Thursday, September 30, 2010

Children's books that may help you understand some of what's said around here

We love books around here. We have them all over the house, we read many different times throughout the day, have several books taped back together from so much love. I posted here on some of our family favorites, but today I'm thinking about the books that have, sometimes just because of one phrase, woven themselves into the very fabric of our family. I'm sure there are some I'm forgetting but here's a few that come to mind:

  • Go, Dog. Go! - the phrase from the book "I like that party hat! I do!" is said in our family anytime someone's wearing a cool hat
  • The Poky Little Puppy - when a child is doing something especially slow, like getting out of the car, they are deemed the "Poky Puppy!"
  • The Digging-Est Dog - this book brought us the phrase "long dog chain" from the part in the book where he digs himself into a well and the dogs all join together to create a long dog chain to pull him out. My husband, especially, loves to use this phrase when he grabs one child's hand and wants all the rest of them to link hands to cross a parking lot. "Make a long dog chain" he'll call out!
  • The Kissing Hand - my daughter loves to give me kissing hands and sometimes she gives them to her dolls, too. So sweet!
  • Love You Forever - I'd read this book, but we didn't have a copy until recently when I picked one up at the used bookstore. My boys especially love it and have requested I read it over and over. My 3 year old thinks the picture of the mother rocking her grown son like a baby is hilarious. Now it's my running joke with my sons that when they are grown-up and have their own houses, I'll drive over in the middle of the night with my ladder and climb in their bedroom window to rock them while they sleep, just like the mother in the book did! They laugh, but at one point, my 7 year old looked at me real serious and asked, "But you won't really do that, right?"
  • A Mother for Choco is the sweetest children's book we have on adoption. My kids have gained volumes of perspective through this delightful story of little Choco trying to find his mother. Several animals turn Choco away saying there is no way they can be his mother as they point out some physical difference in the way they look. Then Choco happens upon Mrs. Bear who looks nothing like him but seems able to love him and play with him just like a mother would. You can't help getting choked up after Mrs. Bear invites Choco to come live her and then introduces him to her other children "Hippy, Ally, and Piggy." The image of Mrs. Bear loving on her children, the hippo, the alligator, the pig, and Choco, is priceless!

And enjoying great books as a family is a finer thing for sure!

Find more Finer Things Friday.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Maybe the stairmaster would be easier?

One of the great things about keeping a blog, is having the ability to remind yourself of your own words!

There are several big situations going on in my life right now where I cannot see the top of the stairs. And sometimes the unknown is harder to bear than the climbing.

I'm thankful these words are still true.

**Originally published 8/3/09

Sometimes there are situations or seasons of life where it seems like all I'm doing is climbing the stairs up. There is no end, no top, in sight. And the climbing gets hard.

But then I remember that God says:
  • "You are with me." Ps. 23:4
  • "I will not leave you" Gen 28:15
  • "'For I know the plans that I have for you', declares the Lord, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope'". Jer. 29:11
  • "Unload all your worries onto him, since he is looking after you." 1 Peter 5:7
What you can't see in the picture above is that little toddler in the green shirt is not alone on those stairs. I, his mother, am with him, just a few steps behind. I will not leave him, or let him fall back down those stairs. And I know something that little boy doesn't. At the top of those stairs is the most magnificent view, and if he just struggles a little longer, continues to climb even when it gets hard he'll get there and see it, making the whole climb worthwhile!

Find more Thankful Thursday.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Handling Hand-Me-Downs

I'm all about hand-me-downs, but there are 4 years between my 2 boys, so I can't just move things from my oldest son's closet when he outgrows them into his little brother's closet. I have to store them for a few years in between.

At first I used those large plastic storage tubs and labeled them 3T summer, 4T winter, etc. But the tubs were bulky so they had to go into our outside storage room and it never failed that I'd be looking for a specific item I knew my older son had and would have to go through several tubs to find it which was very cumbersome and usually hot being in the outside storage, not to mention that the clothes got all musty being in there.

So, I came up with another solution that works much better.

I bought these reusable tote bags from Ikea (each one was like $2) and then figured out they fit across a decorative open shelf high up in our guest room that I was never really sure what to do with anyway. Since the bags match the color-scheme of the room (and don't be misled, by color-scheme of the room I mean the bedspread as there is no other real decoration to the place!), they don't look too bad and it sure is functional to have them there.

