Friday, February 26, 2016

A Date With Ty

Greg and I surprised Ty with a date to Build-a-Bear Workshop. He has never been to one and we recently saw superhero bears advertised. Clearly, Ty needed to go or this is just what we told ourselves. In truth, we discovered Ty would be home alone with us tonight and we decided it was a fun excuse to take him out.

When we crossed the Ohio River into Louisville, he guessed we were taking him to Aunt Theresa's because that would be the best surprise. But when we pulled into the parking lot, he identified the Build-a-Bear sign immediately and said he'd seen a commercial for it. Once I told him they have superhero bears, he excitedly exclaimed he hoped they had Batman.

We knew it's what he would choose. Shoot, look at his sweatshirt!

He answered all the questions the salesperson asked. He bought into their sales pitch add-on items but his parents (a.k.a. the people paying) politely declined 90% of them. Can we talk Build-a-Bear people? It isn't appropriate to pitch to six year old children. But we were impressed with how confident Ty was talking to the employees. Kindergarten has been good for him in this area.

Other than kissing the heart he was putting into Batman, Ty played along with all the silly instructions while building his bear. No one gets Ty's kisses. Ever.

We think he likes his new stuffed friend.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Mommy's Tired

Batman and Batgirl. I think she likes him.
Gymnastics on Monday night
Monday evening, Ty spiked a fever just over 101 degrees. And on Monday the high school called because Makenna was battling another migraine. Tuesday Makenna saw the doctor for a headache management plan and Ty maintained his fever despite feeling otherwise well. I needed Lauren to watch Ty and Anna so I could take Levi and Ava with Makenna to the doctor. That was fun. Thank God we are no longer using the pediatrician who took three hours per appointment. By 8:30 Tuesday morning, I was done with this week but sadly, there were still many hours to tackle for Tuesday alone. I text my bible study partner, "I need Jesus but I also need wine. I am not sure which is going to fall into first place tonight." She met me for tea and Jesus because she was the designated adult for bible study.
Layla is good company if you are sick and allow her in your bed. She can be lazy when it suits her.

Ty's perfect sick day includes Star Wars.

Today I sent Makenna to school with a rebound headache after pumping meds into her to help her get through the day. She threw up at school and was sent home after first period anyway. She has tech week next week and simply cannot afford to get behind in her school work but her headaches aren't concerned with that detail. The barometric pressure appears to be making this round of headaches a nightmare.

Kate loves getting home from school in time to hold Ava every day. Fortunately for me, Ava is not picky about who holds her, just so long as some one always does.
Ty's fever broke last night but he spent today as grumpy as ever; clearly not feeling well. I am ready for everyone to return to school tomorrow. We're expecting snow and there is a strong possibility I will cry if there is a snow day. 
But......Kate's mouth improved dramatically today and Brutus located a frisbee in the garage yesterday. He happily played with Lauren for quite awhile. Some days he forgets he is old. Those days are awesome.

Monday, February 22, 2016


When you get a puppy for your family you look into good breeds for children. You contemplate temperaments and fall in love with sweet puppy breath. Their playfulness and silly quirks seal the deal. You don't go into this adoption expecting an old dog and yet here we are just 11 years later. Eleven years that went by much too quickly. It isn't easy to watch the old boy age. He still shows off a puppy-like spirit every now and then but overall, he is tired. He breaks my heart often. He is a loved member of our family and watching him age is anything but easy.

He sees the vet every six months now. Today he had a "senior wellness exam". Lauren joined Greg for his check-up to hear first-hand what the experts have to say about his health. He fell asleep in the exam room! Clearly he was not too excited about this appointment. Overall, he got a clean bill of health. He will be taking some medication for arthritis to help with the pain he has when sitting. He has lost five pounds in six months which is concerning but his blood work was normal. He has some fatty deposits under his coat that worried us but the vet believes are harmless. Since we don't want to put his heart through the sedation process for biopsy, we will remain blissfully unaware if they are more serious. Sometimes not knowing is a gift.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Spring-like Weekend

Saturday was glorious.....seventy three sunny degrees and oh so good for my soul. My husband got the spring fever bug at 8:30 and this is what I discovered when I went looking for him yesterday morning. In his defense the beer was being used in the smoker but I was amused. He is crazy but that smoked stew meat in a pot of chili? Yes please.

If April showers bring May flowers then February showers bring muddy paw prints. I shared this with Anne who responded by telling me I no longer needed to mop in vain. She once again proved she is smarter than me because I have been averaging twice a day with a mop on my floors while wondering why my lower back aches. Duh.
Kate chose these $4 flowers while we waited on her prescription yesterday morning. They are perfect in my sunny kitchen window. What isn't perfect in a sunny window?

Ty created his own super hero this morning. He wears a red cape and red mask. He carries a metal flash light and magnets. He doesn't have have a name for this super hero nor does he yet know what his super power will be but it was fun to listen to his creative thought process in action.

