"I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life;
to put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived." ~Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hailey's Tonsils

Cody teases me that Hailey is my clone in every way.  And while that's "mostly" true, it's not all good.  She got a lot of good AND bad from me, and one of the bad things is my throat.  She has kind of deep throaty voice like I did as a kid and she also has my tonsils.  I was sick with tonsillitis all the time as a kid, teenager, young adult, all the way until I was thirty years old and decided I'd had enough.  I was sick of always being sick, so I had my tonsils removed.  It was horrible, I won't lie.  But it was oh so worth it!!  

Hailey has gone down the exact same road as me, and rather than have her be sick for the rest of her life and the have a tonsillectomy as an adult (which is 1,000% worse on an adult than a kid her age) we thought it was time to see an ENT.  At her well child check up last week Dr. Ward said he tonsils were huge and after explaining her history to him, he said a tonsillectomy sounded like a no-brainer.

A few days ago we went to see Dr. Child who is the same doctor who did Devin's tubes almost three years ago.  He had also done a lot of the surgery on our beloved Dr. Allred during his battle with cancer.  I thought he had retired, but found out that he hadn't after all!  It was a nice surprise and it relieved some of my stress hunting down a good ENT.  That appointment was horrible because it was 5:00 and the three younger kids were bahving sooooo badly!  It wasn't my choice of an appointment time, but it's all that was available for a new patient consult.  But Hailey was awesome and Dr. Child came to the same conclusion that her tonsils should come out.
He said they grade tonsils in size on a scale of 1-4, with 4 being gigantic like walnuts.  Hailey's were between a 3 and a 4....and the picture below is HEALTHY tonsils.  Yikes.  You can't really see because it's blurry, but her tonsils take up the entire back of her throat.  No wonder they are so susceptible to infection.  And if they are this big UN-infected, I hate to think of what they feel like when she's sick.  Poor girl.  But her surgery is scheduled for March 22nd.  It's a week before they go off track again, so worse case scenario she misses five days of school.  And it's nine days before Easter, so hopefully she'll be feeling well enough for some egg dying and hunting...and maybe a little bit of chocolate sucking.  The girl is super excited to have her surgery and has been telling all her friends about it.  I really hope that recovery is much easier on her little body than it was on mine!

Good Friends, Same Ages

Our kids are so lucky that we live in a neighborhood swarming with kids.  They are never at a loss for a friends to play with and Lauren is especially lucky that three of her great friends were all born within three months of her.  This morning Megan called me to see if I could keep her boys while she went to have her hair done.  As of right now, everyone is healthy so I said sure!  Devin has been dying for a playdate of his own.  And then Lauren asked is Gracie could come home with her from school, so right now we have a houseful.  It's crazy and loud, but the kids are having a blast while the big kids are at school. 
The Kleckner boys are so close in age with our two littles. 

Max is exactly six months older than Garrett almost to the day.  It's fun that as they get older the age difference isn't really a difference at all.  While I was making up the bed this morning these two boys were in the bedroom belly laughing for NO reason at all.  It was funny to watch...but I still don't know what was so funny.

Brevin is exactly two months older than Devin...also to the day.  And yes, their names are almost the same as well.  Their friendship was meant to be!

And then pretty Gracie is exactly two weeks older than Lauren.  I remember hearing when her mama was at the hospital having her and I was horribly jealous because I was so pregnant and swollen!  That was a Friday, and two Fridays later our own September bundle made her appearance.  These two are so funny to watch play and listen to.  I drive them to preschool everyday and have the opportunity to listen to them in the backseat talking.  Grace is definitely in charge and Lauren adores her.  Today at lunch they were having an interesting conversation about being in love with their cousins, but how it's not okay to marry cousins.  But Grcacie said she has a cousin who is SOOOOO handsome and she wishes she could marry him.  That topic turned to why they can't marry brothers....and the concensus was that you don't marry brothers because it's more fun to marry someone you don't already know.  So wise.

