Thursday, December 31, 2009

what matters

The end of this year has just pretty much sucked. I try not to use that kind of language, especially around my kids. But it's sucked. Death, sickness, hospitalizations for family & friends. There have been some good times intermixed in the week (hanging out with good friends, and friends I haven't seen in a long time), but the death of our dear friend and brother Eddie, has just left a cloud of sadness over everything. Even last night, when we were at a Bowl game, and the atmosphere was fun, everything made me think of Eddie, and his family. Just sadness.

(you can read more here, here & here)
But these events have given Bean and I perspective, once again. Family and togetherness is what matters. It doesn't matter what else may be going on, or have happened, being together makes it all okay.
It didn't matter that in the course of a few hours the afternoon of New Years Eve, we had an extra toddler in our home while the neighbors made a quick trip the ER (torn ligament for the Mister). It didn't matter that my mom came home from the hospital after a hip replacement surgery. It didn't matter that Bean and Miss Rose left to get my mom's prescriptions, but the wait was long, so he left, got garlic bread at the store, dropped Miss Rose and the bread home, then returned to the pharmacy.
It was chaotic. Tiring. Not New Year's Eve-ish at all.
But we put it all aside, for our

Second Annual New Year's Eve Family Ice Cream Night.

We ate ice cream. Good, gooey ice cream. Even the baby. Who kept screaming for more. (I ate ice cream too, there were just no photos of it.)

I was dressed in fine satin, Sakura Bloom style! With my sweet, silly, girls. (Don't you love how you can see their individuality in this photo? I do.)

Bean and his girls. They love him, and he loves them. I see his love for them grow daily, and it melts my heart. (Can you tell the sugar is kicking in for Gracie?)

Then the sugar hit full force. Yes, Gracie is wearing one of her infamous sock-gloves. After she was buckled in, she told us she was doing her exercises, as she raised her arms up and down. Completely random; and hilarious. As you can see, Miss Rose was cracking up!

We were together.  And that's what matters.  I don't take it for granted.  My heart and prayers are with Eddie's family, who won't be together with him again this side of heaven.  And for other dear friends who have loved and lost this year.


Family. Together. What matters.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


*I know these posts are a bit of a deviation from my usual topics, but I write what is close to my heart and while normally it's family stuff, right now it's heavier things.

Sometime in the last few weeks I had my first conversation with Miss Rose about heaven and hell.  She was asking some questions about consequences on earth, and I was explaining that there are eternal consequenes also.  As it is with most children her age, the conversation wasn't long, but she revisited it later that night as I was tucking her in.

"Mama, what's heaven like?"
"Just imagine all of your favorite things and everything that makes you happy and that's what it will be like forever."
"You mean, like having a Nintendo DS"? (something she doesn't have yet but wants so desparately)
"Yes honey, like that."
"Will their be food in heaven?  Toys?"
"Yup--better than all of that."
"Will you be in heaven?  Daddy?"
"Of course sweetheart, we will be."

With a satisfied sigh, and a look of contentment on her face, she snuggled down into her covers.  Of course I was touched that when it came down to it, the presence of her parents in heaven was what translated to her as the best thing ever. 

Our converstion came back to me as I have been reflected on the life of my friend today, and his new residence in heaven. 

He's there now.  With other loved ones.  This morning, I was imagining him cradling Baby Grace, as he knew her mom. 

And I longed for heaven.  To take up residence there.  For Jesus to return and take all of us Home.

Although I'm putting in a request.  I'd like my mansion to be on on a particular street.  A street where my childhood friends, many of whom are my adulthood friends also, live on one side and my college and adult friends live on the other. 

I love these people so much.  We share so many special memories.  If I could live near them all now, I would.  In fact there are some of us who have been reconnecting in person lately, and it's just been the best times.  We share such a bond, over so many things.

So I want a mansion by all of them.  I guess my friend is just one of the first to take up permanent residence in our new community.  Hold our spot buddy.  We're coming.

[and yes, did the tears ever flow this morning at church. the presence of God brings such freedom and comfort. being a pastor, I was in two services, and could barely sing a note. but it was good.  tears are good.]

Saturday, December 26, 2009

too soon

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

That's today.  That's this holiday season.  In some ways, that's what this whole year has felt like.

In the midst of our holiday celebration with Bean's family this morning, Bean's brother got a call that his best friend passed away during the night.  A best friend who was like another son to Bean's mom.  A best friend who was a good friend of mine.  A husband, a father of two young sons.

