Sep 30, 2011

project 365: week 39

My collage theme made me think of a big, juicy watermelon. It actually made me want some. Another theme I had going, aside from Liam, was the outdoors. Since starting the Simply Fall link up, I have been spending a little more time outside trying to find leaves turning or just anything to photograph to represent Fall. Sometimes I would get lucky, sometimes not. We're still a little in-between here in Indiana. I don't know about you guys, but I'm getting cabin fever already. This can't be good.

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268.  One of my many outdoor adventures. I was playing with lighting and DOF.
269.  The lonely red leaf.
270.  I took a shot of my tree in the front yard.
271.  Fall is my favorite time of the year.  I couldn't resist.
272.  Introducing my little green monster!  Liam had his cast changed at Jewish.
273.  My Simply Fall photo.  The wet grass was like a bed of diamonds and the sun was warm and inviting.
274.  My chimes.  I was playing with different angles.

Sep 29, 2011

Simply Fall {link up}: Week 3

Welcome to week three of Simply Fall.  You'll have until November 2nd to link up with me or Shaunna at Captivus Living.  Link ups will take place every Friday.  We hope you can join in on our Fall fun!  Here are a couple of photos I would like to share for week three.

I dropped Landon off this morning and when I pulled into my driveway the glimmering grass and morning sun peeking over my neighbor's roof caught my eye.  I quickly parked my car and ran in to get my camera.  It was definitely a cool, Fall morning this morning - so pretty. 

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Captivus Living

liam's new cast

Some of you follow my personal page on Facebook and get all the details there, or at least some, so I'm sorry if this is something you've heard or seen before.

Yesterday, I had to take Liam to get his cast changed for the first time.  In case you are just tuning in, he is supposed to be in his Spica cast for a total of three months and braced for a year.  Then, I'm assuming he'll have to get back into PT for a bit after or during the bracing stage to regain some of the muscle lost during the time of being in a cast.Yesterday was a very long day.  Aaron was working so I was there by myself playing the waiting game.  I wasn't worried or upset, just bored to tears.  Liam was gone about two hours, getting the cast changed and a CT scan.  The next thing I see is Liam being wheeled into the room wide awake.   He wasn't upset at all.  I uncovered his little legs only to see a big green cast.  I laughed and said, "Aw, there's my little green froggy."  All the nurses laughed with me and made over how adorable he was.  The hair, cheeks and dimples are always a big hit.  They said he did wonderful and he could go home once the forms were signed.  I'm still exhausted.  He held down some food and he's been a happy camper ever since.  In two weeks we will go back to the doctor for a check up.  I'm not sure if the doctor will tell us the results of the CT scan then or if she'll call before that.  No news is good news, in my opinion.  Going by the x-rays, the doctor feels the hip is doing what it's supposed to be doing.  Now, we just wait until the next phase.

Our little green monster.  The cast was supposed to be blue, but I guess they thought green would bring out the blue in his eyes.  Ha!  Hey, as long as it wasn't pink or purple, I'm fine with it.

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Sep 25, 2011

A happier day

The other day Landon was in a very bad mood, the worst mood I had ever experienced with him.  The next day I caught Landon exploring, laughing, jumping, smiling and doing what he does.  He scoped out the yard for four-leaf clovers.  He didn't have much luck but had a blast doing it.  When he thought he had found one, he about jumped out of his shorts. 
And then he turns to me and says, "Hey Mom, I found a ten-leaf clover!  Just kidding.  There's no such thing."  My boy was back...and I loved it.
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"Hey Mom, pose for me."  All joking aside,when he gets a hold of my camera, this kid takes amazing photos.

Preparing for eight

It's very hard to believe (and accept) that our big boy has been with us for almost eight years now.  He's at such a great age where he's self-sufficient and helps out a ton.  Sometimes I look at Landon I see a little immature boy growing into a mature young man.  However, he can be a challenge.  But, at any age, they can be a challenge.  It really never stops. 

Project 365: week 38

Always a day late and a dollar short.  Seems to be a common theme for me these days.  Now all I need is a theme song and I'll be set.  I am definitely going to have to learn those little things called time management and priorities.  Life is just busy right now, so I may just need to accomplish the things I have already planned and take a little break.  And, if you haven't noticed I have changed my blog.  I liked the other one, but as time marched on I wanted something wider (and I like a bigger header).

Sep 22, 2011

Simply Fall {link up}: Week 2

Even though this is the second week for this link up, you can join in at any time.  I realize some of you are still stuck in summer (which isn't necessarily a bad thing) and have no Fall-ish photos to share.  You'll have until November 2nd to link up with me or Shaunna at Captivus Living.  Link ups will take place every Friday.  We hope you can join in on our Fall fun!  Here is a photo I would like to share for week two.

