Saturday, August 30, 2008

Horse Day at JP Nix

Maggie's class, along with several other 1st grade classes, got to interact with a couple horses brought to the school by Strong Rock Camp. We knew ahead of time so I planned to visit the school and take pictures. My excuse is "for the yearbook" but really, it's for me too. I enjoy seeing the kids at school with their friends, in their own environment that I didn't make for them. I like to know their teachers... and for the teachers to know me.

Anyway, we met up with the horses before the classes arrived. Ruth and Lydia got to brush Maverick for a little while before Ruth started sneezing. We gathered around the horses with the kids and I took pictures while Corie explained all they ever wanted to know about the animals. Elizabeth was "hanging out" with Corie, but they were in some pretty intense sunshine, so I took the small child and hung onto her while still snapping photos. I got a couple cute ones of some school children. Ruth became more miserable as time progressed and I snapped a few pitiful ones of her. I think we'll stay away from horses for a while.
We stayed for lunch with Maggie and then with Bennett. By the time we were done eating Ruth was no longer all red faced and much of the swelling had gone down. It was a fun day despite Ruth's temporary sadness. She had some Benedryl at home and was fine within a couple hours. No need to worry, Grandma!

More Lake Photos...

Here are a couple more photos from the lake trip that I didn't get copied until tonight.
Just a couple token photos of Ruth and Lydia on the wave runner with Corie. One day they'll want to know they got to ride too.
I got to ride too, but no one was taking pictures then. :)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Let The Illnesses Begin...

You know school is back in session when everyone has snot and congestion and coughs. We don't have all that stuff but it was fun to describe. Maggie complained Wednesday when I got home from work about her ear hurting. She hasn't had an infection since she got her tubes put in at age 2. But, since we had just spent the weekend swimming in some questionable water quality I wasn't surprised. Of course, she has an ear infection. I retrieved my handy-dandy otoscope from way back in the cabinet. I haven't had to think about it in many months and I actually had to call Curtis to find it. He has several inches on me in the periscope department and he found it right away. I didn't even have to get new batteries to see the gunk (I won't use the word her doctor used) in her ear. Plus, she complained when I pulled and pushed around it too. I medicated her, gave her a warm compress for comfort and put her to bed. Since I had to work Thursday morning the doctoring would have to come from her father. I instructed him to medicate again before school only if she mentioned it first. There was/is no fever so she could likely clear it up on her own. Did I mention she hasn't had an ear infection since 2003? At least she hasn't been treated for an infection since then (that I can remember). Being the completely unsympathetic mother that I am... I fully intended for her to go to school and be normal Thursday morning. Curtis called me at 0800 to get further instructions on how to make an appointment to see the doctor. Hmmmm... she was still hurting and had already been medicated. I guess we can have it checked just this once. :)
So, he pulled her out of class and ran her to the doctor for a quick ear check. Actually, I don't know how quick it really was since I had no conversation with any of my family after work tonight. I got home after 11 and they were (and still are) all asleep. Since I had possession of her all healing antibiotic I woke her just enough to swallow a few dozen times. I don't think she'll remember in the morning. She looked like a crazy person batting my hand away, moaning and then smiling in her sleep. I don't remember seeing the whites of her eyes either. Crazy, I tell ya! She takes after her father, for sure! By 1am she was moaning and tossing and turning in her bed... which is also Lydia's place of rest tonight (which is a whole other story). I retrieved her from her slumber and insisted she snuggle me in the chair while she chewed up more pain relief. I can't exactly force that into a sleeping child's mouth. She doesn't want me to touch the right side of her face tonight. I wish I had something to help her while we wait for the drugs to kill the bugs in her head. I put her in Lydia's bed... for increased back relief in case she needs me again. If you don't follow my 2am humor... Lydia's bed is the bottom bunk but she's sleeping in the top bunk, from which I pulled Maggie with great discomfort to me and her.
So, all that to say... Maggie has an ear infection. Ruth probably has a sinus infection which is evidenced by the tissues she brings to me. Bennett can't seem to keep his head clear this month. We did complete an entire box of Mucinex powders with him a few weeks ago. Lydia says her ear hurts and needs me to check it... right after I've made a big deal over poor pitiful Maggie. She plays the "I'm sick" pout pretty well. She got everything Maggie got except the medicine. Don't tell her Juice Plus gummies won't cure ear pain!

I have now been awake 22 1/2 hours, worked 15 of them, driven 1, worked here for 3 and comforted more than just my own family. We admitted 5 new lives into the NICU today and sometimes I forget I haven't stopped running. I have 4 hours left before the day begins again and we will be at school having a real, live horse experience. One day this crazy schedule of mine will catch up to me and I'll be found passed out in my living room with wild Indians running around the house. I think I've heard them before. They know the way.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ready to cry?

I'm so thankful for my 4 beautiful children.
The past 3 nights Focus on the Family has aired an interview between Dr. Dobson and Steven Curtis Chapman. I've cried each night and then to top it all off, Curtis has replayed all 3 parts tonight and made me listen to it again. It is very special and if you're willing to shed a few tears it's worth the time to listen.
They are titled The God of all Comfort parts 1, 2 & 3. You can find them on Focus on the Family and then listen online. If I knew how to create the link, I would.

