Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wobble Wobble Not Gobble Gobble

This is a Black family first. In our five years of child rearing we have had numerous falls and crashes but no injuries which the doctor felt the need to brace until now!

Yesterday as the kids and I were sitting down to read another chapter in Stewart Little, I looked up and saw Spencer playing across the room. For half a second I thought about moving him. I let the thought pass because I couldn't see any danger. Oops, should have acted on that one! He managed to tip the sewing machine onto himself. It was put away in its usual spot around counter height. Apparently the location wasn't as child safe as I thought. I'll be finding a new location for the sewing machine.

I only half saw what happened. It was right in front of me but I must have looked up at the sound and so I'm not sure of everything. As the machine fell it scraped Spencer's head. Spencer fell one way and the machine went the other. I was worried about his foot when I went to get him because that was the general area it appeared the machine might have hit. Once he stopped crying and could respond to my questions, I asked him where it hurt. He told me his head. He had a scrape but nothing that appeared to be major. So I was relieved until he stood up to wander off. Every time he'd try to put weight on his right leg he'd cry and stop. He wouldn't walk. So we headed to the doctor. I'm not sure if he turned his ankle or if the machine hit his foot. Either way, very traumatic for an 18m old.

The odd thing was there was no swelling, no discoloration, and no pain except when he'd attempt walking, so the doctor asked for x-rays. (I wish I could say this was our first time in the x-ray room!) There was nothing obvious as far as a break but the after hours care center wants to wait for a radiologist to examine the images. Spencer has to stay in a brace until we hear back from the radiologist. I don't think there's much worry about a break after seeing the x-rays myself but better safe than sorry. The brace inhibits his walking even more than his pain did so he's gone back to crawling. The hardest part seems to be that he can't keep up with his siblings!

To date our three children have had three emergency room visits, one CT scan, and (at least) four x-ray sessions (some illness related others injury). Hmm...Come to think of it, this is just between the two boys! We haven't had any emergencies visits with Evelyn yet. Thankfully our children have recovered fully from each situation. I don't think we will ever attempt making it without health insurance!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I can't tell you...

On Saturday I took the kids to the grocery store with me to catch a couple exceptional deals. It was a special three hours only sale. It was insane! If grocery stores had day after Thanksgiving sales, that's what it looked like. We were there fifteen minutes after the sale started and could hardly walk through the store let alone find any of the specials left. We couldn't even get a cart or basket. So I carried Spencer and had the other two trail behind me single file. We were trying our best to avoid being hit by grocery carts! Crazy. We left after five minutes, empty handed, but happy to be in one piece.

When we got home Oliver got to work drawing. I came over to see what he'd drawn. Its a picture of Mommy, Oliver and Evelyn. He explained to me that Mommy was sad because we couldn't get cocoa for LaDena and Oliver and Evelyn were angry. (Can't blame them! I don't like dodging grocery carts either.) Oliver made word bubbles for each person. I asked what they were saying. Oliver told me he couldn't tell me because they were saying bad things!

Later that day Oliver helped me do some cooking. He wanted to help me squeeze some limes. I handed it over to him and he said, "I'll squeeze the jelly from your eyes!" For those that don't know that's from the movie Shrek but his timing had me rolling on the floor. I'm surprised by how much he remembers. :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

What is it?

I went to empty the freshly washed dishes from the dishwasher and found this on the bottom rack:

It looked really weird when it was sopping wet and sticking to the dishes a little more. I didn't even want to touch it at first. Have any ideas what it is?

Scroll down to see.

I guess I wasn't the only one to load the dishwasher. Spencer is my helper. He likes putting things in and taking things out. So he helps with the laundry and the dish washing. Today he surprised me by loading the duster in the dishwasher with out my seeing. It did fluff up fine after if dried out. I just never though of cleaning that way!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Gumballs and Shots

Today we went to the pediatrician for Spencer's 18m check up. He's doing well but still short. Sorry kid, that's my fault. That's what you get for having a mom who's only 4'11". (I'd hoped his father's 6'2" genes would have been stronger!) We'll have to watch though, he dropped from the 10th percentile to the 3rd. Growing up, most of the kids in my family weren't even on the chart but we kept growing on a normal growth curve so we were considered healthy. As long as that's what Spencer continues to do, all is fine. His milk problems? Well, I think this was the first time the doctor really listened. He was surprised that just a small handful of chocolate chips gave him bad diapers. I've already been using rice milk for cooking and kept him on formula so now the doctor also wants me to switch him to lactose free formula. We'll try that out and see how he does this week.

