Friday, June 28, 2013

Tyler's Story, Part I: Devastation

The pictures in this post were taken throughout the week, not just the time written here.

No one ever expects things like this to happen to them.

This is a story of pain, heartache, shock, confusion, anxiety, sorrow.


But is also a story of God and His infinite grace and protection.  

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

It all started around Christmas. I had noticed that 9-month-old Tyler had an excess of ear wax. Combining that, his low-grade fever, and that he wouldn't lean on that side to eat, I determined that he had an ear infection. We started to treat it like we've always treated ear infections - with a few drops of a garlic-goldenseal oil blend in the ear. It's always worked to clear up the infection by the next morning.

But when his ear started to stick out from the side of his head and the area behind the ear started to swell, I grabbed a single diaper and Leighton and I took him to Urgent Care down the road from my parents' house. 

The doctor there had no idea what was wrong, claiming he had never seen anything like this before. He looked in his ear and said there was no infection, no wax, nothing. He offered to write a script for an oral antibiotic, but skeptically suggested that we take Tyler to the ER if there was no improvement in 24 hours.

Hmm, you're very concerned . . . you're clueless . . . you're hesitant to believe that he will be better tomorrow, but you want us to wait it out??? Uh, thanks. "If it were your child, what would you do?" was answered with "Oh, I'd take him right to the ER now!" Yeah, we'll just head to the hospital tonight. He was relieved and wrote a transfer note.

Since we didn't want to take a chance with our baby and his "what-is-this?" infection, Leighton decided to go to Children's Hospital of Michigan, where we'd find better care for our child. We drove straight there, thinking that they'd give him an antibiotic shot and send us home with a script.

There are signs in the emergency room stating that patients will be seen based on the magnitude of the illness or injury, not on time of arrival. We came bearing a transfer paper from Urgent Care. Another doctor already saw him and deemed him ill enough to head to the ER. We were guaranteed a shorter wait-time, right? Wrong. We sat there watching child after child walk back through the doors. Most of these children looked like they should have gone to Urgent Care instead of the ER. Many were laughing and playing. A few were even running around. We kept listening for our son's name to be called. We sat and waited. For 2 hours. Two hours? After a transfer?

By this time, it was 10:30 pm. We followed the nurse to a room. My own baby-who-looked-too-happy-to-be-there was tired. And hungry. We called the nurse back and asked if I had time to feed the baby before the doctor came in. "Oh, you can't do that," she replied. "The doctor might want some tests done." Tests? What kind of tests and why? We just need something to make this swelling go away. That's what we thought. Tyler's crying prompted us to ask, "How long will it be before the doctor can see him?" She answered, "A new doctor comes in at 11:00 pm. and that's who'll see you," and walked away. We were not happy, Tyler even less so. He hadn't eaten in 5 hours and it was well past his bedtime. We called her back yet again and asked - over the cries of the baby - if it were possible for another doctor, one who was already there, to check him over really fast to see if he thought that the doctor that wasn't there yet might want some tests. Confusing? Yeah, it was to us too. She hurried off to find out.

I bounced and swayed and shhh-ed Tyler until 10:55 when the doctor walked in. (We never found out if he was the wait-for-him-to-come-in-doctor or the already-there-doctor.) He asked us a few questions - questions that we would answer many times over the next few days: did he recently have a cold, had he been pulling at his ears, when did we notice the swelling, did he have a fever, did he have a rash, how much did he weigh at birth, was he full-term. He looked in Tyler's ears with his otoscope and commented about how he couldn't see anything because of the amount of wax. (Remember the Urgent Care doctor said there was no wax.) He then proceeded to say how bad the mastoiditis was and that Tyler was going to need a CT scan and that the nurse would be in to hook up an IV soon. We were shocked and overwhelmed. He didn't explain anything to us. He just stated it like we already knew what the problem was.

Two nurses came in a little while later to take blood and start the IV. Leighton attempted to calm Tyler and keep him still. It was too much for me to watch them poke my baby with a needle. I sat there in a daze and stared foggy-eyed at the wall, as the cries of my little one penetrated the air. It seemed like an eternity before they found a vein they could use.

Poke . . . drip, drip, drip . . . drip . . . blown vein.

