Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Purple Pictures and Nose Surgery

Today was Epilepsy Awareness Day.
Those of us in our family who own purple clothing wore it...

Matt had to get in the picture even though he was not wearing the right color :)
I even painted my fingernails dark purple for the occasion.  
I don't often wear nail polish and when I do it's usually quite conservative or, if it's not, I'm being festive for a holiday...I guess you could count this as being festive.
Andy wore his light purple tie to work...why didn't I get a picture of that handsome guy?

It was a big day for us besides being purple day.
Josh had his third surgery in 13 months...

A week ago Josh called me from school and said he and another kid had collided at recess and he had a headache and wanted me to come get him.
I brought him home and other than a bit of a headache he seemed fine.  Later that evening at the dinner table, he said his nose kind of hurt.  Andy looked at him and saw this...

His nose was totally crooked!

I called the ENT office the next morning and they said they didn't want to see him for five days so all possible swelling would be gone.
That brings us to yesterday.  His appointment was for the afternoon but the office called in the morning and asked if we could make it earlier since the doctor needed to go into surgery during our appointment time.  Josh hadn't complained of any pain since that first night and honestly, I was wondering if it was even necessary to see a doctor anymore.  I almost just canceled it when they called but then thought I had better be safe than sorry.

When the doctor came in to see us he made a remark about Josh's obviously crooked nose and went right on to say that it was broken.  What???  There had been no bleeding, no black eyes, hardly any pain and it was broken?  He checked him out just to make sure and said we could wait until he was 17 and have it rebroken and fixed then or we could have surgery the next day and have it all taken care of.
Poor Josh got quite nervous at the word "surgery".  I don't blame him.  He's had enough of that for a while.  We talked about how this one would be much quicker and easier.  By evening he was in kind of a goofy mood and even said that this surgery might be kind of fun :)

This was his attempt at a smile.

He wasn't scheduled to go in until this afternoon so he had to go without food and drink for quite a long time.  He was a trooper though.  By the time we were shown to our room and he was changing into his hospital clothes, gone was the goofy mood and he was very nervous...almost as nervous as he was for his second foot surgery.  We talked about how this one would be fast and over before he even knew it.  The anesthesiologist said he could give him a little something to help him relax before they took him away.
I agreed.  So, even though he was still gripping my hand as they wheeled him out, he wasn't in tears and I even saw a smile before I lost sight of him.

This being the fourth surgery in 13 months for my family, I have come to enjoy the sizable length of time I have to read and relax as I wait for the doctor to come and tell me that everything went well and my child will be brought in soon.
Today, it only took half and hour before the doctor came in.  He said everything was good except there had been a little fragment of bone that didn't want to stay in place.  He kept putting it where it belonged and it kept falling back down.  So, he said since he thought Josh wouldn't appreciate him removing it, he just put some packing up in his nose to hold it in place.  Good choice :)  This will either fall out or dissolve within a few days.  He also mentioned to be sure to be consistent with the pain meds since Josh would most likely be quite sore because he had had to push pretty hard to move everything around.

Josh came back super groggy and slept for quite a while.  
When he was starting to come around, a tech walked up and said, "He looks exactly the same as he used to."  I looked at her and didn't recognize her.  I asked her who she was and she said that she used to work in the preschool class that Josh attended years ago.  She said he looked just the same only bigger.
I felt bad that I didn't remember her but she was super sweet and took care of us the rest of the time we were there.  When I have asked Josh about preschool in the past, he acts as if he doesn't remember it at all, so when he said he remembered DeeDee I questioned him.  He said, "She's the only one I remember".  
I told her that as we were leaving and she felt pretty special :)

We had only stayed an hour after Josh came back from surgery since things had gone smoothly in the recovery room.  That made a total of 3 hours in the hospital which was a nice, short visit.
The first thing Josh had said the day before when Dr. B. said he needed surgery was, "I don't want to throw up again." in a very distressed voice.  This had been about the worst part of the first couple of days of recovery from his last surgeries.  So, we made sure they put something extra in his IV to help with nausea.  It did the job and he didn't throw up once.  That was a relief to everyone ;)

Once we got home he got a little more bright eyed and bushy tailed for a couple of hours, but he zonked pretty early and is sleeping peacefully now.

Sweet Josh!  Bless his heart.  He's been through so much in the last year.  I just pray and have faith that it's strengthening his character and confidence and shaping him into the man the Lord needs him to be.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


 I've had some odds and ends things that I've made lately that I wanted to post.

Here's another one of Jen Gidden's pleated totes.
I just love this pattern!
I think this may be my favorite fabric combo yet.

