Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Baby Curls and Buttcheeks!

Mommy and daddy both got some really good one-on-one time with Mali this weekend!

Friday night, mommy, Lolli and Aunt Donna went to a ladies retreat with our church and we had SUCH a good time! We had a wonderful speaker who talked about building a Godly Christian Home and what an important role women play in their home. This is something that I'm sure EVERY Christian woman can hear over and over, yet still take it in, no matter HOW LONG they've been a mother/wife/sister/aunt! It was also exciting because it was just another affirmation of the Bible study our pastor's wife has been leading every month about homebuilding! Our class is based on Proverbs 14:1 which states, "Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands." It's so true - we, as women, have the ability to build our house up, carefully placing each brick and sealing the mortar, or to tear it down with harsh words, angry tone and disrespect for our husbands! Confession time - I hate to admit that I have probably done more tearing down than building up in my marriage! But, the Lord is good and chastens us to become better wives and mothers! For this, I am VERY thankful! ANYWAY - Friday night was full of laughter, fun and fellowship with some BEAUTIFUL and HILARIOUS Christian women! It's so good to recharge among Godly women in ALL different stages of life and to learn from those married longer than me how to be a Godly wife! Thank you Lord! Oh yeah, and staying up talking 'til 5:00a.m. was a blast too! I'm still recovering though!!
So, Friday night was Daddy/Mali night and they apparently had a great time! Daddy taught Mali how to throw a golf ball...and I am proud to announce that he now knows how to play "fetch" all by himself! I'm thankful for that because it kept him entertained Saturday while I was so tired I could barely hold my eyes open!! Then, Saturday afternoon, Daddy, Pops, Uncle Steve and Uncle Daniel all went to play in a golf tournament benefiting our youth group! Turns out, they did REALLY well, although they didn't win! But, I think they had a great time! Congratulations men! So, mommy and Mali stayed home and chilled!
Then, Sunday morning, it was up for church again and we had a great time, as usual! Sunday afternoon, mommy and daddy came home and, since the income tax check came in, we paid of LOTS of bills!! It was SO FUN!! We are really working hard at this whole debt free thing and can't wait until we are!! Finally, it was time to start getting ready for Sunday evening church so mommy sat down in the floor with Mali to get him dressed again!! BUT, as any mommy of a fast crawler can tell you...sometimes they get away!

Is there anything cuter than a naked, smiling baby??? If only my cellulite looked that cute!

Coming to get me!

He got me!

Um, Mom...you might need to wash that blanket now!

I could just eat him up!

I love that his little buttcheeks look like a heart!!

Yes, there were many more pictures that were SO cute - but I do have SOME boundaries as to what I'm willing to show the world! haha

Once we finally got him all diapered back up, and combed his hair, we had to take some pictures of his cute little curls that he's starting to get! They're so cute, but once it starts to look like a mullet, they're gone! haha!!

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend! Oh, and, by the way...I look to be able to post on here within the next week that we officially have our first top tooth!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What has Malachi been up to...

His ears in blisters...that's what! Last Friday, I learned that Malachi had Hand, Foot and Mouth disease. Okay, it's not really a disease, it's just a virus so I'm not sure why they sensationalize it! Anyway, putting the pieces together, it looks like he started to get sick last Wednesday, but wasn't showing any major signs until Friday...Let me start over!

