Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Noah vs. the Peanut....

Things are usually pretty calm, ok maybe calm is a poor choice of words, let's say uneventful, in the Richardson household, but last week was an exception. Last Wednesday evening, Tyler and I went to run an errand and came home to find 3 firetrucks in our cul-de-sac. Heart pounding, I jumped out of the car to ask my neighbors (who were standing in our yard) what was going on. Some workers trying to repair a telephone line had cut through a gas line, but they thought they had everything under control. Able to breathe again, I went into the house (which smelled like gas) where Aaron, the other kids, and my parents were eating pizza getting ready to go to the Wake basketball game. Within a few minutes, the fireman told us that it wasn't as under control as they had thought and that we should evacuate the house (but we couldn't start our cars!) We managed to get both cars pushed to the top of the street where it was safe to start them and went to the game. Before we even arrived at the game, the firemen gave the all clear, so by the time we got home, all was well.

Fast forward to Friday...

Noah is an eater. He eats anything and everything and particularly loves to put things he shouldn't in his mouth. On Friday, he got some peanuts that were in Aaron's office and got in trouble. He started to choke and Aaron patted him on the back, which cleared his airway, but he continued a very distressed cough and cry. Now, I'm on my third child and I've learned not to take the kids to the doctor for every little cough, but mommy instincts kicked in this case and I called right away. The doctor's office was closing at 1:30 that day for a Christmas party, but they squeezed us in at 11.

The doctor listened to Noah's chest for a VERY long time and decided something didn't quite sound right, so he sent us to the hospital for x-rays. The x-rays showed air trapping, which is consistent with foreign object aspiration, in his right lung ( I learned while we were there that this is where peanuts usually go...who knew?) The doctor at the hospital said we needed to do a bronchoscopy to check things out/remove the peanut if it was still there. Sometime, between the x-ray and the surgery, Noah apparently cleared the peanut on his own, but they were able to see a bloody spot and lots of mucous where the peanut had been. They gave him steroids to help heal it, but wanted to keep him overnight for observation in case they had missed something. If particles of the peanut had remained in the lungs, the risk for pneumonia is quite high, so they counseled us to keep a close eye on Noah for the next week or two for any signs of that.

The scariest part of the whole thing to me was that Noah had a bad reaction called "delirium" to the anesthesia. As he was waking up, he screamed and flailed and punched and and hit at Aaron and me, not making any eye contact with us at all. They gave him some medicine to counteract that he slept from then (about 3pm) through the rest of the night at the hospital (at least SOMEBODY got some sleep there!) :) He was a little woozy for the rest of the weekend, but by Monday, he was back to his wild and crazy self and shows no signs of being worse for the wear. I am thankful for our doctor and the staff at Brenner Children's Hospital for taking such good care of our little munchkin.

I am also thankful for our normally uneventful weeks and pray they continue to be the norm!

Can it be...

Grace is THREE!!
Okay, so I've been a REALLY slack blogger and this happened over a month ago, but still it deserves documentation. My lil sunbeam turned three in early November. She had a nice party with the family followed up by a little neighborhood friend party. She got lots of nice gifts and I talked Aaron into letting me get her a dollhouse that she and I were going to Costco several times a week to play with. We, er, I mean SHE loves it.

I can't believe how much my little Lulu has changed in the past year. She's like a tiny adult, carrying on normal conversations, asking questions, and occasionally testing mommy and daddy's patience. She LOVES preschool and going to nursery at church. She likes playing with both dolls and trains and she and Noah are quickly becoming best buddies. She is helpful and loving and such a special member of our family. We love you, Grace!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Lost in Translation?

This was just one of those little "Graceisms" I don't want to forget!

The scene: My mom and dad's house. We're all just lounging around and chatting.
My mom: Hola Grace! Do you know what hola means?

Grace: Yep!....It means you're eating at the quesadilla house! (Her name for the Mexican restaurant)

Monday, October 20, 2008

I can't believe it...

My FIRST baby is a TEENAGER. How did that happen? It seems like it was just a few years ago that at this moment, I was about halfway through a 27 hour labor. I was excited, scared, tired and couldn't wait to meet the little munchkin I'd felt fluttering around for so long. Finally, at 12:09 pm he arrived...induced 3 weeks early...weighing in at 6 lbs, 13 ounces (WAY smaller than my other two!) and 21 inches long. He was healthy and screaming and we went home a couple of days later.

