Thursday, January 5, 2012

 The holidays were wonderful with us. The kids got along great. We enjoyed the extra time to spend together as a family. It was a wonderful, Kumbaya-land for us around here. We had a great visit with my long time BFF who was visiting from out of state. The boys watched football, us girls caught up and the kiddos played in the basement when they weren't napping. Even BFF commented that it was one of the most peaceful environment she had been in during her holiday travels.

Tuesday rolled around all too soon, and it was back to normal routines.  The girls were off to school. K had a routine appointment with his doctor for his 5 year old well visit. He did so well! The doctor quizzed him on vision and hearing, writing his name, drawing a triangle, reciting his name and address; all which he passed with flying colors!! He makes me so proud!

He did have to get 2 shots: the flu vaccine and his 2nd dose of Hep. A vaccine. Since last year's well visit, in which he had 4 shots, he has been very nervous about shots. In the past, he had always taken them like a champ, but the nurse at our interim doctor's (where we went a few times after we moved) stuck him 4 times for one shot. HE HAD FOUR SHOTS THAT DAY!!! It was a very traumatic experience for the both of us. Today, whenever we drive by that doctor's office, he calls them the "NEEDLE DOCTOR". 

I promised him that I would never take him back to the needle doctor. Thankfully, the girls had a pediatrician close to home that is wonderful. While their doctor is pretty full, we are able to get in pretty easily with one of the others. She is wonderful!!! K was so strong taking his shots. He didn't even cry!! Again, I am such a proud momma!! 

As we are checking out, I get a call from the kids school. It's k's teacher. She says, "I'm not a doctor, but I am very sure that k has Hand, Foot and Mouth disease." When I dropped her off in the morning, she had some sores around her mouth, but they looked very similar to a round of cold sores she had a few months ago, so I thought nothing of it. I explained to them that I would be there to get her ASAP. 

After taking K to his reward for being a tough guy, pretzels at the mall, I dropped him off and picked up k. We did a quick lunch at Panera where she loves the broccoli soup. She was in such a great mood, all the folks sitting around us commented on how cute she was. Then we swung by to visit Daddy at work and show off the newly formed indicators of her "disease". In the course of 2 hours, he hands had developed several spots. Off to the doctor I returned. 

k, being in the great mood she was in, sang the whole way. She LOVES this new doctor, which is saying a lot because the girls doesn't shine well to new people. After 1 full year at our daycare, she still cries everyday when we drop her off. Same story at church. But our new doctor- Dr. Bar-Lev, who k affectionately calls Dr. Bar-bie (close, but not quite accurate).

After a thorough exam, it was determined it indeed was as daycare suspected. HFM is a virus that needs to run it's course, usually 7-10 days. There is no treatment that can be given, besides Mortin to manage any pain. 

So, here we are.... BANISHED from school until symptoms diminish. I stayed with her on Tuesday, Daddy on Wednesday, and momma again on Thursday. Today we painted with watercolors brought by "Santa", watched Tangled AGAIN!, ate "big-girl Taco Bell" for lunch, and k napped while I caught up on my filing. 

Here are some pictures from our day:

She learned quickly that the secret is lots of water.       

Great works of art require much focus!
So proud of her masterpiece!

Meanwhile, her hands looked like this:

 But her attitude was like this all the while.

Hoping to be un-banished next week. We have back-up care scheduled for tomorrow. With each day of banishment, I worry that returning to school will be more difficult than usual.

No Santa?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

We are having a minor Santa issue in our house this year. 

It seems that R- 11 years old, has decided that it is her responsibility to inform the other children that there is no Santa. 

It started with r- 8 years old. Who then proceeded to ask over and over for a week, "Is Santa real?" in front of the others- K-4 years old and k-2 years old. 

So when this question was posed to Grandma, who invites Santa to make an appearance at her house on Christmas Eve (he always obliges), it was like the world went into a major meltdown. Forget global warming, Grandma's heat was on!! 

We sat both R and r down individually to broach the issue. 

