Thursday, February 26, 2015

Food Allergy Irony & A Scary Night

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What an odd day I had yesterday.  It started by bringing awareness to allergies.  And, ended with an anxiety filled food allergy night.

Comcast has a show called Comcast Newsmakers and they wanted to interview UFAN.  This was a big honor and a great way for us to gain some publicity.  Since I'm on the board of directors and am over PR the president asked that I do the interview.  I was excited and a bit nervous because I value UFAN so much and wanted to accurately portray it.  It's times like these that I'm super grateful I majored in broadcast journalism so that being on camera doesn't seem intimidating--just saying something stupid does. :)

Comcast is going to wait to air it until May, since that is when the national food allergy awareness week is.  I'm really grateful they chose us.  My goal for being on the show is to promote education and help people understand a little more about allergies.  I also hope maybe it will reach newly diagnosed patients who haven't heard of us that could use our support and resources.

The interview was at the stake capitol which was a pain since legislation is not only in session, but it was some sort of visit-the-capital-for-every-elementary-school and so parking was a nightmare.  It's about a 45 minute drive for me, so I had to get a babysitter and make the trek.

I think the interview went OK.  They wanted to film it in one shot, which meant no editing, no re-do, no pausing...just straight shooting from the hip.  I think I stumbled a little, but it was OK.  If it's not too embarrassing, I'll post it when we get a copy.

Then, fast forward to later that evening.  We went to get our taxes done.  Our church was doing a free tax filing for anyone who made under a certain amount.  We had signed up for the 6pm slot, but they were running an hour behind.  We took both the boys, since we both had to be there, and they'd already had a sitter that morning for like three hours for my interview.

They typically go to bed around 7, so they were getting super antsy.  We were in a small room, and Claudy decided to set Calvin down so he could crawl and get some wiggles out.  He checked the floor to see if there was anything on it he might be tempted to put in his mouth and didn't see anything.  I hadn't seen anything either.

Just a few minutes later I saw Calvin chewing on something.  I took it out and low and behold it was a PEANUT.

Now, what's interesting is that a new study just came out saying that you can decrease your chances of a peanut allergy by up to 70% by having your baby eat peanut butter (best ages are between 4-11 months).  We had been debating if we should give some peanut butter to Calvin.  He had been tested back when he was 6 months and had a small/borderline reaction to peanut.  But, baby skin prick tests are super unreliable, so I had called his allergist and we were waiting to hear back.

Because everything was so inconclusive, I wasn't sure if I should give him an epi-pen (we always have one on us in our diaper bag).  I told Claudy and we both were totally unsure of what to do.  He hadn't swallowed or chewed any off, he had only sucked on it.  And, only for maybe less than a minute.  We decided to just watch him.  Almost immediately he began making this funny noise with his tongue.  I think it was probably due to his tongue or throat itching.  He also starting getting a red hive on his chin.  As soon as that happened, we decided to give him Benadryl.

Honestly, protocol states that if you've had your allergen, that an epi-pen should be administered.  So, don't follow my example.  I've never given an epi-pen before and I just couldn't bring myself to jab a needle into my 9 month olds' thigh.  I probably should have, even just for my anxiety's sake.  But, if you give an epi-pen you have to call an ambulance too and I was worried I'd do that and cause all that commotion for nothing.  Silly reasons not to, I know, but it's the truth.

We sat and watched him like a hawk.  We didn't even notice that the guy was finishing our taxes.  My nerves were steel and I just sat and prayed thinking "please don't go into anaphylaxis" over and over.
The hive went away, the clicking sound with his tongue went away and he ended up being fine.  We do know now that he cannot have peanuts.  If just sucking on one for a tiny bit caused that fast of a reaction, he'd definitely be in trouble eating some.  I keep wondering if maybe it was a silver lining that we had this happen so that we didn't give him actual peanut butter, as I'm sure that would have been a much worse reaction.

So much for hoping Calvin wouldn't have any allergies.  I've eaten peanut butter almost every day I was pregnant with him, and every day since he's been born since I nurse him.

I seriously hate food allergies.  I couldn't sleep last night, and had him sleep in our room for the first part of the night.  I was imagining the worst and was so afraid he might get a reaction again once the Benadryl wore off and that he'd stop breathing and I'd go in to find him dead in the morning.

It was an awful night and I still feel my stomach and nerves are just shot.

It's so ironic that I was being interviewed for food allergies (and they even asked about the peanut butter study) that morning and was dealing with a child's peanut reaction later that night.