Wednesday, Malachi ate a cherry sucker at daycare with Lolli! (Can you say 3 washings later and his shirt is FINALLY clean!!) Anyway, he was covered from head to toe in sticky sucker mess, so Lolli put him in one of the large sinks at the daycare (I hope no one from the health department is reading this) and gave him a bath with soft soap! Then, Wednesday night, I put him in the bath at home for our evening playtime (yes, he LOVES the bath) and noticed a small rash on his legs! I called mom and asked her for sure what she had used to wash him so I figured it was just a contact rash from the soap! You see, we are VERY careful about what goes on Malachi's skin! It's Johnson and Johnson soap, lotion, etc! Nothing else! But, the rash didn't seem all that bad so we went on! Then, Thursday, Kelly called from daycare and told me that Malachi was running a VERY low grade fever (100.3 or 100.4) and was drooling ALL OVER the place! Even though I'm not a believer that teething causes major fever, Malachi's normal temperature is right around 99, so I thought, given the drooling, it was probably teething as we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of his top two teeth which should be coming any second now! Tylenol should help! He slept ALL NIGHT Thursday night, so we didn't think anything of it and we knew we had a Dr.'s appointment Friday afternoon for an ear re-check since he was just getting over his 2nd ear infection! Friday, noon, I called my mom to check on him and she says he's been REALLY fussy all day, drooling everywhere and she's checking his temperature. 100.4, 100.5, 100.6...okay, I'm on my way! I pick him up and he's got a HORRIBLE rash on his arms and legs. (Nothing on the trunk) I took him home and waited for the Dr.'s appointment for 4:30 that afternoon. By the time we got there, he was in a decent mood, just a little fussy and we were keeping his temperature controlled with Tylenol/Motrin! As soon as we got there and I explained his symptoms, Dr. Young did a REALLY thorough exam! White sores on the tonsils, but not a red throat. Finally, Malachi unclenched his hands (you know from screaming from having something shoved down his throat...haha) and THERE IT WAS, a HUGE sore on his palm. Cocksackie Virus, he says! And Thomas and I look and simultaneously say, okay, what's that? It's hand, foot and mouth and generally takes 5-7 days to get out of his system. There's nothing you can do but give him Tylenol and Motrin in a rotation to help with the pain. Keep him hydrated! But, good news is, his ears both look great!!!

So, Friday night, we chilled out at home. He slept well Friday night only waking up once and woke up in generally a good mood Saturday. Until about 9:30 that is. That's when the WORST started! No eating, no drinking, pushing everything away, crying, inconsolably crying...high fever...blisters ALL OVER his body including now on his lips and tongue! The only thing he would eat was yogurt and daddy went to the store for pedialyte popsicles that we crushed up just to get SOME liquid in him! It was terrible.

Saturday night comes around and it got worse! We put him down for bed, after a nice warm lavender bath thinking that his day would catch up with him! NO SUCH LUCK! 15 minutes later, he's up screaming! I take the first shift. I was up from 9:00-12:00 and finally put him down thinking he was good and asleep. No dice. At 12:30, it's Thomas' turn! We give him some more yogurt since he's not touching his bottle and I go to bed. At 4:00, I hear the bedroom door open (not sure how since both fans were going and I had a pillow over my head!) and it's Thomas telling me that it's MY turn! So, we switch again and I lay on the couch, Malachi on my chest waking up ever 15 minutes crying, me bouncing and walking and going outside and doing everything else I can think of to calm him down, and just as he's asleep, I lay down and the cycle starts over again! 7:00, it's daddy time! So now, we're BOTH up! Sunday was more of the same until about 5:30p.m. We went to my parents' house just to get out for a little while and things started turning upward! He started acting like he was feeling better and even sat in his high chair and figured out how to pick up cheerios and get them in his mouth! (On a side note, can I tell you how much of a blessing this has been? Give a kid cheerios and yogurt bites and he's happy!!!) He crawled around for a little while and even ate some oatmeal.

Sunday night was better, he only woke up twice and Monday he actually went to daycare! However, I had noticed that he started pulling at his ears again, so I called the pediatrician's office, again! Sure enough, ear infection in his left ear again! This is the 3rd in 5 weeks and both times we have gone for ear checkups 2 weeks after the initial infection is found, his ears look great! So, in another week, we go back to the Dr. for another ear checkup and I'm sure the infection will be gone, just like it has been!

The difference here is that I'm once again calling on our beloved Chiropractor for assistance! I don't know why she's always the last person I think of! So, as I type this, I wait for word from my mom (who's the BEST mom EVER by the way!) to call me and let me know what Dr. Hinders says! I've ALWAYS heard that Chiropractors do WONDERS with children with recurring ear infections, so I'm hoping we'll be successful in her visits! Hey, I'll pay the $35 a pop if it means he doesn't get ear infections, or at least not as often!! **UPDATE** Dr. Hinders said his ears had a TON of pressure on them and his sinuses are all clogged up! Hopefully her work will do some good and we'll take him back Monday for one more checkup! I think we'll make a standing appointment once a month for him from now on!!