The bags hold a lot of folded clothes, I can get pretty much an entire size/season in a bag. But, the beauty is, they are really easy to search through, so I can find things when I need them.

I have them in order by size, starting with things my littlest is about to grow into and ending with the things my oldest is just outgrowing. Then I just move the bags down. As I empty a bag to provide the next size up clothes for my younger son, that creates an empty bag available to take on clothes my oldest outgrows. And it's super easy to throw in one shirt here and there as I discover things that are too small for him!

Then the things my youngest outgrows do get packed into those storage tubs in the outside storage. I don't need easy access to those clothes, but my husband is not sure God's gonna be through with us after one adoption, so for now we're hanging on to them, but most likely they'll be sold or donated someday. And to be honest, those clothes are pretty worn out after going through 2 boys!

Find more Works for Me Wednesday here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Attack of the Cookie Monster!

I baked some cookies for a picnic we went to on Saturday, there were some left-over, so today for after-school snack, I opened the pan of cookies and set it in the middle of the kitchen table telling the kids they could pick one for snack.

I walked away, got sucked into assisting 2nd grade homework, had to make a phone call, helped my daughter with something, got somebody a drink, checked the schedule to see if my daughter was due for another allergy shot, and finally glanced back at the cookies.

And noticed this:

Do you see anything unusual about those cookies?

About Every! Single! Cookie! On the pan?

There is a bite taken out of every cookie!

My 3 year old readily admitted to it.

I guess that's one way to get dibs on all the remaining cookies!

And photographic evidence that yup, It Still Feels Like Chaos around here!

This post is part of the Moms' 30-Minute Blog Challenge.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Crafty Links I Love

  • This portable tea party is the cutest thing; I'd love to find the time to make one for my daughter for Christmas!
  • And some of these darling headbands! But unless you have a baby girl, don't click on that link because once you see, you're sure to want a baby to go with the headband!

Happy crafting or happy dreaming of crafts you'd make if you just had the time!

P.S. I've found I can manage about 10 minutes of sewing if I let my 3 year old push the buttons for me. Of course, it's kinda stressful when he speeds up the sewing speed when I'm not expecting it!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tall Tales

My 3 year old is going through a phase I'm calling "Tall Tales".

If that phrase "Tall Tales" brings to mind Paul Bunyan or Pecos Bill, you're on the right track.

Out of the blue my son will tell me this really detailed story of something that happened to him or something he did, but it's totally and 100% not true!

It began one day a few weeks ago, we were sitting enjoying some calm together time after he'd gotten up from a nap and he looked out the window and noticed it was raining and began to tell me this elaborate story about this umbrella he used to have but "he broke it". He even described what colors it was and it all sounded very believable.

Except I kept thinking, "Only here's the problem, I've known you your entire life, I know every possession you've ever had, and there was no umbrella like you're talking about."

But to him I said, "When did that happen?"

And he said, "When I was a baby, when I was a baby I did that."

There have been several other made-up stories since. I warned my husband about the "Tall Tales" but still my husband has come to me confused, "What's he talking about?!!!" As if they are things I'm trying to keep secret, rather than stories completely fabricated by a 3 year old!!!

They are that believable! It's scary.

Only today my son took it a little too far.

We were sitting together having lunch, discussing Noah's Ark because that was their story at the Bible Study he went to this morning. We mentioned the mountain the ark came to rest on at the end of the flood. And all of the sudden what came flooding out was a tall tale to end all tall tales!

My 3 year old: "One day when I was big, I climbed a mountain. I saw some mud on it. That mud needed to be washed off, that's why God sent the flood, to wash off that mud. And when I was on the mountain I saw a lion. I shot it wif’ my big hunter gun because I wanted to make meat out of it."

Me (stifling giggles): "When did that happen, Buddy?"

My 3 year old: "When I was a grown-up."

I brought up the story at dinner and my 2 bigger kids got a big laugh at it and tried without success to explain to their little brother real versus make-believe and the aging process.

"You don't go up and down, older and younger," My 5 year old daughter told him.

My 7 year old son did compliment his little brother's "great imagination," though!

Find more Finer Things Friday.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

When you're a boy with a big sister . . .

