Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas 2013

Christmas just keeps getting better every year for us. I think watching the kids enjoy Christmas may be more fun than I ever remember Christmas being for me as a kid. Even Mason was pretty excited this year, which just added another layer of fun.

Seeing Santa got us mixed results. Aubrey actually talked and smiled for Santa, which is huge progress for her. Mason, on the other hand, was pretty pissed about being dumped on some stranger's lap. Poor kid.

We took the kids to walk through the Christmas lights in McAdenville and had such a good time. The weather was perfect and Mason was amazed at all of the lights.

Todd, Aubrey, and Mason started the Christmas festivities the weekend prior to Christmas by visiting family in Raleigh. I had to work, so I stayed behind with the puppies. Both kids had a blast playing on the farm and seeing their cousins. They also started with round 1 of Christmas presents.

Christmas Eve was spent at our house with my family sharing presents. I think the present of the year was given that night when Mason opened a remote control train. He is currently obsessed with this train.

We also added a new tradition of leaving food for the reindeer in the yard, in addition to Santa's snack of peppermint pie (yeah, we forgot to bake cookies and realized this around 9:30, so pie it was).

Christmas day was busy in the morning with opening Santa's gifts and visiting Todd's family in Mooresville. But, we spent the afternoon relaxing and enjoying the new gifts.

While Christmas was a blast, we are a little glad the Christmas season is over. Our family has been so busy for the past month that we are wishing for some quiet time over the next few weeks before the craziness of the birthday season begins for us. 

Friday, December 27, 2013


Our last month of a 1-year old in the house. I was remembering tonight as I got Mason ready for bed how 2 years ago I was sitting in the glider in his room relaxing and preparing for his arrival. And, now we have this crazy little toddler that is almost 2. It just seems impossible, but here we are.

**No new teeth came through this month, but we are pretty sure those 2-year molars will be here soon. He still chews on things like crazy and has a runny nose so I am just waiting to see them.
**His language continues to get clearer and easier to understand. He still has his jumbled words (we call it Mason-ease) but he is working so hard everyday to say more.
**He refuses to eat from his high chair tray anymore. He wants his chair pushed to the table so he can eat like the rest of the family.
**We have finally nipped all of his crying at bedtime in the bud. We realized that leaving his door cracked when he goes to bed keeps him from screaming, so we let him fall asleep with the door open and close it after he is asleep. Bedtime is much more pleasant without a screaming toddler. 
**He made his first trip to Atlanta for Todd's cousin's wedding. And, he spent his first 2 nights in a regular twin bed after we forgot to bring the pack-n-play. (That was a really long weekend, I might add).
**He has handled my transition back to work pretty well. I was worried about it since he has been so attached and clingy to me, but my mom is watching him and Aubrey, so that made the transition really smooth.

He has become obsessed with play-doh

Thanksgiving lunch with Aubrey

Christmas family session 2013

We had our annual Christmas family session in November of this year with Nikki from Magnolia James Photography. As always, she got some great family pictures  and we were so excited to share them with everyone.


2.5 years ago, I got a text from Todd saying "they want me to go to grad school." I texted back "who is they and are they paying for it?" "They" turned out to be his employer and yes, they were paying for it, so we jumped at the opportunity for Todd go back to school at UNCC. It was a crazy decision, especially knowing that we were trying to get pregnant at that point and pretty sure I wouldn't be going back to work after we had a 2nd baby. But, we couldn't pass up that chance so Todd started studying for the GRE and getting ready to go back to school. A few weeks before he started school, we found out we were pregnant with Mason so we knew the next few years were going to be a roller coaster, but we were determined to make it all work.

And, we were right. The next 2.5 years were insane. But, we all made it through and on December 14, we got the ultimate reward of watching Todd cross the stage to accept his Master's degree. And, his graduation day fell 1 week short of the 10-year anniversary of my Master's graduation at UNCC, so it was nice to be back in the same arena 10 years later to watch my husband celebrate the same milestone.

And, in true Todd fashion, he had to one up me on the Master's degree by finishing with a perfect 4.0 GPA to my 3.8-ish GPA. I know the numbers don't mean a hill of beans once you graduate, but it was a friendly competition over the years and  am so I proud of him for working so hard to make all A's in school.

