Friday, July 20, 2012

Pouring concrete on a rainy day is like...

...being between a    rock  and a wet   place.
Wednesday was a very special day in our little home. It was the accumulation of years of dreaming. Wednesday was pour day; concrete, that is. 

But with the weather looking rather damp, we were a bit nervous.

Of course, a more zoomed in radar map showed us that we didn’t really have much to worry about—Colt and the concrete guys had plenty of time between downpours to get the concrete poured, finished, and covered. After it was shielded with plastic, Colt assured me that it would be protected from the rain.

Here are some photos of Colt and the concrete guys working. They were the NICEST people and have been very helpful in getting us ready for this day.

Click any of the images to enlarge them!

The concrete guys even stayed around with Colt for a couple hours after the job was done to make sure the finish sustained during the rain. They operated above and beyond what we had expected and will use them again in the future for sure!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fever in the morning.

Fever all through the night.

Tuesday began like any other day. Get up, place Wyatt in his high chair, give him some cereal to munch on while I unload the dishwasher and tidy up the bathroom. At 9A, we began watching Live! with Kelly and enjoyed an hour of clever banter between Kelly and the ever-fabulous Josh Groban.

Then around 11A, I noticed that Wyatt’s forehead felt warm. Hot even. I grabbed our handy {but not accurate} temporal thermometer and found that it read 99.1˚F. Knowing that temporal thermometers were often inaccurate {the doctor had mentioned it to me at previous visits}, I rifled through my perpetually messy junk drawer and located the thermometer the nurses had sent home with us when Wyatt was a wee 9 days old.

It was then that I realized he was definitely hot, not warm. His temperature had hit 101.5˚F. That was enough to scare me, especially since it was the first time I had ever taken Wyatt’s rectal temperature..

I immediately put a call into our pediatrician’s office. After leaving a message for the nurse to call me back, I gave him a 0.6 mL dose of Tylenol. After speaking to the nurse for about 30 minutes about the ins and outs of Wyatt’s bowels, mealtimes, fluid intake, etc, etc, etc, she decided that he was more than likely constipated due to the no fruit diet and the change-over from formula to sweet milk.

She recommended giving him two teaspoons of Miralax and waiting out the fever. She also said that due to his larger size, I could give him 1.2 mL of Tylenol next time. She kindly offered to call and check on him in a few hours to see if he could poop and if it made his fever go down to a normal range.

At 4P though, when she called me back, his fever had spiked to 102.6˚F. She told me to begin giving him 3 hour rounds of rotating Tylenol/Ibuprofen to keep the fever down. She tried to get us a worked-in appointment, but to no avail. She then recommended that if his fever hit 105˚, I needed to immediately take him into TC Thompson’sUrgent Care Center at Erlanger Hospital. She also said I should try giving him a lukewarm bath.

So I did; lukewarm bath, which he hated, and a 1.85mL dose of Ibuprofen. Immediately after the bath, his temperature was down to 100.5˚. It held right around there for the rest of the afternoon, floating from 101 to 99 throughout. I gave him his last dose of Tylenol at 10P and we all went to bed.

I checked on him all through the night, having put his Arm’sReach Co-Sleeper back together for the time being. He felt fine for the night, but I never let him have anything other than a thin swaddling blanket.

At 5A on Wednesday, I reached over to check on him and he was hot again. This time it wasn’t as bad as 103, but it was at 101˚. I gave him a dose of Ibuprofen and began the daily rotation of meds again. At 11A I made the mistake of assuming that if his temperature was 98.7˚, his fever had broke. Not so much. By 12:30 it had spiked again. I gave him his dose of meds and at 2:30 it had raised to 102.7 ˚F. {For those of you who can’t keep up with all these numbers, is the HIGHEST it had been thus far.} I smacked myself on the forehead and drew him a lukewarm bath, which he hated.

For the rest of the night, I kept him on his rotating meds, giving him his last dose at 12 midnight.

On Thursday morning, at 6A, his temperature was a steady 99 ˚F. I gave him his Ibuprofen anyway.

