August 2013

August 2013
Photo by KME Photography

Sunday, September 7, 2014

To make you smile...

This past week we had Brecken's preschool welcome conference. At the end of the conference, his teacher asked him if he had any questions about preschool or if there was anything he wanted to learn this year. Brecken replied, "Well I would maybe like to learn how the inside of refrigerators work."
His teacher laughed and then said, "Oh really, and why do you want to learn about that?"
"Well just in case when I grow up I want to build refrigerators."

Oh dear, his poor teacher, has her work cut out for her! ;)

Yesterday, DJ and I attended a family wedding. Brecken knew we were starting to get ready for the wedding, and when he saw me after my shower in my sweats, he looked at me a little confused and said. "Mommy, those aren't very nice clothes for a wedding." I guess he wanted me to walk around in my dress for a couple hours before it was really time to go.

And finally a sweet story from Griffin's 2nd birthday that brought me to tears. On the morning of Griffin's birthday, we gave him his present from Mommy and Daddy, which was a water table. Well after Griffin opened it and we started to put it together, we realized it had a wrong part in the box so we didn't think he'd able to play with it until we could exchange it for one with the correct pieces. Brecken quickly grabbed some of the torn wrapping paper pieces and ran to his room to get one of his own books for Griffin. He took the pieces of wrapping paper and covered one of his books so that Griffin could have a present that he could actually use right away. That boy is just so sweet and thoughtful! Now if only they were always so kind and considerate to each other ;)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Wedding Clothing Choices

Me: Which shirt do you want to wear for the wedding this weekend?

Brecken: This one (points to one on left) because it's a little warmer just in case a light breeze comes up.

Again, Where does he come up with this stuff?

Earlier this week, I brought home some cutesie kid band-aids from the store. When I showed them to Brecken, he said, "Oh that's cool, Mom!"    By him using the word "cool" and calling me Mom instead of Mommy, he suddenly seemed about twice his age!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A few stories

Now that I am home with the boys for the summer, I catch more of their funny quotes. I have a few to share today, and I think they all happened just this week!

One night this week I went to visit a good friend's new baby. As I was heading out the door, Brecken said, "Have fun seeing the baby! Don't cough...Cover if you need to!" He is just so concerned :) The next morning, he asked me if I took any pictures of the baby to show him. (I didn't, so I guess I'm in trouble.)

I am tutoring a middle school student in math this summer, and another teacher friend is watching the boys for me while I tutor for an hour. She asked Brecken if he was going to preschool this year, and when he said yes, she asked him if he knew the name of it. He replied, "I'm not sure, but I think it's called 5th grade." He also randomly told her that his dad is some spots.

Finally tonight at dinner, Brecken said, "When you and Daddy die and go to heaven, I'm going to live in a house with Brielle." (Brielle is his very good friend from daycare and preschool.) I sure hope he's not thinking we're going to heaven anytime soon!

I'm sure there are more funnies, but I thought I better jot these lovelies down before I forget!

Happy 4th of July!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Easter Story According to a 4-year-old...

Brecken brought home his Bible story from preschool this week, which was the beginning of the Easter story.
I asked him what happened on Easter, and he said, "Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins."

Then I asked, "What happened after he died on the cross?"

To which he replied, "He got LOST and then came back again from the tune (tomb)!"

Well at least he got the part about forgiving our sins :)

If you're looking for some great kid-friendly Easter activities:
An Easter activity to do with your kiddos:
OR a simpler version for younger preschoolers: (Brecken LOVED this last year and still talks about it!)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Quick Update & Funny Quotes

Well now that I have completely fallen apart on blogging since adding a second child to our family, I've decided to change my blog...instead of updates on what we're up to and who's sick (let's face it, that is what the majority of my posts turned into), I'm going to just post the funny things that the kids say :) I figure that is something manageable that I should actually be able to keep up with, as well as hopefully bring a smile to your face. Plus it's a great way to document all of those funny comments that I don't want to forget! Before I officially change over to a blog of kid quotes though, I thought I'd give everyone a brief update on this Hoelscher Household:

BRECKEN - He is 4 1/2 years-old and started preschool this fall. A few weeks ago I would've said that he LOVES it, but he recently has started to cry on the mornings that are school days. He fell at school on Valentine's day and got a cut on his forehead that required a trip to Children's ER and 6 stitches - I have a feeling this is partly to blame for his sudden change in his attitude towards school :( We are working on getting to the bottom of this, and I sure hope things improve soon because it is breaking my heart to walk away with him crying so hard and the teacher or assistant having to drag him away :( He quickly gains his composure though and then has a great time the rest of the half-day at school. He has continued to be sick A LOT and has had strep throat 3 times this school year, for a total of 7 times in his life - uff da!

