Thursday, February 24, 2011

Play dates are so much fun!




While Makenna had allergy testing yesterday, Kate played at her friend's house. Kate wanted to wear her fancy dress all day because she needed to dress up for her first visit to a "real school" and to impress her special friend. I talked her into jeans since they tend to play trains and cars when they play together. They made muffins, had a tea party in the Thomas tent, "moved" out of his bedroom and giggled a lot. Kate couldn't stop talking about her play date. It was so much fun. The best part was when the Mommies got to have dinner out last night! It was so relaxing and a great way to decompress after such a long day full of appointments.

Apples...the "ball" you can eat!

video



Makenna was laughing until she had tears in her eyes as he continued to toss the apple all over the house in between bites. I had just cleaned the floors and honestly, at this point, does it even matter????
You never know what will entertain this boy! An apple bought me a ridiculous amount of time to take care of Colby's bottle, Erin AND Lauren's medication and get a load of laundry folded this afternoon! Yes, Lauren too. She was my only hold out this winter and woke up with fever, achy body, a sore throat and a headache. She slept all day but claims she isn't sick because the purity ball is tomorrow night.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Aren't they cute???

The results are in.....

Makenna is moderately allergic to dust, mold, mildew, cats, cock roaches (I can say this one is easily avoided here!), all trees, grasses and weeds. No problem (sarcastic eye roll inserted here)! I am just so glad Brutus is safe! It was a tougher day than expected. I assumed all allergy tests were the little scratches on the back. Well, the first 80 were. The next 36 were like little shots in her arms and they hurt. My sweet girl had tears in her eyes and declared that this "science experiment" was no longer fun. It wasn't. Afterward, she got a milkshake. Mom did too. She doesn't have any food allergies which is a good thing. So, she is on three medications to get her body under control and we will hopefully wean off them slowly starting April 11 depending on her reactions to treatment. We hope to be on something for maintenance in the end.

And.....we toured the local Montessori school today. I was impressed. I love the real life approach to learning. It is so much like my approach to homeschooling as the kids plan their own day, choose their lessons, work to strengthen weaknesses and are allowed to thrive in their stronger areas. The director spent some time talking with us about our specific needs and reassured me that my daughter will be welcomed, encouraged and built up in that environment. It was what I hoped to hear. My daughter is not ready to commit. It was a blow to hear they would like her to consider taking a step backward to have additional time in their program to meet state requirements for testing and such. She shut down and is not willing to discuss this for now. We have plans to work with our local public school in April for testing and program placement. Time and prayer will determine where we end up.

Monday, February 21, 2011

bubble wrapped

"But you can’t cushion your kids. You can’t send them into the world bubble-wrapped and helmeted even though you want to. You can’t carpet their universe, hoping their falls will always land softly. You love and let go and thank the modern world of advancements in safety for airbags and outlet covers, baby gates and bike helmets. And when our kids fall—and they will—you scoop them and hold them and tell them it’s okay." Kelle Hampton http://www.kellehampton.com/. 
I have been praying stewing about sending one of my girls into the world of public school. She craves it. I want to shield her from the harsh world that is awaiting her there. Some kids are cruel. The teachers are over worked and stressed. Her needs are great. She doesn't learn like the others. She doesn't process information like other kids. She is beautiful, fun and spirited. God has a plan for her. I just want to hold on a little longer. She isn't having it anymore. She wants to experience the world outside of our comfortable little bubble where she can take a week to learn a new concept and back up to start over when necessary. I want her equipped for real life and loved throughout the process. So, the painful process of finding a school that will embrace her with all her learning delays and accept her as the beautiful child of God she is begins. I am praying we find a safe place for her grow. After seven years of homeschooling, it is a frightening step to consider.

Long weekend......

After five very long days and nights, Ty is feeling like himself again. Hallelujah. It was trying to say the least. Ty, being Daddy's boy only wanted Greg when he was up in the night with fever and chills. We literally had to call Greg at work on Friday night because Ty refused to go back to bed. He wanted me to stand in the kitchen while holding him and watch for Daddy to walk through the laundry room door. We do this a lot of mornings but it was only midnight and Greg was not expected for another six hours!  He was angry, falling down a lot, not eating or drinking and remained inconsolable. Mommy was exhausted. This started on Thursday, you know, the day after Makenna started to feel well after fighting a virus. But in typical fashion, that's not the end of the story. The school called this morning. Erin was sent home sick. At least she doesn't hang on me and cry when she doesn't feel well!
Brutus looks like I feel!