As a first-time mom, I remember the early days as being...well...not easy. I was amazed at how little I knew about taking care of a baby. Of course, little Tyler and I figured things out and by the time he was a couple of months old, he was a happy, smiley little fellow. He fought many ear infections during the first two years, but has been perfectly healthy ever since.

Over the years (that have flown by like minutes) he has always been a smart, precocious, caring little boy. Once, at about age 6, he was in the room with Nana as she was watching an episode of Oprah about saving money and when the show was over he told Nana he thought maybe he should open an IRA. As early as second grade, he started asking what he could do to get a scholarship to college.

At age 10, Tyler became a big brother, something he'd been wanting to be for a number of years. From the beginning, he's been so sweet to his siblings. They really look up to him and even Noah asks "Where TyTy?" when he's at school or not around. Both of the little ones feel so special when they get play time with Tyler. It warms my heart to watch them.

Over the years, we've gone from little people, to Pokemon, to skateboarding and soccer to now phones, ipods, and computers. Yes, interests have changed and Tyler has grown into a fine young man (who now stands just 3 inches shorter than me).

On this very special day, I wanted to say...Tyler, I love you. Thank you for being such a great son. I am so proud of you and pray that as you enter your teenage years, you will always remember who you are. Sometimes it may be difficult to make the right choices, but you are a strong young man and your heart is in the right place. I know you're going to do great! Happy Birthday!


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Couch to 5K Progress....

Just wanted to post and say...

We're still going!! Follow-through (particularly concerning diet and exercise) has never been my strong suit (as you can probably tell from some of my previous blogs about various diets and programs). But this time, I'm committed! I have paid my money for my first 5K in December and I have to keep going so I can run it!

To track our progress, we have finished:

Week Workout 1 Workout 2 Workout 3
1 Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
2 Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
3 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:
  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:
  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:
  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)
4 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
To be done Saturday morning

Each day, I'm skeptical about whether or not I'll make it and each day I'm proud of myself when I finish. Each week, I can't imagine doing the runs on the schedule the next week and when each week is finished I say to myself "now that wasn't so bad." The jury's still out. On day 3 of next week, we have a 20 minute run, no stops to walk. "I think I can, I think I can..."

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things...

No, this is not a sappy, sweet blog. Of course, my husband and sweet children are my VERY favorite things, but this blog is not about them. No...this one is much more materialistic than that. This is about some of the little things that have made life easier for me lately.

First of all, there are a few websites that I want to mention. I am a MAJOR web surfer and I think I am close to "finishing" the internet. :)

  • Out of ALL of the websites I have ever shopped from, is the coolest! Zappos offers mainly shoes, though they do have some clothing now. The cool thing is that you can order shoes and get them the very next day with free shipping! EVEN IF you order them at night. I thought it was amazing when I ordered at 7pm one night and had my order by lunchtime the next day, but when I ordered shoes for Tyler at 10pm and got them the next afternoon, I was DULY impressed. The shipping is free both ways, so if you're not sure what size or style you want, you can order several and ship back what you don't want.
  • I think I've mentioned this one before, but is a cool one too! I like to go there first when I'm looking for things and see if I can support someone who makes their own crafty items.
  • Not a shopping site, but lately I have really been enjoying
Now, on to a few cleaning products, I've been loving lately.

  • First, Mrs. Meyer's Stainless Steel Spray. When we bought our house, Aaron and I were both determined to have stainless steel appliances and I have regretted that decision since day 1! Can you say streaks and tiny fingerprints galore? I have tried product after product and spent countless hours smearing stuff on with one cloth and buffing it off with another only to end up with a streaky, awful looking fridge. Then I found Mrs. Meyer's. It smells heavenly (we got the Lemon Verbena) and best of all it sprays on and wipes off very easily and the appliances just sparkle! Oh, and did I mention it's biodegradable and non-toxic. A very nice bonus since I am making a conscious effort to go green with my household cleaners. Thank you Mrs. Meyer's!
  • Speaking of non-toxic household cleaners, I'm also loving Method Surface Spray. It smells so good, I spend the whole day looking for things that need to be cleaned. Also by Method is almond scented floor cleaner. I hate doing the floors, but this stuff makes it a little more bearable!

