Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I am a graceful swan...

I am mad at my front porch.

Front porches are supposed to be welcoming, inviting places that are the first impression of your home.

Or so I've been told.

Mine, however, is not so inviting.

I don't know why, but it's always filthy. I sweep it, every now and then, but in the blink of an eye, it's dirty again. I mean, how often are you supposed to sweep a porch? ( Seriously, I'm curious, how often do YOU clean your porches? ) It is a covered porch for crying out loud, it shouldn't get so dirty! Maybe it's the way the house faces (south), or maybe it's because of the trees that surround it (that's my husbands explanation), I just don't know. What I do know, is that my front porch has been a thorn in my side since we moved into this house as 22 year old newlyweds.

The dirt isn't the only reason I have issues with my porch...

Almost three years ago, I was picking up toys left on the porch by three year old Ellie. Ellie had given up on outside play, and was inside watching cartoons. Sweet Annie, who had just had her first birthday, was taking a nap. I talked on the phone to my mom as I picked up bubble wands and sidewalk chalk. I didn't realize how close to the edge I had gotten, and as I stood up from my bent over position, I got a bit dizzy and lost my balance. I remember flailing, trying to find something, anything to grab, but there was nothing. I fell backwards, head over heels, or was it heels over head? I'm not sure how many rotations I made, I just know I landed at the bottom of several concrete steps with a thud. I remember covering my head with my arms, in hopes that I wouldn't sustain a serious brain injury. My poor brain already didn't work well, what with the two babies and all, I was pretty sure it couldn't handle a concussion. I remember lying there, taking inventory...Okay, I'm awake. I hurt. What exactly hurts? I'm breathing, that's a good sign. Ellie! Where's Ellie? Oh right, in the house. Mom! She's still on the phone. Where's the phone? I hurt. I'm not sure if I can get up. Maybe if I yell for Ellie, she'll come out and bring me the phone. So I yelled at the top of my lungs for Ellie... and then I learned that you just can't count on a three year old. I finally managed to get up, and get to the phone that was three steps up. Mom was still on the line, worried sick since she could hear me yelling. She was just about to hang up and drive the 30 miles to get to me. She asked me if I was okay, and I told her I wasn't sure. I was pretty shaken up. I knew I hurt, but was having a hard time focusing on exactly what hurt. I hung up with my mom, and within a few minutes realized that I couldn't move my left arm without excruciating pain. After a trip to the doctor and some x-rays, I came home sporting a bright purple cast, in a blue sling.

I will never forget what Ellie said...

Mommy! I love your purple cactus and your blue purse!

At least someone did.

I only had to wear my purple cactus for three weeks. My arm was fractured on the inside of my elbow, and it healed quickly. Still, three weeks was a long time for a mommy of a three year old and a one year old. Oh, and in case you were wondering, Why purple? It was the only color of casting they had left.

So there you have it. My issues with my front porch. It's long and narrow, it gets dirty, it has lots of wide concrete steps that in my opinion are dangerous, and it broke my arm.

Can people go to counseling to come to terms with a bad front porch?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Everybody needs a good meme!




OH, THIS blog!

I almost forgot about it! Just kidding :) We've just been busy with all the end of the school year activities. I have lots of material for my faithful readers, I just have no time! Hopefully soon things will settle down!

Oh wait... 3 kids all day, every day, all summer...Who am I kidding!

Anyway, I've been wanting to do this meme that Jen tagged me with for awhile. So here we go!

What I was doing 10 years ago 1998--

I was beginning my fourth summer working at Silver Dollar City, a local theme park. I was a parasol painter. I spent my days painting flowers, heart shaped balloons, and little girls' names on pretty umbrellas. I had just finished my third year of college at MSU, and had changed my major for the fourth time. I was in love with my boyfriend Jason. We'd been dating for two and a half years, and we knew we were headed towards marriage.

What I was doing 5 years ago 2003--

Jason and I had been happily married for three and a half years. Our first baby Ellie was fifteen months old. She was the light of our lives, the center of our universe. I was loving being a mommy, but missing having close friends. Ellie and I had just finished our first semester of Mops and Kindermusik with Alana. I had started meeting other mommies like me, and I was hopeful that friendships would soon blossom. We were getting ready to go to Gulf Shores for a vacation, where we were meeting Chris and Michelle, three year old Olivia, and 10 month old Elaina to play at the beach. It was a special vacation, since they lived in Kentucky, and we didn't get to see them a lot.

