Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A recap of the last full week of April.

I've noticed a trend on my calendar. Apparently, I schedule as much as possible into a week rather than spreading things out. I don't intend to do this. In fact, I'd rather spread my activities out a little because I've become a serious homebody, but somehow it keeps happening.

As an example I give you last week.

Monday: Dermatologist appointment. I had a bump on my left calf that seriously got in the way of shaving. My doctor said it wasn't anything to be concerned about but it was a nuisance. So I had it removed. That's a nice way of saying SHE CUT A BIG OL' PLUG OUT OF MY LEG! The bump was slightly larger than a pencil eraser and perfectly round. Apparently it had roots cause by the time she was finished I had about 10 stitches in an incision over an inch long! I knew there would be stitches. I knew there will be a scar. I didn't realize it would be so large. It addition to being large, it hurt when the shot wore off! So I mostly sat around the rest of Monday and Tuesday. Not good. I had plans that did not include sitting around.

Wednesday: Obstetrician appointment. Also known as, A Big Fat Waste of Time. I remember being so excited about every OB appointment with my first two children. I was even OK with them for the third. Now, it is an annoyance. I got to drive 15 minutes, sit in the waiting room for 5 minutes, pee in a cup, have my blood pressure and weight checked and then wait in the exam room for 10 minutes. The doctor introduced herself (remember I've changed groups), used the doppler to hear the baby's heartbeat (which is the ONLY reason I go), and I was on my merry way home. BORING. Next month will be more exciting. I'll be having the regular mid-way ultrasound done. All the kids will go with us. Ellie won't understand but I think Will is old enough he may remember it when he's grown. = ) In case you are wondering, we will be finding out the boy/girl answer. I'm not sure yet if we are going to tell anyone. ; ) Yes, I know that's wrong and it's purely to aggravate those folks who refuse to find out what there babies are but always want to know mine. I'm mean like that sometimes.

Thursday: I spent the day cleaning house and washing all the laundry I was behind on. I had a ladies Bible study that night but had already decided I would not have enough energy to go. I was very right!

Friday: Our friend, Mike, flew in from Kentucky for his grandmother's 90th birthday party. His parents live around the corner from us and already had a house full so he asked to stay with us. We kindly allowed him the use of our extremely lumpy futon and cold basement. Joel enjoyed hanging out with his friend all weekend. My guys were very taken with "Mr. Mike," who showed great patience with all of Will's questions and conversation.

Saturday afternoon: I attended/co-hosted a wedding shower for 3 young ladies in my church. I ate a ton (now I'm craving tortilla chips!), and laughed and talked, and shared some of the "wisdom" that nearly 11 years of marriage has provided. (Remember, ladies, he's a man - he can't read your mind!).

Sunday: We attended church. After church we dropped "Mr. Mike" off at his parents' house and they took care of getting him to the airport. My guys were so disappointed not to be able to take him to the airport. After a quick lunch we all took naps. Mine last for about 3 hours!

Monday: More napping! I didn't realize how tired I was from last week. Tired and some of the nausea has returned. It hasn't helped that we woke up to rain. And more rain. And more rain.

Tuesday: I met Amy and her kids, in the rain, at Ben & Jerry's for our annual free ice cream cone. We thought they opened at 11 am. Sadly, no. Noon was the correct answer. So we loaded up, drove down the street to Burger King and let the kids play on only one of two indoor playlands in the entire state of Rhode Island. Joel's office just happens to be on the same street so we picked him up on the way back to B & J's. Free ice cream with some of my favorite people. That's what I call a good time. We came home and more napping took place. The rain finally stopped about supper time. I'm holding out hope my guys can play outside tomorrow but I'm thinking the mud might be too much for us.

The rest of this week is free and clear. Next week is another story. Miss Julie (our Parents as Educators worker) comes to visit, I get my stitches out, and the boys have a camping trip with folks from our church. Like I said, I schedule everything for the same week.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Permission to relax.

My life has gotten a little out of control lately. Actually it went out of control back in February when I realized I was pregnant and started feeling sick every day. Then we had a not-so-fun stay in the hospital and I've just been trying to survive ever since.

On Friday I finally had a day where I felt like I did more than survive. I think it was mainly because I shut my computer off for the whole day. I accomplished my intended housework, raked some leaves, trimmed a bush, made cupcakes with a son, and watched all three kids enjoy sidewalk chalk in the sunshine. It was a good day.

Saturday was equally nice. We drove to a state park, climbed some rocks, and ate a picnic lunch with some friends. Another good day for our little gang.

