Saturday, December 22, 2012

Apparently things that make me cry.

Yep, I decorated!  I did what I could the first week of December, then I stopped.  I think I needed some time to just enjoy what was finished, and to prepare for Christmas..mentally.  It isn't the shopping, it's a big ol' chance for renewal!  I'm praying I'm ready.  (to be clear..decorating does not make me cry. heehee)
And the one sweetest thing (please don't let this be bragging..) this year?  All the hand-wrapped presents with handwritten tags from my children.  I began by letting the kids wrap things for each other, then I have left out the wrapping paper, scissors, tape, and tags on my bedroom floor (yes..all month.).  What I've learned is that they go work in their rooms, then emerge, and wrap.
There are all sorts of beautiful packages under our tree.  And I love it.  They weren't purchased or ordered.  They were dreamed into existence.  They have bought a few things for a quarter or a dollar here or there, or used whatever savings they had.  But really, like Clay made mustaches for Mary Claire (it's a big fad here, it'll probably be over next month, ha!)...I can't wait till she sees them!  They are made from some leftover white furry fabric I had that he was using to make Carter a blanket.  They will all be so excited.  They are pretty good to appreciate time and effort. 
So..yes, it's all the same room!  It's almost midnight, and I can't turn on lights anywhere else in the house without waking up a peaceful child.  Maybe I'll get a good shot of my Charlie Brown tree tomorrow.  In the daylight! : )
I want to give them all handwritten notes.  I was listening to a show today, and I learned that people really like to hear heartfelt words, I mean..don't we all?  And it usually means so much more than a gift.  I hope we can all write to each other this year.  I remember doing that in my classroom years ago.  It's great for the kids to know all the nice things that others think.  Sometimes kids just make up this perception of how others think of them, and it seems real.  They need to see it in writing to validate themselves.  I still have a file of all the precious cards and letters I've received over the years with sweet words.  Some make me cry..but in a good way. ; )
I want them to know that I value that they want to give to e-v-e-r-y-one, that they want to read to their brother, that they respect people's privacy, that they love to play on the trampoline together, that they can make up their own games and make their own *forts* outside, and that they want to sit with Santa for their little brothers even when they feel too big.  And I like that they still tell me they believe in Santa, even when they know he has lots of helpers.  Wink, wink.  Oh, kids are a mixed bunch, incredibly imperfect, but aren't we?  At least I can be thankful for the good I can find. : )
We took the kids one night when Clay was camping, and Mary Claire didn't want to sit on Santa's lap.  (He's the best Santa by the way.)
Santa tries to look over his glasses and look jolly.  He was super sweet.  I really liked the couch for the bigger kids. : )
I digress!  I think all the wrapping started when we began by book wrapping.  We wrap a bunch of Christmas books (that we already own!), and each night we unwrap one (or two), and then read it.  The kids are getting to unwrap (which fills a child's need!), and we get to spend time snuggled together.  We read The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree last night (which seriously makes me cry! ..and Ruthie told me all of this), and this morning we read the Polar Express (which also makes me cry..does the bell still ring for you?), and tonight was the Berenstain Bears Meets Santa Bear..which didn't make me cry. ; )  The kids want to read The Gift of the Magi, and I hope we have some more time now that school is out.  Ethan is into big books (read: no pictures!)..we have been reading the Wizard of Oz.  He says he can still look inside and find sight words.  Ha!
I hope you are blessed with precious packages and sweet little people.  Merry Christmas.  Let us celebrate baby Jesus' birthday with joy and honor Him with our hearts and words.  Hugs!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Can't Wait!

Hi, I'm Holly, and I'm addicted to Pinterest..I'm dying to decorate for Christmas!  We kinda skipped fall/Halloween since we had people looking at our house.  I had all the tubs out with decor...but then I got a call, and it seemed wrong to leave those dusty things all stacked up everywhere.  So..we piled them right inside the attic door (like 2" inside!), then locked the door.  And, what do you know?  They wanted to see inside the attic the next time they came.  People are intrigued by a locked door!

