Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sick for Christmas :-(

Well, we have had a quite a memorable Christmas this far!  Most of our plans to see all of our families and extended families have had to be cancelled due to quite the sickness going around....:-(

December 21
On "our" Christmas Eve (the day we celebrated Christmas because we would be out of town on Christmas), December 21st, Summer came down with the stomach flu :(.  Both of her ends were unhappy on the 21st, but it seemed to be mostly turning into a cough/cold by the end of the weekend, so we went to my parents' house for Christmas as planned. 

December 24
Colton and I were next.  On Christmas Eve, I woke up with the stomach flu :(.  Colton came down with a pretty bad cold....he was so hoarse he couldn't even was so pathetically cute, poor little guy. 

December 25
Christmas Day I woke up feeling much better, but the kids still had pretty heavy colds. We were supposed to leave the next day for our 6 hour drive to Chicago to see my mom's side for Christmas, and after checking to see if they still wanted us and our germs to come, they emphatically said YES, COME!  (We only get to see them twice a year.)  So...we set out for our drive....

December 26
Once arriving in Chicago on the evening of the 26th, we met my Grandma for dinner, and Colton seemed much worse, Paul was getting a cold, and my mom and my sisters' fiance Eric started coming down with the stomach flu :(.  Spending that night in the hotel room with our two sick kids resulted in very little sleep for Paul and I....!  Maybe a few hours?!?!? :-)

December 27
So, the next morning, we decided it was best for us to skip the Chicago Christmas family reunion and drive the 6 hours back home again (we did NOT want to get anyone else sick).  BUMMER!  I was SOOO excited to see my cousin's new baby and all the other families, but there was no way we would intentionally infect everyone else with this stinky flu bug.  So, unfortunately we got to spend 12 hours driving for nothing :-(  (My parents, Kristin, and Eric also had to skip the family Christmas due to the flu, but couldn't drive home yet because they were so sick :-( )

When we arrived back in the Twin Cities that night, we stopped at urgent care for Colton (his cold was worse than I had seen him suffer from before).  After checking his oxygen level, they called for a chest x-ray which came back ok, but they wanted us to take him to the ER that night to have his oxygen level monitored while he was sleeping.  By this point it was almost Summer's bedtime, so Paul quick unpacked enough of the car to get her to bed while I gave the kids a late dinner.  Then we tucked Summer into bed, and my friend Rachael was able to come over and sit for Summer while she slept and while we took Colton to the Children's hospital in St. Paul.  (All of our twin cities family was out of town Christmas--it was weird not having any family nearby!)   THANK YOU RACHAEL!

Happiest wheezing kid in the ER :-)

Colton was quite the trooper through our ER visit.  I was worried about keeping him up so late when he was sick, but he was smiley and such a sweetheart.  His oxygen dropped too low while he was sleeping, so they told us he must sleep in an upright position.  We also had to learn how to use a nebulizer with him (put a big mask over his face and he gets medicine and cool mist from a machine).  We have to do this with him ever four hours, around the clock.  It takes about 20 minutes each time :-(.  They also gave him some steroids.  It turns out, he has RSV.  This is most dangerous for kids under 6 months old, so thankfully Colton is 8 months.

I was most worried about how we would get Colton to sleep in an upright position.  From birth, Colton has never liked sleeping in that position (Summer loved it, Colton hated it!....He wouldn't fall asleep in the car until just a newborn he would scream for up to 2 hours if we had him in the car when he was tired).  Thankfully, he now falls asleep in the car, but literally like a light-switch will wake up as SOON as you take him out of the car!  However he was so tired this night that (literally) for the first time since he was born he stayed asleep in his carseat when we took him out of the car at midnight that night.