I seriously hope that's the last reaction I ever have to deal with.  It's so hard at this age where Calvin wants to find everything that's on the floor and plop it in his mouth.  Part of me wants to never leave our house, but I will fight that urge as I know it's not healthy.  It's just so unfun to be on guard anytime you do you leave your house.

I so hope and pray they find a cure.  It's just idiotic that eating something could potentially take your life.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Capturing Calvin: 9 Months

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Welp, continue to just blow past milestones.  This month was a busy one!  Here's what you've been up to.

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You  learned to walk your hands up the wall or the couch until you're in the kneeling position.  You quite like being able to look up and around and to sit and pause in between crawling sessions.  It's adorable and looks like you might want to pray or something.  I don't remember Carter ever really caring for this position but you seem to really enjoy the view from that angle.

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Since you were already walking your hands up you figured you might as well pull yourself up too!  You can now crawl over to the couch, walk your hands to the top and then just pull yourself up to standing.  It's amazing!  I was sick with food poisoning, so I was in bed and daddy was watching you.  I heard him exclaim "Oh, my gosh!  Oh, my GOSH!" So I figured you had done something amazing.  Then I heard a big boom (you falling over backwards) and lots of crying.  Unfortunately, you still don't know how to get down.  I have to be on high alert if you've gone into standing because I have to be ready to help you down.  You stand there until your poor legs can't handle it and you just cry and cry because you so desperately want to get down, but don't know how.  You've taken quite a few spills but it never seems to deter you.  Way to get back on the horse, or, uh, floor!

You love to follow me around.  Since earning your freedom with crawling, you've realized you can be my shadow.  I definitely think you're a momma's boy.  If I leave the room you start bawling and do this sobbing crawl after me.  It's adorable and makes me feel so loved.  If I'm busy cooking, you'll act like a cat and come crawling to my legs and bump and rub your head into my ankles.  It's very endearing.

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You are FASCINATED by the stairs.  You crawl to them and and plop your hands on the first step.  You like to pat it and beat out some rhythms.  You straighten your legs so that you're a 90 degree angle and just bend and unbend your knees, as if that will make you go up them.  I think you particularly dislike seeing us go up and down them without you.  You'll sit there and cry and wait.  I can tell your mind is just working on how exactly you can conquer them.  I've seen you get one knee up the step, but I'm sorry--I don't let you practice more than that.  I think you need to be a bit older.  We're going to need to break out the gate soon!  You also have no fear of going down them and I have to keep that barricaded too if we're upstairs.

You are enthralled by your brother's little potty we keep in the bathroom and so badly want to play in it.  And, you've come close quite a few times!  I hope this means you'll be potty training early. :)

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You love to be held and just really don't like to be set down lately.  I think it's been a lot to do with being sick and teething.  I'm thinking about purchasing a baby carrier so that we'll both be more happy.

You seem to have outgrown avocado and turn your head at it now.  There are some days you only want a few bites of yogurt, so I think you might have exhausted yourself on that too.  You seem to still love potatoes, and you tried brown rice pasta for the first time and liked that too!  You still like rice and your favorite thing seems to be rice cakes.  You love to suck on a big piece, or pop little pieces in your mouth.  Which can put things in your mouth now!!  You had to work for a little while to get this, and sometimes you still miss.  Or, you'll have it in your hand, but you have a hard time releasing your grip on it once your hand is in your mouth.  It's like you're having to fit your whole fist in there and it's so darn cute.  You're pretty much having what we have for dinner in small pieces.  Tonight you tried fish for the first time and had no problems.  You still nurse with gusto and then turn around and eat, eat, eat!  Where it all goes, only heaven knows.

Speaking of which, you went to your 9 month appointment at the doctor and here are your stats:

16 pounds even=3.2 percentile
27.5 inches in length=17.1 percentile
17.75 inches in head circumference=53.42 percentile

I thought Carter was small, but looking at his 9 month stats he was 16.9 pounds and 28 inches.  It's so funny because I obsessed over how small Carter was...and he was actually bigger than you!  I guess I've learned to accept it and let it go, so I don't worry about it too much.  We do have you weighed every other week by a nurse with the Provo Early Intervention Program just to make sure you are continually gaining, but I don't weigh you myself or let myself fret.  I see you eating well, and not having any reactions so we'll just hope you have your dad's metabolism.  With how much you crawl and jump in your jumperoo I'm sure you burn off calories Carter didn't since he wasn't crawling until 11.5 months.

