Broken leg!

Y’all, Andy’s leg is broken!

It happened on Sunday when he and Josh went down a slide together at a playground. Andy’s shoe caught on the plastic slide and bent backwards as they went down, and it actually broke his leg! Apparently this is a common playground injury, with 14% of toddler leg fractures happening in just this way. Who knew?! If you have a toddler or a small child, you should read more about this here.

Don't go down together!

Don’t go down together! This picture is old but it met the basic requirements of containing Andy and a slide

He cried for a while after it happened (not like him at all) and was just not his cheery self the rest of that night.  We knew something was wrong because Andy wouldn’t walk or put any weight on his leg. He kept saying “knee hurt,” but he could bend everything and after a couple of days it didn’t hurt to the touch. It was hard for us to figure out if he was really hurt or not, but the fact that he wouldn’t even take a step on that leg for days was the big red flag.

Andy was still hurting on Monday and wouldn’t put any weight on his leg, so we took him to the doctor. She said that it was probably sprained, and we should give him ibuprofen and put ice on it, and if it wasn’t better in a few days then go back for x-rays. On Wednesday it still wasn’t better, so we made another appointment and went to see another doctor this morning. The doctor examined him and couldn’t find anything that seemed wrong. He said we could do x-rays or we could wait a few more days and see if it got better, but we’d already done that. He was being cautious because we’re self-paying and didn’t want to saddle us with a huge x-ray bill unnecessarily. After we explained about our Christian health-sharing ministry and that the money really wasn’t a factor because we’d be covered, he said it would be safest to do the x-rays. (We love Samaritan Ministries – our “insurance.” Check it out here. If you sign up using our name then we get a credit! 🙂 )

We went straight from that doctor’s office to the children’s hospital for the x-rays. The children’s hospital was really cool, and they had the best waiting room! There was a TV playing the movie Tangled in the corner (we’d just missed our favorite song!) and had all these toys and things, including a big bubble machine thing, for Andy to play with. He probably would’ve stayed in there all day. Even the radiology check-in desk office was lively!

so cool!        The best waiting room!

We’d been telling Andy for a couple of days that if his leg didn’t feel better then we’d have to go back to the doctor and probably get pictures taken of his bones. So we’d been prepping him for this and when we went into the x-ray room we said “look at this cool camera!” and things like that so he wasn’t freaked out. He was a champ and did great. He stayed really still on the table that moved (also cool) and the workers were really nice to him. They said we would know the results sometime today.

mmm, radiation       (terrible pic of me) (yes, I cut my hair – that blog post is in the works)

Then Josh had to go back to school. (HUGE shout out to his co-worker Jose for watching Josh’s first class so he could stay with us for the x-rays. Thank you, Jose! We owe you much more than sweet tea.) Andy and I went to Buc-ees – I needed gas and it’s the cheapest around, so that was my excuse. Also, we could get lunch there. So we did. Then we came home to eat, and while we were eating I got a call from the doctor with the x-ray results. He said there was a small fracture in Andy’s tibia and it would need a splint or a cast. He’d been able to squeeze us in with a pediatric orthopedic doctor at 3 this afternoon, and told us where to go. After continuing the string of mass text updates that had been going on throughout the day and googling pictures of toddlers in leg casts, we laid down and took a nap.

We woke up and it was time to go to the next appointment. We had to go to the so-and-so Roney Bone and Joint Institute, but I call it Roneybone, cause it sounds funny. Josh met us there after his last class. We had to wait for a while and it was challenging to keep Andy occupied/entertained, but finally the doctor came.