Sep 19, 2011

project 365: week 37

I can't get over that we only have 15 weeks left in the year. I usually say that the year is flying by, but it really is. I think posting every week doesn't help matters, though. I am not ready for Landon's birthday and Christmas. My goodness. I'm panicking. We have so much to do!

Sep 15, 2011

clowning around

It's no surprise that Landon comes up with goofy things and finds ways to be creative with objects around the house.  But, sometimes Landon just simply loses his marbles and goes too far.  He's one of a kind.  He's a big ball of energy, smiles and loves to have a good time making people laugh.  Crazy kid.

Simply Fall {link up}: Week 1

Hello, fellow bloggers!  I wanted to let you know that Shaunna  at Captivus Living and I are hosting a Simply Fall linkup.  We hope you will stop by tomorrow and link up as many beautiful fall images as you'd like! Lets face it, Fall is such a great time to break out your cameras!

Sep 12, 2011

Liam turns 25 months today!

My little man is growing up.  It's weird to say 25 months now, but of course, I don't say that when someone asks me how old he is.  We are still going strong in therapies.  He gets evaluated this month.  I'll be curious to see what they come up with since Liam is now immobile and limited on what he can and can't do.  My little boy is a trooper.  I can't tell you how many surgeries and tests this kid has had since he was nine months old...and still going!  Sheesh. 

grandparent's day

September 11th was a sad, tragic day for our country. And, ten years later I'm still filled with emotion.  Grandparent's Day just happened to fall on 9/11 this year, which every Grandparent on the planet I'm sure had different thoughts going through their heads.  The In-Laws came over for a little visit, dropping off a few things.  We sat around and chatted about how devastating that day was and where we were at the time the news broke.  My In-Laws said they were working that morning.  I was with Aaron, sleeping over.  I was in from out-of-town.  Aaron slept with his TV on all night back then, which annoyed me to the bone.  But, that day I was glad he did.  He lived with a few roommates, all alert and awake for the news while we continued to sleep.  I sat up in the bed for a couple of minutes noticing the breaking news on TV.  I seriously thought it was some action movie.  It took me awhile to figure out what was going on.  And then I heard some loud bangs on Aaron's bedroom door.  "Get up, get up!  You're never going to believe what just happened!!"  There was panic in his roommate's voice.  I jumped out of bed, slapping Aaron on the arm trying to wake him.  "Aaron, something is going on and we have to get up!".  We flew to the living room and sat there in shock.  We couldn't believe what we were seeing.  I was still half asleep and things still weren't registering at that time.  Finally, someone yells out, "A plane flew into one of the World Trade Centers!"  At first I thought it was an overworked pilot who had fallen asleep.  Then, the unthinkable happened.  "Another sleepy pilot?', I thought. 

Sep 11, 2011

project 365: week 36

The more I post these, the more I realize that this year is flying right past me.  I can't get over how much of the year is gone already.  Sheesh.  I've been extremely busy so I didn't get around to posting this when I wanted to, but better late than never I always say.

Sep 7, 2011

labor day

Aaron and I took the boys out to his parents' house for a cookout in celebration of Labor Day.  To be honest, I wasn't looking forward to it being the first outing with Liam.  Plus, he got a cold from sweating in the air conditioning.  Great.  My first thought was packing around the wheelchair.  Not fun.  It's kinda' like a stroller but heavier. 

story time with the boys

Now that the drugs have worn off and pain has subsided, I can see my little toddler showing himself a little more.  He's getting antsy.  Like, I'm not sure what to do with him, antsy.  It's stressful trying to keep a child occupied for a long time when they can't move.  I'm running out of things to do.  However, night time is always fun part of the day for the boys.  They are wearing down, but find just enough energy to entertain each other, even for a few minutes before it's time to crash. 

enjoying some fresh air

Before the weather hit the mid 60's we were able to get both boys out for a little while.  Aaron and Landon played tennis (or at least some version of it) and Liam and I hung out on a blanket in the grass.  The poor kid really can't do much but lay there (or sit in his chair) and take it all in.  I told Aaron that we might not want to do anything in front of him that would excite him - like play in the water.  It would be cruel, I think. 

smith-jones {family photo shoot}

I had a photo shoot to start off the Labor Day weekend.  At first I wasn't sure I was going to be able to pull it off with a baby just having surgery that Monday, but everything worked out beautifully in the end.  Audrey and Dee are due to get married.  I'm sure it will be within the next year sometime.  They have a gorgeous little girl together.  Gabe was a little shy, or maybe a little leery, about having his picture taken by a stranger.  He's nine.  I know all about it.  If you were lucky enough to break through his manly exterior, you would meet a sweet little man.  I think I even heard a chuckle or two.  He would crack a smile when he thought I wasn't looking.  I'm pretty sure he didn't want to ruin his reputation by letting me see his not-so-tough-guy side.  He had to hold that reputation high, you know.  Smirks are always good, too. 

