December 31, 2009
Then I thought about sharing my favorite posts but that would take a lot of time and consideration because should I choose a favorite funny, a favorite goofy, a favorite reflective, or a favorite rambling post? Hm... Or a favorite post about each member of my family? One funny and one more on the serious side? OR I could re-post a dud as my favorite so that the bar would be reset at a super low level and I could only write better posts from there!
So instead I'm going to tell on John.
It was Christmas Eve and we were getting ready to go to his side of the family for our Christmas celebration when I suggested that he call Belinda and get her recipe for sausage rolls so we could make them and bring an appetizer with us. (John LOVES these sausage rolls!) He calls and tells me that Belinda is going to email the recipe to us. So far, so good.
The email arrives and we look at the recipe. We have all the ingredients and there are still two hours until we need to leave. As I'm preparing to leave the house for that last minute stocking stuffer I say, "Okay. Let's make those." John looks at me and says, "I don't think we have time to make that." I remind him that we don't have to leave for two hours. Then he says the rolls have to be refrigerated for one hour. "Yeah....? There's enough time."
At that moment he says, "But you're leaving." and then in response to the look on my face he quickly adds a lame, "And I don't know how to make it." OH. MY. COW. "You know how to brown meat. You've got the instructions right here in front of you! You can't claim you don't know how!" I could hardly believe my ears that this excuse was coming out of my husband, the same man who likes to claim that he is "a master chef". I ended the conversation with The Look.
Knowing the wise thing to do, John made the sausage rolls while I went from store to store searching for the stocking stuffer which everyone else thought would be perfect too. After finding it at the fourth store that I checked, I returned home in time to help get everyone ready (out of their stained, ripped clothes and into something clean) and into the car. John brought his sausage rolls which were a BIG hit and, of course, claimed to be a master chef. It was a wonderful time.
December 30, 2009
Even our dog was sick last night. Thankfully, I think the worst is behind us now.
To HEALTH! (and no more buckets)
December 29, 2009
The crying was such a change from his usual cheerful self that I began to dread bedtime. I tried to figure out if he was overtired, not tired enough, suddenly afraid of the dark, too warm, too cold, anything I could think of to explain his change of behavior. When we held him to comfort him, he would settle down but as soon as he was placed back in bed, the crying resumed. So we waited it out. Tensely. Prayerfully.
I'm not sure when things changed but eventually we worked out a new routine. After prayers with all the boys, John or I take Noah to his room and have some snuggle time in the rocking chair. Some nights we skip it and Noah does fine with that. Some nights I feel like rushing. But most nights I treasure the extra cuddles. We sing songs together and hug while we rock.
My baby is already two years old; I don't know how many more nights he will want to snuggle. Children are so precious and they grow up so fast.
And so I practice slowing down and cherishing the moments I have.
December 28, 2009
LET THE EMBARRASSMENTS BEGIN!
Admit your size to the entire family when letting your Christmas list be known.
1. Trivia games. Play that 2-second trivia game with super easy questions and show everyone how quickly your brain can freeze.
I'm probably leaving out some really good embarrassing moments. Do you have any to share?
Our Christmas was truly wonderful. We're blessed with great family and had treasured time together. And if you can't be yourself with family... where else can you do it, huh?
December 24, 2009
Next I will be playing Christmas music and singing along loudly because everyone knows that "The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear." Thanks for the tip, Buddy.
And throughout the day I will review my Far Side comics in order to keep the laughs coming.
Oh yes! It's going to be a good day and a great Christmas because more than anything else, God has already given me and you the best gift ever: redemption through His only begotten Son, Jesus.Have a Merry Christmas!
December 23, 2009
December 22, 2009
Later I began to think that Christmas Cd's should come with a warning label. They could make it a festive label if they want to. I don't mind.
I don't know how you are when you see a child bleeding but I DON'T LIKE IT. First I heard a bump, a cry, then the other boys saying, "Mooomm...." At the initial glance I thought Noah must have broken his nose or something; there was a LOT of blood. Relief flooded over me when I saw his forehead wound. "Okay. That's probably the source of it all..."
