01-21-17 Now we hunker down…

So remember yesterday when I told you I had only gotten three hours of sleep? I was so happy to have Tim at home last night, and while he was feeling under the weather and went to bed early, I felt confident about taking some medicine and going to bed. No sooner had I swallowed my Tylenol PM (the pills probably hadn’t even reached my stomach yet) I heard Big E crying upstairs. I headed up and as I neared his bedroom I heard a gush of liquids.

Oh no… 

I open the door and there is vomit everywhere… the floor, his bedding, his body. And it’s still coming. Both of us traumatized I moved him into the bathroom and cleaned him up. Then I cleaned up his room and remade his bed. I got him in bed with a bowl next to his head. As I closed the door I hoped it was a fluke and he’d sleep through the night.

Well dear friends, it wasn’t a fluke. 

Poor Big E was vomiting every twenty minutes without fail from 10:30 last night until 5:30 this morning. EVERY TWENTY MINUTES!!! 

Ugh, it was disgusting and the poor child was miserable. And so tired. He’d throw up, hand me the bowl to rinse it and when I would return to his room he’d be half asleep again. I’d make my way back to my couch-bed after thoroughly washing and hand sanitizing and then hand sanitizing myself again and crawl under the covers, only to hear him calling me again.

So, needless to say, I didn’t actually get any sleep last night. At around 7am, Tim got up to take the day shift with the kids and I crawled into bed, where I spent the majority of the day. By this evening Big E was finally starting to perk up. He’s definitely on the mend. 🙂

But now we hunker down until this thing runs its course. I’m praying that if it hits anyone else, it does it soon so we can just get it over with, but preferably it would be wonderful if we could just be done!

01-20-17 Finally Friday

I’ve been battling a cold for the better part of a week. There’s nothing to be done about it but to wait it out. It has all the classic symptoms- a runny nose, a sore throat, etc. The unfortunate reality is that sore throats make it very difficult for me to sleep. No sooner do I start to drift off, then a sharp stabbing pain forces me awake. I’ve tried a variety of remedies, but the only thing that really works is to pretty much knock myself out- This means Tylenol PM, or Benadryl, or maybe alcohol.

Last night I needed something badly, but my husband was away and I was hesitant to take anything that might make it difficult to respond to the children if they needed something. So I opted to just take a couple of regular Tylenols and call it a night.

Unfortunately, that didn’t do the trick and I spent the better part of the night on the cusp of sleep, but not actually attaining it. In all, I managed 3 non consecutive hours. So when my alarm went off at 5:30 this morning my brain and my body screamed in revolt. I stumbled through something that vaguely mirrored my morning routine and finally got the kids up.

“Please be helpful this morning. Mommy didn’t get much sleep last night and I don’t feel well.” I was able to utter as I handed them their clean clothes.

“Oh, that happens to me sometimes! ” C said as she sat up.  “I’ll tell you what I do.” She leaned in close in preparation of her big reveal, “I lay in my bed. And I close my eyes. And I just lay there… And I fall asleep.” I blinked at her. “Maybe you should try that next time too!!” she concluded proudly.

If it was only that easy, kid!


Friday night ice cream party!


01-19-17 Overworked Imagination

I have an overactive imagination. I always have. It’s both a blessing and a curse- A blessing when I want to make up a story, a curse when I am laying in bed at night and I hear a sound outside my door. Often when my mind starts in overdrive, it chases rabbit trails that lead to darker and scarier rabbit trails. I have the ability to work myself up into an anxiety induced frenzy that’s hard to back out of.

I know this about myself.

hate this about myself.

This is why I have had to mentally check out of certain activities in my life… here are four places that I have chosen to not give food to my overworked imagination.

1- Politics. I grew up in a politically minded family. It was a frequent topic of conversation around the dinner table and at family gatherings. I used to be very vocal, but as I have grown older I realize that I am in little position to actually change the big issues. I’m not saying there aren’t people that can, I just know that those people aren’t me. And besides, a politician, or a political party will never have the ability to save me (or us.) They will aways fail us. Am I being a cynic? Perhaps. Or maybe I’ve decided to focus my attention on where I can make a difference, which is within my own family and with my own children.

2- Scary Movies.  I used to love scary movies. Not gory movies, I can’t stand those. I don’t need to see entrails or missing limbs. But I was totally okay with things popping out and scaring the audience. The more the better, I loved the suspense. But then I started replaying those sequences and inserting myself and suddenly I was seeing problems in real life that would never have crossed my mind had I not seen them onscreen. So I stopped watching those things. I don’t need my imagination to feed off of doomsday scenarios.

