Monday, December 27, 2010

'Tis the Season for the Flu

    The first part of our Christmas day was great and I'll post about it later. Lots of people have been asking what happened with Harris, so I thought I'd post the re-cap. He went to the dr Thursday and we thought he had croup. Still not sure if he did or didn't, but he got a dose of steroids and seemed basically fine Thursday and most of Friday. He woke up Christmas morning with a fever and clearly not feeling well, but was still playing and eating. He was breathing faster than normal, but the dr we had seen said to expect that with croup. After he woke up from his nap Christmas day, everything had changed. He was burning up, very lethargic, and was working to breathe. When we got to the ER, they were WONDERFUL. They immediately got him in a room, had a doctor and respiratory therapist looking at him, and got him going on a breathing treatment. That helped but not nearly enough. He needed more steroids and longer breathing treatments and was diagnosed with the flu. Yes, he had a flu shot but that's not 100% effective. He didn't have any other flu symptoms, just a fever and the breathing. He'd been on breathing treatments as an infant but thankfully he hasn't had any problems since then. Our pediatrician hasn't diagnosed him with asthma, but said he may have these problems when he gets sick and may outgrow it. So we'll see. For now, he's home and doing great. We're just trying to keep him calm........but that's a challenge.
     I cannot possibly say enough good things about Methodist Children's Hospital. They were great from the second we got there. I was by myself, in a hurry, and the parking lot was PACKED. They have a valet at the front so all I had to do was slam on the brakes and get Harris out of the car. Then the staff saw he needed attention so we skipped all paperwork, height, weight, etc, and went straight to an exam room. People were waiting to help by the time we got there. They were quick and thorough but took time to talk to Harris, using words he could understand, so he wouldn't be scared. Even drawing blood and putting in an IV was not the ordeal you would expect. They had a system so he never saw a needle and had people distracting him so he couldn't really tell what was happening. Once we got settled, they found a show for him to watch while he was doing an hour long breathing treatment and brought him a Christmas present to open. It was 12 Hot Wheels cars in a carrying box, so he able to play with them while sitting still for his treatment. The ER staff was so nice to Harris and patient with Tom and me. They had great attitudes, even after giving up their Christmas with their families.  Our experience in the actual hospital was just as good. The nurses were so patient. Harris was a TROOPER and had a great attitude but it definitely helped that everyone treated him respectfully. For example, when he needed to breath out of a tube, the therapist could have just put it over his face and he would have inhaled it and been done, even if it scared him. Instead, she let him feel the tube, demonstrated on herself what was going to happen, and then he did it with no problems. It took longer for her but was so much easier on him. And the gifts just kept coming. Here are just a FEW of the things he was given.

 There was also a football, puzzles, a few more cars, a NERF thing, and a gift sack with candy and little activities. This was SUCH a blessing to us!!! I would never have understood how helpful these things would be if we hadn't been in this situation. Especially in the ER, where we came rushed and unprepared to be someplace for hours, but in the hospital too. Harris was exhausted since you can't sleep well in there, and getting pretty sick of being messed with. The excitement of opening a gift and having new things to play with made his day (and ours) so much better. One nurse brought a gift bag of crayons, Buzz Lightyear playing cards, candy, coloring books, and some other things. Someone had given it to her 8 year old son and he wanted it to go to a sick child on Christmas. Bless his heart. I hope Tom and I can instill that kind of compassion in our kids. We used that candy for rewards all day long. Harris had two pieces of chocolate before noon, which is a personal best for him.
     The staff did absolutely everything in their power to make a bad situation as good as they could. Between that and all the support from our friends and family, we were so touched. Thank you all for checking on us, praying for us, and offering to help in any way you could. It means so much. This was emotionally and physically exhausting, and Harris was only in the hospital for 24 hours!!!! AND my parents and brother were here, so we had plenty of help! I cannot imagine how someone with a chronically ill child functions. But Harris is back in business now. Thank you again :)

Romans 12:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Eve!