At 9A, he was at 99,1 ˚F. I gave him his Tylenol anyway.

There's Wyatt, looking like a giant in his co-sleeper.

And at 12 noon, I gave him his Ibuprofen again, even though he felt just fine.

I thought about not giving him the meds to see if his temperature held normal, but after watching it go up and down for two days, I didn’t want to make it three. I think it is safer to just give him the low dose of Ib/Ty for another 24 hours to make sure. Why chance it?

Now, OF COURSE, he has a diaper rash. This could be from the Miralax the nurse had recommended—it definitely made his bowels move—or from the apples I added back into his diet. Either way, I’m taking the apples back out. Wyatt’s doctor has told me that he’d rather him eat veggies than fruits anyway. And I can always add fruits back in as he starts eating harder foods. I don’t think there’s any point in giving him the apple sauce until then.

As of right now, he’s wrapped in a towel, completely naked, taking a nap on our leather sofa.

He refuses to wear a diaper because of the rash; screaming uncontrollably until it is taken off. I can’t say I blame him, if my butt were on fire I’d feel the same way.

Wisdom learned for the day: it’s better to have leather than microfiber—no matter what the furniture store tells you.

Leather wipes oh-so clean.

Here's a little clip of Wyatt playing this morning. He's had a tough two days, so seeing him play was SUCH A RELIEF!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Lights ON!

For those that don’t know, Colt and I purchased two 5 acre plots a few years ago in a small town in northeast Alabama. When we bought it we had immediate intentions to begin building our dream home and selling the tiny starter home we bought a few months after marrying.

Then life happened. The economy took a sudden plummet. And we decided to stick around in town in order to a) be closer to work/have less of a commute, b) try to stock pile as much money as possible, and c) attempt to ride out the recession in a home that was paid for, in order to hopefully be able to resell for the same/higher amount of cash we paid.

So here we are, 6 years married, 5 years owning 10 beautiful acres, and we have just completed the task of getting electricity installed on said acreage.

But I’m ahead of myself… Let’s back up a few weeks.

For the past three weeks, the hubs has been hard at work trying to appease the local electric company.

He had to create the meter box and structure to attach it to {I always thought the electric company provided that stuff, but $200ish later, I realize I was mistaken}, dig the 2 ft deep trench for the underground power to go through {which involved renting a digging machine}, lay in the conduit {Thanks to our great friend Justin! And India for allowed him the afternoon away from home!!}, provide a rope which had been strung through said conduit {which, ironically enough, necessitated electricity to run a vacuum}, and cover the entire trench neatly to await inspection.

Sounds simple, right?

I assumed we could complete that in one weekend’s time. But after Colt pointed out that I {nor the mouse in my pocket} would really be of much use, he took over.

So for the past three weeks, Colt has gone to work {8-5}, drove to the property {which takes 40 minutes from home/work}, and worked until dark {9 pm-ish}. He has done this for three weeks straight, it seems. 

On the weekends, he has been rising at around 4 am; going straight out to the “house on the hill” to prep the land, the block work, and various other things for all the numerous demands inflicted on it. 

Needless to say, Wyatt and I have operated not so self-sufficiently the past few weeks, often feeling sorry for ourselves and begging Daddy to stay home just one day.

We really love our Daddy-time.

Now, as the property’s electricity has been installed, we {again, the hubs reminds me to forget about the mouse in my pocket and simply tell it how it actually is} headed out this weekend as a family to ready the block and gravel for concrete. In truth {Hah!}, this really means that Colt will move our camper to our power box, plug in the camper, turn the AC on, and leave Wyatt and I to our own devices while he {alone} rolls out the wire, digs footers, and readies any other loose ends for the concrete guys coming this week.

-AC = :-( 4 WL
Sadly, the day did not go as planned. First, Home Depot didn’t have 5/8 inch J-hooks. {So no setting the J-hooks before hand.} Colt couldn’t locate the adapter for the plug-in. {So no AC.} Then the box of screws he purchased for the block didn’t have a drill bit inside. {So no framing any block mishaps with form boards.} And then a storm poured over the valley. {So we loaded everything back up and went home.}

It was the end of a beautiful day. {Sarcasm.}

But, hey, we got to spend the day together, which was such a blessing and well-needed.