Thank you Dear Lord for my children!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Weekend Away and tons of pictures to boot

Somehow the nonstop lifestyle of life itself can be overwhelming when you're removed from it all. We spent the weekend away with the Himstedt family. While we were enjoying the pool, kids, lake, and quietness I thought about all at home that I was missing. The laundry. The kitchen. The clothes. The cucumbers that needed pickling. The closets that need cleaning. Even now, there are 1,000 other things that are more important that blogging and uploading pictures about our weekend. I guess that's why it's always way late at night before I even start. The kids are home, fed, homework done, toys put away (sort of), in bed, backpacks ready for tomorrow, lunchboxes set out, papers signed, muffins made, pickels cooling. But the laundry still sits in baskets in my living room. The bathrooms still need picking up. The kitchen still has dishes to put away. My bed is already calling! All this going on... constantly. Yet we still found a way to completely forget all these things and sit. Doing absolutely nothing but watching the kids play, laugh and learn new things. I used Corie's camera because she brought her zoom lens and I documented some of the stuff we did. Over 400 pictures on hers and 100 on mine. I'm supposed to find 10 good ones to put here so you can see. How do I find just 10? (obviously, I couldn't narrow it down!) Corie posted a few on her blog... here.
So, it begins:
Friday I left work early thanks to my favorite nurse friend Jeanine! (just in case she reads this). I was able to run home, change out of my scrubs, and help Curtis throw all the essentials into the van. Then we ran into school to retrieve the eldest two before the bus whisked them away since someone forgot to send the "I'll be a pick-up today" note to the teachers. We hit the road as soon as school was done and headed south. Within 2 hours we were at our weekend destintation This house is incredible. It belongs to a couple of Corie's uncles and aunts. We got lost in in the first night. The kids played hide and seek. Lydia roamed alone for hours just to be by herself. They have a heated pool with a water fall, diving board, hot tub (which the kids referred to as the little hot pool). They also have wave runners, pontoon boat, fishing boat, and the most wonderful lawn of grass to play in. Hurricane Fay visited in a very benign sort of way. It was very overcast, slightly rainy at times, heavily rainy at times, windy and a wee bit cool. The sun only poked out briefly a few times.

Somehow we managed to play and swim despite the rain and wind. We rode the wave runner in turns with the kids... only one could be started so they were brief rides.

It makes me nervous to have something I care so much about out in the middle of a lake with no means to call for help, should something happen. I enjoyed riding with Bennett but he tries to talk the whole time and I can't hear and I think I need to hear what he says so I slow down and then it ends up being nothing so I start driving again... and then he says something.

Generally, it's something he notices about the water, the bridge, the cars, the wind. Rarely, it's anything like I'm about to fall off, my face hurts, I'm gonna throw up. Those things... I'll slow for. :) I took the middle girls out for the first ride and promptly ran into a deluge of rain. Before we could get back to the dock everyone had abandoned us and ran up to the house.
Ruth was crying about not wanting to get wet. I tried to explain that the rain was no worse than the lake. By the time we got hooked up to the dock and ran up to the house the shower was passed. We caught our breath and headed back down.
I haven't ridden a jet ski in many, many years and that evening my shoulders were a bit sore. Maybe it's my age. Maybe it was the one handed driving so I could hold on to my precious cargo just in case they wanted to jump off. :)
Maggie decided to take off the life vest while swimming and actually jumped off the diving board several times.

She swam to Curtis with a very purposeful stroke, not just a doggy paddle. I said she could be our "little Phelps"... especially after watching Olympics for 2 weeks straight.

Corie convinced her to do a dive... and she did! Much better than I could ever do. I think Amelia's swimming also helped motivate Maggie. Amelia is their 5 year old and took up swimming this summer as well. They had a great time.
Ruth FINALLY acted like a normal child in the water. She mostly stayed in the hot tub but would pretend to swim and she even put her head under the water and held her breath. I made her get in the big pool with me and swim with her floaty vest. She clung to me with sheer terror in her face, eyes and scream. I'm just glad we were not near any neighbors! She held her breath and got across the pool on her own, ran back to the hot tub, the proudly exclaimed to her father that she swam all alone in the big pool.
Ruth, Lydia, & Shannon... waiting for their turn on the wave runner.

Curtis enjoyed playing with Avery too... he's not quite 2. He continually cracks us up with his funny little things. Curtis gets him to say "chicken" in the most precious little voice.

The many faces of Lydia. She was posing for me.

She also drank a large portion of pool water via the water guns. I'm surprised she hasn't had any intestinal issues either. :)

The Mother's Token Photo...

Friday, August 15, 2008

School Days begin again...

We've had a week of school and the kids are getting back into our routine. B is in 2nd grade with many of his old friends and a brand new teacher. M is in 1st grade with a couple old friends and a great teacher. She goes to our church with us, which Maggie thinks is the greatest thing! I don't have a good feel for the whole thing yet... but I'm trying to keep an open mind about it all. This has been the first year I've seriously considered homeschooling everyone. There are many logistical issues about it all... like my full time job away from home, but I would love to see it work out. I'll have to keep asking Curtis about it until he caves. :)
Ruth has been working here at the house on her own school... on the days that I'm home. She's really doing well for being pre-k, but is about the same as the other kids her age. !
It's just that her birthday is on the wrong day to be at school with the others. Next year she'll just seem brilliant. She got her glasses last week and has been diligent in wearing them all the time, without complaint. Everyone has commented on how adorable she is too. I think that helps. We even had a stranger tell her today while we were out on the town. She has been consistently polite and says thank you every time. Very cute

We started soccer practice this week too. In the past years we have only done spring ball... because fall ball starts the same as school. It seems crazy right now but I think the kids are doing fine with it. It's the parents who have the issues with running around all the time. This year Maggie and Ruth got on teams and will be running around with the pack. Maggie and Bennett are on the same team (as well as our friend Jaelen!) and then Ruth is on her own under-age team. I didn't get to go to her 1st practice but I'll be sure to get pictures of that soon. The littlest are always the cutest. B & M's coach seems to be very good, especially after the previous ones we've had. They actually ran drills and such the very first day. If you're interested in watching 8 little maniacs run around like crazy for an hour, let me know and I'll send you the game schedule.

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