GRIFFIN - is 19-months-old and now likes to run at any chance he gets. After several trips to a pediatric chiropractor this summer without any changes to the fluid in his ears, he got ear tubes put in this fall but so far we've only seen minimal improvements. We recently took a family vacation to Florida, and both ears became infected while we were there - that was the 3rd or 4th (I've lost count) ear infection since his tubes in October :( However, at least the chronic fluid is gone and no longer affecting his hearing! Griffin definitely is at the stage where he knows what he wants and does his best to communicate that with us. His vocabulary is constantly growing right now, and it is so fun to watch!

The boys  are really starting to act like brothers now that Griffin is old enough to actually play - they have a real love-hate relationship, as most brothers do. They're either helping each other and hugging...or wrestling ;) It is SO fun to watch them interact with each other and see their friendship develop. We are so grateful for these two boys, and it's a true joy to watch them grow up and learn new things.

DJ - has been working FROM HOME for Oracle for about a year-and-a-half now. It is wonderful to have him working at home without a long commute, and he's able to go at lunch on preschool days to pickup  Brecken and take him to daycare for the afternoon (We're still at the same home daycare that we've had since Brecken was a baby :)

LAURA - Last spring, I took a new position at my school for this school year and am only working PART-TIME this year. It has been WONDERFUL and I can't even begin to tell you how much less stress I have in my life, but I've been told you can see it in my face :) I left the regular classroom and am now teaching Title I Reading to small groups of students. I am really enjoying working with 4 primary students at a time instead of 30-35 fifth graders! This new position has allowed me to have more time with the boys because I only work Monday-Thursday, and it's shorter days too. I am SO grateful that we were able to make this change possible as it really has had a positive impact on the entire family. Our life is still crazy, but at least now I know which way is up!

OK, I'm not sure how "brief" that update was, but now on to those funny kid quotes because kids really do say the darndest things:

*Some of these quotes are from quite some time ago, but I just don't want to forget them.

  • Last summer, DJ and Brecken had taken a couple bike rides (DJ has a bike, and I don't). Well one night I decided that I wanted to have some one-on-one time with Brecken and would use DJ's bike to go for a ride with Brecken. When we were making plans at the dinner table, Brecken said in all seriousness, "Mommy, do you know how to use the kickstand so the bike doesn't fall down? Do you need training wheels?" He was so serious, too! Then while on the bike ride we got to a small hill, and he said, "Mommy, just stand up if you need to. It'll help you get up the hill." (Such a little encourager :)
  • This fall, I was asking Brecken about his day at daycare. In the car on the way home, he shared, "We had liquors today for a special treat."
          I replied, "Liquors?"

        And he said, "Yeah, John's liquors!" (John is the husband of our daycare provider.)

         I knew our daycare lady enough to know that this was simply not true, so I calmly said, "Oh really? And what's that?"

        Well it didn't take long to figure out that Brecken actually meant that they had had John's LICORICE for their special treat! :)
  • This winter, we attended the church where Brecken goes to preschool because the kids were all singing during the service. At the end of the sermon, the pastor said, "Amen" to which Brecken immediately said, "Well that was a long prayer!" The people in the row in front of us cracked up laughing (Thankfully we knew the family from daycare!)
  •  Also, this winter I had a minor accident and cracked the bumper on the front of my car. My high school friends work at a body shop, so they ordered the new part and installed it for me so that I wouldn't have to have an insurance claim. Brecken was there watching when they put the new bumper on, so the very next day we were driving home from daycare, and he kindly said , "Mommy, be careful driving on the ice so you don't wreck the bumper Dan put on for us. Can you do that for me, Mommy?"
  • LAST ONE: The other night Brecken and I were standing at the side of Griffin's crib and JUST about ready to start his bedtime prayers when all of a sudden Brecken starts yelling, "Wait, wait, I have to go potty. Don't start praying until I'm done peein'!" Bahahaha!
See, kids really do say the darndest things :)

From here on out, there will probably only be one quote at a time, and I'll just post them as they happen. Soon enough Griffin will be adding funny quotes of his own, too. :)

Until next time,

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Surgery went well :)

Just a quick note to let you know that everything with the surgery went very well! (well everything besides the almost 2-hour drive it took us to get down to Children's in the snow storm) Brecken was a trooper, and he has already bounced right back to being his perky, smiley self. I enjoyed a day at home with him today to help him recuperate, although all I really had to do was remind him that he needed to take it easy. He was ready to go 100mph first thing this morning! Thank you for your prayers! Brecken will be at home the next couple days so that he doesn't overdue it, and then we head back to the ENT for a follow-up in a few weeks.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Surgery tomorrow!