4 things I did yesterday--

We stayed home from church because all three kiddos were still asleep at 9:00am.

We attended an AWESOME birthday party for our great friends Will (Alana and Rich's son) and Tessa (Dixie and Jim's daughter). I felt blessed as we played at the park that we have such a great group of friends!

After the party, we dropped all three kiddos off with Grammie, and Jason and I went to dinner ALONE. A rare treat these days!

After dinner we came home and watched the season finale of Grey's Anatomy. Only three days after it aired. Not too shabby!

4 shows I like to watch--

Grey's Anatomy--Brothers and Sisters--Desperate Housewives--Jon and Kate plus 8.

4 things that make me happy--

Having uninterrupted conversations. Being caught up on chores. Girls nights out. Dates with my hubby!

Whew! That was fun! If you need something to blog about, go for it!

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Annie helped me fill up the little pool today!

My sweetheart!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

He is the Princess Champion.

I raced home today, after being with Ellie and her kindergarten class at the zoo all day, (more on that later) so I could take Annie to her dance class.

Daddy had stayed home with Annie and Austin today, so as we arrived I expected a certain level of mess. I mean, daddy is, well, a daddy, and not a mommy. He doesn't pick up the toys as he goes, he doesn't try and keep everything tidy. He just plays. Most of the time that's just fine with me, although every now and then I get a bit frustrated when I arrive home to find the house destroyed.

Today when Ellie and I arrived, I had a moment of that frustration. It seriously looks like we ran a daycare at my house today. Toys were, excuse me are, everywhere. The piles of dishes are still in the sink and on the counters from the game night Janelle and I hosted last night.

Sweet Janelle left me a message earlier saying she hoped my big strong husband had done the dishes for me today. The thought had crossed my mind. I thought maybe he would. Yeah, not so much. Looks like he just played.

Okay, so upon arriving, I snatched up Annie and headed back out to take her to dance. Everything was just fine, we got our leotard on, our ballet shoes on, our dance bag ready with our adorable tiny tap shoes...and then she got stubborn. This little princess of mine has been showing her independent streak lately. She's thrown a few curve balls our way, and today was another one. She refused to set one tiny foot into her class. She opted for some serious discipline and a nap, over dance class. So home we came. She's in bed now "napping". Austin also went down for a second nap, since he was worn out from his day of utter home destruction.

When Annie and I had unexpectedly arrived back home, Daddy was getting ready to play a board game with Ellie. I didn't take much notice, since I was fuming mad at little Miss Priss, I mean Annie. I came in to check email, and take a few deep breaths, and that's when I heard...

I'm the Princess Champion!!!

I glanced in to see daddy, fully decked out in a crown and earrings, with his arms in the air in victory. They were playing Pretty Pretty Princess, Cinderella edition.

I have to say, all remnants of frustration at him melted away. I mean, he's playing Pretty Pretty Princess for goodness sakes! How cute is that?! I'm glad he does that, plays and enjoys our children, when he has a day off.

Oh well about the mess and the dishes. It was worth it for him to be crowned the Princess Champion!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

These are the things that I keep trying to write about this week. Since I cannot seem to formulate coherent thoughts into quality posts though, I am making a list.

Thirteen random post ideas...

1. Shoe shopping with your husband and three kids isn't always fun. We tried this on Saturday night, and we all became extremely overwhelmed! It didn't help that we were at an outlet mall during a Tornado warning! I am not easily deterred though, so we stuck it out in the Crocs shoe store!

2. Speaking of the Crocs shoe store...Talk about overwhelming! Poor Ellie raced from one side to the other for an hour, and still couldn't make up her mind. I had to take her back by herself Monday afternoon, and it took us another hour! She finally ended up with three pairs of her favorite shoes. Not quite sure how that happened. One pair of pink crocs, one pair of Crocs flip flops, and one pair of Sponge Bob Crocs.

3. I hate Sponge Bob. I wouldn't let her watch it for years, and I lost the battle this year when they watched it at school. I realize it's not all that awful, I just think it's annoying. When she picked out the Sponge Bob Crocs, I made the cardinal sin of motherhood and told her I didn't like them. From that moment on, she would not be deterred from the Sponge Bob Crocs.