The nurse pulled the line out of his arm, squirting blood all over the table. They moved the tourniquet and started the process of looking for another worthy spot. They commented that his veins were so small, that none of them seemed good. They eventually settled on a vein in his right hand.

Poke . . . drip, drip . . . blown vein.

They apologized profusely. They just didn't know what to do. And though they felt awful, it didn't help the situation. They left the room and called in the IV team.

Leighton picked up our baby boy from that blood-stained table and tried to comfort him. Tyler looked at me and cried. He reached out his chubby, little arms. Leighton asked if I wanted to hold him. And though my greatest desire was to squeeze him and make it all better, I felt conflicted. I was trying my hardest not to sob like a baby myself. I had shed a few tears, but was able to keep my composure. I couldn't let my emotions distract me from the most important thing - getting my baby better. I needed to be alert to make decisions. I feared that I wasn't strong enough, especially if I had him in my arms.

I returned his reach and let my precious boy fall into my arms. I held my baby close. His sweet, wet face dampened my cheek. His tears dripped on my shirt. And we both were comforted.

There was a quick knock on the door before it opened again. My heart sank, and I handed Tyler back to his daddy. I returned to my post in the chair and stared again at the white wall.

The two nurses from the IV team were sympathetic and friendly. They got right to work. One leaned over Tyler both to hold him down and comfort him. She rubbed his leg and spoke soothingly to him, while the other began searching for a spot to poke him again.

The needle pierced his skin the same moment his scream pierced the air.


I sat there struggling with many emotions. Fear. Confusion. Anguish.



I knew they were doing their best. I knew this was where he needed to be. I knew he was in capable hands.


But these hands were hurting my child. 

dri-- nothing.

They could get no more blood to flow through the line. They had to look for another spot. Again.

And again, for the fourth time, they search all over his tiny body. They examined each vein, trying to find one that would cooperate.

They settled on his left hand. They poked; he continued crying; the blood flowed.


They inserted the IV and removed the needle. They immediately began giving him saline fluids and cleaned up the mess of blood, wrappers, towels, and needles from the table. Then they were gone.

It was 2:30 in the morning. The three of us were alone and exhausted. Leighton lay back on the emergency room bed, Tyler resting across his chest. I turned off the light and watched my guys as they drifted off to sleep. The two of them can sleep anywhere, even when it's not the middle of the night. I can sleep anywhere, too. As long as there's a bed involved. And I'm not worried about my child.

I sat in the padded metal chair, thinking. This was not how we anticipated this evening to go. I had already called my mom, multiple times, to keep them updated. They had decided, when we called to let them know we were traveling to the hospital, that the other kids were spending the night with them. Now, in the darkness of the room, I was reminded again how blessed we are with such willing parents. I don't know what we would have done had we had the whole family there in the hospital.

The nurse came in and hooked up antibiotics to the IV. They hadn't done any tests yet and did not know what the infection was, but they did know it was severe. (We did not understand the magnitude of it all yet, though.) They were treating him with Vancomycin, possibly the strongest antibiotic and is considered a drug of last resort.

I asked when we'd be moved to a real room. She informed me that the order was just put in to be admitted, even though we had been given the news hours before.  

Then the room was silent once again.

Occasionally, one of my guys would stir, which would cause the other to awaken as well. An hour passed.


I jumped as the silence was broken.


The sound seemed deafening in the noiseless building.


Everyone was awake when the nurse returned a little while later and explained that the antibiotic had finished. She started the flush to empty the line and said she'd be back when that was done.  

Fifteen minutes later, the scene repeated itself.

Eventually, Leighton and  and I traded places. He slept in the chair, while I dozed with Tyler on the emergency room bed.

At 5:30 in the morning, the nurse came to take us to our room. We grabbed everything we had - Tyler, iPad, the IV cart, my purse - and walked the empty halls up to the third floor. Our portion of the shared room was small. There was room only for Tyler's crib and a lounge chair. He was exhausted and quickly fell back asleep. Leighton and I reclined the chair and wedged ourselves in it.

Little did we know, in an hour and a half, we would start a very trying day.

To be continued . . .
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Things That Make Me Smile 6/28/13

Jake (7½), Alyssa (5), Zac (3½), Tyler (1) 

Happy Friday!  We've got a really busy day today, so I wanted to make sure I posted my Smiles this morning. I hope you all have a great weekend. And smile lots.