So now our family can enjoy the return of some normalcy in our lives and enjoy the happiness of no school until we start kindergarten next fall.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

13.1 miles in the bag

Back in July, I got the bright idea that I could run a half marathon. Around September, I wrote about losing my mind.  I somehow made it through the training and felt pretty good after my first few 10 mile runs. However, about 2 weeks before the race, I got sick and that put a damper on things because I felt terrible and missed a few training runs, including my last 10 mile run. 5 days before the race, the doctor diagnosed me with a sinus infection. By the actual race day, I was feeling a little better, but still not back to 100%.

I woke up at 5:30 on race morning with serious butterflies in my stomach. I gulped down my protein shake, got dressed, and was in the car by 6:30, still a little in shock that it was actually race day. Luckily, parking was easy and by 7:30, my bag was checked and I was standing in line ready to start. I decided to jump in the corral for the 2:08 pace time, which was a 9:45-ish pace. I thought that would be pretty managable. The first few miles didn't seem to bad, but by mile 4 I started feeling not-so-great. It took that long for the congestion to thin some, but evidently my corral was a popular one and a huge group stayed with the pace runners almost the entire race. The pace team did get a bit ahead of me, but as long as I could keep them in sight, I felt ok. This course was really hilly, but when I crossed the 10k mark at 59:53 I was ecstatic. I was slightly ahead of the pace team at that point and feeling pretty good. Then, at mile 10, it went downhill. My left calf muscle started tightening up, plus the balls of my feet were killing me. I powered through, but around mile 11 I couldn't stand it and started walking. I walked most of mile 11 and did a walk/run through mile 12. I was so happy to see the finish line and started crying immediately. I really don't remember crossing the finish line and there was certainly no happy face from me. I was sobbing from pain, but thrilled to have crossed the line. I then began to search for Todd, my mom, and the kids. A volunteer gave me my medal and it seemed like a surreal moment. I was trying to call Todd but had a poor signal, which didn't help the crying. Finally, I saw Todd and I buried my face in his shoulder and cried and cried. Finally, I was able to calm down, explain what was wrong, and that seemed to help me feel better. I was able to smile and take my finisher's photo and walk back to the car, so I was pretty sure there wasn't any serious damage. Todd got a text showing my official time and I was a little disappointed to have finished almost 3 minutes slower than my pace team. My official time was 2:10:41, which looking back, is still 4 minutes faster than my original goal. However, I know I could have finished with that 2:08 pace group if my calf muscle hadn't been hurting.

But, I now have motivation to do it again. I had even considered running another half in a few weeks, but Todd is graduating that morning and I would never miss watching that. Todd is also pretty jealous that I've finished a half now, so he is training with me to run another one in April. I've got about 20 weeks to train and I am aiming to beat that 2:08 pace with some time to spare.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

22 months

Sometime this month, it seems that Mason became so much more of a little boy than a baby and it was a bittersweet change. The reality of his 2nd birthday has set in and I've started thinking more about his party, but seeing the changes in his face and language and behaviors just cemented the fact that he's really not a baby anymore.

**His left bottom canine broke through on 10.16 and the right bottom canine broke through on 10.24.
**The absolute biggest change in the past month has been in his language. He's gone through small language spurts over the past 6 months, but this month brought big changes, like 2 word sentences ("look mommy" and "I see" are the most common"), the dreaded "why" and his willingness to repeat more words that he hears. Plus, other people besides us are starting to understand him.
**We've been experimenting with food and are pretty close to settling on the fact that baked or cooked in dairy and soy are ok in small doses. If he eats a lot of it over a few days, I'll notice more bowel movements, but once or twice a week seems to be ok for now. This makes like easier, especially for going out to eat.
**He really enjoyed Halloween this year. He was so proud of himself for holding his bucket and getting candy from people. Even though we only let him eat a few pieces, he was happy to be able to do what his sister was doing.
**He is getting much better at climbing on  taller things, including the couch and the toys in the mall play area.
**He gets so excited when he sees basketball ("beeball") or football ("bootball") on tv
**He is getting so much more independent. He'll only eat if feeds himself. He wants to climb up stuff instead of being placed or carried.
**He is getting more and more difficult to get in his car seat. He screams when you strap him down and its even worse if Aubrey isn't in the car.
**He melts my heart every time we go pick Aubrey up from school. He refuses to wait in line for her so he runs past everyone and pushes his way into her classroom to find her. When he sees her, he yells "Aubee" and gives her the biggest hug. I really need to work on his patience, but I just can't break that excitement he has for seeing her. It is too precious.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Momma's going back to work

After I lost my job in February, I wasn't sure I would go back to work before Mason started school. I was thrilled with the fact we could afford for me to be home with the kids because I could enjoy more of their childhood and not have to depend on anyone else to care for them. Sure, it meant finances had to tighten up and sacrifices had to be made, but we were doing what we thought was best for our children and that made everything ok.