December 28th AM
At that point we had to figure out how to assemble his nebulizer and Paul had to go get Colton's prescription filled.  Just as we were both climbing into bed around 1:30am, Colton woke up :(.  So my poor, tired, sick hubby (who had already driven 8 hours that day) spent the next hour and a half driving Colton around town to get him to sleep.  To top it off, the roads were slick and it was snowing!  Paul is amazing.  I cannot imagine doing this without him as a teammate!  They came home in time for Colton's next nebulizer treatment.  Holding down a screaming wiggling 8 month old for 20 minutes =  challenge!  Now it was Paul's turn to sleep so I drove Colton around for a while until I felt it was dangerous to be on the roads any longer in my sleepy state :-).  Unfortunately, as predicted, as soon as I got Colton out of the car, he woke up.  I tried turning on our dryer, rocking him, etc etc and finally around 5am, I held the little wiggling screamer in a body lock against my chest for about 15 minutes until an exhausted Colton finally fell asleep.  What a sweet moment when he finally did fall asleep!  We slept together for about an hour and a half until his next nebulizer treatment. 

December 28th
We were supposed to leave today to see Paul's family for Christmas in Fergus Falls.  I am SO bummed we had to cancel :(.  I miss them! But after all of this we felt it was best to stay home.  I made Paul sleep as his cold was getting really bad, and I spent the day trying to unpack a bit and take care of the kiddos.  After Colton's doctor appointment that afternoon, it was my turn to sleep and the Paul did dinner with the kids.  Thankfully, this first full night went way better than I expected!  Colton slept well in his vibrating bouncy chair and even stayed asleep for the first half of several neb treatments.  Paul and I both got a lot of sleep.  YAY!

December 29th
Unfortunately my stomach flu relapsed this morning, so Paul let me sleep all morning and he had kid duty.  However, when it rains, it pours!  Paul threw out his back this morning lifting both kids at the same time, so it is pretty excruciating for him to move at this point!  My parents got back from Chicago last night and came over to take Summer out for a special date, make a grocery run for us (we had thought we were going to be out of town for a week for Christmas so we didn't have much in the house!), and bring some medicine.  My friend Jessi just dropped off two meals for us (WOW!  Thanks, friend!)  I feel overwhelmingly blessed by all the love our friends and family have been showing us.  Thank you for all the prayers everyone!  I think it can only get better from here.... :-)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cookie Decorating Party

Summer's friend Eli had a Cookie Decorating Party yesterday!  It was so cute to see all the toddlers decorating cookies together!  Ms. Erica made a bunch of sugar cookies and the toddlers frosted and sprinkled tons of cookies (along with their faces and hands, the table and chairs, and the floor :-).  Here are a few pictures:

Summer's first cookie....a little cookie with her sprinkles!
Some of Summer's cookes

The best part....eating them!
Thank you, Ms. Erica and Eli for inviting us to join in the fun!

Monday, December 17, 2012


Today at Target marked Colton's first time sitting in the front of the cart without his carseat.  He loved it as he could see so much more :-). 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sibs :-)

Colton 8 months, Summer 2 years

Friday, December 14, 2012

Kiddie Christmas Party

Ms. LaDonna hosted a Christmas party again for the kids, just like last year.  It is fun to compare how much they have grown and changed, and now we have an additional 5 little siblings (soon to be 6 as Ms. Bridget is due with Leyla's little sibling in a month!)

We started off the morning getting the kids all dressed up in their Christmas attire and taking a few pictures, only to realize that the dress I bought for Summer last fall at a garage sale was too small!  Even though it didn't button in the back, I still took a few pictures because I loved the dress too much!  (Then, for the party, I changed Summer into a different dress I found at a consignment sale last fall that DID fit!)


At Ms. Ladonna's, there were 10 toddlers + 4 babies for a total of 14 kids under the age of 3!  It was definitely fun!!!  It was also the first time we got to meet Lilly's little sister Amelia, 3.5 weeks old...

Ms. Tara and Amelia....LOVE the boots!!!
and it was also the first time Colton got to meet his new buddy Brody (2.5 weeks old, Addison's little brother).