Apparently, if you were going to get injured, yesterday was the day to do it. The emergency room was virtually empty. (Maybe there WAS a warning label and everyone ELSE had heeded it!) They were ushered in to Fast Track, then to a room, and it wasn't very long before he was seen. Thankfully, the cut was able to be glued, not stitched. JOY!
The entire time I waited at home with the other boys wondering. What's happening at the ER? Will there be stitches? Is my baby okay?
Then it hit me. There could be a market for a sort of emergency-waiting kit. It would include coffee, of course, and a soothing voice of reassurance saying things like, "It will be okay... You'll hear from them soon... The doctor knows what he's doing... Don't worry." And other such rot. Hm. What would else should this waiting kit include?
December 21, 2009
I found this recipe for homemade playdough online in the spring of this year because I wanted a fun activity for the kids to do at Nathan's birthday party. I sent home sandwich baggies of playdough with our guests. It wasn't long until I got a phone call from one of my friends; she wanted this recipe. Her children loved playing with it and, inevitably, they left it out of its bag overnight. The playdough was still good the next morning!
I found the recipe and emailed it to her before I promptly lost the recipe card again. I know! I've discovered a treasure here and I lose it!
During the year, I looked for the recipe again but didn't ever find the same one. There are a LOT of playdough recipes out there and I tried others but just wasn't as happy with them. Thankfully, my friend recently found the original email and sent it back to me. O happy day!
Playdough:This would also work great for a stress relief "ball" ... and you may discover you have a previously undiscovered gift for sculpting.
1 c. flour
1 c. boiling water
2 Tbsp. cream of tartar
1/2 c. salt
1 Tbsp. oil
Mix and knead together.
Add food coloring to suit.
(This playdough is not sticky and does not dry out.)
If you don't think you have time to do another project before Christmas, what do you think about giving them a project coupon? That way they can have fun making and coloring the playdough with you after the busyness is over.
I wish I knew to whom I could give credit for this recipe; however, if I knew that, I wouldn't have been without the recipe for so long. (And now I have trapped this recipe inside my computer never to lose it again! Mwahahahaha!)
Anyway, enjoy and have fun!
December 20, 2009
This adorable, funny, friendly child still refuses to poop on the potty. Other "accidents" are rare and he's very proud of peeing on the potty; he frequently announces his accomplishment to anyone within earshot. And I do mean anyone. And anywhere.
I don't know what it will take for him to conquer this thing once and for all. Every time he messes his pants I tell him, "Nathan, you can't do this. You MUST poop in the potty." He replies, "Okaaaay." "Don't do this again.", I admonish him. Again I hear "okaaaaay." Every stinking, messy day. "Okaaaaay."
Which brings me to my point. I totally get Inigo Montoya when he says, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
December 18, 2009
And so I'll ask a few questions and just so you don't feel put on the spot, I'll answer them too (but not instead of you, just along with you -only I can't hear you at the same time and it's all typed out so you can't really hear me either... ).
*Ahem* Let's get started.
1. If you have a blog, what was your reason for starting it?
I DO have a blog! Thank you for noticing. I first started this blog when my dear friend
2. What is your favorite movie line?
There are so many movies and so little time.... Hm. The quote I most closely relate to at this time is that of Mr. Incredible from The Incredibles. "No matter how many times you save the world, it always manages to get back in jeopardy again. Sometimes I just want it to stay saved! You know, for a little bit? I feel like the maid; I just cleaned up this mess! Can we keep it clean for... for ten minutes!" Did you really think it would be anything else? I have three little boys after all.
3. What is your favorite color?
That's an easy one. Red. Wait. Do you mean the color I like to wear? or the color I like my interior decorating? or my favorite color of crayon? Does anyone else love the line from Monty Python's Search for the Holy Grail when Tim asks, "WHAT is your favorite color?" and the guy goes "Blue. No, yellow." and he gets thrown into the thingamagig because he got the answer wrong? Okaaaay. Next question?
4. How do you feel about Christmas being one week away?
Christmas. It's such a wonderful time of the year. My favorite really. I love the visiting, the food, the games, the laughter, the expression on people's faces when they open their gifts unless, of course, they hate it. I'm sorry. Did you say ONE week? As in 7 days? I gotta go.
