Monday, February 25, 2013

Heaven on Earth

Ty was intimidated by the big kids on the trampoline. Typically he would join with gusto but on Sunday, he needed a nap and that wore down his resilience. I invited him to join my walk which quickly transitioned from a walk for exercise to a scavenger hunt instead. There were driveway bumps to explore with the stroller as"baby Josie" joins all our excursions these days. We had to check out the construction area where we discovered a water hole, a "mountain of dirt" with an endless supply of rocks just waiting to be thrown. I believe my son heard the Halleluiah choir sing as we encountered his Heaven on earth.
His imagination is endless. We spent an hour and a half in this spot before wandering down to the creek where the tiny dinosaurs live.
At bedtime his freshly bathed baby scent envelopes his stinky boy smell creating an intoxicating aroma I can't breathe in deeply enough, desperate to preserve this season. I love his endless chatter and adorable requests. As he drifted off to sleep, he told me I needed to fly up to the sky in one of his rockets and tell the storm guy he needs to calm down. In his mind, I have the incredible power to keep his world safe but make no mistake, he quickly assures me I am not the boss of him though. I pray we can safeguard his innocence and wonder.
He's been practicing his "Big T's". I think we were wise to avoid Nathanial as his birth name. We'd need butcher paper to get through handwriting practice. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The In-Law Invasion

Around 7 pm last night I was informed Greg's parents wanted to see us today. We invited them down for dinner. It sounded reasonable until I took a look around. My mother-in-law has a white glove with her at all times. I am the only one who sees it but trust me, it's there. I suddenly needed to spring clean, grocery shop, make dessert and remind children of Grandma's behavioral expectations.
They brought some firewood and good conversation. We had a very relaxed evening despite my initial panic.

But if you happen to stop by, do me a favor and note the clean curtains and how spotless the underside of my entertainment center appears. Thanks. 

Friday, February 22, 2013


I told Greg that I want to see the movie Safe Haven this weekend with Lauren and she added, "oh, that guy is so cute". I nodded in agreement. Greg shot me a questioning look and I said, "Oh Yes, he is cute". He shrugged a "really?" with scrutinizing eyes and I answered, "yes, you wouldn't want me to lie to you." He decided he could live with a little less truth.

Ty announced to Lauren's friend, Sydney as she got into the van today that his dad farts in his sleep. Once again, a little less truth would be appreciated.

When Erin learned she was getting a spinal tap on Sunday, she asked to be put to sleep for the procedure. The doctor grinned and let her know that wasn't the policy. Erin informed him we'd tip. He chuckled as he walked away from her failed bribe.

I took the little ones to the library today after dropping Lauren off for her internship. Ty found a cozy nook with a Thomas the Train book and magnetic letters. Kate went in search of some art books. She found two. Princess Crafts and How to Draw Insects. Sister is diverse. I think we've found a new Friday morning hangout.

Greg managed the pediatrician visit for the first time. He texted at the 30 minute mark he was not pleased with the wait. Giggle. Welcome to a very small glimpse of my world. Try tackling that chore with a van load of kids who aren't sleeping through the wait like Erin did this time. 

Erin told the doctor on Wednesday she needed to be healthy by Friday because she had tickets to the Luke Bryan concert. Dr. Rezaei said she couldn't make promises but noted that she'd met her mom and knew full and well Erin would not be going if she wasn't back to school that day. Miracle upon miracle....there was sudden healing and Erin returned to school today and is enjoying a concert with friends tonight.

Ty saw a drum set in the window of a second hand store today and declared we needed to buy it. Much to his dismay, we kept driving.

Kate read the Garden Salsa Sun Chips package in the store this week and determined they had to be healthy since they came from a garden.  I wish.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Oatmeal Cookies and Medicine

I called my dad after another failed oatmeal cookie attempt today. My dad makes the best oatmeal cookies and he treats me to my own batch every birthday, which is just about the only thing I look forward to on birthdays at this stage of my life. His recipe is closely guarded and he refuses to share it "with just anyone". I know where the recipe originated and have followed that largely publicized version, even adding the secret ingredient and whereas I can get a very similar flavor, I can't get the exact texture. And his flat, slightly spicy cookies are the ones I crave. Today though, he let his guard down. He gave me his recipe and let it slip that he melts his butter rather than softens it. Score!