Colton 8 months, Brody 2.5 weeks
Here is a picture of Colton with his buddy Rylan...

Colton 8 months, Rylan 4 months

 The kids had fun playing and eating snacks, and we Mommy's had fun catching up on life :-).  

Summer, Leyla, and Noelle

Colton and Brody

My favorite two kiddos!

 Here is our infamous "couch picture" with the toddlers....
On the couch from left to right: Brandon, Sydney, Adry, Addison, Summer, Noelle, and Faith.  In front of the couch from left to right: Lilly, Leyla, Cassedy

 And here is the first "couch picture" with the lil' sib's....
Amelia, Rylan, Colton, Brody
Thank you, LaDonna for hosting the craziness!  So fun to see everyone (although we did miss seeing Ms. Kaity, Adelyn and Baby Ian)!  We are so blessed to know each of you, and are so thankful God brought you into our lives.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Favorite Moment

My favorite moment of today was tonight at dinner...we sat down, prayed, and then the conversation was started by Summer tonight, completely unprompted.  It went something like this:

Summer: "Hi Daddy!  How was your day?"
Daddy: "It was pretty good!"
Summer: "What was your project?"
Daddy: ...named some of the companies he was working with....
Summer: "Hi Mommy!  Good to see you!"
Mommy: ...laughing....
Summer: "How was your day?"
Mommy: "It was good!.....laughing...."

We have been working on having Summer ask people questions, but this was the first time it was COMPLETELY unprompted!  Pretty cute to see our little 2 year old asking us questions....Totally made my night :-)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Summer is learning... a lot!  Not much escapes her attention, and she often will remind me of things I have forgotten, including names of people we have met!  Her "wheels" are always turning as she continually processes information and makes connections about what we are seeing/doing/hearing.  Character-wise, we are working a lot on obedience lately.  When she disobeys, instead of getting a time-out as she used to, she gets something of importance taken away for a time.  Then each time she wants to play with that item, it is an opportunity for us to discuss again why it was taken away and that obedience is important.  Then, when the item is given back, (after naptime for a morning offense and the next morning for an evening offence) the slate is wiped clean.  You can tell what kind of day we are having by how many stuffed animals and other items are on top of the dresser  :-).  I think this technique seems to be working in getting her to constantly think about how important obedience is.  It also allows me to provide a consequence when the disobedience occurs in a place that is inconvenient for me to give her a time out, such as in the store or at church.  I hope and pray that God works in her little heart so that she desires to do right from the inside out!  We talk about how Summer needs to obey Mommy and Daddy, and Mommy and Daddy need to obey God, and when Summer obeys Mommy and Daddy she is obeying God too.  Summer is also learning a lot about counting (we are working on counting up to 25) and starting to write her letters.  She is getting better at tracing.  Here are two videos of during "tot-school" this morning...she is very focused as she traces in the first video, and erases in the second.  She loves the dry erase markers!


Monday, December 10, 2012

Happy 8 months Colton!

I love this little guy!!!  He is so smiley, laughs a ton, super cuddly, and just an overall sweetheart!  Happy 8 months little buddy!

**This month he is completely sitting up on his own, eating meat, scooching all over backwards and turning, loves his jumper, entertains himself chewing on toys, is getting his two canine top teeth, is just starting to cry a bit when mommy leaves the room (but is easily distracted), can sit up in the bath tub now, takes two naps a day (usually 10ish and 2ish), is still waking up at night for a bit of crying but puts himself back to sleep, loves all food, sturdy when standing, and my favorite little boy :-).

**Just a disclaimer...I know there are stairs in the background of this picture...they are farther away than they appear!  I plopped him here for a picture real quick today and realized later that it appears very dangerous!  I never let him play in front of the stairs :-).

Sunday, December 9, 2012

December Fun

We had a fun December weekend baking Christmas cookies and playing in our first big snowfall today (we got over 12 inches of snow!)  Here are a few pictures and videos....

