September 25, 2012


I mentioned in a previous post about the project I dove into.  That project was renovating our house floors.  I took up the carpet in the living room and the hallway along with the linoleum in the dining room and kitchen.   The plan was not to put anything down on the floors but to stain and seal the concrete since our house was built on a concrete slab.  
When I picked up the flooring here is the mess we were left with to clean up...

So we had to clean it all up with sanders, scrapers, and brushes.  It was a lot of work that kept our house wrecked for a week as our living area furniture was in the garage.  

After we got the concrete cleaned and prepped it looked like this...

Then came time to add the stain which would give it color and the sealer which would protect the concrete and give it some shine.  We had mixed feelings about how exactly it would turn out but we love our finished look!
Especially AB, she is really excited with the new look.  (if the wife is happy, life is happy)

Maintenance is minimal with just needing to run a swiffer regularly and waxing the floors twice a year.  It really won't be cold to the touch in the winter time since it is a slab that is built into the ground (but we'll let you know for sure since winter is around the corner).  

I am glad we are done!  Now we get to shop for a cool area rug.

September 18, 2012

Convos w/ IzzyB # 2

I am not a handy man.  Yet we have taken on a big D.I.Y. project at the house.  We are taking on our floors.  I just dove in and about two hours into the project I was starting to worry with regret.

AB and IzzyB had a baby shower to go to Saturday afternoon and were getting ready to head out the door.  I was sitting in our make-shift living room (camping chairs) taking a break when IzzyB walks in:

Daddy, get up we need to go
Baby, I am not going.  It's just you and mamma going
OK daddy, you need to stay here and work on the floors.
(looking defeated) Yes, I do
(She puts her hand on my shoulder)
You're doing a good job daddy

She really has no idea if I am doing a good job or not but the innocence and her willingness to encourage can motivate anyone!
She is always so encouraging and wants to help out with anything we are doing that I sure hope this keeps up as she gets older.

September 12, 2012

Amazing Grace

AB has been singing this song to IzzyB for awhile now and she has taken to loving it and knowing it.  We always sing a few songs as we put IzzyB to bed and this is usually a request.  Lately she will sit up and want to sing with us and we absolutely encourage her to sing with us.

The first time she sang this out loud AB and I had tears in our eyes.  And tonight I was thoughtful enough to grab my phone to record her rendition.  Now you can enjoy the song.

What she is singing:
"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
Amazing love, now flowing down
His hands and feet that were nailed to a tree
Grace flows down and covers me"

This is a song we were taught by our friend and former worship pastor, Greg Watlington.  
These words are so sweet and so truthful.  We hope and pray that IzzyB finds the truth and comfort in these words as she grows older too.  

First Record Store Visit

Not sure if you all are aware that we have a few favorite bands as a family. One of these bands is The Avett Brothers and yesterday their newest album was released.

We went to dinner in Nashville and I figured we should support our local record store by buying the new album there. If you know me well, you also know I like to get the actual album of my favorite artists and not just download it off the interwebs.

AB had a phone call to make so IzzyB and I were the only ones to get down. I was secretly excited for it to just be her and I. We walk in and it is slammed! Paper Route had just performed an in-store show. I quickly grab her hand because it's a crowded place with little walkways to squeeze through. I go straight to the New Release wall and grab the album and then we just look around for a bit.

She looked like a pro going through some CD's. I had a glimpse of a future where she loves going to record stores and also collecting the hardware instead of electronic versions. We'll see what happens.

I'm glad and proud IzzyB always request music when we get in a car.

September 09, 2012

Another First

Tonight we had another first in the household. IzzyB woke up really late today, which meant we got to sleep in! That late wake up also meant she didn't get a nap in today and she did fine all day with no melt downs. Thank goodness!

After church tonight we got dinner and as she finished, she requested a bath. So we started the bath and got ready for bed with the usual book reading time. Well tonight for the first time as AB was reading to her, she fell asleep during the story! It was also the first time I was able to carry her to bed and it was priceless!

IzzyB is such a busy-body that when she is tired she just keeps moving around in order to not fall asleep. Well tonight Mr. Sandman caught her off fairs during story time.