  • You occasionally get roped into playing the Pretty Pretty Princess Game
  • You know how to dress Polly Pockets
  • You occasionally sit in a pink car seat
  • You can name all the Disney princesses
  • You will always know when you stink because she will announce it, loudly!
  • You've had your toe nails painted
  • You know the difference between "girl blue" and "boy blue"
  • You've worn hair bows
  • You have not only a mom, but a little mommy just a few years older than you
  • You drive around "fighting the bad guys" on a pink toy car
  • You learn that threatening to take a dolly will elicit screams from your sister
  • You always have someone ready to read you a story, whether you want her to or not
  • You pray and thank God for her nearly every day because even as a 3 year old, you get it, that a sister is an amazing gift!

A toast once heard: "To my big sister, who never found her second Easter egg until I'd found my first." ~Robert Brault

"An older sister is a friend and defender - a listener, conspirator, a counsellor and a sharer of delights. And sorrows too." ~Pam Brown

I am so thankful my kids have each other; it is such a blessing to watch their relationships grow and see the joy and love they add to each other's lives!

Find more Thankful Thursday and Thursday Thirteen.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How to Avoid Being Room Mom

I'm just keepin' it real with this post.

You may have heard me share a bunch on this blog about the things I do from teaching Sunday School to making homemade bread and yogurt to backstage mom at the dance recital and swim team age group mom lining up all the 7 and 8 year old boys for their events at the meets.

But, I DON'T DO IT ALL !!!

One thing I have never done and actually avoid is being room mom for my kids' school classes.

I know!


But, I figure if I can't do it all, I might as well pick the jobs I enjoy, the ones that fit my strengths. So, yes, taking 12 dance-costume clad little girls to the bathroom backstage multiple times and doing sticker crafts to entertain them until their dance -- that I'll do. Gladly!!

But, organizing the Christmas and end of the year teacher gifts, which means emailing all the kids' parents and asking for money, and then collecting said money? Coordinating the class basket for the fall carnival auction? Recruiting field trip chaperones? I'll pass, sorry, but I hate that sort of thing!

So, my secret (only now I'm sharing it with the entire Internet) method for avoiding the class mom role is to show up about 15 minutes late to the Meet the Teacher Day. It's usually come and go anyway, so you are not technically late, it's just that the super-organized moms have already been there by the time you get there and darn if that room parent sign-up is not already full!

You see? I even avoid feeling any guilt -- the sheet was already filled in!

Find more Works for Me Wednesday here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

15 Shots!!!!

147 million orphans in the world

our family's mission?

to make it 147 million MINUS ONE!

1 Day off school on Friday

1 Appointment at the Travel Medicine Clinic

15 shots between the 4 of us

the 3 year old will not be going to Ethiopia (so no shots for him)

20 hours on an airplane with him would = nightmare for all involved!

5 shots for my husband + an oral typhoid vaccine taken at home

5 shots for me + an oral typhoid vaccine taken at home

3 shots for my 7 year old

2 shots for my 5 year old

0 days the kids were in pain after the shots

2 days my husband and I needed Tylenol to even remotely be able to lift either arm!

1 little girl in Ethiopia we have never met, but still know she's way more than worth it!!! We don't know when, but we're coming, Baby!

This post is part of the Moms' 30-Minute Blog Challenge.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Buy It and Change It!

I've been challenging myself lately to cut down on what I spend on my clothes, and with my new (still very basic, though) sewing skills, I've been able to get more creative.

My latest love is buying cheap clothes and altering them just a bit to be more stylish or a better fit for me.

For example:

I bought this dress on sale at Target a few weeks ago from the girls department in a girls size X-large.

**Here's a hint, if you are a woman who typically buys sizes 2 or 4, you can sometimes fit into the little girls' extra large size clothes and save some money because the girl stuff is usually priced cheaper than grown-up stuff(I've done this at Old Navy, Gap, and Target).**

When I bought the dress I knew it would be shorter than I'd want to wear alone, but I thought maybe with leggings it would be cute, but when I tried it on I didn't love the way the top looked, so I cut it off just under the arm holes, straight across, leaving a band of knit to become the skirt waistband. Then I folded under the fabric to create a casing for elastic, sewed it, cut elastic to fit my waist, threaded it through using a safety pin to guide it through, sewed up the small hole left in the casing, and it was done! Seriously easy (even with beginner sewing abilities)!
A super easy, super cheap (around $8.00 including the elastic) skirt that I have loved wearing the past few weeks! Those are pockets on either side that I think just adds to the interesting/cute factor of the skirt. I've gotten compliments, it is really comfy (who can argue with a soft, knit elastic waist!), and it's the perfect length for me -- just below the knee.