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At that same doctor's appointment you barely passed both the social and communication portions.  She was a bit concerned because I told her you like to rock to soothe yourself, you often just stare at strangers (you don't smile back) and you sometimes pull away when I kiss your cheeks.  You also used to not be great at eye contact, but you're much better now.  She asked if there was any autism in my family.  I think normally that would have freaked me out, but we've had a bad diagnosis before and lived through it.  I kept thinking, well, if he has it, we won't love him any less.  She wants him tested further, so we're waiting to hear back from the Provo Early Intervention to see what they think.  I do worry here and there, but I just hope that it's your personality.  Your dad is very serious and quiet, so perhaps you will be too.  You do get excited when you see me, your dad and your brother.  It is hard to get you to smile sometimes (hence these pictures) but I guess only time will tell.

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It's so funny how unique each child is.  Carter was just a goof and smiled at anyone and everything and was so outgoing from the get-go, but he really struggled with gross motor things and was delayed at crawling and walking.  Yet, here is Calvin just acting as if physical things were as easy as breathing but yet isn't smiley and outgoing.  It's truly odd to only have experience with a child that had to do therapy to be able to crawl and walk, and then see my next just teach himself as if it's no big deal.  It's funny how we all have our own strengths and weaknesses.

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You are SOOO hard to change your diaper.  Your brother loved to kick, but man can you roll.  Your hips start turning before I've even set you down.  I have to put you in between my two legs to try to stop you from rolling and even then you often succeed!

You've been waking up earlier and earlier, which I'm not a fan of.  You go down between 7-7:30 p.m. and lately you've been waking up anywhere from 6:30-7:15 a.m.  I shouldn't complain because it's still about 12 hours, but I hate being up before 8.  I am not a morning person!  You still wake for one feeding around 4 a.m. often, but with how small you are the doctor thinks I shouldn't cut it out.  I really don't mind and sometimes you'll sleep through the night.  You take two naps a day, one around 10 and another around 2.  The last one seems to be a bit early and I wish I could stretch it til later cuz you're usually cranky from dinner until bedtime.  Also, your naps are always a mystery to me.  Sometimes you'll only nap for 45 minutes and sometimes for two hours.  There's no rhyme or reason, so it's a guess as to how much work I can get done before I hear you crying.  Every single time I come to get you, it's because you're crying.  You don't wake up happy (or maybe you do--but I've taken too long to get to you?) and you're on all fours rocking back and forth.  It doesn't matter if it's in the middle of the night or after an afternoon nap that seems to be how you try to soothe yourself.

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You can still sleep in my arms, and usually do so every Sunday at church.  I seriously look forward to church just for our cuddle sessions!

Your hair is quite wild and I've even suggested to Claudy that we cut the sides/wings.  He refuses and says you need to let a babies hair grow.  You really didn't get much of a bald spot, and you can tell that there's new growth all around.  You're rocking the Albert-Einstein-do quite well though!

I don't think you've added any consonants from last month, still "ba, da, ma" and lots of high pitched squeals.

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You've FINALLY gotten two teeth on the bottom (can you see them in the pic?).  You've been drooling quite a bit, and thank goodness you only drool when you're teething.  The second one just barely appeared.  The doctor said your top two teeth look like they're just about there too...but I'm not betting on it since your bottom ones took months of looking ready.  They really bothered you and we've pretty much lived on Tylenol for weeks.  You've been chewing on your fingers a lot!

You also got a pretty serious sickness, and I feel bad since I think you got it from me.  I had a cold and then you and Carter got it.  You've had several small colds but this one was BAD.  You were coughing so hard you couldn't catch your breath much so I took you to the doctor.  They confirmed via test that you had RSV.  I had to give you breathing treatments (big brother too) and I guess at least I'm comfortable doing them from Carter's asthma.  I also took you to the suction clinic at the hospital several times.  You cried anytime you had to be on the doctor's table, even if they weren't touching you yet.  You seemed very sensitive to the entire experience.  Thankfully you didn't have to be hospitalized and seemed to respond very well.  I hope and pray you do not have asthma.  Something like that would have had Carter hospitalized and you recouped just fine, so I'm hoping that's a good sign.

