Pneumonia.. again.

I'm such a slacker...
I'm having camera issues, plus we are moving.. again, plus we had a nice 5 day hospital stay, days after reading this.. I'm so behind.

Asleep in the ER
So Lil'K got a runny nose, that came along with a lovely fever.  As soon as she started showing symptoms.. we made sure our Emergency bags were prepped and ready to go, we knew it was only a matter of time until Lil'C would get it too.
Two days later he started showing symptoms.  The day after that she had a nice fever and he went into the 100s (at night) so we called the Ped and had them seen (Monday).  They were both rather chipper at the appointment and Lil'C's lungs were pretty clear with mild "crackling" (yes, that is a medical term) in his upper lungs.  By Wednesday Lil'C's fever had spiked to 103.8 (again at night) and his runny nose had turned green, Lil'K was almost finished with a very slight clear runny nose.  Her's had actually never changed colors.  By noon we were packing up and heading to the hospital, which took longer than expected since we were out of practice.
What's a bored little girl to do?   Drive an IV pole like a car, that's what.
We had cranked his O2 up to 1.5L from .5 and when we got there they had to crank him up more.  For a few days he was actually at 5L!  He ended up needing steroids since it was a viral pneumonia.  They also put him on antibiotics, even though they don't do anything for viral, to protect him from a secondary infection while his immune system was weak.  

3G Geek. IPad Boss
Thankfully this time it was only lungs and no heart issue.
He had to have nebulizer treatment and something we had never had before... IPPB.  If you have no clue what that is, like myself...  It is kind of like a nebulizer except it oscillates.  It sounds like a train and has to be held on tightly.  Hubby had to hold down Lil'C for each treatment every 4 hours.  We all hated it... but it worked.  It broke up the gunk in his lungs and he went on the mend.
So we now have a ton of meds, but he is feeling much better and getting back to his old self.  His toes, fingers and lips have stopped turning purple when he pulls off his O2 for to long.  He is also back to only wearing it when he sleeps, which is nice. 
We were also in the middle of potty training when all this hit and it kinna triggered a regression.  We are slowly getting back to where we were.  Speaking of which... does anyone have any hints for teaching a toddler to pull his own pants up and down when he has poor movement on one side??  

(Days later)
Seriously slacking on the blog..
Lil'C is back to his normal O2 and meds.  Although I added a probiotic (this one) once he got off the Antibiotic, thanks to a suggestion from Kate.. and I think he has really been needing one.  I think he has been on so many really strong Antibiotics throughout his life that it has pretty much destroyed his gut flora. 
Since he started solids he has had trouble gaining weight.   I'm thinking all of the antibiotics are part of the issue.  Breastmilk naturally contains probiotics and whenever I would get serious about giving him yogurt he would gain some weight.. now with this probiotic he is obviously putting on weight and growing.  He has chubby cheeks again, has finally outgrown all his 18mo (yes my 3yo has been wearing 18mo) clothes and is suddenly able to reach things he wasn't able to when we got back.  It is really kinna crazy.  I need to look at his discharge papers to see if  I can find a height and weight to compare it too.
See the cheeks? He is saying "vroom"

So... 2 Questions for all ya'll....  Any help on the potty training with a weak side?   Have you seen a sudden health change after starting probiotics in someone you know (or yourself)? 

Montessori ish Trays

So as you know I have two little geeklings: Lil'C and Lil'K. :) One of our major parenting philosophies is to teach our children to longer need us. To make them self-sufficient. With Lil'C also having physical issues we find that even more important. We want him to be able to learn to do everything on his own and we push him to do so. We think that is part of why he is walking and doing all of the things he is now. So when we stumbled upon the Montessori Philosophy it fit right in "Teach them to do it themselves." With Montessori the activities/lessons/work are placed on trays to keep them organized and help the students learn to care for their workspace. Montessori also pushes natural materials from what I understand and have read thus far, which is where these trays differ from the philosophy, but I think they are pretty which follows the philosophy :P Here is how they work..

Supplies needed:  Empty Cereal Box, Duck Tape and Scissors.

Cut box all the way down each side

Tape the tops closed and THEN cut the tops in half

This will give you two halves

To make a smaller Tray cut one of the halves in half

Lay over each other to desired size

Tape into place

Cover in tape

Now to create handles:

Pull off a strip (double your desired length plus 4 inches) of Tape and lay sticky side up

Fold in Third

Fold over the other Third

Cut in half

Attach one half to strip just short of the length of the side of tray

Attach to tray facing DOWNWARDS

Fold handle up and attach another strip over the bottom part

Secure tape strip

Repeat with other handle and TAH DAH!
What have you made with Duck Tape lately?