The Girl Creative Keeping It SimpleAll Thingz Related

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I couldn't make up this kind of crazy!

My husband got an iPad from work a few months ago and he now uses it as his alarm clock (before anyone he works with reads this and thinks "Money well spent!" he does use it for other things as well). I guess there's an alarm clock app or something, I really don't know. What I do know is that I wake up every morning to a rooster crowing.

An electronic rooster!

That he snoozes 3 or 4 times!

Which means the crowing is heard several times each morning.

But, the good news is that as crazy as the electronic crowing is, it really kind of sets up the day. A few hours later it doesn't seem quite so ridiculous when I am explaining to a person just over 3 feet tall why we do not rub our hand along the inside of a public restroom toilet rim. That's just normal conversation for a person that wakes up to the crowing of an electronic rooster.

Speaking of the iPad, my husband has downloaded some Dr. Seuss apps and I've found him a few times sitting in the center of our 3 children holding his iPad while it reads them a story. Lazy parenting at its finest!


My daughter, who has been in kindergarten all of 4 weeks, informed me recently that I make my lowercase "e" wrong because I make the top more of a loop rather than a line straight to the side with the curve around.

"Yeah, did I mention I have canned goods older than you?" I said, in my head. In reality we busted out the kindergarten paper complete with the red, yellow & green lines and I let her teach me how to make a proper "e".


I know I've shared about the beloved "blankies" my daughter sleeps with. Well, one "blankie" has developed a long loop of trim that hangs off. I really want to cut it off because I'm worried she'll strangle herself in the middle of the night. My husband says that's crazy talk. So tell me is that a legitimate fear or is this one of those times when my brain has been taken hostage by a over-reacting, hyper-vigilant mother?


Oh my word, don't even get me started on the cuteness of these! Seriously, if I didn't think I'd go stark raving mad sewing on tiny ruffles and sleeves I'd be at my sewing machine working on some Barbie clothes right now!

And if I had time to decorate for more holidays than just Christmas I would be all about these. Any craft you can do with toilet paper has to be a winner!


My 7 year old finally lost his other top front tooth after it had been really loose for months! I figured out just a couple weeks before it came out that he had not been brushing it. I noticed some stuff on it one night at bedtime and asked him if he brushed good and he said, "I don't brush that tooth because it's too loose."

Me: "What?!!!! You mean for weeks you've been skipping that tooth when you brush?"

Him: "It's going to fall out anyway."

Me: "Well, your gums are not going to fall out and part of brushing your teeth is to keep your gums healthy. Do you want to get gingivitis?"

Clearly my biomedical science degree is being put to good use during this mothering career!

Happy Friday, friends!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Blessing of Having 3 Kids

It's still a zillion degrees here so the only pictures I have of my 3 kids together are of them soaking wet! I haven't done an official "What it is like having 3 kids" post in a long time, but just this morning I was thinking about how having 3 kids has mellowed me (in a good way, I think).

My husband had an early meeting so I did the morning routine by myself and elementary school drop-off for my older 2 kids and took my 3 year old in wearing his pajamas. We walked all the way through the school to the cafeteria where the kindergarteners have to wait for the 1st bell to ring, and all the way back out, passing all kinds of friends and teachers (teachers my 3 year old will likely have some day and yes, they may remember him as the kid in the rocket ship jammies). My little guy even high-fived the principal on the way out. Our principal is a really, really nice, very tall man who my 3 year old adores! The principal jokingly asked my son, "So, you goin' back to bed?" I laughed and
wished my toddler would go back to bed when we got home.

But, as I walked out I thought, there was a time in my life when I would have been embarrassed about taking one of my kids somewhere like that in their jammies. Even at 7:50 am I would have felt like it revealed some kind of failure on my part as a mom, but now?

I don't care. I really don't. Having 3 kids as close in age as I did (still do) forced me to give up on the striving for perfect. I had to admit I can't do it all. And living in this new realm outside of striving for perfect, is a much better place to be.

