Monday, September 28, 2015

A Quick Trip to Grandpa's Farm

Checking the traps Grandpa set to catch young skunks. I cannot tell you how happy I am none were caught while we were investigating.

Our little man wasn't feeling well and only mustered up the energy to play for a short while. It's too bad because Grandpa's farm is one of his most favorite places on the planet.

You are only as old as you think you are.

We only brought church clothes. They are quite practical around tractors. Or not.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

I Am Jealous

There were sick days, school complaints and lots of whining in my world this week. I was wiped out and the only one unable to rest. I am jealous.
Layla ate the disposable pan Greg uses to catch grease drippings from the charcoal grill on Wednesday. She threw up all over my house on Thursday. On Friday she was running a fever and no longer greeting people. I am not going to lie, that last part wasn't something I necessarily wanted to fix. But Lauren took her to the vet while I stayed home with sleeping babies. (P.S. I love having Lauren around!). Layla is heavily medicated but should recover in a few days. I need a frequent flyer discount at the vet. Oh, and that medicine? It encourages diarrhea to remove the offending remnants of aluminum. Delightful.I was overjoyed. Or not.
One kid barely passed a quiz at school and really believes I should be upset with the teacher. But rather than follow this script in her head, I probed about how much time she spent studying, seeking support and asking questions. My response irritated her. So she spent the next few days showing me texts from her friends who have parents calling the school to complain about this teacher. At what point do we hold the responsible party accountable for their actions? Why on earth would I call the teacher to complain about my child's quiz score when my child didn't attend study sessions? The state of our culture scares me. I am not the favorite parent. Again.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Sick Days

He was telling a story at dinner about the nicest thing happening at school that day. A little girl had a crush on him so he asked her to stop having a crush on him. She had to think about it and at lunch let him know she was done having that crush. "Wasn't that the nicest thing?". Greg and I could not make eye contact across the table or the gig would be up. Lots of laughter was being stifled. As soon as he started his salad, he declared his belly hurt and we didn't believe him. Salads are no longer his favorite food.

A few hours later I wrapped my nighttime walk and discovered Ty was running a significant fever. He moaned all night in his sleep. He didn't get to go to school and this distressed him immensely. "I am only 39 days smarter and now everyone else will be 40 days smarter". I tried to help with some school related work to help ease his mind but "Miss Heid is the smartest person in the world and she has been in school for like 100 years". For the record, Miss Heid appears to be in her twenties so we won't be telling her just how much experience Ty believes she has.

He insisted I call the "feel better office" at school and let them know he only feels sick when I make him eat healthy food.

"Mom! I am dehydrated because my pee is golden!"

His fever spiked, his head was hurting so badly he held it in his hands and sobbed. His throat started hurting and I carried him into the Little Clinic where my fears were confirmed. He has strep. Lauren rode along for moral support and promised ice cream when we finished. She saw first hand how uncomfortable it is to force a sick kid to comply with medical orders and was all too eager to get ice cream with him while I waited on antibiotics.

Sunday, September 20, 2015


This weekend was filled to the brim with fun and togetherness. We met with new friends, had a spontaneous lunch with old friends, joined another couple of families for a picnic at a park, went swimming, bowled, saw a Disney on Ice show, made meals for hungry people in Haiti, and squeezed in Makenna's latest theater production four times too.  Shew! It appears we need a Monday around here to rest!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Brutus is Eleven

"Happy eleventh birthday to my best friend! You are sassy and you don't like to listen anymore but that's okay, we are just becoming more alike. I love you". Lauren Baughman on Instagram

Fortunately we love them both despite the amount of truth in her words.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Becoming A Mommy

I remember being six and making penny backed wishes into the fountain at the mall for my baby dolls to be real babies. I wanted to be a mommy more than anything else. I suppose on some level I always knew what I was going to be when I grew up. I did consider being a lawyer for a long stretch of adolescence though. The idea of being paid to argue appealed to me and likely gave my mother hope my skills would be of use someday. But she chose to instead curse me with the threat of "I hope you grow up and have six kids just like you!" The last laugh is on her of course; some of the children are just like their father. Thank God.

When I was in fourth grade, I had my entire life planned out. I was going to be a mommy to four children, two girls and two boys. I had names picked out and whereas I no longer remember them even though they were doodled all over my school folders, I am certain they were beautiful, flowery and totally impractical especially considering I had no idea what their last name would be. In fact, at one point on the bus I was having a very deep conversation with a classmate about all these life plans I'd made when she asked me what I would do if my husband didn't like the names I chose. I assured her the children's names would be agreed upon before I would choose to marry that guy. She then suggested much to my dismay that I could end up with four girls or four boys. I rolled my eyes. Clearly that could never happen. "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand." Proverbs 19:21

But alas, God blessed me repeatedly with the honor of being a mother. The reality is those sweet cuddly babies turn into people with their own personalities, temperaments and ideas. We work our way through season after season as a family but often wonder at the end of the day where I could have handled things differently. Some days feel very much like I am living my calling and others are "growth opportunities". Ahem. I have been gifted with friends who offer chocolate and tea regularly and even one who occasionally reminds me I would look terrible in orange so I can't kill anyone.  Because as my wise fourth grade friend tried to teach me, I don't get to run the show and plans are often made in vain.

Life is a journey and I am riding alongside a houseful of young people as they too learn and grow. I am fulfilled. My pennies weren't wasted and my wishes have come true because God knew I needed many opportunities to let go and let Him take the reigns in my life. Watching my children wrestle with life lessons, I have only caught a glimpse of all God endures as He continues to work on me.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Picture Day!

