The Highs and Lows of a Mountain Vacation, Chapter Two


About 20 minutes after having the BEST PARTY IN THE WORLD, we (that is, my sister, brother-in -law, hubby and mom) were tired and joyous. I had been giggling so much during the party, my cheek muscles hurt. It was midnight, we were happy but tired. It was time for bed at least that’s what we thought…

But then my sister Denise, heard her 2 1/2 year old son Jon rustling in his bed, coughing and acting listless. She picked him up and tried soothing him. Throughout the day, Jon seemed a little sick. During our party, however, he polished off five cookies without a problem. Now my little nephew was having some trouble breathing.  Denise thought he might have a slight touch of the croup and figured a trip to the doctor’s office tomorrow might be warranted.

Then Jon began to have even more labored breathing. He became more agitated and inconsolable. Denise and JD called their pediatrician’s emergency phone number but by then Jon’s breathing had rapidly worsened. We were all running around trying to figure out what to do. A sense of panic filled the cabin even though we all tried to keep it together. “I think he’s going to have a seizure!” Denise shouted to JD. Denise rushed Jon into the bathroom and we cranked on the hot water to create steam. I ran to the bedroom to get Jon’s beloved stuffed cow and threw it into the bathroom

But nothing was working. Jon’s lips were turning purple. We thought he was going to lose consciousness. Just 30 minutes before, we had been yukking it up and having a blast. Now we were in a frenzy as 911 was called. Here we were in a cabin high atop the Smoky Mountains with no idea where the nearest hospital was with a child who needed urgent medical attention. By the time the ambulance arrived, Jon had calmed down but now his face was pale, he was not reacting even when the paramedics were handling him. They found his oxygen saturation level unacceptable and Jon and Denise were whisked away to the hospital via ambulance. 

It was a long, long night. Repeated steroid injections and breathing treatments finally got Jon stabilized. They thought at one point that he was going to be admitted to the Children’s Hospital in Knoxville. My husband accompanied JD to the hospital while Mom, my boys and I stayed home with baby Josiah who happened to have a fairly restful night, thank you Jesus! It was past 2am before Mom and I got to sleep. Everyone who went to the hospital didn’t sleep. We were all zombies Monday morning. Jon slept for long stretches all through the day but was much better than hours before. Kids are more resilient than grown-ups, that’s for sure. 

Jon will be seeing a pediatric pulmonologist and he was acting his hilarious self on Tuesday when we all returned home. He was getting in trouble, bopping his brother on the head, drinking juice and talking up a storm. You would have never known he had been so sick. Apparently there was a point when his oxygen saturation levels were 50%, which is very poor. Now he’s our full-tilt toddler again! Hallelujah!

There were a few moments of levity at the hospital. Uncle Mark was quite the hit when he put a rubber glove over his head. JD took this picture on his cell phone. 

What a night, huh?

Uh oh…

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“I go diarrhea and then I say, ‘
ick,'” these words were uttered to me by my adorable nephew over the phone today. I think this is a generally well accepted fact for just about everyone, right? 

When 2 1/2 year old Jon and his family came to visit us on the fourth of July, apparently they left something special behind. It wasn’t a bib or a juice cup, oh no, it appears my sister and her family inadvertently left a stomach virus. My youngest son was its first victim on Sunday and now it looks like it might be claiming its second person. At this point Aaron is blaming it on a “bad burger” but I’ve got this sinking feeling, we are heading for trouble. 

I should have expected it. After all, it’s been about 30 minutes since Isaac was feeling slightly back to normal. We don’t want to waste any time, now do we?  This virus wiped out my sister’s entire family, now I fear we’re going down. She had some very funny blog posts (sorry, her blog is private) so if I look on the bright side, we might be able to get a few yuks out of this. Let’s call them “bloggable moments.” She likened the stomach cramps to child birth only with far less pleasant results. I’d rather not do that again, thank you very much. She also commented on the potency of my 10 month old nephew’s flatulations, therefore we will not be lighting any matches just to be safe. 