Thank you Mr. Sandman for giving me a first as a dad.

August 31, 2012

Convos w/ IzzyB

Me: I would be so excited that I will take my clothes off and run outside!
IzzyB: Why?
Me: (silence as AB looks at me with disappointment)

I figure I shouldn't need to explain streaking to IzzyB this early in her childhood. But when this child finally goes #2 on the toilet I just might have to go streaking.

30 min after I posted this we had a touchdown!!! I didn't go streaking but I jumped up and down so crazy like that the dogs went running for cover. Then we made a celebratory run to Kroger for ice cream!

August 23, 2012

"They grow up so fast"

That is a saying I just never understood as adults said it to other adults about each others children when I was growing up.

Now that AB and I have IzzyB, I totally get it!
Never mind that she will be 3 years old  in October but going from year one until today is so drastic and monumental in change that it blows my mind.

She couldn't walk by herself right at year one (she did a few weeks later) and now she runs SO fast that sometimes her legs fly out from underneath her!  Not to mention she was slowed down for weeks after a broken leg and had to re-learn to walk.  When we play chase or hide-n-seek I ask to quit playing WAY before she's ready because I am tired. (I should probably start playing these games before dinner and not after)

She could barely talk at year one and now it's a rare that she is quiet, unless she is watching Micky Mouse Clubhouse.  Even when Mickey asked the viewers to answer she won't respond but that may be because she doesn't know to actually answer the TV, since it isn't human and all.  I guess if she started talking to the TV I would start to wonder about her a bit.
With the constant talking comes the smart/back talk and this is the most annoying thing about her talking at all.  It makes it seem as if we already live with a pre-teen/teenager.  I know that age comes with a whole slew of other problems but I like to over exaggerate here.

Other than some sour attitude times there are plenty of sweet and funny words and phrases that IzzyB has shared.
"Daddy you're cray-cray!"
"You gonna eat that in your mouth?"  (her way of asking if you're going to eat that)
"Can I have a kiss?"
"Mamma, I need my iPod"
"Mamma, come cuddle"
"Friends are coming over!?!"  (She is a social butterfly)
"Bye friends, thanks for coming over"
"Daddy we're going to a farm! Daddy, do you like animals?"
"Daddy put some music on, we need to dance!"
"Hey! what's going on here?" (she yells this when Amy and I are hugging)
"You're a toots magootes!" (she'll call you this when you 'toot'!)

June 29, 2012

Energy Drinks

Last week AB and IzzyB were in Texas and then I drove down by myself to be there a few days then we were all going to drive back together.  We were excited and happy to be in Texas again but not either of those emotions for the actual drive.  And I had to make a one way trip all by myself and that meant relying on something I never have drinks.

I left from work in Nashville on Thursday at 3:45pm and arrived in Stephenville Friday morning at 5:10am.  GoogleMaps says you can make that trip in 12 hours and 27 minutes so what took up the almost extra hour in my trip...stopping to get gas and energy drinks.  Oh and one quick stop at a Taco Bueno to throw down a chicken crunchy potato burrito.  And I only stopped there because 1) it's a Taco Bueno which we do not have in TN and 2) it was next to a gas station where I got an energy drink.

I believe the total was 4 Red Bulls, 1 5-Hour Energy, and 1 Starbucks Doubleshot-Energy Coffee flavored drink.  I'm not sure if that is in the "Woah, are you crazy?!?" category or the "That's all you had?!?" category because I just do not ever drink energy drinks.

Being that I had a long overnight drive I figured I'd play it safe and drink them and not get tired rather than get tired and have to stop to sleep/rest.  Overall they seemed to have worked!  Until I got about 30 miles outside of Stephenville which at this point my eyelids were getting extra heavy and I was gripping the steering wheel like it was trying to runaway.

I made it to my father-in-law's housewhere I kicked my shoes off, got in bed, closed my eyes, and felt my entire body trembling from all the junk I had drank!  My mind was so tired but my body was still alive and kicking ready to keep going.  Is that even possible?
That's when I knew that I was in the "Woah, are you crazy?!?" category for my body intake of energy drinks.
I don't know how but my brain finally won and I fell asleep for a few hours.