A panicked Ty jumped out of bed Thursday night. He needed a tie for picture day. I purchased one on Friday for today's photos. When he got off the bus he immediately started wearing his red, black and white tie with a graphic maroon printed tee shirt. I was suddenly a bit worried about this purchase. On Saturday we walked around our neighborhood yard sale and he wore his tie with a hoodie. Monday was starting to look like a looming battle. On Sunday we started to pull out school clothes and Ty decided the tie would look great with a pastel green striped dress shirt. Mommy pointed out the color combination didn't match. Lauren had some "cool kid" suggestions and in the end, everyone is pretty pleased with the final decision.
He is feeling a bit shy about all the attention he is getting but he looks super cute. And Kate is prepared for picture day this year too. Last year I failed to remember it was picture day so she was wearing an old tee shirt and a messy bun. I am mother of the year obviously.
Makenna leaves for school five minutes before Kate and Ty so I snagged a shot with her. She isn't easy to catch in a photographic mood. And since it was still dark outside, our indoor lighting had to suffice.  But......this is happening. Again.
She is a bit anxious by personality so I knew I had to spring her first driving session on her. We chose the school parking lot on Sunday afternoon with Lauren in the passenger seat. It was an interesting perspective to be in the back seat where it appears someone forgot I was present. It was there I learned my mini van makes great donuts. I cleared my throat and Lauren back-peddled rather quickly. Perhaps she was just guessing it did donuts but swears she didn't know from experience. She is a brat. And a terrible liar. But I also had to spring this on Greg with a photo as it was occurring because he is not ready for another teen driver. I can't say I blame him but then again, he doesn't run her to and from the school on a regular basis for theater.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Fall Arrived!

You may or may not know this about me but I love the fall. As in, I would vote to keep it year round. It's my favorite season and I can't wait for it to show up every year. On Friday, I was wearing a sweater, sipping hot tea and decorating with pumpkins. It was so good. The cooler temps carried me through the weekend. I knocked a few chores off the fall to do list including a fresh coat of paint on the front door and "supervising" Greg while he hung our new pot rack. I am pretty pleased with the results and love having an additional cabinet for pantry related items.

It wasn't all work and no play though. We cruised the neighborhood yard sale Saturday morning and on the second street, Ty chose the yard he'd like to have. It finally occurred to me we may have had a misunderstanding when we decided to go to the yard sales. To his credit, he chose one with a sidewalk.

Friday, September 11, 2015

"Fun" with Kids

It was bedtime when he very seriously asked when we would be getting our new baby. I told him we weren't. He pointed out my belly looks like we are getting a baby soon. I calmly explained the only babies we were expecting belong to Devyn and Anna. He was so serious but Makenna cracked up which hurt Ty's feelings. He cried and was not the only one.

Greg pulled out his archery equipment and made his first shot. Anna very excitedly exclaimed, "Greg! You look like a princess!" I was rolling. Greg was not quite as amused.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Lazy Labor Day

We needed a three day weekend around here. We filled it with friends, fun and relaxation. A good friend  of Makenna's was in a performance at a local airport today where they were hosting a car and plane show. We would have spent the entire day hanging out there but the heat was oppressive and Lana offered her pool. We did support Makenna's friend before bailing out and cooling off. 

I can guarantee the girls were discussing cute boys at this moment

 The day was perfect.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Kids and Dogs

Tuesday night I took Ty to the dentist. He was not on board. He was moving out but every house he thought to run to contained a mom who takes kids to the dentist so he was hosed. He went against his will and made it clear he was not happy to be there. Erin's coworkers were given the head's up about our regular dentist's policy to not force kids to get their teeth cleaned so he'd negotiated his way out of three prior appointments. This mom was willing to sit on her son in the chair if that's what it took to clean his teeth but thank God it didn't come to that. His protests were loud and embarrassing. He was afraid and worried about germs "because putting your hands in people's mouths spreads germs" and was certain his x-ray was hurting his allergies.  He is proud of his x-ray though and has shown it to everyone who will check it out.
Taken prior to the onset of illness.

Makenna came home from school Tuesday complaining of dizzy spells and nausea. By the evening it was clear she was getting worse so I took her to the Little Clinic Wednesday morning rather than put her on the bus. She is pretty sick with an inner ear infection. She is on steroids, decongestants, nasal spray, anti-nausea medicine and ibuprofen for headaches. Today, Greg took her back as she has only had glimpses of improvement thus far. She had a few med swaps but is otherwise expected to recover in another few days.

Wednesday afternoon, an excited Layla jumped up and scratched Lauren's eye. We were able to reach our optometrist who wanted to see Lauren immediately. Fortunately there are no open wounds in her eye but she has several abrasions on the cornea and white of her eye as well as inside the eye lid. She was swollen, unable to open the eye and had blurred vision for a few days.  The doctor hooked her up with multiple eye drops to help minimize the pain and sent her home on antibiotic drops too. I was at the pharmacy four times Wednesday. I am not exaggerating.

Wednesday evening I took Kate and Ty with me to bible study because Lana offered play time in her pool while we met. Greg took Makenna to find some soup in hopes of settling her stomach and made the fifth and final pharmacy run for the day while we were at Lana's. Layla was left out of the crate because she would be alone for only thirty minutes. She ate a new movie we hadn't yet viewed, the last remaining two of six coasters and once again considered a few tasty books. Some unkind words were spoken in response.

I replaced the "not a plant" last week. Within days, I walked out and noted pieces of the replacement hanging from Layla's mouth. The new plant was pretty mutilated. I am leaning toward an entire landscape of "not a plant". Think of the time and money we could save each year if we don't weed, trim, replace and maintain the landscape.
These ears save her.