They probably thought we were non-celebrating people.  Like lazy or anti-Halloween.  But we are all Martha Stewart-wannabe-decorate-it-if-it-doesn't-walk (with red, lights, burlap, glass balls, whatever!)

I'm also shopped out after Black Friday and Cyber Monday (But I got some stupendous good deals!  Seriously, the entire Tommy Hilfiger store was 50% off, and I got an extra 25% off shopping before 10am.  See?  Good.)  (Also?  Carter's entire store was 50% off, and I got extra 20% off with my coupon.)  (So, when you see my kids wearing these brands every day, look away and pretend you aren't the one person who reads this.) ; )  ha!

So, how shall we decorate?  Same as always? Mix it up this year with new stuff?  Whew.  I'll let you know how it goes.  Baby steps, friends.  I have a BABY!!  Who is very nearly crawling.  You can come hold him so he doesn't grab all the tree lights. ; )

And meet my husband, Ches, who refuses to come to AA.  He's currently addicted to baseball cards.  And can't admit it yet.  He is now shopping Dave and Adam's and Blowout Cards' hourly sales, and promises to sell some of his current cards.  But. . . (crickets chirping..) . . . none sold yet.  He has relics (fabric/bat knobs), autographs, printing plate, etc.  And we need a new storage facility for them.

Ok, I'm one to talk.  I have stores of stamps, scrapbook stuff, fabric, ribbon, embroidery thread, magazines...and I really like shoes. ; )  Excuse me whilst I go pluck the log out of my eye.

Hope you have a h-e-a-l-t-h-y addiction.  Stay away from Pinterest(and its recipes and homes and organization and clothes and crafts and decorating and arty quotes. . )

Hugs and Happy Holly-days! 

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to  remove the speck from your brother’s eye.  Matthew 7:5  (this?  is me!)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Jump, Swim, Shop!

Happy Thanksgiving..and happy black Friday! ; )

Hope you had a beautiful day yesterday with those you love.  And hope you had mostly fun memories! ; ) haha!  We drove to Branson last night to do a little black Friday shopping last night and this morning, and it was good overall.  I forget to lower my expectations when it's all of us, and on the road for more than 20 minutes!  It rained/stormed almost the entire way, and Carter wasn't happy (yep, still hates that car seat!).  Then, last night we all stayed in one room (no Residence Inn there!) sleeping wasn't going to go smoothly.  I just have to remember that it's part of the experience.

We did get good sales, and had fun together.  The kids swam last night, and we did a little practice on our ESP (don't you always think you can SEND a thought?  just for fun!), and more shopping today.  I like it when they pick out things that aren't for themselves..bonus.  Thinking of others! 
Mary Claire was high when we got ready to swim-over 350!  We'd stopped by Krispy Kreme (since they were hot now!) on the way to the hotel, so there were donuts waiting for her..  She was motivated.  When she got back from swimming, she was 70.  No kidding.  Even with her pump off.  I asked her how that was possible, and she told me she'd spent the entire time doing laps around the pool!  Bless her heart.  Few things can be so a little sprinkly donut. ; )

And Carter..he is seven and a half months already!  He has cut three teeth, and now when he babbles, you can see the bottom two. ; )  The second one on top is almost can see the thin skin over it.  And-he sits up!  I know it's been a couple weeks, but he's great at it now.  He can sit in a grocery cart, high chair, and in his bath tub. ; )  He says dada a lot, makes smacky kisses, and will hug your head, and kiss your face!  (which feels a lot like being licked). haha!  
And, he's getting ready to crawl.  He can bury his head, and push his feet/knees to get moving.  He just needs to get that head up off the floor!  I'm not going to spend my days teaching that his mobility is getting closer, I'm more nervous.  ..Christmas tree season is upon us!

He's just so cuddly and sweet.  We are just adoring him.  Here's a link to a video of him jump-jump-jumping!
Speaking of..he's waking up, so I have to hurry!  Hoping you can find blessings where you are.  It sure brings peace to your heart! : )

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thankful for these little turkeys!