       I've been anticipating Christmas since October and almost don't want it to actually get here. It's so fun to sing Christmas carols, get cards in the mail, and just enjoy the general excitement at this time of year.  I think my all time favorite thing about the past couple of weeks has been singing (loudly and off key) to a Christmas cd. It's been worship for me, and it's such a contrast to all the years prior when it's just been words. The songs are so much more powerful when they MEAN something.
     And I love getting all the cards in the mail. If you left me off your list, please add me back in :) I know I'm not alone in this Christmas card obsession. Someone was telling me that she felt it had become impersonal for her and this person decided to pray over each card she sent out. I'm doing that next year. What better gift could you give someone? Love it.
     Tonight I went to a friend's house for Christmas Eve Eve dinner and she and her husband had an AWESOME meal. I am not a foodie. At all. Before Tom and I got married (and, to be honest, several months after) I had cereal or a ham sandwich for literally every meal. I'm not exaggerating. I would still do that, if it were an option. So when people say they have cooked a great meal, I just don't tend to get excited about that, because I'm not into it and I'd much rather just snack anyway. Oh my gosh. This meal was so good. I don't know what exactly it was, but pasta and some sort of delicious sauce, followed by ridiculously good desserts.

     But as good as the food was, the best part was spending time with good friends. I love that they included us in their celebration and I'm so thankful that we have such wonderful people in our lives. No, Tom's not there. Harris sort of has croup. I say sort of because he had two croupy coughs first thing this morning and has been completely fine otherwise. But there's no mistaking that cough, and our baby-sitter situation didn't happen, so he stayed home. Don't worry, Tom got a nice plate of a little bit of everything.
     Oh my goodness, since I knew there'd be some less than healthy options tonight I was determined to get a workout in today. The last 10 minutes or so, Harris was awake. I tried to get him to do the video with me or at least cheer me on but he chose to critique me instead. There were some jumping lunges at the end and I was exhausted, so I did a hop/drag maneuver instead of the full-on jumps that the perky girls in the video were doing. He kept telling me "Mommy, that is NOT RIGHT! Your legs are NOT RIGHT!" Bless his heart. Even a 3 year old could see my form was NOT RIGHT. I'll think of his concern every time I get to that part.
    Oh, and I took Harris to the dr this morning, because he was on breathing treatments forever as an infant and any breathing thing scares me with him. So, we went to the adult minor emergency clinic, thinking it would be faster. We had a disastrous experience there before but gave it another chance since he's older. I read Harris a book about what the dr would do, look in his mouth, that sort of thing. He kept telling me the dr would NOT do that to him. Awesome.  I was completely dreading the showdown. He ended up being a total champ! He got his blood pressure taken, got weighed, temperature, ears, throat, the whole thing. When it came time to listen to his chest he even raised his shirt to be helpful! Seriously???? I have no idea what changed between the book reading and the office visit, but I'll take it.  He got an apple juice slush to celebrate.
Another funny thing that happened with week is he got attached to Tom's tie again. We went to the zoo and he wore it there, slept in it, then insisted on wearing it to a Christmas event our PRECIOUS babysitter took him to. Here is the evidence.
 Look at that grin! And why shouldn't be be beaming? He rode on a bus (while drinking Starbucks milk), saw snow in San Antonio, decorated a cookie, and had Miss Jessica all to himself.  While wearing a tie. It was good to be Harris Goolsby that day.
     Anyway, my parents and brother are coming in town tomorrow. We've had different combinations of people in different places for the past several years, so we don't have any real traditions. We're baking Jesus a birthday cake, for sure, and I think we're going to read the Christmas story after breakfast and before ripping into gifts. I'd love to hear what everyone else does and I can't promise that I won't steal your ideas.  

"Therefore the LORD Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Par-TY Par-TY!

