Thursday, August 29, 2013


Anne and I started exchanging our candy corn sightings a few weeks ago. Each time one of us mentioned a new location it was available, the other would respond, "it's too soon". We finally agreed upon a practical date for all things fall; September 1, even though Anne cleverly pointed out it wouldn't be official for the rest of the country until September 22. We're rebels.

The truth is I have been baking pumpkin related products using almond or coconut flour under the guise of "I need to see if I can bake on this diet" for a couple weeks. Sneaky excuses. I can bake on this diet. The problem is most people are used to refined sugars and don't appear to appreciate said baked items. I am; therefore, eating more of it than I should.

This morning I tackled the attic in preparation for our upcoming neighborhood garage sale and decided the amount of mess I was making warranted pulling out the fall decorations as well. I only want to clean up insulation debris once each season. My living room exploded into a giant conglomeration of clothes outgrown by Kate, Christmas stuff I am selling in two weeks and fall decorations I want to use on Sunday. I was able to put everything else in a practical place but couldn't decide where to store the fall decorations. Just like the baking, I found an excuse to decorate early.

On the mantel. Thank you Pinterest. 

I texted Anne. "I just started decorating for fall. And I may or may not have purchased my first bag of candy corn last night". She answered, "this is why we are friends".  Now, I am not even certain I can eat the candy corn with peanuts but will be darned if I am not going to try. The candy is still safely tucked away in the cabinet but it's basket is on display. Compromise. It's really just a crazy little game I play in my head.
My father-in-law went on an exchange program to Russia as the superintendent of the career tech center in our hometown and brought this little chair back for Erin who was a newborn at the time. I have not used it in this house but after a $3 can of spray paint  was applied this afternoon, I suspect I will find ways to incorporate it moving forward. 

I am ready for fall. I crave the ease of jeans, hot tea on the swing in the mornings and open windows. My house may be ready but according to Mother Nature, it's still summer. She wins every time.
The kids spent some time painting yesterday afternoon to escape the heat of the day. I deliberately chose warn hues in hopes of gaining some frame-able art work to aid in my decorating this season. Ty announced upon completion he'd painted a picture of Grandpa. A few hours later, he declared he forgot his eyes. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Oh Ty!

Last night Lauren wanted to run into Walgreen's for a few camping related items. She decided yesterday to participate in the school sponsored camping trip that starts tomorrow. Welcome to my life. But while we were in Walgreen's, Ty carried the basket and I noted a decent price on toilet paper and paper towels. Given I should have invested in toilet paper somewhere around the arrival of our third daughter because we use so much of it, I picked up the deals. Ty's basket was full of toilet paper so I carried the paper towels. At that point, I thumbed quickly through the sale ad to see if there were any other bargains available before heading toward Lauren in the candy aisle. You know, the location of camping essentials. Anyway, it was in the candy aisle Ty decided to set down the basket and request the sale ad. He needed to "read the paper". So we stood in the middle of the candy aisle while he pulled apart sections of the sale ad and held up individual pages to "read". Since Lauren was off and running in the chip aisle at this point, (more essentials) I waited for Ty to wrap up his "reading". Unbeknownst to him, he had attracted an audience. People were gathered just outside the aisle to watch my adorable, but very serious little man. When he shockingly declared one page said we had no food in a rather loud voice, one girl literally doubled over laughing. At that point, I lost composure as well. He is a trip.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The weekend

We celebrated Brennen's ninth birthday yesterday. Apparently he was busy because I don't have a single photo of him to share, but we were there and it was a blast. 

My nephews were given a new kitten this week and my kiddos were smitten. Ty really wants a kitty at our house. If it weren't for allergies and my opposition to litter boxes, I would agree a kitten would be a fun addition to our house. 

At this point, Erin rescued said kitten from the very busy hands of multiple kids. Marlo was content. Erin was too. When she was ten, she wanted a black cat named Mascara.  