One bad sign was how you reacted to the antibiotic they gave you.  They thought you had an ear infection (come to find out on a second opinion that you did not) and they prescribed amoxicillin.  After just one dose and several hours later, you were covered in large red spots all on your head, face, arm pits and neck and then tons of tiny, red dots on your chest.  I was truly freaked out since Claudy was working til late and I was home alone with you.  I was worried it would go into anaphylaxis and had some serious PTSD from when Carter had a bad allergic reaction.  I gave you benedryl and it took hours for the rash to go away.  The doctor said not to worry about bringing you in, but I still called them like three times.  I kept getting the same nurse and I think she was annoyed.  I had you sleep in my arms for the first few hours of the night until the rash went away and I was sure you were breathing.  They said you can't have amoxicillin or penicillin from now on which really stinks.  The doctor said to have you tested to it when you're in the 6th grade-ish to see if you've outgrown it.  Here's hoping!  It was so odd and unexpected since Carter's had a lot of medications (this one included) with no allergies.  I freaking hate allergies how they can just pop up out of nowhere.  It worries me what foods you might do it to as well, since I hear it can be rare reacting to it after only one dosage.

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Since you can now successfully feed yourself, you also like to help yourself to absolutely any crumb or other random objects on the floor.  It seems even if I've just swept I'll find you chewing something.  Carter is good at letting me know "Calvin has something in his mouth" and I have to fish hook you so often to find what latest thing you've popped in there.  You get quite mad at me and almost bite my finger, but hey--I can't have you choking.  I like you too much!

Carter can be so sweet to you, but man can he be rude too!  You're too the point where you will let him know.  I'll often hear you crying or whining.  I'm sorry!  If it makes you feel any better Carter has had many a time out in your behalf.  I'm trying so hard to teach Carter social cues.  I tell him a gazillion times a day "If Calvin is crying that means you need to stop!"  He loves to interact with you, but unfortunately that interaction involves a "high-ya" or something else not very nice.  He likes to put his blanket on your head (which you do NOT find funny, nor do I) and he likes to crawl next to you and push you sideways. I think he thinks you guys are race cars, and you'll even put up with it for a little bit, but once he's cut off your path to me, or you're getting pushed into a wall you are SO OVER IT.  I can't blame you. He also likes to lure you to the toy closest, only to shut the door in your face.  He also likes to get you in the pantry and then shut you in there.  You poor thing!  Re-reading that it sounds awful; I really do try to reign him in though!  You're going to be one tough cookie because of all the stuff you put up with.

You've reached stranger danger.  Although, I'm not sure if this is just an outcropping of being a momma's boy and not being friendly in the first place.  My friend Stacey has watched you twice in the past bit and she says you cry most of the time.  You were really crying when my sister was here if I left you in the room alone with her.  I guess Mom's company is just the best!

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You still like to be lifted in the air as if we're doing push ups with you, and you still like to be thrown in the air.  Other things that get you excited are your brother or when someone new walks in the room (like when daddy gets home).

I love how inquisitive you are, and how you're not afraid to try something new.  While I protest I always have something to do and can't hold you every second, I do love whenever I have the chance to hold your sweet body against mine.  Thank you for loving your crazy brother, thank you for adoring me.  You are loved right back my sweet, little boy.

And, here's his "Are we done YET?" pose.  He's already over these monthly shoots and we have three more to go!  Onto month ten!

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Catch Phrases

I had to document Carter's hilarious catch phrases lately.  I have no idea where he got the phrases from, but I'm sure he got the creativity from me. :)

When he's doing something extra adventurous (like jumping off the couch) and he needs a handy-dandy catch phrase to shout to make it even more exciting, he's created these:

"Beat the drums!"
"Chocolate cake!"
"White shadow!" (OK...this one is a character from the movie Turbo, but it's still hilarious)

It makes me laugh and I love seeing the things his little brain comes up with.  I have to say, when he's hurling through the air with those phrases being shouted, it does make it seem WAY cooler.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I Have a Bone to Pick with Optimus

Carter is still enamored with his Christmas presents.  Optimus and Bumblee go pretty much wherever he does and they even sleep with him at night.

However, Optimus is really starting to get on my nerves!

Mostly, because Carter has started blaming things on him.  Things like:

"Optimus wanted to hit."

"Optimus wanted to kick the wall."

"Optimus wanted to spill xxx."

...and so on!

"Optimus" sure is a stinker.  Carter will even put them in time out.  But, then he'll just smile and blame something else on them.  How he figured out to personify things on them I don't know.  All I do know is that Carter is getting way too clever, and I wish him, or both of them, would listen to me.

Just because you come from another galaxy doesn't give you the right to disobey mom!  Ug.

On a happy note, I am in love with Carter's "say cheese" smile lately.

