Little Super Personalized Storybook

It’s no small secret now that I’m crazy about children’s books! My very favorite books are ones that can be personalized. There is something so special about your child having a book that is all about THEM! We have several personalized storybooks for Amber, but hadn’t gotten any for Tyler up until now.

I love that even though he’s my *super* busy boy the one thing that Tyler will actually sit for is to listen to a story! (even if it is just for one minute….while he’s a “naked baby”…. haha)

The Little Super personalized story from Paper Hat Press was absolutely perfect for my little super hero! Unlike personalized storybooks that use pictures these books have artwork-but that doesn’t mean that they’re not totally personalized! You help write the storyline in a fun and easy process, and then you can even pick the super hero character that best represents your child. The storyline is as adorable as the artwork.

Tyler absolutely *loves* this book! It’s one of his first “big boy” books and I can tell it will be a favorite for years to come. Amber actually loves it just as much as he does-she gets a kick that her name gets to be in the story too!

Such a fun product and such high quality-I’d highly recommend this for a birthday, Christmas, or just an “I love you” present!

Ava the Elephant vs. Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

So I really look forward to MOPs every other Thursday. This year I got set up at a great table full of sweet girls that I really enjoy spending time with–not to mention the delcious food and great speakers!

A few weeks ago I got up and was getting everything ready to go–until I woke Tyler up. Poor kiddo had blister/boil looking things ALL over his chin, upper lip, and bottom. After some searching online (and remember something a friend at Bible study had mentioned) I figured out it was Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. The Doctor told me it should really be called Hand, Foot, Mouth, and Buttocks disease since you get the boils there too (yowch!). Apparently it’s a super common childhood disease and basically is just a highly contagious super nasty virus that you just have to “wait out”.

So MOPs (and all plans for the remaining week) were cancelled and I was left with a SUPER cranky baby.

The great thing is I’d just received Ava the Elephant who soon became our good friend! Even though both my kiddos have always been great at taking medicine this new twist on taking medicine was received with much excitement. The first time that Tyler saw Ava and heard her talk, “One, Two, Three–Open Wide. Good Job!!!” He started laughing hysterically and didn’t stop. When he was so cranky and in pain this was a nice break from the crying! He loved taking his medicine from Ava–and wants to play with her when he’s not sick as well. I’d definitely recommend this fun product for any family to add a little “fun” into not so fun times!

Be sure to hop on over to Amazon and see what other moms had to say about Ava!

ICU ~ 3 letter that can strike fear into any parents heart

As I mentioned in my last blog post, the past 2 weeks have been the worst in my entire life. On Saturday, April 9th hubby flew back in from his pre-deployment training in Florida. We had a wonderful day together after he flew in. That night after I lay Tyler down for bed he kept waking up every hour or so, which is unusual for him these days. As soon as he’d eat he’d fall right back to sleep, though, so I didn’t think much of it. Between 3-4 he woke up crying. I went and fed him and then lay him back down. After about 10 minutes he was still crying so I went back in and figured out he’d soaked through his jammies. So I changed him, the crib, and lay him down again. 10 minutes later he was still crying. When he wakes up in the middle of the night he never stays up so that was really weird. By that point, I was pretty much wide awake so I went and got him and I noticed that he sounded pretty stuffy and was starting to cough a little. He’d just gotten over a nasty cold that lasted a couple of weeks so I figure he was either getting a new one, or his old one was coming back a little.

So I did what any seasoned parent would do–I broke out the humidifier and sat there and held/rocked/sang to him for a little bit then tried laying him down again. No good. He just got more agitated so around 6 a.m. I went and hopped in the shower and put him in his exasaucer and cranked up the hot water until the whole bathroom was steamy like a sauna. This made him happy but when we got out of the bathroom after about 45 minutes he started screaming again. Now he was acting like he was really stuffy breathing weird through his nose and coughing. I figured all the crying he was doing wasn’t helping. He’d calm down for a bit, then start screaming again, in a vicious cycle. He’s always been a very fussy/colicky baby. I figure the poor kid was super angry about being sick and not having slept all night.