I'm so thankful I'm not filled with grief and stress over the fact that I'm not posting daily after I pledged to..heehee ..cause I got all these kids, ya'll!  I'm having fun with them on their field trips (to Little Rock!), 
I must say, I'm super thankful the weather was awesome that day!  And she had a good day overall, even though a good friend (we'll call friend A) didn't want to be her partner (after she rode with us!) and the other that rode with us (friend B) didn't want to be her partner out of fear the friend A would be mad at both of them.  Tough being ten.  And can I say..tough being the mom to a ten-year-old?

On the second floor, getting the tour.

Hunt Husky Fifth Grade Class, 2012-2013

At our capitol building, Little Rock, Arkansas.
and at their Halloween Parties, and their intern teachers going away parties, and their scout stuff, and "picture" shopping for their Christmas and our three upcoming birthdays..I digress.

But I'm thankful for a (#6) turkey roasting, (#7) for the baseball cards I'm listing on Ebay (and that they've brought my husband and kids closer..and I guess me since I'm listing!)
(#8) my baby sleeping peacefully while the big kids play monopoly and make tents, (#9) for the home that has housed us safely and warmly for 7.25 years thus far, (#10) for the new family who wants to start memories in our comfy home and give us the opportunity to build a new family home, and (#11) the grace and confidence God has placed in us to figure out how to move and transition our family of six to a new location (and a transitional location in the meantime!).

I think when you've prayed and prayed about something, and God begins to (actually) move, it is both frightening and humbling.  HE hears us, and He waits for just the appropriate time to begin the fall of the dominoes.

Am I READY for what I've asked for?  Whew.  I wanted His word on the subject, and I have it.  My house was not for sale.  Yet, it's under contract.  I think..if that's not God moving..I'm not sure what is! ; )

Thankful yet again,

Monday, November 5, 2012

More thankfulness.

Today I'm thankful for my baby daddy!  He works hard for our family, and he makes sure we have what we need.  I can tell sometimes he is tired of some of the more monotonous work he does, but he keeps going.  He knows the value of insurance for our family, and he'd never let anything get between us and the doctors and medicine we need (especially those outrageous insulin pens!).

He likes to take us on vacation and out to dinner.  He likes to play cards at dinner.  He orders us "pillows" (zeppoli) for dessert.

He is willing to help coach baseball when everyone else is busy.  He goes on long bike rides with the boys.  He takes Mary Claire for daddy-daughter date nights.  He says prayers with our family.  He takes wonderful care of our yard..even when the Japanese beetles are feasting on our crepe myrtles or our ivy begins to take over the windows.  He even fishes snakes and frogs and spiders out of the pool when the rest of us are FREAKING out!  (even that humongous 5" spider!!)

He takes us to see the Statue of Liberty, even when it's an entire day trip, a ferry ride, and a hundred degrees.

And..even lets our kids do wild things that scare me. ; )
Clay.  And his high-flying trampoline flips.
And he makes sure we get date nights for fun time a-l-o-n-e!  We have made a point not to forget where we started.  It'll matter so much in another 20 years. ; )

Thank you for loving me, and my babies!  Especially when we can be exhausted and unlovable. ; )  Love you, honey! xoxo


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thankful Starts Here

Thankful November!  I'm going to get better at posting my thankfulness every day this month : )

For my first four days...I'm thankful for my four sweet kiddos.  I know, they are easy-peasy.
Following the yellow brick road...Halloween 2012
I'm thankful that Clay made it here safe and sound after my preeclampsia, being five weeks early, and only four pounds.  He's so tough!  He did another 25 mile bike ride today with his boy scout troop today.  He never gets tired.  And he's full of information.  He can remember anything he reads, and tell you about it a couple years later.  Whew!  I'm so proud of him!

I'm thankful for Mary Claire and her perseverance-that girl could give up at any time, but never does.  I'd mentally check out if someone kept telling me to check my blood...but she keeps going.  God bless her.  And her attitude?  Almost always PoSiTiVE!!  Wowza.  Love that girl!

