Saturday, June 30, 2018

Road Trip

On Friday Kate, Ty and I joined Greg on his commute to Columbus. While he worked, we played.

 Ok I would like to see your face.

We explored the awesome indoor play structure and walked to our favorite book store while enjoying the local art displays that adorn every alley and corner in downtown Columbus. 

We of course had to get our traditional root beer floats and revisited the children's museum. We were pretty wiped out by the time Greg was ready to be picked up. From there, we made our way to Dayton, Ohio in time for dinner with Kristin and her family.

After a giant fort sleepover we headed to Greg's parents for outdoor play and an early ninth birthday celebration for Ty.

Ty in true fisherman style, spent six hours in the sun repeatedly casting his line even though it was 100 degrees. When asked how many fish he caught, he said "about 20". The truth? 8. I think he might have the hang of this. But he did surprise me. I honestly thought he would lose interest after about ten minutes but he could barely be persuaded to stop for cookie cake. He was casting and reeling like a pro. However, he was pretty sad to see a few of his fish bleed. He didn't want to hurt them, just catch and release.

Meanwhile, the girls canoed, rode the dirt bike, drove the tractor, took a ride in Grandpa's old convertible and performed many gymnastics stunts. Ty never left the pond.

We planned to surprise old neighbors with dinner tonight but after an afternoon in the sun with the kids, we couldn't stand the stench of ourselves so we drove home and fed the kids Subway from a gas station on the way. We are classy like that. Now it appears we need to head back soon to steal additional visits with friends and apparently support our little fisherman's desire to fish in Grandpa's pond. This was a good road trip and two of the kids' summer bucket list items were crossed off their lists.

Thursday, June 28, 2018


I walked into Ty's room and his robot, Max started screaming, "intruder alert!" Alarms went off and I jumped clean out of my skin. Ty's laughter from down the hall was barely heard over Max. I was still on my first cup of tea. I suspect I should be spiking it.

The scientist told them to cover their ears because the liquid nitrogen was under pressure and when it blew the ping pong balls out of the trash can it would be loud. It was so cool!

I took Ty and a classmate of his to the Science Center for the day. These boys were mesmerized by exhibits for hours, stopping only for a sandwich. Their curiosity was endless and their chatter was adorable. Well, it was until my son out of the blue informed his friend his father smacks his mom on the butt all the time. I pretended not to hear and wondered what the boy tells people when I am not listening. As it stands, I prefer to not know.

My neighbor text just after Greg went to bed begging for his assistance removing an unwanted visitor off her patio. Greg hopped up and jumped into action like the super hero he is. The snake was not pleased and I was cool with it until that thing flipped around and attempted to strike my husband's face. The old man has quicker reflexes than he thought! Praise God.

Lauren and Taylor had photos taken in June with both sets of Taylor's parents. I adore the results. I happen to be pretty smitten with this little family of three.

However, these facials crack me up. There is no denying this kid has my DNA which includes the inability to produce a poker face. Austin has some strong opinions in his wise old age of three months!

Four years ago, my optometrist informed me that at age 40 I was standing on the edge of a cliff. He assured me the descent would be rapid and my vision would no longer be perfect. He was a real Prince Charming, that doctor. However, I had more time than he predicted but I am now officially an old lady in need of progressive lenses. I appreciate them immensley after only a day with them on my face as I can clearly read my phone, a book and still look at the people in my life.

The other day, Ty stepped on a scale and declared he was up to 58 pounds even though he hasn't eaten much his whole life. Erin quipped back, "congratulations Buddy. You are barely above the Failure to Thrive Threshold". He accepted her comment as a compliment.

Greg spent two hours in an oral surgeon's chair on Monday having a broken tooth extracted. Allegedly, it was supposed to take approximately eight minutes. Because it had a root canal performed on it, our dentist declined to perform the procedure so he ended up at the dental school. Greg is still sore today and Erin would like to smack the residents who had the nerve to thank her for trusting them with her dad.

Makenna wrapped up two final Newsies performances in Nebraska at The International Thespian Festival on Tuesday. She is in serious need of recovery time after this last month of theatre commitments. Have I mentioned how ready we all are to see that chapter of her life close? We are anxious to have our kid home Sunday. When informed she would be required to return on Monday to unload the semi trucks carrying the set, she decided her diploma says she doesn't have to make an appearance. That girl also has my DNA; heavy on the sarcasm.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Dancing in the Rain

On Monday we had Kate tested for asthma. When I learned they expected a down payment of $1159 for that testing, I also looked like I could use an inhaler. On Friday, I was prescribed my first pair of glasses. Our vision coverage has changed and the sticker price of said glasses was $591. Greg randomly sent an "I love you" text as I wrapped up swiping my debit card and I responded, "I hope so". He demanded to know if they were solid gold or X-ray vision. As it turns out, they are just regular old lady glasses. Today, Greg broke the tooth he had a root canal done on last fall eating popcorn, or as he likes to say, "Satan's popcorn". He needs an oral surgeon and at least a day off work to fix that. If Erin weren't living here and being bossy, I think Greg would have already taken pliers to those broken pieces and resumed life as usual.

