Monday, September 29, 2008

Our Day at the Hospital

X has contracted the virus from L. He woke up this morning extremely pale, with blue lips, and screaming. We raced him down to his doctor. After checking him all out, she decided she wanted him to have a chest x-ray and more blood work, etc. She asked so many questions, I thought I was going to have to call the trainer to ask for a list of the symptoms that her kids had with it. Anyway, so then we dropped L off with Grammy and went over to Texas Childrens Hospital...for the rest of the day. We arrived home at 7pm. The verdict...low iron and a virus. He had 3 x-rays and a lot of blood work. They were concerned about the possibility of a bowel reaction to his vaccines, or a heart problem. Those were ruled out by the x-rays. Unless he turns super pale again, he will just have to have his blood checked again in a few weeks. They said that it's possible that the virus could be attacking his bone marrow or something like that causing the anemia, or he may just need an iron supplement. I wanted him to sleep with me tonight, but he refused. He insisted on going down in his crib.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Student of the Week

My contribution to the poster project. She posed for these and I just quickly converted them in Photoshop Elements. The hardest part was getting the stinking printer to cooperate and not print them pink instead of purple.
B and I worked on her poster project this afternoon/evening. The assignment said that parents should help...so I don't feel badly about helping. She and I should not be allowed to do projects together...we both have too many ideas, and it takes forever. She says things like, "Hmmm...Mama, I'd like to hear your suggestions about that", and "Mama, where do you think I should place this item?", then she weighs everything and makes a decision. There were about 25 such decisions to make on this simple project. I should enjoy this time while it lasts, I'm sure she won't always want my suggestions. Click the picture below to enlarge it.

I had the family traditions collage in the lower right corner left over from a Young Women lesson that I taught awhile back, we recycled it into our poster.
I hope the rest of her cousins don't see the picture captioned "My favorite cousins." (gasp) that would be uncomfortable, LOL.

General Relief Society Broadcast

I'm home today with kids in different stages of "the fever". Last night, however, I was able to enjoy the General Relief Society Broadcast (thanks to the Satellite dish). It was excellent! I would highly recommend listening to the talk given by President Dieter F Uchtdorf. I would recommend it to anyone, of any religion...it was just that awesome, and applicable to ALL women. You can click here and scroll across the bottom to listen to just this one talk if you would like. I'm going to need to listen to it at least a couple more times to process all of the important points, there is just so much there...I can't even begin to choose a favorite part or quote. It was easily one of the best talks I've ever heard.

If you happened to watch the broadcast, what was your favorite part?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Got Fever?

L was so pathetically sick yesterday. It took a liberal dose of alternating Tylenol & Motrin, orange juice, attention, Elmo in Grouchland, and hand feeding of homemade chicken noodle soup to ease her misery.

Prodigal Lens Cap

You know you have nothing exciting to talk about when you resort to discussing lens caps. I lost my lens cap while taking firework photos on the 4th of July. It was dark, and I was sure it had fallen in the grass. Today at J's soccer game Daniel opened up one of our chairs and out came the lens cap, which had apparently been in the folding chair since July 4. I've been meaning to buy a replacement, but as with most things, hadn't gotten around to it. Yay for found lens caps! It has been so annoying to be missing it. One less minor annoyance in life.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Random pictures from the last 24 hours

L and I during our nightly snuggle...this one involved caramel popcorn and fall premieres. We spend 7pm-8pm snuggling while Daniel reads novels to B&J (they are currently on Harry Potter 6). I hesitated to post this unfortunate picture due the way my head is at a funny angle making my neck/chin look uber large, but I am rarely on this side of the camera...and I have to post pictures of myself occasionally, right? Even if I am doing my best Quasimodo impression? The other reason I didn't want to post it...my mother-in-law has told me during my last 2 pregnancies that people in the family discussed me looking fat after seeing photos of me, before they found out I was pregnant. Gotta love that! Don't worry family-in-law...I am not pregnant, just not photogenic like the peas.
Captain Awesome making an attempt at sitting up. He's still not particularly interested in being mobile.
The queen bees getting crafty with their bad selves, after X's Dr appointment this morning. I promised them we would do crafts after we got home to lessen the blow of going to the boring Dr's office.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Flowers and Fragility

Cuteness to distract you from the following whine session. Yes,
I would like some cheese with this whine.