I'm thankful for Ethan.  That kid is absolutely all heart, manners, and a wallop of brains.  He can navigate social situations, and is incredibly skilled at it!  He is inquisitive, loves, and is so very sweet.  I can't say enough how he uses his nice manners (and even surprises me sometimes with his sorry's and thank you's).  He is so precious and loveable!
Be very flowers are ALiVE!  (how they do dat?  humidity in the air?)
I'm thankful for Carter.  Boy, am I glad he's finally here.  It's like I knew he was waiting up in Heaven for us.  He just took longer than the rest of them!  He is the most precious, huggable, smiley baby.  And his latest feat?  Bounce, bounce, bouncing in his jumpy thing.  He has brought the most joy to our family.  I love the way they all love on him.  Love that bundle!

Sometimes if I get stressed that they are lots of work (what with all that laundry they make, their events/practices, homework, messy rooms, teeth brushing monitoring, crumbing my van, etc.), I realize that I'd be sitting around doing nothing.  I'd be bored wishing I had kids. (like I did for so many years!)  So..I've really started enjoying the busyness.  It's the way the current of my life is going, and I'll sleep when they go to college..or have their own kids?...or maybe when I'm underground.  Just not now, I have better stuff to do!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Mattress Protection Theory

I've SO missed my bloggy peeps! ; )  Thanks for your input on the meter Situation.  I shall fight.  I shall Go to the Mattresses! ; )  and thank you for bringing me to my (fighting) senses.
I actually found out our strips are like the cheapest ones!  How's that and how are they making us upgrade to dumpy expensive ones?  I don't see how it could be a contractual deal or anything to make them less expensive.  But..there is a lot I don't know.  ..we saw the Bourne Identity a couple of nights ago, and boy!  It makes you think.  Are there things going on all around us that we don't know about?  Did that car that just passed me come from robbing a house?  or is that person sick because they just go the viral update so they can go off their mystery meds?

Ok, reality again.  We got a new door put on today between our house (kitchen) and garage.  Love it.  Hated the awful job the Lowe's installer did.  He totally gawked up the caulk, and it looked like a first grader did it.  I cleaned some of it up where it was still wet, but it was so thick and smeary.  I got SO mad.  I really believe in some work ethic.  Call me old fashioned.  If you are going to do something, do it right.  Even if it's cleaning your toilet.  Don't splash the cleaner all over the place, for goodness sakes.  Is it dinner you are making?  Don't burn it.  Keep an eye on it (and a low burner!).  Caulking?  Keep a wet finger and some paper towels handy.  Good grief.  
Anyway, it has glass in it!  So I can see my cuties playing on the driveway, and see SUNLiGHT!! : )  So excited to add a "window" to that darkish area!  It has blinds built in, so at night, I don't have to look at my van in the garage.  Not exactly Bunko fodder. ; )

K, ya'll sleep well tonight!  Don't think about losing your pharm insurance, or the crazy slow car driving by with it's lights off... heehee, just kidding! : ) 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

I'm Alive!!

Well, September slipped by.  Wordlessly.  Sorry, I had this tiny thing called a BABY.  He's still wonderful, but definitely rocking my world.  I'll find a picture... ; )

We are getting ready for the Walk to Cure Diabetes..and I'm doing my best to pull it together!  We have to rush to get shirts ordered (they told me to have my sizes by MONDAY!  (Don't know 'bout where you live, but it's FRIDAY Here!!!).  Still working on our tshirt design, here are some possibilities:
The idea was that we'd give each person a Sharpie marker with their shirt, and they could write on the shirt what they wish for... I just don't know if it converges with the theme, "One Cure" haha..oops.

And this one is ok..we thought it up last year, but couldn't use it. doesn't speak to the real Olympic-y theme.  Worried about that?  Nah, me neither. ; )  There is no t-shirt contest calling my name.  The name of my game?  Make my girlie happy.  And she loves her some cupcakes!
So..there's that, and my thank you notes on backorder.  (Well, that'd be me being behind, must take responsibility.)  I'll get it together.