First r... 
Why do you keep asking if Santa is real?
Because R told me he wasn't...
Well, what do you believe? 
That he is real.
Why would you believe R? 
I don't know?
Listen, R believes her hair looks cute every morning and it looks a mess. She doesn't know the truth about everything. You believe what you want to believe. OK?
OK. (big smile)
Now, go send R up...
R comes upstairs and slumps down in her chair with her typical lazy posture...
Do you want to ruin Christmas for everyone?
Then why do you feel the need to tell r that Santa isn't real? Who told you that was your job? 
Well, I stopped believing when I was like 6 years old, and she is 8!
It doesn't matter, she is not the same as you. Plus, if she turns around and tells that to the little kids, it would ruin their Christmas!! Do you want to ruin Christmas? 
It's not your job to inform the younger ones about the knowledge of the world. That's our job as mom and dad. Let us do our job. If they ask you something, don't answer, tell them to ask us. 

from here
So, I thought that conversation took care of things. WRONG!!

Then this evening the phone rings and it's Mt. Saint Grandma calling to tell us that K-4 has told her that Santa isn't coming on Christmas Eve; it's really Uncle Bradley! 

Now granted, she handled very well. She did not acknowledge the comment, but continued on her way. But she is fuming about the fact that someone is tainting the festivities for the little kids. Not only that, but she has 3 other grandchildren that she is frantic will learn about this through the grapevine. 

The spark has ignited and she is rushing around like a crazy person to stop the wildfire from burning down her house! 

Last Christmas was an adjustment period. This year it feels more real because we are more closely bonded as a family. It is hard blending everyone together. We don't know what the girls' parents told them about Christmas. We don't really know what their traditions were. We hadn't really established any of our own because our two, K-4 and k-2, were still babies. 

I am hoping that this year will be our speed bump and that the future will run more smoothly. Mt Saint Grandma surely can't erupt every year.

Do you ever feel?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Do you ever feel taken advantage of? Unappreciated? Sad and lonely in a place full of people? 

I think it is natural to feel those ways from time to time. Even more when you are a mom or wife, with so many dependent on you will so little verbal affirmation.

This is my biggest struggle. My love language is verbal affirmation. Probably because I didn't get it as a child. Now, it makes me feel very loved to hear someone speak kindly to me, to be genuine and express their appreciation/ respect towards me. 

I am far from a perfect person. I am lazier than I should be most times. However, I think it is every person's right to feel loved. To have someone to cherish them. 

I read a couple years back a quote:
If you really put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price.  ~Author Unknown
Now, I do not think I undervalue myself. I get so frustrated when those around me, particularly my husband and children, do no see my value. Is it because I don't project it, sell it, believe it? 

I get mad at myself for feeling this way. It makes me down when I have so much to be thankful for. However, I am not happy with a mediocre life. I want so much better. I know there is better to achieve. Just because this is light years better than where I grew up, does that mean I should settle for where I am now? After all, the bar was not set very high.  

Our pastor says that in each hard time, God wants us to learn something. What should I learn from this? Some people say, "Well, you just need to choose to be happy. You have a great life, enjoy it."

While I don't necessarily disagree with that, is it wrong to want better? Is it wrong that I want my children to grow up with memories I never had an opportunity to make? Is it wrong for me to have an ideal of the loving relationship I want to model for them and to strive to it? Is it wrong for me to want to raise my children in an environment of mutual love and respect? 

I don't think my expectations are too high. Although I feel overwhelmed at climbing this mountain in front of me, I often wonder if I can do it on my own. I know I am not alone, but often feel that way. There is uncertainty if I am up to the task. There is fear that I will be left behind. There is the weight of those dependent on me. There are the cold, lonely nights of solitude- me left alone to my thoughts. 

I know that God is there to guide me. He will give me strength to endure. But for right now, I am shivering alone in the cold, not sure of what will come next.  All that I can do now is pray and hope for the best.