I went ahead and had all of the children get flu shots. I tried to explain to them how it would feel so they wouldn't be shocked. That didn't help much. Evelyn was so startled at the needle poking her she jerked her arm away and began crying. She would be a drama queen if we'd allow it! I was shocked the nurse actually got the medicine in! Thankfully she didn't have to do it again. Evelyn's reaction freaked Oliver out. He's never had problems with the shots before . This time it was a struggle just to get him sitting down and I had to hold both his legs and arms down. The nurse suggested we put it in his leg rather than arm, as its a little easier to keep them still that way. Once it happened he looked at me a little surprised, kind of like "That was it?" The only problem with doing it in his leg was he dropped his pants in the waiting room to show everyone how brave he was. Spencer, well he had three shots and didn't even fuss until the tetanus shot, which really does hurt. He was the bravest or them all (or most unaware of what was going on).

All of the kids were really well behaved. The doctor just kept laughing at Spencer because he was really involved with the other children, climbing, talking, writing on himself, and getting into stuff. The doctor came back into the room to hand me the formula samples and said to Spencer, "Just look at yourself!" In the few minutes he been gone, Spencer had covered his bare legs and belly with purple ballpoint pen ink. So Spencer bent over and really checked out his drawings. The doctors had a good chuckle at how well he had not only understood but responded. Through the whole appointment our doctor kept saying what a character Spencer was. It was unusually fun for being at the doctor's office with three young children.

Our doctor gives each child a penny to get a piece of bubble gum out of the candy machine after each appointment. The kids always want to go to the doctor's because of that gum ball machine. They had their gum right after their shots. On our drive home Oliver announced to me that he and Evelyn had traded gum balls. I thought hmmm...that announcement seems a little late. Sure enough they hadn't traded gumballs but already chewed gum! Oh well it could be worse and I'm glad they're willing to share, kind of.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Rain Drops on Roses

"...brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things..." The Sound of Music

Some of My Favorite Things

the leaves changing color in the fall

my children laughing in their sleep

color (I'm draw to red but I can't imagine a world with out the full range of every color. There aren't any that don't have a place in my life.)


the internet

talking with my husband

Swing Life Away by Rise Against

I Will Follow You Into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie

piano solos


the smell of cold night air

waking up before anyone else in the house


fresh baked bread spread with honey and real butter

using my hands

my children's odd responses

open space

fields of flowers

the mountains

What are some of your favorite things?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Update on the Flooding

Everything is dry now! It took quite some time since there ended up being more than one leak! We didn't have running water for two days once we figured out where the problem was coming from. I was so glad I'd been storing water in soda bottles! I never would have expected we'd already be using them! We kept the toilets flushing, hands washed, and water bottles full. In the evening we'd turn the water to the house on for about 1 1/2 hours to get some necessary showers and dishes washed. Thankfully, its all fixed now.
The kids have been asking for an "up and down bed" or bunk bed for quite some time. When their Nana heard that she started watching for a good used bunk bed. She found one and instead of waiting until Christmas we went ahead and put it up while everything was already out of there room. We surprised the kids last night and it was a hit. It sure beats what they had! Ollie had a twin bed and the other two had baby crib mattresses on the floor. Everyone was excited and best of all they slept through the night again! Hooray!!!

Lego Star Wars

Oliver has a fascination with Star Wars. He's never seen one of the movies but has a computer game called Lego Star Wars. He loves it. (He even gets Star Wars books at the library now!)He's allowed to play once a week, if he behaves at church. Church used to be quite the battle but now all we have to do is remind him he won't get to play. Yes I know he's not being reverent if he's not doing it for the right reasons but we're baby stepping here. First we needed to get him to sit still. After about a year now, he's starting to understand the other concept too.
Lego Star Wars comes alive!

This was another Oliver project. He decided to make a mask and light saber. Then Evelyn needed one so he made one for her too. This is the kind of fighting I'll allow, paper light saber sword fighting.