BUT, my current grievance is insurance-related.  I can gripe and moan here since they don't frequent my place, and don't have any desire to ask what we want.  Basically, the U of A (where my lovely earns a wage and carries our life-giving insurance) is changing carriers.  He found out last week since he's been serving on the faculty senate, and it just hit the faculty this week.
I'm freaked out.
AND we just got a letter that our pharmacy care is requiring we now only get a choice of two meter manufacturers if we want our strips paid for...and it's not our meter or company.  It's a sucky-give-away-free-cheap-meters-and-make-their-money-on-the-bad-strips-that-require-four-to-check-blood-at-a-time.  It's awful.  And our old meters send her blood sugar to her pump saving a step each and every time, and they work every time.  Even though they aren't the latest thing.  But they are GOOD quality.  I'm sad.  How can it all go bad in one week?

I know if you have diabetes (or a child with it), you know what supplies cost.  The sets (site change) supplies are $750. per month.  There is no way around it.  It's expensive.

Ok, try to turn my frown upside down.  It's just not all roses.  She's alive, and I have to be thankful we don't live 200 years ago.  She'd be gone.'s your week?

My baby can nearly sit up..if he doesn't fall over. ; )  heehee  If I hold one hand, he can balance.  And he is eating some veggies (squishy, of course), and some cereal.  It really makes me feel a teensy bit more independent.  Like if I leave him for more than an hour or two, he'll survive!  We are still heavily nursing (like 10 times a day?).  He's super fast, so he probably doesn't get much at a time.  It's just how he is.  All my babies have been different, and he has better things to do than stare at a shirt! ; )   He is super cuddly and sweet though, and sometimes tries to talk while he eats, it's so funny.  He half babbles and half eats.  It just makes me laugh!

Clay was on some stronger Concerta, but then he lost almost ten pounds, so we dropped him back.  We are currently stuffing him with anything he'll eat.  He's a healthy eater so it's kinda hard.  But..I've been stocking his closet with canisters of Reese's and jelly beans.  heehee, I'm so sneaky.  He gets a cheesecake every week, and basically anything we can get him to choke down.  I even give him protein power shakes.  He's back up five pounds, but it's taken almost a month.

Mary Claire?  Sweet and growing.  Reading like crazy.  And can't WAiT for the Walk!  If we can get the shirts all wrapped up, we'll be sitting pretty.  And then..those bows.  Will I do it again this year?  Ha!  Feeling a bit overwhelmed, so maybe not.  Ok, now it's Sunday, and here is what they *might* look ; )
What do you think?  She likes the black, and it's closer to our theme of olympics, but she still gets her cupcakes.  I think I'll order her some Rick's cupcakes for post-walk, just 'cause I love her.

See?'s still taking me a good weekend to even write one post.  And so much changes in a couple days!

Oh yeah!  Here are some pictures of my cuties:
Now in volleyball school.  She loves it for the new clothes. ; )

seems mustaches have even made it to gumball machines.  Very Mario-esque.

Clay playing catcher.  Can you see the amazingness of my camera?  I caught him catching the ball!

Swear he's not naked.  He's an awful messy eater. ; )

Toes.  Are.  Fascinating.
Hope you had a great weekend, hugs!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Prayers (Please!)

Do you ever think you have big problems, lotsa stuff to do, things to solve, places to be, kids to untangle, blood sugars to track, or just not enough sleep?  Well, I do too.  But.  Meri isn't so blessed with the regular problems like you and I have today (..ok, she has those PLUS).  She's waging an intense battle with her husband's cancer right now.  Can you even imagine?  I've tried to over and over again.  It keeps me in the here and now..praying for Meri and Ryan.  All day, my thoughts (and prayers) come back to them.
Take a minute and go visit, Meri is an amazing mom who balances four great boys (three with diabetes!) with grace and a great sense of humor.  Here's her blog:  Please, please add them to your prayer requests, they could use a miracle!  We love you, Meri!!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Crabs, Carbs, and Cards

I miss you!  I have been gone too long, and I have been a wee bit busy.  'Cause I have these sweet kids, ya'll.  I feel kinda like Carol Brady.  Except without Alice. You know when Kitty Karry-All turns up missing?  And then Bobby's kazoo is MIA?  And everyone sides and then you have to hold court to determine who started all the trouble?  Yeah, I know.  You have NO idea what I'm talking about.  'Cause your house is all calm and nice.  Well..summer came to a close, so now school is keeping our little Cindy and Bobbys busy.  heehee ; )

