Friday, June 27, 2014

Bren in Stitches

In my last post, I promised y'all some fun stories and photos. This post contains neither! In fact, most of these photos are straight-up gross, but someday Bren may want to read about this incident.

Last Thursday, Chris had an appointment with his chiropractor at 5:00pm, and I had one with my chiropractor at 5:45pm. We actually go to the same clinic, but we see different doctors. So, I loaded up the kids and met him at the chiropractor's office at 5:30. He took the kiddos after his appointment, and I went in for my appointment. 

We had been really busy last week preparing to go out-of-town, and the kids had been asking (begging, really) to go to the splash pad all week. We had been one time earlier in the week, but I told Chris that he should just swing by the splash pad on the way home and let them play. They were in shorts and t-shirts, but that didn't matter to us. I knew they'd only want to play for about 45ish minutes, so I thought that by the time they got home, I'd be getting home too and we could have dinner. 

I had a great appointment and left my chiropractor's office at about 6:15. I checked my phone when I got in the car and saw I had a voicemail from Chris. It said something like, "Call me ASAP. Bren fell and I think he needs stitches. We're at Urgent Care." NOT words a Momma wants to hear!!!

I called Chris immediately and clarified where they were, then drove straight over there. I was pretty panicked feeling. I didn't know what to expect when I got there. I thought for some reason he had gashed his head, so I was imagining lots of blood and a huge gash, and I don't do blood well. AT ALL. My knees kept feeling weak just thinking about it! 

When I walked in Urgent Care, Bren had a wadded up napkin against his cheek/mouth, and there wasn't really any visible blood. Thankfully, Chris had changed both Brianna and Brenson's clothes (since they were wet from being at the splash pad) when he got to Urgent Care or I would have been A LOT more freaked out. His wet clothes had a ton of blood on them, but I didn't see that until later. I did know that there had been some blood though, because Chris had blood on his pants and Bren had blood on his hands and under his fingernails (yuck!). 

Our splash pad has large, decorative rocks all around its perimeter. I guess that Chris was sitting on one of the rocks while the kids were playing. Brianna and Brenson both started running toward him at the same time from different directions, crashed into each other, and Brenson fell into one of the rocks banging his cheek and splitting his lip open. So, thankfully, there was no gash in his head.

Bren was whimpering but not really crying, so I immediately felt better. In fact, it didn't look that bad to me at all, and I kind of wondered if we needed to be at Urgent Care. However, I didn't look closely, and Chris said his lip was split wide open. 

We were called back quickly, and Bren kind of melted down. He didn't want to be touched by the nurses AT ALL. In fact, a nurse came in to clean his wound, and he freaked out so much that she just decided to wait until the doctor came in. We ended up waiting about 20 minutes before the doctor came in and that worked out perfectly. It gave Bren a chance to settle down and warm up to his surroundings a bit (he is our slow-to-warm child). 

Waiting for the doctor to come in . . . see how his lip doesn't really look bad at all?

It did look much worse up close, but I wasn't looking closely :-). Poor little guy was breaking my heart with the tears.

When the doctor came in, she determined that he would need a few stitches. She initially thought he'd need about 3, but he ended up with 5! As soon as we laid him down on the bed, Bren melted down BIG TIME. Poor guy was scared to death! We are very honest with our kiddos, so we told him that he was getting stitches and that it would hurt for a minute (just the numbing shot hurt . . . the stitches probably didn't). One nurse held Bren's head, one held his feet, and Chris and I each held an arm while the doctor stitched. It was pretty horrible for me, honesty. It was SO HARD watching him scream and cry, and at one point he looked me right in the eyes and said, "Momma!" with this pleading look. Ugh. BUT, I did pretty well being strong for him. I did get light-headed at one point and had to grab a chair, but I normally have SUCH a weak stomach that I was happy I didn't pass out!

While all this was going on, Brianna was being a great big sister and just sitting patiently. She really wanted to watch the doctor stitch, but I told her to not watch. I didn't want to scare her or freak her out. We didn't need two kids in tears! She did so great though, and I'm thankful for a child that can be trusted to obey and sit patiently.