1. Jake, after eating a piece of caramel corn: "Mmm . . . Mom, everything you make is magic."

2. Me: "You guys are going to the father/son cookout today."
Zac: "Yea! I really want to cook."

3. Jake: "We need an experiment room, just for doing our science experiments."


5. Me, while putting her hair in pigtails: "Will you stand still please, so I can divide your hair evenly."
Alyssa: "What does evenly mean, again?"
Me: "The same amount on both sides."
Alyssa: "Oh. Why don't you just count my hairs?"

6. Jake: "Mom, you look better than the Devil."
Me, laughing: "Uh, thanks?"
Jake: "Even though most people think of him as an ugly red guy, we know that he was the most beautiful angel."

7. Alyssa, to Jake: "You're bigger than a rotten egg!"

8. Me: "What do you call an animal that eats meat?"
Alyssa: "A meat eater!"

9. Me, touching my ear: "Oh, my earring's gone. I lost it."
Alyssa: "Where did you have it last?"
Me: ". . . My ear?"

10. Zac: "May I have some water to shoot down my throat?"
Me: "You want a cup of water to drink?"
Zac: "Yeah!"

11. Me: ". . . and Alyssa was in my tummy."
Zac: "What?!? You ate her?

What made you smile this week?

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Things That Make Me Smile 6/22/13

Jake (7½), Alyssa (5), Zac (3½), Tyler (1)

Happy Weekend! Leighton and I celebrated 10 years of wonderful marriage yesterday! I am so thankful that God brought us together and has blessed us abundantly. It's been an amazing 10 years, and I look forward to many, many more.

1. Jake, while looking at old pictures: "Hey, what happened to that orange bat?"
Me: "We still have it. That's the white one we have."
Jake: "What? It fainted?!?"
Me: "Yes, it faded."

2. Listening to Jake quiz Alyssa on Bible trivia.

3. Jake: "What did Noah use to build the ark?"
Alyssa: "Wood!"
Jake: "What kind of wood"
Alyssa: "Tree wood!"


5. Jake: "I'll make the biggest half chocolate and the smallest half vanilla."

6. Zac, about my dad's bruised fingernail: "Hey, why did you paint that one blue?"

7. Zac calling the tongs my ting tongs.

8. As we were driving past a White Castle, Alyssa called out, "Look, Mom! Do you see that cool garbage can?" It was the kind that had the extender so you can throw away the garbage without getting out of the car, at the end of the drive-thru. Can you tell we don't eat out very often?


10 .Jake: "Hey, Mom, stopit is a compound word!"
Me: "It's stop it; two words"
Jake: "Yeah, but two words together is a compound word. So stopit is a compound word."

11. Zac calling Two-Face (from Batman) Toothpaste.

12. Jake: "I'm going to be so sweaty, I'll be like piece of watermelon."

What made you smile?
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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Chocolatiest Chocolate Cake

This cake is chocolatey.

Super chocolatey.

Like if-you-love-chocolate-you-have-to-make-this-cake-now chocolatey.

It's so moist, so decadent, so rich. So addicting. 

I've taken it to get-togethers, pot lucks, and family parties. And people always ask for the recipe.

It's that good.

I mean, with chocolate cake, chocolate chips, chocolate pudding, and two types of chocolate drizzle, you just can't go wrong.

Chocolate Cake
1 box devil's food cake mix
1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
½ cup warm water
1½ cups mini semisweet chocolate chips

1. In a large bowl, mix together the cake, pudding mix, sour cream, oil, eggs, and water. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour batter into a well-greased bundt pan.
2. Bake at 350° for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cake thoroughly in pan at least an hour before inverting onto a plate. Cool cake thoroughly before drizzling with glaze.
Recipe adapted from
* The cake is pretty forgiving. I've used plain yogurt instead of sour cream, different amounts of pudding mix, and milk chocolate and semisweet regular-sized chips.

Chocolate Glaze
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 Tbs butter
2 Tbs light corn syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1. Melt chocolate chips, butter, and corn syrup in the microwave at 50% power for 30 seconds. Stir. Continue melting for 30 second intervals until chips are melted and mixture is smooth.
2. Add vanilla and stir until combined.
3. Drizzle warm glaze over top of cooled cake.