All this wonderful family time has me thinking about where blogging fits into my life. Several friends have asked me where I find the time to blog. Basically, it's either after the kids are in bed (and I'm up too late) or during the day and I'm neglecting something else.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoy blogging. I like writing. I like making new friends. I like re-connecting with old friends. But somewhere along the way I lost sight of my original purpose - to share our family stories and pictures, along with any other thoughts that pop into my head, with our family and friends.

When I lost sight of that goal, I replaced the fun and joy of blogging with guilt. Guilt that people are checking my blog (some multiple times a day) and I don't have any new content. So I started making myself crazy to get new posts up or just feeling guilt over not having new posts.

Where are all these thoughts headed? I really don't know. I do know that I have an 18 month daughter whose growing leaps and bounds and saying all manner of new words every day. I know I have a 3 year old son who is digging massive holes in my backyard and enthusiastically tells me when he sees a "WORM!" I know I have an almost 5 year old son who is in the beginning stages of learning to read and wants me to watch everything he does. I know I have a husband of almost 11 years who'd like me to spend a little of my time and attention on him. And I know I have a baby growing inside me that I need to prepare my home and family for.

Therefore. I am declaring my freedom from blogging addiction. = ) I'll post when doing so means I'm not neglecting someone in my family. That means I have no idea how often posts will appear. I'm not taking a "break." I'll just post when I can - without guilt when I can't.

Here's a tip. Subscribe to my blog via Google Reader. It's free. If you already have a google account you can get to it through the homepage. It will tell you when I have a new post. Also, ask your tech-person if your email will subscribe that way. We use Thunderbird and can subscribe to all kinds of feeds that way. A notification shows up right in your email.

I can tell you now that posts will be few and far between this week. This week I have 2 appointments, a wedding shower I'm co-hosting, and a friend from out-of-state staying with us this weekend.

In case you're wondering, I am feeling much better these days. I'm tired but who isn't with 3 kids? I feel nauseous from about 3-7 pm which doesn't help Joel get much in the way of supper. = ) And I throw up once every morning. That's actually my tip for all new preggos. Rather than suffer and feel queasy (saltines DON'T help!!), when you know your stomach is empty of food or drink, just go to the bathroom and get rid of all the extra acid in your stomach. You'll feel much better after that and be able to eat.

In other news I received our 2nd bill from the hospital this week. I thought we would be charged an In-Patient co-pay but it is only an ER co-pay. So instead of $700 total we only have to pay $350!!! Yippeeee!

And since I have no creative way of ending this post I'll just say "Bye" for now.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


that's the current total claims for Ben's trip to the E.R., 2 day hospital stay, and out patient colonoscopy. Let that amount sink in a minute.

Twenty-one thousand nine hundred and five dollars.

It's no wonder people go broke from medical bills! Thank the Lord we aren't one of them. We have excellent insurance.

So, out of that $21,905 we will pay $700. $700 so my baby boy doesn't poop blood again. I say that's money well spent!

Monday, April 14, 2008

They came back! That's never happened before.

Sunday evening around 7 pm our doorbell rang. This is a rare event. I glanced out the window and saw a nicely dressed black man. Since I've turned down my quota of sales pitches this week I made Joel answer the door.

Joel, plus 3 kids, politely listened to the young man tell his story. From East St. Louis. Trying to earn a living and improve himself for his 7 year-old daughter. Yada. Yada. Yada. Finally, he whipped out his "credentials" AND his list of magazines. And don't you know my husband actually LOOKED at the list. This kid got further with my husband than the others ever have!

I'm telling you. He was good. His claim was that he would earn free money for college, which would help him give his daughter a better life. He really played the kid card. I was also impressed that he played the Christian card. As soon as he heard my husband's name (Joel) he asked if Joel was a Christian (it's also the name of a book in the Old Testament). I don't know that I've ever heard anyone ask my husband that question in the context of hearing his name. Anyway. This guy was a great salesman. I wanted to buy a magazine from him. Really I did. I wished him well (unlike the kid earlier in the week). Thankfully, Joel didn't find any magazines we were interested in on the list.

Despite a polite refusal the guy kept on with his sales pitch. "Won't ya let me have a blessin' today?" He was very polite and easy going. Which is what made it hard to tell him no. Finally, I felt he'd taken up enough of our time so I put in an appearance at the door (and gathered my shoeless and sockless children back inside the house). I think the young man realized he wasn't going to get anywhere when he saw me. He asked us to pray for him and his daughter, took his list back and continued down the street.