Sep 3, 2011

project 365: week 35

Is this year flying by, or is it just me?  Good grief.  I was looking back on my project 365 collages and my how things have changed over these last 35 weeks.  Won't be be much longer and the kids will be sitting on Santa's lap taking cheesy pictures.

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240. Aaron and I had our anniversary date. 241. We took the kids to the park. It was also Liam's last day of freedom and fun for the next three months. 242. Liam had his surgery and a body cast was placed. 243. This was the first time I was able to snuggle my baby post surgery. Holding him was quite awkward. 244. Liam's new ride (wheelchair) arrived, making transporting much more convenient. 245. Some family visited Liam for the first time. 246. My friend and her two boys came to see Liam. I think the three boys went by the aliases Ninja Turtle, Knighty Knight and Scary Gun Guy - according to Landon.

Sep 1, 2011

first few days home

Wow, what a difference a body cast makes.  You never know what you have until it's gone.  In our case, it's snuggling, sitting, cradling, walking, running, crawling and having access to just about everything.  This cast has put a barrier between us and our little dude.  I love his baby soft skin and now we only have access to just a fraction of it.  We're still a little emotional about the situation, but since Liam has been home, we've adjusted quite nicely.  The first thing that Landon said when he saw Liam for the first time was, "Hey Dad, can we get Liam some flowers and a card?  I feel so bad for my Bubby."  He is the sweetest kid.  He's been kissing him on his forehead and loving on him as he always did.  Landon hasn't let this drastic change come between them.  You can learn a lot from kids.  Landon acts as if it's no big deal, so we are too.  Thanks for the reminder, Landon!  Liam's pediatric wheel chair arrived yesterday, making things much easier for everyone.  Before it was either his crib or Landon's beanbag, both confining him to his back.  I was afraid of bed sores and the fact that he couldn't sit up to eat solid foods without the possibility of choking.  Not to mention how hot and sweaty he gets if he's on his back too long.  This way he can sit up and go anywhere in the house with us.  It's also good for transporting him to doctor appointments and the occasional trip to the store.  Landon already told me he would help push him if needed.  So, it looks as though I will have to wait until Landon is out of school before I can go to the grocery.  Having that extra helping hand is, well, handy.  I'm not sure how his therapies will go since we haven't had any this week due to his surgery and recovery time.  They might be a little challenge until we can all, as a team, come up with a plan. How are we doing?  Much better.  Our days will always be bright as long as our kids are happy.  We're hanging in there because we know that it can always be worse, right?  Today is my day to learn how to put Liam in the new car seat.  Having Aaron home on vacation helps a ton and gives me time to practice doing different things.  After all, he can't be home all the time, so I need to get it in gear.  He's been wonderful.  I like to think of myself as a very strong woman/mother, but there are times when I need to ask for assistance from time to time.  All in all, we're living life one day at a time and that's all we can do right now.  We took Liam outside to get some fresh air in his new ride.  This wheelchair is awesome.  He loved being outside and getting off his back.  And then, something incredible happened.  But, I'll let you watch the video and save the commentary.

I am one tired Mama, but I was just happy to hold him again.  