I am really bad about posting updates when I'm working full-time, but I thought I'd let everyone know that Brecken is having surgery tomorrow (Tuesday) to remove his adenoids. We went to the Pediatric ENT back in December and found out that Brecken's adenoids are blocking 90% of his nasal passageway and surgery would be necessary. Tomorrow morning we will be heading down to Children's - Minneapolis for the surgery. It's a same day procedure, so we will be home later that day. Please pray for safe travels to get down there (sounds like lots of snow coming) as well as guidance for the medical team, and comfort and peace for Brecken (and probably Mommy and Daddy too ;) It is no fun to put your young child through surgery, but it is simply amazing that Brecken never had a single surgery related to his premature birth! We definitely know how amazing the staff at Children's in, and we he will be in the best place on Tuesday!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The craziness continues...

In the last 6 weeks both boys have had strep throat AND an ear infection each, Brecken had a trip to urgent care to find out he had bronchitis, this Monday I was at Children's ER to learn that Griffin is "formula intolerant" AND Brecken went back to the dr yesterday for the recheck of bronchitis and now he has to see an ENT specialist for his chronic nasal congestion - she thinks it's his adenoids causing trouble - UFF DA!!!

So needless to say, those other blog posts I wanted to do just aren't going to happen ;)

Thankfully Griffin's fussiness has been WAY better so I've been getting a little more sleep now (with the exception of the past 3 nights.)

The highlight of the last 6 weeks was definitely Griffin's Baptism on 11-11. I'd love to post pictures but I'd rather snuggle my baby right now :) There are a couple pics on my Facebook page though.

I was originally scheduled to return to work this week, but thankfully we recently rethought that idea and extended my leave by 3 more weeks - I'll now return the week before Christmas. Oh yeah, and DJ started a new job this week! He now works from home, which is a HUGE bonus!

I'm trying to keep this post short, but you're probably wondering what "formula intolerant" means...well Sunday evening Griffin had basically his first formula ever and then had MASSIVE vomiting at every feeding for the next 10 hours even though I had switched back to nursing. I called Children's Hospital in the wee hours Monday morning, and they were worried about him being dehydrated since his diaper had stayed dry for the last 8 hours, so they said I should bring him there to the ER right away. Thankfully he wasn't dehydrated. We were there for several hours as they wanted to see him eat again. When he finally felt like eating again, he of course did just fine there. The doctor said it probably just took that long to get out of his system. He told me not to use that formula again (obviously!) and said if we do formula again, we'd have to go to Nutramigen or Alimentum which are both very expensive! I said, what about soy based formula? He said that with that bad of a reaction, you'll most likely have the same result if he has soy because the proteins are very similar. Apparently, Griffin just can't digest any of the traditional formulas, so we have to get the hypo-allergenic stuff that is broken way down. I talked briefly with our pediatrician yesterday, and she agreed that the same thing would happen with soy because his reaction was so severe. Looks like I'll be continuing to nurse and pump as much as possible...not sure how that will go when I return to teaching! (I had initially planned on cutting back some with nursing/pumping when I return to work to do a combination of breastmilk/formula.)

I overheard a mom at the doctor's office yesterday talking about her severely disabled child, and I think that was God's way of whispering to me....relax, just be thankful for all you have! :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Finally a new post!