3- Scary Books.  I love to read. At least I think I do. I rarely have time these days, with working full-time and raising all the savages, but I’m relatively certain that love still remains. Like the movies before, I loved scary stories. But even more so than a movie, I can get so lost in a book that I am completely living it. If it is snowing in the book, my body will feel cold. And when I come out of a book, I have to readjust myself to real life. So if I can get that involved in a story, then I need to make sure that it is one that isn’t going to send my overactive imagination off the rails.

4- Pinterest. When I first discovered Pinterest I thought it was amazing. And the more time I spent there, the more I realized that I didn’t measure up. My kids’ parties weren’t perfectly planned, my kids’ snacks weren’t perfectly trimmed, and my house was clearly not immaculate. And again, my imagination took off to all the things I could be and have if I was different. If I was better. To be honest, that’s too heavy a burden to bear and one that I am not called to carry.


Baby E showing off his teeth!

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.  Luke 6:45 (NIV)




01-18-17 The long awaited liberation of my finger!

Six weeks is a long time- a really long time when your dominant hand isn’t working properly! Thankfully the broken finger didn’t interfere with my ability to edit, but it got in the way of just about everything else- from washing dishes, washing my own hair, chopping vegetables, using scissors, my handwriting, etc.

Well, today was the big reveal.

The doctor took off the splint and there it was, my precious finger, looking somewhat bedraggled after six weeks in the splint. The finger is still slightly swollen, and unfortunately, still slightly bent. The doctor had warned me several visits ago that it would likely not ever go back to normal, but I guess I hadn’t prepped myself that it would look different from here on out.

Also, it doesn’t move. Which makes sense because it was immobile for six weeks. So I have to start physical therapy on it in a few weeks. He said I should regain most of my mobility. We’ll see exactly what ‘most’ means as we move forward.

So while I am bummed that it won’t return to its former glory,  I am thankful that I can start working with it!


01-17-17 The Case of the Lost Slumber

I felt the congestion coming on late in the afternoon. I had rallied the children to get them to the doctor, and as we waited, I came to grips that I had contracted Baby E’s cold. Knowing that nighttime is usually worse, cleverly I decided to outwit my body, for as everyone knows, you can not tell you are ill, if you are asleep. So, upon getting the children to bed, I wandered to my medicine cabinet and retrieved a bottle of Benadryl. Oh what a bottle it was, filled almost to the brim with brilliantly pink, little pills, each promising me an uninterrupted night’s hibernation. Reading the dosage, I opted for an in between treatment and swallowed one and a half pills. Assured that I would soon slumber, I took a warm bath and then made my bed on the couch, the location of banishment in our home when one gets ill.

I settled in and turned off the lights.

Overconfident I very well may have been as I had overlooked the Starbucks drink I had consumed mere hours earlier.

A civil war of sorts took place within my mind and body- one side the sweet, pink pills of lethargy and on the other, the full throttle intensity of a large cup of coffee. Neither side would be dictated to. Neither side would yield!!

Unflinching they remained, both sides resilient, strong, noble in their steadfast desire to gain control over my sleeping hours.

In the end, the Benadryl won my body, while the Starbucks Grande Caramel Mocha won my mind. So I laid there on the couch, feeling each part of my body’s weight as it pressed itself into the cushions, lacking the ability to move and yet having absolutely no power over the running monologue that streamed ceaselessly in my mind.

I laid there for hours, not moving, but constantly thinking. To make matters worse, the cat was very active. I know not what she laid destruction to in the middle of the night other  than it was loud and echoey.

Add to this Big E, in a groggy stupor, had found the doorknob to his bedroom to be inexplicably difficult and as he screamed at the top of his lungs to get out of his room to use the bathroom, I came to. The journey upstairs was a tenuous one, as the walls teetered and sure footing was hard to find. I found him, though, curled up on his bed, shaking and crying that his door had defeated him. I led him to the bathroom and I wandered back downstairs to the couch, my husband none the wiser as he slept in the bed comfortably and soundly.

The night wore on, and somewhere between sleep and wakefulness I passed those many hours, until long last this very morning the bell tolled and I was officially awoken. This day, however, has been a haze- a Benadryl and caffeine induced trance. May this evening be proven less difficult, and may sleep be found to be less coy.



01-16-17 We Meet Again…

“I really hope my stomach falls off!!!!” Big E squealed as we drove down a steep hill, his arms in the air as he laughed.

“I think you mean, ‘lose your stomach!'” I laughed in return. I actually love when my kids use the wrong phrases or pronunciations to words. Sometimes I correct them, and sometimes I let them slide.

C said the word ‘mazagine’ the other day, which she hasn’t said for quite some time, and I smiled. I loved it.


Like I said yesterday, Baby E has been sporting a cold for about a week and when we woke up this morning I realized that his inhaler was down to five more puffs. Yikes!! I called in to get a refill, and as the day carried on, I decided I would take him into walk in hours. It wasn’t because he seemed any worse, it was because I had the day off and I figured it would be better to do it now, than get halfway through the week and something happen and I’d have to take him after work one day. So, I packed the kids up and headed to the doctor.

