Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

a little easier

It's summertime!

And the living is easy a little easier.

It always happens when summer hits, especially now that I have one child in school.  I ask myself, "why didn't I become a teacher?"  Because being off for the summer, stretching your 9 or 10 months of paychecks into 12 months, sounds pretty nice and doable.  But then I remember what it would mean to teach in a class all day everyday for 9 months, and I'm incredibly thankful to those who are called to be teachers.  Because although I probably would make an okay teacher, it just doesn't sound all that appealing.  Now teaching college students, I could do.  But it doesn't pay enough and it's hard to break into.

But still, in the summertime, the living is a little easier for me, and I appreciate it.

Although I still have to get up 4 days a week and get myself to work, the kids don't need to be up as early.  They can sleep in and just throw on whatever clothes they want.  There is no rush to get Miss Rose to eat breakfast before school.  I don't stress as much about messy hair.  And in our house of curly-heads, there is a lot of that.

On Mondays, the kids are at home with a babysitter.  Tuesdays and Wednesdays they head to Grammie's house for the day where swimming in her condo pool is usually one of the orders of the day.  Sundays is a work day for me, but since Bean is home, there is no rush out the door for them.  Although Bean does have quite the task of readying three girls for church on his own.  They wear jeans and tshirts a lot, but that's ok.

We don't have to rush to eat dinner by 5:30pm, in order to give time for reading, homework, showers and family time and bed by 7:30pm.  The younger girls are still going to bed around 7:30, but we have started letting Miss Rose stay up until 8pm since she now has her own room.  There are a few kids on our street she enjoys playing with who get home a lot later with their single moms and it's nice when she wants to go ride scooters at 6:30pm to say--sure, go for it.


We all love Thursdays.  Finally a morning they can sleep as long as they want.  Although Lily is usually up by 7am and her greeting lately is "hungry."  But we stay in our jammies for a while, I drink a leisurely cup of coffee (or splurge on two) and the girls enjoy a lazy morning of a few shows and running around playing with each other.  They all often end up in their underwear, or shirtless. 


Come mid-August, we will all be ready for more routine again and Miss Rose will need the intellectual stimulation of school.  We'll make sure to hit the beach a few more times and all our local funspots before school starts after Labor Day.


But for now, we're enjoying some easier living.


I'm linking up today with Work, Wife, Mom, Life.  Even if you aren't a working mom, tell me how you're enjoying summer so far.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

this & that

It's been six days since I last blogged!  I am inspired during the day for various blog posts, but by the time the evening hits, I'm so tired and have lost all my ideas.

So here's some this & that, also know as micro-blogging :)  (are smiley faces professional in blogging?  Probably not, but I still like typing them)

Miss Rose & Gracie began their second week of swim lessons today.  They are both really enjoying them and Gracie is learning to swim!  Hopefully once her lessons are done we can ditch her floaties for good.  Miss Rose has a pretty strong and broad upper body.  I'd love to have her on a swim team sometime in the next few years and see how she does.  She love the water.  They get to swim at their Grammie's house quite a bit.

Lily is having some potty-training regression right now, which is driving me crazy.  She's been almost fully-trained for a few months now.  After the first few days she didn't have any daytime accidents, starting staying dry during naps and 4-5 nights a week her pull-up is dry.

And now all of the sudden she has had 2 days in a row of naptime accidents and peed in the highchair, on the carpet and the couch.  And I know it's a control issue because one time she told me she wanted to go pee in her highchair and yesterday she told the babysitter it was apple juice in the highchair not pee.  This is a sneaky one.

I am not sure what's causing it.  Nothing has changed.  Hopefully after having several days off in a row later this week I can get her snapped out of it.  That's one of the hard things about being a working mom, you can't deal with this stuff right away.

Bean is out on the town at a punk rock show, re-living the days of his youth.  I've been to a lot of punk rock shows myself.  He doesn't do a lot of fun, social events--so I'm always very happy when he does.  Everyone needs that.

I am SO in on this book series right now.  I confess, I've loved Christian fiction my whole life.  I've always been a reader and I devoured the church library as a girl and continued on.  I read fiction books so fast though, I typically wait until the local library has them and I check them out.

But on my birthday, I splurged for a Kindle version of the first book in the series, which I read on my iPhone Kindle (LOVE!).  And I couldn't wait for the second book, which was just released.  So I bought it from Amazon and it came yesterday.  Maybe I finished reading it tonight.  I bought the actual book and figured I'll try to re-sell it on Amazon .   And now I have to wait until Fall for the next book and March 2012 for the last one.