In truth, I don't try to duplicate his master recipe often because there is something special about handmade cookies from my dad on my birthday. I look forward to them and don't want them to lose their specialness. Besides, Hershey makes cinnamon chips which contribute to delicious oatmeal cookies; in case you need a "healthy" cookie. Welcome to the lies I tell myself and then wonder why I am gaining weight!

Erin's health has continued to be a concern this week. She was back to the doctor today with severe head and neck pain. She is still unable to move her head. As of today, the doctor assumes she has a migraine and pulled muscle because her repeated blood work is normal. It's frustrating to have her in pain without answers. It is also exasperating to explain it to a school demanding to know why her attendance looks the way it does. She fought mono first semester and this semester has dealt her the flu, a virus and whatever she is currently fighting. Bring on graduation.....Erin isn't the only one dealing with Senioritis this year. Mom's ready to be done too.

But my dad, God love him, called to tell me he's been in his 30 year old medical book again.  He thinks he's found what the doctors are missing in Erin's case. Encephalitis. Dad, I love you but please step away from the medical book. On the other hand, Dad is a much cheaper consult than the average doctor and at times, I fear we get about the same result.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Weekend Review

We traveled to Theresa's for the day on Saturday to see some of the cutest little guys I know play basketball. Brennen is eight years old and fairly confident he will play for the University of Kentucky someday. He has serious talent. I am not biased in my proud Aunt, non-sports minded opinion. He is the smallest and youngest on his team but his teammates insisted on keeping the ball in his possession.

Mason is five and whereas he enjoys basketball, he isn't quite as passionate. For everything he lacks in competitiveness, he makes up for in sweetness. He ran up and down the court in a cluster of gold shirts. Watching this particular age group left me in awe of the coaches' job. It was as successful as herding cats, but a blast to watch.

Grandma took all her grand kids (with the exception of Erin) on a "Grandma Date" to McDonald's play-land. Grandma took my girls on dates every Wednesday when we lived near her. The kids remember those dates well and this one was prompted by Lauren who called Grandma two weeks ago while eating a McFlurry. She'd not had one since we moved away over six years ago and it brought back memories; treasured memories for Grandma too.
Speaking of memories. Mom brought a box full of my Grandma's things for Theresa and I to go through. My Grandma's house will be sold this week so everything has to be removed. I don't envy the job Mom's had the last few months. The box was difficult enough for us to sort through, I cannot imagine tackling an entire house.  It's a delicate balance deciding what to keep and what to donate. This platter will now be in my kitchen where I will think of her each time I serve my family dinner. It breaks my heart to know I will never sit around her kitchen table again. I miss her.
After arriving home from Theresa's late Saturday night, Erin woke us vomiting at 4am Sunday. Anytime you start your day mopping at 4am, it's going to be a long day. She woke on Saturday with a stiff neck. We assumed she slept on it funny and needed to ice it and take ibuprofen. The vomiting hit Sunday morning and a fever set in on Sunday evening. With the addition of the fever and the realization the neck pain had increased we realized she was fighting something more than the quick stomach bug the other kids had on Thursday. I called the doctor and was instructed to take her to the ER. The staff there was prompt and thorough but Erin had a rough night. It was her first IV and hopefully only spinal tap. Praise the Lord, she has a virus and nothing as crazy as the meningitis everyone was prepared for.

When I called, the doctor sent us to the local emergency room rather than Kosair Children's Hospital. I objected and pushed for Kosair because I knew how well they treated Colby a year ago and also knew Robyn would have connections there.  Please don't judge me. I would absolutely use connections when it comes to the health of my kids but I finally relented when it occurred to me that Erin will be 18 next month! Our local hospital was fantastic. I was pleased with their response and Erin's treatment. Today though, I am a bit weepy. I am tired and relieved.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day

I left a bowl full of Little Debbie snack cakes on the counter with a card that simply said, "Happy Valentine's Day. Love, Mom and Dad". This morning, each of the little ones asked me independently what we got them. When I pointed to the bowl, Kate replied, "Oh, I thought those were for Erin". Huh? And Ty said he wanted a present with a green bow. Of course. But Ty got a stomach bug instead. He started vomiting at 5am, first in his bed and then in mine. It was the start to a beautiful day. Kate joined him several hours later.

Greg risked sending me a little something this year. He's not known for gift giving so I was surprised. They were delicious. Then we had a romantic sloppy joe dinner for five before deciding who got to stay with the sick kids and who was heading to teacher conferences with Lauren and Makenna this evening. Each task was equally as pleasant. We do romance well around here; however, Erin received this at school today. Her friend, Austin apparently took his cues from some other source than us.