 Next up, concrete!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Quick pick!

Well, we finally purchased a high chair for Wyatt!

I know, I know, "He's 9 months old and you JUST got him a highchair?!"

But c'mon! We didn't find out our baby's gender, so we didn't fill our home full of things for baby the way others do. Then when he was born, he couldn't sit up; so there was no need.

Now he's huge and wants to eat everything. PLUS he wants to be in the kitchen with me while I'm cooking.

So I splurged.

Sure I could've picked up the cheapest model out there, but let's be honest... high chairs are sort of ugly. Well, let's be even more honest, they're not sort of ugly, they are.

Why do highchairs have to showcase little cartoon owls from top to bottom?

Why must they be big and bulky or hard and uncomfortable?

I've been perusing Amazon for months trying to find one that I can live with. {Sure it's for Wy, but it has to live in my house too!}And of course, I have an Amazon Prime Membership, so shipping is free {FYI, I am in love with my Amazon Prime Membership-- I've never bought diapers at a store, I never pay for shipping for things, and I get one free book a month for my kindle!}

Finally, I found this Evenflo Modern 300 High Chair!

I really liked the black, but when I saw the blue, I couldn't pass it up!

You should know that this is probably the first piece of furniture I've ever bought for Wyatt that looks gender specific. All of his other stuff is neutral.  {Remember, we had no idea whether his name was going to be Wyatt or Livia for 9 months!}

But hey, he's my boy, right? He needs something blue.. And if we ever have a girl, I'll get some of those sticky letters to monogram the top for her or something.

Until then, here's the quick pick, actually, two quick picks. One the first time I placed Wyatt into his new high chair, and the other after he decided that not only does he like the high chair, but he enjoys eating in it as well.

Needless to say, I think I made the right decision with the blue. He seems pretty happy with it.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

The 5 o'clock Power Hour

Hello! And welcome to the Gibson Family 5 o'clock Power Hour! During this hour you will experience a dinner and entertainment so ASTOUNDING it will leave you in TEARS! 

Tears, you say? How in the world can dining and entertaining a 9 month old result in tears, you might ask?

Well, you'll soon learn!


Since coming back from our niece Taylor's graduation at the beginning of {June},Wyatt has been having some trouble with his sleep cycle. The road trip just really did him in, and he's had trouble maintaining his normal nap schedule ever since.

All of a sudden, Wyatt wants to stay up late (10 pm! Wha?!) and get up early (1 am! WHA?!) and then just kind of roll around in the middle of the big bed from 1 am to 5 am (Kick! Jab! Thump! BOOM!).

It has made for some really crappy sleep for Mom and Dad.

But all that is over. Done. Caput. Finito. No. More.

For you see, Mommy made a decision at 6:37:45 am on July 3, 2012, just as the song birds began to sing, the sun began to crest the hillside, and Mommy came to the very, very end of her rope.

No more getting up in the middle of the night. No more using my body as a human-dam at the end of the bed to keep Wyatt from plummeting to the ground. No more waking in the middle of the night to a screaming child, telling the hubs to go back to sleep, then resenting him for the rest of the day for agreeing. No. More. Nightshift. Mommy.

{Now, as a side bar, you need to know that I am being completely facetious and serious at the same time. But in the most seriously facetious way, of course}

As I stood in front of the bathroom mirror, holding Wyatt on one hip, and splashing cold water onto my face with my last free hand, I pondered, "How can I trick this baby into sleeping through the night?"

I thought back to my own childhood, searching through my mind's filing cabinet in pursuit of the answers I know MUST be there. Ashley playing in the dirt, Kimberley playing with rocks, Ronna tricking Ashley and Kimberley into eating said dirt and rocks. {That can't be right, right?}

I ignore my flippant memory of back yard play days with my sisters. How could playing in the back yard apply to making Wyatt sleep through the night?

Then it hits me.

Wyatt naps.