Karen Kingsbury's tagline is "life-changing fiction" and I can't tell you how many times a Biblical truth or scripture verse from one of her books (or the countless other authors I have read) sticks with me and inspires me.

For instance, Ezra 10:4 is quoted in the book  I just finished and it's really stuck with me.


"Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it.”

It doesn't necessarily apply to any current situation in my life, but it's a great verse and I'll remember it.

Sometime during the night, I got a sore throat.  And it hasn't gone away.  I feel a little under the weather. I really hope I don't get a full blown cold.  Because it's summer, and a cold in the summer is the pits.  And I have a race on Monday that I want to feel good for.

Today I realized I have a long weekend, kind of.  I have church on Sunday, but Monday is a holiday! 

I told myself I'd get to bed early tonight, since Bean isn't home.  He doesn't need as much sleep as me and I always stay up too late with him.

Toodles!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

where I'm from

I read this on Stephanie's blog and I was so captivated, I had to join in.

I am from books, from Diet Coke [although not anymore] 
and coonskin caps.
I am from many houses, all made home by family and 
Ancient sheets and towels and rattan furniture.
I am from the roses and homegrown sprouts
I am from waiting until Christmas Eve to get a tree and 
Playing guitar and singing as a family, 
From YZ and Rose and Marie Durfey.
I am from the brutally honest and laughing your way through tragedy.
From "rub a dub dub thanks for the grub" 
and children should be seen and not heard.
I am from grace and forgiveness, from healing and wholeness, 
from friendship and relationship with Jesus and the gift of his Spirit. 
I'm from Seattle, San Diego, Texas and Louisiana, 
Texas Sheet Cake and Cheez-its, black beans and rice
From the family who folded newspapers together, rode bikes and sat on the back of station wagons to deliver them.  
From siblings who share the same nose, 
the same voice and facial expressions, saying both like "bolth"
who share memories and life, but really look nothing alike.  
From grandparents who collected and 
Grandparents who never figured it out.  
I am from miniature doll houses, Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone, 
from Little House On the Prairie and homeschooling.  
From baby dolls, but never Barbies.  
I am from a little girl, full of dreams, plans and desires
Living them out in ways unexpected
Trusting.  Embracing.  Believing.  Hoping.  Dreaming.


If you'd like to join, here's the original and a template.  Link up in the comments on Steph's blog too!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

almost wordless wednesday: the fair


{a very loaded down stroller}


{beauty}


Miss Rose was turning their cup SO fast, Gracie looked petrified, although she was having fun.  
We had to yell to Miss Rose to slow it down

{teacups} 


{my girly girl and her necklace and her current favorite outfit, a skirt and matching tank top with Ariel on them}



She really wanted me to go on the ride with her.  Please note my knees out to the side and how squashed she is because these really aren't made for adults.  But she loved having me with her and that's all that mattered.
{go carts}


{how sweet is her smile?}


{we cannot believe how big our skater girl is getting.  she wears that hat almost every day}


And for fun, check out our trip to the Fair in 2008.  I guess I failed to blog the other years.  Interestingly enough, I was very newly pregnant with Lily in these photos--a fact I was completely unaware of and wouldn't learn for another month or so!

Monday, June 20, 2011

micro-blogging

I seem to lack the time and the dedication to keep up with life happenings on this blog.  So here are five micro-blogs.

We went to the fair on Friday and had lots of fun. I love annual events like this. I remember going with my mom when Miss Rose was 3 and Gracie was just an infant. And then they were 4 and 1, and we went as a family for the first time. And I was unknowingly pregnant with Lily at the time. And we've been there every year since.

Sunday was Father's Day. And my 34th birthday. I spoiled Bean and it felt good. I should spoil him more often. But I guess if we both were prone to spoiling the other, we'd be super broke! Maybe we both need to find balance.

Even though Sunday was my birthday, I wanted it to be a special day for Bean, and I spent the morning at church of course. So I took today off for "self-appreciation." I got a mani/pedi, did some shopping, went for a run. A couple bumps in the road made it slightly less than perfect, but it was nice to choose what I wanted to do all day.

I have 34 reasons that show I'm getting older. Feeling older. Acting older. Looking older. I'm working on embracing it, but it's not always my favorite.

Girls are just as crazy as boys. You may think that because we have three girls, that our lives are not as full of chaos, energy and craziness as a family of three boys. I beg to differ with that opinion. Come over some day, when my beautiful daughters are running around our small home playing tag, sliding in their socks on the wood floor, wrestling, yelling, hitting and kicking one another for fun, dancing, stripping down to their panties to do these activities, and the list goes on. My girls are rough and tumble. That's for sure.