We joyfully introduce...
8/23/2012 @ 9:50a.m.
7 pounds, 7 ounces; 21.5 inches
Griffin arrived via the scheduled c-section. Sorry for the extremely delayed post for those of you who don't have any other connection with us - we've been a little busy lately ;) I started this post several weeks ago and just never got around to actually finishing it.
You can check out a 1 minute slide show of Griffin's "virtual baby announcement" at Special thanks to First Day Photo and Abbott Northwestern Hospital for the free photo session and virtual announcement.
Here are some additional photos:

Soooooo wonderful to be able to hold a healthy baby right away :)

Brecken enthusiastically said, "He has ears!" :)

Waiting to go home

Getting ready to leave - both boys weighed exactly 7 pounds at discharge
 (Brecken was just 2 1/2 months old at his discharge ;)

We stopped to pick-up big brother and are ready to head HOME as a family of 4 :)
(Brecken was very excited about helping to carry Griffiin)

Now for the details...
Many of you probably can skip reading the details of Griffin's arrival and our adjustment to life with 2 kids... Sometimes I write things on  the blog realizing full-well that many people probably don't really need all of these details; however, I record all of these memories for us to look back on and remember.
The first part of the c-section went very well. The surgery was scheduled for 9:30, and I was in the Operating Room a few minutes early. Griffin arrived at 9:50, and I was able to see him up close before he and Daddy went to the nursery. Shortly after they left, I suddenly started feeling quite nauseous. I reported that to the nurse anesthetist, and from there I continued to get worse and eventually started vomiting on the operating table in the middle of abdominal surgery! Apparently the anesthesiologist doctor had left the OR, and they had to track him down so that I could get some meds to help the nausea...but meanwhile I continued to vomit and vomited through much of the rest of the surgery (again all while lying flat on my back in the middle of abdominal surgery!) How they were still able to  perform the surgery, I'm not quite sure! I finally got some meds and was just starting to finally not feel so nauseous when they had finished the c-section and STAPLED my incision shut. I guess some doctors prefer stitches, while others prefer staples. The sound of the stapler (it sounded like a big old construction stapler!) made me nauseous again and I was so ready to be done! However, at that point they still had to remove my cerclage (stitch). With this additional component, the surgery took longer than a usual c-section so I was starting to feel fairly significant pain around my incision while they did the cerclage removal because the spinal block was beginning to wear off some. Ok, I think that's enough surgery details ;) It's amazing how none of this seems to matter once you hold that precious baby in your arms :) I should also say that even though I was disappointed to have to need a c-section, I was very thankful that I didn't have to go through hours of labor and then end up having a c-section!

The first few days of recovery were pretty rough...On day 3, I finally took everyone's advice and started taking 1/2 doses of the "real" pain meds. Up until that point I had only been taking Tylenol/Motrin. It was getting to be such a chore to get out of bed and walk to the bathroom, that I decided I better take something stronger. The nurses kept telling me that it is better to take some pain meds and move around than to skip pain meds and just sit in bed all the time. (Many people I know that have gone through c-sections had also told me that walking around helps you heal a lot faster.)

Once I got home, the recovery was still quite rough for a few days. I quickly realized on night one that getting in and out of bed multiple times a night for feedings was just NOT going to happen because it hurt WAY too much, so I ended up sleeping in that lovely recliner that I spent so much quality time with during my 2 months of bedrest. I could get in and out of the recliner easier and with less pain than I could the bed. The worst part about having a c-section was that I really couldn't play with Brecken much for the first week or so afterwards. I obviously couldn't get down on the floor with him or make it down the stairs to play in his toy room. This was really hard because I had been out of commission so long with bedrest, then I was back for a few weeks, and then out of commission once again after the c-section. I felt so bad for Brecken. I was busy taking care of Griffin much of the time anyway, but it would've been nice to do something special with Brecken whenever I did have the chance. After the first week or two though, I quickly made huge improvements and didn't really have any pain at all.

Here are a few quotes from Brecken during the first week Griffin was home:
Griffin was in his baby swing the first evening we were home, and Brecken asked, "Can I give him an underdog?" Thankfully he ASKED first!!!

Brecken has been going to daycare part-time to hold his spot, and when he got home one of the first days, he asked, "How come he's still here?" I'm not sure if he thought Griffin wasn't with us for good, or if he was just wondering why Griffin didn't go to daycare with him.

One day Brecken woke up from his nap, sat up in bed and asked, "Is baby brother bigger now?" Yup Brecken, while you were napping, Griffin turned into a 2-year-old ;)

The first 3 weeks or so after Griffin's arrival, we were on cloud nine as we were just so thrilled to all be at home together instead of having a baby in the NICU! Everything really seemed sooooo much easier than it was when Brecken came home from the hospital, as we didn't have a heart monitor, didn't have to mix all of the milk with fortifier, and we didn't have endless dr appointments to go to.  But then....Griffin's acid reflux started :( We've had a few rough weeks with the reflux because he spits up all the time and starts fussing (and often screaming!) mid-way through most feedings. The reflux also causes him to make all of these loud throat noises that keep me awake even when it's not feeding time. We've moved him to his own room across the hall and don't use the baby monitor, but we still hear him loud and clear. I think for over 2 weeks straight I didn't sleep at all from about 2a.m.-6a.m.! Then I would sometimes catch an hour or two of sleep before DJ had to leave for work.