Kate recovered rather nicely this weekend. She is still swollen and her mouth is tender but she is finding ways to eat whatever she wants and has had a good weekend.

Friday, February 19, 2016

A Knight To Remember

Greg's had his dancing shoes on two weeks in a row! No one is more surprised than Greg. Kate's school hosted A Knight To Remember tonight for all the little girls and their daddies. It's our last year of elementary school so our opportunities for them to have a night like this are fleeting. Kate isn't so little anymore.

She started school in size 7 this year. By August, we purchased 8's. At Christmas she bumped up to size 10 and a few weeks ago, I bought her size 12 pants for the length. Yikes.

She brought home a teddy bear from a boy at school yesterday. He has had a crush on her since the beginning of third grade but has yet to find the courage to speak to her. In fact, he was so shy about the teddy bear, he had a mutual friend deliver it to Kate. She doesn't know what to think about it. Neither does her dad.
I am heartbroken she wasn't able to smile after planning such a fun outfit and date with her daddy.

As if a dance this evening weren't enough, we also squeezed in a frenectomy after school. Kate was a rock star as usual. She just did what needed to be done and then had Erin put her hair up for the dance when we wrapped up. Unfortunately, she was left with swelling and the numbing medicine wore off before she headed to the dance. She was rather tearful but pulled it together in hopes of having a special night anyway. (Aren't these things always more invasive than expected?)

With Kate and Greg at the dance and Makenna at tech, Ty and I were going to have the evening to ourselves. I asked him what he'd like to do and he offered, "eat Girl Scout cookies and watch House Hunters". Huh? I questioned House Hunters so he then suggested perhaps a Lego Batman movie instead. I should have stuck with House Hunters since I can't have the cookies and frankly can't really afford the loss of braincells involved in the average Lego movie. But a date with my little man it is. It is so worth it.
After seeing how uncomfortable the original shoes were going to be, Daddy recommended a wardrobe change. We all agreed it was the better choice in the end anyway.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Special Friends

Devyn brought her family for a play date today. It was fun to see the big sisters making over each others baby. The babies had more attention than they knew what to do with and Levi was happy as clam destroying the house while we played.

It isn't polite to discuss weight but I think I am okay to share the stats while they are under a year old. Smile. Ava is three weeks and four pounds bigger than Lyncoln. They are both alert and taking in the world around them. Lyncoln is starting to coo and has the most serious expression on his face. He is pretty cute. Devyn is still rather smitten with him as well. Anna remains indifferent to the arrival of Ava who is happy as long as she is being held or fed. It's hard being two months old.
Once nap time arrived, the kids weren't the only sleepy ones today. Five kiddos under five is a lot of energy. I am glad another adult was here to help out.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Valentine's Day?

There was some confusion around here this weekend which somehow ended up with me making a Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday for the teenagers who petitioned their favorite meal. They decided having Grandma and Grandpa in town was reason enough to celebrate so we had turkey, pumpkin pies, mashed potatoes, noodles, green bean casserole, rosemary rolls, roasted sweet potatoes and grilled asparagus. I anticipated leftovers for Sunday but seriously underestimated the amount of food this family could consume. Valentine's peanut butter sandwiches anyone?

Mom, Dad, Lauren and Taylor left after dinner but Erin remained here in bed. I guess you need your mom when you don't feel well despite having your own place. It was nice to baby her a bit. We lit a fire in the fireplace where I finally found some quiet time while the little kids showered before a movie night. It was a cozy ending to a busy week.

In typical low-key fashion, our Valentine's Day plan consisted of a hot tea for me and a cup of coffee for Greg while we stole some time away from the kids for uninterrupted conversation. Mother nature destroyed that plan leaving Makenna stranded with her sisters at their house after church. Once the roads were bad, we decided it was just as peaceful to hang out at home. Less is best, I think overall but we have decided we should dress up and go out again soon. Prom night was fun but we might be due for a real date.

We visited Erin's church today to celebrate A Night To Remember. It's a brand new church plant of 13 members. They got the approval at the end of December to host the event and by Friday night, had 255 volunteers, 125 guests, and numerous donations of limo service, food, DJ, karaoke, photographers, decorations and hair dressers. It was pretty awesome to hear the details of how God showed off and pulled it all together.

On the way home we all had frozen yogurt and then bunkered down for the latest round of winter weather. Spring can arrive anytime now. I think we are all ready for warmer temperatures and less road condition concerns.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

A Night To Shine

I had a date Friday night and it wasn't with my husband. It was so much fun and fortunately, I not only had my husband's support, but my girls were there too. It was a blast. We had the privilege to serve as a family with A Night To Shine Prom for individuals with special needs in our surrounding community. It was an honor to spend an evening with these special guests.
My new friend asked that he not be named in photos taken of him because he didn't want his girlfriend to find out how many ladies danced with him last night.

