Monday, February 28, 2011

Birthday Fun

Another birthday has come and gone. And for all of you that like to give me a hard time about getting old…just a reminder that I am still in my twenties :)

I woke up on Saturday morning to Casey getting Gavin’s breathing treatments & breakfast taken care of, birthday cards and the Mumford & Sons CD. I also got a new wireless HP printer, which may sound lame to some of you, but we haven’t had a printer in over two years and I am constantly looking for new projects (for myself and Gavin) and am psyched that I can now print them off at home…without even having to plug my computer into it :)

Saturday evening Gavin went to church with his Grandma & Grandpa (and spent the night with them) while Casey and I headed to the country club to do a food tasting. All of the couples getting married there this summer/fall were in an attendance and we ate for 3 1/2 hours straight. It was so good and I don’t even want to think about how many calories we consumed! We ended the night meeting up with friends downtown with the plan of having just a drink or two…and we ended up staying out until bar close, whoops! Luckily we had nothing planned for Sunday and lazed around with Gavin in pjs.

I am positive that Casey is glad that month of February is over. His mom, Gavin, my mom and I all have February birthdays, and that doesn’t include Valentine’s day!

For my mom’s birthday, Gavin painted her “picture.” For all the other mom’s out there, keep an eye out for your craft stores putting the canvases on sale. Gavin loves creating art work, and this is a way to have their art hanging on the walls without needing a frame! I didn’t get a picture of the final product, sorry, but this kid loves to be creative and asks me to paint nearly everyday!


Soon I am going to need to try my friend Molly’s idea. Some water, a paintbrush, and construction paper. They use the water to “paint” a picture…hours of fun and no mess!

Friday, February 25, 2011


When Gavin was first diagnosed I used to whisper in his year, “You’re going to grow up and cure your own disease.”

Two things about that. First, at the rate medical advances are headed, there is a real possibility that his disease will be “controlled” before he’s even old enough to enter medical school…possibly even elementary school! Secondly, he’s smart. Really smart. I am just going to continue to have high hopes and dreams for Gavin because so far he has far exceeded every expectation Casey and I have had for him.

This morning at the pediatrician Gavin correctly pointed out every color, shape & letter hanging on the wall…in front of the pediatrician. She just looked at me and said, “whoa.” (A good whoa) And then commented, “he’s beyond speaking in mere sentences, he’s speaking in paragraphs!” Every mom wants to get this kind of report. It’s beyond satisfying to hear about your child succeeding, and definitely makes me feel like we’ve been doing something right. The hours of “learning” have definitely paid off. But, at the same times it’s a bit scary! A smart toddler is dangerous! They can easily outwit you and are extremely sneaky!

Gavin loves going to the doctor, not kidding. Yesterday, I went to an express clinic to get some antibiotics for myself (nasty sinus infection) and Gavin was irate that the appointment wasn’t for him. He made the physician assistant listen to his heart and look in his ears as well…needless to say the PA thought it was hilarious! Today was no different, he was so excited to have an appointment of his own. When I told him he was going to have a shot he looked at me and said, “me get band aid and sticker mama, me otay!” He proudly stood still to get his height & weight measured and when they finished he proclaimed, “looks excellent!” (Ha! Think he’s had that done a time or two before?!!?) I’ve decided that being upfront and honest with him about going to the doctor, what they are going to do, and that he’ll get a shot is definitely better than trying to outwit him and just show up at the clinic without any warning. I’ve seen & heard about so many other kids who aren’t told ahead of time and they completely melt down…heck, so would I! But by talking about it, practicing with his own little medical kit, and being honest he’s able to take it all in and be “otay” with the idea before we get there, making appointments so much easier.

This weekend we’re going to take it easy. I’m not feeling the best and am just ready for some laziness after the excitement of last weekend. My birthday is tomorrow so I’m hoping I can get out of all diaper changes :)

Little picture love for you today…Gavin and his “bing” (bling).


Thursday, February 24, 2011

the f word in the CF world.

Gavin’s three page report from the University came in the mail yesterday. Let’s be honest, I don’t understand what 80% of the results actually mean, but when the doc calls to tell me that everything is “normal” and is combined with a report that states, “the results of the tests are satisfactory,” I’m one happy mama! I did email Gavin’s pulmonologist about a couple of issues that didn’t make sense to me…but I love reading that his throat culture resulted in “normal flora!”