*Disclaimer: I am in no way a professional interviewer and somewhat stink at casual conversation. My apologies for any awkwardness to you or for you. Yep.
December 17, 2009
Today I'm thinking of the list of items my young, single self would never have imagined I would ever want for Christmas. Who am kidding? I wouldn't have thought this even five years ago!
I know there are lots of fun toys available for the asking but there are a few things I need/want that I'm too cheap to buy on my own.
1. Vacuum- preferrably one that would recognize Legos and spit them into a separate compartment so that I can rescue them without all the bending and crawling currently needed to avoid sucking them up.
2. Carpet Cleaner- Is there a super fast model? One that dries as it goes too? Or maybe one that vacuums, saves Legos, cleans, AND dries? That would be good. Then you could skip #1.
3. Kitchen chair- More like a bar stool with a back. Not too high but not too low. Maybe an adjustable one. And a cushion. Could I get that with a back massager included?
4. Couch cushions- Or my current couch cushions recovered. I mean, I already have to turn them so the backs face outward... I'm running out of ways to hide the holes. Could the new cushions or covers have an anti-picking device installed. I don't want to name names per se but JOHN and the rest of the boys keep making the holes bigger. (I so told on them!)
5. Snow pants- preferrably ones that include motivation, endurance, and energy to keep up with my snow loving boys.
6. Lesley Sansoane's Walk off your Waist DVD (it comes with a weight belt) - Yeah, I don't want to talk about it. Well, maybe you and I could work on our waistlines together, Santa? Oh. Right. Yes, I know how it is when you have a bunch of little people underfoot....
7. A new front door- I would like one that is pretty, secure, easy to open and close, and the color of my bricks. You can stop by for a color sample if you need to.
8. Organizational Stuff- Office supplies. Toy organizing equipment. I know! Some extra storage closets would be wonderful! OR.... could I just have one of those red bags you've got? They seem to hold a lot of stuff. Maybe you have an old one just laying around somewhere? Yes? No?
Anyway, that about does it for my run of the mill items that I really, really want for Christmas this year. Thank you in advance for the special modifications I know that you can pull off. *fingers crossed*
December 16, 2009
There is an idea out there about switching roles, the child becomes the parent and so on. However, I don't buy that. The child must simply take on a new mantle, one of caring and sacrifice. These seasoned citizens have lived and learned and have entered a time when things they used to do easily aren't easy anymore or perhaps they aren't even possible. A young child is seeing everything new and learning more every moment while an elderly adult has seen just about everything and is learning to deal with the loss of abilities and memories. They have wisdom we can glean, advice to heed, and graciousness to replicate.
I realize that not everyone is the same and some aged people are difficult to be around because of their anger, bitterness, or particular ailment.
But I have a particular compassion for seniors. I think it's because I felt like one before.
Just a couple days after returning from my honeymoon I began to have pain in my joints. This was not an I-may-have-the-flu-kind-of-ache but an it-hurts-to-walk-and-move-and-my-fingers-are-swollen kind of ache. As a new bride, suddenly I was feeling old and scared.
My boss, a mother of four, asked me about what was different. Could it be the birth control pill I had started taking only three months earlier? I wanted to find out what was wrong so I asked my OBGYN about it. She took the time to look it up and read to me all the possible side effects and my symptoms didn't fit.
My husband was so wonderful to me! In reality, he was facing having a disabled wife after just a few days of marriage but he didn't show any fear or concern for himself; he simply cared for me and my needs. He helped me dress and undress, drew bath water for me, assisted me getting in and out of the tub, and listened to my concerns.
John and I knew we wanted several children, but now I was wondering how I could possibly care for a baby if I couldn't even take care of myself. John assured me that I wouldn't have to give up on my dream. We prayed for healing and answers and kept going about our daily lives.
The symptoms continued so I made an appointment with my new primary care doctor, John's doctor since youth. However, by the time of my doctor's appointment, the symptoms were all but gone. Facing a patient with no symptoms didn't deter my doctor. He spent at least 45 minutes with me, asking question after question. After gleaning all the information he could from my answers and descriptions, he ordered a blood test. From that appointment, I knew we would never change doctors. His thoroughness and caring made a huge impression on me.