We had an incredible youth group growing up.  A great youth pastor and group of friends.  Church and youth group were our lives.  We hung out all the time together.  Did every youth activity.  Went to church, just to hang out and be together.  There was a group of probably close to 10 of us that were incredibly close.  And still are.  No, we don't see each other daily, weekly or even monthly.  We live in various cities now.  But when we see each other, it's like old times.  It's like seeing your brother or sister after an extended absence.

This news is rocking our world.  Our buddy.  Our brother.  A giant bear of a man, a teddy bear.  He gave the best hugs.  I will miss his hugs.  They just eveloped you.  Almost every memory I have of our group of friends, involves him.  He was just always there.  One of us.  I opened an old photo album tonight, and the first picture was him and my brother-in-law.  It's been several years now since I've seen him on a regular basis.  But the role he played in my life was huge.  My brother-in-law talked to him almost daily.

It was good to begin to process this with family, who have known and loved him.  Tonight we had invited several friends over, who've been friends since those youth group days, for dinner.  It was good to be together, especially in light of this mornings news.  I'm just thankful for each of these friendships.  The long-time friendships and the memories we share.

It's beginning to hit harder tonight.  I've kept busy today.  Constantly moving.  So I didn't have to think.  And you know me, crying doesn't come easy.  Which is a blessing and a curse.  It means I'm not one who cries at the drop of a hat, but it also means when I do have emotions I need to express--it's hard to get them out.  But I know when it will happen.  Tomorrow at church.  When worship begins, and God's presence descends.  Then the cleansing flow will come.

I'm holding my loved ones close tonight, in my arms and in my mind. 

My prayers are with my buddy's wife, and their two young sons.  It's just not fair.

So much potential.  So much life yet to live. 

It was too soon.  32 is too soon. 

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas thoughts

My mind is full of many things. Many thoughts on Christmas and family and Jesus.
I am so aware this year of God's blessings on me and our family. We truly have so much. Not in that we are able to buy gifts for our family, but just the love that we share.
My heart was filled to overflowing tonight at our Christmas Eve service. At one point, the three girls were seated on the pew, sandwiched between Bean and I. The love I have for these girls, and that man, is overwhelming. And only magnified by the love I have for Jesus.
I absolutely love Christmas Eve services. I'm not exactly sure why. I think it's a combination. It's a service that is so full of anticipation, and the sole focus is Jesus and the celebration of his birth, which changed the course of history, and my life.
It's family, all together. No kids in childcare or Sunday School. Sure, they are squirrely and I don't catch every word--but having them in church with me is so special.
It's the music, the songs I love to sing. As I grow older, I learn the words to more Christmas songs, the lesser sung ones. And I'm so moved. This year, O Come, O Come Emmanuel is having an impact on me.
And other thoughts. Bean and I are both off next week. Besides church on Sunday, I have about 10 days off. Which is my first vacation since maternity leave. And maternity leave, especially when recovering from a c-section, isn't a vacation! I'm looking forward to the time with the kids and with Bean. To not having to worry about bottles for the baby. Or Gracie being sad that I have to go to work. To get together with friends and spend time with family.
I may or may not blog much over the next few weeks.
Enjoy this season with your family.

Merry Christmas, from my family, to yours.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

an ornament story

There once was a little boy
Who would grow up to love
Those bucking Broncos

There once was a little girl
Who grew up dreaming
Of a true love, and a family
(and cheering for the Bolts)

Years knowing of each other
Music brought them together
And love quickly grew
Their first Christmas together,
A new dating couple

The next Christmas,
A happily married couple

A darling
Brown haired and chocolate eyed

Three years later
A green-eyed pixie
Of fair skin and dark hair

And then a sweet surprise
Another bouncing baby girl
A blue-eyed flower

Sharing a first Christmas
As a family of five

Not Me Monday!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

It's been a few weeks, but I actually have time to share what I haven't been up to recently.  I am sharp as a tack and have great balance in my life.

I did not affix stamps to 20 envelopes, only to realize I had put them in the left corner, not the right one.
I then did not spend extra time peeling the stamps off, and then taping them in the correct position.
My mind is ALWAYS on what I'm doing and I wouldn't be that distracted.
[unfortunately, to tell the truth, I can't even tell you what my mind was on or why I was so distracted]

I have not found a new love in a Tuscan Bread by Trader Joe's and I did not eat four pieces of it tonight, as my dinner.  I eat very balanced meals and wouldn't eat a meal of only simple carbohydrates.

In much the same fashion, I did not down several pieces of fudge at 8am this morning.  Even if I found one of my favorite homemade desserts in our employee lounge, I certainly wouldn't indulge so early.   I also did not squirrel a few more pieces away for tomorrow.  I am also not completely mortified, actually admitting to this act.

