Monday, December 7, 2009

Tis the season to be weary

The holiday season makes me feel so warm and fuzzy and I love to hear the stories of people who do such selfless things for others. I know that those things happen every day, but around this time of year, I think people do them more and the news and such definitely talks about them more often.

Well, unfortunately, we've also been programmed in today's society to be careful of strangers and always be thinking of our safety. As a parent that is magnified. I am always aware of people around me in parking lots and where my kids are when we are out in public. I still like to use a stroller when we are at the mall only because that means I have one of them kids contained and can easily keep the other one close while I shop. It's just that while there are so many good people, there are too many people yet, that aren't good and we have to be careful.

So here's a couple stories for you:
Last week, I went to run some errands with Nathan, while Carson was at school. I finished at the Walmart and had my cart with Nathan in the front and the basket full of bags and bags. I was at the trunk of my car, shifting around the other things I'd bought that day to make room for all my bags to fit and the man who collects carts came up behind us. He was friendly and talked to Nathan and I some. He had a thick accent and Nathan didn't understand him much, but he was chatting with Nathan nonetheless. I had only begun to put my 20 or so bags into the car and so it was quite awhile before I was ready to go. I was nervous with him being there so close to us. I couldn't help but think, 'he could have taken that vest from the breakroom and not even really work here'. I kept looking around to see where others were in case I needed to scream or run. I asked him to take some of my heavy bags and put them into the passenger seat of the car to have some time with him away from us. Then when I was done, I got Nathan out of the cart and waited for him to take it away. He kept chatting with us about our holiday plans and I finally began to put Nathan into the car, but I left my purse on top of the car because I thought, if he wants to rob me, he can just take my purse and go. I wouldn't strap Nathan in because if this guy was going to steal my car, I wanted to be able to grab Nathan out. It was awful to have those things going through my head while this man was so nicely talking to us and making Nathan laugh by HO HO HOing like Santa. Finally, he took our cart and went and gathered other ones and I quickly fastened Nathan and jumped into the car with the doors locked. I felt awful for being so weary of such a very nice person.

That same night, Greg had taken the boys with him for a quick run to the grocery store for something I'd forgotten. On his way home, he called me and told me that he was in the neighborhood, but that someone was following him and flashing their lights and honking at him. He drove around and around, not coming to our house (as the police say you shouldn't go home if someone is following you). Finally he said he seemed to have lost the person. I told him to head home, but to pull into our neighbor's driveway (he's a big man) and I'd meet them outside. Then he said, the person was back, this time he could finally see the person and see that that it was a woman who was waving at him. He was near the house and other neighbors and he stopped the car. She came up to the car and bless her heart this woman was amazingly sweet. Greg had used the self-checkout at the grocery store and this woman was behind him in line, Greg had gotten cash back, but left it in the machine at the store. This angel of a woman rushed to finish her checkout and saw him leaving the parking lot and followed him all the way from the grocery store to our neighborhood and then around and around as he drove in circles trying to evade this kind follower.

So, while I still say, 'we must be careful', there are such wonderful people in this world and I hope that we can all take time to notice the wonderful people around us this holiday season and every day.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Apple Picking


We went apple picking for the first time a few weeks ago. My sister's family goes every year and so they introduced us to the fun of it.

The boys had a blast! They loved it. We had two different varieties to choose from this time. My favorites; red delicious and some I'd never tried before that were yummy, golden delicious. You are allowed/encouraged to eat all the apples you want while in the field and then you buy ones to bring home. Carson had decided before we got there that he was going to pick 22 apples. I'm not sure where he got that number from, but he was certain and that's exactly how many he picked.

My sweet, little niece, Maeve, taught Nathan how to pick them and helped him to find some he could reach that were good ones. She showed him to twist the apple and pull and he got great at it.


All that picking sure can make you tired. Nathan was enjoying a warm cuddle with Daddy on the wagon ride back out of the orchard. It was a great day for everyone and it will definitely be a family tradition. Maybe even one we will continue with my sister's family. I know they have other crops of fruits at different times of the year as well. I can't wait until strawberry season. I'm sure Nathan will eat his money's worth while in the field.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Little Mr. Attitude!

Today at nap time, I was putting on Nathan's brace. He still likes to do the right insert by himself sometimes, but other times, he's busy talking or singing and I just do it.
As I was strapping the left shoe, he picked up the insert and the pringle to the left shoe. He leaned forward so he was only about 3 inches from my face and held the pringle about an inch from my face and very forcefully waved it at me, while harshly declaring, "I do the pringle, by myself!"
Whoa! Okay, if he was a teenager, I'd have had to hold myself back from smacking that smart mouth right off of him, but since he's only a little two year old, I had to hold myself back from laughing and make myself be firm with him.
Yes, I did take the pringle and talked to him about him being rude and refused to let him do it which of course, caused a fit, but I wasn't about to let him get away with that tone of voice, no matter how adorable it may sound coming from a toddler.
It did get me thinking, I wonder how many times he's seen me hold something up in front of Carson's face like that? Where else would he have gotten that gesture? I'm sure I must have done this when upset with Carson. It's so hard to be a role model when you aren't even aware of all of your own behaviors.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Peace to you, Dr. Ponseti

I am sure a man who worked into his 90's did not simply pass away and decide to 'rest in peace'. So I wish you peace, and love in your everlasting life. I hope you do take some time to simply rest and recognize all the things you have done for so many families around the world.
I am saddened at the loss, but it is a blessing that he lived such a long life and did not linger, suffering. I hope he is watching all his little miracles running along.
My love and prayers for comfort go out to Helena and all of Dr. Ponseti's family and friends.

Read a bit of Dr. Ponseti's amazing story. His story is wonderful beyond his clubfoot treatment.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Praying for Dr. Ponseti

I was heartbroken to read this message posted on the clubfoot message board that I belong to:

This is Dr. Michael Colburn.

I just got off the phone with Helena Ponseti and was informed that Dr. Ponseti has suffered a stroke and is in the hospital. He is paralyzed and cannot speak. The outlook is poor. Helena appreciates all of your thoughts and prayers. He was to speak at the Ponseti conference tomorrow and Helena will be speaking for him. I will post again when I hear any more information.


Dr. Ponseti is the reason my little man runs around the house like a madman every day. He's the reason Nathan can do all that running with no pain at all. Nathan was born with a club foot and Dr. Ignacio Ponseti developed a method of treatment that requires no surgery, and taught his method to other doctors (including Dr. Dobbs who treats Nathan.) Not only does that mean these little babies with clubfoot don't have to suffer the pain of surgery and recovery, the risks of general anestesia, have multiple surgeries as they grow, but it means that he will be able to have a life free from pain.

Nathan is a magnificent jumper and I have no doubt that despite his tiny size (those are 18month sized pants falling off of him) and the lack of athletic ability in both of his parents, he'll be quite an athlete. Shortly after he started walking, he was giving Tigger a run for his money when it came to bouncing.

Our family's prayers go out to Dr. Ponseti and his family.

More of Nathan's clubfoot story can be read in these posts:
Nathan's Clubfoot

A few second video of Nathan in his brace

Me Do! Me Do!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Why not U.S.? Please Read.

I know this may seem trivial to many people out there, but if you have a child with allergies or a child who loves granola bars and is school age, it matters.

Carson is now in preschool and as with almost all schools nowadays, snacks (and sometimes even lunches) brought into the school must be peanut free. I am lucky to not have a child with this allergy, but it is a scary as heck allergy. They are so severe usually that it takes so little to send a child to the hospital and this allergy kills.

We were buying snacks for Carson's preschool and he wanted to buy granola bars, but we can't because there are none on the U.S. market that are peanut safe. Upon researching and looking for a brand that was safe, I found that Quaker has a COMPLETELY peanut and tree nut free facility in Canada (as does Mars candy company). I called Quaker to see if I could purchase those somewhere around me.

Well, guess what? You CAN'T! They are not sold at all in the U.S. Not only was the lady quick to inform me of that, but she was very rude to me about it. When I told her that I would like her to make a report of my call and pass it along so that the company could see that there is a demand in the U.S., she got really huffy with me. Apparently, I was somehow disturbing her busy day of Quaker customer service.

I am asking EVERYONE to PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE for the sake of all the children out there with peanut allergies and also the families affected by school age non-allergic children being limited to call Quaker and request that they offer these safe products here in the U.S.