Greg helped navigate parking and security. Makenna was on the paparazzi team. Erin was in charge of the buddies and making sure everyone was having a good time. Her church was responsible for the event and they did a great job.

While my date met with his nurse for  few minutes, I snuck a photo with this handsome guy.

It was fun dancing alongside Anne who was paired up with my buddy's good friend. I think we double dated?

My parents came to town to hang out with Kate and Ty so we could all be involved and it was an experience we won't soon forget. If you ever have an opportunity to participate in this event in the future, I promise you won't regret volunteering. Oh and Tim Tebow? He is awesome in my book even though I know absolutely nothing about his sports background. His financial support makes this event possible every year in numerous cities around the nation. Everyone deserves a night to shine and I am so glad we got to be a part of making memories with some new friends. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016


This week I welcomed back one of my families who spent the last eight weeks on maternity leave. It rocked my quiet little world to have a newborn in the house again. She is a doll but let's just say she is anything but patient. She's new here and in the world in general, so she gets to be demanding for awhile. She's cute enough to get away with it too. But while I am bouncing around the house with a baby in my arms, the tiny tornado is in full blown toddler mode. He appears to like my lack of attention and that scares me a bit. Fortunately Miss Anna is pretty laid back and is going with the flow, or lack there of. I am praying we can find a routine in the near future because this gig wiped me out this week.

As result of the twelve pounds I am hauling around in my arms all day, I am in need of daily stretching and have found yoga to be fairly relaxing at the end of the day. I am grateful for my friend Kristil's guidance in this department and hope I can eliminate the achiness I have felt since Monday. It's simply another reminder I need to take care of myself despite having most of my arthritis symptoms managed with the paleo diet.
He challenged his daddy to a Mario Kart battle and even provided a special seat for him too. I am glad Lauren was able to capture this shot for me. These guys are pretty cute.

Ty had a little buddy in his class move away last week. He's been pretty upset about this sudden change in his classroom. Every night he prays for Zach to make new friends and worried Zach wouldn't get Valentines in his new school. He has even added prayers for Legos in his new classroom because he makes the biggest blasters with them. He has a sympathetic spirit sometimes and the tenderness he expresses toward missing his friend is sweet.
Ty and Greg worked on a Spiderman themed Valentine box with red spray paint and then black puffy paint. The final result was pretty cool. Ty is pumped about taking Spiderman Valentines to all his friends.

Of course he then turns around and tells me the laundry basket is overflowing because he puts things in there to give me something to do while he is away all day. He was serious. I pray his future wife likes me despite the mess I am unintentionally making of this boy.

Friday, February 5, 2016

This Week

Devyn is still rather smitten by Lyncoln who is up to 8 lbs now.

Miss Anna was missed around here with her quick whit and commentary. At one point during our visit she asked me to do something for her I pointed out she could do for herself and she replied, "I know but it's easier for me when you do it."

Baby Ava is up to 12 lbs already!
I spent my week surrounded by a lot of my favorite little people. Some visited as they are wrapping up maternity leave and others had trial run drop-offs to see how back-to-work is going to go next week. I enjoyed my final day off for a few months and wondered how I am going to navigate life with a newborn again. Because as precious and snugly as they are, they tend to be rather demanding little things who cry when not being held. This month of relaxation is ending so Greg and I slipped away for breakfast this morning and then Anne joined me for errands this afternoon. If I have work to do, I may as well make it more fun with good company. She cracked me up when I dropped her off  by thanking me for our cup of tea. We each made our own before heading out.....only the best for my friends.
This one has been nicknamed the Tiny Tornado by his mother because she believes in truth in advertising. The toddler years have arrived in full force but he is sweet too.

Two of our friends were hospitalized on Monday. Greg drove to Dayton to see one and I got to share soup and salad with another in Louisville. It's not often we need to divide and conquer for our friends but I am glad we were both able to love on them this week. Both are on the mend and making full recoveries too.
Whenever the kids find out I may have some time without other kids, they ask me to come to lunch at school. When the kids have lunch dates, they get to bring a friend and we eat on stage.

Lunchtime with kindergarten buddies is anything but boring. I can't get enough of their stories and thoughts about the world.

Keep the lines of communication open, they say. Be open with your kids. Let them know they can talk to you about anything. I don't know who "they" are but life would be a lot easier if we had adopted the speak only when spoken to parenting philosophy. Last night I took an opportunity alone with Makenna to talk about how life throws us curve balls because she hasn't rolled with the punches lately. I pointed out how she is the only one of our kiddos we planned but how rich and full our lives are as result of all "God's surprises". She was quiet but by the time we were home, I noted she was frantically calling and texting both Erin and Lauren. Somehow in our little discussion, she got the impression we were having another baby and freaked out. All three girls had some not nice things to say including, "I thought so too". There is no baby on the way and I no longer like some of my children.