestions than what I've already tried, PLEASE let me know. I am not sure if I should drop the subject completely for a while, keep it mainly on the back burner but continue to offer the toilet as an alternative, or if I should keep working at it and make it a daily issue. Let me know what any of you think.

If nothing else, wish me good luck! Thanks in advance!

---Allison

Monday, January 7, 2008

Updated 2007 Montage

Now I promise I am not going crazy. I realize that I've already posted a montage of our year in 2007. However, when I created it, there were some pictures that I couldn't find and it was really bugging me. I have since found them and so I of course had to update it and change a few things around. Also, (because I am not very computer literate), I didn't want to risk losing both of them when I tried to replace one with the other. So, due to this fear, I now have 2 montages for 2007. If you don't want to watch it again, that's OK, just don't click on the "play" button. I know that you probably won't be able to tell much of a difference. Oh well.

----Allison


video

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Year's Eve 2007!



This is my youngest sister, and the "baby" of the family, Angela.



This is my brother Neal who is just 14 months younger than myself.



And this is my other sister Karalee with her huband (Cody) and daugher (April).

Well, in keeping with the theme of late posts, I am just catching up from Monday night. We spent the evening eating at my Parent's house with all of my brothers and sisters. We made home made won tons and played Guitar Hero and Rock Band. It was a very fun night of playing and visiting. It was a great way to say good-bye to 2007.

With that being said, I really look forward to what this next year will bring. I don't dare speculate because ANYTHING can happen. As with most people, my goal is to lose some weight. Now that there is no current excuse for my comfort eating, I need to do better at living in the moment and seeking less solace in my peanut M&M's. Also, we have a goal as a family to read the Book of Mormon.

I pray that this year our family and friends will be blessed with happiness and health. Happy New Year!!!!!!

---Allison

Our Family in 2007

video

We had a beautiful year and we plan on having many, many more.

---Allison

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Christmas catch-up

Emily (6) drew this picture in school of Ethan lying in my bed with the caption of what her "Christmas Wish" this year would be. It breaks my heart to see the feelings and fears that my children have to face at such a young age.



I know that this Christmas post is late. It seems that there is never enough time during the holidays to get all that you want accomplished. This Christmas season was no exception.

This year was very different than in years past. It took me a while longer to get into the Christmas spirit, but when it came, (as with most things) it was was well worth the wait. Along with the kids all getting what they wanted, we really tried to focus on our family as a whole this year and bought several "family" gifts in the hopes of spending more time together and creating new and fun memories. This year has been hard for them and we wanted to reward them for weathering it so well. It was fun to see their happy faces.

Aside from the material gifts, we recognize that we have been very blessed this year. This year has been by far the the most difficult and challenging. As a family, we've faced things that I never could have predicted. We've had to talk to the kids about appreciating life and accepting death. There were times that I didn't know how I would make it through the day. I know that as a family, we've all had to make sacrifices and that none of us will ever be the same.

I also know that I would never trade this year for anything! My family is stronger. I am stronger. My marriage is stronger. I have grown in ways that I never thought I could or even knew I needed to. I know what it feels like to be loved and supported by those around me. I know what it feels like to be broken and then to be mended by God's love. Because of this year, I am a better person.

During this Christmas season, I often think about the birth of Jesus and the challenges and ultimate sacrifice that he came here to face on this earth. I think specifically about Ethan and the challenges that he too will face during his journey on this earth. As a mother, my heart breaks when I see my son suffer. My soul is heavy when I wonder how much time I will have with him. It gives me a whole new respect and love for my Heavenly Father who knowingly sent his son here to be sacrificed....I would not be so strong. I know that regardless of how long I will be a mother here on earth, my family will be together forever. I love my husband and every one of my beautiful children. I've never questioned my eternal family, but until this year, I have never fully appreciated it.

There are some gifts that are truly priceless. I love you all! Merry (late) Christmas!

---Allison

Christmas Pics



Gavin couldn't wait to ride on his new "Diego" bike although I am not sure why he is wearing Tim's hat.



All Emily wanted for Christmas was a digital camera. Santa brought her this pink one which she loves. All morning we had to teach Emily camera "etiquette" when she kept trying to take pictures of everyone in their underwear. She wants me to post some of her pictures that she has taken, so watch for those coming soon!



Yes, Spencer received his beloved Nintendo DS. His cousin Katy sent him a game for this system which he opened on Christmas Eve. We told him not to open the game until he found out if he got the system or not so we could exchange it if needed. He was sweating bullets until Christmas morning and was of course pleasantly surprised.



This tent is one of the things that I bought while shopping on-line. It is currently not being used due to it's size but I think it will be fun to play in when the bonus room or yard is finished.



Ethan's first Christmas! Who knew that he would be doing so well. It was probably the best Christmas to date that I can think of. I can't help but be aware of all of the blessings and "real" gifts that we've received.

---Allison