I'm frustrated. I've been having unexplained weakness in my arms and legs for the past few weeks, which I've now come to find out may also be related to my stupid thyroid. I feel like I've been run over by a truck, and I can't even put coherent thoughts together on a grocery list, not to mention blog effectively. I literally just spent an hour wandering around my grocery store trying to shop, feeling like a person with some kind of mental impairment. I came home without baby food, which was one of the main things I needed, but it didn't make the poor excuse for a list. At least my loving husband took pity on me and worked from home today. sigh.

Okay, enough complaining...hopefully my new higher dose of meds will start to kick in soon, and my brain will come back from wherever its taken leave to. I feel badly complaining about this considering it is a minor problem in the realm of health concerns...I just get so frustrated with the mental dullness. So, my friend Laura dropped off flowers for me today, just to be nice. It was indeed nice, and they are cheering up my kitchen as we speak. Thanks to Laura, for the flowers ;)

I'm looking forward to the season premiere of the Office tonight, and in order to help me stay awake to watch it...I'll be making some caramel popcorn. I always make it regularly through the fall/winter months and then get tired of it for spring/summer. Daniel's grandma knows a good thing when it comes to desserts. I use her recipe...except I cheat and use the microwave.I tried to make a slideshow/movie of these pictures I snapped of L&X yesterday...but my dilapidated cognitive skills would not allow me to succeed. She asks to "hoe-wd him" endlessly.

*edited to add: L woke up with a high fever today. Her cousins were sick with fevers when they came to stay here, so it wasn't entirely unexpected...just a bummer.

X's First Baseball Game

X attended his first baseball game last night.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Full House

We've had a full house for the past few days...12 people to be exact. It's been fun. Wild, but fun.

Daniel's sister and family have been staying with us due to post hurricane lack of power, and a hole in their roof. School is starting back up for them tomorrow, so they returned to their town today. I am catching up with sheets & towels, and taking care of "the babies". It is so quiet here today.

How did we fit 12 people in our house? Easy. M&P got B's room (since she has a queen sized bed), and their daughter slept on the floor on an Aerobed (those things get a lot of use around here). Their boys slept in X's room, and on the playroom couch. My girlies slept in J&L's room with B on the floor (again with an an Aerobed), X slept in my closet in his pack and play crib with a nice fan on for white noise...and finally Daniel and I slept where we always sleep, of course. I think it worked out quite well. The only problem...X became addicted to sleeping in my pitch black closet i.e. "man cave". I've been trying to put him down for his nap for 90 minutes unsucessfully despite his exhaustion. I finally gave up and put him back in the dark closet with the fan on, and he fell asleep in 2 minutes. Sigh.

Speaking of full houses...have you seen every episode of Full House like I have? I really, really loved that show during my middle school years. I wanted to marry John Stamos. He pretty much looks exactly the same as he did back then...when I was in middle school. How do you think he manages that? Now, I'm rambling. If you didn't watch Full House, you missed out. Daniel and I were talking about it this morning while I was making up dramatic scenerarios regarding my enlarged thyroid and leaving him a widower to raise all 4 of our crazy kids. When I think of John Stamos and Full House, I always think of the song/video Forever (below)...still makes me cry a little. Shhh...don't tell anyone...it's embarrasing.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Grateful Sunday

This Sunday I am grateful for...
1. A new decade and a fresh start.
2. Getting what I wanted for my birthday...Daniel worked on my mantle/deconstructed wall, and dinner out with 4 well-behaved children (they were so good another couple dining next to us stopped at our table to ask if they were always this well behaved. It's always a highlight when people compliment my children.)
3. The opportunity to be of service to family...M&P and "the cousins" still have no power and a partially crushed roof, and will be staying with us for awhile (until their town gets power).
4. The opportunity to teach my children that church is not a place, it is so much more. (We are having 1 hour of church today at our building, but our building has no power last time I checked...so I'm assuming we may be outside, as it would be very dark and hot otherwise)
5. My boyfriend let me comb his hair into a faux-hawk...after I bathed him, dressed him, powdered his neck, and rubbed him all up with lotion of course. Daniel wants to know why he never receives this kind of treatment.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Goodbye Twenties

Today is the last day of my twenties. I never thought that I would be one to care about aging, but as the weeks counted down...I started to dread it. I went to the Dr today to find out that my thyroid is still not working properly. The hope that it would return to normal after X was born is now put to rest. He said that he could feel that it is enlarged, and I need to have an ultrasound done on it sometime in the next few months.