For the first time, Gavin got a throat culture in the big kid style. He was asked to cough (which he did on demand!!!) and then the nurse quickly swabbed the back of his throat, similar to a strep test. Previously, the respiratory therapist had to come in a with a machine that “sucked” out a sample through a tube that was inserted through his nose into the back of his throat. Because his RT is a pro (around 30 years in the CF field) she was able to do it in two seconds, but I still felt horrible seeing him scream & thrash while they did the procedure. I hate that he already knows how to cough on demand and needs such a test…but I feel blessed that he’s able to do the “simpler” procedure now.

His annual exam also included a blood draw and a chest x-ray, with all of those results coming back good to go!

Once the weather gets warmer I plan on playing around with bubbles a lot with Gavin this summer. It’s a great way to teach him how to “blow.” A concept that he will need to learn in order to perform the adult PFTs where he’ll blow air into a machine for an extended period of time. He will probably be close to five before he gets the gist of the idea, but it’s never too early to practice!


On a different note, yesterday Gavin and I spent nearly an hour practicing letters. Not only the letter itself, but the sound it makes. We have those magnetic letters that stick to our fridge…and they have turned out to be an awesome learning tool! I throw them into a pile, ask him to find a letter and seriously…99 percent of the time he finds it quickly. Not only can he find the letter on cue, he is constantly pulling a letter or two off the fridge bringing them up to us proudly exclaiming, Mama this is a “B!” (or whatever letter he has in his hand). He is making progress on learning each of their sounds, and I can already tell that he is eager to put them together to form words. PBS tv shows like Super Why, have been fantastic and he would watch that show, learning and practicing spelling/words all day if I would let him! I have all of this on video, but cannot find that cord that connects the camera to my computer…once that is found I will post clips for proof! :) Everyday we are constantly practicing letters and counting…we’ve just started “learning” the alphabet song, its so cute to listen to him singing!

If you ask him how old he is, rarely does he admit that he is two. He fluctuates between wanting to be three, and to be eight. If you tell him no, you are two not three! He’ll quickly respond with… “no, me four? five? six? seven, eight, nine, ten?” Hoping that maybe, just maybe, you’ll change your mind and he can be as old as he wants for the day.

Potty training is…going. He knows when he has to go, he tells us he is going to pee/poop now and then goes into his diaper. He is fully aware that he can use the potty, but is also aware that it’s “easier” just to go in his diaper. He has made it through a couple of days (not including naptime) in big boy underwear, but hopefully we can make this his routine and not a special day or two with a break from diapers for his mom! If you ask him if he is a big boy, or a baby he responds, “me a big boy!” But then when you tell him that big boys go potty on the potty, he looks at you and says, “well…me baby now.” What a stinker!

Jumping off of things has become quite the popular activity around here. He’ll jump off a step stool, a chair…anything off the floor a few inches. He hasn’t discovered that he can jump down a few stairs yet thankfully! But I am sure that this kid will have us flying to Urgent Care for many things non CF related! He’s a total daredevil! I sat on the plane next to a man who said his son was just like Gavin at age two…and that same kid now skydives, bungi jumps, climbs etc. I think we’re in for a wild ride!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Texans, Wedding Bells & Snowstorms!

This past weekend I got a chance to escape the cold, and flew down to Dallas for my cousin Teresa’s wedding. It was supposed to be a quick trip, fly in fly out…

Teresa’s wedding was beautiful. Definitely one of those weddings where the love between the bride and groom filled the room with warmth and happiness. Six of the eight cousins on my mom side are pretty close in age, and get together once a year or so, and it was a blast to get everyone together for such a fun celebration.

Meanwhile, at home, Casey was bracing for a snowstorm and enjoying his first time being alone with Gavin for more than a day. And yes, that snowstorm threw a wrench in the “two day getaway” plan. As we turned on CNN early Sunday morning, it quickly became apparent that we were not going to be flying into Minneapolis. Over a foot of snow was predicted and blizzard warnings were popping up all over the state. Luckily, I received a text that our flight was canceled and quickly called the 800 number provided to get myself, my mom, and my grandmother back home.

“I’m sorry, but all flights are completely booked until Tuesday.”

Uh oh. That’s two extra days. Now lets be honest, I was not at all disappointed to be missing out on the snow and was happy to spend another couple of days in warmer weather…but I had never been away from Gavin for that long! Much less, that far away!But we filled our extra time with shopping and food and quickly Tuesday morning arrived.

