First off, let me start by saying that trying to find time to blog is not the easiest! But my sweet parents offered to take the boys for a few days to help me out with some scheduling conflicts. The boys were thrilled to go (they would much rather be with any of their grandparents than their crazy mother who has a silly thing called rules and consequences.) So now I have a few moments and I hope to get caught up on blogging and thank you cards!
Now, onto Halloween!
High-Our first holiday with Mae Stanley!
The week before, both boys had colds. Not the best environment for a newborn, but what can you do? Gaines missed a day of school, but rallied in time for his Halloween party on Thursday. Since Mae Stanley is still so little, I didn't want to have her around a lot of preschoolers, so sweet Brooks volunteered to go to his party in my place. I was bummed I couldn't be at his first school party, but Gaines loved having his dad there. I am so lucky to be married to a guy who is willing to rearrange his very busy work schedule to be there for his boys. They don't wear their costumes to school, so I had Gaines on a cute, fall-ish outfit, but he had a potty accident and had to wear his "extra" clothes (aka an old shirt and shorts.)
By Friday, Woody had the cold so we just spent a low key weekend at home. The dogs got a bath, I tried (and failed) at getting some pictures of the boys and MS, and we enjoyed the unseasonably high temperatures.
"Someone just sneezed on me. Seriously?" -Mae Stanley
Woody's nose had somewhat cleared up by Monday (Halloween), so I sent him to school so he could go to his party. Again, Brooks saved the day and went in my place. Woody is very routine based, and wasn't thrilled that so many grown-ups were at school...including his own father. He slowly warmed up to the idea and quit giving Brooks so many dirty looks for being there.
(Just me, or does Woody appear to be subtly giving his father the finger?)
Thanks Aunt Emma and Jake for this shirt! Woody love it!
When Woody got home from school, I got out their costumes. Of course we had to have some fun with old costumes!
2016- 4 years old
2012- 3 months old
Wearing his lobster head from his first Halloween!
Woody has said since this summer that he wanted to be Snoopy. Gaines has changed his mind 385,847 times. Since I knew Woody wanted to be Snoopy, I wanted Gaines to be Charlie Brown, and Mae Stanley to be Woodstock. Sometimes Gaines would agree to be Charlie Brown, but a shark and a garbage man were always in the running. Since I still had the shark costume my sister had loaned me, Gaines and I agreed that he could be "Sharky Brown."
The Peanuts Gang
Let me tell you, 4 and 2 are fun ages for trick or treating! Woody really got the hang of it, and Gaines quickly followed. They were so excited to get candy. They loved ringing doorbells (7 times and knocking if you weren't quick enough) and yelling "Trick or Treat! Boo! Happy Halloween!" We had the best time. The Byrnsides came with us, and after a few houses, Beth, Mae Stanley and I headed back, while Brooks and Mike stayed out with the boys. Such a fun night!
Then came Tuesday...
Mae Stanley woke up with some congestion. She had no fever, but I called the doctor to make sure I shouldn't bring her in. They assured me to just keep giving her saline. My brother, niece and sister-in-law (who is a nurse) came over to visit (which we all really enjoyed!) and again Leigh Ann assured me that as long as she wasn't running a fever, we were in the clear. My heart broke with how Mae Stanley sounded, but I tried to remain calm. Then, after Gaines's nap, she began to feel really hot. I called my other sister-in law (Savanna) over to watch the boys, and told Brooks to get home because I thought we needed to take her in.
By the time Savanna and Brooks got to my house, he temperature had gone down. Savanna went home, and I went to get Brooks some soup because I thought he was coming down with something. On my way home, Brooks called to say Mae Stanley felt hot, so Savanna was coming back over (sainthood...seriously) and we were going to go to the ER. In my heart, I felt she was probably okay, but just didn't want to risk anything with a 3 week old. We get to the ER and it is PACKED. I mean, just to check in, the line went to the door. There wasn't even a waiting room chair available. I looked in and realized that we would do more harm than good by going in, so we turned around and went home. I just stayed up with Mae Stanley and made sure her temperature didn't go back up.
On Wednesday, Brooks went from feeling bad to terrible. I made him go to the doctor, which he never does. Turns out, he had the flu and bronchitis, and would need to be in quarantine. I really began to panic about Mae Stanley. I called the doctor again, and she assured me that as long as her temperature didn't go up, she was okay. (In all honesty, I began to panic about me too! Brooks is a really big help, and I realized that the next few days I would be on my own!) Mae Stanley honestly was starting to sound better, so I decided to go ahead and take Woody to choir practice. On the way there, Mae Stanley started crying...which turned to screaming. When we got to church, I took her out and saw that she had spit up a lot of mucus, and in that mucus was some blood. I tried not to freak out too much. However, after talking to my mother and mother-in-law, I began to freak out. I called my sister-in-law, Leigh Ann, who was at work. (Moral of this story? My sisters-in-law are amazing. No really.) She told me that it was probably from her screaming, but she checked with the OB and a NICU nurse who all said the same.
And if that wasn't enough....I got to have a phone conference with Woody's teachers. Nothing major, but it was just one more thing on top of a hard day.
I felt a little better, but Thursday, while the boys were at school, I took her to the doctor anyway. The pediatrician assured me that Mae Stanley was very healthy, her chest was clear, and she had no fever. She also talked to me about my anxiety. I have definitely felt more anxious lately, but after Wednesday, wouldn't you?!
Later on Thursday, my friend, Elizabeth, brought us dinner. I met Elizabeth through MOPS. Our boys are the same ages and we live close. She is so genuine and kind. I didn't panic that the floors weren't swept or the playroom was a mess. Instead I poured out to her how hard the week had been. I felt good just to talk to someone. Later that afternoon, when I went to check the mail, I saw that Elizabeth had placed the sweetest note in my mailbox with a Starbucks gift card. It was a reminder of how even though things might be a little tough, I am surrounded by friends and family (near and far), that I can lean on. Thank you God for giving them to me!
So that pretty much sums up Halloween 2016! It sure was scary, but God is always good!