I wasn't able to buy ice cream at the grocery store for my birthday cake because all of the freezer cases are completely empty. I know it doesn't really matter, but turning 30 in the middle of the aftermath of a natural disaster is kind of...depressing. I'm sure Daniel will figure something out.

On the bright side...as my twenties draw to a close, I realized that I have indeed completed the 5 goals that I had for the decade. Here they are...

1. Graduate college
2. Teach children with special needs
3. Live entirely alone (I did for 1 year)
4. Marry Daniel (that day was 5 years in the making)
5. Have 4 children by my 30th birthday

How can one really complain? I can't. But I can set 5 more major goals for my 30's...

1. Raise kind and educated children who know that their mother loves them more than anything else in the world (they will be aged 10, 12, 15, & 17 when I turn 40)
2. Renew my commitment to my marriage (sometimes the relationship suffers under the stress of raising 4 small children. I need to work toward building it up, instead of taking out all of my frustrations on my poor husband...talk about keeping it real around here at the pod)
3. Write something worth publishing...and see it in print.
4. Get completely out of debt (minus the house), buy a house that is precisely perfect for our family, and go to Hawaii.
5. Live with more depth, serve others, stop treading water and experience more spiritual and emotional growth.

Our Hurricane Experience

Our internet just came back up an hour ago along with my parents' power. Our internet is always tied to their power for some reason. It was a long week with no internet.

I should have taken pictures around our neighborhood, but didn't. My mind hasn't been "all there" lately.

Last Thursday, Daniel came home early from work to take down all of our backyard stuff and store it in the garage. Afterward, we went to drop his car off inside my parents garage and picked up some pizzas for dinner.Friday we watched the ocean swell into Galveston and waited for the oncoming storm to start spreading in our direction. It was a long day of waiting. We got some last minute preparations finished. B filled a giant tub with water for me, in case we didn't have water for washing dishes.The girls used their little hook & loom sets that Grammy got them, and we played several games of Sleeping Queens. I made dinner very early in case the power went out. Daniel complained about having dinner at 4:30pm and insisted the power would not be going out until late at night. The power abruptly quit at 6:30pm. The power had not been out for more than an hour when B smashed into J and cut her lip open...

I had all of the kids sleep in my closet so that I didn't have to worry about any windows breaking on them. It was also much quieter in there and less scary. It was like a puzzle fitting a crib, a crib mattress, and 2 twin mattresses in the closet.The storm was extremely loud from 11pm-5am and it was miserably hot inside our house. It was SO loud that I went to sleep on my bathroom floor next to the children in the closet around 11pm. At 2:30 my bathroom ceiling started dripping water and flecks of drywall onto my legs. I spent the rest of the night up and down, and in and out of the garage listening to the car radio. B&J slept fine, L&X were up several times.

We awoke Saturday morning to our fence being mostly down, my hibiscus and Mexican lime tree being somewhat overturned, but that is about all. (the arbor and trampoline base were tethered to the ground with large emergency stakes and bungee cords)

Some of our neighbors lost large portions of their roofs down to the plywood, most fences were down, signs were bent or sheared right off, and many many trees were down. No flooding to speak of around here.
Saturday we cleaned up our yard, visited my parents, and I washed the first of several loads of dishes by hand. We also transferred all of our perishable food into coolers. The water lines were in tact, but not the power. The girls did not enjoy the lack of power, but they made do.
(sweaty baby)

On Sunday, Daniel joined up with some service crews heading out from church and spent most of the day checking on people. It was hot and boring with 4 kids in the house, so I ran an extension cord out to my van, attached it to the power inverter, and ran a movie for the girls to break up the day a little. We did all of our cooking on the grill on Saturday and Sunday.Sunday night, our neighbor was brought a generator and gas from his son-in-law, whose power had returned. He offered to let us plug into it (as it was quite powerful). So, we were able to plug in our refrigerator and a TV...it was great.The temperatures turned cool on Sunday night which improved our experience greatly. The children spent a lot of time outdoors.

On Monday, we unsuccessfully attempted to secure more gas for the generator, got a new post for our fence and some concrete at home depot, etc. Soon after we returned home, our power was restored at 3:30pm. Daniel returned to work on Tuesday morning. The children remain out of school for the remainder of the week.