White Chocolate Glaze
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
2 Tbs butter

3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 Tbs milk

1. Melt white chocolate chips and butter in the microwave at 50% power for 30 seconds. Stir. Continue melting for 30 second intervals until chips are melted and mixture is smooth.
2. Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar and milk.
3. Drizzle warm glaze over top of cooled cake.
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Monday, June 17, 2013

Things That Make Me Smile 6/14/13

Jake (7½), Alyssa (5), Zac (3½), Tyler (1)

Happy not-Friday! This weekend was pretty busy and I didn't take the time to get my Smiles from last week posted. Don't worry though, we don't mind Smiling on Mondays, too!

1. Zac, sniffing: "Mommy, do you know what I smell?"
Me: "No, what do you smell?"
Zac, sniffing: "I don't smell anything."

2. Me, tossing some socks by the washing machine: "Here, put in these, too."
Zac, laughing: "No, it's three!"

3. Zac: "I'm getting tired again. I just yawned. That's part of tired."


5. Jake, my little handyman, fixed our pencil sharpener that had been broken for years.

6. Alyssa: "Chocolate strawberry milk is the best! I can't believe I discovered it."

7. Jake, while doing an exercise about good vs. evil: "Look, I added Spitman to the evil  side."
Me: "And what makes Spitman evil?"
Jake, laughing: "Because he spits in everyone's face! I made him up myself."

8. Zac, pretending: "Would you like some kool-aid?"
Me: "Oh, sure."
Zac: "How about yes, please?"

9. We reached over 300 likes on our Facebook page.

10. Me, while playing Legos with the kids: "Oh, Daddy's home!" {continued building Legos}
Jake: "Why aren't you excited?"
Me: "I am excited."
Jake: "But you always run out there and kiss him when he gets home."

11. Alyssa: "Tyler's favorite color must be plaid."

12. Me: "Why are you biting your toenails?"
Child, joking: "Because they're good. And they're tastier than my fingernails."

What made you smile last week?
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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day 2013

Happy Father's Day! I am so thankful for the wonderful men in my life. The Lord has truly blessed me. My children have a father who loves them very much and works so hard to provide for us. I love when they get excited and run to meet him at the door when he comes home. I love watching them laugh when he wrestles with them. I love seeing the traits and quirks that they share with him. I love how they want to be like him. I love how much they love him. 

We repeated the questionnaires they answered last year. It was fun seeing how their answers have changed. And what has stayed the same.   

By Jacob, 7:

My dad is 30 years old.

My dad weighs 108 pounds.

My dad is 5 feet tall.

My dad's favorite color is green.

My dad's favorite food is ribs.

My dad is really strong. He could lift 10 mountains.

My dad always says stop doing what you're doing.

My dad is the best at fixing things.

My dad's job is working at BlueStar fixing things.

My dad laughs when we wrestle.

My dad and I like to play with Legos.

My dad really loves when I obey.

I love my dad because I'm supposed to.

It makes my dad happy when I obey.

By Alyssa, 5:

My dad is 18 years old.

My dad weighs 100 pounds.

My dad is 1 foot tall.

My dad's favorite color is green.

My dad's favorite food is biscuits & gravy.

My dad is really strong. He could lift weights.

My dad always says that he loves Mommy.

My dad is the best at working.

My dad's job is to pick heavy stuff up.

My dad laughs when we wrestle.

My dad and I like to wrestle.

My dad really loves Mommy!

I love my dad because he loves me.

It makes my dad happy when we obey.

By Zac, 3:

My dad is 1 year old.

My dad weighs a lot.

My dad is big.

My dad's favorite color is green.

My dad's favorite food is potatoes.

My dad is really strong. He could lift wood.

My dad always says words.

My dad is the best at picking up wood.

My dad's job is picking up wood.

My dad laughs when he's going to disappear.

My dad and I like to ride in his truck.

My dad really loves dinner.

I love my dad because he has a heart in him.

It makes my dad happy when I laugh.

Happy Father's Day, Leighton! Thank you for being the very best daddy and loving us so much. 
We love you.