They answered the phone quickly and it will only take 1-2 minutes. Specifically ask that they make a report of the call or they will just say, 'they aren't available in the U.S. and hang up. Please, think of all the time you are sitting doing nothing or are waiting in line at the drive thru or for many of us, waiting in the car pick-up line at school. Please take these 2 minutes.

They are open from 7-5 central time. Thanks.
1-800-367-6287

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

When I grow up, I want to be...

A couple of weeks ago, I had an appointment with an ENT. He was young and hilarious. He loves kids and the boys were so good there. He was funny and for a very unknown reason, decided to stick a 8 inch long q-tip into his nose which was ewwww, but kind of cool. Anyhow, when we got home, Carson told Greg that when he grows up, he's going to be a doctor just like Dr. Hobson (who's really Dr. Hanson). That is the FIRST time Carson has ever said he wants to be ______ when he grows up other than to want to be Spiderman or a lion. I thought it was so sweet. I was just ear to ear smiling.

Well, yesterday was his very first time at school (preschool). In fact his first time left alone with anyone but family. He loved it and had a great time. He didn't hesitate at all and actually complained that I was taking too many pictures and he just wanted to go to school. He gladly stepped out of the car and off he went without even a hug. He's only going three days a week. He's disappointed he can't go today so I told him that we were going to see Dr. Hanson today. I reminded him about his wanting to be a doctor like Dr. Hanson when he grows up. He said, very seriously, "But Mommy, I want to be a TEACHER when I grow up".

Oh, can you feel my heart swell? I teared up. Not because I'm a teacher and I like the idea of him following in my footsteps, but because this preschool and his teachers, have given him such a very warm first school experience that he wants to be a teacher. He wants to go to school every day. I know it's just preschool and that as he gets older and has to spend time doing seat work and there's no more toys in the room, that he will likely feel differently. However, I believe there is nothing more important in a child's educational career than the first experience and first teacher. I think that this first year sets the stage for the ' I like school. or I hate school.' feeling.

I asked him when I picked him up if he liked school. He replied with a look of , well duh Mom, "I like school and I LOVE school!" He was really looking at me like, of course I do, it's the best place on Earth, why would you even ask that?

I could not be any more thrilled. I hope that this continues. I know it's only been one day, but my anxiety is squashed and my heart is swollen up with pride for him and admiration for this school program.

By the way, this is a preschool through our public school district.We could never have afforded to send him to preschool. We even checked into part time programs at private centers, and I'd just resigned myself to the fact that he would not have the preschool advantage, but the school district began this program this year. It's very cheap so that we struggling parents can afford it. We still couldn't afford full time, but this is a huge advantage for him and I am so thankful to our school district. He has high quality curriculum, learning through play, certified teachers, a playground indoor and outdoor, a room full of equipment, toys, books, an assistant with a college education and experience, a toddler size bathroom, and a very small class-size. I am so happy we moved here. I am just thrilled (can you tell).

Friday, June 26, 2009

What....

What would you do for a Klondike bar?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Parenting Help

Carson is in some sort of awful phase. At least I pray a hundred times a day it's a phase. I hope I'm not a horrible parent whose caused this. I wonder all day if I'm too lenient, too strict, something? He spends his entire day arguing, fighting with Nathan and us. He will hit or grab Nathan's arms and sometimes even do a little soft smack to us. It's hard to be patient with this. I'm trying, really trying. I am so sick and tired.
He keeps getting out of bed. He's running around the house. We are putting him back over and over and not giving him attention by talking at all to him. We just keep putting him back. He's coming right back out over and over and running from us. He's laughing and claiming he's going to lock us in his room and all kinds of crazy stuff. I put him back about 20 times and each time I took a toy from his room. Now Greg is doing it and he's probably about 15 times now.
Is this a phase, his age, my parenting? Is this going to end? How do I deal with this? Any ideas? How do I end this? We do time outs, we take away toys, we let him earn things for good behavior. I don't know what else to do.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Put down your cup so milk doesn't come out your nose while you are laughing at this

Funny Child Moment
Today was my nephew's birthday party. My sister's house has a pool so it was an outdoor pool party. To get to the bathroom you have to go up a big set of stairs and into the house and through the kitchen. So after all but very close family and friends left, the rest of us were around and a little boy was doing the pee pee dance. He of course didn't want to dry off and go up the stairs and such so (and I'm sure some of you will be shaming us all) my uncle showed him to just go to the back side of the pool (it's a big above ground with a deck) and pee outside in the grass. So Carson then says he needs to potty so I told him to go ask Uncle Mike to show he the 'outside potty'. Carson has never even heard of the concept of peeing anywhere but a potty, but he was willing to just go with the idea. So Uncle Mike showed him a spot. Then he proudly came to tell Daddy that he pooped. Oh yes, my son crapped like a dog in my sister's backyard. I'm laughing my butt off just typing that out.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Nathan's balancing act

This boy cracks me up that nothing seems to deter him from doing anything he wants.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Judgement day

I had to drive somewhere today so starting the new meds was put off until tomorrow morning. Prescriptions always say not to drive on them until you know how they affect you so I didn't want to start today.

So.....tomorrow is judgement day. A special shout out to Tammy for calming me down some about trying something new (yet again).

Prayer or cross your fingers or whatever it is you do, please.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

one or the other

Yesterday's appointment with the new psychiatrist was just so different that I don't even know how to take it. We were there an hour (not waiting, but with him, talking). He seemed to listen and asked lots of questions. I left there feeling very hopeful and then of course as time has passed, my negative side is creeping in. I've pretty much decided that he's either fantastic or a quack. I don't think there is any in between. So please pray he's on the fantastic end. He asked my family and I to look over a couple of medication options to try and to call him back with what I thought. I will hopefully be starting a new medication on Thursday. I'm nervous after the whole Abilify thing. (Can't remember if I blogged about that.) I just want this to work.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

That boy is his own tornado.

Today while I was in the bedroom trying to fold some laundry, Nathan decided to step away from his playtime with Carson and go make a huge mess. He got the huge bag of the guinea pigs bedding and the jumbo bag of timothy hay and spread it all over the floor in the living room, hallway, Carson's room and even Carson's bed. I vacuumed and vacuumed and finally the vacuum broke. It will no longer suck and just blows the stuff all over. So Greg has to take it apart and try to see if it's clogged somewhere or what. The carpet is only somewhat clean.
That boy is so in love with being messy.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Strawberry Peanut Butter M&M's

Seriously? Is anyone else disgusted at this candy idea?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Today is awful

I'm so depressed. This is ridiculous and I can't wait for this new doctor's appointment next Monday. Please God let him be able to help me. I am just getting worse and worse. On my 1-10 scale (5 being normal, 10 being crazy enough to think I could fly or something and 1 being suicidal thoughts), I'm a 1. Scaring myself and I shouldn't have let my mom leave today after their visit to see the boys.

Why can't I be on that other end, at least the 10 sounds kind of fun. (just kidding- sort of)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

He shouldn't have noticed

Carson just warmed my heart and made me sad at the same time with the same sentence.

"Mommy, I just saw your smile."

Should a barely 4 year old notice that his mommy smiled and now that it is a rare look?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

An example of my brain's babbling

I read an article today that listed 10 things to do in order to improve your sleep. I read these all the time and let me tell you, if you've read one, you've pretty much read them all.

Today's article listed one thing that I've read before, but that always makes me laugh.

'If your mind is racing, write down what's on your mind." Now, I'm assuming that this is supposed to mean that you write things down and then your mind lets you move on and forget about it so you can sleep.

Oh, thus one of the many screwy problems with my mind. This is another opportunity to explain the oddness that is my brain.

This does not work for me (and yes, I have tried). If something is on my mind and I write it down so I can get to bed, my mind does not 'let it go'. It doesn't have to be a worry. Most nights, I'm not really worried about anything. My mind simply wanders.

