Thursday, May 30, 2019

Final Day

After sending Ty off to his final day of third grade and Kate to the last of seventh, I went into their bedrooms to tidy up for the last time. They will start making beds again tomorrow, because the mom in this house recognizes where she has fallen short in this independence goal. The kids will love this, she says smirking.

Anyway, Kate had her writing folder sitting on her nightstand and given she has allowed me to read exactly zero writing assignments this year, I flipped through it. As a general rule, she does not enjoy reading or writing but this poem charmed me and I asked if I could share it here. She conceded.

Where I'm From 
by Kate Baughman

I am from cats and dogs
from makeup and footballs.
I'm from the crazy house on the hill
that is like a circus.
I am from the trampoline in the backyard to
the flower baskets on the front porch.
I'm from big family dinners and laughing, 
from Mom and Dad.
I am from flexibility and flips
and sleeping in.
I'm from once upon a time and happily ever after,
from learning ABC's
I am from big Thanksgiving dinners and from
Homemade Mac N Cheese and ice cream.
I'm from crazy stories of my sisters
and parents.
I am from trampolines and concussions, 
from gymnastics and dance.
I'm from lots and lots of food
and a big family.
I am from Ohio.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Memorial Day Weekend

Erin had Saturday and Sunday off for the first time in months. She spent both days with different friend groups swimming and relaxing by bonfires.
Kate may have taken the prize for best Memorial weekend as she left from school Friday to camp with her best friend's family until Monday evening.
While my mom attended the Indy 500 again this year, we entertained my dad. The guys saw the start and finish of the race on TV but we ran to Bass Pro and GFS in between. By the time all the kids were gone and my dad was still hanging out waiting on my mom, Greg suggested perhaps we should be charging for this babysitting gig as he was anxious to start a date night walk. 😏

My little storm trooper was not so patiently waiting on a call from his friend to start a sleepover with s'mores, swimming and video games. We cannot wait for summer!

Noah completed course work in early December and has been working full time as a special education support aid since while also completing additional firefighter training. However, he went back to graduate this weekend.

He calls me Mimi now and it consistently melts my heart. Sharing him with my parents is pretty sweet too. I suspect they enjoy watching me love him as well.
Monday's brisket at four o'clock in the morning. My hubby is a rock star. Even the animals agree.

Some routine home maintenance included evacuating a bird from my dryer vent. By the time Greg was in the attic, had the dryer disconnected and reconnected and repaired the vent cover, he contemplated a bird homicide. During his escapade, I purged our closet. Again. Being the primary catch-all space in our home means I do this frequently. And since I was on a roll, the garage was reorganized a bit too. At the end of the day, Ty had been swimming for days and was ready for bed. Kate returned equally exhausted and since Greg and I had out in a full day in the heat, our Memorial Day ended early.
Three more school days require we keep up with routine just a little longer but we are ready claim some care-free summer days.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Rainbows, Kittens, Field Trips and Health

Sunday morning I was on my porch swing admiring a sunrise rainbow when a tiny intruder interrupted and made herself quite comfortable on my lap, where a book had been resting. My little friend then proceeded to occupy the better part of two days while several neighbors worked to reunite her with her family. Fortunately by Monday evening, I had word one was successful and "Kitten" as we had been calling her went home, much to the dismay of my son who had fallen hard for her loud purr and sweet spirit.
Monday afternoon, Makenna's migraine returned and was so severe on Tuesday, we spent the day in the emergency room seeking answers we still do not have. Having a third doctor shrug, stating it is a complicated migraine on day nine of this, is frustrating and expensive. We then followed up with her primary care physician and have appointments next month with both a hematologist and a neurologist. A clear CT scan afforded me some peace but I am hoping for more answers and treatment in the coming weeks.
On the way home from his final archery tournament until the end of August, he asked if I thought it would be great to have him as an only child. I deflected by asking if he would like that. He processed quickly that he would except then he wouldn't have Austin so maybe not. That baby ranks pretty high in our world; high enough to make four older sisters worthwhile. 

Our days are full and our evenings fuller yet with end of the school year events. Kate loved her final choir concert of the year as they were permitted to dance while singing. She has clearly been bitten by the theatre bug so I am bracing myself for more years of drama and overcommitted schedules. Jesus take the wheel.

I was able to attend a field trip with Ty's class and skipped field day to shop with my mom, dad and Erin because as it turns out, field day is not my thing. But a sweet friend sent me photos taken of my son having a blast. In the one shot, he literally jumping off the ground in excitement. He clearly had a great time.

Kate is spending the long weekend camping with friends while Ty navigates a very social schedule of birthday parties and a going away celebration for neighbors. In the midst of all this, another daughter has wrestled for weeks with knowledge she needs a biopsy to rule out a serious condition. She is frightened beyond measure and making not so helpful comments about who gets her personal belongings "IF". This is not healthy for her or those who love her but she does not allow logic to sway her in emotional moments. All in all, it is safe to say I could use a timeout in life.
Mr. Sunshine gets to stay with us this weekend while Mom attends the Indy 500 Sunday. He is a hot mess but I love him.