I may or may not get to elaborate on these topics.  May not is more likely.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Kicking it off

Monday was this girl's last day of school.




Thursday was my first day off this week and we had some fun at Sea World.







And today, the fair!! With Daddy!

We are having our usual "June Gloom" but we are kicking summer off nonetheless.

(sorry for the wonky spacing...can't get it to change after posting from my phone)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, June 12, 2011

alone together

The Mister and I had a wonderful day together on Saturday.  It was the second meeting of a marriage discipleship group we are a part of.  It's geared towards investing time in ourselves individually and as a couple, with God.  It's such a great experience.  We highly respect the leaders of the group (in fact, one of the pastors who married us) and we couldn't say no!

It's an incredible maneuver coordinating our life to have an entire day away from the children and life.  The group meets about 100 miles away, so drive time is involved too.  Last time we took the kids to my sister's house who lives near there, but this time she was going to be in town and stayed with them at our house.

Our marriage is worth the investment.  Even when this group is over, I hope to keep up this routine of getting away, even if it's only half a day, at least every few months.  We spend time by ourselves and time together and a small amount of time sharing as a group.  It's such a rich time.

We meet across the street from the beach.  It was cool and overcast in the morning and the beach was deserted.  Perfect.  I spent 2 hours with my Bible, my journal, our guide for the morning and music.  Sometimes I like the beach best when it's like this.





Once we joined back together, Bean and I headed to another local beach area for lunch.  The Wedge is a rather famous spot and we saw a few good sets.  There were a few more people there, but it still wasn't too busy.





I love roses.  Someday I want to have a rose garden.  Or at least a bunch of rose bushes.






A day with this man?  Perfect.


We capped the night with dinner with lifelong friends...about 10 of them.  We have a number of good, lifelong friends who live in the area and almost all of them were able to meet us for dinner before we headed up.

My heart is full.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

how we roll on a Thursday...in photos

I've posted before about how slow most Thursdays are.  I've just worked 4 days in a row.  My kids have been up and ready early and haven't had a lot of time with mom and dad.  Wednesday nights we are at church.  

So Thursday mornings are bliss.  We don't have to get dressed, well except for Miss Rose going to school (although this is her last full week!).  If it's my week to drive, usually the rest of us are still in jammies in the minivan.  I try to not schedule things early, if anything at all.

Do you know that even kids of two-working-parents get tired during the work-week?  I can tell on Thursdays, my kids are tired. They are ready to be in their own home all day and play with their own toys. Sometimes they resist getting dressed at all during the day.  I let them lounge on the couch and watch a little extra TV.  They love to play, so if they are actually still, watching a show, I know they need the downtime.

Not a lot of housework gets done in the early part of the week.  Sometimes I get an urge to do deep cleaning or organization on Thursdays.  Today was one of those days.  It was gloomy all day--typical June for us--but it made me want to hunker down in the house, and the girls didn't mind either.

A few weeks ago I moved Miss Rose into Lily's room and moved Lily in with Maleah.  Miss Rose actually was the only one who had a hard time the first night, but it's been great.  However, the little girls' room still needed a lot of attention.  So I decided to tackle it today.


I love the cubbies.  But they get crammed full of random stuff so easily.  And stuffed animals.  We have so many.  But Gracie knows each and every one.  I don't have the heart to get rid of them because she truly cycles through them all.

So I organized, cleaned, and threw stuff away while the girls played.  Gracie loves weddings and requested to wear a wedding dress.  So it was flower girl dress day for a few hours.  Gracie played with her figurines.  She has such a wonderful imagination.  Even if a lot of the talk is about boyfriends, girlfriends and Justin Beiber.


Lily was a little mama, singing Jesus Loves Me to her baby over and over again.  Melt my heart!  She has the melody of the song down really well, but you can only make out every few words.  I recorded her singing it on my iPhone.  Sometime I'll figure out how to get the clip on her for you to hear it.  Absolutely precious.


I rolled in my pajamas.  All.Day.  It was yoga pants and a tshirt.  But still, I did sleep in them last night.  Sometimes though, that's how you roll.  Once I made it past lunch, what was the point of changing?  And my neighbor was able to pick Miss Rose up from school, so no need to get dressed for pick-up (which requires walking into the school).  I didn't get in the van once today.  If I had a picture, I'd share.  But, oh shame, I don't.

We did walk about half a mile to sign Gracie up for soccer, and half a mile back.  I just threw on a sweatshirt and we went.  Gracie rode her Coaster Car the whole way.  This is what happens when she rides her coaster car.  She flies on that thing.  And propels herself with her toes.