Sweet little Colby was also under the weather this weekend.

Remember Mickey Mouse Clubhouse? Well, we found it online to help pass some grouchy time! Ty's adjusting the volume!

You can see how much better he's feeling....he's copying Mickey's hand motions!

Ty and Lauren hanging out in our room tonight. He started eating and asking for milk...he was playful and happy again!

You just can't get close enough to a superstar like Mickey! 

Paige turned 13 last week. She had a dress up dance party for her friends. Sadly, Ty's virus prevented me from going and performing my special dance moves for her friends! I promised to wear my wedding dress since it is the only formal dress I own. I am sure she was seriously disappointed I could not attend! I love harassing my "other kids"!
Anyway, we've got a lot going on this week with Makenna's allergy testing, the Purity Ball, a tour of a local Montessori school with the girls, both baby boys will be here and I am slipping off to dinner with a friend who is having a birthday. I am SOOOO looking forward to that! Another friend is moving away and we are attending her going away party at church on Sunday. That date is arriving way too fast. Have I mentioned how much I don't like change? This one stings a bit. Greg's parents will be home for the weekend so we are trying to work in a visit with them as well. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Oh Boy!



I had a blast taking Ty's photos yesterday with his little John Deere tractor so I couldn't resist trying again when Colby showed up today in his John Deere tee shirt! He is so much fun to play with!
 All three boys were here yesterday afternoon and at one point, they were all laying on the quilt and content AT THE SAME TIME!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Spring????

Ty has started asking to hold "baby". Colby seems to enjoy all the attention he gets in our house!

Kate's special friend Lincoln stopped in for an impromptu play date after we initiated it in his driveway while taking a walk this afternoon. 70 sunny degrees were oh so welcome here today!  Joshua also got to stop in for a little while. Kate loved it and I appreciate the mommies who accompany the boys!

It was so beautiful out that we were able to relocate all Ty's Christmas toys to the yard, where they belong. His room looks rather vacant now!
It was just so beautiful today! We turned off the furnace for the first time in I don't know how many months. It felt so good to have open windows, a picnic, constant play time and a few outdoor projects accomplished. I even clipped Ty's hair out on the porch which seems to be necessary every month or so now. I appreciate not having a bathroom to clean after cutting his hair.
Kate was able to get up onto the monkey bar on the swing set without a boost. She was so proud and proceeded to attempt her first flip. I told her that she must have eaten a lot of vegetables this winter because she's grown so much. She decided it was most likely the apples with peanut butter. I tried.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mickey Mouse! And then some......

Ty and Mickey were ready for nap time. Ty went into his room and emerged with the paci, "lovey" and Mickey when he was ready to nap today.



Ty's latest fascination is Mickey Mouse. He loves that mouse! It started with the Disney channel's show, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse that happens to be on when I need a few minutes to literally start moving each morning. I am not being medicated for my arthritis so am I not complaining but it just takes a little time to loosen up and prepare for a day full of keeping one very busy 19 month old boy from hurting himself! Anyway, Ty loves the show and is always excited to see "Mickey". He stole Kate's stuffed animal and insists on wearing his Mickey pajamas as often as he finds them in the drawer, which is often because I do laundry EVERY DAY! He takes Mickey to bed with him and we just found these figures of the clubhouse characters while running errands tonight. He pulled his tractor toy out and was giving all of them rides this evening. It's fun to watch his imagination growing.