When it was all said and done, Bren ended up with 3 stitches on the outside of his lip and 2 stitches on the inside. The tears ended very quickly after the doctor left the room, and he was soon acting normal.

His cheek and lip was certainly swollen, but he perked up really quickly after we got back home. It took me, on the other hand, ALL evening to settle down!
 I know this is a really gross photo, but you can see the stitches really well. Chris took this not long after we got home from Urgent Care.

We gave him tylenol for the pain on a four hour schedule all night long, so he slept his normal 12 solid hours.  His cheek and lip were pretty swollen the next day, but he acted completely fine. He didn't mess with the stitches or act bothered by them at all.

The next photos were taken the following Sunday . . . 3 days after the incident. All the swelling had gone down and the bruising was almost completely gone!

Another weird photo, but see how great the stitches look? He should get them out in a few days (the ones on the inside of his lip are disolveable, but the 3 one the outside have to be removed), and I'm hoping there will be no scar or anything!

I'm sooooo sad that my baby has had stitches, but very thankful that it was nothing serious! It's kind of funny that Chris and I were both surprised that Brianna was not our first child to get stitches. She such a wild woman that we figured she would have had them by now . . . But nope! I'm certainly not asking for anything, though! I sincerely hope that we don't have to go through another experience like this for a long, long time.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Olympic Day

Hi, Everyone. Long time . . . no blog, yes? I certainly haven't meant to neglect this little space of mine for so long, but sometimes it just happens. 

Did you all know that today is Olympic Day? Olympic Day is celebrated around the world on June 23rd every year as a day to commemorate the revival of the modern Olympic games. Some of my long time readers may remember my feelings about the Olympics, so in celebration of Olympic Day, I decided to post about all the fun activities I did with my littles this past February during the winter Olympic games!

Back in the late fall, I found this fun little Americana Jell-O kit clearanced at a local store and snatched it up. I thought it was the perfect thing to pull out for the Olympics!

We made up the Jell-O on the night of the opening ceremonies.

I had told the kids a lot about the Olympics, so they were very excited to see what it was all about! Plus, who doesn't love Jell-O? :-)

We made both the red and blue Jell-O for the mold.

I let Bren stir quite a bit, so I had a mess on my hands after it was all said and done. Oh well, he loved the experience!

Our Jell-O mold all ready to go in the frig!

The opening ceremonies were a great opportunity to talk to the kids about the world, different countries, flags, etc. Brianna soaked up every word and had a TON of questions! She also couldn't wait to eat her Jell-O!

I thought the little molds came out so cute!

What a fun way to kick-off the Olympic games at our house!

For the next two weeks while the games were going on, we watched a lot of them on TV in the evenings at house. It's pretty unusual for us to have the TV on during the evening, so this was definitely a special treat. During the day, I did several Olympic themed activities with the kids.

The first activity we did was making our own flags. Like I said above, we had talked a lot about flags and especially about the American flag. To make our own flags, we started by painting a craft stick red.

Then, I cut a piece of blue cardstock in half and painted the kids' hands red, white, and blue. Very quickly after painting their hands (so the paint wouldn't dry), we stamped their hand onto the blue cardstock.

After letting the cardstock dry for a bit, I let the kiddos decorate their paper with stickers.

Brenson pretty much only wanted to use the stars!

After everything was decorated, I hot glued the craft stick to the paper to make a flag! They turned out SO cute!

The Bs used their flags to help cheer on Team USA each evening :-).

Another day, I decided to break out the paint once again and make Olympic rings. For this simple project, the kids painted paper plates the Olympic colors.

I'm not sure what this look Brianna is giving is all about!

This was a pretty messy project, but it was sure fun :-).

After painting the first two plates, I decided that it might be easier to cut them into rings FIRST, then let the kids paint. It was much easier that way!

Working hard.

After all the rings were painted and dry, we cut slits in them and linked them all together.

We hung this in our living room until the Olympic games were over.

I had been wanting to try my hand at salt-dough ornaments during Christmas, but never found the time. So, I decided that one of our Olympic projects would be salt-dough medals!

Both of my kiddos LOVE helping me in the kitchen!

