Monday, December 31, 2012


I'm starting to sound like a broken record over here.

My kid is sick again. Ugh. It started 3 days ago and is progressively getting worse. He is coughing like crazy, super congested, lethargic, and today the fever showed up. I feel awful for my little guy. I am doing everything I can think of to help him. Extra probiotics, vitamin d, cool humidifier, saline/clearing him out with the snot sucker (which he hates!), coconut oil for the chapped face, Hylands Cough, excessive love and snuggles.

I am thankful that I'm healthy now so I can devote the necessary time and energy to helping him feel better. He has literally slept ON me the last three nights and is currently on my lap in the recliner. Honestly, neither one of us is getting much sleep.

There is some seriously nasty stuff going around. So many of my friends are going through the same as we are, some are even worse off. I am praying like crazy for this crud to pass quickly. I am envisioning a healthy, happy Landon returning very soon!


We are almost to 2013.

How about some resolutions?

Do you make them every year?

Do you keep them?

I almost always make at least one. Sometimes I am successful, sometimes not so much.

Here's what I have so far for 2013, in no particular order:

1. Feed my body better
2. Move more
3. Start writing my book!
4. Make more time for me
5. Make more time to nurture my marriage, my friendships and familial relationships
6. Decrease our debt and save more

I think that's a good start!


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas on a Budget

Our budget was a bit tighter for Christmas this year. So, we got creative. Some people got handmade gifts, like bath finger paints for the toddlers and scarves for a couple of the women in the family.

For Landon, we wanted to make this year really special. Even though we didn't have a lot of cash to throw around, we did have a willingness to make it great. You know what? Money doesn't equal great. Thoughtful giving however, always equals great!

We decided to convert our spare room in the basement in to a play room. This room was a hot mess when we started. It was basically a catch all storage room with nasty old carpet. We did this project (and by "we" I mean mostly Scott because I had some nasty sinus crud attach itself to me just days before Christmas) in 3 days. It included clearing the room, ripping out old carpet, removing old nasty window coverings, cleaning, priming and painting everything. It was a ton of work but completely worth it. We still need to choose some wall art but other than that, it was completed last night by 10:30!

This room only cost us $20, which is what we paid for the United States rug. We already had everything else around the house. We were given a couple of really great tower like toys so we set those up and they were new to Landon Christmas morning. He LOVES having his very own play room!

Check out the before and after pictures!

Sunday, December 23, 2012


Landon loves to help. No matter what I'm doing, he is at my side. Here he is "helping" trim my nails. I adore this kid.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Cookies for Santa

Landon and I had a fun morning, which included making cookies for Santa. He is such a good little kitchen helper! Now, we have to try to keep Daddy from eating all of the cookies! Landon did say to me earlier, "I will tell Daddy these cookies are only for Santa!" Yeah, good luck Kiddo.

I am completely soaking up all of these fun moments and memories. How blessed I am to get to do these type of things with my boy. Today, I am one happy Mama!

I hope you all are enjoying this holiday season in your parts as much as we are in ours!

So I'm curious, do you put out cookies for for Santa? If so, what kind are on the menu this year?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

New Perspective

Here I sit.  Thinking about the post I made last night.  How angry I was feeling about our current situation with Landon.  How I wished things were different and how I wished ulcerative colitis and Crohn's never existed.  

This morning, my perspective is much different.  I am thinking about how very fortunate I am to have my son, even if he does have health challenges.  I am lucky to be listening to his sweet voice this morning, to be able to hug and hold him.

I cannot even begin to imagine what all those Mommy's and Daddy's must be feeling right now in Newtown, CT.  How do you ever recover from something like that?  How do you wake up and function after such a tragic loss?  I am at a loss for words.  All I can do now is pray for all of those affected by the horrific events that took place yesterday.    

Friday, December 14, 2012

Boo Hoo Hoo.

I make huge efforts to remain positive and not complain. However, this day has not been an easy one. Landon's labs didn't come back as well as we expected. I don't want to go in to too much detail but I will say his inflammation is up again. UGH! They stuck him 5 times before finally getting an IV line for his infusion. I kept having flash backs to last year and our hospital stay. He was crying. I was crying. As they were holding him down today, he kept saying, "I want Mommy. I want Daddy. I want to hug and kiss Mommy." Talk about heartbreaking.

Being at Children's Mercy at this time of year brought up a whole bunch of emotions. When they told us his lab results I wanted to get the hell out of there as quick as possible. I wanted to run away and just go home. Rough freakin' day.

As I was crying earlier, Landon asked what was wrong. I told him I was just a little bit sad but I would be ok. An hour or so later, out of the blue, he gave me a big hug and kiss. Then he said, "I just love you, Mommy. You don't have to cry, Mommy. I love you, Mommy." Yes, I did tear up all over again!

There was good stuff in our day too. We slept in a little bit and cuddled a lot. Also, we were able to take a care package to a family whose baby just had open heart surgery. Then we got to see some of the nurses who took such great care of us a year ago. They all remembered Landon and were very happy to see us. It was incredibly sweet. Oh! His hemoglobin is still good so that's definitely positive!

I am going to try to get back to my happy place. I have to remember that Landon is still healing. He was a very sick little boy and it will take time. Blah, blah, blah. For real though, right now I am frickin' pissed off. I don't want Landon to have to deal with this. It doesn't seem fair. I want him to be completely healthy and well.

This too shall pass. Tomorrow is a new day. I am exhausted and hope a good night of rest will snap me back to where I need to be.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dear Christmas... I Love You.