But as much as I enjoyed that time with my children and will forever be grateful for it, part of me always missed working. I missed the adult interaction. I missed using the skills that I spent so many years in school to learn. And I missed contributing to our family's finances. So after almost 2 months of being full-time stay at home mom, I started searching for a new job.

I knew for the sake of our children, if I returned to work, it had to be part-time and probably not in a traditional 8-5 setting. I didn't want to go back to seeing the kids 1-2 hours per day every day and giving the majority of my pay check back to child care in the process. However, part-time work is hard to find in the mental health field because with a few exceptions, it is an office-based, 8-5 field. I did find a few opportunities and had a few job offers, but none of them seemed to work with our family's needs.

I got really frustrated that at one interview I got called out on the fact I hadn't worked in 6 months and hadn't seen any clients in 5 years. That really hurt me because that meant they were questioning my skills and ability to do the job. I had only been out of work 6 months at that point so that stung. No matter that my prior job required the use of my clinical skills, just a different setting than traditional client work.  If employers were worried about my skill loss after 6 months, what would happen if I waited even longer before going back to work. It was a very low feeling for me and I questioned whether I would ever be able to get another job.

Finally in September, I interviewed for a job that seemed to be a perfect fit for us and I was so excited. Until I didn't get the job. And I was devastated. I don't deal with rejection well and was so disappointed. I had never struggled so hard to find the right job and then face rejection.

A few weeks later, my friend and former co-worker posted on Facebook that one of the local hospitals was looking for therapists to work PRN (as needed) in the ER doing assessments. That seemed to be perfect for us because I could work a wide range of hours and see and learn so much in an ER. But, I was so discouraged after my last interview that I took a few days to find the courage to let her know I was interested. She passed on my resume to her supervisor and I was shocked when my phone rang the very next day with the offer for an interview. The interview went well and the job seemed perfect, but I tried to keep my expectations low in case I was rejected again. I called to follow up the next week and 2 days later the supervisor called to let me know that she wanted to hire me for one of the positions. I started jumping around in my yard like a crazy lady when we got off the phone. I was excited that something was finally working out and I could go back to work on my terms and still meet my family's needs. I had to wait another week for the official offer to come in from HR, but I accepted it immediately and began the preparations to start this new chapter in my life.

I guess I have had another lesson in everything happens for a reason and good things come to those who wait. Its definitely a bittersweet moment, though. I am going to miss the lack of schedule and open freedom of being at home, and most importantly miss my children. But, I feel like its the right thing to do and will benefit all of us in a great way. Keeping my fingers crossed for positive things!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

October Happenings

October was such a busy month for us. It seemed like we had something going on just about everyday. Instead of some long descriptions, a picture gallery can explain it a lot better.

My parents finally were able to move into their new house and while we moved furniture, the kids were buys cleaning the floors.

We thought Aubrey had a ring worm, but after 2 months of treatment it wasn't getting any better so we went back to the doctor. Dr. Little believes the spot is a granuloma annulare, which is pretty harmless and has no treatment. I got another lesson in stop reading Dr. Google because it's always too much information.

After a failed attempt at eating frozen almond yogurt, we found some sherbet Mason could eat at Sweet Frogs.

Annual pumpkin patch trip.

The current East Gaston High School Dancing Warriors invited the dance team alumni back to dance at the football game with them. It was so much fun and made me completely miss high school for about 30 minutes. However, it really sucked to realize that I graduated from high school before some of those current team members were born. Ugh...

Todd took me to the Biltmore Estate and Asheville for my birthday. It was a good distraction from the reality that I am now solidly in my mid-30's.

Carving and drilling pumpkins (too much Pinterest time here)

My Rapunzel and the little pirate. Aubrey was a complete champ at trick-o'-treating this year. She had no problems ringing door bells and saying "trick-o'-treat". Mason was happy just to follow her around and stick his bucket out for candy. He could say thank you though and our neighbors just ate that up.