Fiesta de Lauren

Yesterday morning and before ballet, I came out of the shower to find Lauren had set up quite the tea party on the kitchen floor.  But she corrected me- it wasn't a TEA PARTY.  It was a fiesta!  She was having a little Mexican party with her animals (and brother) and she was even having the animals speak Spanish to each other.  Oh, and there were dinosaurs too.  Nothing says festive like blood thirsty giant lizards!  It was pretty darn cute.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Getting Real in the Tundra

I've been anxious for kids to get in bed tonight for a few reasons, one of which being that I've had an insatiable need to write this stuff down and if I don't, a fire might come spewing out of me.  I want to remember these days.  I want to remember how real it was, how I was in the trenches, how 80% of the time it was just plain hard and 20% of the time is really felt worth it, but that those 20% moments were worth their weight in gold and that they kept me going day after day.  And I'm gonna ramble, and maybe cry a little while I write.  Or maybe I'll cry a lot because that's what this job does to me.  It's a glorious, priceless, indescribable job that I chose and that I wouldn't trade for anything...but it's a very hard job and I cry for a whole spectrum of reasons.

I took 4th grade social studies and I know we don't REALLY live in the tundra zone, but this winter it's felt like we do.  It's been a long winter; the kind that has my heart beating out of my chest when I think about spring and how out of reach it seems.  It's very cold here, but probably no colder than in years past.  I don't know why this year has been so difficult, but it has.

I cried to my mom today.  She called to get my opinion on something and as I tried to have a conversation with her on the phone, I was interrupted at least seventeen times between the three younger kiddos.  At one point Lauren came in to ask me if I'd help her use her Snoopy Snowcone Machine and I don't know why, but that little request felt like the weight of the world on my shoulders as I realized that I didn't have time.  How many times in a day do the kids ask me for time and attention and I have to shush them or tell them "not now" or "maybe later....I have to get this done." How many times in a day do they hear that?  I know that when I'm a shriveled up old lady I'll look back on my time with these small children and ache and cry because I never gave them enough of my time.

But the thing is, there is only so much of me to go around and there are only so many hours in a day and believe it or not, I DO have to sleep sometimes.  And as I talked to my mom on the phone and tried to fold laundry and empty the dishwasher and change a diaper and give my mom the attention that I wanted to give to HER, here was this precious little one asking me for my time.  MY TIME. MY TIME that I don't have enough of as it is.  I try desperately to divide my time between at least a hundred different avenues and there just isn't enough at the end of the day.  But right there in that moment, I wanted to give her all of my time.  And I cried a little out of frustration.

And so I got off the phone with my mom and we pulled out her Snoopy Snowcone Machine and I put it all together and got the materials out of the fridge, and there was pure elation on her face, and then I realized that a piece to the machine was missing.  A piece so important that the machine won't work without it.  And her elated look turned to disappointment and I searched high and low for the piece only to discover that it wasn't to be found.  And then she said something that made my heart hurt. "That's okay Mommy, thanks for trying.  I love you so much."

Thanks for trying.  I know what she meant- she was talking about my looking for the missing piece.  Or maybe she really meant something else like "Thanks for trying to give 500% of your heart soul to everyone else, even though you come up terribly short and do an unhealthy amount of self-loathing. I love you anyway." Because right then, that's what that little voice in my head said.

And as I was searching high and low for that stupid missing piece, I could almost hear the clock on the wall with it's ticking hands taunting me as they ticked.  More and more time is passing by and I have six baskets of laundry to fold and suitcases to unpack from our weekend trip, and Girl Scout cookies to organize, and dishes to do, and church music to practice, and dinner to start for tonight, and about a million other things needing my attention.  And the sweet old ladies tell me "Oh honey, the housework will be there tomorrow...."

Yup, sure will.  And it will be there the next day, and the next day, and the next day, and before long there's total chaos because when I get even a LITTLE behind, all hell breaks lose and the super ultra mega bitch comes out of me and my family pays the price.  So where is the balance?  

I've been telling the kids "NO" for far too long.  They ask to go out and play, but it's too dang cold.  They ask to go to friends' houses, but we are always running to the next appointment or activity.  They ask to make cookies, but I have the never ending array of housework waiting for me.  This afternoon Lauren asked if we could go to the park and I so desperately wanted to make her happy.  I've been battling strep throat and a nasty cold for days. I started antibiotics for the strep two days ago and have been feeling a little better, but you know how it is when you're getting over a chest or throat infection.  That cold dry air hurts so much!!  Ethan had to leave for diving at 5:30, I had to have dinner done before then, and the big kids would be home from school at 3:45.  Okay, we could have a little bit of park time.  It was colder than a witch's tit out there and I felt horrible, but what the hell.  I spent half an hour getting everything ready so that when the big kids walked in the door, we could turn around and ride bikes to the park. 

