December 2015

December 5 – First Trip to the ER

On Friday night at bedtime, Spencer was crawling up the steps to the bedrooms. I was sitting on the 3rd step down and when he got to my step, he stood up, but fell over backwards and fell down the steps. He landed on his back on the tile floor and had a pretty big goose egg on the left side of his head. We kept him up for about 45 minutes to make sure that he was alright and he was, so we put him to bed. I barely slept that night and went into his bedroom to check on him often. When he woke up on Saturday morning (at 5:45am), he was grumpy, but fine. We went about our day as usual, but after he got up from his morning nap, he couldn’t get his balance right. When he would stand, he’d sway and wobble and eventually fall over. He could barely walk. Thinking about it now makes me laugh because he looked like a drunk trying to walk home from the bar! We had planned on going to the speeder train ride in Lemont, and went anyway. He was still wobbly there and when we got home for lunch, it seemed to get worse. Because he couldn’t get his balance, he kept falling and hitting his head even more. I called the pediatrician’s office and they said to bring him to the ER.

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Nevin stayed home with Nolan while he napped and I took Spencer. The ER was recently renovated and it is gorgeous. We didn’t have to wait at all which was so nice. Spencer cried when the triage nurse took his temperature (anally) and put on his ankle bracelet. She then escorted us to the room where we were met by another nurse as well as someone from HR about insurance. Side note: They had my school district insurance on record and if it weren’t for the HR lady double checking my insurance, I would have used the wrong insurance. What a mess that would have been!

After several minutes of wait time, The doctor came in and examined him (he cried during this, too) and said that there were no bruises or signs of broken bones. She said it was probably a concussion and because he was having a hard time getting his balance, she recommended a CT scan. I knew that Nevin would not even question whether or not to get the scan, so we decided to go for it. The (very young) volunteer tried to wheel Spencer in the bed to the CT area, but he was trying to climb out through screams and cries, so I was able to carry him there. He cried on the way there; it was almost as though he knew where we were going. When we got there, I had to lay him down on the table while I watched 2 people hold him down and velcro him to the board. He was screaming and crying so hard that he stopped breathing for a second, but was fine. After they got him in the proper position, I had to hold his chin still while he went in the machine. He cried the whole time until the machine started up. He stopped crying to watch the machine, but as soon as it stopped, he cried again. He did a great job (despite all of the crying) and cried all the way back to our room.

After the CT scan was over an hour of waiting in a small room with an exhausted toddler who had nothing to do but get into everything. We ate all of the snacks I had, played with all of the toys I had, and accidentally paged the nurse 2 times. I basically followed him around the room as he explored the garbage can, the curtain, the wheely chair, etc. The doctor, who was so kind, friendly, and helpful, came in to tell me that the CT scan looked great and there was no fracture, bleeding, or swelling. Thank you, Jesus! She did say that they found 2 cysts on the frontal lobe of his skull. She said she got a second opinion and that everyone involved thinks that they are just bony cysts and are nothing to worry about.

We got ready to go and after we got our discharge papers, we were out of there. On our way out, I couldn’t help but think how fortunate we are that we got to go home at that moment and weren’t admitted. That evening could have been so different and I said a special prayer for those families who aren’t as lucky.

We gave Spencer Tylenol that evening and he was still a bit wobbly into Sunday, but by Monday he was back to himself. We went to the pediatrician on December 10 for a follow up and the pediatrician said that he looks fine and all is well.

December 7 – Christmas Card Photos and Gingerbread Train Making

Confession: I get extremely stressed out when it’s time to take pictures of the boys for an occasion or to give as a gift. I have this strong desire to get the perfect picture of them and I insist on settling for nothing less than the best. However, to get a preschooler and a toddler to look at the camera and smile at the same time is darn near impossible. We’d take a break and then try again because I was convinced that I’d get a perfect picture. After tears from all 3 of us at separate times, I decided to throw in the towel and wait until Nevin got home. He thought we had a good enough picture and decided that I didn’t need to torture the children any more than I already had and I agreed!


While Spencer was taking his morning nap, Nolan and I {well mostly me, but Nolan helped by eating the candy} put together and decorated a gingerbread train. As I was kneading the icing that came in the box, I noticed a small hole by the tip. I decided to go for it because Nolan had been looking forward to making the train. As I was squeezing the tube to “glue” together the gingerbread pieces, the hole exploded and icing went everywhere. As I was cleaning up the gingerbread pieces, candy, Oscar, floor, and table, Nolan put his hands in the big clumps on the table and was “washing his hands” in it. I scraped what was left of the icing into a Ziplock bag and finished the train. Nolan had lost interested after the icing explosion, so I finished it.

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I wrote to the company just to tell them that I had a negative experience and they sent me a new kit for free. Nolan and I will try again during his winter break from school, so stay tuned for pictures to follow.