I so wanted to tell him that the best thing he could do for his little girl was to get a real job, even if it's only flipping burgers, and attend an inexpensive community college. Hard work will get you further than selling magazines door-to-door ever will. And make sacrifices - like going without cable t.v. or XBox or name brand clothes.

Sacrifice and hard work. It's what built our country. It's what's building my family. That and not buying magazines from door-to-door salesmen.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Ding Dong...

I know spring has finally arrived here in Rhode Island. Not because the birds are chirping outside. Not because the daffodils are blooming under my living room windows. Not because the neighborhood cats are strolling through my yard again. Nope. None of those. I know it's spring because my doorbell rang today and the person who rang it was not a friend or neighbor.

The young man who rang my doorbell quickly started his pitch. I seriously wish I could talk and think as fast as he did. Or better yet, that I could clean my house that fast! He said something about a contest, earning points by talking to people, just got out of the Marines, yada yada yada... The whole time I stood there trying to figure out where he was going with his spiel and what he wanted to sell me. Finally he pulled out a laminated card with his information on it. Aha!! I've seen that before! In fact, I've seen it not once, not twice but now THREE times.

Oh, not in the same year. Nope. They come every year when the weather is warm. This is the earliest they've ever come. Usually it's at the beginning of summer. This guy must have a head start since he didn't have to wait to get out of school. In case your wondering, he was selling magazines. I need a magazine subscription like I need another hole in my head.

I think there must be invisible signs at the end of my street telling religious people and sales people to go door-to-door here. I'm not kidding! We've lived in this house for 5.5 years. During this time I've been visited by the magazine people (at least 3 times), Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, a lawn chemical company at least once every summer, a financial planner, various enterprising individuals offering to mow my lawn for a fee, a guy selling frozen beef out of the back of a refrigerated truck - TWICE, guys wanting me to switch my internet provider, and I'm sure a couple of other people I just can't remember.

I am always courteous. I smile as I say, "no thank you." And seldom do I receive the same courtesy back. I had to tell the guy to day FOUR times in a row that I was not interested in buying a magazine before he finally turned around and walked away. I can't tell you have irritated it makes me for a stranger to knock on my door, take up my time, and then be rude to me after I've been nothing but polite! Man, does it bug me!

I'm wondering how many people will ring my doorbell this spring/summer. I'll be sure to let you know. And if any of them are polite it'll be a miracle!

PS. I kept thinking all of this sounded vaguely familiar. I searched my archives. Ha! I wrote a similar post last year!! = ) With almost an identical title. You can read it here.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Pictures on Ben while in the hospital back in March.

See how big his hospital pajamas were!
As he walked the pants would fall to his ankles!
The IV in the arm that didn't get
connected to anything until 2 days later.
He was sooooo tired but wouldn't sleep.
A grape popsicle helped pass the time.
Moving on up.... see the purple ring around his mouth?
Everyone upstairs thought it was a bruise.
In the playroom with Daddy. If you look "through" the window
you can see the windows to Ben's room. It was torture for him to see
all the toys lined up but have to wait for the playroom to open.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Ellie's First Pigtails.

I don't like this!
Maybe these things aren't so bad.
What a pretty girl I am!
The boys better keep their hands off my pretty pigtails!
(If this one looks odd it's because it's her reflection in the mirror.)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Free Thomas the Tank engine cars!

Today we loaded up and drove to A.C. Moore just when nap time should begin. Why would I do such a crazy thing? For FREE Thomas the Tank Engine cars! Not that we needed new cars. But I'm all about free. We could choose between a round tank car or a square box car. The cars were plain wood that the boys then colored with markers. Very fun. And did I mention FREE?!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Follow-up to kids' room choices.

If you haven't read this post you might want to. Otherwise the remainder of this post might not make sense.

Thank you to everyone who commented on the previous post about my thoughts on rooms for the kids when the new baby comes in October. I realized from the comments I might should have explained a few other things.

1. I CANNOT sleep with an infant in the room with me. I find myself laying there listening to his/her breathing and don't really sleep well. So as soon as all our helpers go home the new baby always gets moved to the nursery. And no, I don't use a monitor. The baby is literally 10 steps from my bed.

After Will we bought a pack n play with a bassinet feature. So I'll have the pnp in my room with the baby in the bassinet for the first 3-4 weeks. Then I'll move the pnp to the nursery and the baby will still sleep in the bassinet. I learned after Will that the crib just feels too wide open and the baby has a harder time sleeping in the crib. The bassinet (with a changing table feature covering half of it) feels closer and more cozy for baby. I move him/her to the crib at about 2-3 months.