I have no doubt that one reason God blessed me with more than 2 children is because He knew I needed to let go of some things, like my pleasing-the-world tendencies, and lean a whole lot more on Him!

And besides, my 3 year old is pretty cute in his jammies!

Find more Thankful Thursday here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Power to Choose

You know, I think the more kids you have and the longer you are a parent the less that you can say works for you. Because, often things work for one kid but then a younger brother or sister hits that phase and it doesn't work for them. Or something worked for a while, but then it stopped working.

But, I have an easy phrase that has worked for me for years now with all 3 of my kids.

When we are at a playground or otherwise fun place my kids may not want to leave and it's close to time to go I will say, "Do you guys want to leave in 3 minutes or 4 minutes?" or you can change it up to "5 minutes or 6 minutes" and I've even been known to do "1 minute or 2 minutes?"

Obviously I don't really care what they answer, one minute is no difference to me, but somehow giving them the feeling of control allows for a smooth exit once it is time to leave.

They always, always choose the longer choice. Every single time!

But, then once the 4 minutes is over I say, "Okay guys it's been 4 minutes; time to go," and I start heading for the car.

If they protest I remind them that they chose 4 minutes and it has been 4 minutes. Who can argue with their own choice?

Really, the magic works, because they give in at that point and follow me to the car without tantrums, screaming, or crying, which I wish I could say about every other aspect of our lives!

Find more Works for Me Wednesday here.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Photographing Kids

It was a gorgeous spring day, we dressed our children, then ages 3 years old and 7 months old, and headed to some beautiful gardens to take some pictures of the kids in the flowers.

Idyllic, right?

The reality:

My son was sprinkling dirt on his baby sister's head while she lunged and reached with all her might for handfuls of gravel to put in her mouth!

So, now and every year for the past 3 years (since we added a 3rd child to the picture-taking chaos), I've treated myself to a family session with a photographer. She has young kids of her own so she understands, and no matter how uncooperative my 3 kids are she always seems to get some great shots of them at least looking like smiling angels! And she gives us the digital images so I can print pictures even years later!

Money well spent, my friends, money well spent!

And now it's time for me to go email her about our appointment for this year before she's booked through Christmas!

This post is part of the Moms' 30-Minute Blog Challenge.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

While We're Waiting

This Sunday marks 5 months.

Five months we've been on the wait list to adopt a girl in the age range of 0 to 30 months from Ethiopia.

Somebody ahead of us on the list with our agency got a referral this week for a 2 year old little girl -- hurray!!!

So when will we get matched with the child who will be our daughter?

We don't know. The average wait time with our agency right now is about 8 months.

Some days the waiting is pretty easy and other days it is hard.

Especially if I let my mind wander to the likely possibility that she, the little girl who will be my daughter, is in an Ethiopian orphanage right now.

And I want her here with us instead.

But, while we're waiting (and yes, The John Waller song, "While I'm Waiting" does run through my head often) we are confident God knows what He's doing.

We began working with our agency a year ago this month. We could have had a biological child in that time, but we wouldn't trade this adoption experience for anything. God has used it to change and grow our hearts in ways we never could have imagined!

Speaking of hearts, at a recent lunch with other families who have adopted or are adopting from Ethiopia through our agency, our 3 year old made friends with a little 2 year old girl adopted from Ethiopia about a year ago. She grabbed my son's hand, and they stayed hand in hand for a good while, running around, the Ethiopian bracelet handed out at the lunch encircling her wrist. She was just as precious as she could be and seeing the two of them together absolutely melted my heart. At one point my son looked up, smiled shyly and said, "She likes me!"

When I tucked my boy into bed that night I mentioned the little girl's name and said, "You know your little sister may be kind of like her. Does that seem okay?"

He beamed and said, "Yeah".

We'll wait as long as it takes.

Psalm 68:5-6b, "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families"

Find more Finer Things Friday here.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Getting the Clean Off

My 3 year old is going through an intense phase of needing pretty much constant attention from me.