Tonight Aaron will sleep with the plastic bag lined trash can right near his bed as he lays his weary head on a towel-lined pillow case. He awoke us a few nights ago with a bloody nose so we’ll see what this evening brings.

Denise could have left her fancy dessert click here for recipe as pictured. That would have been nice. Who knew these nice people were still carrying vestiges of a virus? They all look so innocent and lovely. My sister and her family left wonderful memories but I doubt this is going to be one of them. I hope we’re not calling Jon using the same sentence. 

Sew Much Fun – Chapter 3


We are nearing record temperatures in our neck of the woods (100 degrees plus!) and I made another blanket. Last night, while in the living room, my husband  looks around and exclaims, “We have blankets all over the place and it’s summer for Pete’s sake!” Ex-squeeze me? What’s he trying to say? That he hates me and my crafting??? That he’s getting tired of random threads and piles of fabric all throughout the house??? Zheesh! At the time, we had five blankets in the room (one of them belonged in our bedroom). I thought this comment was pretty funny and a fairly astute observation. What can I say, we are a snugly people! After about nine months, I finally finished a coffee blanket I made in honor of Nathan’s senior mission trip to Costa Rica which is the reason we have at least one more blanket in the room. It was so nice to finally get that project done, Yay!  Surely there are better and more creative seamstresses out there but I am proud of my amateur skills and after working so diligently on my creations, it’s hard to put them up for the summer. 

So guess what I’m working on right now? Yep, a blanket. Only this one is for my darling 2 1/2 year old nephew Jon. The guy is totally obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine. He has a one track mind in every sense of the word. You walk into the house and you are offered a train. Just don’t ask for Mighty Max. You can probably place a delicate finger on Gordon now (that used to be his favorite) but that’s i
t. I don’t care how much Jon likes you and how many things you have done for him, Mighty Max just can’t be shared. And for another example of how Jon is full tilt on Thomas and the gang, the other day, he was outside playing with his dad and getting cold water sprinkled all over his back and you know what he exclaims? “I’m covered in coal dust!” 

Who could not love th
is guy. I am smitten and his little brother is the stuff of everything delicious and pure. I wonder what Josiah is going to be crazy about in the future? Will he like trains or another mode of transportation? Will he like penguins like his Aunt Deees (that’s me) or tree frogs (like his Cousin Nate)? Whatever it is, I’ll make a blanket for it. I’m ready for the next project!


Guitar Jam Session


“The babies are coming! The babies are coming!” I shouted as my two adorable nephews and sister began walking up the driveway. Mom had to go to the doctor again today and Denise and her guys decided to stop by while waiting to pick her up. I love seeing these two guys, I could write a blog about being an aunt almost as easily as I write about being a mom. A few moments with Jon and Josiah and life is good, really good. 

Five boys ranging in age from 5 months to almost 18 years old scurried around the house. Jon made himself comfortable and walked upstairs. There he huddled himself into Nathan’s room and felt like a real big boy in his Thomas the Train pajamas. Listening to the sounds emanating from there, I opened the door and saw Nathan treating his 2 year old cousin to an impromptu jam session complete with singing. Soon Aaron was joining in and Jon sneaked in a few strums on Nate’s guitar. Josiah was downstairs nursing having his own special moments 😉 
Btw, as a dutiful mom, I want to mention that my son does sleep with sheets on his bed. It was Monday and it is my washing sheets day. 

I’m trying to take care of my family like that cuz I’m not down with bed bugs and dust mites, ya know what I mean? Just didn’t want anyone thinking my boy was severely neglected. Oh, and one more thing, the bottles on his shelves, those are Izze drinks, a natural fruit juice made with a splash of sprinkling water. Completely healthy, non-alcoholic, refreshing and innocent. Ok, now go and enjoy the video clip knowing those little caveats. (I’m having trouble loading the video, technical difficulties, check back again, folks!)

Being a mom of three sons is a blessing, being the aunt of two adorable boys makes my heart sing!