On our return trip to Tennessee I did not drink any energy drinks.

June 13, 2012

Life Normalization (sort of)

Life in the Llanes house is back to a normal state.
Is life ever really normal though?

IzzyB is back to walking but more than just walking now, she is running, hopping, dancing, and making me tired from it all as I got used to not having to chase her around.

It is kind of crazy how she was the one that had a broken leg and was immobile for awhile, yet I was the one who grew lethargic and put on some weight.  Two nights ago we were playing chase in the house and I had to stop because my breathing was getting way to heavy, I am quite embarrassed to type that out actually, but I also love eating and not moving.

So I am looking forward to getting back to more active play time with IzzyB, for both quality time and my heart.

* that "(sort of)" in the post title was referring to me health, or lack thereof.

May 14, 2012

Update on IzzyB

So we are 23 days from when IzzyB suffered her broken leg.  It seems surreal that it has been that long now actually.  I wanted to give everyone an update since not everyone who knows us sees her every week like our local friends.

Our one week follow-up (April 30th) was back at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital and we met IzzyB's new orthopedic pediatrician since we had only seen the ER ortho pediatrician.  She was a very nice gal who was very through and answered all of my questions concerning IzzyB's leg.  The x-ray still looked great and straight and it was just a waiting game until we could take the cast off. Until then they were going to wrap her current cast to re-enforce it and follow up in two weeks to see the progress.  She chose a purple cast by the way.

Then came last week.  IzzyB peaked at a temperature of 104 degress on Monday.  We were able to manage it but she woke up Tuesday with a fever again, just not as severe, so Amy took her to see our regular pediatrician.  After ruling a few things out, like strep throat, the doctor took a blood sample and found her white blood cell count to be really high.  The doctor having ruled out most everything thought that her leg might be fighting off an infection so he directed us to go see the orthopedic doctor since they could make the call on removing the cast or not.  Needless to say AB is freaking out so she calls me and freaks me out!

We make the appointment that same day and I am able to meet up with them where the doctor says her leg should be fine and they can take the cast off to look at it and examine it by x-ray again.  As the cast is being cut off I am so nervous as I hold IzzyB, who is holding it together pretty well, then we see that her leg looks fine.  No swelling and no bruising.  The ortho doctor was right and after examing the x-rays it was even more confirmation.

IzzyB's bone had already healed itself in 16 days!

The doctor said she was just going to put her in a boot for a week and that she could even walk on it whenever she felt comfortable.  Tomorrow will be a week and we can take off that boot.  IzzyB has not liked trying to walk in that boot at all so we'll see how she feels once it is off.

As for the high fever, we could not nail it down to any specific and it has of course gone away with no other symptoms.

As much craziness that we have gone through the last 3 weeks, we are ready to get back to a somewhat normal lifestyle.  Thank God for great doctors and fast healing bones!

April 23, 2012

It's Been a Hard Day's Night

Yesterday morning we woke up, got ready, and headed out the door for a half day trip to the zoo with some friends.  It was a beautiful cool morning and most of the animals were out but I had to be back home by 2 so we had to cut the trip a bit early.  IzzyB never forgets about the huge playground at the zoo and when we told our friends it was time to go she sweetly asked if she could go slide and swing for a bit.  A few minutes was all we could do so she off she went and went down a few slides herself and ran around so happy. 

At the Nashville Zoo there is a huge wooden play area that is just amazing and I, now at my age, enjoy chasing IzzyB around it.  It is pretty darn tall at one part and it had a huge slide that has about 5 turns in it.  We met mom after her pit stop, told her we were going to go to the top and slide down, so I handed off the backpack, and off IzzyB and I went.  We got to the top and found mom at the bottom, we waved, laughed, got ready to go down, and never imagined what would terribly ensue. 

IzzyB was in my lap as we went down the slide and about half way down her little Chuck Taylor shoes hit the brakes on the surface of the slide.  The traction that the rubber of her shoe and the surface of the slide created sent her foot folding backwards and even went under my knee.  As soon as I felt her foot, I lifted my leg and pulled back on her to release her leg and she let out a scream that would continue the rest of the slide down.  We reached the bottom and AB knew right away his was not a normal scream and I set IzzyB down and she immediately laid down, crying, and squirming in pain.  We didn't know what to expected.  I knew it was her left foot, I took off her shoe, her sock, rolled up her pants, nothing seemed out of the ordinary and nothing felt out of place. 