In the meantime, life goes on. We are in the throws of big decisions because large families are always making those and enjoying little moments where we can. Ty scored a gigantic light saber contraption he can reconstruct in several ways at Toys R Us' final days sale. An otherwise $60 lightsaber was $11.99 and it brought great joy to the boy so we indulged. I am sad to see toys stores becoming obsolete despite the fact I haven't entered one for Christmas shopping in years. Amazon is likely going to conquer the world someday and I appear to be more than willing to allow that to happen as I go there before anywhere else for all.the.things.

Our grandson continues to be the cutest kid on the planet and photos like this make nine hour drives seem reasonable at anytime.  Man I miss that baby (and his parents too).

Friends from Texas were in town for the week and we stole as many opportunities to spend time with them as possible. Some pretty sweet memories were made and we are already making plans to all gather again in the next year.

Makenna managed the Newsies relaunch this week after a major setback with the fire at the Kentucky Center for the Arts. They relocated back to the high school and added a performance to accommodate the large crowds. Three packed auditoriums wrapped in time to load two semis with the set so they can leave for The International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska today. At one point this week Greg asked if Makenna still lived here. I had seen traces of her but the hours she held the last few weeks were intense. We are more than ready to see high school theatre behind her. We happen to like that kid and miss her around here.

Back to school supply lists are making their way into my inbox. Third grade is requesting among many other ridiculous things, four dozen pencils. And I laughed. I am fairly certain my son wouldn't use four pencils all year if he had his way. But Target is clearancing all things summer and fun to make room for back to school. We re-enter the school scene in a few short weeks whether we are ready or not. We are not.

Speaking of back to school, Erin is planning to return to college this fall. She has decided to embrace this season of changed plans as an opportunity to push herself out of her comfort zone. She is excited to have the time and is taking her current career into a slightly different direction over time. Having a front row seat the process of God at work in her life is an honor.

So we may not be seeing plans pan out the way we wanted or had answers as clear as we would have liked but we are still dancing through another rainy season and celebrating little moments. As it turns out, that is the overriding theme for our journey anyway.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Mother of the Year

So I have a kid who is hyper aware of every little thing on her body. She points out red marks, raised patches, itchy ears, aches, pains, bruises, etc. This is daily. As in, several times a day she tells me something she has noticed or that allegedly hurts her "really bad" before she resumes normal activities. I fail to pay attention to her often because she is one of five children and has met her quota for ailments that may or may not exist.

I took her in for a physical two months ago and mentioned allergies and breathing complaints. The doctor noted she was pretty close to a sinus infection and recognized her lungs were impacted as well so she prescribed appropriate allergy medication and asked us to give it a month. Two months later I saw Kate trying to catch her breath after taking two laps up and down the stairs in a relatively short period of time. Given this kids' typical activity level, I was cautiously worried and took her back in for an evaluation.

As soon as the doctor listened to her lungs, I saw concern in her eyes. Kate's pulse oxygen levels were below normal. They immediately did a breathing treatment with two different medications and her oxygen level was retested as perfect shortly after. Kate was left shaky and unsettled but quietly reported how nice it was to take a deep breath. My heart sank.

The urgency in the doctor's office left me unnerved. I was not paying attention and it was scary to realize how serious this was. I am grateful we caught it before we had an emergency but I still feel horrible I hadn't listened to her.

On Monday she was tested for asthma and both the pulmonologist and respiratory therapist confirmed Kate does in fact have asthma. She is now on maintenance medication twice a day and also uses an additional inhaler for athletics.

We had a serious conversation about her need to point out all.the.things and how important it is for me to be able to hear her when it really matters. In other words, stop crying wolf. Despite feeling like a total failure as her mom, she does carry a little of the responsibility and I pray we have hit a reset button on our level of communication.

In other news, she grew a solid inch in those same two months. Oh, and my mother of the year nomination has been revoked. Shew! I am glad that pressure is off. (insert sarcastic eye roll here). When I called Anne to lament this fact, she casually mentioned that particular award was likely off the table back in 2009 for me anyway. It's good to surround yourself with people who keep you humble.

Levi is 4

He has been hanging out with me since he was eight weeks old and today he is four. He ordered a cake at my house and a cookie cake at his; clearly he knows how to play us.

He is pretty comfortable here as he has started making plans for how he wants to change Kate's room when he moves in. I am equal parts amused and threatened. I do love this boy but it is best he goes home at the end of each day so I can recharge for his return. Levi is a force to be reckoned with but also quite entertaining and I happen to love him.

Happiest of birthdays to you, Levi Jax.