It was a disaster.  People don't shovel their driveways and sidewalks and the snow compiles and turns to this thick nasty ice sludge. It's pretty horrible, and Lauren got stuck in it several times.  I don't let the kids ride their bikes on our long street because the people driving on it are freaking maniacs, so the sidewalk it was.  The little boys were in the wagon and Hailey was trying so hard to push her scooter through the stupid sludge sidewalks.  My camera bag was tucked safely in the wagon with the boys because gosh darn it, we were making memories and that's what you do on outings to the park- you take pictures.  Even if it's 26 degrees outside and everyone is crying, you take pictures.  You preserve the sacred memories of everyone being miserable.

The cold air hurts so much on my throat and lungs so I have to wear a mask outside.  It serves as a portable humidifier, but I really look like someone in Asia who is afraid of a SAARS outbreak.  And my sunglasses have been missing for several days so I grabbed Cody's, because the whiteness of the snow and the reflection of the sun will blind you otherwise.  But Cody's got a fat face or a big face or a big head or something, and his sunglasses always fall off my face.  And I was wearing them with my mask on and they kept fogging up.  Boo freakin' hoo.  We finally made it to the "big park" and the boys got out of the wagon and started screaming immediately.  And so I started snapping pictures....because that's what I do.

And I had tried to be an extra good mom and take a bottle of brand new bubbles- because I couldn't help myself and bought all new bubbles at the store today.  It did my heart good to walk through the "spring" section and touch and feel the little seed packets and bags of potting soil and see the frisbees and bubbles out in display.  Sp sitting on the icey park bench I peeled back the seal on the bubbles and split half of them on my already freezing hands.  And then I stuck my finger down in the bottle only to doscover that the blasted bubble wand wasn't there!!!!  And so the boys stood there and cried even more because there were no bubbles.  On the inside I was cussin enough to make a saloir blush, but on the outside I said "LET'S GO!!!"

There was an adorable high school couple sitting at one of the tables under the pavilion sharing a can of Coke and they kept looking at me like I was crazy.  "We'll never be like that..." they stupidly said to each other in thought. 


The big kids were furious that we had to leave and the little boys were just plain mad about life in general.  Devin's snot was frozen to his face.

I feel inadequate 95% of the time.  I feel like whatever I do is crap and that everyone else is doing it so much better than I am.  My kids watch way too much TV and it's not because I'm dinkin' around being lazy- it's because the toilets won't clean themselves and dinner has to be made.  I yell a lot.  And I think that things such as Pinterest is the demise of our society....at least it does a fantastic job of deflating hardworking tired moms like me.  I know I know that it's near blasphemy to speak ill of Pinterest or other sources like it, but what are they for?  People did just fine before things like that came about.  Families were fed, birthday parties were simple yet memorable, pantries were organized but not stylish (seriously...it's a pantry).  I could go on for days about how much ai HATE and DESPISE the blogging workd for this very reason. 

I know it's ionic that I am writing this in a blog, but I hate that direction that simple documentation of family took a few years back.  I started a blog when I was pregnant with Lauren because I found it was a good way to archive the comings and goings of our family.  But then I fell into the trap of feeling the need to keep up with the Joneses through bloggin...because people were reading it.  And so I started bullshitting more.  And not in big ways, and it's not that I lied, but I wasn't as raw or hinest as I should have been.  I started using verbage that all the cutsie good moms used and started writing less about how real life was.  And then I branched off and started one of those craft blogs because everyone was doing it.  And yeah I still keep it up from time to time and maybe I should delete it all together because I feel like a major hypocrite for having one of those blogs when I HATE them so much.

Why do people feel the need to bullshit their way through cyberspace?  There's one crafty blog inparticular that makes me want to barf.  I won't link it because that's rude, but let's just say  "Pa-lease".  Your life isn't that perfect and the fact that you feel the need to PROJECT it as being so is sad to me.  I don't think I'd want to be your friend in real life because I don't know if you'd ever be real.  Maybe that's totally unfair to judge, but it's how I feel.  And it's not just one blog, it's at least four or five that do this to me.  I go for a while without following them and then someone posts a link to something on Facebook and I go running back to check it out, like it's a train wreck and I can't help but rubberneck.  Or maybe that's what a porn addiction feels like.  I know it's going to make me feel bad, but right then and there I can't help but take a peek!

And speaking of Facebook, I think it should be called "Fakebook".  Just saying.  It's easy to give the illusion of perfection or bliss at all times when it's cyberspace.  But get real.  I know I'm plenty guilty of this and right now as I write this, it makes my stomach turn thinking of the number of people I have turned off with my so-called perfection.  And I get it.  Life is messy and hard and downright depressing at times and it's nice to have a safe place where problems are far off and people want to hear only the good stuff so you want to have good stuff to say.  "Today my daughter pooped roses."  Seriously, tell me about the kid who threw spaghetti all over the wall and then accidentally stabbed himself with a fork.

It's 10:06 and kids are in bed and Cody is waiting for me to come to bed.  And I will in a minute, but before I wrap this up I need to remember a 20% moment when Garrett was fresh from the bath tonight and he was wrapped in a towel and I held him in my arms, rocking him back and forth and he locked eyes with me.  I just starred at him and wanted right then to memorize every detail of his face...that little face that I remember so clearly seeing for the first time at 3:48 on a blizzardy cold morning in April- that very same face that would be two years old in just a few short weeks.  How I love that boy and how happy I am to be his mama.  I know it's not always fun or easy and sometimes doesn't feel worth it- but I do love this job.  They say that the most priceless prizes are often times the hardest to attain.  Motherhood is like that.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

On Filling Huge Shoes

 Dr. Allred and Lauren at her 12 month check up

We lost a very important member of our family last July.  He didn't die, but our beloved pediatrician finally retired.  He was pushing seventy and was a father to six, grandfather to many, and a cancer survivor.  We watched him as he went through twenty-four rounds of chemo, lose all his hair, lose half his body weight, and a huge chunk of his jaw and neck.  He never stopped being our doctor during that time, but there were times when we were afraid we would lose our Dr. Allred.

I met Dr. Allred the day Ethan was born.  He had been recommended by my OB and I called his office to set him up as our potential pediatrician.  The day Ethan was born he walked into my hospital room and introduced himself to me.  He was a nice, grandfatherly type and I liked him right away.  He did a little exam on Ethan and I knew right then that he would be my children's doctor.  I felt so good about him!  He came back each day to check on the both of us, and on day three he performed Ethan's circumcision.  He also did Devin's and he would have done Garrett's but Garrett was born with a slight problem and had to wait until age six months and it was then done by a urologist during surgery. 

He saw our family through so much.  He helped me during my traumatic pre-natal and post-partum time with Hailey, and with each new baby, he was always as concerned with MY well being as he was with the baby's well being.  When Garrett was born, I was worried about Cody bonding with him (he didn't seem to bond as quickly and easily as he did with the other kids) and at one appointment I cried to Dr. Allred and told him how tired and concerned and frazzled I was.  I remember sitting in his office as he listened and gave me wonderful counsel.  This kind of care and attention was typical Allred fashion.  He cared so much about our entire family, as he did all of his patients.

I could go on and on about how great he was....but it would take all day to write it.  In July he finally retired.  I cried.  I knew for a while that it was coming, but I really wasn't prepared for how sad I would be.  I felt alone and a little lost!  I felt like Dr. Allred was a guardian of our family, and with out him, I wasn't quite sure what to do.  I know most people don't get attached to a doctor like that, but maybe it's because we were in his office so much that we got to know him so well and love him so much.

The biggest challenge we faced was finding a new pediatrician for our kids. Filling Dr. Allred's shoes proved to be a huge undertaking.  I shopped around, I talked to all of my friends, I read reviews online, but I couldn't quite find the perfect doctor.  Cody and I have a wonderful GP who is also a family practitioner, and during the period of limbo I took the kids to him several times.  His name is Dr. Ward and he is extremely competent and very knowledgeable.  He has a PhD in pharmacology as well as the MD.  While he is in family practice, his bedside manner has always been more for adults and I never felt quite right with him being the kids' doctor as well.  But I continued to take the kids to him off and on, just until I settled on the perfect pediatrician.  I kept holding out hope that I would find a new Dr. Allred.

Then this weekend the girls got sick and Cody took them to Instacare on Saturday night.  I swear we live at Instacare because kids always happen to get sick or hurt after hours and on weekends!  Our Instacare clinic is okay, but it's huge and has a large staff and you never know what doctor you'll see.  Lately I've seen some real tools there, and on Saturday, Cody had a bad experience with yet another one.  She just didn't understand our family dynamic and talked way down to Cody like he was an idiot.  I've run into this so much with new doctors lately.  When he told me about the experience, I rolled my eyes and said "Oh my gosh I miss Dr. Allred!  He would never do XYZ.  Instead, he would do......" And so my heart ached for his medical expertise all over again.

Devin got sick Monday night and I called Ward's office first thing yesterday morning.  While we were in the waiting room and checking in, I didn't even notice the fact that I felt comfortable.  I had parked in the same parking stall I do on most visits, I hit the wheelchair door button with my foot because my arms were full carrying the little boys, I smelled the familiar smell of the office, and I recognized the receptionist who recognized me.  And still, the same thought enetered my mind as does with every doctor visit.  "I miss Dr. Allred's staff."  But then Jodi, the medical assistant took us back and she asked me how the family was doing, and I passed the nurse's station and they gave the kids each a sucker to keep them happy while we waited, and it all seemed like second nature.

And then Dr. Ward came into the exam room and almost knocked Garrett down who had been standing right behind the door, and he said "Man, I always forget that this little guy loves to stand in that spot! I'll try to remember next time."  And he gave Devin a little high five and got down to business.  I told him that the girls had been in Instacare over the weekend had strep.  He looked in Devin's throat, saw that it looked bad and swollen, and he said "You know, all signs point to strep.  His sisters have it, you say he's shared a cup with one of them, the incubation period fits, and it looks bad. I'm not going to make him mad by swabbing.  I am going to use my common sense and say it's strep, and put him on an antibiotic.  I don't want to hurt the little guy."

Then we went on to talk about the Instacare experience and when I told him what the doctor had told Cody about not spreading germs to other family members....pretty much that it's our fault if our other kids get sick....he started cracking up!! He laughed and laughed and told me that THAT is just not our reality.  He said in a family as big as ours with little kids, they WILL share germs.  So you can either make yourself crazy futilely trying to quarantine germs, or you can let nature do it's thing and let it happen.  He then said that if by Friday, anyone else in the family starts running fever with a sore throat, to call the clinic and he would call in an Rx.  No need to come in and be seen.  He said "I know your family and I know the course that this illness will take.  Let's just assume that everyone will get it and not stress."

And right then I realized that Dr. Ward was our doctor.  Not just Cody's and my doctor for grown-up stuff, but he was the kids' doctor as well.  And the clinic was OUR clinic and the staff was our second family.  In all the months that I'd been fighting it and expecting to find the exact same feet to fill our beloved Dr. Allred's gigantic shoes, I had another doctor for the kids....but refused to see it.

Today I took Ethan and Hailey in for their yearly physicals.  Ethan is the only one of the kids who has never seen Dr. Ward.  The kid is the healthiest one in the family and just doesn't get sick or hurt!  He was a little nervous about the new doctor, but the two of them clicked instantly.  As I watched them interact during the exam, it dawned on me that Dr. Ward is a grown-up version of Ethan.  Very logical, very analytical, very serious.  He was asking Ethan all about school (he is very big into mental, social, and emotional development as well as physical health) and Ethan was telling him about his love for math and science.  He then told him his hero is Thomas Edison and Dr. Ward smiled so big and told him how cool that was.  Then, the two of them started talking science and inventions and Dr. Ward told him a story about President Garfield and Alexander Graham-Bell that Ethan thought was amazing.

I sat back and smiled.  This is going to be great.  It's a new chapter in our lives and while it's very hard to close the first chapter, it's exciting to start a new one.  I know Dr. Ward will be wonderful for our family and now that I SEE that, it's liberating. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Thomas Edison Book Report

Ethan has a couple of man crushes.  One- his Uncle Philip.  Two- Thomas Alva Edison.  Three weeks ago he came bursting through the front door after school saying "MOM!! I have to do a book report.  It has to be a biography on anyone I want to read about.  You'll never guess who I'm going to do it on!!"  Well, I figured it wouldn't be on Uncle Philip.  There was only one other possibility.

Ethan already knows almost everything about the man.  In second grade they did a unit on him in science and  it was the only thing all year that really held his interest.  Edison lights his fire like nothing else can.  He may even be preparing his PhD dissertation about the guy!

For part of his report he had to make a poster and draw a carricature of the person.  Then they had to take certain body parts and tie them into special attributes, ways they contributed to society, accomplishments, philosophies, etc.  I like how for his heart he wrote a quote fro Edison- "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration."  That's a great quote!

He worked really, really hard on the picture.  I must say, I'm pretty blown away with how well he drew him!  Doesn't really LOOK like Edison, but it looks great nonetheless.  He is kind of a perfectionist with drawing and sketching and he couldn't get his hands quite right, and he was irritated about that.  Today after school he told me all about how his report went and even after he said he got a perfect score, he said "But the hands....the hands were just bad.  They look like a rainbow."  Oh man, this kid is hard on himself.  But I think he'll make a wonderful engineer one day.

Presidents Day Ice Skating

The Beebes and us have been trying to coordinate a day to go ice skating together and on Presidents Day it happened.  Both families have annual Rec Center passes and ice skating is included, and all we have to pay is $1.50 in skate rentals.  Deal!  Garrett was on day five of being very sick (actually he was almost done with it, but he still felt low energy and wanted to sleep a lot) so Cody drew the short straw and satyed home with him while I took the other four kids.  I LOVE ice skating.  It brings back so many memories of skating around The Galleria at Christmas in Houston!

It was so much fun, and I kept thinking how much I wished Cody had been there because he was missing out.  But then seeing how difficult it was with Graham (who is the exact same age as Garrett) I realized that it was better not to have a little guy out there on the ice.  As soon as we got to the entrance of the ice, Devin went straight for it.  No hesitation at all, until he discovered it was slick!  But still, he was pretty unstoppable. I was shocked because he's not even three and a half!  He spent part of the time on the bench with Zoram, but he spent a lot of time out on the ice.  He really liked it! 

The older three kids were a little hesitant at first, but finally got the nerve and ended up liking it.  Ethan liked it the least, but then again that's his nature.  It's not safe, it's not structure, it's not predictable.  After five minutes of skating around he said "Mom, this just isn't my talent."  What a stinker!  Lauren seemed to be a natural at staying up.  She was the only one of them to take off on her own with out a "walker" thing-a-ma-jig.  She's so tiny and it looked like a three year old skating around out there.  When we were taking skates off, she said "This is what I really want to do.  I need to take lessons."  Baby girl, you're going to have to do it at least 20 more times before we commit to that!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Girl Scouts at the Ballet

Today was Girl Scouts go to the ballet day.  A couple months ago I got word that we could get outrageously discounted tickets to the February 16th 2:00 show of "Cinderella" with Ballet West so we jumped on it.  Unfortunately, we were missing some people from our troop- Brielle and Anabel are out of the country and Caysja is visiting family in Idaho.   Aubrey and Parlee from our troop last year were able to tag along (because of un-used tickets) and Julianna and Tania helped chaperone.  The place was CRAWLING with little girls!  During intermission we had to wait in line 15 minutes just to use the bathroom.  It was a madhouse!

We were kind of in the nose-bleed section, but who cares because the tickets were dirt cheap and the girls didn't know the difference.  This was my first time seeing Ballet West and now I understand why they are so acclaimed.  They were fantastic!  They had two of their male dancers play the stepsisters and they stole the show.  Nothing better than a guy in drag!  They were so funny and stayed in character even in the encore. 

The only problem is that Hailey and Lauren weren't feeling well.  Last night they both ran a very mild fever. They really had no other symptoms, but I told them all morning that they should probably stay home.  They have been looking forward to the ballet for a long time and they INSISTED that I let them go.  I dosed them with ibuprofen and prayed that they would be okay during the show.  Halfway in Hailey went limp and laid down in her seat.  She was burning with fever and her throat was so swollen.  At this moment she is at Instacare with Cody and I'm pretty sure it's strep.  Good thing strep isn't an airborne germ so I'm sure she didn't infect anyone else (mainly carried through the saliva), but I probably should have followed my gut instinct and made her stay home.  The stinker was just too convincing this morning!

Friday, February 15, 2013

My Funny Valentine

We've been looking forward to this date for a couple of weeks, but it almost didn't happen. Garrett was sick as blazes last night and we spent a few hours in the hospital while he got pumped full of fluids and anti-nausea medication. Yesterday afternoon, after not keeping down a single drop of fluid all day, he spent six hours throwing up green, sludgy, bile. We have plenty of stains on the carpet and towels to prove how sick he was. It's still unknown what caused it, but it's likely a virus. Heand I got back from the hospital very early in the morning and I barely slept a wink.  He spent the morning blowing out his diaper with diarrhea, and I was certain our date would be cancelled.  But he suddenly turned a corner and his appetite came back and he started feeling like his old self again, so we risked it and didn't cancel the babysitter or our reservation for dinner. 

It's so hard finding quality time for each other when five little kids are involved. But the longer we're married and the faster time seems to fly by, the more we're realizing that one day it'll just be the two of us alone in our house together....so we sure dang better enjoy being together!  Oh we had so much fun on our belated Valentine's Day date.  We had dinner at the Market Street Broiler up near the U of U campus.  I've eaten there a few times (my old boss at the U would sometimes treat our department to lunch there) and I ate there once on a girls' day out.  Cody had never been, and I knew he was in for a treat.  The food is to die for!!  We both walked away a little too stuffed.

I love this picture because it looks soooooo much like Garrett!!
We ate upstairs and our booth made us feel like we were on a cruise ship with a little porthole.

When we left the restaurant (which by the way, good thing we made a reservation becasue they place was crazy busy!!) I called the babysitter to check on kids.  She said everyone was fine, so we decided to hit the bowling alley.  Oh my gosh, it was so fun!  They started this new thing where every Friday night they have live music.  You pay a small cover charge to get in, and then $10 per person for an hour of bowling and shoes.  I am a HUGE sucker for live music, so it was a no-brainer.  Cody kicked my but in the first game, I whooped him in the second game, and it was pretty darn close in the third game.

They had a really good cover band who played a variety of classics.  When they started playing Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Tuesday's Gone" we both started laughing because it's the end song to one of our very favorite movies, "Happy Gilmore".  Oh, we are such a classy couple and I seriously wanted to start dancing in the bowling lane!  I'm so lucky to be married to my very best friend in the whole world.  I'm very undeserving of his goodness and love and friendship, but I count myself lucky.  I'm thrilled to be married to him forever and ever and ever and ever and ever.  He is the very best date and an awesome boyfriend!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lauren's Love Party

I got to work in Lauren's class this morning for her their Valentine's party. It started off being a smooth morning and the boys were all set to go to the sitter, but then out of nowhere Garrett's stomach started acting up.  He laid down on a pillow and said, clear as day "I sick".  I was shocked that he communicated exactly what he was feeling so clearly!  I was afraid that he would start throwing up or something, so I made a quick decision to take both boys with me.  Yes, I totally risked getting other kids sick, but these are the choices that moms of many have to make.  I had already committed to doing her class party and I couldn't leave her teacher high and dry!  Good thing Garrett stayed on my hip or in my lap the entire time.  And Devin behaved pretty well, integrating okay with the rest of the class.  Garrett never did throw up, but poor kid is just feeling off.

I was in charge of Valentine games.  There's a website that I use on a regular basis for stuff like this called DLTK.  You can get all kinds of coloring pages and print offs and games.  You can create your own BINGO games and I think I've done them for every single holiday now.  You can get the perfect class games!  Today we did Valentine BINGO (or BE MINE as we called it) and Valentine matching.  The kids loved it and I had fun being in her class!