A little example of my brain's inner workings... say I am thinking about something funny that I saw on TV. It's stuck in my mind, so I get up and write it down, (like all the articles suggest). I crawl back into bed and get comfy and my mind then begins it ridiculous quest.
'Hmmm that was a yellow pen. I wonder where that came from. Why even make a yellow pen? It's hard to read. It is pretty though. I bet I got it in a set with some other colors that I wanted, or maybe it was left on my desk by a student and just became my pen. Remember when 'Johnny' was playing with that gold fish bottle opener/keyring during class and I took it and told him to get it at the end of the day and he never asked for it again and I found it in a bunch of my desk stuff a year later? Why do teens insist on having stuff if they don't even care when they lose it? Kids have too much stuff nowadays. My kids have too much stuff. I think I'll actually be happier when they are older and their stuff costs more, because at least then it's smaller and I won't need so much room to store all their toys and keep them organized. I wonder if Carson's hair will darken or if he'll still be blonde when he's older......

It goes on and on and on. My psych asked me once what I worry about at night. I told her it's not really worries, just weird thoughts and that for instance one night I was up forever trying to think how to spell a word (no I don't remember what word it was). She said, "you should have just gotten up and looked it up and then you could have gone to sleep". HAHA Obviously, she does not suffer from brain babble.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Smart Mouths

When I taught in South Carolina, the orchestra room was next door to my class (well sound-proofed, thank goodness). The orchestra teacher was a much older woman, very tiny and thin with gray hair. She looked like a sweet grandma, but she was darn crazy and hilarious. She was a hoot and her students new that if they worked hard that they could be silly at times and she was okay with that.
She split her days between the middle school and the high school, just like I did.
Well, the high school made a new rule and sent out a memo to the teachers asking them to announce it in all their classes.

The rule: You cannot say "crap" or "sucks" anymore. They were considered foul language.

She announced this to her class and one of her students yelled out, "This crap sucks!"

She replied with, "No, it's this shit blows!"

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Why teenagers are having sex and using drugs more now

Our anniversary was this weekend and my parents were sweet enough to keep the boys so we could have a date night. We decided to see a movie and have dinner out.

While at the theater, I realized why teenagers are using drugs and having sex more often. It's not because their bored. It's because they can't afford the movies!

Seriously, should it cost $40 for a couple to see a movie?

What high school student can afford to take their girlfriend out to a movie on the weekends or see a flick with their friends?

Friday, May 29, 2009

What the World Needs Now is Love

I do not understand the argument that allowing same-sex marriage cheapens/changes/diminishes the importance of traditional marriage. How? No one's marriage; no teenagers who are not even clear on the true meaning of love; No celebrity who is married every 4 months for only a week at a time; No polygamist marriage(s).... NO MARRIAGE diminishes the importance of my marriage to my husband. If you believe that your love, vows, unity, commitment, etc in your own traditional marriage is compromised by allowing same-sex couples to marry, please, please explain how. Explain to me why your feelings of love and commitment are changed by the actions of people outside of your union.

If you are using the name of God to protest equal rights for gay people, I have a question. This is not made to be insulting, just a question about how it's justified based on what I, as a Christian, was taught.

God made his children. We are all his children.
God is perfect. He does not make mistakes.
God gave us each natural feelings and emotions. He gave us sexual feelings as well. He gave us feelings of love beyond friendship.
God wants us to commit to the one we love and to be faithful to them.

So...how is God a reason to not allow two people who are his children, his perfect children, to love one another and commit to each other under the presence of God and family?


Before you tell me that being homosexual is a choice. Seriously? First get an education in biology.
Homosexuality is how a person is made, how God made them. Asking them to pretend they are not gay, is asking them to deny the person God made them to be. The person God choose for them to be.
There are many strong traditional families that have more than one homosexual child.
Get an education in common sense.
Explain to me why millions of people would choose to live a life loving someone they didn't really feel that kind of love towards. Why would they deny themselves basic civil rights? Why would they make their lives insanely difficult at many times? Answer: no one would.


Now comes the absurdity of those who argue that if we allow same-sex marriage, then we make it okay for children to be raised by homosexuals and that is dangerous for children. The ridiculous argument that children are harmed by being raised by a gay couple or will become gay only because they were raised by a gay couple makes me furious and hysterical with laughter at the same time.
Children need parents who love them, respect them, hold them, teach them, listen to them, feed them, and give them all the things they need. Many children are raised in 'untraditional' homes. Millions of children are raised in single parent homes, adoptive homes, foster homes, abusive homes of various kinds, homes with a mom and a dad who are in no way in love with one another, group homes, boxes on the street with no parents. There are not many of those homes that I would want my children going to if something happened to us.

I guess all in all, I don't understand the reason for hating anyone, spreading that hate, allowing your differing opinion to diminish the sanctity of your own union. I do not understand not wanting children to have homes where they are loved.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Now my other boy is getting big too fast too

On Saturday, Nathan turned 2 years old. How are my boys growing up so fast? Having their birthdays so close together makes it extra hard when I'm having those, 'they are growing up too fast' feelings.

Sweet little Nathan seemed to understand that it was a special day for him. We actually celebrated both the boys birthdays with family together so we had two cakes and two rounds of Happy Birthday.

They both loved opening their presents and tore right into them. One of the things I love about little kids is that they really appreciate their presents. They would tear into a gift and get so excited. They want it opened right then and there to play with. All the other gifts are left unwrapped while they enjoy the one they just opened. We have to remind them to stop and open something new.

When it was cake time, Nathan was bawling his eyes out. He did not like the fiery candles and so his cousin, Maeve, blew them out for him. When it was time to eat cake, he just picked at it mostly. He wasn't all that interested in it. Instead he enjoyed some of the fantastic blackberries and strawberries that Grandpa had brought him. Nothing could be a better dessert to Nathan than berries.

Grandpa made him a special kind of birthday 'cake'.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Raising him well

Well, Carson may be a pill sometimes, but overall, I'm so proud of how sweet and empathetic he is.
Yesterday, I could not stay awake. I literally slept all day long and when I would wake up, it wasn't for long and I was exhausted. About 5:30, I woke up (again) on the living room couch and was trying hard to stay awake. Carson had been outside with his daddy. He came in to use the potty and when he was done, he said, "Mommy do you want to go outside and sit in the green chair? I will help you walk out there."
He was so serious about being there to 'help' me. I said, "Okay sweetie."
When I stood up, he took my hand with both of his and said, "just walk slow and I'll help you so you don't fall." He held my hand the entire way through the house and outside. Greg looked confused as Carson helped me to the chair outside. I just smiled.
I'm not sure why he thought that I needed help walking, maybe because I was so tired all day I was stumbling everywhere I went, but could a child be sweeter?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

ME DO! ME DO!

Nathan has entered the 'do it himself stage'. It's actually been this way for a couple months. I love it most of the time because it's so adorable to watch him try and do things himself, but oh boy does it make trying to get ready for something quickly just impossible.
His other new independent demand is that he must be allowed to put on his brace by himself at naptime and bedtime. Of course for the sake of his foot, I can't allow this, so we have a compromise that as of now, he's willing to accept. He gets to put the insert and the pringle onto his foot and then I actually put his foot into his brace. Then I have to put the straps through the buckles and hold them tight while he pushes the velcro the rest of the way down.
If he finds his brace anywhere around the house he will spend forever sitting quietly and practicing putting it on himself. I must admit there have been times when he's driving me crazy so I give it to him just to keep him busy.
It's just funny to look back now and think about how worried I was that this would be so awful for him and make it so hard for him to sleep.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Jack In The Box is a bad influence! Please spread the word.




Greg took Friday off to have a special day with the boys at the Zoo Friends Day. He decided he wanted to make a whole special day of it.
He said he wanted to have breakfast at Jack in the Box before the zoo. (He really just wanted an excuse for their chicken biscuit.)
As we sat at the table eating our greasy breakfast, Carson says, "Jack isn't wearing a helmet on his motorcycle and that's against the law!" He had a very strong tone of disapproval in his voice.
I looked around to see what he was talking about and he pointed to a poster on the wall of Jack on a motor scooter driving in heavy traffic. He kept telling us that was 'bad' and 'against the law'.
I told him that later we could email Jack or call him and tell him. He was very interested in the idea of calling. So we called the 1-800 number from the restaurant and Carson informed the customer service rep of this unlawful and dangerous behavior Jack was involved in. The man seemed to be a bit confused as to why would we call with this comment, he obviously has no children.
So yet, it was a funny observation for my just turned 4 year old to make, but as I sat there thinking about it, I thought, shouldn't Jack be showing the kids the right thing to do? I mean shouldn't he be more concerned about his safety? He did just survive a horrible accident, coma, and attempted take-over. Did he not learn any lesson from this?
Jack, I am disappointed and I think you owe it to the public to begin an immediate PSA promoting the importance of helmet safety.

