Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thankful Thursday - Update on Levi's noggin' :)

I haven't done a "Thankful" post in a long time and today it seems fitting to start 'em up again.  We have been dealing with Levi's chronic torticollis for almost six months now, going back and forth to physical therapy appointments, helmet appointments, and now adding in chiropractor appointments.  It's been a bit crazy and truthfully a bit tiring.

A month or so ago, Jim and I decided (after much thinking) to remove Levi's helmet for awhile.  After talking with the pediatrician, we thought it was in Levi's best interest to see if his head could be corrected without use of the helmet.  His overall head shape had improved drastically, but his tilt wasn't showing much improvement and we were beginning to think that the helmet was hindering his muscles from strengthening.

Levi's torticollis is quite stubborn.  His whole body is out of alignment and his neck and shoulder muscles are very tense, making it difficult for him to move in different positions other than his comfort zone.  And unfortunately, his comfort zone is when he tilts his head to his left.  Poor guy.  He wants to move in other positions, but struggles because of the discomfort that comes along with it.

Today Levi had back to back appointments .... first with the chiropractor and then the physical therapist.  He was such a trooper, with only a meltdown at the very end!  I'm so thankful that we've found help (that is covered by our insurance) to correct this torticollis once and for all.  It takes time, a lot of work (stretching, repositioning him, and not always letting him do the easy way of doing something), but I'm thankful to know that what we are doing is helping.  It's a slow, gradual process but we are making gains.

The encouragement I received from both doctors today made me feel like we are doing the right thing for our little man.  We don't always have or know the answers, but we are all working towards the same goal... and for that, I'm extremely thankful.    

Our handsome little man ... with head tilt and all :)
It will get better!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It's a beautiful place ...

Ever since kiddo number two arrived, I've realized how important it is to have quality time for just me and the hubs.  During the baseball season it wasn't exactly easy to find the time for just us.  The mornings were full of activities for the kids and then by the time Jim came home from a night game I was usually sound asleep.  I was needing all the sleep I could get, knowing that Levi may wake at any hour of the night ... hungry, wet, or just wanting to play.  That's just how it went.  Now that we're home, the offseason is here, and Levi is much more manageable, it's a bit easier to get "couple time."

We kicked off our couple time with a vacation to Costa Rica.  The hubs and I haven't been on a vacay together since our honeymoon.  Seriously.  It was five years ago.  Definitely long overdue, but a perfect way to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary!

Costa Rica was breathtakingly beautiful.  The views, the water, the sunsets, the people.  We were so lucky to have found a resort with wonderful amenities, easy access to the local town and restaurants, a private beach, and people offering help and advice all around us. It didn't take me long to figure out a few things about Costa Rica ... stray dogs are everywhere, stop signs don't always mean stop (there was one that was always missed!), it's normal for sideview mirrors to hit while zooming down/up the mountainside (happened on one of our trips into town), and when in doubt just smile and say "Pura Vida!"

Our resort was in the middle of a national park at the very top of a mountain, which offered the most amazing views of both the jungle and the ocean.  We were also able to spot monkeys, sloths, and tons of different birds right on the property.  It was awesome!

Costa Rica is known for its many activities that involve nature and the outdoors.  We did some hiking,  went jet skiing in the Pacific, and zip lining through the jungle/rainforest.  Zip lining is something I never thought I'd get the chance to do.  I'm a bit nervous when it comes to heights and the thought of losing control on the zip line made me uneasy.  But - we were in Costa Rica after all... and I was feeling adventurous! Maybe. 

So here is my first ever zip line ..... notice what I say at the end. And no ... I didn't.

And here is zip line number four or five ... getting more used to it!

Even though I was super nervous and shaky at first, I'm so glad I decided to go out of my safety zone and try something adventurous.  It was such a cool experience and it surely was the best way to see the jungle!

We took so many photos that I included some of them in this slideshow ... take a look  :)


Monday, November 19, 2012

I'll leave you with this...

I still have tons of stories and pictures to share with y'all ... our vacation to Costa Rica, Abby's first adventure to Busch Gardens, and a few other odds and ends.  I'll catch up one day, but unfortunately may not be anytime soon.  Life is just crazy busy right now!

This weekend we had a garage sale and emptied our house of a lot of stuff.  Jim may not agree that we "emptied" our house, but we did get rid of a bunch of unnecessary junk!  While he was tending to the sale, the kids and I headed to the mall.  Abby was so excited to mail her letter off to Santa and we even caught a glimpse of him writing some letters back to the children.  Abby wasn't ready to sit on his lap just yet, but she did wave with a smile. That's improvement over last year! :)  

Later that evening, the hubs and I had a double date night with our neighbors.  Lots of wine tasting (including their own from their vineyard in France) and a wonderful meal.  It's always good to get out and have couple time, along with some great conversation!

