Thursday, April 23, 2009

Purple ears, lame kitties and wrist wraps...

It all started Monday afternoon with a tattle tale from Evan that Spencer was playing "super kitty" (I don't think I even want to know what that is, so I didn't ask) with Dickens and made him hurt his leg again. I use "again" in that sentence because he initially hurt it while we were in Chicago about two hours into my Mom's thirty six hour baby sitting stint. The cat had attempted to jump from the stairs to the couch and missed and immediately started meowing in pain and gimping around on his leg. My Mom was panicked (to say the least) and thought he had broken his leg and that they would surely euthanize him. (They shoot horses don't they?) After my Dad had come to the rescue and taken the cat to the vet for x-rays and kitty Valium it was determined that the leg wasn't broken, only jammed and that he would be alright as long as he kept it "quiet" and rested. OK - he is a kitten. And he lives in a house with three children that maul him all their waking hours. God help him.

He seemed to be fine until Monday and the "super kitty" incident. Even after that, he didn't cry at all just kind of hobbled around again. Needless to say, I was furious at Spencer and he was sent to his room as I threatened to give the cat away to someone who didn't treat him like a toy and play so rough with him. He also had his TV privileges taken away for three days which in actuality is more of a punishment for me than him. Let's face it, one kid sucked into the TV is one less kid to have to deal with. I am kidding...a little.

The kids were all very gentle with him. The threats of them not being ready to have pets had really seemed to sink in. The next morning the cat somehow seemed to hurt his leg worse. I am sure that the kids had nothing to do with it because I was with them almost every minute. I think that he must have forgotten it was hurt again and jumped off of something and jammed it again. He was holding the leg way in the air and meowing a lot more. I called the vet and she said she would prescribe him some anti-inflammatory to help with the pain. And that we should have him keep it "quiet" and rest. Aside from trapping him in his 2x2 square travelling cage...I don't know how that is going to happen.

So all week I have been mothering to my fourth child. Trying to focus extra attention on him and keep the kids away from him. It is an exhausting task.

Isn't he so cute all stretched out in the sunshine? He should be on an inspirational kitty poster with the word "bliss" on it.

Next topic...

While I was getting Hailey dressed on Monday (Monday was just not a good day), I began to comb her hair when I noticed this.... need to adjust your monitors...her ear is purple. The sad part is I don't really know what happened. She was fine on Saturday and I know that because I put her hair in pigtails and I would have noticed this hugely bruised ear. I know that on Sunday she cried two or three times and said that she bumped her head. Apparently one of those times she must have bumped her ear and bumped it mighty hard. Poor little thing. Maybe her loving parents could have brought her an ice pack or something. It doesn't seem to bother her at all. Even if I touch it, she doesn't complain. It just looks totally nasty - I have never seen anything like it. I didn't even realize that you could bruise your ears.
Last Saturday, Trent and I raked and bagged forty two bags of leaves. It is really not as bad as it seems and it saved us from paying someone a hundred and seventy dollars to do it for us- Cha-ching! In the process of that task I hurt my left wrist. I don't know what I did, but the next day if I bent it a certain way it was very painful. If it is not bent, it doesn't hurt, so I keep forgetting about it until I bend it and it hurts. Follow that? To alleviate the bending, I wrapped it up in the bandage that Spencer used when he dislocated his elbow. For those of you surprised that I still have the bandage that my son wore three years ago, this is my reply. HAVE IT? I was actually surprised that I hadn't put it in his SCRAPBOOK (Spencer's 1st visit to the ER - with festive stickers and children's Tylenol with codeine prescription and a swatch from his Ace bandage) but then I remembered that I am so far behind in my scrapbooks that I am nowhere near the time when it happened. Whew! Tragedy averted. Close call!

Anyway...I know that it hinders on a touch of the drama, but it really helps. I had it off for most of the morning today and my wrist almost feels totally back to normal. So I put it back on so that I wouldn't re-injure it when the kids decide to play "super mommy".
I am hoping for a laid back weekend but by the looks of our calendar, I don't think it is going to happen. In addition, Evan's nose has been running like a faucet today so he either has allergies or is getting a cold. Great. Now if I could only keep him resting and quiet....

