Friday, January 29, 2016

Makenna Grace

Well her skills have paid off. She is rather bossy and apparently her technical theater teacher sees leadership qualities in those skills. When the assistant stage manager (ASM) for the upcoming spring show of Peter Pan had to drop out to have surgery on her foot, he asked the other student leaders who they thought could handle the role and they unanimously selected Makenna. From all accounts, this isn't a role offered to underclassman traditionally so she is rather pleased with this accomplishment. We are stressing the importance of grades and her health as she balances a very demanding schedule with high stress but she is thrilled to have the opportunity.

She no sooner accepted the role than her knee gave out while she descended the stairs on the 19th. She was surprised by it but claims she wasn't in any pain until she put weight on that knee immediately after. As it turns out, my ignore it until it goes away policy isn't fool-proof. So Makenna and I met with an orthopedic surgeon yesterday to evaluate the knee since nine days of wrapping, icing and ibuprofen weren't helping.

Her knee cap is no longer aligned. There is also a chance she experienced a small hairline fracture in the bones that collided on impact when her knee dislocated.  So she is wearing a knee brace with a metal support in it that is forcing her knee back into position. She is also supposed to be attending physical therapy a few times a week for four to twelve weeks as needed to strengthen the muscles in the hips and thighs so the knee isn't bearing unnecessary wear and tear. Where it is exactly we are going to squeeze that into our schedule and budget remains to be seen.

She was relieved to report to her teacher, who was at this point fairly certain the ASM role was jinxed, that she should be up and running by show time in March and will not require surgery. However, through the course of our conversation with the surgeon we learned Makenna's growth plates in x-rays indicate she is finished growing. The look on her face was priceless and I failed to stifle my laughter. I owed her lunch at Wild Eggs afterward as result but still enjoy teasing her. My mom says we only grow until we're perfect so Makenna just got there early. I prefer to say she is fun size. She is sticking with Five Feet of Terror but holding out hope she can stretch out a few more inches despite evidence to the contrary. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Ty's Mind

I had the pleasure of spending an uninterrupted hour alone with Ty recently. The boy did not stop talking the entire time. I swear his brain moves faster than his mouth and his mouth moves faster than my ears can process. It was non-stop chatter about endless subjects, many of which started mid-thought. He's not too particular in how I respond so I resort to ok, yes, I see, uh-huh, etc.  Because frankly, if I stop him to ask questions, I throw off his train of thought and once it derails, we may have to start that trip all over again.

I have learned a lot about kindergarten as result of these little one-sided conversations and more than anything, I would love to be a fly on the wall in his classroom. Five and six year old material is rich and hilarious. My hat is off to kindergarten teachers everywhere for keeping a straight face.

  • Did you know Zach no longer loves Avery? Nope, he loves Willow instead and calls her his princess. Willow does not love Zach but Zach knows about these things because he turned six first.

  • When I grow up, I will drink my coffee strong and black because that is how real men drink it. (I totally blame his father for this one.)

  • When I am a daddy I will let my kids watch YouTube videos whenever they want. Only awesome parents do that. (Not so subtle hint.)

  • I sat on the bus alone today because Josh was sick and I didn't sit with Kate because all Kate and her friends do is talk like girls. I don't like girl talk.

  • I know how to drive now. I have been watching Mr. Tim (the bus driver) and he uses two peddles and one foot. If you push one peddle you go, if you push the other, you stop. It's easy if you can reach the peddles. (This one scares me a bit.)

  • Police are the best super heroes. They have cool hats, awesome badges AND they get to shoot bad guys.

  • I almost threw up at school when I was coughing but didn't tell Miss Heid because I didn't want her to make me go home. I have to get a lot smarter still. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Sledding Fun!

Today was the perfect day to go sledding. The weather was sunny and mild. The kids loved every minute of it.

Friday, January 22, 2016


Complaint of the day goes to Ty who whined, "MOM! My hot chocolate is hot". For real.  There was a second place winner though. Me. The kids spent more time layering up than the actually playing outside. They created more laundry than I thought reasonable and then they believed they needed hot chocolate every time they stepped outside. I considered peppermint schnapps for mine by the end of round two but it was eleven in the morning and mothers of cooped-up kids should pace themselves, obviously.

Greg only cat-napped between multiple calls from employees claiming they couldn't come into work tonight. He's prepared for a very long weekend but we are clinging to the hope we will still get some family time despite the forecast. Time will tell.

There are blessings though. Makenna is baking cookies because we can't have enough of those during winter storms, apparently. And we have sleep-overs, Legos, games and lots of wet gloves to keep us distracted too. 
 Snow days are beautiful in multiple ways.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Snow Day! For real this time.....

The forecast sounded pretty solid but we were prepared to meet the day with or without the "school is cancelled" call. We all celebrated when it came through especially since I learned Makenna offered to meet the assistant superintendent in the school parking lot to "square up" last week on Twitter when he failed to close schools as expected. I can't begin to explain how surprised I am we didn't get a personal visit from our local law enforcement officer over it. Little Miss "five feet of terror" needs to cool her jets.

We lounged in pajamas by a fire, baked cookies, indulged in hot cocoa after snow play and watched Netflix.

Kate wanted an opportunity to earn some money. She cleaned the entire house this afternoon while I watched Parenthood. (I could get used to this.) But it was hilarious to hear her firmly telling her brother he was not allowed to eat in the living room because she just cleaned this whole house and would like to see her efforts last. I literally laughed out loud. It's funny how much more important it is to preserve cleanliness when you are the party responsible for cleaning it.