The blood test showed traces of lupus. Thankfully, I wasn't familiar with the disease and my symptoms still remained at bay; the name didn't scare me like the pain had done. The next step was to see an arthritis specialist.
I got an appointment quickly but felt frustration about my blood test saying one thing while my body was feeling normal again. The appointment was relatively quick and a follow-up appointment was scheduled. No answer was given me.
It wasn't long before the symptoms came back worse than before! The pain and the swelling in my joints hit me suddenly and seemed to worsen as the day went on. My boss sent me home. I remember crying as I drove because the pain was so bad. I inched around a corner because it hurt my knuckles to turn the steering wheel and I had the thought, "So this is why old people drive slowly!"
John took care of me again. After making me some soup, he helped me into a warm bath to try and soothe my body. It didn't work and I even threw up the soup. I don't know if it was a new symptom or just from the pain and fear I was facing. I had a couple of very bad days before the symptoms started dissipating again.
We continued praying for healing and answers.
It was about two weeks after this that I thought of having renewed my prescription for my acne medicine. I had been taking minocycline and, before that, tetracycline for years. But there was a period of three or more weeks when I had run out and simply not yet refilled my prescription. It was an epiphany! I had never considered the minocycline as a possible problem since I was familiar with it but I rushed to the calendar and observed that the day I refilled that prescription and started taking it was the exact day the symptoms had hit me full force. During the initial lapse in my prescription is when the symptoms first cleared. The symptoms had begun to dissipate again when I stopped taking it simply because I felt so badly.
I knew that I finally had my answer! God had gently pointed out to me the dates coinciding with the symptoms.
The arthritis specialist wanted another appointment with me but I told them no.
When I had my next dermatologist appointment, I told him what had happened. His response? "Yes, it sounds like you developed an allergy to minocycline. That can happen to about 1 in 200,000." He also told me that the birth control could have been the catalyst that caused the allergy to develop by accentuating the side effects of minocycline. And I thought, "Why the heck didn't I come see you before!?"
After having gone through this experience, I have no doubt that my husband truly loves me for better or worse, in sickness and in health. When we go through tough times, I remember the selflessness he showed to me in those newly married months. And I have a deep compassion for those of any age who are living with pain and fear of the unknown.
December 15, 2009
I responded, "Mm hm. But your nipples won't grow; boys' nipples don't get bigger."
Then he looked at me and innocently asked, "Why did Daddies' nipples grow?"
"Well, sometimes there will be some fat or some big muscles behind the nipples that make them look bigger.", I explain.
(At this point, I should tell you that Josiah has never differentiated between nipples and breasts. If you're showing any cleavage at all, he thinks that he has seen your nipples so don't be too alarmed if he tells you, "Um, I see your nipples.")
I further clarified, "Ladies' nipples get big so that they can feed their babies." Since Josiah has two younger brothers who nursed, I thought this may settle the discussion for now. Nope, not yet.
"Will they get this big?" he asks as he spreads his hands apart way too far to allow any woman to be without back pain.
"No, everyone grows to be different sizes."
Not yet satisfied with information, he asks me, "Will yours get as big as So-and-So's?"
"No, I don't know what size hers are but we're different anyway..." Thanks, kid. Isn't it time for bed?
I will admit that during this entire conversation I was eagerly anticipating the moment when I could tell John about his big "nipples". Of course, I didn't keep from laughing when I told John about Josiah's observation and questions! John's reaction was priceless. "Hey, man, it wasn't me; it was Josiah." Here's a link where you can decide for yourself if there really are man boobs here. Heh heh heh.
December 14, 2009
Fine. Do it the old-fashioned way but Nathan's way looks like a lot more fun!
After Nathan had been outside for quite some time working on perfecting his invention and then conquering the snow hills, I asked him if he was cold and "Are you ready to come inside?" He's building up his cold endurance because in spite of his red cheeks and nose, he claimed that wasn't cold yet. (The endurance time has really expanded after he embraced the wisdom of using his warm, water-proof gloves instead of his easy to get on knitted gloves.)