After we had the reflux almost under control, Brecken came down with a cold which we later found out was strep throat (even though he once again didn't have a fever.)  The only reason I even took him to the dr that Monday was because he eventually said that his throat hurt. Throughout that week Griffin seemed rather uncomfortable because he was really squirmy and had even more loud grunts despite the fact that he was asleep. However, this wasn't really anything new at all, so I just figured it was his acid reflux acting up...BUT I took him into the doctor that Friday to find out that he also had strep throat AND an ear infection at just 8-weeks old! The dr had told me Monday when I was there with Brecken that for Griffin I should watch for a fever or not eating in case he would catch the strep throat. Well he didn't have either one of those symptoms...apparently I have very asymptomatic children! This is very nice in some ways, but it's also very frustrating because I never know when they're really sick. The following Tuesday though is when Griffin suddenly started almost refusing to eat. I wasn't sure if the antibiotics weren't working for him, or if something else was wrong. I took him to the doctor again, and she thinks he was just overdue for a dose increase for his acid reflux med since he has grown so much since we started it. Today he seems to be eating pretty good, but there is a whole lot of screaming with each feeding :( She said it could take a few days for the increase to fully take affect, so hopefully he rounds the corner soon.

Ok, enough rambling, despite the fact that the last month has been pretty hectic, I feel truly blessed to have these two incredible boys and a husband that helps out a lot! It is so much fun watching Brecken interact with his brother. You can tell that Brecken truly adores him and can't wait for him to get bigger so they can play together (and only has a few moments of jealousy...usually during feeding times.) Griffin has also just recently started to coo and smile which is lots of fun, too!

I still hope to post soon about Brecken's 3rd birthday and his excellent check-up at Children's, as well as post Griffin's 1-month stats and some more pictures. Hopefully it won't be over 2 months before the next post again! 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Loving my freedom!

I have been off of bedrest for almost 3 weeks now, and I've been taking full advantage of it! Brecken and I have enjoyed LOTS of fun time together. We've gone to the park, played outside, and have had quite a few play dates too. Last weekend we went to a Hoelscher family gathering and then headed down to the Twins game for perhaps our final big outing as a family of 3 (kind of bittersweet.) Today Brecken and I went to an indoor park that is in the same building as DJ's work, and then we had lunch with Daddy :) I've also been a cleaning machine - I've vacuumed, dusted, cleaned the fridge, scrubbed floors, done laundry, dusted our blinds, etc. (Hmmm...nesting maybe?) I've also made several meals to put in the freezer so that we have one less thing to worry about in those first days after baby is born. Somewhere in there I also have been to school a few times to set up my classroom because I don't feel it's fair to leave that a complete disaster for my sub. As you can see, I have definitely NOT been taking it easy since my bedrest ended and still no baby. Hmmmmm....were those 2 months of bedrest REALLY necessary?! Sometimes that thought crosses my mind, but at the same time I'm glad the doctors took full precautions because it really wasn't worth risking the situation. Since Brecken was born 3-months early, I know just how awful that long road is and I KNOW that it isn't worth the risk of going through a similar experience with baby #2. Also, I still have the cerclage (stitch) in place which I think is making a BIG difference right now...if they would've taken that out at 36 weeks as planned, I highly doubt that I would still be sitting here pregnant 3 weeks later. Some people have asked me if I'm ready to be done with being pregnant....the truth is that I really don't feel that way at all. Yes, at almost 39 weeks, I'm starting to get quite XL and a bit uncomfortable, but I am just SO happy that baby didn't come right after my bedrest was done because now I've actually been able to enjoy a few weeks of my summer by spending some much needed quality time with Brecken. I know that my life is about to change drastically, and I'm just so thankful that I've had a short period of normalcy before the new addition to our family arrives.

Some final updates...I had another check-up this week and baby was still breech. I have one final appointment this Tuesday, and then Thursday is the BIG day (my scheduled c-section)! We're VERY excited to meet this baby, and I am sooooo thrilled that I'll be able to hold this baby in my arms very soon after his birth, AND we'll get to take him HOME with us! :) Praise God!