And finally, there are a few items that are making Couch to 5K possible (by the way, we are on week 4 and going strong...woohoo!)

  • Asics Gel Tennis Shoes! Love love love. I have done the fitness walking thing in the past on land and on treadmill and have always stopped because of excruciating pain in my shins. Determined to keep up with C25K, when the aching started this time, I did some research online and purchased these shoes (from of course!) Not a problem since.

  • My Ipod Nano and C25K podcasts - I never thought I'd need an Ipod, but when I started C25K, Aaron got me one as a (much appreciated) gift and downloaded some podcasts (basically a guy tells you when to run and when to walk and plays music). Cortney and I have developed an appreciation for Robert from California who is 43 years old recently started running again and created these podcasts. Our only real qualm is that he forgets to say "go" sometimes. Here's a link:

So, there you have it...a few of my favorite things at the moment. I think I'll do one of these posts once in a while because I love when people share info. about great products with me. If you have any you want to share, please put 'em in the comments!

The Pajama Truck!

Not sure if I've mentioned it on my blog or not, but I LOVE to shop online. Taking Grace and Noah into a store is like herding cats, but I can shop to my heart's content online while they are sleeping or otherwise engaged. In just a few days (or the NEXT day with, the goods arrive right on my doorstep.

On one occasion back in the spring, I ordered Grace and Noah some pajamas. (Note: another positive about ordering online is that it's often easier to find ALL the colors and sizes you need in one place...I have a heck of a time with that in stores). Anyway, when the UPS man arrived, it was the first time Grace really paid attention and grasped the fact that this nice man drove right up to our house and brought her a gift of super soft pajamas. She became very fascinated with this kind prince and took particular note of his noble steed. Since then, we have not passed a UPS truck without Grace saying "Look it's the pajama truck! That man gave me jammies" About a week ago, the pajama man confused her royally and dropped off...CLOTHES. Now, when we see the pajama truck, she identifies it as the pajama truck, then curiously asks "What's he gonna bring me today?"

I think "almost three" is my favorite age! :)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Potty Training Fun!

I'll admit, I'm not a huge fan of a year's worth of potty training so with both Tyler and Grace, I've waited until they really started showing an interest to push the subject. When Tyler was 2 years, 9 months old, his preschool teacher called and said that Tyler was interested in wearing underwear at school like all his friends. So, we bought underwear and no joke...he's been using the potty ever since. No training, no bribing, just him being totally ready.

For a year, Grace has shown spurts of interest followed by total lack of interest, so we haven't pushed it. However, a couple of weeks ago she decided she didn't like the feeling of poop in her diaper (sorry if that's TMI) and she's been putting those in the potty ever since (so far pee pee is still okay to put in the diaper, but she is starting to ask about big girl panties (sorry Janae, that's what she calls 'em...) :) So, I think we're getting very close!

After a few days of sounding the alarm that she needed to go, getting someone to take her, doing the celebratory dance afterwards, etc....she decided she was ready to handle the process herself. I was working while she napped the other day and when she woke up, she quietly went and took care of business herself. Then she (literally) scooted in....

Both legs in ONE pant leg, the other leg hanging around like a tail and pull-ups in a very interesting wad in the back. You better believe she got a huge hug. My sweet little girl is growing up!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Happy Birthday Dear....

Aaron! Another wonderful year has flown by and my sweetheart is now older than me again...woohoo! I know I say it in blog after blog, but I sure do feel blessed to have such a wonderful husband.

Aaron, thank you so much for being:

  • my best friend
  • a loving, supportive husband
  • a wonderful daddy to our children
  • my personal chef
  • our lawn boy...
  • and handyman...
  • and "techinical support dude"
  • co-diaper changer
  • head bath giver
  • and of comedian
We love you more than words can express! Happy Birthday!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My "Mom Wall"

As the daughter of two teachers, I really hate to admit this, but I have always been "that mom." The one teachers hate. You may be her too and if not, surely you know her. It's usually not intentional, but "that mom" is a little scatterbrained, not *quite* as organized as she should be and has trouble keeping up with dates (like picture day, bring a special (fill in the blank) to school day, etc.) In her (my) defense, she really does love her kids and cares about what's going on with them, but she usually has many different things going on falls just short of doing any of them exactly like she wishes she could.