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Allergy Proud Moment and a Lil Humor

I saw these allergy cartoons the other day and they personified so many feelings I've had.  There were something like 25 and not all resonated with me, but I figured I'd post the ones that did.

I hope and pray continually that they'll find a cure.  I've been watching a show on Netflix entitled, "Call the Midwife" about midwives in London during the 1950's.  They dealt with polio and other plagues that don't even affect us now.  I like to fantasize that someone will say that about food allergies someday.  I like to think of a time when Carter is older and free to eat anything without fear and he'll see these cartoons or other blog posts of my anxieties and fear and think, "Wow...I can't believe we used to have to deal with that."

I also wanted to post about Carter's first time self-advocating.  We were in church during sacrament when it happened.  For those not familiar with LDS customs, they pass out bread and water for everyone to partake of during the sacrament.  I usually can intercept the tray before it gets to Carter, but this Sunday he was on the edge and so the young man simply went to offer it to Carter.  Carter just looked at him and told him "I can't have that. It will hurt my tummy."  I beamed with pride.  So he has been listening!!!!  Of course, it could do more than hurt his tummy, but I feel that explanation is good enough for his understanding now.  I was so relieved to see he didn't try and sneak it when offered and that he remembered what I had told him.  I so pray that this will continue and he'll always be careful and look out for himself.

Without further ado, here are some cartoons to end with.  I thought the captions saved, but they didn't, so I'll add my own/try to remember them:

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How you feel when you find a new food your child can have.
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The confusion why allergy-free foods are so freaking expensive...especially when they usually have less ingredients than the "regular" stuff.

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The anxiety you have anytime your child acts sick, wondering if they've accidentally eaten something...questioning yourself if this is the beginning of the flu, or of a full-blown attack.

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Having to pull your child away when someone brings surprise snacks and you feel bad cuz they see everyone else enjoying them.

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Having to try to not let your child see you throw away or hide the unsafe food from their Halloween gatherings.

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Staying up late making cupcakes when it's not even your child's birthday so they too can have cupcakes at the birthday party the next day. (No joke, I have two frozen ones in my freezer for this very reason.)

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Instead of being glad, you get anxiety when you're invited to a picnic, party or pot luck.

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Being glad your child is invited to a birthday party, and then instantly filled with dread wondering what food will be there.
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Packing for vacation means having to bring your entire pantry since you can't rely on having safe restaurants to eat at.

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Longing for and missing eat out terribly.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Brotherly Love

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I've been just enamored lately with how Carter and Calvin are starting to interact.  I think it's a huge blessing that Carter came first because his lively and playful demeanor really facilitate a lot of their interactions.

Carter just loves having an audience, so he seems to really enjoy having a fan club/aka little brother.  They've really started playing together and it just makes me melt.  Here are a few examples of their cuteness:

When Calvin is in his high chair and Carter walks along, Calvin will almost break his neck trying to keep eyes on Carter at all times.

No one can make Calvin giggle like Carter.

Carter has really started sharing well lately, too.  He'll willingly give Calvin some cars or other toys without me even asking.

Carter likes to tell me things like "Calvin wants cereal" or anything else he deems Calvin needs.

Carter is the first to hear Calvin wake up and cry out when he's done napping. Carter will excitedly announce it, and often he'll make the climb upstairs with me and shout out "HI CALVIN!" with me when we enter the room.

Carter has never once complained when Calvin is screaming in his car seat.  Carter just calmly sits in the backseat with him, as if it was angelic singing.  Sometimes they'll watch each other and Carter will blow raspberries or make faces to help Calvin smile or giggle.  It's so great they are starting to entertain each other.  

Carter has also never complained when Calvin cries at night.  You would think sharing a room with someone who wakes up in the middle of the night screaming would be annoying, but most of the time Carter either doesn't wake up, or if I hear him stirring doesn't seem bothered in the least.  Sometimes he'll let out a groggy "Calvin wants cereal" or some other interpretation to help me out. (Clearly he thinks Calvin is addicted to cereal.)

Carter is great at getting diapers for me.

I overheard Carter giving Calvin his first piece of brotherly advice.  Calvin crawled over to the stairs and had put his hands on the first step (he's nowhere near climbing them yet, so we haven't put a gate) Carter was there to tell him (all on his own) "No, no Calvin.  You'll get bonks on your head.  You'll get owies, no, no!"  I was just chuckling and glad to see he was watching out for him.