After deciding to finally give up my futile effort of sleeping through Wyatt's slaps to my face and jabs to my rib cage, I usually rise at around 7:15 am. We get up, go the living room, and begin our trek across the day together.

Wyatt is usually good for about 3 hours. At around 10 am, though, he begins to lose his chipper attitude and descend into what I endearingly call "Monster Mode." Monster Mode is when the lovely, smiley Wyatt Lee turns into the enraged, hostile Dubya El. He takes no prisoners and humors no mommies at this time.

We usually put this monster down for a nap at this time, by giving him a bottle, turning the TV to PBSkids {Thank you, God, for giving me childlike programming all day long, amen.},  and nestling down with him in the recliner until snores abound.

He will sleep anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and half, depending on how rough a night he previously had.

After he wakes back up, we continue with our day, playing in the living room, helping Mommy unfold clothes she just folded, and eating lunch.

But again, around 2, the monster comes back and Wyatt is again laid to rest. {I know, being laid to rest is a euphemism used to take the place of "someone being placed 6 ft under," but after you meet the monster, you'll see how that particular circumlocution actually describes Wyatt's nap time perfectly.} He will sleep about 30 minutes for this nap and arise refreshed and raring to go.

We finish our afternoon with Daddy coming home from work, Mommy beginning dinner, and Wyatt taking his third and final nap of the day-- during the 5 o'clock hour.

Now, back to my spark of genius...

Then it hits me.

Wyatt naps.

When my sisters and I were still young, we played outside. And my mother made sure we played outside a LOT. I remember asking her, as an adult, how she handled putting three kids to bed each night. 

She smiled a devilish smile and said, "By bedtime, ya'll wanted to go to bed. You didn't take naps during the day, you played outside. During the summer, I would let ya'll in just long enough to eat lunch, maybe watch an hour's worth of TV, then back out into the sprinklers you went. Ya'll were dead tired when you came in. You'd stay awake just long enough to eat dinner, take a bath, and hit the bed."

A circus ringleader, she was. Sort of like Master Yoda, but better, and in an apron.
I decided that I must cut out naps. But how? Wyatt is only 9 months old. 9 month olds need naps. Mommies need 9 month olds who need naps.

I spoke with Auntie about this on Monday while accompanying the hubs to pick up a water tank and concrete mixer. Her solution sounded simple: "You'll have to cut out that 5 o'clock nap."

Okay. That's right. I'll cut out that 5 o'clock nap.

So for this week, I've cut out that 5 o'clock nap.

And MAN ALIVE, did Wyatt enter Monster Mode with a new found sense of valor.

I am now referring to that particular stretch of time as the 5 O'clock Power Hour. It involves sitting a very sleepy baby down in the floor and letting him cry, scream, kick, and carry on until there is no more cry, scream, kick, or carry on left in him. It usually takes anywhere from 30-45 minutes for him to give up and act like a baby again.

Tuesday, Colt was late getting home from work, so Wyatt stood in his walker, screaming like the day he was born, while I cooked dinner. 

Then on Wednesday {July 4th}, we were in the car on our way home from some Independence Day celebrations. He screamed from Jasper all the way to the drive-way {which, for anyone who doesn't know, is a 35 minute drive}.

Thursday, we were at Nanna's house to celebrate {Pappy's Birthday} together. For the entire power hour, Nanna kept saying, "You cannot keep him from napping. Just let him take a nap." To which I had to answer, "If you try to let him sleep, I will load him up and go home. And he will cry all the way home." 

And on Thursday night, somehow, by the Grace of the God almighty, Wyatt slept through the night.

On Friday, Wyatt awoke at 9 am to begin his day. He had his 9 month checkup at the doc's, and after leaving, he took a nap. He took a nap from 12:48am to 2:48pm. 

And guess what!? 

That was the only nap Wyatt took the entire day. 

Sadly, at 9:30 pm, after one failed attempt at going down for the night, Wyatt still didn't want to go to bed.

But with the hubs to comfort me, we put Wyatt to bed.

He did not want to go. He stood in there and screamed for 10 minutes.

We huddled together in the center of the bed, staring at each other as though we were the worst parents on the planet.