Friday, October 18, 2013

21 months

This month's birthday really snuck up on me. Now that we are in the swing of school and fall events it just seemed to come out of nowhere and I'm sure time will go just as fast the next few months.

**His right upper canine broke through on 9.19 and the left followed on 9.24.
**He's had another vocabulary explosion this month. I think he is much happier being able to communicate with us and to be understood. However, now that he can communicate more, he loves to use words over and over, especially when he is "hunry"(hungry) and wants to take a "ba" (bath).
**He finally learned to say Aubrey's name and my heart explodes in a million pieces hearing him call her name.
**The baby gate downstairs is now just an annoyance for him instead of something that actually holds him in the intended area. I left him downstairs while I went upstairs to brush my teeth. I thought I heard his sound machine turn on, but then thought I was hearing things, so I went back to getting ready before I realized it was his sound machine. I ran to his room to see what was happening and he pops out from around his crib and says "hey mommy." Meaning he not only moved the baby gate, but climbed the stairs by himself. Double heart attack. So, we are working to find a new sturdier gate that is truly baby-proof.
**When it starts getting dark, he starts walking to the baby gate and says "ba" (bath) and "let's go." He just loves to be upstairs because he can do his 2 favorite things: take a bath or explore the areas that are usually off limits, like the loft or our bedroom.
**I finally broke down and removed the breathable bumper from his crib. It was really serving no purpose because he kicked it down anyway. But, still made me sad to admit he didn't need it anymore.
**His loves Wednesdays because while Aubrey is dancing, we get to visit the goats and see the airplanes that fly over Mrs. Rhonda's. He gets giddy when the goats walk to the fence and "talk" to him.
**Now that he is moving past the everything in his mouth phase, I've let him start using crayons and sidewalk chalk and he loves them.
**He entertains himself in the morning before I get up by trying to take his pj and socks off so I'm never quite sure what he'll look like when I walk in.
**He almost on a full-on food strike unless its fruit or bread. The only thing resembling protein he'll eat right now is peanut butter and hot dogs. So its lots of PB&J and hot dogs. Fantastically healthy diet.
**We had to start limiting his afternoon nap, which was averaging 2.5-3 hrs. He was sitting in his crib and talking until close to 9:00 which was not cool. So, we've started cutting his nap to 2 hours and the late night talking has been cut to 10 minutes or so.

Taking a break from coloring to point at the airplane flying over.

Taking a break from coloring to point at the airplane flying over.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

I really have lost my mind

So, earlier this year I spent a lot of time focused on the goal of losing weight, then worried about maintaining that weight loss since that's usually my weakest area. Well, I've been able to maintain for 4 months now and that is exciting for me. I tapered down my workouts and relaxed my calorie intake, but try to keep them both in moderation and this seems to be working for me for now.

However, sometime in early July I must have hit my head or suffered a little lapse in sanity because I started toying with the idea of running a half marathon. At first I just laughed at myself because this is the girl that said she could never run over 3 miles a few years ago. Well, now I am doing 3-4 miles with a few 5 or 6 mile runs thrown in so half marathon seems to be the logical next goal. In the middle of July, I saw a FB post from runner's world that to do a half marathon in November, it was time to start training and I thought, well now is that time. There is a marathon/half marathon in Charlotte on November 16 so my goal was set. I finally told Todd in late July and after he gave me the "I told you so" talk (he's been saying I would do one for a while now) he immediately gave me his support and blessing to start this insane training. I still didn't permanently make up my mind I was going to run it until the end of August right before the registration fee went up. I finally turned in my application and promptly walked right next door to Trader Joe's a bought a few bottles of wine, because that's logically what you need when you're training for a half marathon.

So far, the training hasn't been too bad. But, I am just at 6.5 miles, which I was running earlier this spring when I was more hard core into working out. Starting next week and then every week following that, I will be increasing my milage by .5 mile until I reach 11 miles the week before the race. Supposedly, if you can run 11 miles, you can run 13.1 miles, which seems crazy to me, but I am following the training plan and we'll see how this goes. I still think I am crazy for doing it, but there is no backing out now so its time to suck it up and run.