At least that's what I've done with the last 2 babies. I intend to move baby in with Ellie fairly quickly. Mainly so I can sleep at night and so Joel can sleep at night. A friend of mine moved her kids in together pretty quick and the oldest slept through the other's cries.

2. I could never move Ellie in with the boys! Ben is constantly trying to hold her, hug her, wrestle with her, lay on top of her and "love" on her. He means well, most of the time. But he's three and doesn't understand that at 37 pounds he can really hurt her (less than 25 pounds). She doesn't always appreciate his affection even when it's not hurting her. All that to say, I can just imagine what Ben would do to her if she was in the same room with him at night.

3. I had hoped to wait until the baby was big enough to need the crib (maybe 5-6 months) before moving Ellie to a big girl bed. She'll be 25 months when the baby is born and she seems so little to put into a big bed (though Ben was only 19 months when he was moved). I like the idea of having her confined. Especially if the baby is in a pnp. BUT! Every time I go into get her out of the crib now she's climbing the rails. She puts the top of the rail under her armpits and the wedges her feet between the rails and shimmies up. She hasn't fallen out, yet, and only takes her feet up half way to the top of the rail. It's only a matter of time before she loses her balance and goes over or gets brave and tries to hike her leg over. All that to say, I'd rather train her to stay in a big girl bed, and let her adjust to the transition, before I'm 9 months pregnant. If she is in a big girl bed when the baby moves to her room I'll have to use the crib for the baby. Ellie has learned to moves stools and chairs and boxes in order to climb to what she wants. I could totally see her climbing in the pnp with the baby.

I'll keep the pnp in my room for the baby to nap during the day. I have a gate on Ellie's room so I can confine her (and keep the boys from aggravating her). That will solve the nap issue.

4. The kids toys. The bulk of their toys are in the basement. I have a playroom set up down there so I don't have to deal with so many toys. The boys have one small set of bookshelves in their room for books, puzzles, on container of blocks. They also have a tub of Lincoln Logs in their room. Ellie has a few books and puzzles, a tub of misc. toys and dolls, and a preschool plastic kitchen with assorted fruit and food. I find it helps the clutter not to have ALL the toys in one place. There are NO toys in my living room - at least none are supposed to live there on a permanent basis.

5. Guests. Honestly, I have no idea where we will put guests after the baby comes. We do not have a hide-a-bed sofa. The basement is always cold. We have a futon down there but it's about 8 years old so the mattress is terrible for sleeping on. I can't put the boys down there cause they'd be afraid. After the baby comes, I can't move the boys to my room (I'll have a c-section so there's no way I can give up my bed). They'd never leave the baby alone and everyone would wake up with each feeding. I can't put them in sleeping bags in Ellie's room cause they'd be in the bed/crib with her - plus I'd have 3 children not taking naps! That's a recipe for disaster. I'm not sure how to solve this situation.

6. Theme/Color ideas. I want a soft feminine room for Ellie. I haven't seen a bedroom set I love yet for a girl. So many of them have a hard edge to them (at least it seems so to me). I'm not a pastel kind of girl either. We have an oil painting Joel's paternal grandmother painted (actually we have several). This particular painting is a scene somewhere in CO. There is a mountain in the background with a stream in between two mountains. The colors are fantastic. Lots of green with some pink and yellow flowers. And a blue sky. I'll try to take a picture of it to post. I have the painting hanging in her room now. I'm thinking about using that as the source of all other room colors. Most of the sets I have liked are green and pink. I considered painting the room green (it would work with the painting) but Will keeps wanting a green room so that would open up a whole can of worms I'd rather leave closed. So now I'm thinking of a dark beige or oatmeal color (similar to my living room for those who've been to my house). I've about come to the conclusion I'm a neutral wall kind of girl and prefer my color in accessories. Color on the wall just seems to limit my decorating choices and I'd rather not do that.

I think that answered all the questions from the comments. = )

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

"My thoughts are not your thoughts" and neither are a four-year-old boy's!

Will is nearly five-years-old and, for the most part, potty trained. When he needs to pee he simply goes to the bathroom, closes the door, and takes care of business. Usually this is not an problem.

After supper tonight Will entered the bathroom to take care of some "business." Following an extended amount of time, like more than five minutes, Joel opened the bathroom door to check on the status of "things." He, Joel, immediately burst into laughter which naturally brought me to check on the situation.

There stood Will on a stool in front of the sink "nekkid" from the waist down slathering lotion on his legs and "cheeks." When asked why he was doing this Will replied, "I have itches." Itches. I don't know where he got the idea that lotion was a better solution to itches than just scratching. I'm glad he chose the cheap Equate brand Vaseline and NOT my sweet smelling Bath & Body Works lotions!! As far as those itches go, based on how much lotion he put on they should be cured for days if not weeks.