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

While Evan was getting dressed this morning in his totally awesome Earth Day attire that I found at Wal-Mart for four bucks, he asked me what the shirt said on it. When I told him he looked at me completely surprised and said "Love HER? - The Earth is not a HER!" I then went on to explain to him that all the heavenly bodies are referred to as being feminine - they are all in fact, HERS. He looked at me like he still didn't buy it and then asked "Why?" I didn't really have a good explanation for that so I told him it was because they were more pretty than handsome.

I think I may need to read more.

Today is Earth Day and I am realizing that I am not as green as I would like to be. I have made small strides in trying to do my part to better this planet of ours, and I know that every little bit helps, but I wish I could do more. I am still trying to find uses for things I would normally throw away - at least one more use. I just realized yesterday that the bags they bring the newspaper in on rainy days make wonderful receptacles for small kitty litter clean up jobs. Since the Easter holiday I have a whole new stash of egg cartons at the ready for the day when the kids announce they want to paint. I can't tell you how much sanity is restored by them having their own colors in their own tray. We still do our curb side recycling of newspapers, glass and plastic. I would love to be able to have a garden, but unless we plant smack dab in the middle of our front yard, we just don't have much sun around here. I have some ideas for where we may be able to plant a few things in the backyard, but the plan may necessitate losing some trees that block the sun. Cutting down trees to plant a garden seems to defeat the whole "green" purpose a little bit. I have tried container gardening in the past, but it never seems to work well for me. I would also love to be able to compost. One morning on PBS Kids, Evan and I were watching a Curious George episode where George is learning about composting. I think I was as fascinated by the whole thing as Evan was. After it was over Evan asked me if we could do that. I told him that we could, but we have yet to do it. I guess I should research it a bit more. I don't know if we need to have one of those composting barrels and how much they cost? Can it be outside during a cold winter? It would be a very cool way to recycle our organic waste as opposed to shredding it up in the garbage disposal.

So are any of you trying to be greener? I would love to hear any ideas, tips, tricks or ways you are reducing your carbon footprint.

Because you know that I am vying for the Mother of the Year award (kidding) - here is what Evan brought for snack helper. Dirt sundaes. How cute are they? Not only cute, but SO yummy! I don't think it gets much better than Oreos and chocolate pudding.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Soccer Saturday!

Another season of soccer has begun! Evan played his first game on Saturday. It was a gorgeous day to be outside - warm and sunny - the complete opposite of the last game he played in the fall when we got completely drenched in the cool blowing rain.

I can tell that he has improved a bit from last season. He even almost scored a goal! He is a little older and a little more aggressive, but still has the Evan zest for dancing and goofing around on the field. During practice on Thursday night, one of the older boys on the team ( a boy who is VERY good at the game) was throwing the ball in from out of bounds. I heard him yell to Evan to get down near the goal and he would throw it to him. Sounds like a good strategy huh? Evan responded by hopping around and laughing and telling the boy "I am stepping on your shadow!" What can I say? My boys are apparently not going to be that into sports - or maybe they just didn't get any sporting genes.

My cousin's little boy Matthew is on his team this season, so that is pretty cool. It is fun to see Evan playing the game with one of his relatives and it is nice for me to have people to hang out with on the sidelines! The boys had a quite a cheering section on Saturday with their combined group of fans. It was a fun day at the old soccer pitch!

Friday, April 17, 2009

He is risen!

At the start
He was there
He was there
In the end
He’ll be there
He’ll be there
And after all
Our hands have wrought
He forgives

Oh, the glory of it all
Is He came here
For the rescue of us all
That we may live
For the glory of it all
Oh, the glory of it all

All is lost
Find Him there
Find Him there
After night
Dawn is there
Dawn is there
And after all
Falls apart
He repairs
He repairs

Oh, He is here
With redemption from the fall
That we may live
For the glory of it all
Oh, the glory of it all

After night
Comes a light
Dawn is here
Dawn is here
It’s a new day, a new day
Oh, everything will change
Things will never be the same
We will never be the same

Oh, everything will change
Things will never be the same
We will never be same
-David Crowder

Here are the snaps of our Easter in a nutshell. Hailey was able to assist in the coloring of eggs for the first time. We colored almost three dozen. Two of our own and some for Grama Bonnie. Three dozen eggs colored in about twenty minutes. They don't like to let them soak for too long. Let's just say pastels were in this year.

