Archive for March, 2011

I truly am beginning to believe that I will die of a stroke during the last day of cookie season one day.  The stress of this time of year is . . . . ugh! (unrepeatable)  But after a quick trip to Walmart at 10:30pm (the money was all due at midnight), I am finished. Both troops are finished. We are done.  The council will not repossess  my first born because our money was not all in.

It never fails.  I am not the cookie mom in either troop and yet I feel the stress.  It would be worse if I was the cookie mom. Which is perhaps why Chris forbids me from doing it.

But  . . . I am done.

Except for the 70 boxes of unsold cookies between the two troops.  Cookies anyone?

Read Full Post »

By Ainsley, as told to Grandma Grace

We used to live where they just said “No” and “Yes” and Mommy and Daddy didn’t like it. So we moved where they say “Yes, ma’am” and “No, ma’am.” And now they are happy.

Read Full Post »

So it started Friday.  The morning started really early. Getting Chris and the girls out the door at 7:30am to get to school, and then meeting our neighbor who came over to watch Gordon while Ben and I went to see our new gastro doctor.  The nurse call yesterday to ask if we wanted to come in the morning to see our new doctor (she had a cancellation).  We jumped at the chance, before I realized how difficult our day was going to be.

We made it to the doctor a little early and met with Dr. Vartebedan.  He is a wonderful doctor.  He is part of the Texas Children’s Family, so he knew all of our other specialist doctors.  We talked, he talked to Ben, he checked Ben out, and then decided to not “scope” Ben’s throat.  Does he have heart burn? Yes. Is it serious? Not yet. Is there damage? Probably.  But he said some magic words, “I think this boy has been through enough testing. I don’t need to see the damage.  Let’s just fix it.” Ben did a little fist pump in the office.  He is truly one our favorite doctors!!  The Prevacid that Dr. Purcell put Ben on will heal everything.  We see him again this summer, and we just might be done with Dr. V after that.

After our appointment, we headed home to grab his lunch box and go back to school. It was a half day on Friday.  I went up to the grocery store while Chris watched Gordon for a little bit. Got home. Unloaded groceries and Chris went to pick up the kids from school.  Of course, he left the school with just the girls.  Realized that he left one kid at school, he turned back around.  He calls me from the school to make sure that I took Ben back to school. (I did.) They can’t find Ben.

Meanwhile, my neighbor stops by and asks me to get his two off the bus and watch them for a little while he runs and picks up a third kid.  Gordon and I don’t mind.  I go to get them off the bus and off comes Ben.  Confusing the bus driver (who couldn’t figure out why the girls weren’t there), Ben, and me. We quickly walk home to call the school and let them know that Ben had mistakenly gotten off the bus.  At least we found Ben.

Before Chris can even get home with the girls, a third neighbor boy came to the down and told me he was locked out of his house.  His brother is suppose to be home but no one will come to the door.  I welcome him in, give everyone a snack, and set them in the living room to play some Wii.  Gordon now has three new playmates.  He was in heaven.

Chris comes home.  He takes the boy home and tries the door himself. No luck.  Of course, the boy does not know his parent’s cell phone or his home phone. Great. Now I have seven children in the living room playing Wii.

We finally decide to call the school and get some help.  Chris calls and speaks to the principal.  He tells him what is going on and is able to get a phone number to call the parents.  Five different phone calls later. (Chris does some detective work). He makes contact with mom.  The poor mom was in tears (I think the older brother is going to be in trouble).  The good news . . . we met our neighbors!  And we told them how smart their son was to come to our house after what happened to him.  He comes over to play all the time with Ben, so it was finally nice to meet the parents.

We return the other two to their family, and then spent the next few hours meeting Gracie.  We headed home while Chris headed to a church retreat.  We rounded out the evening with chores, dinner, and bed.  It had been a long day.  And then two were just going to worse.  It is Sunday night and I am exhausted!

Read Full Post »

A quote from an email I received from Ainsley’s teacher:

Ainsley just came in and told me she has a new baby Cousin, baby Grace. She said “She’s a girl, not a boy like Gordon, and she is really heavy, she weighs 11lbs and is 11 feet. long”. I said “wow, that’s a big baby!” and she said “yeah, she’s a big girl.”  “But, she’s not my baby sister, she’s my baby cousin, that’s why she’s bigger.”