We have been on limited water consumption due to the risk of our sewers backing up since the pumping station for our area remained without power. My parents' power was restored tonight, Thursday, and with it came our internet...hooray. That is our story...back to our regular blogging schedule tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We are still alive in Houston. In fact, we are better off than most. We were only without power for three days (though still no internet - this is Daniel posting from work). Water service was intact throughout. The house was relatively unscathed, besides a small roof leak and our back fence being torn up a little. Nice weather has settled into the area, so hopefully people will take advantage to get as much cleaned up and put back together as soon as possible.

Natural disasters are no fun. Hopefully we can get out and help some of the less fortunate in the near future.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Shell Jars

I finally bought a couple of glass Hurricanes for the girls' shells and sand from Florida. They worked meticulously on them yesterday afternoon. They turned out well. The $1.97 I spent on the jars was well worth it. They had a lot of fun for such a seemingly simple activity.Speaking of hurricanes...we're about to get hit by one. I need to start bringing in everything from the backyard. The kids will be having a camp out (or camp in) in our master bedroom closet tomorrow night. It is an interior room with no windows...works for me. We may be out of power for awhile. See you on the flip side.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Baby Steps #4...Home Decor

We've lived in our home for 2 years now. There is still virtually nothing hung on the walls. It doesn't help that many of the walls are still in need of new paint and/or are under construction (my main family room wall has been deconstructed for 1.5 years now...thanks Daniel). Don't get me started on my family room wall though...deep breath...deep breath...happy thoughts.

Okay then, so baby step #4 in reclaiming my life from the postpartum destruction is...baby stepping my way to a finished looking house. It's a long road from where I'm standing. I have in my arsenal 2 primary weapons...

1. Advice from the Nester as my mantra...It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful. I'm in love with her blog, I've only been reading for a few months. I need to go back to the beginning to soak up all of her wonderful ideas and attitudes. Another key piece of advice gleaned from her involves buying things you love, and moving them around your house until you find where you like them (I hesitate to buy anything if I don't know where I want to put it...and I never know where I want to put it)

2. My mom. The woman can decorate...VERY well, and she understands my decorating weaknesses. These would be... a paralyzing inability to pick good paint colors, difficulty choosing properly sized items, and a general lack of confidence due mainly to eclectic taste.
I realize this picture shows no scale and does not do them justice,
they are giant books (hollow inside). Photographing the niche only
confirmed
my suspicion that it needs to be painted some
kind of different color inside. Choosing
paint colors makes me nauseous.

Today we hit the Hobby Lobby with one very irritable toddler and a baby. I picked up some netting, and a ship's wheel and anchor for X, so that I can finish off his pirate-ish room. I also got 3 giant books for my staircase nook. Yesterday, I got some cute bamboo place mats for my kitchen table, and brainstormed some more decor related ideas while I was out and about on my "Mama's night out" i.e. Tuesday.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Here are a few photos I've been meaning to post for the past few days..."Helping" with the laundry. He's looking at her like she is going to put him in the washing machine.She just can't help herself from stealing one of the Nintendo DS systems and having her way with it. I caught her playing Brain Age 2 the other night. She was doing the paper, scissors, rock game (where you speak the answers), and she kept shouting "SCISSORS! SCISSORS!" into the microphone. It was hilarious.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Respecting Our Home

I've spent a good portion of my day cleaning. I don't mind the work involved in housekeeping. You know, the regular chores...vacuuming, mopping, dishes, laundry, bathrooms, etc. The thing that really gets to me is the utter destruction that the peas wreak upon the upper floor of our home (and once the upper floor gets too messy to be fun, they move their mess making downstairs). Why do they not know how to play without it looking like human cyclones have passed through the place? I've tried many methods of dealing with the problem over the years...I have failed on all counts. Every few weeks, I go up and spend a good 6 hours cleaning, and sorting, and throwing away things upstairs. No more than 2-3 days later it is right back to square one. I ignore it for a few weeks, while feeling depressed about my endless struggle...then I start over again.