We gathered our things and headed towards the car as I held her.  As we got to the car I tried to put her down to see if she would stand and she wouldn't and that was when we got a bit scared.  We were already headed home and went to the hospital she was born at.  We got her in right away as there was no one there, the first nurse in triage told us nothing looked wrong either, but we should get an x-ray since she won't stand on it.  Got into a urgent care room where they were able to wheel in an x-ray machine and the results showed a big crack on her tibia right below her knee. 

That hospital does not have a pediatric doctor so they told us they were going to transport us to Vanderbilt Children's hospital because the on-call Orthopedic Pediatrician from Vanderbilt said it needed to be aligned correctly before a cast was to be put on.  The way it was told to us was as if she might need to have surgery so AB and I prepared for the worst.

I keep forgetting to mention that through all of this IzzyB is doing really well overall despite having a huge bone in her body broken.  The nurse who put her splint on her to prepare for transport was a grandpa and was so sweet and gentle that it comforted all of us.  The ambulance drivers that were transporting us were so nice and very sweet talking to IzzyB and AB said the ambulance ride went really well and smooth.  When the ambulance came to a stop IzzyB would look up and see me behind the ambulance in our car and would smile and say "There's daddy!"

I parked in the garage and walked fast to the hospital, as soon as I reached our room there was already a team of four people huddled around IzzyB's bed assessing the situation.  IzzyB's was so used to everyone checking her vitals that when they would pull out their thermometer she would automatically raise her right arm, it was so sweet. 

The ortho pediatrician told us that surgery was not necessary, we were so glad, and that they would give her an oral pain med then align the leg while they were casting.  After the casting we would get more x-rays and we should be good to go.  We got the x-rays taken and were back in the room where the docs said we could give IzzyB something to eat, as she was starving.  She had some graham crackers and a juice box when the Dr came in and said "Bad News," something you never want to hear at a hospital.  Turns out they did not align her leg the best way possible and would have to do it again but would have to sedate her this time to be able to do it correctly without initial pain to her body.  But because she ate we would have to wait four hours before they could start that process.

As a parent, seeing your child be sedated, is a terrifying, to say the least.  After she was sedated they asked us to leave the room while they realigned her leg. AB and I headed toward the waiting area but I went outside and lost it. 

After about 20 minutes they called us back into the room and IzzyB was very peacefully resting and in good condition with a new cast on.  While we waited for results we had to wake IzzyB to make sure she was OK after the sedation.  She finally came to and was very drowsy as I asked her how old she was, she looked around blankly before holding up two fingers and quietly saying "two." We knew our IzzyB was going to be OK.  The CT scan came back and the doctors were all pleased with the results this time and we were cleared for discharge. 

We had arrived at the hospital at 1:30PM and we were discharged at 2:20AM.
IzzyB's cast goes from the top of her toes to half way up her thigh.  We have a follow up appointment in a week to get a more permanent cast, that will probably be pink.  Our recovery time looks to be about 4 to 6 weeks

We know we had a blanket of prayers covering us and they were felt.
We thank you all who were lifting us up.

My mother told me the worst part about these situations is that we are helpless as parents to help our child.  We definitely felt helpless and we realized there was nothing we could do but let God do.  I also thought of God willing letting his Son suffer for so long and dying for us because He loves us.  As I watched IzzyB suffer last night I would have done everything and anything possible to swap places with her.  The main difference is that it was impossible for me to trade places with IzzyB but God could easily have stopped His son from dying but He didn't.  
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?    Romans 8:32

February 12, 2012

"I love you guys"

I suppose its safe to say that IzzyB picks up most of her words from us first and foremost.

I never thought we or even I said "guys" a lot but it seems we do because IzzyB uses it a lot and in proper context.
The usual one is when we have company at the house and she, our great little host, greets everyone with a "Hi guys!" And when our company is leaving she lets out a "bye guys!" and if she really enjoyed their company, like after our community group nights, she adds a "thanks for coming over guys."