We are loving all things Christmas right now!

Over the weekend, we went out both Friday and Saturday nights in search of drive by lights.  Landon really enjoyed it!

Sunday afternoon we built a "Gingerbread Man House" (Landon's words) together, which was a first for both of us!  I wasn't sure how he would do with it but he really go in to it!  I had to tell him that the icing was glue so he wouldn't be tempted to eat it.  About halfway through, I looked over and saw him putting a gumdrop to his mouth.  I said, "Honey, you don't want to eat that because it will make your tummy feel really yucky."  He gave me a serious look and said, "I'm just dunna put it on my chin."  Then he put it on his chin.  About 2 seconds later I looked over to see him with his tongue sticking out licking the gumdrop!  I let it go, figuring a tiny bit of sugar surely wouldn't cause too much upset in his little system.  He is very proud of his house and it now sits in the middle of his table so he can look at it at all times.  

We also got some photos taken Saturday afternoon.  Landon did so great and I'm crazy excited to see how they all turned out!  I WILL get Christmas cards out this year!  The last family photo shoot we had was over a year ago.  Looking back on those, I can see how sick he was.  I'm ready to replace those photos with some of a very healthy looking boy!!  

I HEART Christmas!  

Last Year

First of all, I promise not to do a million of those "A Year Ago Today We Were {fill in the blank}" posts.  That being said, I want to talk a little about what the last year has been like for us.

December 6th, 2011.
Sad and terrified because we didn't know what was wrong with our baby.

Last year at this time, Landon was unexpectedly admitted to the hospital.  It was insanely terrifying for Scott and I.  We had no idea what was happening or what was even wrong with our son, other than he was excessively bleeding and his hemoglobin was critically low.  I remember the excitement I felt following one of his blood transfusions, when we saw his cheeks get the slightest pink tinge to them, because he had been pale for so long.  We spent two weeks at Wesley before being flown to Children's Mercy in Kansas City where we spent another week trying to get our son well.  We were released on Christmas Eve, thinking Landon was all better and on his way to full healing.  How wrong we were.    

When we arrived home the afternoon of December 24th, 2011, we were greeted with a clean house (THANK  YOU Lindsey Kay and Big Sis Shan!) adorned with many unexpected gifts under our tree (THANK YOU Lewis Family, Childs Family, Shope Family and many other anonymous generous people!).  It was supposed to be a really happy time.  We were HOME!

We usually have Christmas Eve at my sister's house but last year everyone decided it would be best for them all to come to us.  Within an hour of getting home from Kansas City, my family began to arrive for our Christmas celebration.  It was truly wonderful to be together and feel somewhat "normal" after 3 long weeks of hospitals, procedures, tests, blood transfusions, feeding tubes, pokes, prods, you name it.  I was trying to soak in all the excitement, love and good feelings that go with that time of year.  It was honestly very surreal.  Around 8:00 that evening everyone packed up and went home.  Then it hit me.  I was sad.  Very sad.  Landon went in to a Prednisone fueled fit which Scott and I could not get him out of for nearly 2 hours.  I ended the night on my knees at the foot of my bed, sobbing uncontrollably, praying for peace.  Merry Frickin' Christmas.

I still cry at times when I hear Christmas carols.  There are a few that take me right back to his hospital room.  Trans Siberian Orchestra will get me about every time.  I sometimes cry out of sadness but more often it's out of gratitude for where we are today.     

In the last year, Landon has made some serious progress!  Scott and I have learned more about IBD, proper nutrition and poop than we could have ever imagined!  I will seriously talk about poop to anyone, anytime and it's like talking about what we watched on TV last night.  It's such a normal part of our lives!  You wanna tell me your poop stories?  Go for it!    

If you've followed Landon's story at all, you know that we've seen some very dark times in the last year.  You also know that we've seen some miraculous healing happen as well!  I fully and completely believe our Boy Wonder will persevere and is paving the road for others in similar situations.  

December 5th, 2012.
At home with my darling Boy Wonder, who is healing!

December 5th, 2012.
Getting sweet lovin' from my darling Boy Wonder!

Christmas 2012 is going to be awesome!  We have already been enjoying the season immensely!  Landon is reveling in the magic that surrounds us and we are loving teaching him about all the traditions we love most. 

Landon's FIRST Christmas.
I had to add this one because he's just too cute!

I am incredibly grateful to be where we are today and to have my son back.  He is happy.  He is whole.  He is healing.  He is awesome.

Merry Christmas Season to ALL!!!       

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Raphael Has Arrived!

When Landon woke up this morning I told him we had a very special package that had arrived over night from Santa.  We rushed out to the living room and opened our package to find our Elf and the book that was sent with him.  We unpacked the box, placed our Elf on our shelf (HA!) then settled in the recliner to read all about him.

{ME}  "So, we really need to name him.  What do you think his name should be?"

He muttered something about a turtle.

{ME}  "Turtle?  You want to name him turtle?"

{BOY WONDER}  "NO!  Raphael!  Like the turtle."  

Yes, he's referring to the Ninja Turtles (which he actually calls the Engine Turtles).  I hear of other Elves named Chippy, Buddy, etc.  But oh no, not OUR Elf.  He will have a proper name.  

After we finished reading, Landon promptly got down, walked over in front of our Elf and said, "Raphael, I want Doggy Dreamlites!"  

I think he's got the idea.  :-)

Meet Raphael.  He arrived at our house this morning straight from the North Pole!  He sure is a dapper little Elf.