It has not been over two weeks since I last exercised.  I am not afraid at all, of a few holiday pounds.  After all, I have wonderful eating habits and the exercise counteracts any little mishaps.  I am not at all disappointed in the lack of exercise I've had this entire year.  I did not completely underestimate the impact a third child would have on my activity.

I did not strike a deal with hubs, which allowed me to use my Christmas bonus for entirely selfish purposes and I am not anxiously awaiting the arrival of this.  I do not think it's impractical at all being that my baby is close to a year.
[And no, I didn't pay the price you see on that page.  They had a sale last week.  I'm not saying it was cheap though.  Just steeply discounted!]

In a very poor attempt to draw the attention off of these soul-baring confessions, I leave you with a moment I am so proud of in my daughter's life.

This morning at church, my oldest daughter, an avid Bronco fan like her father (just to spite me, I think) did not tell a jersey-wearing Charger fan that she "wouldn't talk to her because of that shirt" and then she did not proceed to do her rendition of The Jerk dance, while singing the song ("You're a jerk, You're a jerk, You're a jerk").  I raise my children far better than that.  Miss Rose's move is here around 17-18 seconds in.  If you're wondering, she can show you the "Hip Hop Turkey" too, which I'm really not sure is an actual move, but she apparently learned it at school.  But her dancing is a whole post in itself.

I'm proud people, oh so proud.  Of myself and my offspring. 

Saturday, December 19, 2009

o tannenbaum

We finally got our Christmas tree. We walked up to the lot and asked Miss Rose what tree she liked. The first one she chose, was perfect for our home and so we took it home! After paying of course.

And while Daddy and Miss Rose got things with the tree all squared away, Mama held "two babies" as Gracie would say. Gracie is getting closer to three, which is not a fun age in my opinion, and she needs mama quite a bit. Which is fun to balance with a baby who wants to be so close to me 24/7, I swear she'd climb back in my uterus if she could.
**note the socks, pulled all the way up to the capri leggings. Gracie has her own sense of style and she's quite opinionated about it. And of course there is a dress under that jacket. Would she be caught in anything else?

Decorating the tree was quite fun. This was the first year that Miss Rose remembered quite a few of our ornaments and Christmas decorations. It was fun to hear her exclaim with glee over various items. Gracie just thought it was fun to have Daddy take her picture with every ornament that she picked up.

Our first Christmas, with three girls, in our own home.

love. pure love.
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Why I don't buy my kids toys

If I had the time and creative energy there would be an angled photo of wooden cupboard doors right here.

But it's the end of a long day full of work, kids, Christmas trees, fast food dinners, baths, fights over homework and addressing Christmas cards.

So you'll just have to imagine it.

I sometimes dread the "Christmas list" request that inevitably comes this time of year.  Sure, give my kids a Target or Toys R Us ad, and they'll come up with a huge list of toys they want.

But the thing is, I'm their mom.  And I know them better than they know themselves at this point.

My kids don't play with toys.  We have lots of various toys, but in reality they truly are underused.

I know that the toys my kids receive are new and exciting for a week, tops.  Then they find their way to the bottom of the toy baskets, not to be seen or played with for months.  Toys they thought they would love, are hard to use or require parental supervision [which we don't have a lot of time for.]

So what do my kids do?

They play with OUR stuff.  Way more than they play with toys.

We have a tall wooden armoire that currently is in our living room.  It's had a variety of uses over the past years, and this is not it's permanent position, it's just that when we moved bedrooms, our new bedroom doesn't have room for it. The top of it contains Bean's clothes.  The man has a 4-drawer dresser in our room [actually, our dressers are in our closet, that's how small it is.]  He uses two of those drawers.  I'm not sure what's in the other two, clothes he doesn't wear much, but most of his everyday clothes are in the top of the armoire.  The bottom shelves contain various paperwork and personal effects.

A few weeks ago Gracie started putting her babies to bed in the bottom.  And storing toys there.  Anytime she wants a toy that we can't find, we have to remember to look in the armoire, because that's probably where it is.  She opens and closes the doors.  In fact, she also likes to put herself in there, even with the stuff that we have in there.

Even more recently, Miss Rose decided she didn't want to be left out and laid claim to the top.  She's been putting various items of her own in the top, along with Bean's clothes.  She calls it her "locker" and locks it with rubber bands.  Which annoys Bean to no end because he has to take them off to access his clothes.  Last night he exclaimed "really, she has to pick one of the only places in the house that is mine?"

Miss Rose has also developed an affinity for office supplies.  In fact she has shoeboxes full of labels, index cards, postal forms, stickers, folders and various other office supplies that my mom has given her recently.  Her favorite location for her office is our bed.  Maybe because it's higher and at her waist level.  She'll spend an hour, laying out all the supplies in stacks and playing school with them.  Miss Rose is dying for one of those correction tape dispensers.  Guess what she's getting in her stocking?  And I bet it will be one of her favorite gifts.  And cost all of $2.99.