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Christianity Cove

Are you looking for a place that has fun Bible lessons, games, crafts, skits, and activities? That can be used for both church and home? And some things that are free? You should check out Christianity Cove. They offer many resources that make teaching kids the Bible fun, easy, and interesting. We were able to review Daily Dilemmas: 26 True-to-Life Devotions for Kids along with the Fruits of the Spirit Activity Kit.

Each day, while the kids were eating breakfast, I'd pull up the e-book ($29) on either the laptop or the iPad, grab my Bible, and read our devotion. Each devotion presents the kids with a real-life dilemma, something that they might experience. After setting the story, there are 3 Bible verses that pertain to that situation. Finally, there are 4 options for how the child in the story should respond. 

I'd read the scenario, and we'd discuss it. I'd read the verses, and we'd discuss them. I'd read the options for the most Christian response, and we'd discuss them. Then, I'd read the explanation for the correct answer that was given.

I really like the idea of allowing the kids to safely experience different dilemmas or problems that they might encounter in their childhood before ever being put in those situations. Some of the moral challenges that are included in this teaching tool are bullying, cheating, peer pressure, revenge, jealousy, bribes, respecting authority, and lying.

The book is geared toward kids ages 6-12, but I used it with my 7, 5, and 3 year old. I had to explain a lot. While I know that 2 of my kids are a little young, I believe that the overall age range for the book would be closer to 10-13. There were many situations where my 7-year-old would not be. A lot of the kids in the dilemmas seemed to be in the middle school age.

I didn't always agree with what the author said was the correct answer for the best way to respond and I didn't always think that the Scriptures used were completely relevant. But, it opened up a lot of good discussions with my little ones and presented them with situations that made them think. It's my job as their mother to train them and guide them before they are ever in a place where they are tempted to do wrong. Then, when they are faced with those dilemmas for real, they will have a better understanding of how they should act and why.

The fruits of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, temperance - are so important in the life of a Christian. These fruits are the results of living a Spirit-filled life. You can't be close to God without these qualities shining through.

The Fruits of the Spirit Activity Kit e-book ($19) includes object lessons, crafts, snacks, games, song, science experiment, and worksheets for ages 4-12. Each aspect of the kit is used to teach children the fruits and help them to understand and apply them.
The lessons are written for a Sunday School setting and even include a word-for-word script for the teacher. Again, we used these materials at home during school.

My kids love hands-on activities. The object lessons were a big hit. They especially liked playing in the dirt to pull out the "weeds of sin" in their lives. We talked about how we need to let God remove our sin (praying, reading Bible, etc.) so our fruits can grow. They each ate an apple and then planted the seeds.

The funniest part was trying to jump rope while singing the Juicy Jump Rope song. Oh, my. My kids have tried jumping rope only a couple times before. I showed them how to do it.

 In Ga-la-tians five, twen-ty two and twen-ty three, The Fruits of the Spir-it were writ-ten for me . . . 

Let me tell you, I am out of shape! I jumped a little while before collapsing on the grass. Jake (7) tried next. He was less gracefully. Haha, we laughed so hard watching him try over and over. We kept taking turns jumping and singing the song. We had so much fun and reviewed the fruits at the same time.

I really liked the Guess Which Fruit game. We had to adapt if to fit our homeschool setting with little ones, but it worked well to give them a better understanding of the meanings behind the words and helped recognize the fruits.

Christianity Cove offers many other materials, like a Bible memory game, Easter pageant scripts, puppet shows, adult Bible study lessons, and so much more. They even have a list of featured articles that include free coloring pages, crafts, and many helps.

If you work with children, whether at home or at church, Christianity Cove has a resource for you.

Looking for different materials for teaching the Bible? Many of my Crewmates reviewed other materials from Christianity Cove. Head to the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to read more reviews.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Make It Monday: Tiered Flower Planter

I saw this planter a while ago and knew immediately that I wanted one for my front porch. We really needed something to brighten things up.

We used 3 plastic pots (15", 12", 8"), a bag of topsoil, a 3/4" dowel, and a flat of flowers (I chose impatiens because my porch is mostly shaded.)

Don't forget to enlist the help of a pretty assistant.

Drill a hole in the bottom of the 2 smaller pots.