I have no segway for this so here it is....Makenna has been sick....AGAIN. This is her fourth bug since November. Not fun. After eleven days of drainage and the start of a fever on days nine and ten, I ran her into the doctor on Monday. She has a sinus infection. She aches all over and is pretty miserable. We worked with the nurse practitioner, Melissa who was thorough and helpful. She's referred us to an allergist for testing next week. The assumption at this point is that Makenna has indoor allergies that keep her run down and therefor more susceptible to illnesses. We've suspected allergies in her for years but they've always been tolerable. Until this year, we'd not noticed any repercussions so we've left well enough alone. Her appointment is scheduled to last about two and a half hours next Wednesday.  I'm a little nervous they are going to determine she is allergic to Brutus. I am personally not attached to him, but he's Lauren's best friend and Greg's buddy. That news will not go over well and I don't want to see that kind of damage done to Lauren and Makenna's relationship. So, I'm sending up some pleas for God to make it a dust allergy so I'll have an excuse to eliminate the space taking stuffed animals in the house.....except for Mickey of course! It would also be great if we can avoid allergy shots. I've not yet mentioned that possibility to Makenna.

Erin had her annual eye exam last Thursday. Erin has more focusing issues, more headaches and cannot read street signs, especially the green ones with white writing. The white boards at school were growing into more of an issue and scan-tron tests were really difficult to read. It turns out that the focusing issue she was diagnosed with last year is more severe and she is now farsighted as well. The official diagnosis is "Hyperopia-Latent Accomodative Insufficiency" and it is expensive. Last year's glasses were almost $400 and were supposed to help her outgrow the focusing issue. They were no longer meeting her needs. We recycled her old frames and still spent $513 on progressive lenses. I was literally feeling ill leaving that appointment. Her teachers have been great about letting her sit up front in each of her classes as she works without any glasses this week. Dr. Amstutz told us to anticipate a two week adjustment period for her to learn how to use her new glasses when we get them. He feels confident she will still outgrow the focusing issue. I pray she does. When he started mentioning the progressive lenses, I asked if he was talking about bifocals and he said "essentially, yes". Erin panicked and screeched, "like Grandma wears"! He assured her the line is not visible and she will still look cute in her glasses. Adding that she will not be able to start driving without them sweetened the deal a bit too. It is just so odd to have her in progressive lenses before her 16th birthday when neither Greg nor I have vision issues.

Well, other than the beautiful spring weather emerging locally, there isn't much more to report. I cleaned some of my windows this afternoon. It felt so good to see such bright sunlight filtering into each room, until I noted how dirty the glass was! Spring cleaning can start now, can't it? I secretly hope it speeds up the process of bringing warm weather here to stay!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Family I Choose.....

I had an amazing day out relaxing with the ladies I call my best friends. It has been three years since we all hung out together (with the exception of Jill's dad's funeral which we decided didn't count). These ladies support each other, love each other, get in each other's business and laugh until tears fall together. I am so blessed to have known them all 18+ years. This friendship is a gift and one I do not take for granted.When I go "home", these are the faces I want to see. These are the women who challenge me, teach me and love me despite all my shortcomings. This is the family I choose.

Weekend News

Kate and Grandpa were partners in Racko...she was a helpful cheerleader with supportive comments like, "we're going to lose" and "I don't think you know how to play this game"!

Ty loves to dump his blocks or kick down stacks of them. Greg is meticulous about how he puts them back into their bin....everyone is amazed! Ty's just waiting to dump them again!

While Greg was working on the blocks, Kate yelled at him for playing with baby toys. He retaliated.

Ty loves Pa-pa and wouldn't even let him use the restroom without yelling through the door for him over and over! His paci has been in his mouth a little more this week. I can't decide if he's teething or feeling a little jealous of the babies.

Makenna was a worthy opponent in checkers this morning. She surprised Grandpa and they ended up in a stale mate after a pretty long game. Grandpa was impressed with her skills.

Daddy, on the other hand, has played family games more recently than Grandpa and quickly creamed Makenna!

These gorgeous tulips were sent to me on Friday from Cameron. That little guy is being very well trained at an early age!

Lauren and her best friend, Brutus.
Makenna had a fever again on Saturday. Erin did something to her leg and was barely walking Friday and most of Saturday. My dad came down to visit since he was tired of sitting around his house alone because my mom took my Grandma to Arizona for ten days to visit my Aunt Bobby. They are having a great time and drinking in some wonderful sunshine to get them through the remaining weeks of winter here. Anyway, since there was so much going on at home, I called in at church and spent the day relaxing with my family. It was good. Dad was able to be included in family game night with Go Fish, Racko and Checkers. Afterward we watched Despicable Me while enjoying popcorn. Last night was the first night Ty fought going to bed. There was a lot going on and it was challenging for him to settle. He got out of bed three times but quickly learned he was going to be put right back into bed each time he climbed out. It worked and by nap time this morning, he went down as easily as ever.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Big Boy Bed!