I realize this is largely due to his favorite playmates from the summertime, his big brother and sister, going off to school from 8am to 3pm every day without him. And he's not used to entertaining himself, the older kids have been around telling him what, when, where, and how to play. And although he doesn't say he misses them, what he does say is, "Mommy, play with me!" "Mommy, where are you?!!!!!" (if I disappear from his sight for even 6 seconds!) "Mommy come with me to my room to get my Big Duke." "Mommy wait for me!" "Mommy, don't go upstairs without me!" "Mommy, you left me!!" (If I sneak away to unload the dishwasher or, gasp, go to the bathroom without him!)

I wonder if this phase is God getting me ready for our next child, who we will adopt and will likely need nearly constant attention from me to attempt to catch up for the attention she lacked while in an orphanage.

I know this phase will pass for my 3 year old son, and so although it is tiring, I am trying to savor the sweetness because I know he won't be my constant companion forever. I just pray he outgrows the neediness before the next child joins our family!

And I can still appreciate the humor of it all. The wanting Mommy every waking moment played out like this on a recent morning:

I went to get in the shower and my 3 year old protested, "No! You're already clean!" I assured him I was not and got in the shower.

He proceeded to scream through the shower door over and over again, "You're already clean!!!"

and then after about 2 minutes of that it switched to, "You're getting the clean off!"

"Mom! You're getting the clean off!"

For all the peace and relaxation he drains from my life, he certainly fills it with laughs!

Find more Thankful Thursday.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fun, Healthy Kid Snacks

Sometimes for fun, I like to plan after-school snacks for my kids that are also an activity.

Like, building a cracker house out of wheat crackers and cream cheese, using the cream cheese as the glue (regular cream cheese for white or strawberry for pink).
And for my daughter's princess house with the flat-roof there had to be sparkly snow on the roof, of course!
Another snack I've done is create-your-own-snack-mix where I set out various dry cereal, crackers, dried fruit, and chocolate chips and let my kids mix up whatever creation they want. This one below with Cracklin Oat Bran cereal, Cheese-its, Life cereal, dried cranberries, and chocolate chips is really, really good -- somebody with more time on their hands than I (or maybe just someone who doesn't have paperwork-phobia which I now have after completing adoption paperwork) ought to patent that combination and sell it in bags!

And you can make cracker faces with graham crackers by using honey for glue and various toppings for face features. Here mini-chocolate chips are the eyes, a raisin the nose, and Nerds candy for the mouth.
My kids love getting to play with their food!

Find more Works for Me Wednesday here.

Monday, September 6, 2010

12 Minutes After I Mopped. . .

This picture was taken exactly 12 minutes after I finished mopping the kitchen floor:

Somebody remind me why we have a dog.

And, again, I ask who, oh who, made the conscious decision to install solid white tile all over the kitchen?

Excuse me while I go remind myself of what I said in this post.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I'm washing my hands every 4 minutes!

We are only 2 weeks into the school year and I already need a frequent visitor card for our pediatrician.

When I picked up my 7 year old from school on Tuesday I noticed he looked really upset, I asked what was wrong and he broke down, "I feel really bad!" One hand to his forehead told me he definitely had fever.

I gave him some Tylenol and it came down a bit, but he still had chills and felt miserable. I knew we'd likely be at the doctor the next morning.

He started throwing up in the middle of the night and the next morning his fever was nearly 103 degrees. We went straight to the pediatrician (remind me to one day write a post about how much I love our pediatrician; they always see us right away!). While at the doctor I noticed a rash starting on the back of my son's neck. He tested positive for Strep., but the doctor also did a CBC because my son was so sick. The blood test showed that the bacteria causing the Strep throat had gone into his blood stream, causing the more extreme symptoms of vomiting and rash. The doctor gave my 7 year old 2 shots of antibiotic, prescribed oral antibiotics, told me to call and update him on my son's condition that evening, bring him in for a re-check in 2 days, and keep him out of school for the rest of the week. "Wow, this is serious!" I thought.

Little did I know the doctor was actually sugar-coating the whole thing for me with the description of "Strep that has gone into the blood stream".

The name for that is Scarlet Fever!

This morning when the fever was gone but the rash was still there, now covering much of his body, I did a little Internet searching to see how long I could expect a Strep rash to last. And guess what? Every site I looked at said Strep with a rash is Scarlet Fever.

I know the pediatrician was trying to protect me from that scary term because um, don't people DIE of that? Wasn't it Scarlet Fever that made Mary go BLIND on Little House and the Prairie?!!!