THIS is why I don't buy my kids toys and why I don't need others to either.

My brother in law likes to call me a grinch and tease me about it...but it's the truth.

It is helping with my Christmas shopping this year.  They are each getting one big gift and then several small items--like pajamas, slippers, warm socks, and the usual stocking stuffers.  They'll load it all into the armoire and be happy as clams.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bean's Anatomy

I love medical shows.  I remember watching some of the first episodes of ER with my dad and I was a pretty avid fan up until the last few seasons.  I enjoy Gray's Anatomy these days, although sometimes it's more Soap Opera than medical drama.

When watching a medical drama, it's easy to disect it and think "there is no way all that would happen in such a short amount of time, to the same people."

And usually, that's true.

But, may I present to you, a brief outline of an episode of a show I'm calling "Bean's Anatomy" and believe it or not, all of this DID happen in our house this week.

Tuesday night: Small Toddler, spends the wee hours of the morning vomiting in her bed, on the floor, the bathroom, on her father, in her parents bed, etc. 

Wednesday: Mother of said toddler spends the morning at home with the sick child, watching movies and having quiet time.  Also, caring for an infant, who is mellow and doesn't have a large appetite, who has a cold.  Father of said toddler comes home for the afternoon shift.  Toddler seems like she's getting better, until right before bed, when she projectile vomits all over Mother (Father isn't home at this time).  Everyone sleeps well that night, so there is hope that the flu is gone.

Thursday: Oh no, the flu is back with a vengeance.  Toddler spends the morning vomiting any amount of liquid she consumes.  She's burning up with fever, so she's thirsty and can't understand why she can't drink.  A trip to the doctor confirms a bad flu, and although dehydration isn't yet an issue, it could be if things don't turn.  After dinner, you may not belive it, but the Father begins to show signs of the flu, which become full-fledged quickly.  Mother is banished to sleeping on the couch, while sick Toddler and Father are in the bed.  By 1am, everyone is soundly sleeping for the next few hours.

Friday, part 1: Father is weak, Toddler is mellow, Baby is even more mellow.  Kindergartener is also suffering a cold and quite reistant to school.  Mother doesn't have the energy to force the issue and concedes to a family sick day.  Because, you guessed it, Mother isn't feeling too hot herself.  Mother's flu isn't quite as severe as Father's was.  But the heartburn she begins to experience late that night certainly is severe.  Restless, fussy baby is in parents bed, but Mother is writhing in pain on the couch and poor, tired, weak Father is trying to tend her.  Fussy baby finally falls asleep for good.

Friday, part 2: What to do for Mother?  Mylanta isn't working, let's look up home remedies.  How about baking soda and water?  Not bad.  Works a bit.  Oh no, it's back.  Round 2 of baking soda water.  And yet it's back again.  Next up?  A tablespoon of brown sugar; worth a shot, right.  Well, not so much.  The combo, mixed with flu, causes major vomiting, all over the carpet of course.  And what's that mixed in the vomit?  Oh, it looks like blood.  That combined with the intense pain, calls for a trip to the ER, with a call to Super-Grammie to come stay with the sleeping children.

Friday, part 3: A few hours later and Mother is in a bed, with tests being run. The initial assumption is a broken blood vessel from vomiting, but better safe than sorry.  Father stays strong, even his flu-weakened state.  Many vials of blood, a very awful naso-gastric tube and other things not suited for television, the intial diagnosis is confirmed.  All is well and safe and IV meds have helped with the acid and heartburn.

Saturday: Father and Mother arrive back home, minutes before 5am, to Super-Grammie who hasn't slept, but has been cleaning and waiting.  Father sleeps 2 hours, then rises with the munchkins, Mother sleeps 3 hours and rises when the babe does.  Baby, is increasingly uphappy and not showing signs of improvement.  So, a sleep deprived Mother takes the Baby in, who is diagnosed with a double ear infection and eye infections on the side.  Mother feels terrible that she didn't identify this sooner, especially when she finds out Baby has lost almost a pound since her well-baby check 2 weeks prior.  Father dons his Superman cape and rents a Rug Doctor to clean the vomit up, fills prescriptions, runs errands, and cleans house.  He does get a 2hr nap while all the children nap too.  Mother takes a few short naps during the day herself.