By the way, she said, "yes".

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


It was a busy day with a few added friends but once the snow started falling, playtime was a must.
 Guess who's about to throw the biggest snowball at me. Just kidding. He doesn't belong to me so he wouldn't dare. Now this other boy? Absolutely.
 Look at the size of those flakes! They were literally an inch in diameter but I couldn't get the full effect with the camera. It was as though we were in a snow globe and it was gorgeous.
I am glad we went out when we did because within hours, it was gone; melted away. Only one cup of cocoa today.
And then my sweet boy made me a Valentine. Apparently the glue was not coming out quickly enough? He was proud of his creation and I am grateful for washable glue. As for the glitter? We are still finding pink from the glitter photo shoot anyway.  Leave your mark little man.

Monday, February 11, 2013

In other news.....

We have hot water!! All the time. And our meter is no longer rotating for the first time in two months. I cried. I hugged the plumber. I embarrassed my husband. Saturday was a good day.

I also made some decisions about the busy state of my life. Time to clean out the clutter so to speak. I deleted Facebook and Pinterest. I also decided to make the blog private when I found a photo of Lauren on Pinterest from our glitter photo shoot. It unnerved me because I don't know any of the people who pinned it. The photo linked back to my blog which left me questioning the safety of the blog in general. Writing is a creative outlet for me and a way to keep family and friends connected in our lives so I don't want to eliminate it. The next best option was to make it private. Please send me your email address if you want to remain a reader and I will happily add you. My email address is I would love to have more communication from the people in my life who aren't pushing political agendas, being hateful to one another online or making R rated Facebook status updates. If you don't fall into any of these categories, drop me an email sometime. I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, February 8, 2013

My World This Week

Little man entered the grocery store with a list of his own. It had four items on it and rest assured, whereas it appeared to be scribbles to me, he knew exactly what it said.
1. marshmellows
2. nutella
3. ice cream
4. yogurt
He had a 25% success rate because Mommy didn't follow his list and purchased only the yogurt. Poor guy. He kept saying, "but it's on the list!". I checked out while my son complained and discovered my debit card was not in my wallet. Erin used it last night to fill up the truck's gas tank. She still had it. Embarrassed, I had to leave the groceries with customer service while I ran home. As I was fastening Ty's car seat straps, I remembered I have checks in my wallet. Dear Lord my brain is fried. I had popped into a Kroger store on my way back out of town after dropping Lauren for her first day in the salon. I am grateful it was not a store I often shop. I am fairly certain I won't be back soon. Those people looked at me like I was crazy when I walked right back in and wrote a check.

I attended our HOA meeting last night so I needed Erin to run the bedtime routine for me at home. I walked into the door 30 minutes post bedtime to find both little ones had been bathed and were sound asleep in their own beds. Erin's hired. I suspect all the fresh air and treasure digging we did yesterday contributed but it was a beautiful way to wrap up a gorgeous day. As for the HOA meeting, it was much calmer than anticipated and I reported to one neighbor that I found it relaxing. She thinks I need to get a life. She may be right. Although she also thought I should take over as the HOA president so we clearly cannot trust her judgement.
Ty tapes rocks to my fridge. Why? I have no idea.

I had my annual eye exam Monday afternoon. My eyes have significantly declined since last year; however, given my age and the way this is progressing, the doctor believes they will be even worse in six months. He described it as leaning over the edge of a cliff. Nice? So, he suggested I hold out until I can no longer read or drive without headaches before calling him back. I will need bi-focals. I have never needed glasses and am not excited about this revelation. I hear muffled voices all the time but refuse to have my ears checked. A girl can only handle so much at one time. Have I mentioned the rate in which my gray hairs are multiplying? This turning 40 gig? Not cute.

And that little leak we are dealing with? Well lets just say our house floats. We lose a gallon a minute now. It's lovely knowing that I could wake up any morning to find myself in the house riding down the water-slide we have created at the top of this hill in which we live. I am kidding of course. That can't actually happen. Can it? At any rate, our plumber kept getting tied up with other projects and will finally make an appearance here tomorrow. I won't kiss him but there will be gushing. It won't be pretty. Sort of like my walls. But my water bills? Oh yeah! Bring on those predictable $250 water bills again. I will still complain but with some perspective. It can ALWAYS be worse.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Glimpse of Spring

We celebrated the 66 degree weather today by digging in a construction debris pile in the field behind our house where we discovered bunny homes, buried treasure maps, looked for snakes and ended the day covered in dirt. It was perfect.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


A mass text went out that said, "if I don't respond to your texts it's because I no longer have my phone. I have used it inappropriately". Hmmm? I was not yet aware of any missteps with the phone. As it turns out, that daughter posted her sister's photo on twitter with the caption, "free to a good home". Can you feel the love?