4. We still don't know what my mystery illness was. They did a biopsy, and then we heard nothing. I finally called the doctor back, and gently prompted them to check and find out where in the world my results were. They finally found out that the test had not been run yet. What? Apparently they forgot to fill in a blank on the form, so the lab didn't do the test. Nice. Thankfully they still have that little piece of my arm though, so maybe we'll know something soon.

5. My weird spots do look a lot better. You can see them still, but they're more like discolorations now. They do sometimes still itch, and I just really want them gone!

6. They put me on a bunch of different medicines for my mystery illness. One of them was Prednisone. I've never been on that before, and I never want to be again! I have had WEIRD side affects...tightness in my chest, strange pain, fluid weight gain, then loss, then the weirdest sensation that my whole body was bruised. Crazy! I think it was necessary, as my arms started swelling and were very painful, but like I said, I hope I never have to be on that again! I finished it three days ago, and my symptoms are almost gone, Thank You God!

7. I am ALONE today! I wasn't supposed to be, but Ellie's field trip to the zoo was canceled at the last minute, so here I sit...ALONE! Mom has the little kids for the day, and said she'd bring them down later this afternoon. I love you mom!

8. I literally stood in my kitchen for twenty minutes after I got back home this morning, trying to figure out what to do. I have tons of stuff I need to do, but I think I was in such shock over being ALONE, that I didn't know where to start! I finally collected my thoughts, came to my senses, made a list, and then...took a nap.

9. I didn't used to be a napper. But I am now. I love naps.

10. I felt so bad for the kindergarten teachers today! I have never seen such sad faces in my life when they canceled the field trip. We really thought we were still going, right up until the last minute. Those poor teachers then had to collect themselves and figure out how to make it through their unexpected day, with a class full of disappointed children. Ugh.

11. Oh, why was the field trip canceled? It's was fifty degrees and pouring down rain. In mid-May! I mean the rain, yes, but the temps??? Hopefully we'll get to go next week.

12. I remembered last night why I don't read anymore. Michelle lent me her unauthorized autobiography of Tom Cruise. I am fascinated with him, and was really interested to read it. Since I finished a book a couple of months ago, for the first time in five years, I thought I'd pick up reading again, a little at a time. So, I began a couple of nights ago, a little at a time. Then last night I started reading, and didn't stop until 1:30 AM. I am crazy! I am a mommy! I cannot do that!

13. I have one more hour before I pick up Ellie. I think I have time for one more project.

Or another nap.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I am becoming a mama...

2002: Six years ago I had my first Mother's Day. I remember being so excited, so full of love for my sweet baby girl. I was a mother! I remember that day, feeling so validated, like I had truly come into my own self. Those early days of motherhood were easy for me. I wasn't overwhelmed, I wasn't scared, I was born to be a mother! I delighted in bathing my baby, giving her lotion massages, dressing her, nursing her, rocking her to sleep. I delighted in the smell of her, the touch of her. Her smiles made me melt, her blue eyes held such wonder. She was a beautiful baby! Ellie was around three months old on my first Mother's day, and I was twenty-five. Our house was smaller, our car was smaller and Jason only worked four days a week. Life was simple, sweet, and perfect. I thought I had it all figured out.

2005: Three years later, I had my first Mother's Day as a mommy of two. Ellie was three years old, and Annie was nine months old. Life was beginning to get more complicated. Ellie's strong personality had come out, about the time Annie was born. Yikes! We no longer stayed home alone most days. Over the past three years I had found Mops, and began serving on the steering team. I had begun to make the best friends of my life, and we frequently made play dates. Life got busier with two kids, more friends, a bigger car, and Jason working six days a week. Jason was diagnosed with a kidney disease shortly before that Mother's Day. We had also begun an addition on our home, which added to the overall feeling of hecticness and exhaustion. Life wasn't as simple, and I began to struggle with balancing everything.

2008: Six years after my first Mother's Day. Six years of being a mommy. Wow. So much has changed!