Playing at Brennen and Mason's house is always an adventure. They have really cool big boy toys. Ty loves going but says the car ride takes too long. Ty is right. We all wish we lived closer.
Friday night was popcorn and a movie night. I popped two full batches only to have Ty refuse a single serving bowl. He was certain all of it was for him. 
And today, my neighbor bravely took my little ones to a local water park. I kept trying to talk her out of including Ty but she insisted the zero entry water feature would be awesome for my little guy. I still think she's crazy but every one returned safe, tired and full of stories. It was a good weekend.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Easy day

Kate soared through school work this morning. I didn't have extra babies so we packed lunch and headed to the park.

Ty wears these boots every day. EVERY DAY. He typically wears them on the wrong feet. They have holes in the soles. 

He is awesome. 
So is she. Yesterday she told me I am like Cinderella because I do all the cooking and cleaning while people are mean to me. She is a pretty perceptive eight year old! I am Cinderella!

Afterward, I took the kids to use a Dairy Queen coupon they earned participating in the summer reading program at the library.
 At one point, ice cream was dripping down Ty's hands so I licked the bottom to clean it up. Kate exclaimed, "Mom, you can't have that! It will make you sick!". I assured her I would be okay as I suspect Dairy Queen doesn't actually use real cream and what I ate was minimal. Ty thought about it a minute and let me know it would be okay if I threw up on him because he could just take a bath. I love this boy. He is full of helpful suggestions.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


In my nightmare, I was driving the van along Highway 150. It's a road I travel far too often since Lauren works in that area and has been dating a boy who lives down the stretch of road for the last nine months. We're still not thrilled with that relationship, but what are we going to do? As much as locking her in a tower until she has the ability to think like an adult kicks in appeals to me at times, reality says she needs to learn a few life lessons in this relationship. I think God has a few lessons to teach me in all of this as well. This parenting gig has been tough lately.

But back the dream...I was driving and Ty was throwing a tantrum in the back seat. Throughout the course of his fit, he threw my wallet out the window. The very next thing I saw was Kate diving out of the moving van to go after it. She darted out in front of me and I couldn't stop. I was screaming and crying but couldn't stop the van. It just kept rolling. I woke with a start at 3 am and sleep evaded me for the rest of the night. I am still weepy thinking about it. The truth is that there have been too many issues lately where I am dealing with what I think is serious with one child only to discover real problems are occurring right before my eyes with another. I am outnumbered. Seriously outnumbered. And overwhelmed.

We've recently discovered parenting a young adult may not be as easy as we anticipated. She wants to behave as though we are her landlords without a voice in her life. She lacks ambition and refuses college. She is also turning down offers for full time jobs with benefits and college reimbursement because she likes her job at Subway. One offer was literally $4 more on the hour, guaranteed full time hours, and excellent promotions from within. Whereas we are thrilled she likes what she does, we are desperately trying to get her to look beyond the here and now. Minimum wage dead end jobs do not support anyone. We have made it clear that free room and board are available while she is a student. Adults who live here without pursuing higher learning will pay rent to cover their own cell phone, car insurance, etc. If she wants to stay in a job that barely covers basic essentials, she needs to know what life costs. It isn't going well and the tension in our home is not pleasant.

Greg sensing I needed a few hours out sent me for tea with a friend early Thursday morning. It was pretty relaxing and speaking with a like minded friend on family issues helps restore a little of that "not everything my kid does reflects poor parenting" sanity. The truth is I tend to shoulder responsibility my kids' actions rather than accept they are individuals who have their own spirits. My tea time wrapped up when I received the following text from Greg, "our youngest two just tried to convince me they would stay quietly in their rooms so I could go to bed if I would just let them have candy for breakfast". He followed that with, "I think they're new here". I replied, "nope, they think YOU are new here!" and headed home and restore order.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Random Photo Post

When all else fails, give the boy a project. He was eager to assist with Erin's new bookcases. 