If you've never tried to make salt-dough, it is SUPER simple. We will be doing this again!

They both loved rolling out the dough!

Bren was so cute rolling and rolling. He thinks he's as big as Brianna :-).

After rolling out the dough, we cut circles with a jar lid. I had a ton of dough leftover, so I also cut some other shapes just to have on hand for a rainy day.

I put some designs into a few of the medals, but left others plain. After baking the medals and making sure they were nice and hard, I sprayed painted them gold. You can also use acrylic paint to paint them, but I didn't know that at the time. We put ribbon through the hole I had punched before baking them, and the kids LOVED their gold medals!

They actually still have their medals in their dress-up drawers and still play with them!

The next activity we actually did several times over the course of the games. I found a template (on Pinterest) for winter Olympic Bingo and couldn't resist printing them out! The kids love a good Bingo game!

Some of the pictures were kind of difficult for Brenson to decipher, but he caught on quickly.

Brianna takes her Bingo playing seriously :-).

I also found a template for an ice skate on Pinterest. I was not at all surprised that Brianna loved watching the ice skating, so she was thrilled to make her own skate. I printed the ice skate onto white cardstock, and let the kids decorate them however they wanted.

At first, they were satisfied coloring with markers.

But soon Brianna decided that she wanted to use glitter.

Glitter is a favorite around our house :-).

It took a while for the glitter to dry, so we took these photos the next day.

They both enjoyed their ice skates!

Most of these ideas were things I found on Pinterest, but I modified many of them to fit our needs. I love LOVE the age that my kiddos are right now. They enjoy just about any activity I plan for them . . . and they loved every single one of our Olympic activities! It was a great way to celebrate the games and learn a lot in the process!

Happy Olympic Day, Everyone! I'm going to try (really, really hard) to make my blog a priority again. I have lots of fun photos and stories to share :-)!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I'm just an Okie from Muskogee (and Lake Wister)

At the beginning of this year, Chris and I were talking about how there are many fun/interesting/adventurous things to do in our state that we've never experienced. We love to travel and make an effort to do so often, yet we weren't taking advantage of the great experiences right in our backyard. Because of this, we decided that 2014 would be the year that we would have Oklahoma adventures! You can read about our first Oklahoma daycation here.

We have a list of Oklahoma adventures that we hope to experience this year (or soon), and one of the items on the list is spend the night in a cabin in the Ouachita National Forest in southeastern Oklahoma. Chris came across a Groupon deal for a cabin on Lake Wister (just a bit north of the Ouachita National Forest) and snatched it up quickly. We decided this past weekend would be a perfect time to use it!

We invited Chris's parents to join us on our little trip, so we made a plan to meet them in Muskogee, Oklahoma for lunch. Chris and his parents all took the day off from work on Friday so that we could have two full days of Oklahoma fun! 

The Honor Heights Park in Muskogee is absolutely beautiful! We planned to meet Chris's parents at 11:30am, but we ended up getting there just after 11:00am. The park is HUGE . . . complete with a lake, a tulip garden, a butterfly house, a gift shop, many picnic areas, a waterfall, and a playground. We let the kiddos play for a bit while we waited for Meme and Papa to get there. 

Both of the kids were so excited for our road trip!

It was pretty chilly this morning, as well as WINDY. There's always a good bit of wind in Oklahoma, but it was particularly windy this day.

This certainly didn't stop the kiddos from having fun, though.

My sweet boy loves to play!

See how Brianna's hair is just blowing? It's a constant problem for us!

After they played for a while, we walked out on a dock in the lake to watch the geese and ducks. Gorgeous view!

Brenson was so interested in the geese and ducks, but scared at the same time. Silly boy!

Meme and Papa arrived while we were on the dock. I had Meme snap this family photo for us as soon as they got there.

We spent just a few more minutes out on the dock, then headed to find a place to eat lunch.

We decided to eat lunch in the Tulip Garden, but to get there we had to walk through the gift shop. Outside of the gift shop was this great guitar that the kids loved. Apparently, there are guitars like this all over Muskogee? That's what someone said, but I didn't fact check it :-).