Sunday: Things are returning to normal.  Toddler & Baby don't have much of an appetite and low energy.  Mother and Father are looking like they've been on a great diet plan.  Mother though, sounds quite gravely thanks to the damage done by the NG tube experience.  Toddler & Baby are feeling quite bony and need some fattening up!  Mother and Father don't mind this crash diet plan and hope to capitalize on the product.  Oh, and the Kindergartener?  Well, she's a trooper.  She probably does have a treatable infection, but Mother has learned that if she's not running a fever and just needing a lot of tissue, the infection will resolve itself without need of antibiotics, which Mother avoids when possible.  But we are going through a lot of tissue.

Think this would be a believable episode on a medical show?  Perhaps not, but it really happened.  More than you would believe, huh?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

it's going to be a long one

I'm gearing up for a long night.  I'm praying that my prediction isn't correct, but I'm gearing up none the less.

It's been a rough day, and that is possibly an understatement.

Gracie's fever hit 103 and a dose of Motrin only dropped it one degree.  A little before 1pm things really got bad.  Lily was waking in her crib and crying off and on.  Gracie began to shake and shiver, which thanks to Twitter, I quickly found out meant her fever was on the rise.  Her lips started turning purple and the shaking was getting stronger.  I called Bean and asked him to come home right away.  Knowing Lily was safe, although not happy, I left her in the crib while I put Gracie in a lukewarm bath.  She didn't like that at all, but it seemed to help because the shivering stopped.

However, after the bath she proceeded to vomit twice.  I had just changed after the first episode when she vomited all over me again.  Bean arrived home and went on Gracie watch while I fed Lily, then he picked up Miss Rose.

I was able to take Gracie in to the doctor this afternoon.  They said they are seeing a lot of this flu and it can last several days with fever, vomit and diarrhea overlapping.   I learned what they are looking for specifically in keeping kids hydrated.  I was interested to learn that they recommend continuing to give fluids (Gatorade or Pedialyte) even when it's being vomited up, trusting that some hydration is occuring.

Gracie isn't dehydrated enough yet to need intervention.  She needs to turn a corner tomorrow though.  If today's pattern continues, we'll probably end up at the ER by the end of the day.

Oh no friends, that's not it though.  Bean is now sick.  At first we thought dinner didn't agree with him.  But when the violent vomiting began it was clear that this bug has hit him.  Which is pretty much the worst thing possible as he has an important thing on Saturday.  So we are rallying the prayers that he gets it out of his system and is on the mend.  Or that it rains on Saturday and the event is postponed.  (**yeah, I know I'm being vague.  I'll share more as I can)

Gracie was unhappy in her bed so she's in our bed.  And now after many trips to the bathroom (and the trashcan in our room), Bean is there too.  Gracie has some dry heaving going on, so who knows what the night will hold for her.

I guess I'm sleeping on the couch.  Lily has cried off and on during the last few hours, so I may be up with her too.  Her eyes are still gunky and she's running a low fever.  So far, Ella is healthy.  We need my mom to stay healthy, who lives in an attached granny flat, as she has an upcoming hip replacement and illness could affect that.  I'm wondering if I'll be next in a few days since Gracie vomited on Bean Tuesday night, and me today.

I am praying and believing that Bean will be better on Saturday, the rest of us will stay healthy and we can enjoy the holiday.

All I want for Christmas is a healthy family.

I thought it was 24 hours

Isn't the stomach flu typically 24 hours? 

Not in our house.  Not for the sickly one.  We're at 36 hours and going strong.  Yesterday I thought we were on the upswing, but it was not to be.

After throwing up several times the night before, Gracie went all day yesterday without vomiting.  She ate very, very little and had some liquids.  I guess right before bed, she must have emptied her sippy cup of diluted juice.  Because as I was brushing her teeth, it all came back up in two lovely vomit sessions, all over me and her.  And the bathroom of course. 

Gracie slept solid last night.  Well mostly.  Bean says he got up with her twice for a drink and because she was cold, but I didn't hear a thing.  Guess I was sleeping solidly to recover from the lack of sleep the night before.  I was hoping the solid sleep meant we were turning a corner. 

Nope.  After her request of juice (I still dilute it 50/50) Gracie proceeded to vomit and vomit and vomit.  This morning, she's done well vomiting into a bowl, which means a lot less clean up.  It's so sad though.  She keeps asking "is it done yet?"  And she can't understand that the liquids are coming back up, so she vomits and then says she's thirsty.  She's very teary today, which is totally understandable.  Currently she's watching Monsters, Inc. and it's kind of distracting her from wanting a drink.

We just had this conversation:

"Mommy I want some milky."
"The milky will make your tummy sick and you'll throw up again."
"But I need some milky."
"Maybe after the movie you can have a little bit of juice."
"No, I need big milky, a big sippy of milky, not juice."