The Casting Room   Waiting for the cast We're not happy at all ;)

He showed us the x-rays and where the fracture was, and talked to me a little about how to care for Andy’s cast.

a close-up  baby legs!  The fracture

Honestly he didn’t have my full attention, because the person who actually puts on the cast was starting to do that and I didn’t want to miss it, but I tried to be respectful and at least get the important parts. Andy didn’t really seem to care about the color of his cast so Josh and I picked it out and we went with dark blue, after having been told that the light blue gets really dirty really quickly. So there you go. Andy sat in Josh’s lap while the man put layer upon layer of stuff on his leg. He was pretty enthralled by the whole thing so it wasn’t even an issue having him sit still.

just the beginning...  IMG_1938getting the cast put on  getting the cast Blue!  blue goo

Then it was done, and we could go. Andy has to wear his cast until we go back to the orthopedic doctor in four weeks, at which time they’ll do more x-rays and assess what to do from there.

They'd just started cutting off someone else's cast when this picture was taken

They’d just started cutting off someone else’s cast when this picture was taken. It was a very loud noise!

Afterward we went to Ye Olde English Bakery and let Andy pick out what he wanted. He had been a trooper all day long, not to mention living with a broken leg for five days. A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, and by ‘spoonful of sugar’ I mean cupcake and by ‘medicine go down’ I mean leg get better.

Sweet rewards

nom nom  nom


Christmas is Over… Thank goodness!

It has been a long time since we’ve updated our blog, but for good reason: Christmas! Everyone is busier in December, it seems. Usually for us it is a boatload of holiday concerts for no less than 5 performing ensembles. I never enjoyed that much (if I was directing!). But this year it was different.

We didn’t have very many concerts to play, and didn’t have ANY to direct. We were busy because, in our frugality (single-income-ness) and quest to separate ourselves from the mass consumption and greed that is, unfortunately, much of what Christmas has become in our society, we decided to make all of our Christmas gifts. Some people do this every year, but this was our first year and boy, did we learn a lot! (Mostly, to not do it like this again!) I blame myself, because I searched pinterest for cool gifts to make everyone and really got in over my head, thinking, “we can make this, and this, and this, oh and that’s so cool!, oh and this, and she’ll love this, and…” etc. End result: a secret pinterest board chock full of ideas of things to make for our dear family and friends. And I wanted to make it all.

Rosemary-infused olive oil – Thanks, Katie, for the fresh rosemary! I owe you one!


Coasters, Bookend toppers, and the beginning of a mason jar holder

Scrabble tile coasters – after figuring out what they should say but before glueing


I was really excited about this to begin, because I think homemade gifts are the best. They really tell the recipient that you cared and put a lot of thought into what you were making. I found myself thinking about the intended recipient a lot and hoping they would like whatever it was. I was also looking forward to saving money, not hurredly scrolling through Amazon wish lists, and not shopping in crowded stores with everyone and their dog. Plus, I’m a pretty creative person and I love to make things, so at the beginning I was really stoked.


Hard at work. FYI: the beer bottles are empty and ready to bottle ginger beer. Well, two of them are. 😛


The first night. We didn’t see the surface of our kitchen table for about a month and a half.

Dexter's Laboratory

The first night of baking/cooking/DIY’ing.


Then I was overwhelmed, and spent the rest of December and the first part of January like that. I was overwhelmed because we were making SO. MANY. THINGS. And with a toddler, the only work we were really able to do was after he went to bed and before we pooped out. So on a good night we’d get maybe 2 or 3 hours to work, and that was it.

There are about 15 family members who we are responsible for giving gifts to at Christmas, not including ourselves and Andy, plus church nursery workers and other friends, and each person got at least 2 things. Considering that not much was duplicated, and some people got more than one gift, that is a LOT of stuff to make. Another source of pressure was the self-imposed need to make our gifts “good enough” to not be piddly compared with what the recipient would probably give us. I didn’t want anyone to feel like they got the short end of the stick, so to say! …And to that end I’m not sure I was entirely successful.

I’m spent!


The final layout for the bottle cap tray. Before glue and resin

The finished product!

The finished scrabble tile coasters


We did make some really cool things. Josh helped a lot, too, and so did my mom with obtaining supplies and stuff, and for that I was SO grateful. I got to use resin for the first time, which was tricky but turned out so cool, and some gifts involved power tools! (Remember those facebook requests to borrow bandsaws and blowtorches?!)

