Friday, January 28, 2011

Kind of a big deal

I've known for a long time that my husband is kind of a big deal. Lets face it, he is the complete package! Not only is he smart as a whip, sarcastic, loving, caring, genuine, sweet and oh so funny but he also loves children! Can't get much better, seriously.

So a few weeks back when he came home from work and told me that his principal (yes my husband is a 6th grade teacher) had nominated him for the Chicago land Golden Apple Award, I was over the moon. Because along with that long list of wonderful qualities mentioned above, my husband is the worlds best teacher! And now there is a chance for the world (or just 4 counties in Illinois) to know that he is a big deal!

Golden Apple? Yeah I had to look it up too, you know, for the specifics. I had heard of it before and knew it was a honor but didn't fully understand. Lets just say it's equivalent to the gold medal for the Olympics or the Moon man for MTV. Okay, not really, but its a close second!

So why is my husband the best teacher? The list is long so I will only share a few...

*All his students have his cell phone number. They can call whenever for whatever and Josh always answers it.
* College is talked about daily and a pact is made that if they graduate college, Josh will be at there.
*At the end of the school year he takes his students on a day trip to Chicago at no cost to them.
*He dances, sings, plays jokes and laughs with his students.
*He attends choir, band and orchestra concerts for current and past students.
*He calls home with good news.
*He shares his family with his students. They know us and love our children.
*He teaches them how to be a contributing member of society.

Josh is the best teacher and deserves this award!!! Looking forward to encouraging him along the way!

Oh yea and if he wins? He will receive a semester paid sabbatical to take classes at Northwestern University for free AND a monetary gift. He already knows that if he wins, we are going on a vacation!! Hehe

Way to go Josh!

PS. He is going to KILL me for writing this because he is humble beyond belief!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ready or not

Elijah is a man of many words...err..sounds. Yes, a man of many sounds. He enjoys hearing his own voice, but let's be honest what man doesn't? When I try to have a serious conversation with him about his future he laughs. When we discuss his stubbornness in areas of weight bearing onhis legs, he quickly crawls away quicker than I can say...fill in the blank. So imagin my surprise this evening when he crawled over to the couch, put his hands up on the cushions and pulled himself to his knees....okay, I confess he's been doing this for a while. But the real kicker? I picked him up, put him on his feet, and there he stayed for nearly a min.! What the !&$@...? I questioned the little stink and he confessed, in his own jibber, that he's been holding out on me. He repeated this great feat many times before the sandman called his name and I realized this is the begining...not sure if I am ready. Yes, I know these things happen, children grow up, learn to walk and get attitudes. However, I'm so not ready to have a walker and a almost walker. For my sanity, I beg you Elijah, please stay little, mommy is not ready to be chasing two monsters around the house!

Ps. In the next year, if I ever hint about wanting another child, smack me in the face...hard, very hard! Pretty please?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A lil' story for you

On wed. Elijah went down for a nap.

2 hours later he woke up crying.

I noticed he was having difficulty breathing (through the monitor).

Ran upstairs. Saw his lips were blue.

Picked him up, gave him a few puffs of Malachi inhaler.

Ran him into Malachi's room and threw the oxygen on him.

Called my dad to come over to watch M.

Elijah's color returned rather quickly. Brought him down stairs.

Ran to the garage to start my car, realized my keys were lock inside.

With no extra key around, called my dad back and said I was going to take his car to the er.

No wallet, no insurance card, no drivers license.

"SHOOT! No car seat! Im gonna call 911."

"Wait, he still fits in the infant car seat"

Ran down stairs, got the car seat, put Eli in it.

Drove to the ER.

Got to the ER, they checked his O2.



Don't know what happened but they didn't believe me. After 4 hours, a breathing treatment and a chest x-ray we were discharged. The next day I took him to our pediatrician. She said he was very weezy. She gave him breathing treatments, inhaled steroids, oral steroids and something to dry up his boogies! Illnesses creep up so quickly on my kids and this is a perfect example.