On the development front, he is doing GREAT! He is crawling ALL OVER THE PLACE and has gotten SO fast! We just love to hear the pitter patter of his hands as he moves throughout the house following us around! (I think it especially thrills daddy, as, let's be honest, if daddy's around, it's mommy who?) He also started pulling up to his knees this last weekend and is standing up (sometimes even without holding onto anything) for long periods! It won't be long at ALL before he's cruising and walking!! He's also completely on table foods...and we're not talking completely mashed up either! He actually ate 1/2 a hamburger yesterday! (Of course it was pinched up, but he's learned to gum things to death!!) There's NOTHING the kid won't eat! We've moved him to next-step formula, but he's not taking too well to that, so we may just go straight to whole milk soon! I just don't think he likes the taste! However, we have found "Yogurt Juice" from gerber and he loves it! So, mommy (being as wonderful as I am...ahem, CHEAP is more like it) figured out how to make her own instead of buying 4 4oz bottles for 4 dollars! It's easy! Take any fruit you like, puree it completely, add yogurt (we're using Activia so it'll keep his digestive system normal), puree that together and then add your juice of choice! Yes, we'll have to watch so he doesn't gain weight too much, but frankly, we're not EVEN worried about that right now! And, you know what they're drinking instead of having sugar and junk!! His top two teeth are also looking ready to break through at ANY MOMENT!!

He has got to be the happiest baby I have ever seen and is developing SUCH a fun personality! He scrunches up his little nose when he smiles, laughs at EVERYTHING and is SO interactive!

I did get all of his items for his 1st b-day party in the mail last week, so we're getting ready for the big May 16 soiree at Lolli's house! I'm going today to order his personal b-day cake and we'll probably order his cookie-cake this weekend, because you know we have to carry on that tradition from mommy's birthday parties! Although, if we continue on the current path, we'll probably be adding that ginormous hamburger from Arnold's sooner rather than later to the b-day menu!!

Finally, please watch this video that I saw on a fellow mom-blogger's website! I can't believe it's Hootie, but more than that, I can't believe Hootie made me cry so much! What a GREAT song!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Resurrection Weekend

Malachi was a HIT this weekend, but even bigger than that was celebrating the resurrection of Jesus! Thursday afternoon at daycare, Lolli did resurrection eggs with all of the kids to teach them the Easter story and that put the entire weekend off to a GREAT note! Friday, mommy had to work, but the rest of the gang took Malachi, Kadi and Karter to get their Easter pictures made in their matching outfits! (You try getting three kids under the age of 4 to smile and look in the same direction! I hear it was NOT easy!) Saturday was spent chilling out at home for most of the day! It was GREAT! It rained and rained and rained a SLOW steady rain. One of my co-workers actually likened it to a slow, mountain rain! We relaxed, cleaned, caught up on laundry, napped and just had a relaxing afternoon! Then, that evening we got together and went to look at the pictures and order the ones we wanted! I'll post them as soon as I get mine! We left and headed to Lowe's to pick out some new goodies for Lolli and Pops' bathroom re-vamp. Then, we came home and colored our own Easter Eggs with the kiddos!

**Funny Story**

I had hard-boiled 8 eggs earlier in the day and brought them to Lolli's house. (3 for Karter, 3 for Kadi and 2 for Malachi) However, I didn't bring them to Lolli's house in a carton so I had to get hers out of the refrigerator. She had 3 UNBOILED eggs left so I set those off to the side when we started coloring. Without paying attention, we grabbed eggs and got busy with the kids...

Can you spot the ones that aren't boiled?

Neither could we until Kadi Jo squeezed hers a little too hard! I wish I had a picture of it. I think Aunt Kelly does and as soon as I can, I'll get that posted up here! It was HYSTERICAL! We had to shake EVERY SINGLE EGG until we figured out which 3 WEREN'T hard-boiled! But, we did and I we had a great time!!

This was only the 3rd picture - we finally got everyone looking in the right direction!! This is supposed to be a monkey for Malachi...don't hate 'cause you can't draw as good as me! (haha - bad grammar to add that extra humorous effect!)

Sunday we had a GREAT day at church! Mali got all dressed up in his Easter outfit again and it turns out, one of his buddies, Aidan was dressed just like him! (Actually, about 5 or 6 other little boys had the same outfit on with small variances!)

Aidan was born a week after Malachi and his mommy, Desri O'Connor and I grew up together! I'm happy that he'll have the same opportunity to have such good church friends as I did!

They were SO sleepy by this point!

Attempt #1 at a family picture!