Why did I use my washing machine for a hanger?
I guess it must have been handy at the time.

The women's group at our church had a big dinner to celebrate the organization's anniversary tonight.
I was excited to get on photoshop and design an invitation for the event...

And last but not least I've been dabbling in some more chalk art.

Inspired by Pinterest of course.  I love the look of a wreath hanging in front of a frame.  I was going to put a mirror in the frame but found it to be too expensive to have one cut to a custom size.
How much easier to fill it with a chalkboard and much more fun to decorate :)
I bought this frame from Hobby Lobby.  It was black but I wanted it to stand out a little more against the shelf that our neighbor built so I spray painted it a creamy white.
The "B" is for Bryan of course and the quote around the wreath says "Whatever you are be a good one" - Abe Lincoln.  I've loved that quote for a long time and have always wanted to put it up in my home somewhere.
I couldn't quite decide what to do with the background...and am still not completely happy with it so I might change that up when I get a better idea.
Fun Fun!!
Pin It

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March Happenings

Wow have I fallen behind on things here.  
I will attempt to catch up on the little things from the last couple of weeks.

Five people, two iPads.  I was "resting".

Andy prepared a fun, old fashioned family game night to try and give our kids some ideas of what they can do besides technology :)

The paper bag game...

 Here are some of my St. Patty's Day decorations...

 One night when I got Ben ready for bed I accidentally put both legs in one of his jammy legs.  I didn't notice it until a while later when I walked past him and he was in this pose.  He didn't seem to mind :)

 I attended a lunch for a sweet friend who was moving out of the neighborhood.  My two amazing quilting, neighbor friends and I put this quilt together for her and had all the ladies sign it.

Speckled, Peanut Butter, Easter  M&Ms...they didn't last long in my house!  Who was I fooling when I told myself I was buying them for the kids' Easter baskets?

Josh had his Space Derby with the scouts.  Why didn't I get a picture of his rocket?  He painted it like a hot dog.  It was pretty cute :)

 Ben was going crazy running around in the gymn.  Luckily, some super sweet girls tried to corral him in and play with him.

 For Christmas, Matt was given a "Grow a Frog" kit.  It came with the home, food and rocks and we had to send in for the actual tadpole.  They don't send it out until the temperatures are warm enough in your area so that it will survive the shipping process.  Luckily, spring came on time this year so we received this in the mail last week.  It is clearly marked to not be placed in the mailbox, yet that is where we found it :(
When we opened the package, the tadpole was dead.  It was kind of traumatic but Matt said it was probably a good thing since the food and the rocks were no where to be found.
I called the company and they immediately sent another one out.
 That one came in the mail(box) yesterday.  I opened it in private so as to avoid another disappointment.
It was alive!
We did some super searching and found the food and rocks...however, we are still missing the lid to the little house...but so far so good.  He continues to swim around and act happy.

He's a see through frog - always will be so you can see his organs and stuff.  The dead one was kind of icky looking but when they're alive they look pretty nifty.
Another couple of good things about this frog is that it will always live in water...so it won't be hopping all around the house.  Also, once it's fully developed, you no longer need to feed it.  Amazing!  The perfect pet :)

Since St. Patty's Day was on a Sunday this year I had to make sure that the boys all had green ties.
A few weeks ago I bought one for Ben and then kind of forgot about the other two.  I knew we had at least one somewhere down in the boys' room.  Well, luckily, the night before, I discovered we had two stashed away in their closet...one had to be fixed but it was green :)

On the way to church I told the boys I wanted to get a picture of them in their green ties when we got home and not to change until I had.
I walked in the door with Ben 3 hours later and Josh and Matt had already started changing.  Matt willingly got back in his clothes (sans pants) and I snapped a couple of these two while Josh go dressed in...

...this ensemble!  Lovely!
Andy had a meeting after church or else he would have been in the pictures with his green tie too.

Sunday night we did a little chocolate coin hunt at Mom and Dad's house after dinner.

My children all still strongly believe in leprechauns as the following pictures will prove... 
They were working awfully hard Sunday afternoon down in the boys' room.  This is what I found that night when I went down to tuck them in that night...
"Our Motto:  Be nice to leprechauns no matter what!"

"If you can use magic so we can't hear you, can you do that?  We are going to be sleeping when you read this message, and we really need our sleep for tomorrow.  Thank you!  Abby and Josh Bryan  p.s. we are trying to be nice to leprechauns.  We don't want to trap you so enjoy yourselves at these stations we have set up.  We worked really hard on them."

 These two notes were found in their doorway...and this is what the rest of the room looked like.