"You have to be strong," the hubs said. 

"I know," I answered, biting my bottom lip in despair.

"You know you can't go to him right now, " the hubs reminded.

"I know, “I say, "He'll only think he's outsmarted me... again."

And then everything was silent.

We snuck down our own hallway as if we were breaking into a prison to spring a lifer. Colt pushed the door ever-so-gently open. We peered in, like scared children readying themselves to see a Chucky Doll standing in wait. 

Wyatt had fallen asleep curled up on his pillow. We slipped a blanket over our mad little man, flipped the his Angelcare Monitor on, and scurried back into our bed, where we slept the entire night.

For 8 hours.

And that, my dear friends, is how you will be reduced to tears during the Gibson Family 5 o'clock Power Hour.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Quick Pick

Just a quick pick {pick-ture, that is!}

As I so often do, I snapped a quick cell phone photo of Wyatt today as we were getting ready to leave the house-- I originally posted it to Facebook, then after so many commented on how cute he was in it, I thought I better add it to the ole' family blog as well!

An old school chum (Kempo Keri!) commented on how much Wyatt resembles Jack Jack from The Incredibles, and since the hubs says this each time I spike Wy's hair, I thought I would do a little side-by-side comparison for fun :-) Enjoy!


The resemblance is uncanny.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Fajita Friday

Meatball Monday, Tamale Tuesday, or Cereal Saturday... whatever your weekly dinner ritual is, it makes the rest of the week's meal plans seem a bit easier.

As most of our friends and family know, Colt has to maintain a special diet low in greasy foods and red meat to make sure his liver enzyme count remains in the moderate range. Up until we had Wyatt, we really had only cut out fast food and deep-fried things; but after meeting our little guy, Colt began to take the diet a bit more serious. For one thing, we don't refer to it as a "diet" anymore. I think the word has become a misnomer.

The word diet itself is defined as the types of food a person eats, not a list of restrictive foods which are eaten in order to lose weight. Once we changed the way we approached eating, the list of foods that had once seemed restrictive began to open our palettes to a world of new tastes and dishes.

As with any change in the kitchen, this altered our weekly meals greatly. I could no longer plan on having meatloaf once a month or plan for hamburgers on the grill for Saturday. Red meat is only used on special occasions now. So chicken and fish are in, beef and pork are out.

We were surprised by the fact that we hardly miss them.

A typical dinner menu in our household now has lots of tilapia, chicken breast, and smoked turkey sausage.

One recipe that has become a fam-favorite is my chicken fajitas. I started making this soon after Wyatt showed up to curb our craving for our favorite Mexican restaurant (Amigo's!). With a new baby strapped to an apnea monitor, it wasn't really convenient for us to go out for quite a while-- way over the 6 weeks of seclusion recommended for new babies.

So, here's how I discovered the recipe for our weekly Fajita Friday!

That's right, it's as simple as picking up a McCormick Recipe Inspirations packet.

But, I admit, I have never actually followed the recipe on the back. Instead, I began using this packet to simply season my chicken. Once I realized how much Colt and I loved it, I purchased the spices I didn't already have to keep in my cupboard.

Today, the recipe is pretty simple.

1 lbs chicken breast
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 white onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
1tbsp minced onion
1 tbsp cilantro
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp oregano

Here's the run-down:

1. Place sliced chicken breast, 1 green bell pepper, 1 red bell pepper, and 1 white onion into a skillet on medium (make sure to place a bit of olive oil into the skillet before to heat).
2. Add 1 tablespoon of butter onto the top of the fajita mixture.
3. Add the spices on top of the butter, cover.
4. Stir after about 5 minutes to ensure that the chicken is cooked thoroughly.

For simplicity's sake, I add the same amount of each spice. McCormick's mixture has different measurements for each spice, but I have found that it makes little difference. :-)

As for sides, I only heat 1 can of refried beans.

I love the simplicity of this recipe, but I think the best part is that we don't eat out as much-- because our cravings for Amigo's are greatly curbed.

(Oh-- and it never hurts to only have TWO pots to wash after dinner!)