Friday, May 1, 2009

My boy is four!




Today is Carson's birthday. I know it's such a cliche, but I can't believe how fast time has gone. It just doesn't seem possible for him to be just a year away from kindergarten. He will start preschool in just a few months and I wonder what he will be like as a student.
I got a developmental email from babycenter today and it mentioned that 3 year olds are energetic and 4 year olds are the same, but with more self-control and a better understanding of the rules. REALLY? It seems like the last 2-3 weeks, Carson has been insane. He seems wilder than usual and just the loudest he can possibly be.
This year was the first year I've told him it was his birthday. Previously, I've just told him it was his birthday on the day we had his party so as not to confuse him. Well, he seems to understand the difference in his birthday and his party day, but he's not happy about it. He wants to know where his friends are and he wants to have his party and his presents and his balloons now. He has mentioned several times that he wants ALL his friends to come over today. This is funny since he really only has one friend and his two cousins.
I let him have a special day and choose lunch, which of course led us to McD's. Ugh. He loved it though because for some reason eating inside the McD's is just fantastic. He immediately announced it was his birthday to the cashier. The manager overheard and after he'd eaten his Happy Meal, she brought him a bunch of mini M&M's (I'm sure from making McFlurries). He was on cloud 9. I then took him to the grocery store and told him he could pick cupcakes or a little cake for dessert tonight. He got a chocolate cake with white icing and about 8 pounds of colorful frosting balloons. For dinner we went to Pizza Hut and yeah, Connie was their so we requested her section and ordered a $10 Panourmous. What a day full of about 1000 calories more than a child should ever consume.
I swore to myself that I would catch up on the scrapbooks before their birthdays, and yet Carson's 3rd year is barely started and Nathan is more behind. So much for self-promises.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

We're "Regulars"

My depression has been pretty bad lately and especially this week. I need to get out of the house and I also have very little desire to do anything or eat or much of any usual behaviors. So I've found that lunch out gets me out of the house, prompts me to eat, and also takes care of the so lazy that I might just give the boys junk for lunch.
Well, we tend to do the Pizza Hut buffet when we go to lunch. There aren't a lot of options in our town and I don't care for typical fast food places so that's a compromise that isn't too costly.
When we went today, we walked in and were greeted with a 'hello' and then an "I'll grab you a high chair". Then I hear the woman say, "Tell Connie her regulars are here and I'm putting them at their usual booth."
Our sweet waitress, a young girl named Connie, brings my boys their half glasses of water, my regular Pepsi, and the two small plastic cups for sauce that my boys like to use for dipping. She then proceeds to greet Carson and Nathan by name.
After I get the boys some pizza and sit down, Carson points to a group of Sheriffs deputies and says, "Hey my policemen are here again too." So at least we're not the only regulars around there.
While part of me knows that it means we are there WAY too often, it's also nice to be recognized and appreciated as a customer and have a part of my day where I feel relaxed and see smiles all around.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Okay, which organ are we supposed to take out?

In February of 2006 around 8 pm I started having horrible stomach pains and I felt like I had to throw up and also like I needed to poo. It got worse and worse to the point where I was up all night and crying and shaking and having difficulty even standing up. I was hot and vomiting. Finally after hours of this and a couple hours of telling Greg that we were not going to wake up Carson (who was not even a year old yet), I decided to drive myself to the local ER.
Dumb idea. I was driving there about 3am; crying, shaking, trying not to vomit in the car and truly believing there was a major problem. As I drove, I passed a police car and kept praying he would pull me over. I was in so much pain that I couldn't even think straight and figure out that I could just stop by the policeman and tell him I needed to go to the ER. I finally got to the hospital and parked in the regular parking area, not the ER pull-up. I tried to exit the car and fell to the ground. I could not get up, there was no one around, so I crawled through the snow (no hyperbole here folks) into the ER. The nurse made me sign in. Oh yes and the *itch even made me give her my insurance card and such before I was taken back to a room.
I was sitting on the bed and a very grouchy nurse came in to start an IV. I was sitting still and crying and just saying over and over, "it hurts, someone help me". I knew she was there, but when you're in pain sometimes repeating things over and over is a distraction. The nurse snapped at me and said, "I'm trying to help you!"
I called my parents who live about 30 or so minutes away because I was still not willing to let Greg wake up Carson and bring him to the ER. My parents arrived quickly and the hospital had still done nothing at this point except give me a mild pain medicine and fluids. I had not even see the doctor yet or even had someone so much as push on my belly.
Shortly after my parents arrived the doctor came in and said they were sending me for a CT scan. I had a regular CT scan of my abdominal area with no contrast or anything. No other tests were done. After this CT the doctor came in and informed us that the test was inconclusive. There was nothing on the test to explain the pain. He told my mother that when that happens it's appendicitis and that an infected appendix is usually inconclusive. He told my parents and I that my appendix had to be removed immediately and he'd already contacted the surgeon.
Now this town we live in is small, very small, still full of farm supply stores and the like. This is not much of a hospital and not affiliated with any other area hospitals or doctors. My mom was concerned and asked that I be transferred to another hospital. The doctor looked my mother in the eye and told her there was no time for that and I would likely die in transit.
So I was rushed to surgery in this little town before sunrise that Monday morning. After the surgery, I was admitted for observation. I was feeling all better and thought well, I it all worked out. The surgeon came in later that day and told me that my appendix was sent to pathology and they would contact me with the results, but that my appendix appeared normal and healthy.
????? I thought, I have no idea WTH that means, but figured, hell the pain was gone so woohoo I'm happy.

Almost exactly one month later, I was at work and the pain came back. I was alone in my classroom and I crawled on the floor to the door and asked a student in the hallway to help me to the office. The student got another teacher who helped me and another teacher drove me to my regular doctor. He immediately sent me for an u/s. Within just a couple minutes and a very cheap and simple ultrasound I was told I had a gallbladder that was stretched and completely full of small-medium sized gallstones. I was given some pain meds and had a surgery scheduled to remove the gallbladder a few days later.

So a few morals here:
*Don't ever drive yourself to the ER when you can barely stand
*Don't ever go to a hick town ER if you can at all help it
*Don't have your appendix removed without a complete battery of tests
*Make your doctor start with the simple tests first
and last, but not least
*Sometimes the prospect of 'dying in transit' is the better option. hehe

BTW- I did not have to pay anything for that 'appendix' trip after a couple of phone calls were made.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cute Question

Today at lunch Carson told me that milk comes from cows and then proceeded to ask, "What animal does water come from?"

'It comes from the ocean, lakes, rivers.'

"Who put it in there????"

"God"

"Well, that was silly of him."

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Kiss and Make-Up

After our Easter morning at home, I dressed the kids for Mimi and Grandpa's house and after I went to get myself presentable for the family holiday get together.
I got dressed, brushed my hair (though still it's usual pony tail), and put on make-up.
As I was making sure we hadn't forgotten anything, Greg put the boys into the car. I got into the car and Greg ran into the house for the one thing we'd forgotten. I turned around to tell Carson where his daddy had gone and he said, "Mommy, what's wrong with your eyes?" I was perplexed and looked into the rearview mirror. I didn't notice anything. I said, "What do you mean?" He replied, "What's wrong with them? Why are they like that?"
I realized that I was wearing make-up. Including eyeshadow. All for the benefit of my mother.
As you can surmise, make-up is a very rare thing for me. Almost as rare as my hair not being in a pony tail. I am the 'before' woman in the Suave "Motherhood isn't Always Beautiful" campaign.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Essence of Romance

What is romance? To me it's not flowers on Valentine's Day, that's a waste of money for roses that have been marked up extremely high just for this day.
It's not jewelry, any man and most men can go to the mall and pick out something shiny.

Now, if you love a Gerber Daisy and your man surprises you with one or several on a random day in September, that's romance. If he gets you a special jewel or setting that symbolizes something unique and meaningful, that's romance.

BUT, no man is as romantic as my man. He knows that romance is about doing something unexpected, unique, and truly meaningful. Something that says, 'I've listened to you. Watched you. Heard what you said. Saw what you need.'