God please sustain me on this journey. Show me your way. Wrap me in your love. Guide me in your wisdom. -Amen

As the years go by

Friday, September 16, 2011

This week was our 10 year anniversary. I really wanted to be excited about it, but felt at odds with my excitement. I mean, it's like a birthday or Christmas. It comes and goes every year. 

This year, I wanted to be special because 10 YEARS! is a LONG TIME!! 

Today I put it together. I figured out why the day just slipped right by without any real jubilation.

Earlier this week I attended a training class which was teaching us how to handle traumatic situations of our customers with care. This class really hit home for me because of the events of the last 1+ year with the girls. There was a lot of discussion around death of a loved one and the way your mind is hard wired to deal with it. 

The presenter started with some examples from Sept 11th, which were very fitting considering it was also the 10 year anniversary since the tragic event. He told stories about people who where directly impacted (at ground zero). He said there were people who were standing under the towers and the next thing they remember they are 25 blocks away.


He called it the blow away phenomenon. This is where you brain turns off it's thinking portion and just uses the survival part of the brain. The survival brain is only concerned with 5 things: 1) Fight, 2) Flight, 3) Freeze, 4) Food, and 5) Fornication. 
So, the people on Sept 11th who were at ground zero and then suddenly 25 blocks away went into Flight mode. Their brain turned on "auto pilot" and high tailed it out of the danger zone until their brain told them they were in a safe place. When their thinking brain came back, they never remembered the time in which they were fleeing.

So how does all this relate to our wedding anniversary? 
Well... it clicked for me in that training class that over the last year (even 3 years really), I have been in the "auto pilot" mode. My survival brain has taken over. Could be for many reasons. Could be any of the five methods being used for "survival".  I think it even changes day to day.

Sometimes I am overwhelmed and I freeze. Sometimes I am angry and I fight. Sometimes I am sad and I flee. Sometimes I don't know how to cope and I turn to food to comfort the real emotions I am feeling. As for fornication, we won't go there... this is a family blog. :O)

It's been a year, when is it time to move forward with our lives? When can I feel safe in the new family that God has given us?
This week I needed to turn off the auto pilot so that I could enjoy a truly monumental event like our 10 year anniversary. We have had a year to adjust to the changes, now it is time to emotionally deal with them.This is the year that we will move forward- together as a family. It doesn't mean the traumatic events never happened or that I won't think about them. It just means I survived, WE ALL survived. I cant let continue to drift anymore. Eventually, I have to feel what I feel and move forward. It may hurt for a time, but it is much better than living in auto pilot. 

I had a wake-up call I desperately needed.

I feel motivated now. I don't want to miss the celebrations and landmarks for my family due to being in auto pilot. It is time to take the wheel and drive!!

Back to School= Busy

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

It's amazing how busy one time of year can be. Kids are still into the heat of the summer, wanting to spend long evenings at the pool. I am in the mode of routine and schedule, gathering school supplies, and arranging our after school activities so there is no overlap. 

r has been doing gymnastics and loving it (sorry no pictures). Our goal for the new school year is to get all A's, as opposed to a few A's, mostly B's and a C. We have explained to her that at the beginning of a new school year, especially at a new school, you start with all A's, you just have to keep them. If she can keep her A's she can add horseback riding in addition to gymnastics to her activity schedule (we were going to do riding lessons earlier, but her grades were such a struggle that we took it away before she ever got started). Now if she can't keep the A's and gets some B's that's okay, but she will lose horseback riding and only do gymnastics. If there is even one C, she will lose both riding lessons and gymnastics until she gets it up for 2 grading periods. 

We are hoping this is the motivation she needs to begin to care about her grades and getting her work done. In the past I am not sure that it registered with her because she had never really had an extra curricular activity that could be taken away. At the beginning of the year last year, we tried using horseback riding as our motivator, but having never had something on the schedule I think it never really mattered if we said we would take it away because she never knew what it was like to have an activity that could be taken away. Now she has with gymnastics and I am seeing her more motivated to make that happen each week. 