Today, I enact a new plan. Will it fail like all the others? I'm sure we'll know the answer to that within a few days. I will spend the rest of the day cleaning up there again (with the big kids help after school). We will have a little family lesson tonight on "respecting our home", wherein I will lay down a new, simple, and somewhat harsh rule. I will only clean up toys from L&X (in other words, I will clean up any baby toy messes before school gets out). I will check the upstairs at bedtime every day. If anything is left out, or any piles of things are shoved into hiding spots to avoid putting them away (the latter being the MOST common offense in our house), they will both be grounded the next afternoon between school and dinner (no Nintendo DS, no TV...stuck in their rooms). It doesn't matter who did it, they are both responsible for making sure it is picked up, like a team. I try to stick with logical consequences, like if you make a mess, you have to clean it up. Or if you leave your things out, they may get thrown away or "lost". This has not worked. It's time to get tougher. I can't run a household of 6 people if I am the only one who puts anything away.

Wish me luck. I'll need it. The trick is remembering to check it every night. As soon as I fall off the wagon of vigilance, my plans always go all to heck. Wagon of Vigilance...I like it. I may have to make myself a sign to remember to check every day. What will my sign say? WAGON OF VIGILANCE.

Ike

I'm really not liking the looks of this. Did I mention the trampoline is finally repaired and back up in my yard. Looks like it may be disassembled again next weekend and stored in the garage.

Friday, September 5, 2008

An Interesting Political Test

That's where I fall. Click on the picture to find out where you fall. The wording on the questions was a bit biased, so you'll have to try to ignore that.

Dr. Horrible

Daniel tried to get me to watch Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog a few months ago. He told me I only had a limited time to see it, and he knows I love Neil Patrick Harris. I didn't get a chance to watch. If you missed it too, you can watch it here, at Hulu.com in its entirety. (*warning some mild adult humor)

I Don't Get No Respect, I Tell You.

The peas have been hilarious and/or hilariously frustrating the past few days.

As I type, L is standing on a kitchen chair pointing at the floor saying, "Uh-oh...dropped it" over and over again. She thinks that I should stop Googling feeding schedules for infants, and pick up the crayons that she dropped accidentally...ON PURPOSE. I suggested she get down and pick them up herself. She thinks I'm bluffing. She has a fever and a cold AGAIN (thanks to Nursery I am sure), which she gave to her brother...nice.

I was trying to help J do her homework yesterday. I asked her if she had a magic pencil box, what would be in it, and how would it be magic? She looked at me incredulously for about 60 seconds. When she realized I was expecting an answer and not just losing my mind...she went with "pencils" and "they write". Then, she rolled her eyes at me and wandered off.

B took one bite of her dinner last night and said, "Mama! This chicken is unusually delicious tonight." Thanks, thanks honey...but those are pork chops. Is she saying my chicken is not usually delicious?

X is sick, and teething, and miserable. His favorite past time is trying to twist my lips off and gouge my eyes out. When I put him on the floor with toys so that he can work on learning to crawl...he screams like I am ripping off his toenails. It's a lovely sound.

That's the status report. Have a great weekend y'all. What are the chances that I'll be getting to church with the fever twins? Not high. sigh.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My Birthday Presents

What is this picture of? It looks to me like an awkward, chicken legged teenager who has been hitting the fast food a bit too hard, and developed a fatal case of muffin top.

No...no wait a minute...it's an awkward, chicken legged 30 year old, mother of 4...dragging a trailer full of babies and tailing 2 elementary schoolers. Oh yeah...and she has a potentially fatal case of 4 c-section induced muffin top.
My 30th birthday is quickly approaching. What did my loving parents buy me for my big 3-0? A bike. A Schwinn to be precise. How old does one need to be exactly before their parents don't buy them bikes anymore? When I need to replace this bike in...let's say 20 years. Will my parents buy me a new bike for my 50th birthday? Now that would be even funnier. Thanks mom and dad...I did really want a bike. I was sick of jogging behind B&J on their bikes, while pushing the babies all of the time.

Daniel and the kids bought me a trailer so that I can drag the Lilliputians around behind me. L kept saying, "WHOA! WHOA" the entire way down to the school and back this morning. I don't think she trusts my riding abilities. I may be getting old, but I do still know how to ride a bike.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

How I am spending my day

That's all clean...and wrinkled...'nuff said.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Dentist

B and I had dental appointments this morning. It was not fun. Mistake number 1, we let Daniel choose the dentist. The office was run down, the equipment was old and junky, and the office staff were not friendly. We won't be going back. We didn't have any cavities, but my wisdom teeth need to be removed...like...a year ago. They are killing me, and growing out directly into the molars next to them at a weird angle. Now my teeth hurt from the violent cleaning and the wisdom teeth. sigh.