the good stuff

The warmer weather has finally graced Northern NY with its presence, and I couldn't be happier. Literally every day we can, we've been outside. Whether it's a trip to the zoo, trips to Old Macdonald's Farm, Alexandria Bay or just FRG events at the Blizzard Barn, we're on the move. I've been meaning to post every single day, but as we force ourselves to find our normal this spring and summer, the here and now has been so much more important to me than simple words on a page. 

Two weekends ago, we finally went to Old Macdonald's Farm in Sackets Harbor. I wanted to take Spencer last year, but I didn't think he'd really be old enough to appreciate it. This spring though, he loves it. The farm is great. The kids can feed the goats, go in the pens and pet/play with them, feed the cows, take a hayride, pet the bunnies and so much more. He literally had the time of his life.




This past weekend, we were busy over the three days. On Saturday, I started with a really long run in the morning, and we did a little trip to the Thompson Park Zoo later in the morning. We bit the bullet and bought a yearly zoo membership for $65, which was far better than $10 a visit because we go so often. Plus, with all indigenous animals, I feel like we're supporting a really good cause. Later in the day, we did a trip with the FRG to the Blizzard Barn, and Spencer had some yummy ice cream. Porter had sherbet because, well, he's allergic to the world :)

Sunday morning was spent at Alexandria Bay, where the kids got to play in the sand, dip their toes in the frigid water and play at the park. Lots of sunshine was worth the 30-minute drive, and the kids both crashed hard for naptime, which meant that mama got a well-deserved nap, too.





Despite the fast the Murphy's Law seems to really be fond of the Moore household since Ryan deployed, life is good - and getting better. With warmer weather, my boys and I are taking advantage of what may very well be our last summer here in NY. Plus, I'm busying myself with home-improvement projects that desperately need to be detailed on the blog. I'll be doing so in the coming days. 

the scariest few days

As you probably remember, I mentioned a little bit ago that Porter's been having some GI issues for nearly 7 months now. We've kind of bounced between intense constipation that's landed us in the ER, to diarrhea, to nearly nonstop rashes that seem to consistently plague him. At the beginning of last week, we seemed to be in the middle of one of those bouts of diarrhea again. I was worried, but frankly, I didn't think too much of it because we've always gotten it under control.

He had another weight check on Tuesday though, and he was down another 4 oz, despite constantly drinking his formula. I mentioned his rash, and they told me to continue to apply Triple Paste, despite the fact that I told them I couldn't keep up with the diarrhea. By Thursday, his rash was bleeding and all over his poor bottom. I took him to the doctor, and she told me it was bad, but not awful, and she prescribed Nystatin for a yeast infection. 


On Friday morning, his rash was the worst I've ever seen it, and he was inconsolable. I took him back to the doctor, and she told me that his weight was down again, his blood sugar was 48, and he was lethargic. She got him to take a bit of a pedialyte popsicle, and his blood sugar bounced back up to 98. She didn't want to admit him, so she told us he was fine - have daycare monitor him and see how the day goes. Against my better judgment, I put him in daycare to get some work done, and I told them to call me at any time.

At 3 PM, I got a call from daycare that Porter had been writhing in pain on the floor for almost 3 hours. He couldn't get comfortable, couldn't drink, and his poor bottom was bleeding all over every diaper. I quickly went and picked him up and raced back to the doctor. His blood sugar was back down to 42, and he was severely dehydrated. She said our only choice, since we were on day 7 of diarrhea, was to be admitted to the hospital. Cue panic.

I called my neighbor, Emily, and she told me to leave Spencer's car seat at daycare. She picked him and took him home with them and, luckily, Spencer was totally comfortable with them and loved his time there...for two days. I've never felt more guilty in my life than leaving one boy to care for the other, but I know he was with people who loved him. Our other neighbor, Jo Ann, volunteered to watch Danny and the cats, and luckily, I could focus on Porter.




They put in a line and gave him continuous fluids for 48 hours. His diarrhea continued. They monitored every single wet and dirty diaper, and we tested his blood and his poo. All of them came back clean. The answer was more simple than we could have imagined. His doctor believed he was allergic to lactose. It turns out that Porter is severely allergic to lactose, milk proteins and soy. When we were discharged on Sunday morning, we were prescribed a hypoallergenic formula to the tune of $106 a can. He cannot have any foods with any form of dairy in them at all.