But the best one we have gotten is every few nights, we wished it happened every night, as we are getting IzzyB ready for bedtime and she says "I love you guys."
AB and I just look at each other and smile. I am also pretty sure tears fill AB eyes.

Funny how that saying can mean so much to parents*. It also erases all the other things, multiple things, she did earlier that day that made us count to ten (you parents can relate to this).
Also makes us feel like we are doing a decent job at showing her and telling her we love her.

*I'm also documenting this for when she is a teenager and just happens to ever be screaming the opposite of that phrase to us, we can show her she used to be sweet to us.

February 08, 2012

Bed time story

IzzyB has been sick for about a week now with RSV. It's been weird for us having to stay home to prevent her from getting other children sick. 'You're welcome' to my friends with kids.
She is on the mend and back to her normal self now.

So with RSV comes a constant fever and subsequently a frantic mother who always wants to check the sick child's temperature. The best way for us to check a 2 yr olds temp is the not-so fun-thermometer. If you need a hint ask a mother with a baby.

Still setting up this story, bear with me...

As you readers remember IzzyB is now in a toddler bed and she can easily get in and out. And now when we put her to bed she usually gets out of bed for a bit, not making a sound, to play before finally getting to bed to go to sleep. As you know from our last story we try to keep most stuff off the floor in there to keep her safe...and dry.
So it's routine for us to go into her room before we ourselves go to bed to cover her up so she does not get cold.

Which leads us to tonight.

I walk in and begin to cover her up. My hand hits something hard, a piece of plastic, I grab it to examine. As I am holding it up to figure out what it is by the dim lighting of the nightlight AB walks in and asks what I am holding when we both realize it's the cap to her thermometer.

I start gently trying to find the thermometer by feeling around in her bed trying not to wake her while AB is trying not to LOL behind me. I finally get my hands on it and we put it away.

That thing is not something she can get to easily. It's in a drawer that she can't even see into when it is open but she can reach in.
Meaning she had purpose. She opened the drawer and felt around until her tiny hands felt exactly what she was looking for. We figure this because nothing else was removed from this drawer. Or she is much more clever than we give her credit for and she cleans up her tracks.

I was scared and thought she might be putting it her mouth or something. We walk into our room and AB says that more than likely she has been check Woody and Jessie's temps since AB has had to check IzzyB's for about a week now. "Check tempature jus lil bit" is probably what IzzyB was saying to Woody and Jessie, AB mentioned, as we laughed ourselves into bed imagining what was going on tonight in that room.

Sorry Woody. Sorry Jessie.

February 01, 2012

New Humidifier

IzzyB's humidifier went out last week and since it doubled as a noise maker we had a chore upon us to find a replacement.

We found that most new humidifiers are pretty quiet and most people want them quiet but we did not want quiet at all. So we did find a noise maker for a good price and then we found a good humidifier on sale. But the humidifier worried me because for some reason it creates a flow of water over the open top and easy for a child to play with. However the box told me there was a cover for the open top. Sold!

We get home and put both items to use quickly for nap time. IzzyB was excited about them and had a great nap and great sleep that night.

Sunday afternoon nap time came around and we put IzzyB down and started to watch a movie. AB went to the bathroom and said she heard IzzyB moving around and had probably not napped. When our movie was over we headed it to check on her.

(before we get to this next part you all should know we converted her crib into a toddler bed weeks ago)

We open the door to find puzzle pieces everywhere, stuffed animals scattered, and IzzyB kneeling by the humidifier. She gets up and we see her pants are soaked as well as her entire sleeves. There is water on the wall, the side of her bed rails, and over the basket of other stuffed animals. The carpet is sopping wet as if we just poured a bucket of water onto it.

IzzyB walks over to us with her wet hair flat on the sides of her face. "What have you been doing?!?" we ask and she raised we hands in the I-don't-know gesture and says "Just woke up!"

AB and I immediately start laughing so hard that IzzyB probably thought we had just snapped like crazy people and we have probably encouraged playing in the humidifier since it was so hilarious.
(we have now put the humidifier on a dresser to prevent this entire event from ever happening)