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the most terrifying day

The night before surgery Aaron and I were having a difficult time getting to sleep knowing our baby would be going under the knife once again.  We knew that everything would be okay, but there was that chance of something going wrong.  It was all we could think about.  Luckily, Landon stayed with his Grandparents so we could get him to and from from school the day of the surgery.  After all, we didn't know what to expect, and planning these things is never an easy task with your other child having a different schedule.  The time had finally come for our alarms to wake us and the coffee to start brewing.  We were nervous, and I was feeling a bit nauseated.  Our arrival time was scheduled for 6:30 a.m.  As I was sitting there filling out all the necessary paperwork, I looked at Aaron and said, "I don't think I'm ready for this."  I felt my palms start to sweat and my face turn a ghostly white.  I was panicking.  I was on edge.  All I could think about at that time is his recovery and how our lives were going to change.  I started to tear up when Aaron reached over and rubbed my back.  Suddenly I felt a calm come over me and the tears dissipated.  I had to switch gears and be strong for Liam.  I had to get it through my head that he needs this more than anything.  It will all be over soon enough and it was time to man up.  I took a deep breath and continued to fill out my paperwork.  Then, I heard our name called.  This was it.  The moment that I had been dreading for a long time now.  And, off we went.  They asked questions and talked to us a little about what was going to happen.  I swear, it was right out of a movie where the room spins and everyone sounds funny.  I sat down and tried to calm myself the best way I knew how.  I had to just sit back, close my eyes and try to visualize Stay Puff.  I was tuning everyone out desperately trying to find my happy place.  Strangely, I have never in my life reacted to anything in such a spastic manner.  I was getting close to telling them to call off the surgery.  The more they talked to me, the more I wanted to take him home.  We changed him into his little hospital gown and then the relaxing nasal spray came into play.  I was half tempted to ask them for a little dose for myself.  The nurse picked him up and said, "Say bye to Mommy and Daddy."  It took everything in my body to keep my mouth shut and ripping him from her arms.  He was carried off to the OR and we were escorted to the waiting area.  They gave us a color-coded card with a patient number on it.  Yellow meant surgical prep, blue meant surgery is in progress and pink meant they were finishing up and our name would be called fairly soon.  I was watching the screen like a hawk while I was listening to my  iPod and working my seek and find puzzle.  I started to get antsy after about 30 minutes in.  I had to take a hike and stretch my legs.  They called my cell phone every hour letting us know how he was doing in the OR.  The surgery was supposed to take about 4-6 hours.  The doctor had mentioned that she was not only going to snip his groin muscle, but she may have to make incisions on his bikini line and leg, making it a more extensive, timely surgery.  We found ourselves surrounded by a team of medical staff trying to explain what was going on.  Couldn't tell ya what they said. They lost me at "Say bye to Mommy and Daddy".  I was in total "leave me alone, I'm in pass out mode".  All I knew is I had to trust them.  We were released to do whatever we wanted as long as it didn't involve us getting in our car and leaving the hospital.  So, what do we do?  We explored the hospital and walked around the block.  I had my camera with me and thought it might be a good idea to take snapshots of the city and each other to get my mind off of things.  When I was walking down the hallway on the surgical floor I noticed a cute kiddie display.  As I looked a little closer I saw Liam's name floating next to Tigger's head on a dry erase board.  I thought that was neat, but I didn't know what it was for or if it was my kid's name.  Sure enough, it was his name.  In fact, it was all the kid's names who were having surgery that day.  If you look closely you can see Landon's name, too.  But, of course, this wasn't my Landon - just thought it was neat that both of their names were on the same board.  Picture worthy.  We escaped for awhile, grabbing some breakfast and having fun on top of the parking garage.  We were bored.  At this time he had been in surgery for two hours.  We got a phone call stating that he was finished and the doctor wanted to speak with us in the conference room.  We were so excited but a little nervous at the same time.  We met with her and found out that she didn't have to go through with the extensive surgery she had talked about.  She was stoked and said how lucky he was.  She also told us we were free to go.  We looked at each other in shock with this "huh?" look on our faces.  We were originally supposed to stay at least 23 hours post surgery (overnight).  She just snipped the groin muscle and put the cast on him as planned.  His leg bone was able to be moved into place without problems.  Now, we just wait for Mother Nature to do the rest.  We were directed to a recovery area of the OR to wait for Liam.  When we arrived he hadn't gotten there yet so the anticipation was killing us.  I wasn't ready to see him.  I knew he would look pitiful and miserable.  I knew he wouldn't look like the kid I saw early that morning.  I was back in panic mode.  Every time a stretcher would wheel around the corner my heart felt like it was going to pop out of my chest.  Then, there he was.  He was covered in a blanket so we couldn't see exactly what he looked like from the waist down.  He looked at peace and comfortable, as he laid there zonked out from the drugs.  Aaron was extremely calm throughout this whole process,but I think he had to be...for me...and for Liam.  Otherwise, it would have been a disaster for everyone involved.  We knew we couldn't get him in his car seat so they had to order one for him for us to take.  Aaron had to go down to the car to take ours out to make room.  The Spica car seat was big.  Bigger than what we were used to.  While Aaron was downstairs, I finally had my meltdown.  It felt great to let it out.  The nurse comforted me and suddenly I found myself surrounded by everyone with more tissues than I could handle.  Although I love the comforting and I know people mean well, it makes things worse.  By the time Aaron made his way up and back to our recovery area, I had gotten myself together.  Then, we had to wait for a wagon big enough to wheel Liam down to the car.  We waited for about 30-45 minutes, I think.  We got him in the car and headed home, making a few phone calls along the way.  Long day.  I managed to get a couple pictures of Liam before it all began, but I didn't take any pictures of him during the process because of my emotions.  I wasn't really up for it.  More to come...

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And then, the fun began...and a good time to teach my husband how to use my camera.  See Aaron on the sidewalk?  He was saying, "What in the hell are you doing?", as this was being taken.  He loves me.

Landon's name is on the right, next to Tigger's foot.

This is me getting a little nervous being too close to the edge.  "Hurry Aaron, this is freaking me out."  Looking down was a bad move.  As I've gotten older, I've become quite the baby when it comes to heights.

This is me conquering my fear.  "No more pictures, or I'll jump!"  Riiiight. 

Our baby boy settled at home the day of surgery.