Around 10 a.m. he finally crashed out, while sitting straight up in his high chair. I just wheeled it into our bedroom and shut the door so that he could get some rest, peeking in on him occasionally. He slept for about 3 hours and when he woke up he was acting sick but nothing out of the ordinary.

Shortly after this in the afternoon I noticed he was getting really congested and starting to wheeze slightly. I told Bob that Tyler’s breathing was bugging me…I had one of those Mommy intuition gut feelings. After watching/listening to him for a little bit Bob told me he just sounded congested and he was just sick with a cold. So I pushed the nagging feeling away and got Tyler down for his second nap–this time in his bouncy chair since if I tried to lay him flat in his crib he’d freak out.

When I checked on him during that nap I noticed that even when he was asleep he was breathing really fast and hard and shallow, not the deep, slow breaths you should be taking when asleep. That’s when I started to get worried and I decided to call the nurses hotline–just to be safe. When the pediatrician called back she asked if he was using his stomach muscles to breath (pulling in just below his ribs) and/or if his nostrils were flaring. By this point, he was doing both and he was wheezing pretty badly. She said that we should definitely take him to the ER, just to be safe. So I left Bob with Amber around 6:45 p.m. and took off to the Beverly Hospital. I figured that he might have a moderate case of bronchitis and texted my mom and mom-in-law to let them know in the few minutes we were waiting to be brought into the back. Because the Beverly ER is so great they got us back to the observation room right away. We were only in there for a few minutes and they took us back into the ER and had me sit on a bed holding Tyler on my lap.

Then all of a sudden:


I was surrounded by about 5 Doctors and nurses all rushing around Tyler, all doing things to him at once.

It was such a huge sudden change and shock I sat there stunned thinking, “Whoa, whoa–*what* is going on??!!”

On one side they were giving him an IV and drawing blood, on the other they were telling me all these different kinds of medications and shots they were giving him to open his airways. It dawned on me that this was obviously much more serious than I had thought, I had no time to process any of it, however, as they were so busy doing this to him it was all I could do to help hold him still, sing, talk, and rock him to try and make it all easier for him.

Then I started hearing things like “clinical pneumonia, steroids, epinephrine shot”

My head was spinning.

After a little bit, one of the nurses came over and told me, “I don’t know if you heard this but the Dr. wants him to be admitted to Children’s in Boston, so we’re going to have them come fly you there.” Totally in shock by this point I had no idea what to think. They kept using words like “precaution” and “just to be safe”. In the meantime they told me I had to hold a mask with humid medicine coming out on Tyler’s face. The Dr. firmly said that it didn’t matter if he didn’t like it or cried–I *had* to make sure it stayed on, so I did.

In what could have been a very short, or very long time the crew from the life flight came in and started briefing me on what was going to happen. They told me that they were going to be admitting Tyler to the ICU and ran me over the helicopter procedures. I definitely never imagined my little guys first flight was going to be a life flight over Boston! I called Bob and let him know what was going on, and then texted and told my Mom and mom-in-law. I had been so pre-occupied with Tyler until that point I hadn’t been able to update anyone so of course that information came as quite a shock to everyone.

If it hadn’t been for the circumstances and shock I was in the flight over would have been really cool. We flew right over our apartment complex and right before we touched down on the hospital roof we flew over Fenway and the Red Sox were playing so I got to see that from the air, as well as all of Boston. Once we got inside we went through a maze of hallways and lights when I tried to talk/sing  to Tyler while we walked along as all this time he was on a stretcher in a brace so he couldn’t roll around. I was starting to feel pretty sick myself but kept on singing because it was one of the few things that calmed him down. We were put in an admitting room there where they monitored him and got up to speed from the other hospital. He was absolutely exhausted by this point and wouldn’t stop crying. They told me I needed to keep the mask on him continuously at this point so I sat there holding a writhing, screaming baby while keeping the mask clamped on his nose and mouth. They also told me from that point on I was not allowed to feed him anything until he got better.