This sign says, "An Okie from Muskogee" just like the song. Of course, after we got back in the car to head to Lake Wister, I played "Okie from Muskogee" about 5 times. Then Chris made me stop *grin*. There are so many songs about Oklahoma, and I'm going to make an Oklahoma themed playlist before our next trip.

The Tulip Garden had a pavilion with picnic tables where we ate a sandwich lunch that we had packed while we enjoyed the beautiful tulips.

I mean really, so SO pretty!

Brianna loved seeing all the tulips in bloom. I wish I had taken a photo of the whole Garden area so you could see just how many flowers were there.

Brenson was fascinated with these giant whirly-gigs. Of course, with all the wind this day they were spinning like crazy.

The butterfly house wasn't open for the season quite yet, but you can see part of it in the background of this photo.

In front of the butterfly house sat this serene fountain.

The kiddos kept leaning over in to it so they could touch the water. I was just sure that one of them was going to tumble in.

This is me and Meme standing in front of the butterfly house. We were told in the gift shop that the butterflys would not be there until after Mother's Day.

After lunch and exploring the Tulip Garden for a bit, we walked back over to the dock to feed a few pieces of bread to the ducks.

The kids loved this, and the best part was watching the ducks try to get the bread before the fish got to it. It was quite entertaining.

Brianna would break off the smallest pieces of bread to throw in the water, while Brenson was throwing half pieces in!

We fed ducks back in September with my parents and Brianna got bit by a duck. I didn't think she'd remember this, but she sure did! She told Meme and Papa all about it.

Before leaving Honor Heights Park, I wanted to see the waterfall that I had read about. It is probably much prettier in later spring or fall, but I'm still glad we drove over to see it.

A perk to having Meme and Papa with us? I have someone to take our family photos!!!

We had to park the cars and walk to the waterfall, so on the way back to our cars the kids wanted to sit on this stone bench.

Brianna decided she wanted to ride with Meme and Papa on the way to Lake Wister, so she rode in their car and they followed us down there. It took about 2 hours from Muskogee to get there, but the drive was lovely. The scenery was beautiful, the weather was great, and it was just an overall pleasant drive through the countryside.

I'm not used to seeing mountains in my state. We don't have mountains up where we live.

Obviously, these are not huge mountains, but they are still beautiful!

We arrived at our cabin at about 3:00pm. We had no idea what to expect as far as the cabin went, but we were {pleasantly} surprised by how clean and kept up it was. It was small for sure (only one bedroom) but perfectly fine for one night.

The living and dining area (there was a pretty fireplace behind me)

Looking from the living area into the kitchen

The hallway . . . the doorway to the left is the bedroom and the one on the right is the bathroom

The bedroom

After unloading the cars and getting settled a bit, we headed to the lake to do some fishing. Brenson was beyond excited to fish!

He was so cute . . . he acted like a fishing pro even though he's only been one time before (back in the summer).

Meme was helping Brianna fish. I don't have a fishing license, so I took photos and relaxed in the sun.

Brianna kept begging Meme to cast her own pole, so eventually - against my advice - Meme let Brianna cast and of course Brianna acted all wild and hooked Meme's finger. Sigh. Thankfully, it wasn't anything major.

The wind was ferocious on this side of the lake, so it was pretty terrible fishing conditions. No one caught anything, and we gave up after just 45 minutes or so.

At one point, Chris took Bren and walked around to another area to see it the conditions were any better over there. They weren't, but as they were walking back I caught this photo. I adore it!

So sweet!

Brianna decided quickly that she was done with the fishing, and that she wanted to play on a playground not far from our cabin instead. So, after our fishing attempt {and fail}, we headed to the playground for a bit.

Of course my child wanted to climb on top of this cave/rock thing.

Oh no, poor Papa! Ha!

Chris was still focused on fishing, so he took Bren and headed to another part of the lake. Papa wanted to see the dam, so he, Meme, and Brianna loaded up in their car and went to see that. This gave me a chance to go back to the cabin, organize a bit, and relax by myself for about 30 minutes. It was SO nice! I rarely get time to myself, and when I do I'm certainly not just laying in a cabin relaxing. It was the perfect little break for me.