These first two videos are of Summer and Daddy's dance party on Friday night...Summer was teaching Daddy how to dance....!

On Saturday we went to Grandma and Grandpa Kirkwood's house for a big cookie baking party!  Here are a few pictures (Thanks, Grandma!).

The kids had fun playing with Grandma's toys

Auntie Kristin and Grandpa working on the cornflake wreaths

Uncle Eric and I working on the the peanut butter Hershey kiss cookies

Summer coloring

Auntie Kristin, Colton, and Tucker

Working on getting the frosting just the right consistency

Auntie Kristin made an engagement ring sugar cookie

Frosting the butter cookies

Cuddle time

On Sunday we played out in the snow after church.  It was Colton's first time in the snow, and Summer's first time this year...she has been looking at pictures of when we played in the snow LAST year and was so excited for it to snow again!  Here are a few pictures and videos.... 

Daddy making a snow angel for Summer...(p.s. I love this guy :-) )

The boys

Daddy and Summer

The "first" time Paul cleared our driveway!  It just kept snowing....!

This video shows Tucker racing around, and Summer favorite the snow off everything!

Colton's first time in the snow...

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Putting up the Christmas tree

Yesterday we put up our Christmas tree.  I think each year with kids gets more and more fun!  Summer decorated bottom row of the tree all by herself this year.  She was so excited as we put all the decorations up.  Colton was mesmerized by the lights :-).  Here are a few pictures and videos....

Hanging ornaments all by herself!

Note the beautiful job she did on the bottom row of the tree :-)  She hung all of these all by herself!
Here are a few videos that give a glimpse into our evening....

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Music Video

Today....due to naps...we didn't get out at all!!!  What do Tommerdahl kids do on a cold winter day?!  Make a music video.....



We had a fun Thanksgiving celebrating with the Tommerdahls!  We drove up to Fergus Falls on Wednesday evening.  The kids went to bed while we adults had fun playing Settlers of Catan.  On Thursday morning, the guys braved the cold, wind, and snow to go pheasant hunting.  We all met back at Uncle Kevin's house for turkey and football.  Summer had fun playing with Lilly, Jackson, Kopel, Morgan, and Wyatt.

Daddy playing with Colton after dinner

Colton in awe of his Uncle Ty :-)

Summer loved drinking out of her own water bottle!

Auntie Sarah and Colton

Summer and Lilly

Gee-Gee Sandy and Colton

Silly Summer and Auntie Sarah

Summer hugging Kopel goodbye
 We went back to Grandma and Grandpa T's house on Thursday evening.  On Friday, the guys went out hunting again and others of us went shopping :-).  We all met back at the house for hangout time in the afternoon.

trying to crawl


Brotherly sisterly "love" :-)
 On Friday evening, Shannon and her four kids came over to make Lefse, a Tommerdahl tradition. 
First you roll out the dough

Then you put it on the lefse griddle and flip it with the stick

Add butter and sugar

Summer "vacuuming" Uncle Ty

My favorite little girl

Summer showing Auntie Sarah her gymnastics is her "pike position"....

Here is her "tuck" position....

Here is her"tree" position....

And finally, her somersault :-)


We enjoyed lots of fun Mario Cart :-)

Colton is getting bigger now, so Summer and Colton are starting to be able to play together

Summer "burping" Colton :-)

Summer wiping Colton's nose :-)

A common position for Colton...a toy in his mouth!

What is happening over there?

Look at this awesome ball!

Colton enjoyed sitting up all by himself in the tub for the first time

He loved splashing!

 We drove home Sunday morning and made a stop in Woodbury for lunch with Grandma and Grandpa Kirkwood and Uncle Eric and Auntie Kristin.  We are SOOOO blessed to have such wonderful families!!!!

 ****Thank you Grandpa T for taking all these pictures and letting me steal them :-)****