Don't get me wrong--I still have to put Carter in time outs like every other day or so when he's too rough with Calvin (like dragging him across the floor by his feet)...but for the most part I'm very proud and excited to see their relationship blossom.  Calvin sure adores Carter and I'm glad to see it's likewise.  While being pregnant with Calvin while Carter was a wild toddler was difficult, it sure seems worth it and like the best gift I could have given him.  You're welcome! :)

Friday, February 6, 2015

Freedom, SWEET Freedom!!!

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Claudy did not have a vehicle all during his single days at BYU.  Since his family lived on the East Coast, even though he had a car he did not drive it out (they ended up getting rid of it anyways).  He was used to a big city, and taking the bus did not bother him.

We had my truck, from high school, when we first got married and we took turns using it when one of us needed to go somewhere.  We both got bus passes to get us to school and made due.

Around our 2nd anniversary I figured it was time we got a car.  I had my steady full-time/post college job so we got a Toyota Camry so that we could eventually fit kids in the back seat.

So, technically we've had two vehicles before.  However, I feel like this the first time I've actually had a CAR since we've had kids.

After we had Carter, Claudy still used the camry because he worked 45 minutes away and it just wasn't practical to have the truck use all of the gas.  So, I was still stranded at home, because you can't put a baby seat in a 3-seater-truck.  Sure, sometimes I would have the car if we had appointments, but I never had a vehicle just sitting out in the parking lot waiting to take me whenever I wanted.

When that lady totaled our truck last year, we truly had one vehicle, and again--it was Claudy who almost always had it between work and school.  It was awful being home bound.  I truly feel for those who are.  It's so trapping and limiting.  Anywhere I wanted to go, I had to walk and tow both boys in the stroller.  So, if it was bad weather, or anywhere more than like five blocks for my lazy butt it wasn't happening.  Basically, we never went anywhere.  If I needed something from the store, I couldn't go get it, I had to ask Claudy to get it on his way home.  I had to schedule everything around his jam-packed schedule to get anything accomplished.

I remember Claudy had to work one fall Sunday and so I had to walk like five blocks to church.  It took so much longer, especially because it was chilly.  I had to bundle the boys and then push the double stroller in my skirt and dress shoes all those blocks.  I was sweaty and tired by the time we got there.  Claudy often has to work on Sundays and I thought--this is the pits!  One Sunday when he worked and it was so cold that I just stayed home because I didn't want the boys out in that cold air.  I hated missing church and just felt so bummed.

It was getting especially hard, because Claudy kept working until late at night and sometimes I'd have to wake the boys up to go get him and then they'd be awake and all thrown off their sleep schedule.

One time, Carter was having an asthma attack and Claudy was at school with the car, so I had to frantically find a neighbor with a car that I could borrow.  It was scary to me to feel at the mercy of other people and to not be independent, especially when Carter has so many health issues.

This is why it was SO amazing that we were able to find a car, a FOUR DOOR, fit-both-kids-in-the-vehicle, CAR for me with our truck settlement money.

The Lord truly works in mysterious ways.  If that lady hadn't hit our car, we'd still have our truck.  Which was a great truck, and sometimes we miss having it to haul things.  But, I'd still be home bound because we wouldn't have ever thought we could get anything out of it or that it'd be worth trading it in and going to the process of finding something else.  We were able to pay cash for this, and not get into any debt, which is such a relief with Claudy still being in school and me only freelancing here and there.

When we got handed a check and absolutely needed something I finally went to work finding a replacement.  It was SUCH a pain.  We knew we didn't want to do a dealership and pay extra fees for dealing with annoying people, so we were trying to do person-to-person via KSL.  It was awful.  We must have gone to 50 thousand places to look at cars.  They'd either be awful, or if we liked it, they'd sell it out from  under us.  Or, we would take it to our mechanic/aka life saver and he'd tell us that it actually had been in an accident when the owner swore it hadn't.

We finally found this 2001 Honda Accord and a 14 year old car has never looked so good in my eyes.  Claudy actually drives it, and I've kept the camry.

It's been such a spirit booster and life changer.  I frequently go get "special drinks" as Carter calls them, at a drink stop JUST BECAUSE I CAN.

The first day we had it, we went all the way to Thanksgiving Point to their kid's museum because I was itching to go somewhere.  It's been so nice this winter to be able to take Carter to indoor play places, the get wiggles out instead of being stuck in our apartment.

I feel so blessed, and can't believe how this all came about.  It's helped me out incredibly, in just the month that we've had it.  I had a car the minute I got my license at 15, and I will NEVER take having a vehicle for granted ever again.