His look was pleading with me to allow him to stay outside longer. How can you say "no" to this face?
Noah doesn't have quite the amount of cold endurance built up so I had hot chocolate at the ready. He also tends to stumble on the snow drifts and just sits there until I run outside from my window perch to help him back up. It's a good thing for him that Nathan and I had shoveled pathways in the yard. He only needed rescued twice.
Even our dog, Cairo, got into the snow fun and pinned her chew toy face down in the snow until it squeaked to the count of ten.
The record holder for cold endurance is Josiah though. He'll stay in the snow for hours. Shoveling, building, transporting, building igloos, and whatever else his imagination comes up with.
There's nothing better to than to top off a round of snow play with some delicious hot chocolate. (It really helps with the coming-in blues too.)
December 11, 2009
Here is a strangely aimed picture of the boys digging into the ornaments. From the looks of Nathan, it was just after Nathan was doing some digging into his raviolis. That would explain any strange stains I find on the ornaments...
After the tree was decorated, the younger boys took a nap and Josiah went outside to play while I set up our Playmobil nativity set. When Josiah came inside, he was amazed that I had set that up all by myself and had done it so quickly. "Wow! Did you do this all by yourself, Mommy? How did you do it so fast?" It's a superpower I have... kind of like being able to open jars.
I had the presence of mind to take a picture of the nativity since I kind of figured that it wouldn't remain intact throughout the Christmas season. At this point, I'm just hoping all the parts can be found when it's time to put things away.
The tree itself has remained decorated and unscathed. We may even be able to put the glass ornaments back on the tree by next year! Woohoo! I love a loaded tree.
December 9, 2009
She asks me, "I am wondering do you know how to get melted crayon out of clothing? I washed Josh's pants and didn't realize he had crayons in them and then dried them in the dryer. I don't know if I can save the pants."
My oh-so-wise response: I've heard of something before. I'll try to remember. (I'm thinking that I know peanut butter gets gum out of hair...)
Oh! Try this...
Friend: yeah, it is quite bad it was like 3 crayons.
Me: Put an old rag over the wax stains, then iron the rag. It gets the wax to come onto the rag. I saw this work on spilt candle wax on carpet.
Friend: The bummer is most of it is in the pocket! But I will try it.
Me: Go ahead, ask me something else. I feel as though I'm on a roll!
Turn that pocket inside out. (Another zinger! That's 2 for 2.)
Friend: http://www.ehow.com/how_4487742_remove-melted-crayon-from-fabric.html This site says to freeze the pants first. LOL
Me: What do they know! Seriously :) (Dang! My friend doubted the authenticity of my response and googled it. This is in my most incredulous voice in my head: "You doubt me!?" Ha! That article only has a two and a half star rating. Mine would surely have a better rating than that!)
Friend: Maybe it helps get rid of a majority, then iron it.
or frozen parts snap off? (I know you're trying to humor me. Just freeze the pants already. However, you will never know if my ironing tip would have removed the wax without the wait! *maniacal laughter*)
I am glad I haven't had to learn about this before
Some of my other I-know-how-to-do-its:
Open a pickle jar
Open a jelly jar
Open a salsa jar
Oh! Get ink out of fabric
Hard boil an egg
How to get gum out of hair
Open an applesauce jar
Open a hot pepper rings jar
I could go on but the list would be too long and eventually I'll run out of different kinds of jars.
Go ahead. Ask me a question. I'll know the answer. (And if I don't, I'll google it, ask around, or find out from another unsuspecting friend via IM.)
(Note: Statements in parenthesis are made in my head and must be read in my conspiratorial thought voice.) The previous statement was my out loud, informative, thought voice. Everyone clear?
The Pre-K through second grade classes gave everyone an adorable rendition of the first Thanksgiving even demonstrating hunting and planting where a corn stalk spontaneously sprang up after the seed was planted and a bear skin suddenly appeared when the the Indians helped the Pilgrims learn to hunt.
December 7, 2009
He told me, "I need a car. And a gun."
Dang! What's my three year old planning? Is there a heist planned? Are there co-conspirators? Where did I go wrong!?
On the other hand, he asks for so little....