Our weekend was one big celebration. Friday night was our neighbors party, which I didn't make it to but Tom brought me some cookies :) I was bummed to miss and it sounded fun. She bakes homemade cookies for DAYS and they have a fun gift exchange. Next year.....
Saturday morning was the Tom's company party for the kids. This is AWESOME. They have a performance by Magik Theater  and tons of carnival games. It could not be cuter. Unfortunately, Walker was not appreciative of the arts. This is what he did while Tom and Harris enjoyed the show.
Yup, he preferred to run around an empty room. After they were done we hit the "midway."
There were games literally as far as you could see. Crazy. Harris liked the games but he REALLY liked the candy/stickers/toys that they gave no matter what level of success you had with the game. Once he figured out the system he was ready to try anything. And I should have gotten a picture but there were people dressed as nutcrackers that were on stilts. The older kids thought that was awesome and most of the younger kids looked like they were trying to avoid them completely. There was also a string quartet in the middle of the madness. It's so nice of that company to do this for the employees and their families. It is total chaos though.

Saturday afternoon was a baby shower for my friend who's having a boy soon! Cannot wait to meet their little man! And I need to go through our boys clothes and find all the OU gear, because they're transplanted Sooners too.  Walker wore them but since Harris was in daycare as an infant, I never would put him in OU things to go there. I was just afraid any Longhorn employees would resent him and not be quite as nice. Hopefully that was an unfounded suspicion but I wasn't taking any chances. I think the workers were probably a little irritated with me anyway because I went every single day at lunch. The first week or so they were friendly but when it hadn't stopped by month FIVE it probably got old. Regardless, we have Sooner clothes for another sweet baby to use.

Sunday morning was FAMILY CHRISTMAS!!!  Our church is so great. Every Christmas, they read the Christmas story and incorporate giving things to families as part of the story. People got plane tickets to see family, mattresses, tires, gift cards, etc. The list goes on and on. The part of the day that I had been waiting for was a wedding!! My sweet friend never had a proper wedding, so the church organized it, brought in family, flowers the whole thing. She had a wedding dress, her kids were flower girls and her son was the best man. It was awesome. They got to have a honeymoon at Westin La Cantera and just have some time to themselves.

Isn't the dress GORGEOUS!! She made a BEAUTIFUL bride :)

There were Christmas carolers when you walked in the door, Buddy The Elf and over 1,000 homemade Christmas cookies! There was kettle corn, hot chocolate, and tons of donated toys to give to those in need.

Will Ferrall makes me crazy, so I tuned out when Elf was on but apparently the spaghetti concoction above is from the movie. Everyone else seemed to get a kick out of that. Here is one of the Buddy's and Santa. The other Buddy stood outside in the cold and helped with the parking.
There was also a gorgeous rendition of Little Drummer Boy, which I totally think should become a Gateway Fellowship Christmas Tradition. It was just such a good day. I was excited about the whole thing and completely knocked a thing of kettle corn out of someone's hand. There were kids all over the place and I literally didn't see any of them do that. Whoops.

Chris Tomlin concert tonight! Excited to hear some Christmas music from such a talented guy :)

Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Big Kids

Tom and I are going to be "big kids" for the first time. We both feel like it's time to step up and take a leadership role in our church. Up to this point, we've been very involved but as participants only. Our role will start early next year. As this year is winding down, reality is setting in that we'll be leading our own small group soon and I cannot begin to say how much this terrifies me!! We LOVE our small group. That cannot be said too many times. Love them all to pieces. Being a part of this has been so good for us. We've grown so much in the past two years but we have so far to go. The thought of trying to do for others what our group has done for us is intimidating. We went to an event the other night and were surrounded by people I admire and if I'd had time to reflect, instead of disciplining/wrangling our children, I would have felt very unqualified to be in that room. In one way, it's good to realize we are completely unequipped to do this, because we'll be dependent on the Lord. I've definitely been guilty of being too confident in myself and and that's not a good place to be. Of all the problems we might have with this, being too self confident will not be an issue this time. That's been weighing on my heart lately, but in a good way. As I was writing this, a sweet friend just called and was so encouraging about this exact issue. God is so nice to me.