...and #2...

...and #3... (Even though I think this is my favorite!)

...Close enough! Look much like daddy?

I'm fortunate - Thomas gets him to smile and I get the good picture out of it!


...And Away!!!

After church we went to Lolli's house with the WHOLE family and ate LOTS of yummy sandwiches and chips and dips and desserts...WE WERE STUFFED!

Malachi even got to eat a chocolate bunny!

The Beginning of the End

It's good - See my tongue?

Karter and Mali!

He LOVES Chocolate!

Want a bite? Daddy looking on!

This is what happens when Uncle Jim takes my chocolate away - and I've even got it back in my hands by now!
Uncle Daniel

As you can see, it was a fun-filled weekend! We had a wonderful time all weekend and again, congratulations to Thomas who got baptized Sunday evening! It was super exciting! I'm so proud to be your wife and the mother of your beautiful baby boy!! Thank you Lord!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

So Much Has Changed!

You know, people have been telling us for weeks that once Malachi started crawling, things would start going so quickly! I think we had been waiting for so long for him to actually start crawling, that we didn't believe he actually was, even when we saw it with our own two eyes! But, the official date for Malachi to start crawling was last Sunday, April 5, 2009!! We were at Lolli and Pops' house, surprise surprise, for lunch and he SO DID crawl on hands and knees to get to my shoe! (We didn't even have to bribe him with food...haha!) Then, Monday morning, Thomas was standing at the front door telling him bye-bye before work and Malachi stopped what he was doing, crawled over to Thomas, grabbed his shoe and started crying! (It was heartbreaking for daddy to have to leave his little boy!) And now for the fast part, he has started pulling up, finally!! Only to his knees so far, but if you're sitting on the floor, he'll crawl over to you, crawl over your legs and then push his legs straight out and pull up on your leg or whatever else he can glom on to! This morning he actually crawled over to the laundry basket (of clean laundry waiting to be folded, please confirm that I'm not the only one to do this...I beg you...I need that confirmation so I don't feel like a bad housekeeper...haha!) and pulled up to his knees to grab something out of it! Man, he really is taking off!!!

I also left him this morning laying in the floor drinking his bottle after a breakfast of oatmeal with blueberries - I walked into the bedroom and grabbed my clothes and by the time I got back to check on him (a whole minute later) the bottle was halfway across the room and he was sitting up playing with his clothes that I was getting ready to put on him! This weekend, we'll be babyproofing it looks like!!!

He has also started saying bye-bye, and Uh-Oh (with lots of intonation)! We've been working on Uh-Oh for a while and it's been either one "UH" or "Uh-Uh" but he finally made the "OH" sound Monday or Tuesday evening while we were playing with him! Now every 3rd of 4th time he says it, it comes out right! (It's like he's gotta practice or warm up to get there!) He's clapping now and he has started doing the cheesiest smile! It's SO CUTE! He wrinkles his entire face and his eyes completely disappear! He's laughing SO MUCH at EVERYTHING and is SO easily amused! We sit for hours on end (okay, maybe just 30 minutes or so, but we COULD sit for hours on end) and do EVERYTHING we can to get him to belly laugh! It's GREAT! It's so nice to have such a happy, interactive baby!


Tomorrow, Good Friday, EVERYONE has off of work EXCEPT mommy and from what I hear it's going to be a fun day! A couple of weeks ago, Aunt Kelly and I went shopping at Children's Place for Easter Outfits for our children and tomorrow, Lolli, Pops, Aunt Kelly and her two, Kadi and Karter and Malachi and Daddy and even Aunt Janalyn are taking the three kids to get their Resurrection pictures made! They're wearing semi-matching outfits in VERY springy colors and I can't WAIT to see how cute they look!!