The two most romantic things Greg (and any man I know) have ever done:

When we were early in our dating period, Greg surprised me with a little Easter basket. One of the items was a large bag of Starburst. I thought it was so sweet because I hadn't even remembered telling him they were my favorite candy. A little later we were on the couch and I opened the bag. I was very confused. They were all pink and orange. It took me a few seconds to realize that he must have done this. My sweet new beau had bought a few bags of Starburst, split a tiny hole in one and removed all of them. He then used all the bags to refill the one with only my two favorite flavors and carefully glued the bag back together so I would never notice.

Most likely none of you will understand why this next gesture was so special, but here goes. When we lived in SC I was incredibly ill from allergies. I had lived months with sinus infections and respitory infections. I was on meds, an inhaler, shots, and kept humidifiers with Vicks in my classroom and home. My allergist finally told us to move. One night I was crying, coughing, and wheezing. I couldn't find Kleenex in the room I was in and had to go to the other room to get some. I made a comment about needing Kleenex in every room of the house. I came home from work the following day to find boxes of Kleenex everywhere in our tiny apartment. There must have been at least 30.

Brag on your special guy or gal. What have they done special for you?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

It's an Easter Miracle, Charlie Brown!

Oh, please Lord, hear my prayer on Easter and let this not be a one time for the next few months thing....

Carson pooped in the potty at my parents today. This potty-training pooping thing is really wearing me down. He was such a mess today trying to hold it all in and it's been days since he's gone so I made him sit in the upstairs bathroom until he went. We read books over and over and he tried a few times to get up and squeeze his cheeks, but I stuck to my rule and he eventually went. Of course then he was all happy and felt better, but I am not holding my breath that this is the end of the struggle. I am however praying and praying.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

How do I accept this? Please give advice.

I knew the day would come. I know that I have to find a way to work through it, but it's so hard for me to see Carson exposed to stuff I don't want him to be exposed to.

We have neighbors up the street who have a child just a few days younger than Carson. They are the only neighbors we know with a child his age and his mother and I enjoy chatting together while the kids are playing.

They usually come down to our house, but the last couple times, she's invited us to come visit them and once even kept Carson for me for a few hours. It's difficult for me though because they have a very different type of household. I think overall, our parenting styles are not that different. To the best of my knowledge, they do not use corporal punishment, I've see her implement time-outs effectively and appropriately, they eat healthy (even better than we do), and she praises their achievements and believes their educations are important.

However, we don't allow weapons as toys. No guns, swords, pretending to be a power ranger, etc. My boys were NEVER even aware of those things until being around their son. (We'll call me Johnny). Almost everything Johnny plays is a gun, sword, light saber, etc. That's when he is playing. He wants to spend the entire time playing video games. Now Carson has a V-Smile that he plays about once every couple months for about 30 minutes. He really has no interest and never asks. Johnny however has a Nintendo Wii (which I've not seen him play), an XBox, and a Playstation. He plays very (to me) violent games where skeletons attack the guy and he cuts them open with swords, people kick the crap out of each other, people shoot bad guys, etc. Even when his mom tells him to turn it off, then he just talks constantly about it. Carson will even ask him to play something with him and Johnny will just say, I don't want to. "I want to play my game." and then pout b/c his mom says no or talk about it and act out the shooting or kicking.

I want Carson to have friends and I love that they are so close and the same age and that I enjoy talking to his mother. His mom also has depression as well and so we've been able to be so open with each other and can call one another when we are having bad days.

I am having the hardest time though with Carson talking about these things or wanting to have those kinds of toys. I don't like know that he wants to kick at stuff or pretend he has a sword that he's cutting his brother in half with. When we stop him and talk to him about it, he stops, but it's a conversation every time we've played with this child. Carson understands that Johnny's house has different rules about what's okay than our house, but now Carson says he wants to go there so he can watch Johnny play those games or so he can play guns.

How as a mother do I deal with this? How as a mother do I accept that I can't control everything he will be exposed to in this world?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Learning to Read

Carson is doing so well with his pre-reading skills. He knows his basic letter phonics and he's started putting some words together and sounding them out. When I give him a word he can tell me what it starts with and he loves to say words and then tell me what they start with and sometimes what they end with.

Yesterday he started sounding out some words: 'at' words, 'ad' words, and some others. He loves to show off what he knows.

Unfortunately he still has NO interest what so ever in coloring, drawing, chalking, etc so he can't write a single letter or so much as draw a decent looking circle.

Well, get there I'm sure, but I've just never known a child that doesn't want to draw and color. We have about every writing instrument available for him, but no interest.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Getting to Know Me (then 6 of you)

My sister tagged me on her blog a couple weeks ago in this random little game. I am supposed to share with you all six random things about myself and then tag six others to do the same. So here goes:

1) I check my blog a couple times each day hoping to see comments.

2) I pick up accents way to easily. I pick them up well and deeply. When I moved to SC, I did some student teaching in a small, very rural, area in the mountains and my accent became so thick that my own sister and parents could often not understand what I was saying. Looking back at video of myself at that school, I can't understand much of what I'm saying either, but those kids sure could. It's all fine and good in a situation like that, but if I'm speaking to a person say with a thick British accent, I will have to be very careful to not use that accent during our conversation. It has happened to me a time or two and is quite embarrassing because it seems as if I'm suddenly making fun of them which is not at all my intent.

3) I once dated a guy who lived in a very, very small MO town. When I went to his town for the first time, an older man approached us and Brian (my boyfriend at the time) introduced to me the man as, "This is Mr. Smith. He's the mayor, the chief of police, and my history teacher." Prior to that day, I did not know you could hold all those titles at once.

4) I MUST have weight on me when I sleep. If I could afford a weighted blanket I would without a doubt own one. I instead have an ancient sleeping bag from back in the day when they weighed a ton. The sleeping bag is about 10 pounds and I use it along with a few other blankets. Weight is the only thing that calms me when I'm anxious as well. (No I do not have Asperger's, but I understand my autistic students need for that pressure)

5) I once (actually 2x I think) drank green dyed grain alcohol from an old bathtub while being hung upside down by my ankles.

6) I have never smoked a cigarette in my entire life or even held one and never done any drugs.

So now to tag six others:
Erica
Heidi
Jenn (b/c you need to blog more)
Blythe
David
Monkey's Momma

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Kreative Blogger- thanks Kim


I got my first blog award. Thank you Kim at Stuck in the Suburbs. I found her blog through my sister at Maeve's Mom. If you enjoy funny stories of life and family those are two blogs to definitely check out.

The rules of the award are to list seven things that I love and to pass this award on to seven bloggers that I love. So here goes:

1) I love the cake donuts at ALDI. Oh yes, only the ALDI ones are worthy of my calorie intake. Once I tasted them, I was hooked and will probably put on a pound with each trip to ALDI that I make. (I am eating a powdered one now.)

2) Seeing kids play with bubbles. I am just fascinated with how something so simple can bring so much joy. I wish I could be that easily entertained over and over, day after day. It gives me such a warm, fuzzy feeling to watch my children and any child dance around and chase bubbles.

3) Coke from McDonalds. They put crack in their soda, I'm sure of it. I only buy caffeine free Coke for home so when I'm out and about, I just must stop for a HUGO Coke.

4) Seeing Nathan run for dirt and mud. Carson is not what one would call 'all boy'. Nathan is without a doubt 'all boy'. I love that every time we get him out of the car or go outside the garage to get into the car, that boy just runs for the dirt, mud, mulch. He rolls in it, eats it, shovels it... If you want to get him anywhere quickly or into the house quickly, you better carry him while he's kicking and screaming for dirt.

5) The water. I love to be in the water. Especially a creek or river. I could float around all day. I think they should make some sort of head device that would keep me from drowning so I could sleep every night in the bath tub.

6) Giraffes. Yes, weird thing to love, but I do. A kind of jerky man I once taught with asked me why a giraffe was my favorite animal. I know he was expecting the typical, "they are just cute" response. Nope, that's not it. Lots of animals are cute, cool, pretty, etc. A giraffe is my favorite animal because while I am not extremely religious, I see a giraffe and I immediately think of how God graced this earth which such beautiful things. Why a giraffe? Why something so odd, so different, so large? God could have simply made the trees shorter so they wouldn't need that neck or the trees less thorny so they didn't need those crazy long tongues. God made them simply to be beautiful and spice up the world.