Ugly Patterns

Hi ya!
Have ya'll seen the "You can't judge a pattern by it's cover" Series that Simple Simon & Co are doing?  Hillarious and SHOCKING!
Seriously the Tulip swim suit bra??

You have got to see what she did with that one... I actually have the pattern she used to fix it... a project I have been meaning to do for my sister's youngest for a year now... oops... sorry sis.

To go along with their post I decided to post some of the patterns I can get to... Most of my lovies are packed as we are moving..... again...
But I managed to root out a few.
Is it me or does she look like she is doped up?

Unisex... with embroidery patterns included... plaid.  Best part... my Grandmother has notes on the back of this envelope...

The giant flowers. the unflattering drape oh and that neckline... elastic.

I swear on the package this material looks like terry...

Got any ugly patterns in your stash? Share them on Simple Simon and Co with me! :)

The Emergency Hospital Bag

Back when DH and I were dating he introduced me to the concept of the emergency bag. He always kept one back in case of a sudden trip, mostly due to his mother's frequent illnesses.
Today we keep them prepped for lil'c's frequent and sudden stays.
Funny thing is that when Li'k was born... His bag wasn't ready :P

How to support other NICU families

First snow
My micropreemie's first experience with snow. Not so micro anymore. :)
When Lil'C graduated from the NICU, we graduated as well.  We became the parents of an "older" preemie.  I believe it is one of those "with great power comes great responsibility" (yes, I'm a geek) kinna thing.  I have knowledge that will make someone else's NICU journey easier, so it is my responsibility to do so and pay-it-forward.  We had some who helped us in the beginning, a family who was in the Ronald McDonald house with us is the one who always pops into my head first.  They're son just happened to be Lil'C's neighbour, so they gave us all the ins-and-outs of being NICU parents early on. They let us know when a nurse let him cry (we changed nurses) and when he went down on his O2 for a bit.  They helped us learn what the various alarms were the first time we freaked out at the feeding tube finishing (you know you have done it!) and so on.
They are the reason I begain doing the NICU posts and created my NICU page.  It was all to pay-it-forward.  I still like to find other ways to help other new NICU families and celebrate with other older NICU families.
Recently I have started checking out the #NICU, #Preemie and #Micropreemie hashtags on Instagram.
I love leaving "happy comments" such as, how cute their baby (nose, hair, toes, whatever can be seen) is, especially on the micropreemies.  I honestly look for something to complement their adorable little person on.  I remember how upset it would make me to not be able to share my little guy with my family and friends in person.  When I did share him online, I hated the "how sad", "it makes me wanna cry" etc. comments. 
I remember quite vividly when our youth group took us to a local (to our NICU) concert to get us out for a bit.  Lil' C was about a month or so old, and doing great!  I, like any other mom of a newborn, was showing off his pictures.  One of the kids (a middle schooler) loudly proclaimed "I can't look!! It's just so SAD! I wanna cry!"  Honestly... I kinna wanted to smack her... I was thinking... "WHA??? this is my baby!! He is cute!"   So I make sure I do what I can to give other moms "happy comments" because we get those other ones too often.
I also leave comments in preemie mom groups and give advice.  Seriously, when my blog posts start to slack, that means I'm posting too often there :P My main one is the What to Expect: Mom's of Preemies Group. The second is Breastmilk for Preemies Facebook Page.
So, what do you do to support others?

Christmas projects

So I'm trying to get myself back on a regular posting schedule.. we will see how that works.
I figured it would be fun to post some of my Christmas projects :) I made a ton of them!  But by far my favorite was my nephew's "Fort Kit."  The idea, of course, came from pintrest.
My nephew is really into video games, obsessed would be putting it lightly. During one of his visits with me we made a fort, inspired by All for the Boys "Fort Friday".

He LOVED it.  So when I saw This Pin  I knew EXACTLY what he was getting for Christmas!  And then I ran across Ikat Bag's  Tutorial for This Bag and knew I had to make him one!
This is what I came up with...
The bag

Happy 2013

I hope everyone is having a wonderful new year.
I decided to let you in on our little family tradition.  I come from a family of pyros.  When my mother-in-law heard of our New Year's tradition she told my father-in-law that I was my hubby's "the one"  ;)
So, what do we do?  Well... we blow-up our tree.
Christmas Tree Fireball