So.  Vacation now is like a kazillion times different with four.  Especially with a four month old on a plane.  With an hour wait on the tarmac.  Some crying in the air, and sweaty pits from stressing over what everyone else is thinking about you and your big family and your crazy plan to take all those kids on a trip.  Well, I can tell you it's a massive undertaking. was totally worth it.  I promise.  Not just the trip to the National Sports Collectors' Convention in Baltimore or the cheesecake that blew the day's carb limit to the moon (and back), or the days in the sand and shore with the family, or the ferry ride out to the Statue of Liberty, or the crazy separate shuttles to the hotel since we (and our luggage) didn't all fit in one..but even the mornings at the hotel breakfast and the silly days in the beach house shower.  Just what we be in even closer quarters for a while to make us appreciate our home (and separate bedrooms and beds!).

I could entertain you for days with all the craziness, but I'll try to keep a few things to myself.  ..You're Welcome! : )  Suffice it to say that I love my family, the rocks they sneak back home, the mountains of laundry, the piles of sand in the rental van (it's a ReNTaL! hahahaha), and the room keys we are still finding..

--Ok, I have to tell the truth.  I tried to narrow it down to five or six pictures, but it appears that I'm physically incapable.  I may just have to work on it for a few days. ; )  If you are a relative, you'll be patient with me.  ..and if not?  You can come back in a month and it'll all be over!  'Cause we've got the back to school bash, the first day of school, and so much growing baby.  And have I even told you Ethan lost two teeth?  Is that even possible at FiVe?  I'm thinking so..since there are two half-grown in already!!'s the beginning of the onslaught. ; )  Get yourself a drink, and enjoy some of our memories..I'll start with our day in Baltimore with crabs, jellyfish, ships, a big rain, a few too many carbs, and some cards:

We started our trip in DC, then drove to Baltimore for the Baseball Card Convention..this is at the Inner Harbor.  Checking out an old cannon and what it could shoot!

Check this out.  Massive.

Only four could fit on the paddle boats, so Carter and I paddled our way to the air conditioning.  I think it was only a hundred humid degrees.  And the coldest air just happened to be in front of the Cheesecake Factory.

'Cause we like the air cold.  And our cheesecake chocolate. ; )

He's fast.

She's enjoying every savory morsel of her Reese's cheesecake.  She began with the peanut butter fluff on top.  FYI: this is 167 grams of delicious carbs.  Yes, it's a DAY'S worth of carbs for her!  Good thing she only ate half.

And then..the Convention began!  This is Honus Wagner's bat.  The one he touched.  Clay was in love.  He spent $88 *of his own money!* on baseball cards, and could've stayed till bedtime.
 The Convention was huge.  There were baseball cards, and they there were original jerseys/equipment, players signing, companies giving away freebies (we got three Upper Deck shirts!  Do you need one?), and we got to stand in line for redemptions (some mini cards for those new wrapper trade-ins.  I was incredibly reluctant to go..but it was fun to watch my boys with twinkling eyes.  That's kinda what vacation is for. : )

And tomorrow? (or when I get another ten minutes..)  The Beach!

oh, I left someone out of the pictures!  ..he's even wearing a crab ; )

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Little Workers

Sometimes I come here, and just have guilt.  Well, maybe it's just that I have one more thing to keep up, and I'm not doing such a hot job.  I now have four kids and diabetes turned eight this year!  I have to get this redesigned.  I'll add it to my things to do... along with changing out the kids' old pictures, updating my prayer list..  Ha!  This all comes after cleaning their undies, making dinner, and making sure their teeth are brushed. ; )  Oh, and having a meaningful conversation with their daddy that lasts more than five minutes, and doesn't only involve their names! : )