He's been home with me these past couple days, and he spiked a high fever on Monday - 103.8 - having caught both strep and the flu. He's on the mend now though, fever-free since Monday night, and his bum is finally starting to look a little better. But, if you wouldn't mind continuing all those prayers, we'd really appreciate them. There's nothing worse than seeing your child so very sick.

And, I should mention that poor Ryan was struggling with being so far away during a time like this. Deployment is hard, even in the best of times, and I know my amazing husband would have done anything to be home with us throughout all of this. But, I'm so, so grateful for his sacrifice, and I hope that he knows how much we felt his love and support through all of this.

motherhood

As part of Ryan's Father's Day gift, the boys and I had some pictures taken yesterday. It was going to be a crapshoot, and I knew it. Porter's been barely sleeping and has had a vicious diaper rash. Poor Spencer has been so confused by my anxiety, and it's been really hard here, lately. Nevertheless, we persisted, and we went on the the shoot.


I had originally hoped to keep the photos under wraps, but our wonderful photographer, Julie, from Kindred Hearts Photography in Carthage, posted these, and I knew they'd brighten Ryan's day. What we're doing with them though...that's a different story, honey ;)

I've always hated pictures of myself. I've hated trying to pose my boys because doing so is so. darn. hard. Little ones were made to move! Why not capture them in all their whimsical glory? Julie did that and more. She let Spencer ham it up for the camera. We giggled at Porter's silly antics and snuggled when he cried. None of it felt forced or difficult. It was so, so precious to me.



With Mother's Day coming up, I wanted to sit down and put some thoughts on a page, reflecting on my last few years as a mama. It's harder than I'd ever thought it could be. There are so many endless nights. Heck, there are so many endless days. The amount of pain you feel when you see your little one hurting is nearly unbearable. The love you feel for your babies is so raw and powerful that you think it might overwhelm you.

But that's also the beauty of motherhood. It's chaos. It's never the calm before the storm. Motherhood is the storm, and it's one glorious, raging, hilarious, beautiful mess. My life as a mama is not picture-perfect, but it's perfectly imperfect, and I love these boys with fierceness I never knew was possible. These little men are the perfect blend of Ryan and I, and I would literally lay down my life for them in a heartbeat - no questions asked. Motherhood is selflessness, complete and utter devotion and sacrifice. And you know what? It's  a sacrifice I'd gladly make again.

All images copyright and credit to: Kindred Hearts Photography.

11 months of porter dean

Poor Porter. He's definitely become the victim of second-child syndrome. I've literally done, like, one update on that sweet boy's life. But, we're nearing his first birthday, and I figured it was high time we do a little update on this biscuit boy. Porter's been keeping us on our toes lately with some chronic health issues, but he's truly such a good baby. Minus traveling. He's the worst traveler. And by that, I mean that he's fully capable of screaming for four hours straight when he wants to. But, that's neither here nor there...here's a little update on our man. 


Weight: This is our primary concern with our little guy right now. He's long and lean, and he's recently lost a good bit of weight. He currently weighs in at 18 lbs, and he rocks the 0 percentile. 

Height: Porter is a tall guy! He's currently 30 inches, which is just 4.75 shy of Spencer. Maybe he has some of my family's height going on?

Clothes: Porter rocks 12 month clothes with ease right now, and I find myself wishing my boys were born in the same season! Hand-me-downs haven't been much of an option, especially since Spencer always erred on the smaller side.

Milestones: We finally have our first tooth! While we were in South Carolina, I finally saw a little pearly white peeking through on the bottom right. I hope there are a few more coming behind it because he really loves to eat all the foods. He's also very close to walking now! He can stand solo right now for about 5-10 seconds at a time, but he hasn't walked yet. He's also really into climbing the stairs, so I think that the baby gates need to go back up.

Porter's Favorites This Month: He's a big, big fan of the tub finally. He wants to play with all the bubbles, and he desperately wants to play with Spencer! Big brother isn't really having it right now, but I'm hoping they get around to playing soon. He also really loves his new daycare. He sits in a big-boy chair (okay, for little toddlers/babies), and he has so much fun playing big kid.