As we boarded the plane (after waking up at 4:30 a.m.) I was so excited to be getting home in just a couple of hours. But of course with my luck, that didn’t happen. We sat on the tarmac, at the gate for two hours. Issue, after issue arose and the mechanics were getting on and off the plane. At many points, we were all wondering if this flight was going to just get cancelled as well. And with two days (Sunday & Monday) of cancelled flights across the country due to the storm, I was worried it would be another 48 hours until I could even get another flight. It didn’t help that one of the issues was the mechanism that fired up the engine.

Finally, we took off…landed…and drove to my mom’s house where one of my cars was parked. Dead battery. Wonderful. I hadn’t jump started a car in a few years so I didn’t want to deal with it myself, so AAA was called. After an hour (plus) of wait time, the car was started and I finally hit the road.

And now the radio didn’t work. Seriously? No way was I going to drive for an hour plus in my car with no music! Apparently when the battery in Casey’s SUV dies, a security code has to be entered to turn on the accessories. But I was so excited to get home, the last thing I wanted to do was pull over and dink around with it. So I made half the drive, luckily found the four digit code and was able to rock out the rest of the way.

Is it possible for a kid to have a noticeable growth spurt in 4 1/2 days? I couldn’t believe how much bigger Gavin seemed. Casey had to run out the door to his office, so there I was. Unbelievably sleep deprived. Luggage to unpack. Cleaning/shoveling definitely needed to be done. And a two year old staring at me, wanting entertainment. But all I could muster was some playtime with Gavin and laid on the couch half awake.

But today, I’ve been productive. Have caught back up on sleep (kind of). The driveway is shoveled, the laundry/dishes are chugging away, and the vacuum has been running nearly non stop. It feels great to be home, and the short getaway definitely got me reenergized.

And as a side note, its my birthday week.  :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

We are still here!

I have definitely been slacking at getting up any blog posts lately. Still hard to believe that Gavin’s second birthday is over and done with. He definitely got spoiled with LOTS of toys, including a new train table and a John Deere tractor that he can drive around the block once the snow melts. On his actual birthday Casey and I brought him to the brand new Chuck E Cheese…it was a Monday, over lunch, and it was only us and a couple of other families! It was great not having to over worry about germs, letting him run around like a wild birthday boy, and watching him pick out a prize with all of his winning tickets!



This past weekend, we made a mini trip to the Mall of America. This was the first time we had brought Gavin with us since he was a baby…he was finally going to be able to ride more than just the carousel! Waiting in line was definitely not his most favorite part of the day, twice we almost made it on a ride only to be stopped by the attendant telling us we had to wait until the next cycle…umm yep, my two year old made it very clear that he wasn’t a fan yelling, “but it’s MY turn!!!!” I think I might have a buddy that will eventually ride the roller coasters with me, on each ride he kept asking my why they wouldn’t go any faster.


We did manage to get some shopping done, including some new shoes for Gavin (which he has worn every waking moment since)


We’ve been experiencing a February “heat wave” the last couple of days. Yesterday it got up to 45 degrees, two days prior we started off a day at –20. That’s a 65 degree change in two days…welcome to Minnesota weather!

But we are loving the warmth! We opened up the windows for awhile yesterday and today, allowing us to get that stale winter air up and outta here! What I don’t like? Is the DIRT. It is everywhere. I need to get out and take some pictures for those of you who don’t live with the snow. While we are all so excited to see the snow melt (we can see grass in our backyard!!!) no one is excited for the muck that comes with it. When the snowplows come through they scoop up not only the snow, but all the dirt & grime as well…so when the snow begins to melt, it reveals piles of “disgustingess”…all of which ends up inside & outside your car, on your shoes, the garage and all over our entry way floor. From now until…April?…I’ll be cleaning the floors daily…hooray.

But we’ve been able to get outside, have mini snowball fights with our neighbors (including one down my back by our neighbor Caleb), and realize that winter actually will come to an end.

Yesterday Gavin sang his very first song to me. Rock A Bye Baby. My dad created his own lyrics to the song when my brother and I were young

Rock A Bye Baby
On the treetop
When the wind blows
The cradle will…

And as you yell rock! you rock away with the little one in your arms…Gavin has always loved this, and out of the blue yesterday he started singing it over and over. Slow and gentle at the beginning, and LOUD and fast at the end shaking his whole body while he yelled rock, such a little ham. His personality is SO much fun these days! His favorite two sayings are “Oh my gosh!” and “Wow! Really cool!”

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Big Two!

Happy Birthday to my beautiful baby boy!

one smiles
Gavin 2nd