 Yes, she's old enough to teach her to say milk instead of milky (she switches back and forth) but I think it's the cutest thing, so I keep calling it milky for her.  It was really cute when she called it "molka" and then "milka milka."  I love baby talk, from babies!

Speaking of babies, Lily has a tad of this gastrointestinal bug too.  Not eating much, blow-out diapers (which never happen with my always-constipated, rabbit pellet pooping baby) and vomit-smelling spit up.  Oh, and she woke from her nap yesterday afternoon with a goopy eye.  It's a bit better today, after a few squirts of liquid gold; hopefully it continues to improve.

And maybe Gracie just caught a cold virus right after her sinus infection, because the antibiotics don't seem to be making much of a dent in her sinuses.  Then again, it's hard for the antibiotics to do much when she ends up vomiting.

I'm thankful though that it's Thursday, and I'm off for the next few days so I get to be with my sick babes without worrying about work. I'm thankful that Lily isn't vomiting and is nursing well.

Would you say a prayer for Bean this weekend?  He has some career-oriented stuff coming up and we are praying for the Lord's will in everything!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

the sickly one

It seems to me, that in most families, especially once you reach three kids or more, there is a sickly one.

A child that gets every illness that passes through the home and gets it worse than anyone else.  There are several families in which I can easily identify their "sickly one." 

If there is going to be a complication, a secondary illness, this kid is going to have it.

In our house, this is Gracie.  From the time she was a baby it was clear that her system was more sensitive to illness.  From 6 months on, it seemed that she was sick at least once a month.  Anytime she got a fever, she would vomit.  Several times usually. Often the vomiting was just her body's reaction to illness and wasn't related to gastrointestinal issues.  One the fever was controlled, the vomiting ceased.

We even had our former home tested for mold to see if there was anything environmental causing her illnesses because they were so frequent.

Miss Rose has yet to have a true vomiting episode.  She's sturdy!  Allergies and sinus infections do plague her, but she holds up pretty well.  So far Lily seems to be following in her biggest sister's footsteps.  At 10 months, she's had a few colds and fevers, but doesn't react that violently.

Early in November, it was Miss Rose who came down ill first, and Gracie followed a few days later.  After a week of what I liked to call the plague (which probably was H1N1) Miss Rose was pretty illness free.

For Gracie though, that plague turned into a sinus infection.  Which returned 3 days after completing antibiotics.  So we are now on round 2 of antibiotics.  Hives or a rash showed up on her abdomen Friday night.  Since it was still there yesterday, the doctor wanted to see her. It was determined that it's probably viral and related to all the illness she is dealing with.

Oh, and the fever has been back on and off the past few days.  Enter last night.  Before Bean and I could even drift off to Never Neverland, Gracie was coughing, and vomiting.  I'm not sure if the vomiting was related to all the phlegm she has or if it was a stomach thing.  She seemed to vomit until her stomach was empty last night, and was dry heaving a bit this morning.

Back to last night.  Just when we would clean things up and get her settled and return to bed, we'd hear it again.  The amounts weren't copious, as she didn't eat much dinner.  Although I was disappointed that after getting her to eat some of her green beans last night, there they were once again.  At one point, Bean had her and she vomited all down his bare chest.  He was real happy about taking a midnight shower.

Gracie spent several hours in our bed, which she wasn't too happy about.  But it was much easier to sit her up before she choked more and deal with the small amounts of vomit and phlegm.  Yeah, Bean and I didn't sleep much.

So here I am, home this morning. Bean is at work and will relieve me around noon so I can head in to work.  So far, no vomit this morning.  She's been drinking juice and water, but hasn't had interest in food.

I want my girl to get better once and for all! 

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

jolly ole saint nick

We don't really do the "Santa" thing in our home.

It wouldn't bother Bean if we did, but he's pretty cool with going with my flow when it comes to stuff like this.

I didn't grow up with the Santa tradition and so it would feel very odd to practice it with my daughters.  Or "perpetuate the lies" as I like to tell Bean sometimes when I'm feeling feisty.

A few years back it was pretty easy.  Presents just came from mom and dad and if Santa was brought up, he was just a character.

Now, as Miss Rose is getting older, she's smarter and is figuring out more of this gig.

In fact, she's decided this year she DOES believe in Santa, and I am not to tell her otherwise.

I hear this is somewhat typical with children this age who haven't been raised with the Santa tradition.

It's quite comical.  She knows Santa is not real, that he's a character some people believe in, and she quite simply wants to believe in him.  Sometimes when we are with other kids she'll say "mama, is Santa real?"  To which I usually respond, "we'll talk about it later."

Miss Rose has recently seen some of the "Santa Clause" movies and so a few times she's asked me questions about Santa, to which I respond, "well, in the movie..."  I think it's quite clever.