We've survived the surgery, and Carter went back for a post-op appointment on Friday.  He's healing well, and we don't go back for a month.  He'll be dismissed after that as long as everything looks good at that point.  He got to go back to tub baths again, thank goodness!  And, I seriously have to say that he's really doing better.  I don't know if we crossed some critical time barrier or if it was the hernia, but he has a much better attitude/disposition.  He can now just SiT with us, and be o-k-a-y.  No shushing, jiggling, walking, patting him.  He's just content (and maybe out of pain?!).  It's really fun to be around him now!  He just smiles, and babbles, and today he laughed-twice!  Precious.  This is how babies should be. : )

I took Mary Claire (just the two of us!) to get some school clothes today.  She was so excited!  And...she'll be the turquoise girl this year.  She's been dying to get these new shoes that are all the rage here (Tom's), and we got her some turquoise glitter ones.  She's saving them for school (per our agreement) ; ) but had to get lots of things to go with them!  I think she only got one outfit that wasn't turquoise.  What happened to pink?
This was the first year I've let her pick out her clothes.  Well, she's been shopping with me before, but this time she chose what to try on.  Normally, I just bring home clothes and she tells me if she'll wear them or not, and rarely objects to anything!  But, she's getting older and her body is changing, and I wanted her to try some jeans on for a better fit.  I can't believe she's ten.  This is my girl I still remember rocking to sleep.  Time sure flies.

She's asking to carry a purse.  Separate from the purse for her meter.  I'm not sure how to deal with it.  I mean, she has lots of little purses (basically ones she used to have her meter in-like little glittery, sequined ones), but do I have her combine her meter with her "Girl Stuff" or let her carry two separate bags?  I'm just not sure.  She didn't want to combine her little Vera Bradley meter purse with her girly stuff, but who wants to carry two purses?  And school is getting ready to start, so we have to get it figured out.  She's not just carrying lip gloss and a note pad anymore in there anymore. ; )  Ideas?

We decided not to just give the kids Trip Money (for our summer vacation to the shore) this year.  We told them they'd have to earn the money they wanted to spend.'s kinda worked out.  We have a long list of chores/jobs they can do (like skimming the pool, unloading the dishwasher, helping Ethan practice writing his letters, folding laundry, etc.) and the pay for each job.  Let me just say that Ches is really generous, and I'm cheap.  I foresaw the future of my enterprising kids, and did they!  We agreed on prices together (like .50 for taking out the recycling or .25 for setting the table...we paid less for jobs they like and more for the drudgery).  Then we used a huge white board with their names, and they keep a tally each day of what they've done.  In the first day, Clay earned over $21.00-I knew they were opportunists!
Mary Claire is very intelligent too.  She decided what she wanted from American Girl, made a list, added it up, and divided by the number of days till our trip.  She figured out that she had to make about $5.50/day to get what she wanted.  No reason to overwork. ; )  Ethan isn't too terribly motivated, he earns about $1-2 a day.  Not bad, but certainly not ambitious.  He'll figure it out when we don't just buy him stuff this year.  I guess we teach the hard way. ; )  Only 'cause we love them.

I should go-getting to bed at one a.m. isn't doing me any favors!  Hope you are having a great summer..and your kids are helping you.  (but maybe you shouldn't implement a pay-as-you-go chart.  Just sayin'.)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Baby Surgery

I tell you what.  I have the best friends.  Need some help?  Just holler!  Need a prayer warrior on your side?  I got 'em!  That has to be my absolute favorite thing about my girls.  They got my back.  I am rolling along in prayer-I know only God could have helped me through last night and today.  Really.

It happened kinda fast...but Carter had his surgery today!  If you aren't caught up (heck-I'm not!), he had an inguinal hernia (intestine poking out his abdominal wall down low, just above his privates) (we're a family blog, ya'll!) Anywho, we saw a surgeon on Wednesday, and he scheduled us for today.  That's service. ; )

I was sailing along just fine until last night.  I just lost it.  It all became so overwhelming.  I was packing my suitcase (we were supposed to be there at 5:30am, surgery at 7:30am) since we had to spend tonight so he could be observed for 24 hours after anesthesia, and I just started stressing.  Packing for me, packing for him, worrying about the other kids.  My mom had an MRI at ten this morning, so she was busy herself, and I just could not ask my friends for help.  I am crippled that way.  Well..I called a couple babysitters (somehow I can justify asking someone to be at my house at 5:15am if I can pay them), but they were busy.