The pictures you see are some photographic evidence of our Christmas gift journey, with a few pictures of finished products. Some of the gifts I wrapped really quick before I was able to take pictures of them, so if you are the recipient of one that you’d like to share, please do so in the comments.

All in all, we made: 5 sets of coasters (all different), a mason jar holder, two sets of bookends, two terrariums, a bottle cap tray (we did NOT drink all that beer by ourselves, or in one sitting, fyi – also a lot of them are sodas 🙂 ), multiple hair bows, clips, and ties; 5 or so belt hangers, one dino-butt phone stand, a mod podge tray, a set of blocks, four wall canvases, framed dried flowers, two coffee syrups, multiple bath/body items including dry shampoo, sore muscle rub, shaving cream, bath salts, and sugar scrubs, and other kitchen/food items including 2 sets of 4 spice rubs, vinaigrette dressing, rosemary-infused olive oil, cinnamon honey butter, vanilla and cinnamon extracts, multiple batches of puppy chow, and ginger beer (with limited success).

We put a lot of thought, time, and effort into making everyone’s gifts. It truly was a labor of love! But after all this, guess who was left out? Josh and Andy. I didn’t have a single thing for them – not that they cared, but still! 😦 Some parts of our family don’t do gift exchanges anymore, so they didn’t get anything from us either, but that doesn’t mean I love them less. Promise. (After this ordeal, I think I love you more! Ha!)

Next year, everyone’s getting the same thing. And I do mean EVERYONE. I’ve already figured out what it will be – still homemade-ish – and I’m excited about it!

Finally, here are some cute pictures of Andy at a Christmas Eve service and on Christmas day. More of this to follow. 🙂

20141224_155328 20141224_155511 20141224_162957 20141225_125418

We Say Goodbye to One of Our Readers and So Does Andy

Andy and his Grandpas

Andy and his Grandpas

Let me start off by saying that this post is not going to be completely focused on Andy. Gasp! What is this heresy you say? We had some big things happen the past few weeks. Andy was not always the focus, but we were glad that he was there.

    This past Friday, Nov. 21, my Grandpa (Robert Earl Essary), my dad’s dad , passed away after fighting numerous health problems. After we found out, we made out way up to Quitman, TX. That’s East Texas for those geographically challenged. And yes, you’re right, that IS the home of Sissy Spacek. I didn’t know how I would feel once I got there. We saw Grandma and Grandpa pretty frequently when they lived in Duncanville. They eventually moved out to Quitman, and our visits dwindled down to yearly ones and sometimes less. 

    I do remember more than I thought. Things started coming back. Memories I hadn’t thought of in awhile. You know how you have time to think about these things when you gather with the family, mingle during visitation, listening to eulogies, being with people, and of course eating? Well I was not the exception. 

   My Grandparents had been married for 60+ years! My Grandpa was a church man. He played the steel guitar, the one on the stand, in the band at the Assembly of God. The story goes “Josh just loved that music when he was little. He would just stand in the pew and dance and dance and dance.” I honestly don’t remember that, but I suppose that isn’t a basis for a rebuttal. He took me and my brother camping in RV, and we played in that thing even we weren’t camping. He also loved fishing, and he had his own boat. I think it was a Tracker! I remember plenty of times sitting in that boat, while in the driveway, acting like we were fishing. Of course we went fishing on the water as well. Every now and then we would even catch something and Grandpa would always have to take the hook out.

   We will miss Grandpa. Yet, there are always silver linings to events like these. It brings family together. I was able to see one of my uncles that I haven’t see in maybe 10 years. Other cousins, “uncles”, and family friends that were only names in my head (i.e. Heath, Uncle Leo, Mitch, Chad). We experienced great hospitality and got to know people a little better.