We started off a busy Sunday with church.  Great music, wonderful message, and enjoyed catching up with some friends.  Then hubs and I decided to divide and conquer ... I took Abby on a lunch date and then to a classmates' birthday party, while Jim stayed home with the little guy.  Abby had so much fun celebrating Madison's birthday with her little buddies.  They are just so cute!  Meanwhile ... Daddy was home with Levi, who ended up running a high fever with a super congested nose.  Off to the ER they went and poor little guy has an ear infection.  :(

Thankfully Levi is feeling better today.  Still slight fever and very congested but he's been a happy boy.  Hopefully the antibiotics start kicking in and he'll feel like himself in just a few short days.  We were supposed to fly to TN today, but delayed our trip an extra day.  

In the morning we'll be headed to the mountains of TN to spend the holiday with Jim's brother, sister-in-law, and their two girls.  Looking forward to it!  I wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving with your friends and family.  I'll be back to blogging as soon as I can! :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

I'm still here, I promise ...

It seems to be that the theme from October is continuing into November ... busy, busy, busy!  I can't believe it's been almost two weeks since I last uploaded pics of our adorable kiddos.  We've been having tons of fun, although sometimes I wish we could put the brakes on life.  It just seems to be going too fast and I'm not sure I like it.

To kick off the month of November, we celebrated the birthday of a sweet little girl.  Miss Isla turned TWO and we went to her birthday party at the FARM!  This was the first party that Abby actually got really excited about and asked each night with much anticipation, "Is Isla's birthday party tomorrow?"  It was so cute.

The party itself was pretty awesome.  Who doesn't like a party at the farm?!  Of course the Mama of the birthday girl is a super party planner and had the most perfect ideas for the decor, right down to every detail.  Flowers to match the Fall feel, adorable banner and matching birthday hats, burlap tables cloths, favors in the cutest little paper bags, and of course a cow cake.  Everything looked fabulous!

Levi and Abby loved the John Deere swings ... it comes naturally.  (Grandad, can you make some of these?!)  The kids took a cow train ride into the cornfields, had a chance to feed the baby calves, watched the pigs race, went on a hayride, and had a tour of the farm.  It was so much fun!

Abby was super excited about the party hats and loved the cake.  It tasted amazing.  There's just something about a farm that provides so much fun for the whole family.  Kind of reminds me of my roots :)

Happy birthday to our sweet friend La! We loved sharing such a special day with you :)


Monday, November 5, 2012

This makes everything better ...

The nasty stomach bug found it's way to the Johnson house this weekend.
Horrible. Yucky. Gross. 

Thankfully a baby laugh can put a huge smile on our face! 

Excuse the carrots on his face ...
we're working on those table manners :)


Friday, November 2, 2012

HaLLoWeEn! :)

It's amazing what a difference a year can make.  The days leading up to Halloween, Abby kept asking if it was time to trick or treat yet.  She had her costume ready, trick or treat basket on hand, and the infamous "trick or treat" line just right.  And thankfully she learned that in time because just last month a conversation went like this:

"Abby, what do you say after you knock on a door on Halloween night?"
"Hmmm ... nice to meet you!?"

Kids say the funniest things.  Gotta love it.

The first of the Halloween festivities was the Costume Parade at Abby's school.  She enjoyed it much more than last year.  We could tell she was scanning the crowd to find Mommy and Daddy and once she did, she smiled so big, clearly proud of herself.  Last year was more of a meltdown, crying mess.  After the parade, we enjoyed some refreshments inside her classroom along with her little buddies. :)

Right after school, friends came over for burgers on the grill and the much anticipated trick-or-treating.  Minnie and Mickey Mouse were ready to go and of course the hubs and I joined in the fun and went as Woody and Jessie from Toy Story.  Never too old to dress up, right?!

As you can see, we didn't have much luck taking photos of the kiddies beforehand.  Levi was tired and fussy, Abby was antsy and ready to collect her "treats" and Isla only sat still because she was munching on candy already.  Mav was just going with the flow, what a good lil' Tigger. :)

Such a fun night ... and to think that next year these two sweet babes (who couldn't handle all the fun) will be running right along with La and Abby next year.  Looking forward to creating more memories with such great friends.  Happy Halloween! :)