The one part of the entire thing that scared me to my core was when the nurse was giving me the run down of everything right before he was admitted to the ICU. After she finished she said, “So do you have any questions?” I said, “So we have to go to the ICU…but he is going to get better, right?” She just paused and then said, “Well I can’t make any promises but we see babies just as sick as he is that get better, but like I said I can’t make any promises” After hearing “precaution, just being safe, only because there’s not a good middle ground” all night long terminology like this from a Dr. scared me to death! I tried to wrap my brain around what she was saying but honestly just couldn’t. My mind right then went, “NO. He *is* going to get better because I simply would not be able to function, ever again, if he did not. I will not even think about the fact because he will get better. God won’t let anything happen to him.” So from that point on I didn’t even think about it and just focused on what I could do to help Tyler feel better.

We were admitted to the ICU where he was hooked up to a million different machines. he was in a crib but it was the size of a normal hospital bed, it just had bars around it. So they let me climb up on it next to him and hold him through the night. Since he had to have the mask on all night and wouldn’t leave it on himself I sat there all night holding it to his face and moving it around when he moved his head. I probably only slept about a hour or two, dozing on and off holding it, that entire night. The next day was a long, slow torturous blur of the same. Bob was able to come bring me some essentials while a friend babysat Amber. Very thankfully we had hundreds of people praying by that point and I could see as their prayers were answered. By the second day my voice was completely gone and I was sick with the same thing Tyler had. I have no idea how I had the strength to get through it all, but I managed to without falling totally apart. By that evening Tyler had drastically improved. They decided that he had bronciolitis due to RSV or some similar virus. By Tuesday morning he was so much better that he was sitting up in bed, laughing, trying to roll around, and pulling/kicking all of his cords off. He also started eating well again and that afternoon they let us go home.

It was one of the worst things I’ve ever experienced in my entire life, but I am so very thankful that everything turned out the way it did. I’m also so very, *very* thankful for the outpouring of love and prayers everyone we know, and many people we don’t, showed us during it. So thank you!! I’m so happy to say that he is just now finally “all better”. I’m still fighting it but am nearly better as well. Bob and Amber both ended up getting it as well but it was much milder in both of them, so that was a praise as well.

The Grand Arrival! Tyler’s Birth Story

Tyler Elliott made his grand debut into the world at 1:24 a.m. July 23, 2010. He weighs 8 lbs. 2 oz. and is 20 1/2 inches long.
Two words to describe the birth experience?
Absolutely Insane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


If you’re an observant reader you’ll see I blogged about how big and miserable I was about 8 hours before I gave birth (when I thought nothing was happening…little did I know, lol) If you’re my friend on Facebook you can see that I was still on FB and chatting at 10 p.m. After that I went and did some work stuff for a little while (I pointed this out to my boss–if you’re working 3 hours before giving birth doesn’t mean you’re dedicated I don’t know what does, Ha!!!). By that point I was still feeling very uncomfortable Braxton Hicks so I went and took a bath, which made them go away so I figured it wasn’t the real thing. By 11 something I decided I should probably go try to get some sleep. As I lay there I got more and more uncomfortable but nothing hurt yet. I decided to get up at midnight and take another bath to see if that would help.

At 12:08 a.m. my water broke!!!!

At first I was just like, “Ok here we go!” and started gathering my last minute items and I went and woke up Bob (who had been sleeping since 4 p.m., he’d had a long hard day at work and took a nap that he never woke up from). Just a few minutes later I started to hurt bad. It felt like he was taking forever to get ready and I was like–“Honey we have to leave NOW!!!!” When we got down to the car we put the hospital’s address in our GPS and it couldn’t find it. I just about freaked out!! Bob’s smart phone saved the day and he followed it’s directions to the hospital. During the ride he kept joking about me being grumpy while I was just focused on getting through the contractions. On the ride to the hospital I kept thinking to myself, “I do not remember ever hurting this bad when I was in labor with Amber!” Which worried me because I’d gotten dilated to an 8 with her before getting my epidural, but I figured I just must have forgotten somehow.