Emily Grace arrived via c-section yesterday at 10lbs. 12 ozs.  Ben was 5lbs 5ozs., so technically I think Deb gave birth to two babies.  She is a cutey.  We went to visit her today in the hospital and she fussed every time she was picked up, but settled right down as soon as she was nestled in someone’s arms (Madie, Ben, and Ainsley all got to hold her and get her to quit crying. Now they are fighting over who the best babysitter would be.).  No problem at Aunt Katherine’s house. We don’t like babies to be upset.  We never mind holding babies for hours on end (because we get to return them at the end of the day).  Let’s face it. It has taken me years to finally put Gordon in a time out.  (I think we were both traumatized by that episode, but Debra made me do it.) Ben kept telling Uncle David that she kept opening just that one eye (he so desperately wanted credit for getting her to open her eyes) in order to see him.

Gordon is staying with us for a few days and as usual is having a blast.  When Chris offered to take him up to see his little sister, he put his shoes on and was ready to leave.  Two hours later after we got to the hospital and hung out with baby for awhile, we asked Gordon if he wanted to go home and he kissed his parents goodbye and walked out the door.  I guess two hours was enough for any two year old to be trapped in a small room with an adorable little baby with whom he now shares mom and dad’s attention for.  Poor guy.  He sure did awesome for the time he was there.  None of the playing in the toilet like Ben did when he came up the hospital to see Ainsley for the first time (we have cute video of Madie singing to Ainsley while you hear this thumping sound of Ben slamming the toilet lid over and over again.).

So Emily is a winner.  She is cute in all of the right places. My children all love her and have managed to tell complete strangers that they are cousins again (that comes off sounding really weird when you hear it).  Madie is ready to babysit her tomorrow.  All of the kids got to hold her and that totally rocked their world.

All pictures are thanks to David at teamdglphoto.com.

Read Full Post »

We went to the pediatrician’s office today to hopefully get Ben on some reflux medicine to help with his heart burn (of which he has not mentioned anything to us, but announces it to the cardiologist at our last appointment).  This has happened before with Ben and it usually taken care of by medicine.  I just want Ben to not hurt.  I thought this would be a quick in and out.  But of course, we were there for over an hour.

Trapped in a tiny exam room with three kids in daunting, but my three are super (and well trained).  There are games that we play together as a family only in the pediatrician’s office. Like . . . I Spy, Quiet Water Still Water, I’m Thinking Of.  And of course, we like to sing (although done quietly).  So we managed to entertain ourselves for awhile. During which various medical staff would come in and ask us a variety of questions.  Finally our doc came in and starting talking to Ben trying to figure out what the problem was.  Well . . . she just opened the door to Ben’s skillful delivery of information.  His descriptions of heart burn was ingenious.  He may not know all of the words, but he understood what he was feeling and did an awesome job of telling the doctor.

The end result is that we are going to see a gastro—— doctor (I swear I can’t pronounce or spell the word).  Because of Ben’s history of having these reflux issues over the years, she wants Ben to see a specialist.  She recommended that we see the doctor that her son goes too.  She called him and spoke to him on the phone and he is willing to see Ben in the next few weeks.  Seriously in specialist world this has never happened that we were able to get in quickly.  We’ll find out tomorrow.

The saddest part of this entire visit was that he told the doctor he was worried because he heard you can die from heart burn.  Seriously, I am not making this up.  Poor guy.  He’s heard enough from tv commercials and other sources to have completely convinced himself of this fact.  He was totally serious when he told the doctor and then proceeded to explain himself.  Our doctor really spent time on this issue to make sure that he understood that he was not going to die.  I think he connected his heart issue with the burning that he was feeling and heart attacks and everything else horribly related to hearts.  Poor guy.  He must have been scared.  And he just didn’t want to worry us so that’s why he didn’t tell us.  Sweet boy.

In the meantime, he is to start taking Prevacid in the evenings. We are to eat milder foods. And the hardest rule . . . we have to eat dinner 2 hours before he goes to bed.  That means I have to feed him at 5:30pm!  At least three days a week we are at our afternoon activity at that time.  I think we will be eating a lot of sandwiches in the evenings or at least something that I can pack in a lunchbox.  I don’t know what to do.  I’m going to have to get creative.  Food prep is not my forte.