Spencer was thrilled to wake up on Easter morning and see bunny tracks running through our great room. He was also the one to find the two gnawed on carrots that were laying on the floor by the deck door. Perhaps dropped by a gift giving rabbit?

Spencer was the first to find his basket this year and his was the hardest hidden. The bunny will have to work super hard next year. Spencer was very into looking for the hidden eggs this year. He was looking inside of things - places the bunny would not even dare to hide things. He even kept looking for more eggs after we had found all the baskets. Hear that bunny? Next year we need some major hidden eggs - ones that won't be found until summertime!

Evan was the next to find his basket with a bit of help from Mommy and Spencer. I am always so surprised at how thrilled kids are with baskets full of "disposable" toys.

The boys helped their baby sister find her basket in the pantry and she immediately started peeling open her Cadbury egg. The apple doesn't feel far from the tree I guess. She wasn't much into the egg hunt. She picked up a few and when she realized there was candy inside...she pretty much just started eating it as fast as she could get the foil wrappers off.

The bunny was even nice enough to leave Dickens a little basket with a few cat toys in it. The bunny brought them each a chocolate bunny, little LEGO ships for the boys, some hair do-dads for Hailey, paints, bubble swords and Play-Doh. He also got them each a new swimsuit in honor of Grama Lyn. She used to buy all the grandkids bathing suits for Easter so that bunny thought to carry on that tradition.

We were bummed that Daddy was not with us on Easter morning. He had volunteered to help at church with the sound board, so he had to leave before the kids were out of bed. I know that Jesus is kind of the point of the whole day, so serving him at the church is the right thing to do, but we missed him.

You knew there had to be a bunny cake right? Here it is - along with a group of Easter honey hams! I ran out of vanilla while making the butter cream frosting and had to send the kids over to borrow from a neighbor - I think that is the first time that we have ever done that in this neighborhood. I remember borrowing stuff from neighbors all the time when I was little.

She doesn't have a bonnet, but here is a picture of our sweet girl dressed for church. The whole outfit is courtesy of Miss Amaya. Thanks Amaya! Hailey got many compliments on your little dress.
My attempt at a nice picture of the three of them. They were in no mood for my camera and this is the best I could get.

This picture is not really any better, but for some reason I like it.

After church, Grama Bonnie and Grampa Dan came over for a delicious dinner. The kids played outside most of the day and ate candy while they were inside. For the first time I can ever remember, we didn't have to go ANYWHERE or divide our time between places. We missed our family that couldn't be with us, but it was a very laid back, fun filled, quiet day.

Our whole family of six! You can tell that Evan was tired and wasn't feeling the love for the camera, but not a bad shot.
I am so blessed by the gifts that I have been given.

He is risen indeed!

Blog note: The song lyrics at the top of the post are from "Oh the Glory of it all" by the David Crowder band. I know you are probably shocked that it is not one of Nichole's. Awesome song and one of my favorites. The music with the words makes it so much better.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Caught chocolate handed!

While checking email this morning I suddenly realized that it was eerily quiet in the house. I walked away from the computer to see what the kids were into and found Hailey in the kitchen
with her chair pushed up to the counter, pant less, eating from the Easter candy stash. She is a candy fanatic! I think she has eaten more candy than the boys combined.

The site of her little bum and the chair were pretty cute and I took a photo for future bribery. You will have to take my word for it though because I don't feel comfortable sharing it on the world wide web. I LOVE this picture with her guilty look and all the wrappers in the background. Although my photography teacher would nail me for those shadows.

I know I promised Chicago pictures and Easter pictures....I honestly don't know where the day goes. It has been beautiful out these past couple of days so the majority of our time is spent outside. The kids are discovering new things to do out there and remembering the old things they haven't been able to play with since October. The boys are fine left outside alone, but Hailey can't be trusted - not even with her brothers watching her. She is a wanderer and fearless - a bad combination in a stubborn little two year old. So I am outside all day watching her.

We take a lot of walks - which is a good thing - the Reeses' peanut butter eggs are not going to fall off my hips on their own. On the plus side (no pun intended) the jeans I bought a size too big at Old Navy fit now. Sadly, that is not the goal I was trying to attain.

The spring practices have started as well. Spencer is playing baseball and had his first official practice last night and will have another tomorrow. Evan starts soccer practice tonight and will kick it around in his first game on Saturday. It is supposed to be a nice day so I am excited about that. I hope he gets into the game a little more this year. He seems to be really pumped about it.