PS. Today is Elijah's gotcha day!!! We love you lil' man, more than you could ever know! Thank you for keeping us on our toes!! We are so blessed to call you son!!!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Little of this, a lot of that

 "Geez lady, why don't you post some pictures of those cuties you talk so much about." said my anoying but oh so lovable friend. (She knows I luv her dont worry!)

Her wish is my command.

Now introducing the 2011 versions of Elijah the awkward laugher (this is an ability that i shown best in the car when josh and I are having an A and B conversation and Eli C's his way right in) and Malachi the monster (it's true and those of you that know him on a "personal level" know that his wondering hands like to get into all sorts of trouble)...

Christmas Morn, doesn't everyone wear their pants on their heads? 

 Nothing like a ride in the shopping cart

Don't let my smile fool ya' 

Ah yes, nothing like a little binkey snaching and toy hitting caught on camera! 

I tell ya lady put that dang thing away! 

Let me spit shine it for ya dad! 

A little tent camping anyone? 

How about a nice row in my boat? If only Goliath next to me would share the oar! (Ps. this is Malachi's bff. please note Malachi is a month older)

 Here fishy fishy, perhaps a little smack on the glass will get you out?

Mom it's really mean to take pictures of me trying to poop. 

Thats what we have been up to. Happy now?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Where everybody knows your name...

Now that I have the Cheers song stuck in your head...your welcome.

This past weekend was amazing! Our wonderful friends were in town for California, we saw another friend marry her now husband who can here from Kenya and the newest Gigi's playhouse opened!

We spent the morning and afternoon at the playhouse making new friends, visiting with old and getting interviewed for the news paper and the local news. It's an amazing place and something we are so blessed to have so close to home.

For those of you who don't know what Gigi's playhouse is here is a little in for for you. The playhouse was started 6 or 7 years ago in Illinois. The first playhouse was opened as a down syndrome awareness center. It provided tutoring, play groups, opportunities, classes and education for people with down syndrome. Today the playhouse location has multiplied and can be found in 5 Illinois cities, in Iowa, Atlanta and new York. Wowzers! Todays playhouse is much the same with the addition of new classes and new opportunities.

What makes the playhouse so special? For us, it's a place we can take our children where they will be accepted, understood, encouraged, challenged and loved for simply being themselves. There is no other place like it. We are excited to get involved, make new friends and educate our community.

Check out the website and consider opening one in your community.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Chalk another one up for Down syndrome

Idiopathic hyperthyrotropinemia. Early hypothyroidism. Pediatric Endocrinologist. Dang Down syndrome.

On a regular trip to the pediatrician, I decided to have her check Malachi's T4 and TSH. Why? Because I've become obsessed with researching common medical conditions associated with Down syndrome and hypothyroidism has appeared on every list. She (the doc) thought I was crazy for wanting her to order a blood test when he was experiencing no symptoms, but I insisted and she obliged.

Fast forward a few days later...

My phone rang, I answered it.

"Mrs. H? "
"Yes" I reply.
"Malachi's T4 and TSH came back."
"Oh wonderful, what were the results?" I questing, expecting good news.
"Well...His T4 is lower that we would want, but still with in the normal range."
"But his TSH is high and I am referring him to a pediatric endocrinologist. I dont know how you do it, but your intuition is amazing"
After a little more small talk, she hangs up the phone.

My intuition is amazing? I was wishing it wasn't so but the truth is, it is. Humble, I know.

As is a pediatrician, GI, Neurologist, 2 neurosurgons, an eye doc and an ENT isn't (lets not forget OT, DT, PT and ST all weekly) enough to keep me running all around northern Illinois and souther Wisconsin, lets add in another doctor.

Much to my surprise Dr. C is amazing, and agreed that treating Malachi with medication is the best possible answer.

Welcome Levothyroxine, you join a long list of medications my 2 year old has been on. Sounds like you will be around for life, welcome aboard!

This wonderful meeting of DR. C was on monday.

On Wednesday, we took another trip back to the pediatrician. This time it was for constipation and reflux.

While there, Malachi was put back on reflux meds and BOTH boys were put on miralax. This time, Dr. M suggested we test Elijah's T4 and TSH.

I also asked for neck Xrays for the boys.

Thursday I got another phone call from Dr. M.