Our house is finished, and much bigger than it was six years ago. Our car is also much bigger, and uses a lot more gas, ouch! Life is definitely not simple and easy anymore. Jason works six days a week still, but he now gets two mornings off, which is nice. We're still learning though. I think I felt more confident as a mother of one than I do as a mother of three. I thought I had it all figured out that first Mother's Day, six short, yet long, years ago. Mothering has become harder. Now I have to answer questions from my six year old about the things she hears at school. I have to juggle the demands of family and friends and kids. We have sports and dance and school. I think back to that first Mother's Day and wonder...what happened?! When did it all get so complicated? We're coming out of a crazy couple of years. I've learned to say no to things, to cut out what isn't worthwhile, and to draw near to the things and people that are.

I still delight in my children! I think more so now that I realize how fleeting it all is! I still have a baby, sweet Austin, to bathe and dress and tickle until he chuckles out loud. He's not so little, but he's still my baby! For one more year anyway. I suppose it's the last year, he'll be 2 1/2 next year. Sigh.

Annie, my sweet, easy, middle child is growing into a beautiful girl. She is so funny and sassy and witty. She delights me with her lovingness. Just the other day she asked me..."Mama, do you need some lovin'?" You know what my answer was! Oh how that girl melts my heart!

My sweet Ellie has grown up far to fast. Her beautiful blue eyes still captivate me, but now it's when she's telling me a story, or asking me a question. She's 6 1/2, and almost finished with kindergarten. It's been a good, but tough year, with a lot of growing for all of us. The last two months have been really good. She's figuring herself out, learning to handle herself better, and in turn, being a much happier girl.

I feel like I'm becoming a true Mama. A mama, to me, is someone who doesn't have it all figured out. Someone who makes mistakes, who gets frustrated, who cries and who laughs through all the trials and victories that motherhood brings. I sometimes just want to throw my hands in the air and scream at the top of my lungs...Would everyone just be quiet!!! Actually, I have done that a few times! I am a work in progress, in so many ways. God has shown me strengths and weaknesses I never knew I had through this process. He has brought me to Him in ways that I could have never imagined. It's been quite a ride so far, and only He knows what is to come. I am learning more every day to trust Him. It isn't always easy, but my God is faithful!

I know one thing for sure, I will never again think I have it all figured out!

So, Happy Mother's Day! I hope everyone of you Mama's has a wonderful day!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and the Very Very UGLY!

Did that title get your attention?

I'll give you the good news first...We did not have the Chicken Pox. Hallelujah, praise God! I was SO dreading dealing with three kids itching and scratching, which by the way, I did NOT think of my ironic blog title until a couple of you clever readers pointed it out! The children's spots turned out to be a good old-fashioned case of ringworm. They each have two to four spots that are under control, and are not causing us any pain or itching. That is the good.

The bad...I am not fairing so well. I have something...but we don't know exactly what I have. It isn't the Chicken Pox, and it isn't a classic case of ringworm. That much we do know. We also know that none of our pets brought this on, since we had them all checked for the bargain price of $185. That price included medicine for our healthy pets, so they don't get ringworm from US! Ironic, don't you think? We had just been to the vet last week, for our new kitten to be declawed and spayed, which was another bargain at $175. I feel good in knowing that we've done our part in sending our veterinarian on a nice vacation this year. Really. And since money grows on trees at our house, I decided to pay a little visit to our local ER on Monday night. Which brings me to...

The Ugly... My spots have turned into some sort of nasty lesions. They've spread up and down both arms and legs. I stopped counting at 40. I will spare you the actual sight of them, as I can barely look at my own arms right now. Trust me, they are UGLY!

They itched at first, but Monday evening the itching turned into burning and stinging, which is what landed me in the ER. The ER put me on several different medicines, basically a "we don't know what you have but hopefully one of these medicines will work" approach. The most plausible possibility is that I may be having some sort of allergic reaction to something, possibly the ringworm my kids have. The allergic reaction may be causing these lesions, which also seem to be infected, and therefore causing the pain.

Only me.

However, this is a "guess" on my doctor's part. Since he isn't certain of what exactly we're dealing with, I went in for a biopsy this morning. Hopefully by next Tuesday we'll know more. I will say that I am feeling better today. Something seems to be working, the spots don't look as infected as they did yesterday and they also aren't hurting as badly. It's just such a weird feeling to look down at my own arms and see all those nasty spots. It's like it's not even my body.

Anyway, thanks to all of you for your prayers and well wishes. We're on the mend, and hopefully we'll be back to our "normal" lives soon!