Thankfully, we have a lot of hand me down shoes from friends and Miss Rose.  She's gone through about 4 pairs already.  I need to invent shoes that have thick rubber soles on the toes.  I try to limit the shoes she wears to ride her car, but inevitably she gets out there without me noticing what shoes she is wearing, or it's when a babysitter is here, and once the damage begins, might as well make them play shoes.  These were super cute shoes though and I'm sad they met this fate.

Gracie is excited about soccer.  She will either be the girl picking flowers from the grass, or she will be up in the mix.  It's really hard to say.  She wanted to wear her practice shirt to bed, although she didn't want a picture taken.  She has normal eyes.  I promise.



In the midst of cleaning and playing, Lily wanted to climb into a wooden cradle.  This cradle is older than I am.  There are photos of me laying in it as a newborn (for fun, not for function).  Then, Lily was taking pictures while in the cradle.  I love these chubby feet.






When we got home from soccer sign-ups, I had to change into fresh pajamas.  After 24 hours in those ones, I couldn't bear another 12.  

Oh, and Miss Rose's haircut?  Here it is in the salon, blown dry.  She wasn't a fan of the flip at the bottom.


The other day I told her she should do extra chores and earn money to buy me a super nice birthday present.  She said, "I know what I'll give you.  A...big...chunk...of...love."  Sweet.  And sassy.  Doesn't want to spend her money on mama.  That's ok.  I'd rather have her love anyday.

Most days her hair is crazy as ever.  Just like her.


And, that's how we roll.

(oh, I do have somewhat of a conclusion to the saga of Lily's illness this week.  She is doing much better.  I'll post about it tomorrow)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

when it doesn't pay to be a medical-info junkie

I've always been fascinated by all things related to the medical practice.  I didn't play house with my dolls, I played hospital.  When I was 9, I got a bad case of chicken pox and then I passed them on to my three younger siblings.  Since I had them first, I got better before they did.  My mom still has charts I made to keep track of their medicine dosage.

Some of my friends tease me about how much I know about illnesses, diseases, medical procedures etc. I love most medical shows.  My friends call or text me their medical questions.

When it comes to my kids, this fascination I have is usually a positive thing.  I typically know when my kids have an infection and need antibiotics or when it's just a virus.  I hate wasting the $15 co-pay to be told it's a virus and will have to work itself out.  So I learned and listened to the doctors explain things.

However, it also means I tend to overthink medical things.  Like right now.  Lily still had a 103 fever this morning and was downright miserable.  I was hoping to go to work and leave her with my mother-in-law to rest and watch movies.  But she needed so much attention this morning that I knew she needed mama.

The doctor told me yesterday that after the antibiotic shots I should see some improvement today.  Still having a 104 fever at 4am and then 103 at 9am was not on par with the improvement I was expecting.

I spoke with the nurse who told me some signs to look for of other serious medical issues that would necessitate an immediate appointment (none of which she has).  He also told me that so far, her urine culture wasn't growing anything.  If she does have a UTI, the culture will grow the infection.  (sorry if that just grossed you out.)  24 hours is the typical incubation period, and it had only been about half that when I talked to him.  Which is why our follow-up appointment is on Wednesday, when those results will be conclusive.

And now my mind races.  What if it isn't a UTI?  Where is the infection in her?  How did she go from perfectly fine on Saturday night, to an average fever on Sunday to a raging fever on Monday complete with a bad bacterial infection.

This is when it doesn't pay to be a medical info junkie.

I'm thankful I was able to stay home and care for her today and her fever is coming down, a degree at a time.  The antibiotic she received yesterday is effective for a wide range of infections so we are on the road to recovery.

We'll see what our follow-up appointment holds tomorrow.

Monday, June 6, 2011

"grossly abnormal" makes a mama nervous

In true Mama Bear fashion, I marched my feverish Lilybug to the doctor this morning, determined to leave with more than "it's a virus."  It may be a virus.  But then she's getting a virus every 3-4 weeks, which I don't feel is reasonably normal.

I love my pediatrician.  Most of the time.  We go to a practice with several ped's but we see one particular doctor the most (he's the "headlining ped" there).  He sounds like Ben Stein.  He's a middle-aged Jewish man who talks to me about how he prepares ribs and chastises me when I don't bring Miss Rose in soon enough when her allergies turn into a sinus infection.  Sometimes he's a little old fashioned in his thinking, but I can easily brush that off.

I wasn't sure today whether I'd love him or be annoyed with him.  No one is perfect.

Turns out I love him.