Andy with Janice

   Let’s talk a little about Andy. First, Grandpa loved him so much. I think those were the last things I ever remember Grandpa saying to me and Andy. He was leaving my Dad’s house and he said to me “Grandpa loves you” and then turned to Andy and said “Great Grandad loves you too.” Grandpa was an avid reader of the BabyEssary blog. He always talked about the latest pictures and stories from the blog. Believe it or not, he had the page bookmarked and also kept up on Facebook 🙂 There was a slideshow that the funeral home had going during visitation, and there were about 3 pictures of Grandpa and Andy when Andy was about 3 months (?). Those were the ones that did me in. It was more happiness that anything knowing that he got to see Andy and hold him.

4 Generations of Essary

4 Generations of Essarys

    Andy was definitely a needed presence in a time of great somber. He was always happy, running around, wanting to play, and always for giving “baby hugs.” Come by sometime, he doesn’t charge. Sometimes I think kids are more perceptive that we give them credit for. Andy proved this on numerous occasions during our days in Quitman. After the service all attendees walked to the front for one final viewing. I stood in the aisle with Andy to wait. The funeral directors closed the casket, and began to roll it out of the church. As Grandpa rolled by, Andy stuck his hand out, waved, and declared a farewell of “bye-bye.” I don’t know if that caused tears of happiness or sadness. I sure did see a lot of teared eyed, smiling faces.

Great Grandpa

Great Grandpa

   The usual proceedings took place. We ate, visited, reminisced,etc… Then we decided to go view the grave. We drove out to the cemetery to the fresh mound of dirt decorated with your usual greens, flowers, and marker. No one really knows what to do, and there isn’t anything you SHOULD do in those situations. We mingled around, looked at the flowers, talked about the marker, and talked to each other. Andy was of course running around the cemetery like he owned the place. He evidently needed one more farewell. He walked over the pile of dirt with Great Grandma and Grandpa, touched it, and once more said “bye-bye.” 

Bye-Bye Grandpa.

Robert Earl Essary: October 10, 1930-November 21, 2014


I’m so excited!

People, I just have to share this with you because I am so excited about it. Right now there is an online convention of sorts called the Wellness Family Summit, which was created by a blogger I read called WellnessMama. There are four video “conferences” every day featuring different people and different topics about wellness and family, and I’ve watched five or six of them so far and I’ve learned so much and am so PUMPED to learn more and really make some (more) changes to benefit my family’s health. (Sorry for the run-on, I’m just so excited in that can’t-stop-for-a-breath kind of way!)

My favorites so far have been Vani Hari from and Heather Dessinger of Their talks were both filled with so much good information!

I’m sure you’ll hear more from me about this later but I will say – it’s the food. What we consume is making us sick and fat and tired and poor (doctor’s bills and prescriptions, anyone?). Some of these speakers have overcome chronic thyroid and autoimmune disorders by changing what they eat and what chemicals are in their home. It’s amazing.

Anyway, this is going on for a whole week and it’s FREE! So. Go here now and sign up to watch!


Awesome videos!

We have some awesome new videos of Andy.

The first two are the best. In the first one, Andy is ‘reading.’

In the second video my mom is using a goldfish pretzel and pretending that it’s swimming and jumping, and Andy thinks this is just the funniest thing ever.

The other two aren’t really anything spectacular, but I thought they were cute. One of them is Andy carrying his potty through the house, which it was just sort of funny to watch him carry it around. You can also catch a glimpse of cute baby butt in this one.

The second video is Josh trying to get Andy to say “apple” when he points to the icon on his computer. It leads to some other shenanigans involving a plastic trombone mouthpiece. 🙂

Hope you enjoy them!


18 months old!

It’s been a really long time since we blogged, and all I can say is that those diaper posts really took it out of me! Anyway, Andy turns 18 months old tomorrow (today? It is after midnight!) so here are some celebratory pictures from earlier this summer. Also, for those who are wondering – and I’m sure we’ll say more about this later – so far being a stay at home mom has been AWESOME. 🙂

This slideshow requires JavaScript.