December 11 – Minitab Holiday Party

Mimi and Pop Pop came to watch Nolan & Spencer while we went to the party. I had a difficult time finding a dress because junior dresses make me look like a 2 cent hooker (short, tight, and minimal coverage of the girls), but women’s dresses make me look like a grandma. While the boys napped, I ran to TJ Maxx and found a cheap, cute dress to wear. We arrived in time for appetizers this year {Nevin was thrilled!} and then found a table with Christa & Trevor and Matt & Meredith. We had the normal meal and desserts and hung out chatting until 10:30 or so. There were no games or prizes this year, but it was announced that there would be a Christmas bonus so I didn’t mind.

The next morning we found out that Spencer cried for an hour before he finally fell asleep and Nolan was all ready to go to bed, but started to cry because he missed us. He ended up going back downstairs until around 9:00 when they tried to put him to bed again which was successful.


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December 12 – Arboretum

This beautiful December weather allowed us to check out the Christmas decorations at the Arboretum. Although the gardens were winterized (no water or sand), we still had a great time showing Mimi and Pop the Children’s Garden.

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December 18 & 19 – Cookie Plate for Santa & Fun at Home

While Spencer napped, Nolan and I made a peppermint candy plate to put the cookies for Santa on. I found it on Pinterest and decided to give it a try. I’m impressed with how well I turned out considering I saw many failed attempts of this on Pinterest.

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Spencer loves to climb in laundry baskets and Nolan climbs in with him. Nolan says, “This would be a GREAT Christmas card picture!” when he grabs Spencer around the neck and hugs him.

December 21 – Picture for Christmas Gifts 

All day I was dreading taking this picture because we all remember how our last photo session went. I decided to wait until Nevin got home which was very late. I tried to make dinner and take the picture at the same time and things didn’t go well again. We did get a decent picture much sooner than when I tried by myself, but the overall experience was not pleasant for anyone involved.

Goal for 2016: Relax when taking pictures of the boys!

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December 23 – Tick

When I was giving Spencer a bath, I noticed a grey thing sticking out of the back of his head down by his hairline. I thought it was a worm and screamed for Nevin to come look. One look and he knew it was a tick. We tried to remove the tick with tweezers, but with a screaming, crying, wriggly toddler, that was impossible. When Nolan had a tick on his leg on his first 4th of July, Robert had this awesome tool that took it out right away. Nevin went online to see if Wal-Mart had it in stock and they did. He was back in 15 minutes with the tool and after one try, the tick was out, head and all. Poor Spencer! We put the tick in the freezer and will monitor Spencer for any signs of Lyme Disease. We are pretty sure it’s not a deer tick, but you never know.

Side note: Spencer came in to this world with a bang and has been keeping up with that way of life! A concussion and a tick all before 18 months old has me a bit worried for what’s to come.

December 24 – Christmas Eve

We went to Babi’s and Grandpa’s house for Christmas Eve. Sirkkie, Uncle Mark, Lynne & Robert were there to celebrate with us. The weather was unusually warm. We heard the fire truck carrying Santa so we ran down to Westerly Parkway to see him around 5:30. Nolan was so excited and a firefighter gave both him and Spencer a candy cane. That totally made Nolan’s night. After that, we opened presents and ate dinner. When we got home from Babi’s and Grandpa’s, we heard the fire truck as we were getting out of the car. Daddy took Nolan down the street to see Santa again while I put Spencer to bed. Nolan helped us put out cookies and milk (after drinking 3 glasses himself) for Santa and then went to bed. He didn’t fall asleep until 10:30!

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December 25 – Christmas Day

Spencer was awake around 6:15 and we had to wake Nolan up at 8:15. After opening presents, we ate breakfast and while Spencer took his morning nap, Daddy set up the bounce house. The rest of the day was spent playing with new toys and getting ready for dinner. Uncle Mark, Babi, and Grandpa came over for dinner.

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December 26 to December 29 – Christmas in Easton

When we got to Easton, we opened presents and enjoyed pizza from Pizza D’Oro.

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We got to see Uncle Brad, Aunt Megan, and Mia on the 27th. Spencer did not sleep well the first night (he was up from 3:00-5:30 and up for the day at 6:30) and was quite miserable around dinner time. We had sausage patties and pork roll sandwiches on the grill.

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On the 28th, we saw Auntie Cait and Aunt Nancy and had Stacks sandwiches for dinner.

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December 31 – First Night State College

We went to First Night during the day this year which worked out so well. We got to watch the ice sculptures being carved and we got to go down the ice slide 3 times with a very short (2-3 minutes) wait each time. After the slide, we got popcorn and headed home. It was just enough time to enjoy the sculptures and the slide in the freezing cold temperatures.

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