Santa won't be delivering any presents to our home.  But something tells me that Miss Rose will still be convinced that some of her gifts came from him.

I'll be enjoying the sitcom situations it creates.  And I promise, if your children believe in Santa, I'll do my best to make sure my daughter preserves their beliefs!

Monday, December 7, 2009

giving...and recieving...

I've always loved the scripture in Luke 6:38 that reads:

"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

Who doesn't like the idea of something "pressed down shaken together and running over."

Of course the key here the first part, "give."  Giving isn't always easy.  True giving is giving when it isn't easy, giving should count.

There are some areas of life that I have no trouble giving.  I will easily give of my time.  Watching other children, listening, doing favors, running errands.

Honestly however, things worth money aren't as easy for me.  We don't have much "spending money" in our budget.  We can buy what we need and certainly we do spend money on extracurricular stuff.  But I rarely go out and spend $20 or $40 just because I like a clothing item or impulse buy something.  I've been procrastinating buying a crockpot for about three months now because it's not a "must have".

Bean manages our money, which is perfectly fine with me.  Being in accounting, he has a particular way of doing things and approach to finances.  When we were first married, it was quickly clear that we wouldn't see eye to eye on how to handle things, so it was better to let him do his thing.  He does a great job.  Bills are always paid and needs are always met.  Let me be clear that ANY time I have expressed a need, and sometimes even a want to him, he always finds a way to make the money available.  He doesn't like saying no to me.  And I don't want to take advantage of that.

When I discovered craigslist, ebay & resale stores, it was a beautiful thing.  A way to take items we no longer needed and turn them into a little cash.  Cash that was usually mine to decide what to do with it.  I could sell old clothes I didn't wear, and buy a few new items.  I could upgrade or change things I was using with the kids.  My own little spending stash.  I'm talking like $20 at a time though--no big bills usually!!  Plus I love saving money on buying used things and making money on things we no longer need.

This means I often eye things as potential sales and potential cash.  I will have items sitting around for months with the intention to try to sell them, before I ever get around to actually listing them somewhere.  But I don't want to get rid of it because just maybe it will earn me $5 or $10.  I know it sounds a little greedy, and I'll admit perhaps it is.  But also trying to be a good steward of our money and posessions.

Lately though, I've had the opportunity to gift various items to friends and family.  Items that maybe would have fetched a few dollars, but I found that gifting them meant far more.  Maternity clothes, baby clothes and similar items.

When I won a contest and recieved a prize of wonderful baby products, I couldn't use them all.  So, slowly I've been gifting them out to family and friends.  I'll admit, at times I've checked on ebay or craigslist, to see what they might fetch, but I found that what I got for giving them away was worth more.

A sling to my sister-in-law; baby shoes to my other sister-in-law; a fabulous large designer diaper bag to my friend expecting twins; baby clothes to a friend unexpectedly starting her family; a Moses basket to a high school friend I reconnected with on Facebook and a few more things I have plans to dole out.

And guess what, scripture is right!  I love when I get great reminders of the truth of God's Word.

I've been recieving back what I've given, pressed down, shaken together and running over.

Last week my friend alerted me to the fact that I had won a blog giveaway--which she had urged me to enter.  We weren't quite sure what the prize was, but since this was the designer of the fabric for my crib bedding, we thought it would be fun.  Although sewing is an interest of mine, I don't really have time for it.  So I'll probably be gifting much of this prize to my same friend and maybe we'll do a sewing project together.

And then a few days later, I blogged about the fullness of my life and I got a comment from one of my favorite bloggers that I had won HER giveaway for Red Envelope.  It makes me feel a bit like a D-List blogging celebrity, when I find out that an A-list blogger has visited my blog and commented!  So Stephanie's visit, and my win were wonderful. friend from church came  by to add to the stuff she had given me at church the night before...clothes and shoes for Gracie, DVD's and a red Elmo chair which has been a hit in our house.

A few hours later that same day, I hopped on craigslist and did my search for "Maclaren", that I do several times a week, looking for a stroller I can afford.  I've been wanting a Maclaren for several months...and then I began NEEDING one as our stroller was stolen off our front porch.  Well, I needed a stroller, and that was my top choice.  Those suckers are hard to find on craigslist, much less at an affordable price.  What do you know!  A single Maclaren popped up for $50, with a phone number.  I quickly called and set a time that evening to check it out.  And what do you know, the stroller was red!  And now it's mine! (In the 4 hours between when I called and bought the stroller, three others had called--but I was the first call.)

Pressed down, shaken together and truly running over.

Giving is the true blessing.  Recieving is like sprinkles on a cupcake.  They make it more fun and exciting, but aren't the true substance.