7) My August Angel friends. I am part of an amazing board of women who all miscarried or lost their baby in August of 2006. We are still together every day online. Everyday there are pages of our daily events, appointments, kids stories, pregnancy stories and husband gripes to read. I've met several of the girls and I feel extremely close to them all. I was the first of our group to have a successful pregnancy after that August and for those who've read my beginning blog posts, it was successful, but far from easy. Those girls were such a support even though I'd only had a few computer interactions for less than two months. They sent flowers, gift cards, projects to keep Carson busy, called me, sent cards, and did not judge me when things were so rough after Nathan was born despite the fact that many of them were still fighting hard to have a child. I love you girls.

Wow. That was a little long. Sorry. If you made it through all that, I'm impressed.

Now, I pass this award on to 7 others:
Discovery Channel Won't Give Me My Own Parenting Show This blog is one of my all time favorites and I think is quite undiscovered. You must spend some time reading some of his posts. He's a fabulous writer. I am unsure if he reads my blog and I'm not sure if so that he's been reading much of anything recently. He and his wife just had their third baby girl and he's a very busy man who's also sleep deprived. You really must check his blog out.

Of course to sweet Heidi at Thinking Miracles. She's been trying so long to have a baby she can hold in her arms and bring home and has suffered such loss. Yet, Heidi is an amazing woman who remains a friend and gives her love and time to everyone.

To my goofball of a husband at Internet Corn. If you enjoy sarcasm and goofiness this is the blog for you.

Erica because I love to see her pictures and I'm really hoping that this will get her blogging more often.

Monkey's Momma - I love to check out her blog. She has awesome giveaways and those are like a bonus. Her writing is enjoyable and I like that I never know what I'm going to get. Sometimes it's a news story, sometimes an opinion, and sometimes a personal story or daily event.

Parenting isn't for Pansies - She is going through a clubfoot journey with the same doctor that Nathan sees. Her journey has unfortunately not be so simple as ours, but she does her best each day to put her faith in God and enjoy her life.

Useless Knowledge - I like useless knowledge and read several books full of it. One day I believe it will come in handy.

I of course would include my sister's blog, but Kim passed the award to her as well.

Monday, March 23, 2009

HELP I really need to know the answer!

I've been having back pain and these episodes where the pain becomes so severe in my back and stomach that I literally fall on the floor and am in awful pain. This lasts a few minutes and then stops. So I saw the doctor on Friday and he is sending me to a urologist to check for kidney stones and such.
I called to make an appointment to see the urologist. I was on hold while they were dealing with something else going on in the office. As I was waiting I began to wonder...what makes a doctor choose this specialty? I can understand the fascination with the brain, heart, or obstetrics, but what makes a doctor decide that urine is what they want to surround their days?
This is really making me curious now. Curious enough that I'll probably end up asking the doctor. I'm sure he won't appreciate my question, but I must know.

So if you are a urologist, married to one, family to one, or simply know the answer to this question; don't be shy. This is a must know for me.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

And that's what register means

Last Tuesday I loaded up the boys in the car for a quick errand. Carson of course wanted to know where we were going. I told him that we were going to go and register him for preschool. He asked, "What does register mean?" I explained that we were going to tell the people who work there what his name was and where he lived so they would save him a chair for school.

We walked down the hall and I told Carson that we needed to go into that room and pointed to the office. He walked in a few steps ahead of me. The two women in the office said 'hello' and Carson replied with, "Hello, my name is Carson and my letters are C-A-R-S-O-N. I live at 123 Blue Jay Road Paris Misery (yes no many how many times he hears the correct pronunciation he pronounces MO that way)."

The director said, 'Okay, what can I do for you?" Then looked at me a little confused and I explained that he was there to register for preschool. They were impressed with my little man and so was I.

Of course the address provided is not our real address; in case you couldn't figure that out.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I hate my body and it's not because I'm fat

Today was Greg's vasectomy. We had talked about it a lot since Nathan was born. It was something we put off for a long time because I have the Mirena and we'd also discussed my having my tubes tied some. Suddenly (at least if felt that way to me), just a week or two ago, Greg said he needed to find a urologist and get a vasectomy scheduled. Monday he made an appointment to go Wednesday for a consult. After that he had the vasectomy scheduled for just two days later.
I was required to go with him because this doctor gives a shot of Valium before the procedure and they have to have a driver in the office before they will do the procedure. No one was able to watch the boys today so we were all there. After Greg was called back into the office, the boys and I went out into the foyer outside the office so they could run around some and not bother others in the waiting room. There was a large area and a bench for me to sit on with the elevators just across from the bench.
The elevator doors opened and a woman and her husband came out. She was literally bouncing and said, 'come on, come on, I'm so excited". She went down the opposite hallway and disappeared. I didn't give it another thought. Later, as the boys and I continued to wait for Greg, she came skipping (again literally, like a school girl) back toward us with her husband a few steps behind looking kind of out of it. She had papers in her hand and as she pushed the elevator button I saw she had ultrasound photos. I said, "are you pregnant?" She beamed back and squealed, "yes and we just found out we're having twins". She proudly showed me her pictures and I gave her my congratulations. As they entered the elevator, I really wanted to run into the office after Greg. I sat there trying to hold back tears.
As my eyes welled up and a few tears fell down my cheeks, the nurse came into the foyer and told me Greg was finished and asked if I would come back to hear the after care instructions. I kept my head down until she turned her back to lead us and then I wiped my tears and followed quietly.
The entire way home, Greg was a goofy Valium mess. It was funny, I must say, but it was hard to just keep smiling even with his hilarious jokes and non-stop childish behavior.
I hate my body. I hate it.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Mom Jeans



Oh yes ladies, you've all see them. You've all thought, 'why would anyone wear these things.' Well, I'm beginning to wonder if this style needs a come back. I was at an event for preschoolers and parents last week. It was a great event. Parents and kids were at tables and on the floor becoming an enormous mess of stamps, paint, glitter, dirt, flour and about any other substance known to stain clothes. I really enjoyed being down on the floor with my boys and watching them cover themselves in gunk. I could see the enjoyment of other moms and dads with their kids as well. I could also see the cracks of many mommies. With the rise in the popularity of low rise jeans and low rise undies even, these kinds of events are full of so much crack that the police should be monitoring for drug dealers. I don't claim not to ever show my undies or crack. I'm sure I unknowingly do as I'm not a fan of Mom Jeans either. I do wonder though if Mom Jeans become more popular as people get older not because older people tend not to keep up with the latest styles, but more because their children get older and start to voice their embarrassment of all their friends singing "I See London" to their mom at school events.

Friday, March 6, 2009

A great day outdoors again.

Today we went to my parents' house to help them move some furniture. While Carson and I were outside enjoying the weather, the new neighbors' daughter came over. I'd guess her abou 14. She was immediately chatty and talking with Carson. Her sister and another older boy were riding bikes. Carson wanted to go watch them on the sidewalk. She went with him and they played catch for the longest time. Carson was running and laughing and just in love with the fun of his new 'friend'. I loved to see it. It broke my heart again though to see how happy I know he'd be at a preschool. Later Nathan woke up from his nap and he and I both went over by them and the two girls that are close in age to Carson and Nathan came outside. This teenage girl was playing with them all. Nathan wouldn't leave my lap, but she was still playing with him and actually got him talking and eventually he even held her hand and went for a walk without me. We went in their backyard and played on the swingset my boys were in love with the day and both cried and cried when we finally went in at 6:15 after the mosquitoes were biting. This girl was a sweetheart and so great with kids. I wish she lived nearby us and I'm sure the boys do too! (Especially Carson with his love of older women.)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Heartbreaking Beautiful Day Outdoors

Oh, time outside was a blessing, but heartbreaking. My son is just dying to play with the bigger boys across the street. They were outside playing baseball today and Carson was just in tears that he wanted to go across the street. I told him that he was not allowed to cross the street by himself and we were not invited to come over there. The oldest boy heard Carson crying and started hitting the balls across the street and letting Carson throw them back. His younger brother would take turns with Carson 'catching' the ball and throwing it back. After they went inside, Carson was so heartbroken and wanted to go to their house. Then he saw bigger kids riding their bikes down the street and started crying that he wanted his bike (Diego tricycle). Everytime he would see another kid (all much older) he'd beg to go with them even though he doesn't know them. He kept saying, "but I'll look both ways. I'll stop, look, and listen." I was truly about in tears to see him want others to play with. We don't have neighbors his age, don't know many people here at all, and can't afford preschool. It's just sad to see him feeling lonely. I know how bad lonely can hurt.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Shark Bites the Big One

I was looking for a nice, quick, way to clean the kitchen floor now that Nathan has decided to be a messy eater. I can't stand the swiffer wet jet. I just don't think it cleans much. I hate dragging out a mop bucket because that's a lot of work with the kids around.