Chris got our campfire going as soon as he and Bren came back from the lake (which wasn't long . . . the wind was just making it miserable). I love the smell of a campfire in the crisp, fresh air!

We roasted hot dogs for dinner and ate outside by our campfire.

Then, we roasted marshmallows and made s'mores . . . My very favorite thing about camping! I LOVE s'mores!

This was Bren's first taste of a s'more and he's a fan!

Brianna actually prefers plain marshmallows to s'mores, but I'm trying to convert her.

There's just something about roasting dinner over a campfire . . .

I have a method to making the perfect s'more, and I'm pretty sure I ate 3 of them this night. Eeeek!

I wanted Meme to get our family photo by the campfire, but the fire ended up getting cut out. I still like this photo, though.

We were having a great time!

After the sun set, it got very chilly outside so we headed in and made out beds. Bren slept in our pack 'n play in the bedroom (where Chris and I slept), and we made Brianna a palette on the floor in the living room. The couch pulled out into a bed for Meme and Papa. We put both kids down in the bedroom until the adults were ready to go to bed and that worked out well. We didn't do much after the kids went down . . . just watched TV, visited, and had a few snacks.

We started off the next morning bright and early. We cooked breakfast in the cabin before packing everything up and heading out.

The kids were waiting patiently on the front porch for us to get everything loaded and ready to go.

We had seen on a map of Lake Wister that there were a couple of hiking trails, so we set out to do that on Saturday morning. It was a cool morning, so there was a bit of fog on the lake. It was beautiful, though.

Thankful for this time with my family!

Papa gets a bit annoyed with me and all my photo taking, but he cooperated for this one. :-)

The trail ended up being a complete mess! There was really no trail at all . . . just a ton of brush, briar, and bramble. We really tried to make the best of it, but it was especially difficult with littles in tow.

The trail ran right next to the lake. The only way we knew we were even on the trail was by these white dots on the trees. It was really pretty ridiculous.

Brenson especially was not having a good time. He wanted to be carried the whole time which was difficult to do when walking through briars and thorns!

Brianna was being a good sport about it, but we were all less than thrilled for the most part.

I took this photo because Brenson had picked up this cedar tree branch and would not put it down. I thought it was cute that he was hauling it around. Well, about two minutes after I snapped this pic, Brenson had a HUGE meltdown. He didn't want to walk, he didn't want anyone but Daddy to carry him, and he was just DONE. He cried until we got back to the car (which ended up being about 15 minutes). He was probably a bit young for a trail hike, but especially for one like this. Lesson learned.

This is a terribly unflattering photo of me, but we were excited for our hike! Too bad it was such a bust :-(.

Even after we got back to the cars, Bren was NOT happy.

As we were leaving the lake area, we stopped for a potty break and let Brianna play on yet another playground. Bren fell asleep almost as soon as we put him in the car, and after his meltdown on the trail, we just let him be.

The conditions were still not good for fishing, so we headed toward Poteau instead. We thought we would eat lunch there, but it was only about 11:15am when we got there. Since we didn't fish that morning, it threw my itinerary off a bit. So, instead of eating in Poteau, we decided to drive about 30 minutes to Fort Smith, Arkansas for lunch.

Chris used to work a lot in Fort Smith, so he wanted to eat at a BBQ joint there called Whole Hog BBQ. Also, Bren had never been to Arkansas before, so we thought that would be fun to add another state to his list.

We all enjoyed our lunch at Whole Hog!

This is a funny pic of Bren, but I like that you can see his cup :-).

Brianna is a great eater, and this was no exception. It was good eatin' for sure!

Our last stop before heading home was the Arkansas visitor's center right outside of Fort Smith. I wanted to get a photo of the kids by the Arkansas sign, so this was a great place to do that.

After the Arkansas visitor's center, we headed to Wagoner where we parted ways with Meme and Papa. We got back to our house at about 4:00pm on Saturday, leaving us plenty of time to unpack and get a little rest before going to bed that night. 

We loved seeing southeastern Oklahoma and spending a bit of time in the "mountains". Chris and I are both already talking about what we'll do when we go back again :-).