Now, the last time I took all three of them to the pediatrician with me was a long, long time ago. In fact, I think it has been over a year. I’ve been avoiding it since the ‘incident.’ You know, the time my kids were totally out of control and were wrestling on the floor as I was trying to talk to the doctor. The same time that he referenced weeks later when I was there with just Baby E and the doctor thought he was referring to my sister-in-law and her kids. “Your cousins were pretty wild that time they were here!!” (Yikes!) “Yup, those kids,” I said as I shook my head and mentally reminded myself to apologize to my sister-in-law for totally throwing her under the bus.

Since then I think I’ve only taken one or two.

Tonight we had a code word, ‘Penguins.’ If they heard me say ‘penguins,’ they knew I thought they were out of control and needed to calm back down or they wouldn’t get cake when we got home. (Yes, I bribed them.)

Well ten minutes into our visit I had entirely exhausted that word and vowed once again to never go out in public with all three by myself again! They calmed down just in time for the doctor to come in, which was helpful.

He quickly diagnosed Baby E with RSV.

Wait, RSV???? The same thing that Baby E had when he was a newborn and nearly landed him in the hospital!! All I could think about was that horrible week I watched my baby fight to breathe. The doctor must have read it in my face, because he was quick to assure me that Baby E is older now and his body can handle this better. His ears look great. There is no fever. No pneumonia. His lungs sound a little coarse, but nothing that the inhaler can’t help with. In fact, the only recommendation was to continue what we were doing. It’s a 7-10 day illness, so he should be almost out of it. He reiterated, “For most people, it’s just a cold.”

With a sigh of relief, I grabbed the prescription and wrangled the kids to the door. We made a few stops on the way home- to fill the Rx and grab a pizza for dinner. Baby E once again seemed fine this evening. He didn’t fight the inhaler treatment. It’s been awhile since he has had a breathing related illness, so the doctor said he isn’t likely to develop asthma (That’s a concern when kids get RSV at a very young age.) So hopefully we are in the clear for that one. Thanks for the prayers for my little man. He is going to get some Naona time tomorrow, which is a great thing because he has been begging to see her for about a week!

01-15-17 Sleepy Boy

I think when you are two years old… life is hard. Baby E has been sporting a cold for about a week. I’m always on edge when he gets anything resembling a cold because his lungs get bad quick. This time I decided to be more proactive, so we started giving him his inhaler early on. This has made this cold so much more mild than they have been in the past. (Seriously, a cold for most kids is just a cold, for Baby E it can mean a trip to the ER.)  I’m praying he kicks this thing soon. He seemed to get over the worst of it a few days ago.

That being said, he is more tired than normal and the poor fellow just couldn’t make it all the way through lunch today.


Since yesterday was a bust, I am so thankful that I have off tomorrow and that I will get to spend it with my sweet loves. 🙂 I think it’s going to be a watching-movies-eating-popcorn-drinking-hot-cocoa kind of day! Bring it on!


01-12-17 Flat Stanley

Around Thanksgiving, C came home with a project that needed to be completed by the beginning of January. The information that came with it explained that the children were going to be studying geography and one of the ways they would do that was with “Flat Stanley.” Flat Stanley is a character in a book that gets flattened and then realizes he can travel anywhere he wants because he is so compact. (I think. Honestly, I skimmed.) The paper asked us to either send or take Flat Stanley somewhere over the holidays and get pictures of him in his new environment. Then we needed to return him to school with the photos and the kids would see where all the Flat Stanleys travelled.

Well, I have a sweet cousin and her husband that live in Grass Valley, CA so we decided to send Flat Stanley out west. He had a great time taking in all the sights. He visited some family, took in the cultural scene, and did some historic research. He came back no worse for wear, with some wonderful pictures of his adventures!

Grass Valley is a small gold mining town located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. It’s about half way between Sacramento, CA and Reno, NV.

courtyard-of-mom-dads-placeFlat Stanley visiting my aunt and uncle’s house!our-backyardHanging out in my cousin’s back yard.downtown-grass-valley-x-masDowntown Grass Valley at Christmas Timedowntown-gv-del-oro-theaterDowntown Grass Valley, Del Oro Theatergrass-valley-mining-museum-1Grass Valley Mining Museumgrass-valley-mining-museum-2Grass Valley Mining Museumgrass-valley-mining-museum-3Grass Valley Mining Museumgrass-valley-mining-museum-4Grass Valley Mining Museumnevada-county-fairgroundsNevada County Fairgrounds Entrance
the-gentle-giantThe Gentle Giant- a Draft Horse, historically used for logging.

Thanks to Sue for being a good sport and hosting Flat Stanley over the holidays!!