All of this is on top of still trying to figure out Ainsley’s tummy issues.  What am I going to do when I receive a new set of rules for her to eat by?  I’m going to have to learn to cook better.  And I really like meatloaf too.

We can just add all of this to my never-ending list of responsibilities.  Only this time if I mess up, it will just cause my children misery.  No pressure.

Read Full Post »

The puddles are home. I just checked on them and they are all tucked into their beds and sleeping soundly.  The grandparents brought them home safely today with the children brimming with stories of their adventures of the week. I don’t think we will ever be able to top the fun they had during Spring Break (who knew a picnic could be so adventurous), so the grandparents had better prepare for a repeat next year!

So after an afternoon at home playing catchup with all of the stories, unpacking suitcases, and acclimating back to family life, they are all crashed out in bed.  There is sweet peace at this time of night when all is quiet in the home.  I know where all of my puddles are and know that they are all in bed allows me to get back to the “list” for tomorrow.

We have a lot going on tomorrow.  Hopefully 30-40 girls and their families are coming to church tomorrow to say thank you to TOL for letting us use their building for scouting activities. I meeting them all in the morning so that they can usher/greet/pass out treats (hopefully!). Plus Girl Scouts is asking the girls to make origami cranes to send to Japan, so I have flyers to go home with instructions for that.

Due to other obligations, we are down to two teachers tomorrow for all of Sunday school.  Since I have to bail early to get to church to meet all of the girls, I am planning the lessons and the other teacher is sticking around to finish the lesson out with all of the kids.  I am pretty excited about the lesson.  We are going to make pretzels with the entire Sunday School (who knows how many will be there due to Spring Break).    I am ready for up to 3 dozen kids!  I think it will be fun! I hope it will be a special experience for everyone who comes. But I’m ready with stuff to make, activities to fill in the time and a readiness to accept whatever comes my way.

Then we are going to the other grandparents’ house.  We were suppose to go and pick strawberries at Frobergs, but because of all of the Spring Break people there aren’t any to pick!! So they closed the fields for tomorrow.  Can you believe it?  I was actually excited to get to do something fun with the kids. We still have to go down south to drop off items for a church down there, so we are going to see Papa and Grandma Grace without the strawberry picking.  The kids are going to see them next weekend (if Aunt Debra doesn’t have a baby yet.), so this will be a shorter trip.  But we are going all the same.  I am ready.

Of course, it is midnight and I am still sewing on patches, attempting to do a few more loads of laundry, and trying to clean my office all before I go to bed. We’ll see if it all happens.  My next goal is to try not to get angry when the list isn’t completed. I guess tonight will be a good practice run for that!


Read Full Post »

The puddles have been spending the last several days with Papa and Grandma Lake.  Chris and I have been workaholics with our paying jobs and working to play catch up around the house.  We didn’t even go on a date night.  We planned to go out to dinner but by the time 5:00pm rolled around we were just too excited about getting closer to the finish line of our obligations to stop and go somewhere for dinner.   I would start in the morning and didn’t quit until 1-2am every night.  I just really need to get caught up.

Don’t worry.  I fed Chris.  We found a Chinese restaurant that delivered one night (that was cool!) and I went and picked up a nice meal on another.  Then we at least stopped what we were doing to share a meal.  It reminded me of the days that we both worked for the same church.  We both were workaholics and never went home, so the only time we saw each other was the meals we would share at one another’s desks.

But tonight I have suspended all work to get the kids’ rooms cleaned up and ready for them tomorrow.  We had promised Madie to move her furniture around for her and hang a few pictures.  I managed that myself tonight.  So Chris and I are feverishly trying to spruce up everything.  For a couple of reasons: 1.  to cover up the fact that all we did was work this week and made a complete mess of the house.  2.  because I am so excited to see the kids again.

I desperately needed the break.  I had been close to losing my sanity towards the end.  You know the feeling.  I am sure all mom’s have it.  That racing feeling in your heart and your head.  My blood pressure and pulse are up because I am anxious trying to get from one thing to another on time without losing any kids and because I know that I am not going to accomplish everything on my list (and that makes me mad). My head is racing trying to go over the list constantly to see if I am missing anything.  Did I forget something?  or someone? Have I forgotten to do something that I told someone that I would do? I really hate disappointing people (including myself), so it drives me nuts trying to get everything done on the “list.”