Our day was otherwise quiet, lazy and perfect.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Mellow Mushroom

I took Kate and Ty to see my parents and my sister's family Saturday. We met at Mellow Mushroom where I had the first pizza I've eaten in over two years and enjoyed every bite. I have had some success with gluten free rather than total grain free lately so I decided to risk it and am so glad I did! If you happen to have a Mellow Mushroom near you, I insist you indulge in the Mellowterranean pizza too. You will thank me. I promise.

Watch out for these gangsters. They are pretty tough.

Uncle Jamie is the best. Kate's a big fan.

When you want a photo of all the kids together........

Look out Mason, it appears Captain America is stalking your game

Other than good pizza, we also enjoyed one another. A nerf gun war was fought (Aunt Theresa for the win!) and the cousins are pretty awesome hide and seekers too. We laughed, talked and ate late into the night. It was good for the soul. (photo credits to my super fun brother-in-law, Jamie and our patient waitress, Felice)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Snow Day That Wasn't

We expected a snow day today. We didn't get one but we did get snow while the kids were at school. Snowy days are a lot more fun with the kids, just saying.

In other news, the 100th day of school is coming up next week and our little guy is pretty excited about his project. He used 100 Legos to create a 100 picture. He really wanted to take it to school but his momma was a bit worried about unattended Legos on display outside his classroom. So he got to take a photo for school but if you stop by, he'd love to show you his original.
Kate is super excited about gaining a recorder in music class and feels compelled to practice often. Allegedly she is playing the "B" note. Clearly Brutus loves this as much as the rest of us do.
Tonight, both Lauren and Erin visited for dinner. Immediately after, I noted an open bag of chocolate chips on the table between the four sisters and just smiled. They are so funny together and the laughter literally doesn't end once they get started with their stories. Tonight, Kate jumped in and attempted to persuade Makenna to move in with the girls because the kid who just recently gained her own room would now like a room to practice gymnastics. Can you feel the love?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Can't Believe You're Mine

There are glimpses still of the little girl I choose to believe she will remain. Then there are moments I know childhood is fleeting. Giggling with friends, tumbling practice, and requests to snuggle will all too soon give way to hormones, shopping, friends, cute boys and independence.

Hang on baby, I am not ready.

Today's windchill was exactly 3. He insisted I pull out his summer clothes because he really wanted to wear shorts today. The boy is his father's child and the reason summer clothes must remain out of his reach during the winter. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

Back To The Grind

The alarm was set for 6:15 everyday this week to get the kids out the door and onto the bus. Monday they all jumped up and did what they needed but Tuesday I was met with intense resistance. One kid was "super, super sick" and couldn't even narrow down the areas that hurt the most without a round of twenty questions from his already exhausted mother. Another one had a sore throat, headache and stomach ache. The oldest in the house was pretty sure she was going to die if I made her go to school. I made the executive decision to serve hot cocoa in to-go cups for the kids who were ready to leave on time and there was sudden and miraculous healing. Except that by the time they all left my house at 6:55 am, I had a headache hot cocoa wasn't going to cure.

Ty came home with a stamp on his hand Tuesday and he was quite proud of it. Miss Heid stamped his hand to celebrate his "really good sentence" at school. He says he wrote, "Over winter break I went to Grandma and Grandpa's and opened presents." I may just be a proud mom, but this feels like a pretty impressive sentence for a kindergartener so I asked him to write it for me. He declined. I pushed the next day for him to write a sentence and even sweetened the deal by telling him he could use the word poop if he wanted and yet, he still refused. In desperation, I informed him last night he has sentence writing on his homework page so he has to write a complete sentence or I will have to tell his teacher he didn't do his homework. He submitted, "Mom's weird." The boy wears me out.

I promised the kids I would meet them for lunch today since I was free of extra kiddos. Ty was so excited he invited Anne to join us. I love how social he is becoming. And tonight all the girls had plans so I got to spend the evening with my favorite guys. It was the perfect way to wrap the week.
This is his "there are over 500 pieces in this set" look.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Devyn Is A Big Sister Too

She couldn't wait. Her turn was next and on December 30, baby Lyncoln was born. It was such an exciting time for Devyn and her family I didn't get to meet him until a few days later. Starting a new year with a new baby is perfect.

Welcome to the world little man.

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year New Rooms

January is bringing about some changes in our lives.....what month doesn't? Lauren moved into Erin's house across town. She is excited to be gaining independence. I am pleased they chose to live with one another where I know they will drive each other crazy but also watch out for one another. There may or may not be a wager going on how soon one of them calls to say this isn't working. But.....

Lauren moving out created space for Ty to gain his own room. In fact, for the first time in sixteen years, each of our children has their own room. Kate now has the bunk bed room to herself with a few minor modifications and Ty chose OSU as his bedroom theme. Both are pleased with their choices and we no longer have room for anyone to move back home. This is what we tell ourselves anyway...

Greg and I enjoyed the process of creating the theme for Ty with lots of conversations about authentic helmet colors vs. warmer tones with a slightly more sophisticated appearance. It won't take much for anyone who knows us to guess which side of that argument each one of us was on. Smile. In the end, the look is something we are both proud of. Ty loves it and we think he will grow up with this room as the theme isn't juvenile.

Kate's room will likely need some more grown up touches in the near future as middle school is on the horizon in the fall. But for now, it is a sweet space for a sweet girl.

The makeover took so long, Ty grew impatient with us and created his own "house" in the living room. It took enough time, his house got a makeover and addition before we wrapped up. He begged to sleep in the box and I questioned once again our wisdom in providing a new memory foam mattress for this boy who often insists he's comfortable sleeping on the floor or in cardboard boxes. The kid is weird.