I am off to clean the kitchen and finish the laundry. I did about six loads yesterday and was totally caught up. Evan came into our bed last night at 1:30 scared about a bad dream. He basically takes over my side of the bed so I get about 4 inches of sleeping space. Then he and Trent start a dueling snore duet. I was exhausted yesterday from being outside all day and having the kids alone all day - at about 2:30 I decided to go sleep in Evan's room. After taking about fifteen dinosaurs out of his bed I went to lay down and realized that his bed was SOAKED. I grabbed a new sleep diaper and headed back to my bed because his pull-up must be saturated and leaking and I didn't want pee in my bed. I whip off his jammy pants (he is sleeping soundly though the whole thing, mind you) and discover that he does not even have his pull -up on. UGH! My kids and their stripping of diapers in the night is driving me insane! That is my way too long saga of why I have more laundry today.

OK - off to eat a peanut-butter egg yogurt!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Not a huge fan of the gestures...

Evan and I were driving to the store this morning and having a fairly intense conversation about how trees grow leaves in the spring and how they get the nutrients to grow those leaves. How they eat, not with mouths like people do, but sort of absorb their food with their roots from the ground.

I am no botanist. He is four. I did my best.

During the conversation I took my hands off the wheel for some reason to give an example of something.

Evan (very accusatory and creeping toward terror): MOM! You just took your hands off the driving wheel!

Mom: Sorry buddy, I was just trying to show you an example.

Evan: If a policeman would have seen you, you would have gone to JAIL! Next time just tell me with your words! You don't have to show me like that! You should never let the wheel go!

He continued to go on about my wrongdoing for the next three minutes or so until we got to the store parking lot. Apparently, the boy is a stickler for rules.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

25 random things about me...

I have a lot of blogging to catch up on. We just got home from an amazing trip with the boys to Chicago with lots of photos and fun memories. Little Dickens is fitting into our family wonderfully - even with surviving a near death experience (more on that later as well). Easter is this Sunday and we are in the middle of Spring Break and I have lists to make and things to organize so the blog is taking a back burner. I get tired of looking at the same thing over and over so here is a little something new. Another Facebook (DTAF) meme - this time all about me.

1. I have been told I have an amazing memory. Though it seems to be only for random things that no one would ever need to know.

2. I can write with my right foot.

3. My greatest fear is something will happen to one of my kids. My second is that something will happen to me and I won't be able to see them grow up. My third is flying.

4. I talk to my Mom everyday. She is one of my best friends.

5. I always have been and still am a very shy person until I really get to know someone. Then I never seem to shut up.

6. I knew I wanted to marry my husband the first time I met him even though we didn't start dating until years later.

7. I am good at having babies. I had all three naturally and very quickly.

8. I have a high pain tolerance. See #7.

9. I love to take pictures. Actually I am obsessed. My dream is to be a photographer.

10. I am a picky eater.

11. I don't drink enough water.

12. I drink too much Diet Coke.

13. I dread working out, but love the way I feel after.

14. I believe that my husband and my Dad are two of the world's best guys and I don't tell either of them that enough.

15. I love living near Lake Michigan. I don't think I could live anywhere else.

16. I used to be extremely organized - then I had kids.

17. The last thing I do before I go to sleep is kiss my kids goodnight.

18. I love movie theatre popcorn. I would go to a bad movie just to eat the popcorn.

19. I have a hard time getting rid of things. I tend to hold on to things for their sentimental value.

20. I tend to be a hypochondriac.

21. I touched Kenny Rogers hand at a concert of his I went to in college.

22. I like to watch reality TV and other mindless shows.

23. I am amazingly good at cracking and eating crab legs.

24. I am not squeamish at all about touching my eyes.

25. I love the smell of Ivory soap and Flintstone vitamins.
Photo note: The credit for this photo goes to Evan. He loves it when I let him take a picture with my camera. It wears on my nerves a bit to give him that very HEAVY very EXPENSIVE camera but he is very careful with it. The photo is a little blurry and looking at it makes me realize I need some eyebrow maintenance in a major way...but the composition is very good - he has a good eye for an almost five year old.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Feeling a little crafty...

Today was another wonderful spring-like day. It was a day where we could finally go outside without jackets and feel comfortable. At times the boys were even taking off their shoes - though their mean mother made them keep putting them back on. These kids are SO ready for summer.