Ours had a convenient spot right in the middle that was perfect for Leighton to drill for me.

Next comes the fun - playing in the dirt!

Alyssa held the dowel in the pot in that middle well (as shown in the above picture) while I poured in the dirt. You could also dump the dirt first and then push the dowel down.

Zac joined in on the fun, too!

Boys and dirt.

After you're done playing with, er, filling in the dirt, thread the middle-sized pot on the dowel.

Fill that pot with dirt, too.

Playing, optional.

Add the smallest pot and fill with dirt.

It's probably a good idea to cut off the excess dowel before adding the final pot and dirt.


But where's the fun in that? It's much more challenging to add the pot, fill it with dirt, and then try to use the sawzall to cut the dowel while not cutting the planter. 

Much more fun, right? Riiight.

A smart person would add the pot, mark where to cut, remove the pot, cut the dowel, re-add the pot, and then fill with dirt.

I'll leave you to decide which person I am.

Finally, add your flowers.

Well, I shouldn't say finally. You'll still have to sweep up all the dirt that was spilled, put away the tools, water the flowers . . . and set up the sprinkler to wash off the kids.

You get the point.

It'll be totally worth it though.

The entire project can be done in about 20 minutes and costs less than $25. Next year, all I'll have to do is pay for the flowers.

I love our new planter!

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Pantry Surprise 6/8/13

I was was putting things away in the closet . . .

. . . and found a Slinky in Leighton's shoe.

Now that's what I call putting a spring in your step!

Want to catch up on Pantry Surprises? You can find the entire list here. (Ha, I just realized that the last surprise I shared was something very similar. That baby . . .)

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Things That Make Me Smile 6/7/13

Jake (7½), Alyssa (5), Zac (3½), Tyler (1)

Happy Friday! What a strange week it's been. Many big, costly things almost broken. Many bumps, bruises, and blood. But still much fun, laughter, and smiles.

1. Zac, while pulling food out of the pantry: " I'm making my messipe! It's like mess and recipe together."

2. Since the kids and I head over to my parents' house every Friday late morning/early afternoon and Leighton comes meets us there after he gets off work, we have 2 vehicles when we leave. Alyssa asked to ride with him, but she was already seated in the van and was told no. She moaned all the way home. Daddy . . . my daddy . . . Daaaaaaddy . . . oh, Daddy . . . It was so cute, funny, and sweet. And, it earned her a trip to run an errand with her daddy the next day.

3. Me, while teaching about types of nouns (common, proper, abstract, etc.): "Yes, alligator is a concrete noun because we can touch it."
Jake: "Mooom! Of course you can't touch an alligator. It would bite your fingers off!"

5. Celebrating Jake's 7½ birthday.

6. Jake, about butterfly-shaped fly swatters: "Why do they make them so lovely looking? I mean, you're just going to be killing flies with them."

7. Jake: "Did you grow a golden tooth?" (gold filling)

8. Our dishwasher is not broken!

9. Alyssa: "My skin hair scares me sometimes."
Me: "The hair on your arm?"
Alyssa: "Yeah. Sometimes I think it's a spider."

10. Zac, pointing to a full moon: "It's a quesadilla!"

11. Zac, playing with the baby: "I spy something Tylery. It's you!"

What made you smile this week?

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Such Is Life

Having kids means that life is never boring. Some days are more eventful than others though.

Tyler has not been feeling well. Again. Coughing, runny nose, fever, ear infection. Again. This week, he has been understandably crabby and clingy. Today was no exception.

7:00 a.m. - Tyler wakes up. I change his diaper, put drops in his ear, and suck out his nose. He wants breakfast. Now. He screams at me because I'm not cutting his banana fast enough. He wants something to drink. Now. He shrieks because I'm not filling his cup quickly enough. He screams again because he's still hungry. My normally happy baby is very irritable. I feed him oatmeal. He smiles. I wash him up.

I reprimand quarreling children.

I change a poopy diaper.

I clean up a messy highchair.

I read the kiddos some books.

I play with blocks with the baby.

8: 00 a.m. - I make breakfast.

Tyler cries.

I reprimand quarreling children.

I stop baby from emptying the drawers.

I suck out a snotty nose.

I feed children breakfast.