This little sweetie joins us 2-3 days per week now. 

Ty insisted he wear his Grandpa shirt today. I had no idea what he wanted until he dramatically thrust it at me saying, "See! It's like my Grandpa's!" Now that I see it, I also recall my dad wearing a similar shirt.  Ty notices details. 

As much as Ty enjoys Brycen, he still asks about Karston on a daily basis. No one here wanted to send him back to school daycare. 

Friday, August 9, 2013


Kate at grocery store checkout: Mom, I can't believe we are buying 48 eggs today.
Me: I can't believe we'll be back this time next week to buy more. Excellent math skills by the way.

8:15 am call from Kenna says, "mom, I really don't feel well. I don't think I should get on the bus today. I may get sick.
Me: Kenna, I am certain you have allergy drainage upsetting your stomach. Grab some saltines and get to the bus stop.
Kenna: MOM!! I really don't feel well.
Me: Have a good day.

9:29 am call from the school: Mrs. Baughman, we have Makenna in the health office. She has thrown up at school. We need you to come get her.
Me: Seriously! I am so sorry! I assumed she had allergies. Does she have a fever?
School Nurse: low grade and she looks puny. We have a stomach bug going around the school.
Me: I am on my way
Kenna 15 minutes later: I told you.
Me: I am mom of the year

10am text from Lauren: can I go to a concert with a group of friends and then spend the night at Quentin's?
Me: are you new here?
Lauren: MOM!

1:30 pm text from Lauren: Can I go to the concert with the group and then stay at Sam's? (Sam is female)
Me: yes, but I need to talk to her mom first
Lauren: fine. (for the record, periods at the end of teen's texts mean they are irritated)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Back to school part two

Three school age girls on three different calendars should prove interesting this year. Lauren returned to the Montessori school for her junior year today. She wore her Iron Man shirt "just in case". I decided to not ask her to finish that statement and in my disillusionment want to believe it is so she can tackle tough academics. I am kidding myself.

Kate started third grade today. We have returned to the online charter public school, Hoosier Academies using K12 curriculum. I believe the language arts program is the best available after attempting several others over the years. She wasn't thrilled to hit the books again but quickly warmed to the idea once we were working one on one.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

30 Days of Paleo

So my commitment to eliminate dairy, all grains and refined sugars for thirty days hit a few minor bumps along the way. Two weeks into the program, I decided to try a small piece of bread and was doubled over with stomach pain within minutes. I was in a restaurant celebrating Makenna's birthday and a bit embarrassed. I convinced myself it was a fluke and indulged in a cheese-free quesadilla the following afternoon where I was immediately in so much pain I couldn't stand long enough to make more for the kids. I no longer believed it was a random reaction. I referenced Practical Paleo and learned stomach pain would occur if I needed to eliminate that food permanently. I have to admit I was surprised. I believed dairy was the contributing factor to all the inflammation remembering how much worse my psoriasis got once I started eating yogurt. I had at one point in history cut back on dairy and noted improvement in my overall inflammation. I still suspect dairy plays a role.

When I ate bread and one time had pizza (in a serious moment of weakness) it took days to get back on track. Each set-back taking longer to recover from as the addition of those foods impacted me more than I expected. Whereas I am still not completely pain-free and my psoriasis has not cleared up as much as I had hoped, I am feeling so much better than I did when I embarked upon this little experiment 30 days ago. For the first time in almost a decade, I step out of bed without pain in my feet. That is worth celebrating. When pain is the first encounter of the day, facing the day feels a bit daunting at times. I have never been a morning person and can't say that I have developed a new love of mornings in the last 30 days but admit my energy level is incredible and caffeine is not the motivating factor. I still drink tea because I enjoy it. I am stubbornly holding on to it at this point because this diet feels like one sacrifice after another as it is. I simply don't NEED tea to pry my eyes open in the morning anymore. I am also going to bed without pain in my hips or knees every night. Once again, it has been a long time since I could last report that.