"Hello Erin?"
"Yes Dr.M, nice to hear from you, Im assuming you got the results for the x-rays and lab work?"
"The x-rays were not accurate, Im going to refer you to the hospital to have them re-done."
"What about Elijah's blood work?"
"Well Erin, It looks like Eli will be joining Malachi at the Endo. His T4 was normal and his TSH is high. Actually, its higher than Malachi's."

Another one bites the dust.
Chalk another one up for Down syndrome.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

So what if?

Consider this senario with me...

A husband and wife gather their family together to tell them the good news. After years of trying they are finally pregnant! Their family is bursting with joy, they know this has been a long journey. Soon after the announcement the questions begin...

"how far along are you? When are you due? How are you going to fit in that small house? Do you know the gender?"

Their responses are typical...

You make think this is silly, perhaps it is. I was talking to a friend the other day who is currently pregnant with her first child. They had been trying for a while and finally they got to announce that she was, in fact, pregnant. I have never gotten to pee on the pregger stick or announce to the world that I was carrying a new life in my bellie but I am the mom to two amazing boys I have felt the joy in bringing them home for the first time and the excitement in introducing them to our family.

Back to my friend...

I was around her recently when someone asked if she wanted a girl or a boy...her response? "it doesn't matter as long as he or she is healthy."

I've heard it a million times and I'm sure you have too. At the time I didn't give it a second thought, after all isn't that what every mom hopes for? But it didn't take long for me to think...but what if that joy as days comes when you get to meet your child and you find out that they are not healthy? What happens then?

Our situation is different. We adopted both boys knowing that they were "not healthy", down syndrome, heart conditions, prematurity...the list really does go on and on. All those things we knew about...

About a year an a half into motherhood I was taught an invaluable lesson when we found out Malachi had a stroke and his further diagnosis of moyamoya. I learned that at any second your life can change. I could deal with all those things listed on the adoption papers, but a stroke? Brain surgery? I didn't sign up for that. As Josh and I sat in the er room holding Malachi worrying about all the what it's we had a discussion. Through our sobbing, we decided that no matter what happened our hopes and dreams for Malachi would not change. He was alive and at the end of the day, that's all that mattered.

So what do you want, a boy or a girl? I'll tell you what I would want...a baby who will make this world a better place just for being born. A baby that will teach us the meaning of life is more than just getting from point a to point b. That's the kind of baby I would want, any baby healthy or not will do just that. I'm thankful for my children even though they were not born healthy and my dreams for them are to grow up to be the best they can possibly be!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New year's resolutions

I'm not one to make new years resolutions. I've tried before, giving up pop, losing weight, keeping the house cleaner, so on and so forth. Like many others, my resolutions rarely last longer than 3 months. Life gets busy and that can of coke is oh-so needed after a late night, the McDonald's drive through is calling my name on the way to an appointment and laziness sets in. I question if these things really matter. Will no pop make me happier? Will stressing over losing weight make me a better mom? In some forms, possibly but the guilt I feel when I fail makes me me feel sad and defeated. What I long for is to make changes that will make my relationships stronger, my marriage stronger and my children stronger. So this year I wont feel guilty for drinking a can of pop or letting the laundry pile up on the laundry room floor. This year I'm going to do a better job supporting, encouraging, thanking and loving on those closest to me. That's my new years resolution. What's your's?

Sunday, January 2, 2011


I can't believe it's been so long! It has been a wonderful and much needed break from the blogging world. I wanted to start off the new year with a bang, some exciting news or the perfect picture but I have none. Sorry to disappoint. The boys are doing great and both have had a growth spurt over the last few weeks. Christmas was a blast. We enjoyed time with our families laughing and making memories. New years was nice as well. We were able to host our good friends for the night. We had good food, fun games and nice relaxing night. It was truly all that we could have asked for.

My hubby goes back to work on Tuesday and I am not looking forward to it. We have had two weeks together as a family and have enjoyed every minuet of it. We got to go to the Shedd Aquarium, see the Harlem Globetrotters and Josh and I even got a date night! Christmas 2010 has been a blast, looking forward to doing it all again next year!

This is my official "welcome back" post. Sorry it was so lame!