Over the last few days, I was able to work really really hard on the “list”. I feel much better now.  I am ready to face what is coming.  And I am really ready to be with  my kiddos.  To wake up in the morning to their sweet faces smiling back at me.  I am ready for the whining. I am ready for the tears. I am ready for the “I didn’t know that I couldn’t eat candy for breakfast.”  But I am also ready for sharing in their joys.

Tomorrow will bring another set of duties (actually fixing real dinners, laundry, cleaning daily, assisting in homework, regulating the chore chart, etc.).  But I am much better prepared for those duties today than I was a week ago.

Only 12 hours to go until they arrive!!!

Read Full Post »

After my second trip to the pediatrician’s office in just as many days to pick more testing supplies for Ainsley, I decided to stop and grab some more caffeine at my nearest fast food restaurant.  I watched several families biking together, eating together, and on my way home I saw a mom and her kids jumping rope and another group of people canoeing.  A tinge of jealousy cropped into my head.  I would like to be outside with my family enjoying this beautiful weather.  My kids are in good hands with Papa and Grandma Lake this week and having a fabulous time, but it would be great to spend time with my family this week.  It is a very egocentric request.  I recognize that this is all about me.  That I want to have fun with my family too.  Because trust me . . . my kids are having a good time right now with Papa and Grandma.  If they were home right now, they would not be having nearly so much fun and I would still be sitting in my office trying to get through my entire list of obligations.

There are days that I feel like I have too many people counting on me.  So many . . .that my own being is lost in the mess.  Right now there is just too much stuff that I feel responsible for.  I am saying no to things, but I need to not just say no to the new stuff but quit some of the stuff I have already said yes too.  I already have quit the things that I personally take enjoyment in.  I know that one day I will get to them again when the kids are older.  But so often I say yes to things because no one else will say yes to it and it needs to get done.  Whether that is family, church, school, scouts or whatever else.  There are so many things that people just take for granted that will get done by someone, and it feels like so often that someone is me.   Why do others not feel that sense of responsibility to family and community?  I’ve heard people tote the line that they are busy and do so much.  But trust me  . . . they could do so much more.  Or I hear people say . . . I don’t have kids, let someone with kids do it.  Or I hear . . . I’ve done my time.  Or no one has asked me yet.  Are you serious?

I know that I am not the only one stepping up to the plate and doing his/her part.   But there are far too few of us and there is just too much to do and accomplish.  It is a really lonely feeling sometimes when I sit back and hear someone ask for volunteers and it is like that scene from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” when the teacher is sitting there asking “Bueller? Bueller?” over and over with only silence as an answer.  Come on, people!

I understand that people have other obligations.  I’ve been there. When the kids were babies, I couldn’t do much outside my house. But I was great inside my house.  I found those things that I could help others but just did them from inside my home.  I’ve  also been there when I’ve had to completely shut out the world around me in order to take care of my family.  There will be times when you have to hunker down and take care of your own.  But I think people underestimate themselves and what they can do all the time.

So I will learn to say “no” more, if others will just learn to say “yes”.  Do you think it will happen?

Read Full Post »

Quote of the Day

“My goal for Spring Break is wake up every morning at 6:00am and watch the sun rise. Then I’m going to watch the sun rise and sun set every day this week and write about it every day. At the end, I am going to take all of my stories and write a book (but only a small one),” declares Madie.

Read Full Post »

Safe tv that is.  No commercials. Kid-friendly shows.  Good values. The kind of shows that I don’t have to sit and watch with my kids while it’s on.  Wrong. Wrong Wrong Wrong.

Three nights in a row Ainsley insists that I check her room for snakes.  Apparently an episode from “Suite Life . . . ” about snakes on the boat has Ainsley with a huge fear of snakes in her room, bathroom, hallway, closet, ceiling fan, etc.  Ugh!!!!

Now Ben comes to me and tells me that the main characters on the new tv show on Disney are calling each other “Losers.”  1.  At least he is telling me and we are talking about it.  2.  Could they just use another word? Or how about less sarcasm and more positive talk?

If I wasn’t so addicted to the noise of tv myself (I constantly have it on, but never watch it), I would ban it from the house.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »