Tuesday, June 30, 2009


In March, my daughter started practicing with the local swim club/team. She has always been a fish, so I thought it might be nice to get her involved.

I am hoping she will find her niche as far as sporting activities.

Every Sunday afternoon, they would practice for an hour at an indoor pool.

At the beginning of June, they began their practices at the outdoor pool.

One hour, four days a week!

All I can say is thank goodness for the shade and cool breezes up until this past week!

We have swim meets most every Saturday in June and July. We went as a family to the first one, but I have made this a Daddy-Daughter thing the last two weeks. With no cool indoor seating in between swim heats, I decided home was best for me and my boys!

Since this is her first year, I am wanting her to learn AND have fun. We can decide next year if she wants to be more serious about it. They work hard that is for sure! Each practice consists of almost 50 minutes of swim, swim, swim. Freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly. Just that one hour in the morning wipes her out by the time evening (and bedtime) rolls in.

I should probably try her workout because the girl is sporting some sweet arm and shoulder muscles these days!

At her first meet


Swimmers take your mark


Another use for Sharpies! This one is for you Bee!!

A little clarification here! At the first meet, we learned that you use a Sharpie marker to write your heat information on your arm or leg. Most of the swimmers also used the markers to decorate their bodies. Apparently, at the next meet, my daughter and her friend decided to do the same! Let's just say that it was hard to find something to wear to church the next day! She was well-decorated! Enough so, that because she got a slight sunburn, she has cute white symbols on her shoulders where the designs had once been. We went back to basics at the third meet, although I did tell her that she could have the middle of her back decorated.

My little swimmer girl!

The coaches are great and very encouraging. She has already brought home lots of ribbons by placing in the bronze level. We are proud of her and encouraging her to be proud of herself as she tries her best each week!


Monday, June 29, 2009

Tonight, Charlie is going to Beat It Clean.

Is it just me or was last week weird for you too?

Ed McMahon
Farrah Fawcett
Michael Jackson
Billy Mays

My son is going to be devastated when I tell him about Billy. Seriously, probably the only reason I ever bought a bottle of OxyClean was because Billy convinced my son who convinced me.

Some days it pays to take your 5 year old boy to the grocery store with you!

And the whole Jon and Kate thing.

It's killing me.

In the middle of all that last week, I managed a pedicure, a massage, coffee with a friend, and a visit from a friend and her kids!

All while dealing with our regular summer schedule.

The pedi and massage had to be done last week because my gift certificate was about to expire.

Oh darn!

It ends up that drinks at our Hastings are 2 for 1 on weeknights 6-9 PM.


My friend and I survived 7 kids, oppressive heat, and a trip to Braums!

Crazy fun!!

Can't wait to see what unfolds for this week!


Monday, June 22, 2009

He is already making next year's list

I should remind him that I still have his list of 999 more things left over from this year that he might want for his birthday next year!

Every year, for several years now, I have told my children that they are not allowed to turn 4,5,6,7....whatever their next age is going to be on their birthday. It is our little joke that we banter back and forth about.

A little part of me isn't joking.

But either way, they never listen to me.

They take their birthdays very seriously, can't you tell.

Now that little brother has joined us, my little man really does seem like a little man. He looks taller, bigger, more grown up. Boo hoo! And I can vouch for heavier! I carried all 48.9 pounds of him from one bed to another the other night. Geez, he didn't feel that heavy before!

A perfect example of why I have enjoyed the no big birthday parties this year. This is just family presents! And that doesn't even include the money he received. No worries though, he is going to get similar royal treatment like his sister. We are heading to the big city this summer for a night at the hotel and a baseball game.

Remember our Indiana Jones kick? Well, he got his very own whip (the cloth version!) with sound effects! From his sister! Well, ok, I bought it but she gifted it to him. I scored about 5 of these for $5 each at a Target clearance rack back in January. Here he is showing it off to his big buddy J.

My kids adore J. We have known him since he was born. My little man loves to play with him and now he can even play big boy sports with him in the yard. Here they are now....

And then....

(Recognize my sweet little girl off to the side? I actually have a picture of J holding her as a baby too, but it is not on my computer right now.)

My kids also have a special affection for J's big sister.

Aren't they good sports?! This mask is from a Curious George game that is interactive and fun!

Gigi found shirts with her "name" on them in Fredricksburg. "Shhh! I'm hunting Gigi".

Despite the frosting on his chin, I love this picture!

I hope 5 is your most wonderful year yet!

Because you are NOT allowed to turn 6!


p.s. I failed to get a picture of his big gift from us....a set of junior golf clubs. He was excited!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

In Stitches

Well, he won't get his 5 year pin.

He discovered a way to get stitches just shy of his 5th birthday.

* Have cousins staying with you.
* Engage in rowdy play day and night.
* Manage to remember the rules about no running in the house. Especially in the upstairs hallway.
* Don't consider it a problem to engage in a game of "sleeping bag monster". In the upstairs hallway. With stairs and a low banister.
* Volunteer to be the "sleeping bag monster".
* Trip off a step as you walk down the hallway to scare the other kids.
* Fail to miss the corner of the banister with your chin on your way down.

What began as mild screaming, which I later figured out was simply muffled screaming as he made his way out of the sleeping bag, turned into full-blown hysteria from all involved. Cousins, grandmother, aunt, mommy, HIM....we all were in panic mode.

Blood can make you do that!

Of course, I was in the middle of nursing, so I had to do a quick hand off.

After assessing the damage, we at first thought we could manage it ourselves with super glue and butterfly closures. With a little more inspection, we decided this was truly an injury requiring stitches.

I had called the husband to hurry home and then we headed off to the ER.

With lots of screaming in the backseat.

Him, not me!

Although I know it still hurt, at this point it was more about his fear of being examined and receiving stitches.

The wait was not horrible and the assessment revealed the need for 4 stitches. The deadening shots were the worst for him and watching him get a fish hook through his skin was the worst for me.

I would have liked to see a little more cosmetic touch with the stitch applications. Maybe smaller fishhook with a few more stitches.

He was such a trooper! So very brave!

After it was all done, he informed us that "it didn't hurt a bit".

Of course, honey!

The stitches came out 6 days later. That hurt more than he would have liked it to. We are babying the wound area in hopes of minimal scar leftovers.

Anyone ever used that scar-minimizing stuff with good results?

Here he is with his cat whiskers as I liked to call them!

I hope we can go another 5 years without anymore trips to the ER!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009


We enjoyed a visit a couple of weeks ago from my mom, sister, and my sister's kids.

It was loud and kid-crazy the whole time!

The girls are 3 months apart. The boys are 1 month apart. The babies are 8 months apart.

We stayed pretty busy just managing in the recovery zone! :)

And that is not even counting our trip to the ER!!

(Story coming tomorrow!)

It is nice to have the kids enjoy growing up together....well, 4 hours apart, but still together. It makes us miss cousin J in California even more!

Here is our attempt at capturing kids on camera before we rush out the door to church.

This one cracks me up! The babies are like, "what is up with these big kids?"!

One more try!

We tried to get the babies together while they were sleeping, but my little guy woke up in a bad mood.

"Who's the pipsqueak?"

"I guess he looks like a pretty good kid."

"Don't cry baby."


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

End of the year

The end of the school year almost felt anti-climatic. The kids had pretty much finished up "work" and still had several weeks left over.

For my daughter, her time was consumed with a field trip, movies, parties, and lots of cleaning out of school junk.

I remember how difficult the beginning of the year was as she adjusted to her new schedule and began learning "hard" stuff. As 1st grade neared its end, I told her how proud I was of her. She had made the A honor roll the whole year, learned so much, and had a great year. She agreed that she had worked hard to become a 2nd grader!

Her last day of 1st grade!

I let her take a bunch of lei's leftover from a party to her classmates.

My son had 2 "graduations" to celebrate. I missed the one for his main school that he attended 2 days a week because it occurred the night I went to the hospital. :( The other one was for his preschool class 1 day a week at our church. The other end of year activities included lots of fun! I slipped in a mini-birthday party at his school since he would turn 5 the week after school ended.

He is looking forward to enjoying summer before he has to go to school everyday in the fall. Even though it is only half-day, I know it will be an adjustment.

Celebrating almost-5 years old!

Wild boys!

King of the tire!


Monday, June 15, 2009


I had to laugh the other day.

I had B snoozing away in a sling while I was cleaning, AND VACUUMING, his sister's room.

The AND VACUUMING part was what made me laugh.

It made me laugh thinking how different I was then versus now. Some of it due to necessity. Some of it due to my evolution as a mother.

Even with my first, my daughter, I felt pretty comfortable being a mom. Of course, I had some learning curves to manage, but in general I was not a nervous new mom.

Various things stick in my mind about then. I got to be a SAHM for a whole year. I did some contract work occasionally, but most of my time was dedicated to her. She grew up in a quiet house when it came to sleeping. Even when it was just us, I always closed her door and ran a fan at the threshold for fear that a doorbell or a vacuum would wake her! That probably started her downward sleep spiral which is a whole other conversation. As far as everything else, I pretty much followed conventional wisdom.

Whatever I did, right or wrong, she turned out pretty good so far.

With my first son, I was managing a 2 1/2 year old while adjusting to a new baby at the same time. One of my funniest memories is nursing my son while in the bathroom with my daughter working on potty training. I am sure I am not the only one! We seemed to adjust and life carried on. The double stroller kept me sane when we were on the go and double nap times did the same for me when home! I was back at work several days a week 6 months along, so it was all about balancing my days.

He is doing pretty ok as well.

Except for the times that I want to hang him upside down by his ankles and drain all the orneriness out of him! ;)

Now we are adjusting again. For the big kids, this seems to be our busiest summer yet, so I imagine that I will be nurturing a go-with-the-flow baby! I'm ok with that. I am also ok with some of the things that I am trying new this time. I just couldn't let my last chance at mothering a baby pass me by without trying a few things that peaked my interest.

I am using a sling this time. I have a regular pouch sling that I picked up at a garage sale. I use it for times that I have to make a quick trip in and out of the car. Right now, I am also using a Baby K'tan that a friend loaned me. I use it the most. I still feel awkward with it at times, but it is much better than lugging the car seat around! And he loves to go to sleep in it when he is extra fussy and I really need to be hands-free around the house. I think I am still going to get a Sleepy Wrap because I seem to struggle getting him out of the Baby K'tan without waking him up.

I also decided to try some different diapers this time. I am alternating between earth/baby-friendly disposables (Nature Babycare and Seventh Generation ) and easy "cloth" diapering with gDiapers. He is still doing some leaking out of them, so I have some problem solving to do. At first (and maybe still), I think it was because his legs weren't plump enough for a good fit. And of course, a couple of times, he did double duty in them before I could change a wet diaper! Overall, I really like them, and the concept, so I hope I can make them work for us. I also have a couple of BumGenius to try, but I am waiting until I use up my stock of size small gDiaper disposables.

Probably the biggest thing I am doing differently is putting him on Dr. Sears' alternative vaccine schedule. I will say upfront that I never had any problems following the AAP schedule with my other two kids. They did fine. I won't get into everything I do and do not believe when it comes to vaccinations, but I will highly recommend Dr. Sears' The Vaccine Book as a very balanced point of reference when it comes to thinking about vaccinations. I think my biggest thing in trying it this time around is the simple fact that I don't want my child getting the multiple number of shots at each visit when we could space them out and still provide him with the important protection he needs.

What am I doing the same?

The most important thing I could do.

Loving him as much as I can and as best as I know how for as long as I can!


Friday, June 12, 2009

Tales from the car seat

** Here is another one of my hidden treasures. And it truly is a treasure to me! I started this back on 1.31.2008. I wanted to make sure to remember all the funny things they said. I just kept adding on and never shared before now. A lot of these come from my son L, but there are a few goodies from my daughter A as well. Enjoy! **


I crapped my head open. (he had bumped his head)

Our house is cooking! (after watching steam rise off a boiling pot of water)

He likes to share wild stories of climbing and jumping off roof tops of houses as we pass by in the car.

He was shopping with me, and as we were leaving the store, we saw a shooting star. He asked, "What do you wish for mommy?".

The trees got ated. (probably seeing trees without leaves)

I overheard him in his room with his bible; He asked about the map and where we lived on it. I explained that we didn't live there. He said "but it is my bible!". Then I heard him preaching "a such a time as this and then when you die you go to God.".

Talking about his "powers". He thinks that the lights change and the automatic doors open by the "powers" in his hands.

Once told me that he was cold-blooded.

"I'm a very very good man."

As the communion plate passed, he said, "I smelled Jesus' blood.". (grape juice)

"Santa wants to go to heaven too."

He asked why the song says "hurricane knock my walls down". (He couldn't really understand why we would want that. I did my best to explain that it was about Jesus and our hearts!)

"I don't like old ladies. Is Gigi an old lady?" (probably got concerned that he wouldn't be able to like his Gigi!)

Described thunder as "God tooting". (hmmm!)

Commenting on my new necklace and said that the middle piece looked like a "brain on my necklace".

"I want new rules- Nice mommy. No spanking."

Wants to create a massage machine. (as spoken during our night time talks when I rub his back.)

Always wants to make his "special recipe".

I told him that he was being dramatic. He replied, "I have to be".

"I got skill." (describing his puzzle abilities!)

"I can't think right now." (when he gets all tongue-tied trying to tell me a story)

Loves to show off his "armpicks". (armpits)


"I am wild about babies."