Clearly he knew, I couldn't handle the truth.

But, while the internet may be an alarmist, it did set me straight with the statistic that yes, before antibiotics 20% of people did die of Scarlet Fever, but since the advent of antibiotics the mortality rate is less than 1%.

The good news is, just like the doctor said he would, my son felt a whole lot better just a few hours after getting the antibiotic shots, and now is just rashy but feeling mostly fine.

The bad news is, we learned that when the kid who sleeps on the top bunk starts throwing up in the middle of the night, it is not pretty! And you really don't want to be the kid on the bottom bunk!

To wrap up this very long-winded story, today I salute the finer things of my carpet cleaning machine, antibiotics, and our pediatrician!

Find more Finer Things Friday here.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

When the children are away. . .

This year, until we add a 4th child to our family (through adoption), I have 6 magical hours each week when all 3 of my children are at school -- 3 hours one morning and 3 hours on another.

So, what do I do with myself?!!!

Well, this week, I only had 1 day because the 1st day of preschool the kids only stayed for an hour and 15 minutes and during that time the parents were in a parent meeting at the school.

But in 13 snippets here's how the other morning was spent:
  • Dropped off my 3 year old at school. Patted myself on the back for actually remembering to pack and take his snack, considering the bringing a snack is a new policy since my 2 other children went through this same class.
  • Headed to the daycare center where the 2 children I volunteer as their Child Advocate (CASA) go to school, to visit them and check out their classes. While there I spent about 20 minutes on the floor with 10 toddlers, 1 of which screamed the entire time, another rattled the baby gate for 19 of the 20 minutes I was there. But the little boy I was visiting? Couldn't have been cuter and more smiley and was very obviously showing off for me with his stunts! Then I moved on to a little older class where his sister was, she is just learning to talk (slightly delayed) but very clearly told her classmates, "MINE!" whenever any of them tried to approach me. It took me a few minutes to realize she was not saying that about a toy but about me! "Yes, I'm here to visit you." I affirmed her many times.
  • Left the daycare and went to my 2nd volunteer job of the morning -- helping the kindergarteners at my 2 older kids' school while they were in the cafeteria for lunch (our school asks for volunteers for the first few weeks of school while the little kids are getting used to the routine and need help opening things from their lunchboxes).
  • Hugged my own precious kindergarten girl and loved how excited she was to see me in her cafeteria!
  • Greeted my daughter's friend, "How are you, Rachel?" Rachel replied, "Awesome!! I'm awesome!" I marveled at the enthusiasm of kindergarteners!
  • Opened a variety of drinks and food baggies/containers and instructed over and over, "Eat your lunch or you'll be hungry later!"
  • Took 3 little girls to the restroom, 1 of them twice in the 30 minute lunch -- I didn't ask what that was about, some things it's better not to know!
  • Had the following conversation with another kindergarten girl:
Me: "Oh, your name is Claire. I just met another Claire in your class. There must be two Claires."
Claire: sighs, "Yeah and I'm kind of jealous of her," and points to the other Claire.
Me: "Really? Why?"
Claire: "Well, sometimes I raise my hand in class to answer a question and the teacher says, 'Claire' but the other Claire answers the question instead. So that makes me kinda jealous of her!
Me: "Oh, I see."
Claire: "Yeah, it's just like the year there were two Olivias and that wasn't very awesome."
  • I was very sympathetic to her face, but I spent the entire rest of the day giggling about that conversation! Poor "Other Claire"!
  • Left the cafeteria job with just about 15 minutes to spare before it was time to go pick up my 3 year old from preschool. I went home to soak up 15 whole minutes in my house BY MYSELF! Oh the quiet!
  • Thought to myself (since I could actually have an entire complete thought in my head), "How is it that this one morning in months when all 3 of my kids were in school at the same time did I manage to spend nearly all of it surrounded by gobs of kids?!"
  • Smiled at the blessing of getting to be around little kids so much during this season of my life.
  • Couldn't help glancing at the calendar for next week hoping to spend one of my free days doing something leisurely like shopping all alone! But, nope, next Monday is a holiday so again only one toddler-free day for me. And on the Tuesday? A long ago scheduled dentist appointment for me. To quote an apparently popular word among the kindergarteners - Awesome!!
Find more Thankful Thursday and Thursday Thirteen.