Combine having three children in some form of "school" now with three sets of papers, dates, etc with my new love of organization and you get a major brainstorming session on how to solve some of these problems. The result = my "Mom Wall." I started talking about "my wall" long before school started and thinking about what I needed and how I wanted to do it. I mentioned it to Aaron several times, but when I told him the week before school started that I was ready to go get the stuff for my wall, he replied "huh, what? what wall?" "Never mind, let's go to Target," I replied. :)

My mom wall has changed my life (not to mention my reputation with the teachers). First (and MOST important to me) is the large white board calendar that I actually do use. It's got all the important stuff on it and I check it nightly to make sure I'm all ready for the next day (and yes Mom, I KNOW the little kids have school pictures next Tuesday! You don't even have to remind me this year! :)) Next, there's a file holder with three levels (one for each child). Each child has a folder where papers that need my attention go. I leaf through each folder a couple of times a week to make sure we've turned in what we need to turn in, etc. Tyler knows if he has things that need my attention he is to put them in straight up and down (instead of sideways) so I can easily see that they are there. And finally, the bag hooks. I should mention that Tyler now has his own hooks in his room to hold his school backpack and his soccer bag and he has his own white board above it for attention items. But, the little kids are of course, too young to keep up with their own stuff, so they each have a clearly marked tote bag (thank you Land's End) that keeps their school folder (that teachers send things home in and we send thing back in), their change of clothing, diapers, etc that they need to take to school each day. The "Mom Wall" is right beside the door to the garage, so it's easy to grab things on the way out and hang them back up on the way in.

This system is so far working great. I know I'll have to adjust it as time goes on, but I'm learning that organization is an ongoing process and if it isn't tailored to your individual needs, it's not going to work long-term. I would love to hear from you about any cool tips that help YOU stay on top of things! :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Big Boy!

Noah had his 18 month check-up this morning. He is doing great and is still a big boy! I used an online calculator and his percentiles are below.

Based on the data you submitted, your child falls into the following percentiles:

Length = above percentile 95
Weight = between percentile 50 and 75
Head Circumference = in percentile 90

At 18 months, he is a full inch taller than Grace was at age 2. I am holding out hope for a future Demon Deacon basketball player!! :)

In other news, the doc said he looked great physically, mentally, and socially and is slightly ahead of the curve on talking (something I've been a little concerned about because he doesn't talk quite as much as Grace did at this age). So yay Noah Balboa! Stay healthy and we don't have to go back for 6 months!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


For those of you who know me well, the title will both confusing and surprising. You see, to me, running has always been something you do for necessity only. You know, if you were being chased by a bear or trying to catch the ice cream truck before it leaves your neighborhood. I've never understood the term "fun run" or how people could possibly find it relaxing. Any time I'VE done it in the past, I've ended up breathless, sweaty, and not amused. But over the past year or so, I've heard mentions of the Couch to 5K program several times. I even looked it up about 6 months ago, but didn't quite have the motivation to do it at the time.

Recently, a friend/neighbor of mine (hi Cortney!) and I started walking in the mornings. We've both found that doing it at 6:30 am is perfect, because it's done before the rest of the house even wakes up and it leaves you feeling revved up and rejuvenated for the rest of the day. We have some other friends who run. a lot. And while I think it's great, when they've mentioned it to me, I've always responded " thanks, I'm not a runner!" I also have a sister in law who is not only a runner, but a running coach. She's thrown out challenges in her blogs to everyone to get up and get running and I've always assumed she wasn't talking to me. (You weren't, right Shayla?) Anyway, some of these friends have started training for a half marathon (I had to look this up to see what it even was...basically it's about 13.1 miles) and Cortney happened to mention Couch to 5K one day as we were walking. Feeling a little less than challenged by just walking (and obviously in an early morning stupor), I suggested we give it a whirl. Turns out, the same event our friends are running also has a 5K. So, that is our goal. To run a 5K in December. We started this week with week 1 of Couch to 5K and while we're only running a total of 8 minutes per day so far, I feel GREAT every time we finish. It's hard for me to imagine that I will be able to run 3 miles only 8 weeks from now, but I've seen lots of success stories from people who've done it, almost all of whom say "If I can do it, anyone can." I have faith that I'll be saying that myself in a blog later in the year. And if I say it, you will know for sure it's true!