K is gearing up for flag football. He is wearing his Buckeyes jersey at least once a week. He can't wait for it to start. Until then, his obsession is with the Hilliard pool. They have a blue slide for kids his age that he LOVES!! It took about 1/2 hour to coax him to go down the slide, but now that he has it is very hard to get him to do anything else. Everyday after school that is the first thing he says to me. 

R is preparing for the 6th grade. We are excited and nervous at the same time. We spoke to the guidance counselor today. They said there are about 100 kids on a team, they have 6 teams at the school. Each team had 3 homeroom classes, with 28-30 in each room. That is more kids in her homeroom class than there were in all of the 5th grade at her old school. AMAZING and intimidating. We had a long take tonight about what to expect and how to react and inviting her to come to us. She is a good girl, so we don't need to worry, but we have to do our part as parents to communicate to her our interest and keep the invitation open so that when the time comes that she needs us she will feel comfortable. I think we are making some great progress with her, but still have a bit to work on. 

k is sassy as ever. She is all about the social party, even though she is not the most friendly around new faces. This past weekend, she wasn't feeling well (turns out she had a double ear infection) when we were invited to the neighbors for dinner. As soon as she heard we were going to a "little party" that's all she could take about. She had a great time interacting with the adults, she wouldn't drift far from my side because she didn't feel well. However, the smile never left her face. 

All in all things have been hectic. We are finally settling into our neighborhood (we LOVE our new house and neighbors), getting ready for school (just have a few supplies left to buy),  and preparing for the calendar as we add extra curricular to the routine. Last year was our transition year, this year is our stride year. We are so excited to see what it will bring.

Pelotonia 2011

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I have had a lot of questions lately about why I haven't wrote. Life with 4 kids keeps on pretty busy. We have had a fun summer, full of activity, laughter, and some tears. I will share more this week. PROMISE!!

The reason I am breaking my silence today is because of a meeting I attended this evening. It was the volunteer orientation for Peletonia 2011.  

100% Of All Funds Raised by Pelotonia directly support cancer research conducted at the Comprehensive Cancer Center and James Cancer Hospital/Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James) at The Ohio State University.

This is the same place where Bill and Debbie received their cancer treatments. 

There are nearly 4700 riders in this year. I will be helping to check them in. The meeting did not sound promising as far as ease, but each rider has a high fundraising goal in order to ride. It's pretty amazing that this many people agreed to raise at least $1200 to ride. The longer the ride, the larger the commitment.  

As a volunteer there is no monetary commitment, they are just happy to use your labor.  However, they give you the option to raise donations. 

Would you be willing to partner with us for this very special event? Please go to my profile on the Pelotonia website and donate. Leave comments with memories of Bill and Debbie for the girls. 

Click picture to DONATE

I like to believe that if Bill were still here, this would be an event that he would ride in each year. Since he can't be here, his family will be cheering on those who are supporting such a wonderful cause. 

I pray my kids will never have to see another family member battle with cancer.

In 9...8...7...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The day is fast approaching, I can hardly believe it! Our new house is just about done, basically it's just carpets that need to go in. We close in 9 days!! 

My days have been filled with errand running, furniture browsing, measuring, inspecting, negotiating prices and navigating paperwork.

My nights are filled with price comparing on the internet and looking for decorating ideas.Right now I am semi-obsessed with the decor of the house in "Life As We Know It". Funny because the movie plot aligns very much with our situation. I am trying to find some pics online of the bedroom in the movie, but have not had any luck. One of my favorite blogs that I follow, At Home Alterations, has a master bedroom that I may use as my main inspiration. LOVE!

I apologize for being the terrible friend I have been lately. I am hoping that once we move things will calm down quite a bit and we can get into some kind of "normal" life.

Things are going really well with the kids. We are making some great progress and most days it feels like our family has always been the 6 of us. It is beginning to feel more comfortable. The house is the last pain point that we need to address from all the changes that happened this year. 

So needless to say, we are super excited. Wildly overwhelmed by the idea of packing everything up. We had a POD delivered today so that we can pack boxes and move them out at our own pace. That was a bit of relief. 

Can't wait to get in and host some friends and family in our new home.

Category list