We'd decided to just have Ches stay home with the kids, and I'd take him alone.  At 5:15am.  With me full of milk, and him starving.  Oh, did I mention I couldn't feed him after midnight?  Yeah, that too.  (Required Ches driving all over NW Arkansas after 10 last night looking for the holy grail of breast and my fancy electric Medela just don't tango anymore...)  So..I called Courtney and she listened to Irrational Me (she's patient like that), and worked through some scenarios.. and ended with her telling me how she really could handle her five kids (while her husband was working!) and my three.  And I believed her, since she tells the truth. ; )

So..I did what I could handle.  We got them ready for bed, jammied, teeth brushed, etc. and Ches took them over there a little before ten.  I didn't want them to get in the way, but what did she do?  Let them do crafts and play and have fun!  I expected quick bed, but she wanted them to have some fun. ; )  She worried and prayed over my babies, and even let Ethan sleep next to her since he got up in the night (like he does here..).  I felt bad and thankful and overwhelmed (again!) and good all at the same time.  Ever have someone worry and love your kids like you do?  It's a happy feeling. : )

They were fine, and Ches picked them up when we heard Carter was out of surgery and had been moved to recovery (Safe!).  They were worried about Carter, and they couldn't wait to see him either.  I was just thankful Ches got to go with me this morning-it was hard with all the crying.  Carter woke up about 4:20, hungry.  Ches went to get him and gave him a paci.  Not quite, he said.  He was mad, and cried for over an hour.  When we finally got on the highway to the hospital, he fell asleep and slept till we got to the there.  Then mellowed for an hour or so.  He must have been exhausted, and had no fuel for his fire.  (Come to find out he was dehydrated, and he had repeated pokes to get an i.v.-thanks doctors for the No Food After Midnight rule!)  But he even laid on the bed and wasn't mad.  I knew it was prayer carrying us-this was odd for him.  He doesn't even like to lay down.  Period.  Angels were holding him probably.  Or singing Amazing Grace, the kind his momma really needed.  ; )

Then we had to change him into the way-big hospital gown:
It was so huge.  I didn't even tie it.  He was covered in cartoony tigers.  Just like Ethan was a couple weeks ago!
The doctor came in and drew a check mark on the side he planned to repair (apparently it's a law now?), then after more carrying/holding, they came to get him.  It was harder than even I anticipated it would be.  Yeah, that's hard!  To give your baby away..well you know.

We waited..and waited.  They assign each patient a random number, and you watch the computer screens for updates on your family member (number).  We saw when the surgery began, and they posted the ending time about 20 minutes late, but at least we knew he was out, and okay.  Soon, the doctor came out and told us he did fine, and was doing lots of healthy screaming.  He was so calm.  I asked if someone was holding my screaming baby trying to comfort him, and when could I go hold him??  He said it'd be another 30 minutes or so.  Agony.  It turned out to be only about 10 minutes.  Either they'd had enough, or he always overestimates.  (Like him saying we'd have to spend Friday night, but then he said we could GO HOME!!)

We decided we really liked him.  He was super calm, and he asked if he could pray with us before surgery.  A really good prayer.  I can't remember it, but the Holy Spirit was speaking to me and comforting me, and it made me have confidence in this man that was about to see inside my baby.  Places only God had seen.

And then Ches went to get the kids, and I went to hold my baby.  My screaming baby that would not eat.  I thought he'd be ravenous, but no.  No momma milk.  He just wanted to be held and rocked..and sleep.  He never did eat, but they let us go anyway.  So today he slept all day (till about 6:30pm, with bouts of crying and little bits of milk in between).  He finally took some Tylenol about 6:30, and ate well twice.  He's now in bed..maybe for the night?

Since I haven't slept in two days, I'm going to sleep when he sleeps. ; )  Hope your babies are well, and home, and eating well.  Sometimes we take those for granted!  It's these times I remember to be thankful for the little things.  Like my own bed.  And dinner with my family tonight. Even if it was at 8:30. : )  Hugs!
Peaceful sleep..precious.  G'night, ya'll!