I've been mentally preparing myself for this day for a month or so now......Ty's ability to climb out of his crib. Once that happens, I put my kiddos in less dangerous beds. I had both babies all day yesterday and at the end of morning nap time, I walked into Ty's room and discovered he had one leg over the top of the railing. His other leg was dangling and he was hoisting his body upward. Uh-oh. He demonstrated his new found skill for me...twice. So, I had to wait for Colby and Cameron to go home before I could start the bedroom makeover. Greg took down the crib and assembled the twin bed while I took little man to Target for a side rail. We also found the cutest little red stool (on clearance for $8) to assist him in and out of his bed safely. We had to destroy Kate's bed to create Ty's since I didn't have time to shop for a new mattress. Kate was due for a new one so this will work for Ty until he's potty trained. I then transferred out the white dresser and changing table for Greg's old brown dresser. It works with my old toy box and my nephew's hand-me-down bed. I love the dark wood as much as the white in the same room. He is so proud of his big boy bed. He shows it off to visitors and is sleeping in it really well. When I put him to bed last night, he didn't object or climb out at all. Nap time today was beyond successful as he put himself down! Makenna happened to walk by his room and noted he'd climbed into bed with his blanket, special cloth and paci. I kissed him and pulled his door slightly to block our noise and he slept an hour and a half! This afternoon, I took the kids to get Kate's new mattress and reassembled her room. Our bedroom got some reorganization as well since I had to transfer Greg's old dresser out. Our garage can't be walked through right now but we have a beautiful weekend ahead of us to remedy that! Whew...busy boy=busy mom.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A day in the life......

"Who has poop in their pants?"Erin cracks up every day after school because it is so commonly heard around here! Well, with three babies in the house, it happens. A lot.
Every time our phone rings or a car pulls into our driveway, Ty yells "Pa-pa". He loves his Grandpa and we are thrilled he's coming this weekend. When I made the announcement today, Kate asked me how old Grandpa is. Before I could answer, she suggested "40". I laughed and reminded her that her daddy is 40. She replied simply, "I know"!
On that front, we were reminded that our young married Sunday school teachers were our ages when they taught our class...WAY BACK THEN! It's funny, we thought they were old! This came to our minds when our friends were asked to teach the class at their church......when did we all get old enough to be "experienced"? Greg and I will be facilitating discussions for our upcoming baby dedication class as "seasoned parents"....again, how did we get old enough to be "seasoned"? It is an honor to be asked and well, we will be there anyway. Ty is finally getting dedicated next month. I'm just glad the first sentence of this entry isn't in reference to any adults in the house!

Me, "Ty David, we do not hit our sisters". Ty, "I do"! I used my firmest mommy voice and he used his sweetest, sing song voice as he walked away!

Now, for the reason you are here.....cute pictures!
Ty insists upon feeding himself everything now. It's a messy process.

Colby fell asleep holding Kate's finger this afternoon. Playtime wore him out!



Colby almost got a kiss! Lucky boy. No one else gets them!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Girl Time



Kate's name tag is misspelled but Shelby said it was okay because all the right letters were there! We should all be so relaxed!

Shelby set the table and served each of her guests. I wish I had photographed the cake...it was shaped like a tea pot...so cute!

Stephanie was still in pajamas so she elected to be a hand model only....
Kate and I were invited to Shelby's sixth birthday tea party this afternoon. We enjoyed ourselves and dressing up a bit too. It was a gorgeous afternoon around here and I found myself with a few extra hours I used to take Kate and Lauren out to find Lauren's purity ball dress. The selection left a lot to be desired as did the price point; however, we found a clearance rack special and Lauren is pleased with her choice. That equals success in my book!
Friday night, Erin had two friends spend the night. Stephanie and Lydia were great sports about including Kate in their sleepover fun. They did Kate's nails, sang, danced and ate junk food with her. On Saturday, Stephanie even let Kate paint her nails! Kate is so proud of herself and declared that she has two new best friends, Stephanie and Lydia. Very sweet girls.