In the early afternoon Evan, Hailey and I took a walk down to the beach and hung out for a bit. Once again, there was not a breath of wind and with the sun shining, at times it actually felt hot. Or maybe that was just me after walking down the stairs carrying Hailey. We walked along the shore and looked for treasures. I can't believe how much higher the water is this year compared to last year. It is cutting into the shore leaving almost three foot high "cliffs" - you can see the root systems of the beach grass. It it the highest I have seen it in a while. Evan found a fishing bobber, a piece of driftwood that looked like a gun, a piece of driftwood that looked like a fish, a bazillion little shells and a big cork that we decided was from a bottle belonging to a pirate.

As we left the beach and the kids piled back into the Burley, Evan added to his treasure trove a slew of pine cones. I told him we could make them into bird feeders. He was very intrigued and super excited and of course wanted to get started the minute we got home. When we got home, I put Hailey down to nap and we gathered our supplies and made our nature bird feeders.

It was sort of messy and sticky, but he LOVED putting them together and was so excited to hang them for the birds. And squirrels. He likes them both equally. He does not judge. During our project at one point he looked at me with his eyes twinkling and a smile and told me "Mom, I really love doing this with you!" I could actually FEEL my heart grow the way the Grinch's does when he hears the Who's singing when he said that. It made me realize that we don't do enough stuff like that during the day and it is so easy and it means so much to them. We had a great time with our little nature craft.

On another note....
My friend Lesley's little girl Amaya has been struggling with leg pain and difficulty for a few months. This week they received her diagnosis. They were worried that she might have cancer or another life threatening disease and thankfully that was not the case. Unfortunately - though it is not life threatening it is life altering and she has a hard road a head of her. It is called Calves-Pethes disease and I don't know a lot about it but it inhibits her from participating in many of the activities that kid's her age love to do and it will have to be watched and monitered very closely in the next years. She is a tough little girl - with parents that will support her and do any thing for her. She will be OK, I just feel sad that they all have to go through this. If you believe and are willing, please add them to your prayers. I keep thinking that God's plan is not for us to know, only to Trust. That is all we can do.
If you want to see the sweet little face that you are praying about -go here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


April Fool's Day is one of my kid's favorite days. Sure it pales in comparison to Christmas, their birthdays, Easter, Halloween - but it is definitely in the top ten.

They get such a huge kick out of trying to fool us. I have to admit that it starts to wear on me a bit, because let's face it...the jokes are not good. You can only hear "Mom! There's a huge spider behind you!" and fake gasp about fifty times before you are ready to go hide in the laundry room or some other place the kids won't dare to go. Evan's idea of a good joke is to exclaim "Mom! There is a giant book over there!" and he gets so angry if you don't react to his foolery in the correct manner. More times than I can count I have asked him sounding scared "Over where?" to have him answer with a huge scowl on his face "MOM! You have to turn AROUND and look for it when you say it!!!!"

I tried to get them back this morning by dyeing their milk blue. Evan was a little intrigued/angry about the whole thing - but sucked it all down. Spencer thought it was pretty funny but wouldn't touch his milk. I explained to him that the food color would not make it taste any different. It was the exact same stuff we put in the frosting to turn it colors when we made cookies or cakes. He seemed to be cool with the answer but still....picky....he is his mama's son.

My ultimate trick today is taking place as I type this. I tricked Evan into taking a nap. I cannot tell you how badly that boy needs to nap. He has been overtired and grumpy for days. We went upstairs and did his "cards" while "relaxing" in my bed. After we did about 150 cards (they are the Brain Quest cards - he LOVES them and is so good at them. I can't believe how smart that little cookie is. He has mastered the preschool set and I just ordered him the next step up for Easter. The only problems he has are the "sounds with" letter beginning and ending sounds ones. It concerns me a bit because I worry about his "accent" and maybe he has a hearing difficulty. Fortunately they are being tested for hearing and vision later this month at school) so yeah...150 cards later, I said that we should rest our eyes a little. I think I feel asleep the minute my eyes shut. It must have only been for ten or fifteen minutes though because I woke up hearing him talking. I told him to rest his eyes and tickled his hair for a minute and he was snoring. The kid is exhausted.

Score one for Mommy - the April Fool's Day master!