A new school year

Aubrey recently started Pre-K. It was a bittersweet day because we were all excited that she was going back, but a little sad that it was the start of her last year of preschool. She's already asking tons of questions about Kindergarten and most of the time I can only answer "I don't know. We'll see next year." But, for now we try to focus on Pre-K and helping her get ready for next year. Luckily, the majority of her girl friends that were in her 3-year old class are also in her Pre-K class so that helped on the first day. She was a little apprehensive about having new teachers and a new classroom, but she seems to like all of them now. She goes to school 4 days a week now and so we still have a nice break on Tuesdays to hang out. It has been a nice break having her back at school because it gives me some time to spend with Mason and a little break from the constant motion of a 4-year old.

1st day of Pre-K

And just for reference, her 1st day of 3-year old preschool

Aubrey also started a new year of dance. We had to make a decision about her doing dance or gymnastics this year due to tightening up the budget a little and dance always seemed to make her happier so we went with that. She wasn't too happy about giving up gymnastics but still loves going to dance so we'll take this year and see how it goes. She was excited to get new ballet and tap shoes and a new leotard to add to her collection. She was thrown for a bit of a loop on the first day because her dance school built a new building for the classes to take place and Aubrey is apprehensive about change so it took a while to get her used to the new building. We had to talk a lot about changes this school year and try to help her understand that change is just part of the world. But, luckily Mrs. Rhonda is still her teacher and Aubrey loves Mrs. Rhonda so that makes any change a little easier for her to deal with.

She actually asked me to take a picture of her after her 1st day of dance

20 months

Its that time again and the shock just never wears off when it is that time. Another month has gone past and the little guy just keeps on growing and amazing us.

**Both top canines are thisclose to breaking through. These teeth appeared to be a little easier for him to cut and we are all grateful for that.
**Little guy had his first busted lip this month. We were at my in-laws' house and he went running down the hall and tripped over his own feet (my kids are just not graceful) and when he fell his teeth did some severe damage to his lip. I was glad no teeth were broken, but it was a scary, bloody mess for a few minutes after it happened. This was about 4 days after he got a nice bruise on his head from trying to walk over the concrete barriers in the parking lot. These little boys are rough.
**The words he can say are getting clearer and more understandable by others. He is working hard to say new words, but when he gets frustrated or tired, he still reverts to grunting and screaming instead.
**He finally got to meet his only 1st cousin this month. My brother, his girlfriend, and their son Dameon came to visit from Texas and we were all so glad to see them for the first time in 3 years. While Dameon and Aubrey played much better together, Mason seemed happy to just follow them around.
**We finally ditched the sleep sack for naps and night time. He was unzipping them before he even went to sleep so I figured it was time for them to go. I worry about him getting too cold in just his jammies, but in typical toddler fashion, no blanket can survive the night on top of him.
**He has mastered eating with a spoon and has moved on to a fork. He was squealing and pointing to my fork one day at lunch so I let him hold it and to my amazement he expertly speared a piece of food and put it straight in his mouth. So now he wants a spoon and fork at his meals or there is a great deal of squealing that goes on.
**We are letting him walk more instead of using the stroller and he will finally grab my hand while we are walking and it melts my heart Every. Single. Time.

Mason and his cousin Dameon

First time using a fork

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

19 months

This month was a quieter, less busy month for us. I was even wondering if the month was quieter for milestones until I typed them all out. I guess the milestones are becoming smaller and not as obvious as say, walking, so its easier to forget how much he's really accomplished.

**Crawling is pretty much a thing of the past for him unless he is crawling up the stairs.
**He is attempting to walk up and down stairs by himself.
**He can identify his nose, ears, mouth, hair, belly, feet, and toes. He can't quite say the all of the words, but he can point to them, when he's in the mood
**He loves the alphabet song. He pushes the button on the playhouse that starts the song and plays it over, and over, and over, and over.
**He has started trying to sing songs we sing at bed time (like Row, Row, Row Your Boat, and Twinkle, Twinkle.) No real words come out, but he's got the tunes.
**He discovered how to push the breathable bumper down and could reach the electric outlet behind his bead so there was some quick rearranging after I discovered that.
**He loves to slide down a slide
**He took the kitchen drawer emptying fun to a new level by crawling in the drawer to sit after he emptied it. Plus, he can reach the silverware drawer and tries to grab things from it. So, all drawers are getting locked as soon we can get them. Aubrey never messed with other drawers so we never locked them. More lessons learned.
**He is doing much better at eating with a spoon. About 90% of the food will actually make in it his mouth with a spoon, but he uses his hands more when he's really hungry.
**He had his first taste of frozen yogurt after TCBY brought almond milk frozen yogurt to their stores, but unfortunately, it still messed with his stomach. Its really sad because he loooved it.
**He and Aubrey had their first trip to the NC Zoo and had a blast.
**He is 100% against being confined at any time so this leads to lots of squealing in the car seat, shopping cars, and stroller. However, he loves riding in his little car with the lap belt so I guess he thinks he's more in control because it has a steering wheel.
**He and Aubrey had their first visit to the Charlotte Motor Speedway for a friend's 1-year home from the hospital celebration.
*He had his first adventures in a sandbox and gave a full on tantrum when it was time to leave.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