When we got there Bob pulled up to the emergency entrance, threw his hazards on, stuck me in a wheel chair and brought me in. While I was waiting for someone from labor & delivery to come get me he went to go actually park the car. Once the nurse came down she asked if I needed to go up or if we should wait for Bob. A contraction hit so she helped me breathe through it and when it was over I was like, “We need to go, they can tell him where to come!” As we went down the hall I told her, “I want an epidural as soon as possible!!!!!!!” (I was hurting so badly by that point). She just replied that it would take time, they had  to get the anesthesiologist, get me on an IV, etc. I said that I just though I’d let her know so she could get started on all that, (LoL). I had barely gotten a gown on and crawled onto the bed when Bob walked in the room and I started to hurt really, really bad. I kinda started whimpering and the nurse was like, Uh I better check and see what’s going on. So she checked me and then she said, “Honey it’s time to push.”


I did ask that but didn’t actually scream it. I felt like it though. I wanted to scream that I wasn’t ready, I’d never ever wanted to have a completely natural, pain med free labor/delivery, to go get the stinking guy and stick a needle in my back, and that I didn’t even know what to do because I’d never gone to child birth classes and had a c-section last time. Besides where on earth was my Dr.???? Some new guy I didn’t know walked in the room to tell me he’d help out till my Dr. arrived and in case my baby arrived before the Dr. did. By that point I didn’t really care who was in or out of the room at all.

Poor Bob got shoved into the corner of the room to stand there helplessly and watch while a swarm of nurses and the Dr. who wasn’t mine all tried to help me while I pushed.

When I was in labor with Amber and even through the first hour of pushing with her I thought all along, “What’s the big deal? This really doesn’t hurt bad, I don’t see why everyone makes such a fuss about it.” When I saw women yelling on tv during childbirth scenes I’d roll my eyes and be like, “That’s so not how it is.”

Well let me tell ya–if you do it pain med free and your body has no time to adjust to a massive onslaught of labor it really IS that big of a deal and it really DOES hurt that bad. The nurses and Dr. later kept telling me that when you go through labor/delivery that quickly your body has no time to adjust/adapt on it’s own and it’s basically like getting hit with a freight train–fast, extremely painful, and hard!!!

I later found out that Tyler had his head positioned like Amber’s was (up and to the side) and he just barely turned it in time for me to push him out (which might be part of the reason it was hurting so badly). I also found out that Tyler’s heart rate dropped dangerously low twice. The nurse said that if I’d been at an 8 and it got that low they would have rushed me in for an emergency c-section but since I was pushing so well they knew I could just get him out faster if I tried really hard by myself. I kinda heard them talking about it during the labor but was only half processing what was going on as I was mostly just focused on the pain and how to get through it. My Dr. made it just in time to catch Tyler as he was born and after 22 painful, hard, long minutes I was able to bring my baby boy safely into this world and 100% all natural!

Like I said–absolute insanity!!!!

Although it was extremely difficult and painful I’m very happy about deciding to go with the VBAC. Although it was a little more “all natural” than I’d ever planned/wanted everything turned out for the best. We were discharged less than 48 hours after his birth (compare that to a week long stay when Amber was born!!!) Amber got to come visit us in the hospital with my mom and that was really nice. She absolutely adores her new baby brother and so far as done amazingly well with the transition of having him as a part of our family.

So far life with baby is going really well! It’s been the typical exhausting sleep deprived first week, and I’m still ridiculously sore and hurting all over. I know that my recovery this time will be so much faster than it was with Amber though, so I’m very grateful for that.

I can hardly believe that I now have two gorgeous perfect kiddos. I couldn’t be happier though and am so grateful for everything! ♥