This year, we will be starting a new tradition in that we're not going to celebrate "Easter." What? Shock...I know. We're actually going to be calling it Resurrection Sunday. Because, that's what IT IS! It's Resurrection Sunday! Yes, we will still be hunting "Easter" eggs with the older kids (or Malachi can crawl to a few) and we will still have the "Easter" bunny but we are also going to REALLY spend time remembering what we are actually celebrating! We've also bought resurrection eggs and will be beginning another new tradition (just like the Happy B-Day Jesus Cake at Christmas) with Malachi! It's SO important that we understand what this day really represents! This is the day that our savior, Jesus Christ defeated death and Hell and rose from the dead! Without this day our faith would be empty. Without this day, we would be worshipping a dead God. When, in fact, our God is ALIVE AND WELL and continues to reign on high! Without this day, our salvation would be impossible for the Bible says that we are ALL sinners and fall short of the Glory of God. Without this day, we would NEVER be able to get to Heaven. Ephesians 2: 8-9 says "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the GIFT OF GOD. Not of works lest ANY MAN should boast." We're not worthy of reaching Heaven and we deserve to be eternally separated from the God that created us. However, Jesus Christ died for our sins and ROSE AGAIN so that we might have life more abundantly. The only thing WE have to do is to ask God for forgiveness of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as the gift that Ephesians talks about. We ask Jesus to save us from our sins and the Bible says that "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness." If not for Jesus' death, burial and resurrection, He wouldn't be ABLE to save us! Praise the Lord that He is!!

Please see this webpage for more answers to any questions you have! There is NO GREATER JOY than having fellowship with Jesus Christ and there is NO WORSE CONDEMNATION than eternal separation from our Heavenly Father! DON'T WASTE THIS TIME!

Stay tuned for pictures of the EXCITING WEEKEND ahead!!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Is it REALLY almost that time?

Lately, I have been working on planning Malachi's 1st b-day party and thinking how much I can't BELIEVE it's already time to do this. Almost a full year ago our lives changed forever. Almost a full year ago, God blessed Thomas and I with an incredible baby boy. Almost a full year ago, a sweet angel left Heaven to come to this Earth and live with me. Almost a full year ago, my heart expanded into a realm completely beyond my understanding until then. Almost a full year ago, Thomas Malachi Allen was born. Wow, it's almost been a full year!

We went to the Dr. this morning to get a check-up for his ears since he had ear infections a couple of weeks ago! Thank goodness both ears looked completely healthy! She (Liz, the Nurse Practitioner) also went over some other things with me regarding his development at this stage! Turns out, we're doing great! Lolli tells me that Malachi finally crawled FORWARD yesterday at daycare! Of course, it was to get at a graham cracker, but HEY, he did it!! He's been crawling backwards now for about a week and I can't WAIT to see him crawl with my own eyes! When I dropped him off at daycare this morning, all 3 nursery teachers were in the floor clapping and encouraging and, yes, bribing him with graham crackers and a small piece of a chocolate bar!! (What can I say...I've always said he's momma's boy!) It's so good to know that he is SO loved!

He is also, as stated in a previous post, completely off of baby food! In turn, he has been able to switch to REGULAR Enfamil from the ever expensive, but SO worth it Nutramigen!! ($27.00 twice a week for formula gets pretty expensive!!) He's ALSO...Drumroll Please...COMPLETELY OFF OF HIS LAXATIVE!!! Last week he was on Augmentin for 10 days for his ears and, during that time, as any mommy can attest, he was pooping like a champ!! Now, he's pooping COMPLETELY on his own! Therefore, my baby is no longer on ANY medicines full-time! No more Lactulose, no more C-Phen, no more special formula!!! Today for lunch he's having mashed up ravioli and we're probably going to wean him from formula altogether within the next month or so! He's SO good about eating his greens (green beans, peas, even spinach...okay, so he's not EXACTLY like his momma) that I'm not the LEAST bit concerned about him getting the nutrients he needs! Right now a typical meal includes mashed up carrots and green beans and then applesauce for dessert...all in moderation of course! He eats a package of oatmeal in the morning and ESPECIALLY loves the maple and brown sugar variety! He's even moved up to be the 2nd oldest in the nursery...how crazy is that? He has learned how to drink out of a sippy so we will be weaning him from the bottle and formula at about the same time, hopefully and starting at 1 year, the paci is SO bye-bye! He only takes it now to go to sleep anyway! I can't believe time has gone by so quickly, but I'm working SO SO hard to enjoy EVERY SINGLE moment because I know I won't ever have it again!

For now, I'll leave you with a couple of random pictures from the last couple of days! The first is possibly one of my favorites of my two best men!

This was at a surprise baby "sprinkle" last night! He was SO sleepy and Dad thought the shades might help! They didn't, but he sure looked cute!
Mali and Cousin Karter!

Here's a close-up! See his 2 teeth???