Mama's Thoughts This Month: I can't believe my little babe is almost a year old. I'm a little worried about his guts. Because he's been losing weight, and he's been consistently struggling with a really awful diaper rash, including impetigo, the doctors really want to do some tests. We did a full blood panel the other day, as well as a stool sample, and if he hasn't gained weight by the 26th, he has to go to Syracuse for a biopsy. Please think good thoughts for our boy!

perspective


Hello, Monday! The deployment trolls are at it again - hard - today. My sweet cleaning lady and friend, Patricia, was helping me clean the kitchen this afternoon when we heard a noise from the basement. Frankly, I heard the noise and wrote it off as the humidifier. She heard the noise and investigated...and felt heat coming from the basement. So, I went down to check...

The hot water pipe was leaking. Frankly, it was spraying water. My first thought was that I had to turn it off. I turned the valve and it snapped off in my hands, water pouring all over. I called my neighbor, Mike, who is like a father to me, and he told me where the backup valve was and directed me on how to shut it off completely. There was already about 4 inches of water on the ground and hundreds of items underwater - uniforms, garments, shoes, baby stuff - all of it.

Without hesitation, Mike was over with a shop vac, and we were pulling things out of the basement, cleaning up, getting stuff off the floor and setting up dehumidifiers. Honestly, a weight was lifted off my chest.

In a time of so much uncertainty and crazy with this deployment, we are so truly blessed. First off, this didn't happen while I was out of town. Can you imagine the damage that would have happened otherwise? Second, we have friends who care so deeply about us that they drop everything and run to help us with no notice at all. And third, we already have hot water again. 

Some days I feel crazed and anxious and stressed, but at the end of the day, out support system is unparalleled. It's all in how you look at it, friends. If you see the bad, you'll feel bad. If you choose to see the good, that's all you'll see. My cup runneth over, and I choose to only see the good.

running wrap-up: april

April was finally my breakthrough month with running training! After struggling to find the time the past couple months since Porter was kicked out of daycare, I finally made the time after the boys went to bed to log the miles and really get going. My pace(s) were generally slower this past month, but I've been working to remember that old adage, "celebrate finish lines, not finish times."

I also did my first half of the year this past weekend. Honestly, I felt like garbage. Between driving 12.5 hours the day before, sleeping only 5 hours and being extremely dehydrated, I was off from the get-go - especially mentally. Despite being a bit disappointed by the outcome, I'm looking at it as my stepping stone for Lake Placid in June, so I have something to train for. I resorted to a run/walk for a significant portion of the half, so my pace was slow, and I need to remind myself that every step counts, and that's what matters.



Here are some of my April stats for my records:

Longest run: 13.36 miles
Shortest run: 3.12 miles
Fastest pace: 9:17
Slowest pace: 11:32
Miles this month: 61.72
Miles this year: 176.52

I did over 32 miles more this month than I did last month. I have a long way to go with my marathon training, but this was a significant improvement! The boys started daycare yesterday, so I now have a little extra wiggle room to work out (and actually work), so I'm excited to see where things go in May! Fellow runners...how did you do?

south carolina dreaming

We got back to NY yesterday evening after a whirlwind two weeks of traveling. We first went to NH for a week, and I managed to get into the office in Boston for a couple days, then we headed down to our beach rental in Litchfield, South Carolina, for a week. It was both boys' first time at the beach, and I've been going there since I was about 3 years old, so it was like a vacation come full circle. We celebrated my mom's upcoming 70th birthday and really just decompressed for a few days...it was perfect.








My sisters and brothers-in-law were each able to come down for 3-4 days each, as well, and the boys really had a blast soaking in some family time. For Spencer, especially, it was a perfect opportunity to really connect with a sort of dad figure while Ryan is deployed. It's been really hard on him lately, and I think it helped him to have both Josh and Adam around as that male influence in his life. Opa obviously helped, as well, but both Uncles really kept him busy and entertained, and tortured him with silly sand holes and the like, just like any good Uncles should.

The travels with the boys were taxing, but they were so worth it. When we left South Carolina this past Saturday, we drove to NJ for my first half marathon of the year. It was a hard trip, and the race definitely wasn't my best (more on that later), but I'm glad we did it! We left immediately after the race and headed back up to my parent's house in NH to get Danny. We spent the night there Sunday, then we drove yesterday back to NY...it was long, but it was so good to get home!

Now, we're starting a brand new chapter here in NY! Both boys started at their new daycare today, and we're really excited. It's been a LONG journey to get to this daycare, but we have high hopes for it. But for now, my heart remains on the beach in South Carolina...good food, fantastic family times and so many beachy memories.