After Joel settled the lotion issue he told Will to put on his underwear and pants. Will piped up that his shirt was wet. Wet?! How did your shirt get wet? "It got wet when I peed." Huh? When you wet your pants (that's why he was in the bathroom to begin with) or when you peed in the potty? "When I peed in the sink."

I'll let that sink in for a moment. (Hee Hee)

Naturally I asked (while wiping tears of laughter) WHY he peed in the sink. "It was there." Of course! Why haven't I ever thought to use the sink before?! Maybe because I'm a girl and it wouldn't be as convenient as the toilet that sits right beside it? Needless to say a discussion about how you do NOT pee in the sink followed. Joel led the way on that discussion cause I was too busy rolling with laughter in the hallway.

Let me just say again, life with children, especially boys, is NEVER dull! Itchy from time to time but definitely not dull.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Too many choices. My head is spinning!

Today I casually mentioned in an email that I've been thinking through all our different room/bed options for after the new baby comes in October. My friend, Alicia, kindly said she was interested in hearing my thoughts and that it might make a good blog post. All you spontaneous people go ahead and laugh now. My husband thinks I'm a little crazy for already thinking through all of this. He can laugh and shake his head now. He'll thank me later. So, let's see if you can follow my convoluted thinking and what your recommendation is.

First, you need to understand some things:
* 3 bedroom house.
* Master bedroom is the largest. I have fairly large furniture in there. I do NOT have a master bathroom. = (
* Boys' room has more sq. footage than Ellie's but because of window and door placements actual usable space is smaller.
* Ellie's room has the largest closest. (None are walk-ins!)
* My hubby hates to paint. The boys' room is close to a primary yellow. Ellie's room has always been our nursery. Thus it was painted a blue (for Will). Sort of a hydrangea blue NOT baby blue. I've been unable to decide what to decorate with for Ellie so I just took out all the boy stuff and left everything else. Joel has agreed to paint if this is a girl. At least that's what I heard when we talked about it. = )
* The boys each have a twin bed on a frame but no headboards.
* Ellie (18 months) sleeps in a crib but it's only a matter of time before she climbs out.

Got all that? Good. Here's my thinking and options.

1. If the new baby is a girl then we will buy Ellie a twin bed like the boys', possibly with a trundle bed. I will choose a new color of paint and decorate the room all girly. = ) This is by far the simplest solution and my favorite.

The rest are for if the new baby is a boy. Now comes the confusion.

2. Leave everything the way it is. Pick a neutral theme that goes with the current blue. Ellie gets a twin bed, possibly trundle. Pray we have a new (4 bedroom) house in the next 5 years or sooner.

3. Go ahead and switch the rooms now. The yellow room (boys' current) will be a little tight with all the baby furniture but it is do-able.
a. Move boys' twins with the idea of bunkbeds when the baby is big enough to join them. Buy Ellie a new bed w/ or w/o a trundle. This idea seems like a lot of work that we could put off for 5 years or so. = ) I don't know how we'd fit all that furniture in that room.
b. Leave one bed in the yellow room. Buy a trundle for the other one in the boys' room. Ben can sleep in the trundle. His friend Mia does this so I think he'd really like it. Plan to buy bunkbeds when Baby is big enough to join brothers. Again, seems like a lot of work that we can put off for 5 years. BUT, it would save buying a whole other bed. Just buying a trundle.
c. Buy bunkbeds for the boys now. Store one set of boxsprings & frame in the basement. They would LOVE having bunkbeds. Will is almost 5 and Ben is 3 so I have NO worries about their climbing abilities or falling out. Then when Baby is old enough to join them we'll only need one twin mattress for him.

4. Buy a twin bed w/ or w/o trundle for Ellie in her current room. Leave everyone where they are for 5 years (or until they are big enough Ellie and baby brother need separate rooms). Then put bunkbeds and a twin bed in the master bedroom. We'd move to the blue room and Ellie would move to the yellow room. I hate the thought of giving up my master room. Not because it's so big (it's not). But because it's on the backside of the house and thus quieter. = )

5. Slightly different version of #3b. Move one twin bed to the yellow room for Ellie now. Buy a trundle for the remaining twin bed in the yellow (boys' room). Reevaluate in 5 years.

I have to tell you, writing out all my "options" has really helped me not be so confused in my thinking. Though you maybe totally confused by now. Sorry about that.

I think we'll end up doing #1, #2, or #5. So, what have you done? What would you do?
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