We were talking about Elvis and how their birthday is on the same day; and that he was dead. She said "Was he old or regular?".

Lots of conversations about Jesus and Christmas.

"Mstaticy" (can't remember what she was trying to say! any ideas?!!)

She likes to talk about growing up and having a baby. And of course, in true girl fashion, she has already named her first boy and first girl!

She asked how we get "chicken" to eat. When we told her, she said, "You mean the ones that go cock a doodle doo?".

Overheard her tell her brother, "You know that we are eating chicken. Like the ones that live in a barn.".

~And I am sure there will be many more to come!


Wednesday, June 10, 2009


*** I actually began this story on 8.26.2008 and found it today while looking for something else. I am not sure if this was the jest of what I wanted to share or just the beginning of something else, but I am leaving it as is. Since I am feeling very fragmented these days with no time for anything, I felt such relief knowing I had some hidden treasures to dig up and share. Maybe I have enough to tide me over until I get my act together!! ***

Yesterday, I signed on PRN (as needed) with a home health company that services children as well as adults. They don't have any kids on the caseload in my area at this time, but they seemed very welcoming to have me on board for when they do.

My last pediatric home health experience wasn't really all that fun, but I thought, at least it is an opportunity to do what I love.

I miss my old job.

Shocker, I know!

Just this month, I received two sweet notes from a couple of boys I used to work with.

One is now 14. I knew him when he was 6-9 years of age! He still goes to counseling down the road from the office and would come by to check on me from time to time. He would come by in his biking gear and his helmet because he wanted me to see that he loved to ride his bike now! After all the hard work (and moaning and groaning!) he did with me regarding his bike (and a few other things like handwriting!), he was so proud of himself. I am so very proud of him too!

The other was one of my current kids who is 5. I have known him for over 2 years! I LOVE that kid! His road has not been easy, but it is so thrilling when you start to see a child blossom! And oh.my.can.he.talk! We were always on an adventure when he was around! I have swam in the ocean with whales and sharks, traveled the desert with lizards, chilled at the beach house in Florida, and been on many adventures in the jungle! I could go on, but there are too many stories to tell! The kid that could barely figure out how to play with others his age and whose food aversions left his plate almost barren, well, he is turning into quite a young man!

It makes my heart so happy to see these kids emerge through their struggles and blossom into the great young people that God intended them to be. They could not have done it without their incredible families and others cheering them on along the way.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Proverbs 22:6

I was so proud of my daughter when I found this in her room that I could hardly contain myself! She had it perfectly placed on her night stand along with the pen she used to write.

I am a list-maker by nature.

Or by compulsion!

She has done me proud by following in my footsteps so young.

Training by osmosis has gone well, don't you think?!


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Calling on the "Village"

I decided to give y'all a break today on hearing me rave about baby love! ;)

But never fear, I won't be able to resist another round soon!

I have found several resources lately regarding ideas to keep kids occupied during the summer and thought it would be fun for us all to share!


Megan just posted this great article with resources for summer fun!

You can go here to find out if your town (or one close by) participates in the Kids Bowl Free program.

I just discovered this great website just for kids. You can go here for their Summer Daily list!

I am pretty sure that Tanya posted a great activity list last summer which I totally stole and used! Maybe she will share it again because I can't find where I downloaded it! :) Was it you?!!

My kids enjoy Starfall.

June is going to be crazy for us, but I will still need some activities for when we are NOT in the car!

* Swim team practice; T-F's; 10-11; June/July
* Swim team meets; Saturdays; June/July
* Cooking class; M-Th's; 2 weeks; 1 hour; June
* Science class; M-Th's; 2 weeks; 1 hour: June
* VBS; June or July-can't remember!

* Swim lessons; M-F's; 11-12; 2 weeks; June
* Pee Wee Day Church Camp; M-Th; 9-3; 1 week; June
* Birthday trip with Daddy; Hotel and baseball game

Like last summer, I bought a 3 month membership to the local gym. They do family special for 3 months that includes access to the gym and the pool. Just access to the pool makes it worth it to us!

Other ideas on my list are:

"School" (A needs to keep up her math and reading this summer and L has expressed a desire to learn to read.)
Berry farm (We get to pick our own and they are yummy!)
Fishing at Papa's
Museum (There is an interactive kid's museum about 1 hour away.)
Zoo (About 1 hour away.)
Water park
Activity box
Play dates (I am hoping to talk someone into doing a weekly coop with our 2 big kids!)
Roller skating

So, what about you?

I would love it if everyone would share their ideas or resources in the comment section!! Your ideas can pertain to summer or anytime!!


p.s. Naps are on the list for sure, too! :)