Erin started her new job on Monday. She is the only Subway employee at this particular location who speaks English. Training is challenging to say the least.

Lauren starts an internship with our hairdresser on Friday. She thinks she may be interested in beauty school after high school. The next ten weeks should enable her to see more of the business so she can make an informed decision. I love this aspect of the Montessori approach to high school. She is maximizing this first of four internships by simultaneously working on one of her three graduation projects. She will be organizing a fair for locks of love in the Spring. Our hairdresser seems excited and willing to aid in that project as well.

Makenna will be performing in the school's musical, "Seussical" in May. She is once again enjoying the stage. We appreciate having a venue to direct her drama. Sister is animated and passionate about many issues.

Lauren insists she needs to attend Brutus' annual vet appointment on Monday because he is her best friend and is getting old. "This vet needs to understand how special he is and how much more care he needs now that he's eight". She doesn't trust Greg to handle this alone anymore.Greg says he's certain the vet is not up for this; neither is he for that matter.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Erin landed a job this week and she starts Monday. She's saving money for a car...namely, Grandma's. It's red and Erin says she helped pick it out over four years ago so she has first dibs. School is going really well this semester even though she swears she doesn't actually have to attend in order to keep up with assignments. Senioritis is in full swing but with straight A's in college level courses, I can't easily argue with her.

Ty started a story this week with, "You know my best friend named Grandma....". Take it straight to the top little man. I have been waiting since December 22 for his face to clear up for a photo shoot with his new fedora hat. Grandma bought it because he likes to dress up for the tea parties we have every time she comes to town. As adorable as Kate's hats are on him, he needed something a little more masculine. He had four back to back cold sore outbreaks this round. Prior to this series, he had a three month break. I wish he'd outgrow them sooner rather than later. Leave my baby's sweet face alone already. As for that photo shoot.....he doesn't think he wants to participate. Stand by. Grandma and Grandpa bought suckers when they visited last and I am not above bribery. There will be photos. Hopefully.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Yoga Pants

Did you know online personal stylists are available for a minimal charge to assist the fashion inept? I had no idea! I stumbled upon a blog about a few professionals who promised dress me according to my lifestyle and was intrigued so I started to answer a few introductory questions.

1. Which do you wear most often? A.) dresses  B.) jeans

I noted athletic pants were not and option and started reconsidering my need for a personal stylist.

2. Who referred you to our site? Please wait for an invitation to join.

I am not popular. Never have been. I was not a trend setter in high school nor can I imagine it's a role I need to assume at this point in my life. I may not be cut out for this particular group. It's okay. As it turns out, there weren't any recommendations for stay at home moms. Oh sure, they claimed they had options but in truth, people wipe their noses on me. I don't need to get too cleaned up for this gig. I'll stick with my commitment to shower, brush my teeth and style my hair every day.

Speaking of stay at home moms, I have some thoughts. On facebook lately I have noted women are a very judgmental group of people. Working moms can't fathom staying home with their children all day. Stay at home moms can't imagine focusing on their careers over raising their children. There are working moms who wish they could be at home and moms at home who'd give anything to have five minutes alone. I suspect we may be defensive about our decision because somewhere along the way, women were sent the message they not only could do anything but they should do it all. Every working mom I know is exhausted. Every stay at home mom I know is also exhausted. In truth, we all need to support each other. As a stay at home mom, I consider it my responsibility to minister to the working moms around me by keeping kids on snow days or picking up an ill child from school so that mom can maintain her job. In return I ask that she not belittle my role in my family or judge my booger coated yoga pants while she's professionally dressed. Balancing my home and a full time job is not my calling. I've tried it. My hat is off to working moms. I am not judging you. In fact, someday I would like to dress up and join you for lunch because that's the portion of the working mom role I think suits me.

Now if you will excuse me, I have a dryer to start for the eighth time today and cocoa to make. My kids are under the impression ten minutes of snow play equals one cup of cocoa. Since we don't live in a snowy region, I am happy to play along; however, wet clothes and the sugar buzz make me question the sanity of going with the flow on snow days.