Yes, this is a season of giving.  But we should give year 'round.  What can you give? 

It's good to be a child of God.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Baby, among babies

Here is my baby, among babies. Set in a row by her sisters.

When I saw them, I couldn't help but set her down to, and snap a photo.

I used to set my babies in a row too.
I'd dress them all up, wrap them in blankets and set them up on the couch, or the bed.
In fact, the two middle babies here, were mine growing up.
Kari Jo and Aimee, if you wanted to know.
A Madame Alexander (still one of my fave doll makers) and a Real Baby. Not sure who made her, but I do remember that title.
Kailyn and Baby Moses frame them.
I used to dream of being a mommy to my own babies.
Of dressing them and caring for them.
This life, is my dream come true.
There is my smallest baby, among baby dolls.
And there is my next baby in the frame too.
And my oldest baby, who set these dolls in a row.
What a blessing.
To live out my dreams.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

a week's worth

It's been a week since I blogged.  I miss my bloggy world, but it is a distant second to real life, so sometimes it just takes a back seat.  Life has been good though, just full.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family.  It was laid back and yummy!  I made The Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls and WOW, those things are legit.  I don't recommend making them on a regular basis.  Because I think I may have gained 5lbs eating them.  But every single calorie was worth it!  If you are looking for a special Christmas morning breakfast, this is the recipe for you!  They actually are fairly easy to make, there is just some time involved letting it sit a few times.  I made the dough the night before, then rolled it out, put on the filling and baked them the next day.

I'm on a mission this year to not stress over Christmas shopping at the last minute, like I usually do.  Bean and I made it to Toys R Us last night to pick up a few gifts that were on sale.  I'm also going to try to not go overboard on Christmas, sticking to my list!  Trying to figure out what to get Bean, well that will be stressful as I always want to get him the perfect gift.

The girls
There are so many cute and funny things that the girls do, that I think "that would be fun to blog" but rarely do I remember when I sit down to write!  I am really enjoying the stages they are in right now.

Miss Rose is doing better with her behavior.  Her attitude still comes out in her words, but she is more easily corrected.  She has a definate sense of humor, which is kind of a given living in this house.  She says a lot of things now that make Bean and I genuinely laugh. 

A cute thing that happened this morning...Santa Claus is not one of our holiday traditions, but Miss Rose knows the story and character.  This year she's deciding she WANTS to believe in him (watching The Santa Claus marathon last weekend probably didn't help).  We have a lot of retired couples that walk our neighborhood.  This morning as we were leaving for school, a couple was walking by and the gentleman was a rather jolly looking fellow with white hair and a white beard.  Miss Rose told our neighbor girl riding next to her in the van "I think that might be Santa Clause."  I couldn't help but laugh!

Gracie, well she is her quirky little self.  She still loves wearing gloves, usually just one at a time.  She recently discovered she can fold herself into this small rectangular box and sit in it.  Last night she was sitting in the box (which is clear) wearing one gardening glove, talking on the Elmo phone.  It was quite a sight!  I will have to post the photo once I download it.  Gracie loves asking questions and having discussions.  She is also quite enthralled with Diego and often while we're driving in the car she'll tell me "that sounds like an animal in trouble."  Then we talk about the rescue that needs to occur.  It's so cute and fun!

Waving, shaking her head and saying mama & dada are Lily's new accomplishments.  She's been flapping her arms in greeting for a few weeks now, but she's just mastered opening and closing her hand and she's quite proud of it.  Lily has been babbling for a while now and of course the mama and dada syllables are some of the first to develop.  Both Bean and I have noticed that she seems to be using these syllables appropriately.  Crawling is still far off.  She doesn't spend a lot of time on her tummy because until recently it would just make her spit up and be uncomfortable.  So now, she jus doesn't like it.  But her development in all other areas is right on, so I have no reason to believe this won't come at the right time.

Hopefully I'll have some more blogging time this weekend, which has begun.  Being a pastor, my "weekend" is Thursday to Saturday.  Tomorrow will hold a lot of cleaning.  Apparently it's been a long, full week and the house is showing it!

Oh, and Lily has been waking at night recently, which is hard to adjust to when you're used to sleeping through the night.  She has no teeth yet, so perhaps it's teething.  She also gets "stuck" easily in a pattern.  Saturday & Sunday nights I was up from 1-3am with her, and yes, that was me, passed out on the couch while she watched Baby Einstein at 2am because it kept her from screaming.  Monday night it was 3-4am and last night 4-5am.  I end up having to let her cry or just nurse her back to sleep.  I'm hoping she sleeps through tonight, but I'm prepared to be up with her again.

Happy Weekend to me!