Saturday, May 3, 2008


This has been my week...

One week ago yesterday: I locked my keys in the car, with Austin still in his car seat, in the car. He got so mad he made himself throw-up, and I was scared to death he might choke. I was totally prepared to break the car window if need be. Thankfully my husband made it in a record twenty minutes with an extra set of keys. I don't think I can say much more about that besides, it was awful, absolutely awful.

That night Annie threw-up in the middle of the night.

Last Sunday: I woke up with a killer headache. Later that day we spent the afternoon and evening with my Grandma and Step-Grandpa, who was very ill with end-stage ALS.

Monday: Ellie started having diarrhea.

Tuesday: Austin woke up with a fever. Later that day I noticed a few itchy red whelps on my forearm and assumed something must have bitten me.

Wednesday: Ellie's diarrhea worsened and she stayed home from school. I noticed my whelps had grown a bit, and there were a couple more. Odd.

Thursday: I noticed a couple more red whelps on my right arm, and a couple new ones on my left arm. I called the doctor and they told me to let them know if it got worse over the weekend.

Friday: At 9:30 am my mother called to tell us that my Step-Grandpa had passed away that morning. Even though we knew his illness was terminal, it was still shocking how fast it happened. He was diagnosed on February 1st, he died on May 2nd. As sad as we are, we also recognize his quick and painless death as a blessing. He didn't have to suffer long, and for that we are grateful. Praise God that he is in Heaven!

That afternoon Annie had a fever.

Also a friend looked at my "spots" and confirmed a fear that had been lurking in the back of my mind...Chicken Pox.

That evening Annie threw-up.

Today: I noticed a "spot" on Austin, and then two more. I checked the girls, three spots each. We haven't been officially diagnosed by the doctor yet, but I'm fairly certain we have the Chicken Pox. My whelps have turned to angry red sores that itch like crazy. What's crazy is that I've already had them! All this time I thought that you couldn't get them again! Also, all my kids have had the vaccine! Ellie even had a second shot before kindergarten! From what I've read online, it's "highly unlikely" but possible to get them a second time. And it's "highly unlikely" but possible to contract them even if you've had the vaccine. Apparently we're a "highly unlikely" family! I'm grasping to the fact that everything I've read says that if you've been vaccinated and you get them, that the case will be much milder.

I really hope so! We can use all the good news we can scrounge up right now!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Austin's Antics

I think I'll start a series called Austin's Antics.

Appropriate, don't you think?

The latest?

Today I was trying to locate all the cordless phones. I try and keep tabs (in my head) of where all three of our cordless handsets are. You see, if they go missing for too long they go dead, and then I can't use the "locate" feature on the base to find them. Usually there's one at the computer, one in the kitchen, and one in the living room. Of course, at times they do migrate, and I have to go hunt them down. Most of the time they turn up without much fuss. Every now and then it takes a while to find one. One time one was missing for a few days. I had just about given up when I found it buried in a toy basket. Since the toy basket incident, I try and make sure I know where all the phones are at least once a day.

Back to today...I started the phone hunt, and immediately located two of the three phones. When the third didn't turn up quite so easily, I turned to my trusty "locate" button, and listened intently...nothing.

But wait...was that just a very faint ring?

I began to walk...nothing, but then...YES, I do hear a ring! I follow it, and then suddenly it stops. I run back to the locate button again and then back to where I was, I follow...closer...closer...No, not in there...closer...Not there either...Where is that thing?

There for a minute I thought I was going crazy. I could hear something, couldn't I? But I had checked EVERYWHERE! I was on my hands and knees looking under some shelves in our family room when something caught my eye. It was the lit up buttons of the phone! Not under the shelves, but inside the sub-woofer speaker that sits next to the shelves. It was waaay back inside of the speaker. I tried turning the speaker over, but there were all sorts of wires that were in the way, and I was really afraid I was going to mess up something. Then I got a big spoon to try and fish it out, (I am nothing if not resourceful!) but as soon as I turned the speaker upright, the phone fell down farther inside, and completely out of sight.

So tonight after work, a kindergarten picnic, and t-ball practice, my dear hubby came home and took apart a sub-woofer. I'm sure it was just what he was looking forward to after a long hard day.

Well actually, knowing my husband, it probably was!

At least I know where all the phones are.

For now.