The diet involves a lot more meat than I easily consume so I am slowly increasing it over time. I didn't follow the 30 day plan laid out in the book or by the nutritionist I first consulted because rich foods like roast duck with cherry sauce or mustard glazed chicken thighs for breakfast are bit tough on the budget and my stomach! I am grateful for fresh produce this summer and hope to continue finding resources for it throughout the winter but meat will have to increase over time in order for me to continue eating this way. Discovering beans were also eliminated threw me for a loop....I love hummus, beans in soup and black beans. Toss out rice and cheese and I have pretty much given up my favorite Mexican meals. The pasta and cheese knocking Italian off my menu too. It's a sad realization.

Celebrations with sweets have been hard. I love cheesecake. I love cookies. I love cake balls and all of those things have been in the house over the course of the last 30 days. Those were likely my weakest days, or were they the weepiest days? Either way, challenging. Just in the last week, I have started jumping on the trampoline with the kids again without painful swelling as result. My headaches have been significantly reduced. I am not taking anti-inflammatory medications anymore. Grateful for such positive results for sure but I am not going to lie, it isn't easy. I still miss my favorite foods. I will try to add some dairy on a day I feel brave but deep down, I know it's not going to be tolerated.

So the diet? It's most likely a new way of life and not a temporary experiment. Accepting that truth is taking time and I still feel down thinking about all I will be giving up in order to stay off serious immune suppressing medications. My traditional oatmeal birthday cookies from my dad are off the table as they will literally make me sick. My mother in law's holiday treats are something I look forward to every year. Not only will I struggle with avoiding them but know she will be annoyed too. Family dinners will be tough all the way around. Theresa is a vegetarian so we've already laughed about "Jack Sprat"....between the two of us, a normal "platter can be licked clean". A sense of humor will be vital I suspect and over time I hope to further develop that because I am not laughing when everyone else is eating fresh corn on the cob (a grain!!!) or ice cream in front of me. There are times when I am so hungry, I want to quit and eat junk food. However, knowing how much healthier I am as result of the changes I have made, I can't bring myself to do it. I am still in the learning stages.....more and more to learn as I go but I can't see myself turning back now.

So long summer

Ty loves aquariums and always spends quite a bit of time examining fish whether at the zoo or the grocery store. His love for them has me questioning the addition of a small aquarium of our own. 

King Louie, an albino alligator is always a highlight.  Honest to goodness, Ty said, "see you later alligator" on our way out of that exhibit today. 
Kate and Lauren start school tomorrow. I took the mild weather and date on the calendar as clues we needed to get out for the day. We packed a picnic lunch, Devyn's stroller and an adventurous spirit before heading to the zoo. I by-passed two buildings and wasn't out of the parking lot on the way home before Kate announced we missed the penguins and noted where we steered off course. Nothing gets past that girl these days. Looks like we'll find our way back to the zoo this fall to see the penguins.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tractor Poop

The field behind our house has been mowed, raked and finally tonight to the amazement of my children, it was also baled. The bales being dropped off the back end of the tractor cracked Ty up. The tractor was pooping.

At this point, Ty is explaining he is going to save all his money to buy a big green tractor and also work in the field with that farmer. He was kind enough to wave to the kids on his way by each evening as they watched him work.
Once the farmer finished, we had to explore the tractor poop. It was big and heavy.  Fortunately it wasn't stinky though.

 Tractor poop is pretty cool.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The family that plays together.....

Kate's worried about that string smacking her in the face.

Perfect form?

Brutus kept watch. The neighbors say he is the neighborhood watch dog. He takes his responsibilities very seriously. 

Greg finally gets a turn!

Ty received birthday money from Aunt Theresa and used some to buy new play sand. It was green! I now have green sandy footprints throughout the house. The family that cleans together stays together?  I'm fairly certain I am the only one who believes that one. Playing is so much more fun.