So I went to Walmart yesterday and bought the Shark Steam Mop. I read a lot of mixed reviews. Some that it was the greatest thing ever and others saying it's total crap. Well, I go with the low end crowd. I give it 2 stars.

While it is easy to get out and fill up and it leaves the floor dry and unsticky, it doesn't live up to it's promises.

I had several spots that I went over and over again and they were still sticky and I ended up wiping it up with a cloth. These were things like yogurt from breakfast (I used it about 10 this morning and breakfast was about 7), syrup drops, something sticky behind the trash can, and a splotch of dried dishwasher soap that I assume got onto the floor last night. I'm sorry, but those things should have been able to come up quickly based on its claims.

Second biggest issue is that thing is HARD to push. It doesn't slide along the floor easily. It takes a really good push and I was getting worn out. It took a long time with going over spots several times, and pushing it all around so hard and slowly. It would have been less work and I'm sure only a few more minutes to get out the mop and bucket. I can live with a floor that needs to dry.

I'm extremely disappointed. I was really hoping for a wonder product. Don't waste your money unless your floor is rarely dirty, you don't have toddlers, and you have a strong arm and shoulder.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Do as I say, not as I do

Today Nathan had a check-up with Dr. Dobbs. He had to have an x-ray of his legs and feet before his exam. It was very simple. He needed to stand on a box while the 'camera' took the photo from a few feet away. However, Nathan was screaming his head off the whole time (though he did keep his legs still while grasping my shirt). I was given a lead vest to wear, and the x-ray tech took Carson with him into the room where they push the button to keep him away from the x-rays. Carson was back in the room screaming, "Nathan, it's okay. It's only a picture. Say cheese!"

After the x-ray, the orthopedist needed to make molds of Nathan's feet and legs to make him a new brace for his quickly growing feet. Nathan immediately started screaming when we sat him on the table. Normally he's calm for all this, but I guess today's appointment at naptime was not a good moment for him. As he was on the table and Dr. Dave was wrapping the plaster cast, Carson was asking him every question he could think of about the process. Here's a little of their conversation: (btw- this has nothing to do with the post topic, it's just cute to me when preschoolers are inquisitive.)

"What is that?"
"It's plaster."
"What's that pink bucket for?"
"I'm going to fill it with water so I can get the plaster wet."
"Why would you want to get it wet?"
"So I can put it on your brother's leg and make a mold."
"What's a mold?"
"I'll show you when I'm done."
"Okay, Now what are you doing?"
"I'm putting the plaster on his foot."
"What's plaster?"
"It's kind of like mud."
"What's mud?"
"Wet dirt."
"Why are you putting mud on my baby's leg?"
"To make a mold so I can make him new shoes."
"What's a mold."
"I'll show you when I'm done."

This conversation (and much which I omitted) was taking place while Nathan was screaming his head off.

After the partially dried plaster mold was removed, he immediately, and I mean immediately shuts off all the tears and screams. Dr. Dave washed off his legs and as I was putting his pants back on, Carson said, in a very motherly voice, "That was not bad at all. It was just mud, you like mud. It didn't hurt so we don't need to cry like that next time, okay Nathan?" He even had my hand gestures mimicked as he said it. The irony of it is that Carson is the kid at the ped's office that is literally dragging his feet and he's the kid at the JCPenney Portrait Studio crying and running out of the room.

On the way home, we stopped for haircuts. Nathan went first and he started screaming the moment he sat in the chair. The time before, he sat there on his own and giggled when the clippers tickled his neck. He screamed and screamed this time and didn't even want the sucker they gave him. During all this, Carson was at his feet telling him, "It's just a haircut. It doesn't hurt. It's with the tickler thing, that's all."

When Nathan's cut was complete, it was Carson's turn. I told him to climb in the chair and he starts off running and crying that he doesn't want to do it.

Insert video of me rolling my eyes here.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Funny Phrases

Kids say things that are so darn cute.

Carson just came up and said to me, "Guess what Mommy? I peed in the potty! Know how I did it?"

I said, "Did you stand up?"

Carson said, "Wait, umm, ask me if I was sitting down first."

I asked if he was sitting down and he says, "No, I stood up!"

Adorable. The funniest thing is he's been accident free for 4 days and in underwear. He's been standing to pee every time for the last three days, but it's still such a big deal to him. He also tells me before his naps that "when Daddy comes home he's going to be SO proud."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Courage Campaign

My sister posted this on her blog and I want to be sure to spread the message and ask that everyone view this video of love and family commitment. Too often the true sanctity of marriage: to love and honor, is broken. Why would anyone want to force someone to divorce? Why would we ever encourage breaking of homes and families that are strong and loving?

Please view this video and give your support.
Fidelity Video

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Seriously Worth Watching

This is adorable. There are a couple really odd parts that make you wonder what kind of life does this kid have?

Kittens Inspired by Kittens







What's with the bow-chicka-bow-wow, porn music?

What's with the 'not my mom' part?

Monday, February 9, 2009

But Butter Goes On Bread

Today the boys and I went to the store to get Nathan diapers and some milk. We walked around the store and found a magnifying glass in the toy department. Carson has been asking for a magnifying glass since last fall and I hadn't found one until today, so I let him get one. On the way home, he started whining and said his finger was stuck. I stop to see and he had put his finger into the hole on the handle that is used for hanging it up. I tried to get his finger out and it was stuck! He started to cry and I told him it was okay and that when we got home, I would put soap or butter on it and it would come off. (I was hoping anyway) He started laughing and said, "but butter goes on bread". I explained how it was slippery and would help get his finger out. He thought that was pretty funny and was calm the rest of the drive home. When we got home, he went to the fridge and got out the butter. I went to get the camera, because I didn't want to miss this Kodak moment. I came back and started to take a picture and he pulled it right off. I said, "oh you got it. Let's put the butter away." Oh, he got very upset and started to cry. "But, I want to put butter on it. Please, can we put butter on it?" Then he spent about 5 minutes trying to get it stuck back on his finger, but he did not succeed. Boys are weird. Preschoolers are weird. Preschool boys are just plain goofballs.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Holy Piss!

Thank goodness! The boy peed in the potty today! Actually peed, not dripped! I have been waiting for something for so long. Okay so it was once and only once, but hey it's a start. He actually asked if he could try and went and undressed and sat in there alone while Nathan got dressed and he was so proud to announce that he'd done it. There were enormous hugs and kisses and he can't wait to tell Daddy this evening. So wish us luck that it wasn't a fluke.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

He ruined it for everybody else!

Carson always wants to go out to eat. Of course because of money reasons, we haven't been to a restaurant for a long time. He usually asks my mom to take him out when he's over there and even names off restaurants he wants to go to.
Monday she kept them while I was at a doctor's appointment. When I went to pick them up, I was planning to take them home for lunch right away. My mom told Carson and I that after her appraiser left, she would take us out and buy us lunch. Wahoo! I was SO super excited. A meal out sounded fantastic and I was hoping Carson would choose Red Robin (one of his favorites), but I'd have been thrilled no matter where it had been.
So the appraiser left and my mom asked Carson what he wanted to have for lunch. His answer...dinosaur chicken nuggets. She asked him if he was sure. Did he want to go get something. No just dinosaur chicken nuggets from his Mimi's fridge. Ugh! You've got to be kidding me.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Nathan's Clubfoot



When I was pregnant with Nathan I was sent for a Level 2 U/S at 20 weeks. At that U/S the tech was very nice, but very business like. She never mentioned anything good or bad about what she was seeing. That is their job: they are not supposed to say the good stuff or else when they are quiet a nervous mother will assume the worst. I'd had 11 U/S prior to this one so I was calm and just considered it routine. She left the room and said that she was going to look at the images and be sure that she had everything she needed. She then came back and said, “This is not something I really do, but the doctor that is on staff today was called away for an emergency c-section.” Now I was a nervous. I had driven to this appointment on my own and was all alone. She then said to me, “The left foot appears to be clubbed.” I was crying at this point. All I knew of clubfoot are the images shown on Save the Children commercials and others like it. She was very calming and told me that a report would be sent to my OB, and that I needed to reschedule for another U/S in one month. I left that appointment in a crying daze. I was bawling on the way home and scared about what was in store for my poor little baby. I blamed myself for being so sick, for the medications I had to take, for everything that was going wrong with my pregnancy.