"For any leprechaun who visits the station of Joshua Bryan - Welcome"                                                                  "Food inside - for $15 or one ounce of gold"                                                            

"Money drop"     "A note of Thanks - Write how you're thankful for it"                                                                           "Compliments - more space on back - "Please leave a line empty so I can reply and you can see my replies next year!  There is a pen."

 I love my  kids!

 ...and I love it when Ben wraps his arms around me when he sleeps.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Rock a Bye Baby



I had such a blast coming up with the decorations for my cousin's baby shower!
Let's take a closer look...

 Lots of fans and tissue paper pom poms/flowers.
In the past when I've made the pom poms I've been so frustrated that they have turned out more as an oval instead of a circle.  I found a tutorial online that helped me solve the problem.  Cutting notches on both sides of your tissue paper for the string to tie around did the trick.

My aunt had purchased a pinwheel kit.  I used their paper as a pattern to cut out pinwheels from our papers.  After making several big ones I decided little ones would be pretty cute.  I reduced the size of the pattern on my copy machine but after a while of tracing I was able to free hand them...a pretty simple process.  I used brads for the center and just hot glued them to plastic straws since I wasn't wanting them to actually work...just look cute :)

 For the streamers I used Dana's tutorial from her blog, MADE.
I have a desk chair in my craft corner so I had the rolls of streamers on a pencil in my lap and then I would push myself off and let them unroll quite a bit.  Then I would pull myself back to the desk and sew until I needed to unroll some more.  It was kind of fun :)!  I ended up with miles and miles of ruffled streamers.

The banners/buntings were fun.  I can't believe I didn't get a close up shot of the paper banner (hanging on the front of the table in the second picture from the top) I made for the mantle with the baby's name on it.  When making these banners I love using the double fold bias tape and just hot gluing the tops of the triangles into the fold...so easy!

 The "f" was an unfinished wooden letter from Michael's.  I spray painted it and a thin decorative piece of wood.  I traced the "f" (backwards) onto the back of scrapbook paper, mod podged it on to the wood and then added the decorative piece.  Of course I sanded it up a bit too for a distressed look :)
I was excited to have an excuse to make a chalkboard!  I've been wanting to for a while now.  Michael's has 4 or 5 different styles of these beautifully cut unfinished wooden frames.  They're light and inexpensive ($7).  I had Andy cut a thin board to size and spray painted it with chalkboard paint.  I then hot glued it to the back of the spray painted frame.  It turned out awesome!  I primed the chalkboard and then played around with some different designs.

 This was such an interesting learning experience for me.  I saw some chalk art done on a local craft t.v. show.  I found out that to get the best results you should sharpen your chalk...just like you would a pencil.  Yikes!  You have to be willing to work past the screeching, hair raising, goose bump giving feeling as you do so.  Do you know the feeling I mean?  Then when I applied the chalk to my rough surface of the board it gave me the same feeling.  Not until after working with it for quite a while did I find out that lightly dampening the chalkboard before writing on it completely took care of that problem.  It softened it up and made it so smooth.  Not only was it a much more relaxing experience with the water but it totally brightened up the chalk.  As the board dried the chalk became much more vibrant.  It was a life changing discovery!

My first attempt at chalk art!

I have plans to make another framed chalkboard and use it in my holiday decorating.  I can see how chalk art could become addicting :)

I found some super fun bicycle flannel at JoAnn's.  (Sorry Mom.  I know it's not JoAnn's but it just doesn't feel right to leave the "s" off.)  I used it to sew one of the baby blankets that I love to make (from this post).

I paired the blanket with a couple of our favorite board books for her gift.

The women in my cousin's family have a fun tradition that I believe comes from the Native American culture.  We all bring a bead for the mother to be.  She makes a necklace out of them and wears it during labor.  It's supposed to bring good thoughts and wishes and strength from her female loved ones.
 (something like that...correct me if I'm wrong Amber).
Anyway, this was my bead for Josie...

 (It's kind of hard to tell but it's a cute little red elephant) 

I'm kicking myself that I didn't get more pictures at the actual shower but here's the front door.
The day of the shower was actually kind of somber.
That morning I attended a funeral for beautiful little conjoined twins.  They were the daughters of an old college friend.  It was a sweet and sad occasion.
One tiny little coffin for two pure and precious souls.
 It was a melancholy thing to mourn the loss of two babies in the morning and then celebrate the birth of another that same afternoon.
Thoughts turn heavenward and faith is heightened...faith that the Lord is over all and mindful of each of us.
More gratitude for my own sweet children was another side effect of my day.  I held them each a little tighter and kissed them a little more tenderly one extra time.
Each one a blessing from above.