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Noah's First Haircut

I have to admit...I LOVED the little curls (see beach pictures). I didn't want to cut it, but it was starting to look much like a brill-o pad in the mornings. Aaron kept threatening to sneak him off for a haircut and because I didn't want to miss an event as important as the FIRST haircut, I finally agreed. It started off great, but about five minutes in, he was sooooo over it. He looks like such a big boy now...

Beach Trip '08!

First, I've been a slacker and have a LOT of catching up to do.

In mid-August we took our annual family beach trip to Ocean Isle Beach. We went with my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, and Tyler took a friend this year. We had a GREAT time (Thanks Mom and Dad!!) Noah was fascinated with the ocean and Grace was a little intimidated by it this year. This year, the house we stayed in had a pool and the kids really enjoyed that. Aaron and I enjoyed taking the kids for bike rides and getting some rest! It was nice having so many adults around full-time. :) Here are a few pictures...

The boys hangin' out...

And Grace had her turn too!

Aaron and Noah in the pool

Nana catching some rays

All ready for a ride!

Mommy, Noah, and Grace

My little Lulu

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Gramma, Grampa, Aunt Juway and Unca Nafun!

I could not think of a clever title for this one, so I thought I'd just use the names of our recent visitors as translated by our dear little Grace. Translation for those over 3: Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Janae and Uncle Nathan.

I'm a little late in reporting this (work has been crazy busy), but I would be absolutely remiss if I didn't document our recent visitors. It was a real highlight of our summer and something we don't want to forget!

At the end of July, Aaron had to take another week-long business trip and with my workload being busiest during the summer months, he arranged for his sister, Janae to come and spend the week with us to visit/help out. Coincidentally, her husband Nathan has a client in the area and was able to get to fly out on his company's dime for a few days. At the end of the week, Aaron's parents flew in for the weekend and got to see two kids for the price of one flight. :)

Having Janae here was GREAT!! She did a great job of keeping the kiddos occupied, allowing me to get my work done in record time. I fear we bored her to death with our day to day activities, but she was a really good sport about it. Because we live across the country from all of Aaron's family, I really love when I get to spend one on one time with them so I can get to know them better. Janae and I had lots of time to get to know each other, including two "in car" sessions when the battery died and we waited for help. We also both got a lot better at Rock Band during the week (is it really terrible that my almost 3 year old can sing "Roxanne?" -- yeah, time to put away the microphone I think). ANYWAY, this was the least stressful and most fun of all of Aaron's business trips to date. Thank you soooooo much, "Aunt Juway!!"

Though Nathan was only in town for a few days, we did make a trip to Blowing Rock while he was here. The 70 degree weather was a nice break from the high 90's we were having. We ate lunch and enjoyed the scenery.

We hadn't seen Grandma and Grandpa since Christmas and we were so happy to get to see them. Grace greeted Grandpa with her rendition of Barney's ever-famous "I Love You, You Love Me" (about 10 times in a row). She's gotten used to singing to them on the phone and I guess it just seemed like the right thing to do. I know I'm biased, but I thought it was pretty flipping cute! While they were here, we visited Tweetsie (also in Blowing Rock). It was a fun day that would typically get it's own blog, but the focus of this blog is family visitors, therefore I'll just share some pictures and say... the place is neat, the train ride is cool, but the skit is super lame. Oh, and Noah's really, really scared of fake gunshots.

All good things must come to an end and while we tried to convince them all to move to NC, our guests had to go home. We are so thankful they came, thankful that Grace got to refresh her memory of the faces that go with some of the names she mentions each night in her prayers. We hope they'll come back soon and remind ALL of the family that there are plenty of open lots in our neighborhood! :)

Aunt Juway and Unca Nafun

Grace , the Cowgirl, at Tweetsie
Grace and Gramma
Lil Daredevil wanted the BIG horse

Choo Choo
Anxiously awaiting the journey and praying for no cinders in the eyes! :)
Noah, Mad Scientist
Bring on the Crackers, this was CHEESY!
Grace enjoying heading up the hill...
To see animals,
Ride rides, and
Pan for gold!
Just KID-ding around (okay I admit that was pretty lame too...LOL)