After calming down and finding horrible photos on the internet, I found a non-surgical procedure to correct his foot. It's called the Ponseti Method, named for Ignacio Ponseti who developed this amazing procedure. I began to research it more and look for a Ponseti certified doctor with a great reputation. I found that one of the best, Dr. Dobbs, worked right here at St. Louis Children's Hospital (as well as Shriner's). I set up an appointment with him before Nathan was born. I met him and his nurse Kristina and loved them both. I was teary for that appointment and they were so reassuring that he would never be in pain. I did not want him to have surgery. Surgery would mean that he would most likely have pain as he grew older, a foot that did not look 'normal', and more surgeries as he grew, not to mention the fear of the complications of any surgery.

When he was born we called to schedule an appointment. He was 8 weeks when he began treatment because he was small and Dr. Dobbs likes to wait until a baby is 7 pounds. He got his first cast and didn't cry during the procedure. He did not like the removal the following week, but the warm cast being applied was quite calming to him. He needed 5 casts (a new one each week. Each new cast his foot was moved a tiny bit more into the correct position. He had a tenotomy which is a very small poke of the heal tendon to loosen his ankle and he didn't cry, just sucked his bottle. Then his last cast (#5) was applied.



After he was done with his casts he was given a brace to wear for 23 hours a day. Eventually this wear time was decreased and he now only wears it when he is sleeping. He doesn't mind getting it on at all and actually does not like to sleep without if we are away and don't have it with us. The brace is a new version of the original brace used in the Ponseti Method. Dr. Dobbs created a brace that allows the baby to move their feet independently. Prior to his brace, the only brace used was a solid bar connected to 2 shoes. The child could move their feet together up and down and bent and straight, but not kick them one at a time. With the Dobbs brace, Nathan could move freely like other babies and keep his leg muscles strong and stretched while wearing it. It was very easy for him to move around and in no way restricted his development. He crawled and pulled up and cruised as early or earlier than the typical age for any baby.



His foot is as perfect as any and matches his right foot in size and shape. No one would ever know that he was born with a clubfoot and he will be able to run, jump, and play sports. He'll be wearing the brace when he's sleeping until he's 4 or 5 and my only concern is how he will sleep the first couple nights after he's not using it anymore.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hey Baby, What's Your Sign?

Today Nathan decided he would go into Carson's room and throw all the books from his shelf onto the floor. By throw, I don't mean drop, I mean sling around the room. This has happened before, but not for awhile. Greg told him to pick them up and put them back on the shelf. He responded with the ever so popular toddler, "NO" and his little 'you know I'm super cute' smirk. Greg put him into time-out which lasted quite awhile before he calmed down. He eventually said he was sorry and Greg went back to Carson's room with him and told him to pick up the books only to get the same response. This of course meant another long time-out, the eventual 'sorry' and the cycled continued. After four time-outs he finally began to slowly pick up the books and stack them back onto the shelf. It was time for nap then and after the boys were tucked into their beds Greg came into the living room and said to me, "that boy is SO bull headed!" Well, of course I had to have two May boys born under the sign of Taurus. Why must that boy give credence to astrology?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Polly want a cracker?

I know, I know, it's normal for his age, but oh my it makes me nutty sometimes...Carson loves to repeat things. If he sees a video or reads a story or sees a commercial than he's running around the house for weeks reciting the lines. Oh, I'm so tired of hearing "Nationwide is on your side", "To infinity and beyond!", and "Spiderman" complete with sound effects and pretend web tossing. That one is the oddest since he's never seen a spider man video or cartoon. Oh the things they pick up (sigh).
Yesterday I was so excited for lunch time because I figured at least he'd have his mouth full some of the time and he knows it's against the rules to be loud at the table and scream out those type of lines. He ate all his lunch and then asked for crackers; round ones specifically. He always wants crackers and would eat nothing else if allowed. After I informed him the round ones were all gone and his choice was square or rectangles, I realized he's like a parrot. He repeats everything he hears, most of what we say to him, and he loves crackers.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Payback is a *itch

Carson was such a mess yesterday. He was pushing every button he could on both Nathan and me. I was at my wits end and then he shoved Nathan who was quietly playing with a puzzle and grabbed the alligator shaped piece from his hand. I was telling Carson to "Come here right now!" and he ran from me. Nathan chased him and when Nathan grabbed for the piece, Carson grabbed his wrist hard and grunted/yelled at him. I got up and took the piece from Carson and handed it to Nathan. Carson was then put in time out. I sat back onto the couch just as Nathan headed for Carson with the puzzle piece.

Now Nathan often feels badly when Carson's in time out and tries to sit with him and comfort him.

This time was not for comfort...he walked over to Carson's time out spot and whacked him right in the mouth with the wooden alligator. Now of course this sent Nathan to time out as well, but it also sent me to the kitchen covering my mouth trying not to laugh while getting a wet rag to clean Carson's blood covered hands and face.

It was wrong. Very wrong. We do not at all condone hitting in our home, but I couldn't help thinking it was a bit deserved.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Received this and it''s too true not to share.

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from
birth to 18 and came up with $160,140.00 for a middle income family.
Talk about price shock! That doesn't even touch college tuition.


But $160,140.00 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates into:

* $8,896.66 a year,
* $741.38 a month, or
* $171.08 a week.
* That's a mere $24.24 a day!
* Just over a dollar an hour.

Still, you might think the best financial advice is don't have children
if you want to be 'rich.' Actually, it is just the opposite.
What do you get for your $160,140.00?

* Naming rights. First, middle, and last!
* Glimpses of God every day.
* Giggles under the covers every night.
* More love than your heart can hold.
* Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
* Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.
* A hand to hold, usually covered with jelly or chocolate.
* A partner for blowing bubbles and flying kites.
* Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said
or how your stocks performed that day.


For $160,140.00, you never have to grow up. You get to:
* finger-paint,
* carve pumpkins,
* play hide-and-seek,
* catch lightning bugs, and
* never stop believing in Santa Claus.

You have an excuse to:
* keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh,
* watch Saturday morning cartoons,
* go to Disney movies, and
* wish on stars.
* You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator
magnets and collect! spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand
prints set in clay for Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters
for Father's Day.

For a mere $24.24 a day, there is no greater bang for your buck. You
get to be a hero just for:

* retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof,
* taking the training wheels off a bike,
* removing a splinter,
* filling a wading pool,
* coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and coaching a baseball team
that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.


You get a front row seat in history to witness the:
* first step,
* first word,
* first bra,
* first date, and
* first time behind the wheel.

You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family
tree, and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called
grandchildren and great grandchildren. You get an education in
psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human
sexuality that no college can match.

In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God. You have all
the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed,
patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and
love them without limits, so one day they will, like you, love without
counting the cost. That is quite a deal for the price!!!!!!

The Things They Learn

Yesterday at lunch time Carson said to me, "I use my front incisors to bite my pizza, Mommy". I just love the funny things they learn.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Economy Has Hit Us Now.

Well, we've finally been affected in a way that really hurts. Greg's whole plant is going to only 4 day weeks starting this week. So we can not pay our bills with that. We were living on his check barely before and were stealing from our savings some too. I'm scared. I'm crying and anxious. We're figuring things out right now. After my next psych appointment, I'm hoping I won't need to go back for awhile and that I can find a job to make a little extra money too.

I hate the idea of getting a job at night b/c it not only means that we will pretty much never be together as a family, but that I'll be up late and then the whole taking my Ambien and getting more sleep to help with my anxiety and depression won't be an option. I know that I will not find a job in this little town during the day that will pay for 2 children to go to daycare so I have to find something that allows me to still be home during the day with them.

I just hope that Obama's ready to hit the ground running and has some good ideas to help out quickly while he works on something more long term. Please let tomorrow be the start of something good. Because truth is, I'm scared. I'm trying to smile and tell myself that we'll get through this and won't lose the house or not be able to pay the countless medical bills that I seem to accumulate, but I'm not really convincing myself. Let tomorrow fill me with the hope it seems to be flooding into the hearts of so many Americans.