While Lily showed no symptoms beyond a fever and a red throat, he listened carefully to my concerns about the reoccurring fevers and he spent a lot of time looking at her records.  Since her latest illnesses didn't have any upper respiratory symptoms he wanted to investigate the possibility of a fever syndrome and refer her to Infectious Disease.  He ordered bloodwork, which was of course at a different location.  I debated getting it done today or waiting until tomorrow.

I decided to just get it done today.  They told me the basic work-up results would be available later in the day, but the main test he wanted would take a few days.

So I was a little surprised to get a phone call this afternoon asking if I could bring Lily back in because the doctor was concerned she had a bacterial infection.  When I asked exactly when to come--she said come now, and she'd notify the front office we were coming.

That makes a mama bit nervous.  I was trying to figure out what infection she might have that required us returning and what it meant.

So I left work early, got Lily and went back to the doctor.  They wanted a urine sample from her.  She's potty-trained now, but miserable with fever and a little confused why mama is holding a cup in the toilet under her.  She just cried during my first two attempts.  If I couldn't get her to pee in the cup, they'd have to catheterize her--which is awful.  It's been done before.  I prayed out loud in the bathroom before attempt number three, and she PEED IN THE CUP!  It's the little things, that are the biggest, you know.

The doctor walks in and says " well, her bloodwork came back grossly abnormal."  REALLY?  Did you need to use that phrase?!  One of the tests should be at a 1, she was at 13!  Her urine test showed a lot of infection.  Enough that she needed two antibiotic shots in her legs.  It was A LOT of medicine in that syringe going into her legs.  Which are very sore tonight.

We go in on Wednesday for a follow-up.  I got the feeling the doctor wants to make sure the UTI is all that is going on since her bloodwork was so off.  He said she should be much better in the morning due to the antibiotic shots today.

I am blessed to have a otherwise healthy child though.  It gave me a new perspective on parents with children with terrible diseases and chronic illness.

I am blessed we have great insurance from Bean's job.  I am blessed I could leave my job early to get my baby cared for.

But please Dr. Sounds Like Ben Stein, let's not use the phrase "grossly abnormal" again.  Cause this mama is still anxious about the next few days!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

mama bear

Lily woke up with a fever this morning.

It's been about a month since her last one, so I should have known it was coming.

I haven't kept exact records, but I'm fairly certain she's had a fever at least every four weeks since last November.  Serious.  True story.

So it's time for this mama bear to flex her muscles.

I brought up an ENT consult at a recent doctor appointment (I believe the LAST time she had a fever) but they weren't quite ready to hand it over.

This time, I'm insisting.  There may be nothing causing all these viruses and infections to fester in my sweet girl, but then again there may be.  My irl friend over at The Wonder Years shared with me how her insistence on an ENT consult revealed large adnoids in her constantly sick son and their removal drastically improved his health.

I'm certain it's a virus again.  And I think the third virus in a row to attack her throat.

But that doesn't make it right.

I don't want unnecessary intervention.  But I do want to know she's been thoroughly examined by a specialist and they've determined what is or isn't necessary.

Wish me luck tomorrow!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

In case you wanted to know

In case you wanted to know...

Miss Rose made up a card game for us to play, which was a mix of war and poker.  But she informed us there was no betting involved.  I asked, and still can't figure out how she knows about cards and betting.  She also asked if we had any dice or spinning wheels to incorporate into the game.  I can't make this up.  And all the holy roller pentecostals rolled in their graves.
{and just so you do know, we are not a betting or gambling family.  we don't frequent casinos.  honestly, no idea where this all game from}

And if you're interested...

Lily told Gracie tonight at dinner "no talking back."  The admonishment did not fit the situation, but we were quite amused that she's picked up that phrase.  I'm not surprised though.  Out of the mouths of babes. And there you have our number one problem in this house.  Lily also loves to tell us "one minute" when she's not ready to obey.  She also talks non-stop.  It's amazing how a child who usually strings just 3-4 words together at a time can talk incessantly.  But she can.

Oh, and by the way...

Gracie thinks I should get another wedding dress so I can get married to Daddy again.  But when I suggested that someday she'll get married and she could wear my wedding dress, that is "bisgusting" because she would have to kiss a boy.  Even though she talks about kissing boys, I'm very glad she is "bisgusted" by it.  Gracie also has never seen Glee, but lately her life resembles Glee.  Much of her imaginative play happens in original song.  The characters sing to one another.  Sometimes it gets real loud.

Friends, this life is a circus.  And often I am a poor ringmother of it.  But I sure laugh a lot.

(oh, and photos of Miss Rose's new hairdo are forthcoming.  I think I need to get them off my phone.)