I check email.

I reprimand quarreling children.

I pick baby up. I set baby down. I pick baby up. I set baby down. I listen to baby shriek because I set him down.

9:00 a.m. - Children are rough-housing.

Zac gets kicked in the nose.

Zac cries. A lot.

Zac loses blood. A lot.

I grab Zac and head to the bathroom.

I hold one washcloth on his nose, wet another one, and try to clean up the blood from his hands.

Zac uses his hand to wipe away tears.

Zac gets blood all over his face from wiping away tears.

I call to Alyssa to hold the washcloth on his nose so I can clean up his hands and face.

Tyler opens a drawer, grabs a container of miscellaneous makeup and tools, and empties it all over the floor.

I take Tyler out of the bathroom. He screams.

I cuddle Zac.

Tyler cries.

I put Tyler down for a nap.

10:00 a.m. - I load the dishwasher with the breakfast dishes and push the button to run it.   



Click, click. 


I call Leighton to see if there's some reason why it isn't working. There's not. 

Jake, Alyssa, Zac, and I wash all the dishes. By hand. Wash, rinse, dry, put away. 

Trade jobs.

Play with bubbles.

Play with water.

Wash dishes.

Listen to complaining about having a "boring" job.

Wash dishes.

Let the kiddos have a piece of candy and send them out of the kitchen.
Finish the dishes by myself. Finish cleaning the kitchen.

11:00 a.m. - Instruct kids to clean up their toys.

Attempt to check curriculum on laptop for school. No internet. 

Check router. No power.

Check desktop. No power.

Check power strip. No power.

Call Leighton. Again.

He sends me to the basement to look for a tripped circuit. Nothing.

I check the legend, switch 2 circuits for the living room, and head upstairs to try the power. Nothing.

I head back to the basement, switch 3 more circuits, and head upstairs to try the power. Nothing.

I head back to the basement, switch all the circuits, and head upstairs to try the power. Nothing.

The kids walk around the house, flipping on all the switches. All the lights come on, except for that one corner of the house. They have fun.

I am confused.

The lights come on. The t.v. turns on. The fish tank is on.

I am still confused.

12:00 a.m. - I am ready to start school. Finally.

Tyler wakes up. No school yet.

I think about the circuit issue. I remember the broken dishwasher. I wonder . . .

I clicked the dishwasher on.

Rrrrrrrr . . . It works!

I am surprised that the dishwasher is on the same circuit as the plugs in the living room, but I am happy that it works and humored that we washed all the dishes, for nothing. 

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. You know, stuff like reading a couple chapters of our book, talking about synonyms and antonyms, making the life cycle of a butterfly out of dried pasta, coloring pictures of mealworms, discussing what makes a good leader, doing some math, playing on the computer, practicing reading, making dough, rolling out tortillas, playing outside, making brownies, wrestling with daddy, taking out toys, putting away toys, taking out toys, putting away toys. Taking out toys, putting away toys.

And of course, washing more dishes.

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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Tyler's First Haircut

Tyler had been needing a haircut for a little while, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. The first haircut is another one of those rites of passage from baby to big boy. 

His long wispies behind both ears had gotten so long that I could have made pigtails with them. As cute as that may have been, I don't think I wanted to subject my son to that.

And to top it off, the hair never stayed down. It always stuck straight out or up, giving him a crazy, mad scientist look. 

It was finally time to give in and acknowledge that he is indeed growing up.   

He didn't know what to think of that funny thing in Daddy's hand that made the buzzing sound.

"Are you sure this is safe, Mama?"

All was ok when Daddy started being silly.

Leighton cuts all the boys' hair. The older ones cooperate a little bit better than the baby though. 

A little bit.

Looking down.

Sitting down.

Back to standing up.

And to think, Leighton didn't even cut off an ear!

He is so patient with them.

Silly big brother was a good helper in getting him to look the other way.

All done! 

Goodbye, sweet, little curl in the back. Hello, little stud.

Who is that handsome boy???

He kept feeling his ears. I'm sure they felt different once all that tickly hair was gone. 

Don't ya know, getting your haircut is hard work.

Leighton didn't touch any of the hair on top, just the back and sides. Just think how tired he'll be when he has to sit through a full haircut! 

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