18 months

This post is a week late and I'm sure that I subconsciously stalled writing it because I am in denial that my little man is 18 months old. It just doesn't seem possible that 6 months from now we'll be having a 2-year old birthday party. We've had such a busy summer that everything has flown by and here we are at 18 months.

**He is walking about 95% of the time. He will still crawl just a bit, but has really improved his walking to where its not as zombie-ish and he can almost run. Crazy improvement on the walking this month.
**He can get up from the floor without pulling up something. He does much better with this on firm surfaces, but is getting better even on carpet or grass.
**He can also squat down and pick things up from the ground now.
**His bottom molars finally came through, so he now has 12 teeth. Now he is only lacking his canines and 2-year molars.
**He was in his first wedding as the ring bearer for Todd's sister Traci. He was absolutely precious and I can't wait to see the professional pictures taken that day. We were nervous how he would handle the pressure of walking down the aisle in front of all of those people, but he was a complete ham and totally worked the crowd while he walked down.
**He is now napping a heavenly 3 hours everyday. Even though Aubrey is still awake, 3 hours of not being attached at the hip to him lets me get a lot of things done during the day.
**He loves being outside and in the water. He gets so excited when I ask him if he wants to go outside and he will almost knock himself over the with the door trying to open it.
**He loves to give hugs and kisses and has become so affectionate recently. I love when he lays his little head down on my shoulder. Heart melts every time.
**We think he is pretty much tired of all the foods he can eat because he just refuses to eat them and throws them on the floor. However, if we give him something new, he will gobble it up. So, we are trying to search for new foods that don't upset his stomach and new ways of preparing the ones he can eat so he will eat them.
**He is still working hard on eating with a spoon but has improved some since we gave him a rimmed plate to eat from.
**He hasn't really made anymore progress in talking, but since he knows around 10 words, I'm not too concerned at this point.
**He learned how to undo zippers so we now find him with his feet out of his sleep sack every morning.

He had his 18-month well check on Friday and he now weighs 22.1 lbs (22nd percentile), is 31.5 inches long (20th percentile) and his head is 18.5 inches (40th percentile). We met his new pediatrician, who replaced Dr. Honeycutt, who moved and changed practices. He now sees Dr. Little, who is the husband of the Dr. Little that delivered him, which I think is so sweet. I was a little nervous about seeing a new pediatrician, but those fears were put to rest really quick. I really like Dr. Little. He was awesome with both kids, really seemed to listen to me talk about the food issues, asked tons of questions, and talked about the potential for growing out of the food issues vs not. He also did 90% of the exam with Mason in my arms because he saw how upset Mason was being put down on the table. He went ahead and ordered a blood allergy test and said we would develop a plan if anything showed up. He is hoping that this is something Mason will outgrow by the time he is 2, but said we'll see how things go between now and then. He said otherwise, Mason is fine and healthy and seems to be developmentally on track. After the dr's visit, the nurse came in for 2 shots and the first one shocked Mason and the 2nd just pissed him off.

After that trauma, we then had to go down to the lab for more torture. The tech could not get his vein in his left arm after sticking him, so she went to the right arm and proceeded to blow that vein. Mason was a screaming, sweaty mess through the whole process and it literally took all of my strength to hold him. The tech asked if we wanted to come back and try again and I told her no, we were getting it done that day. So, I got him up, walked him to calm him down, and then gave him Aubrey's Leap Pad for distraction and the tech was amazingly able to quickly find the vein in the left arm and get the blood she needed. Poor little guy has some nasty bruises from that trauma, but seemed to be fine later that afternoon. Hopefully, we'll get some answers from the blood work and make a good plan for his eating from here on out.

This is how we find his sleep sack in the mornings.