Makenna took Ty for frozen yogurt after school Friday and then text he was bouncing off the walls because field day included a lot of treats so the boy was high on sugar and exhausted too. The combination was entertaining to hear about and make me grateful I missed it.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Living the Dream

Sometimes answers are blessings, even if they aren't what we wanted. Just the knowing, being the peace. It's been a bumpy week with one friend shocked to have hospice called in suddenly and another sitting beside her daughter in a hospital seeking healing for days in this age where answers are instant.

I gave up grains and sugar again three weeks ago and immediately started sleeping through the night. I have battled insomnia for just over a year and was resisting sleep studies and medication. I knew the answer had to be a natural one but didn't want it to be diet. But after three weeks off grains, I used gluten free bread with dinner and that night returned to my 1:30 am wakeup time. In my heart, I know the answer but ordered bloodwork to test for autoimmune triggers in 96 foods to confirm my suspicions.

My son, who is at times worthy of an academy award has rebelled against vegetables with such fury he has ruined dinnertime and lost all access to all electronics until his attitude toward meals improves. It's a delight living in my house right now. But the same boy who snuggles in the bed and lays his head in my lap during bedtime reading can lose his mind when stressed and it is colorful. This is my fifth kid and it isn't any easier. Because as it turns out, I will continue ruining his life with vegetables until he moves out which he is currently planning to do.

Thursday was my last day with Ava and I think I am going to miss that little stinker around here. She says the most hilarious things which makes me laugh daily.

Austin is visiting a great grandma with his parents in Florida this week. Like his momma, he is a beach baby and having a blast.

Makenna was sent home from work Monday with sudden onset vertigo with flashing lights and immediate nausea. Once she got home, a massive headache hit and stuck around for four days. She saw doctors both Wednesday and Thursday and ended up with three medications to treat her "complicated migraine".  It was a long, expensive week.

Anytime someone in our family gets a wrapped gift, someone else will shout, "guess a TV!" This started when Lauren was three and we gave my dad a TV. Dad, being who Dad is was being silly and guessing a lot of odd things, frustrating our very literal daughter who was completely aggravated with him. She finally shouted, "guess a TV, Grandpa!" And so a family joke was born and because she actually got a TV for her birthday to help soften the blow Erin is moving out and taking hers with her, I elected to not wrap it. She would have guessed immediately anyway.

But she wouldn't have guessed a TV because her birthday gift was new hair a month ago so she had no expectations. It was a fun surprise. She had a great birthday with her family and best friend.

Friday, May 17, 2019


And just like that, we blinked. Our little Kate is now fourteen. She is sassy, sarcastic and sweet in one complicated package. She is a loyal friend but selective about who she befriends. Her heart is big but guarded. She enjoys school as much a kid can enjoy school but prefers to shop or go get coffee more than anything else. If that outing includes a friend or her mom, all the better. It's been fourteen years since the medical resident jumped up and down exclaiming, "it's a girl! It's a girl" in response to seeing her first birth and I honestly cannot wrap my head around how time has flown. She is still our Kate Bug.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Mother's Day Weekend

Twenty(ish) years ago, Greg and I were in a young marrieds Sunday school class where we learned about something called gunny-sacking. In a nutshell, it's the unfair habit of keeping tabs on all the little infractions your spouse commits in your marriage by tossing them into an imaginary gunny sack until one final irritation has you unload the contents of the entire sack on your partner. It isn't a fair way to navigate life and we have tried to mindful of this practice since being made aware of the tendency to fight this way all those years ago. So here we are in our twenty-fifth year of marriage and I unloaded a sack on my husband for the smallest of perceived insults first thing Saturday morning, leaving me emotional over my response. I didn't handle this minor thing well because it felt like something more than it was. How at this point in our marriage did that spew out of my mouth? Needless to say, it didn't set the tone for the weekend in a way I would treasure. I just wish I had handled myself better.
My children think their gift is hilarious. 🙄

But the church hosted a Mother's Day tea and the outing was the break I needed to recharge. No sooner than I confessed to a sugar addiction when asked about something difficult to give up than I won a box of chocolate as a door prize. Of course I did. I literally laughed out loud and so did the women around me.

Erin recently asked Kate to take something to her mother. Kate countered, "isn't she your mother too?" And Erin replied, "she is your mother and now my friend." So my friend, Erin ordered chocolate covered strawberries for Mother's Day and enough to let me share if I was so inclined. I was. See aforementioned sugar addiction story....

Makenna and her friend Brooke have been friends since they were six. Brooke was a year behind Makenna in school despite only being a few months apart in age. Brooke's boyfriend is in the Air Force and was unable to take Brooke to her Senior prom so Makenna stepped in as her date. They had a relaxing day preparing together and went into the evening expecting to only have a great time.