Days like these...

I wanted to post this because so many people have said "How do you do it?" As you can see I don't do it all! This is what happened while I was helping take care of the sacrament primary program over the weekend, and, yes, I'm embarrassed it got this bad. This mostly accumulated over two days! I don't like to let things go this badly but sometimes other things have higher priority. When it gets that bad I look at it and think how did that happen? Usually my mind is preoccupied and once it starts its hard to stop. Clutter really does attract clutter! First thing Monday morning I attended to this very neglected counter.

Oh and the sacrament program went really well! It didn't even go over time! Yeah!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Disgustingly Early, I Know

Yes it is disgustingly early to have up a Christmas tree but we did it anyway. Its in honor of the heavy snow we got on Wednesday. It snowed all day long and it just seemed like a tree would make our place more cozy.

Last year most of our ornaments broke. We had a lot of glass balls and it was expected. For my birthday, which is right around Christmas, I received some money to do with as I pleased. I bought Christmas decorations when they were being clearenced in January. I got more than I should have but now we'll have fun spreading out the fun.
Right now our tree is covered in just snow decorations, snowflakes and snowmen. It will probably have some turkeys in a week or two and then we'll transition into Christmas decor. Every few days we'll put something new up (mom might have to rotate some out), and many have to be made too! Last night we made tongue dispenser snowmen.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My first batch of Handmade Soap!

I attempted my first batch of soap. I was quite pleased with how the whole process went. Everything seemed to go as described in all I'd read. My soap came to trace faster than I expected but was still manageable long enough to get it into the mold.

Its a recipe for cucumber aloe soap. Everything seemed a little too good to be true for my first attempt. Sure enough it was! The soap set up wonderfully but oh the stink! Think of stinky feet, plant smell, and mildew rolled into one. Strange and definitely not something you'd want to rub on yourself! The awful scent was coming from the cucumber peel I'd used to color the soap. I guess you can't believe everything you read on the internet! Duh! It was actually a recommendation from another soaper! I now know from a reputable source that the same thing happened to her soap when she used cucumber peel.
I tried to rebatch the soap in hopes of savaging it. I used a warm spicy scented fragrance oil. The combination of scents now smells like zucchini bread! Unexpected but yum! I have a suspicious feeling it is not going to set. Maybe I bit off a little too much for my first try. That wouldn't be a first! :)

I'll make another batch of soap this week and see what happens this time, maybe a bit more basic recipe.

Slumber Party!

This was our other Halloween surprise event. We weren't planning to have a family room slumber party! When I was putting the kids down for the night, I pulled Oliver's blanket up off the floor and it was soaking wet. I'll admit I chewed the poor kid out. I thought he had poured out his water bottle on it. The kids had all been playing in there that afternoon. Usually the kids aren't allowed to play in their room because of their father's day time sleep schedule (he works nights). That afternoon he was awake so I allowed it. Sometimes things happen when they're all in the other room. The next thing I realized was that everything I was picking up off of the floor in one general area was wet. Then I realized we were flooding...again?

This is the third time this year that this corner of the house, and I mean down to the same corner of the room, has flooded! It seems impossible and the crazy thing is each time has been a different fix! I think the spot of the house is jinxed! Apparently the fix this time is a bit more than we thought. My dad found a pipe outside that was squirting water underground and fixed it on Saturday but its Tuesday and we're still getting lots of water. The water meter shows that even when there is no water flowing in the house, its still going. So tomorrow we'll have a backhoe come dig out the bad pipe. Ollie's going to love it! The owner of the backhoe is our neighbor so hopefully he'll let the kids sit on it for a picture. Lets get something good out of this! Oh and the kids are loving sleeping in the family room.


We had a rather uneventful night on Halloween. Three of us were sick. We ordered pizza and carved pumpkins. I debated trick or treating but when Evelyn was out cold at 6:30 we just didn't go. Thank goodness we went to the church Fall Festival the week earlier and trick or treated there! I don't think Oliver would have easily forgiven me! Evelyn was a fairy. It was the same costume as last year. She was not too happy about it until I sewed on some bells at her Nana's suggestion. Spencer was a little chicken once again. Oliver was a soldier. He even worn his dad's old army cap.