Anyway, I never posted about our Christmas tree. We have a pre-lit tree, so I can usually put it up in no time. Well, this year only one strand of lights lit up. Tom and I started going through the lights and tons of bulbs were burnt out. We decided it would be easier just to strip the lights off and put new ones on rather than try and get every single light. We also debated just getting a new tree but thought better of it. So, I started stripping the lights off......has anyone else done this? There were 1200 lights on this darn tree and EVERY.SINGLE.ONE was clamped onto the branch.

That's what it looked like. 1200 of these things. I was digging in there with wire cutters, wearing a headlamp so I could see those little green things. It was ridiculous! That tree will be up in our house until it's just a sad piles of branches, you better believe it. I should have taken a pic of the entire mess, for posterity, but I was cleaning up as I went along. This gives you the idea though.

That's just a fraction of the tangle of lights that had to be unclamped. Crazy. Here's the finished product. Please make a huge fuss about it.

I also dragged that entire decorated tree from one room to the next till I found a spot for it.  It has been just a pain this year. But it's totally worth it because I love seeing it all lit up and so does Harris. He's inherited my love for all things Christmas.

On a totally unrelated note, does anyone have a recommendation for a fruit/veggie dish I could take to a brunch this week? It's for all women and needs to be awesome. I forgot about it and dropped the ball last time so I need to redeem myself. SOMEONE (and I know you're reading this!!!) stole the show with homemade bread. With yeast and everything. So I can't show up with some sliced grapes or something, has to be a decent attempt. So give me ideas, ladies!

"For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength."  1 Cor. 1:25

Friday, December 3, 2010

Harris is THREE!

     I cannot believe our little man is three already! It feels like yesterday that I found I was pregnant, but it seems like such a different life when we didn't have kids that I barely remember it. Tom is the oldest of 5, so he was a pro at diaper changing/baby soothing/bottle making. I had literally never held a baby. Never. And had no desire to before it was my own. The first diaper I changed was when Harris was a day or so old. It was our first time alone, still in the hospital, and I thought I'd brave it by myself. Disaster. Harris and I both had to change our clothes and I had to call the nurse for more linens for the bassinet. Rookie mistakes. :)  
      Tom took 2 weeks off work when Harris was born and we lived in a bubble. All we did was huddle up in the house and talk about how wonderful our baby was. We were literally mesmerized by his every move. When he got older and was smiling, I remember specific one time in HEB. I had just stopped in my tracks to watch him grin and marvel at his cuteness and a lady pushed her buggy right past me, glancing at Harris and then rushing by. I was shocked that she could look at him and not stop in awe. I was SUCH a stereotypical new mom, but seriously, look at that face??  He was only 4 months old in this picture. Yes, 4 months. He weighed what Walker weighs at 14 months!

There's a quote along the lines of "Motherhood is like walking around with your heart outside of your body." That is SO TRUE. I anticipated that being a mother would be difficult but never imagined how wonderful it would be. That sweet boy is a constant source of happiness to me and I am so grateful that Tom and I were chosen to be his parents. This year has been exciting because he's able to say anything he wants to now and I love to hear his thoughts. He's a toddler, so of course there's selfishness and all those actions, but his heart is so pure. He will give Walker a toy when he's crying "to make him feel better." And he prays for his friends and the people he loves, which is precious, because it's completely unfiltered. He's at a wonderful age where he can express himself but isn't self conscious enough to censor anything. What you see is what you get. He is loving and compassionate, just like his daddy. I have enjoyed the first 3 years so much, I can't wait to see what the future holds. Here's a few pics of him as he's grown.

He's 1 here. Still gets that really tickled look on his face.

He's pushing 2, just a few weeks after Walker was born.

Love the enthusiasm he has! When he loves something, he REALLY loves it.
I told him tonight that his friends were going to come over and eat cake. He said "How about I eat all my friends cake??" Love it. He just wants himself some cake.  And he's so ignorant of calories. Must be nice.

Psalm 127: 3-5
Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth.
Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.