30 March 2016

Soccer, Spring Blizzard, Easter

We started out the week early Monday morning with a visit to Dr Shaw for our 6 week check up. I tipped the scale at...ha ha...wouldn't you like to know. Josie however tipped the scale at 9lbs 7.5 oz and grew to 21.85 inches. We both checked out as healthy. I escaped the office without a pap smear. Yes. The kids and I went to Walmart since the van was loaded up and we were dressed for the day. Seems like these days when I actually get the kids into the van we are obligated to run as many errands as possible.

Phillip is very excited to start playing soccer with 60 other hyper boys aged 6-8. Our Mondays are now pretty busy, Amelia has ballet at 5, Phillip has soccer at 5:30, make dinner, pick up Amelia at 6, and then Phillip at 6:30, and the FHE. The busy day is totally worth the stress after seeing his excitement over playing a ball sport. In Phillip's mind he is a huge soccer star! I thrifted soccer cleats and sock shin guards to outfit him for the next couple months. Everett was pretty disappointed he was not old enough to play. He quickly learned not to touch the ball with his hands. During the parent's huddle Phillip got a soccer ball in the face. He was sobbing from the pain. Phillip was struggling with ball manipulation and not touching the ball when we drove off. I can officially call myself a crazy soccer mom. He he he. Amelia can be found riding her bike...in a tutu and leotard after ballet. She cracks me up. Ballet is challenging with crutches! Monday and Tuesday we had the best time outside in 75 degree weather. Our lilac bush started to leaf out...just in time for a blizzard.

School was postponed Tuesday afternoon for Wednesday morning in anticipation of a forecasted blizzard. The last time school was cancelled the blizzard never showed up. Well, this blizzard hit us with a vengeance. We woke up Tuesday morning to no snow, not a lick. An hour later three inches covered the ground. School was upgraded from postponed to cancelled soon after that. We were all upstairs playing when I noticed that thunder and lightening were part of this snow storm. I have never heard/seen this phenomenon. Apparently, it is called thundersnow and is extremely rare. Most of the time thundersnow is accompanied with significant snowfall. The last time a thundersnow came around in 1976, 7 feet of snow dumped on the area. We only got a couple inches because the system was moving so fast with high winds. Justin was sent home from work because the city declared a snow emergency. He was grateful since his nasty cough/cold was pretty hard to work through. He got a nice nap. The kids and I dyed Easter eggs during the afternoon. Evelyn was quite keen on coloring eggs...you kidding? Eggs, liquid, and colors?! Right up her alley. She tried to steal everyone's eggs and double dipped many eggs. A towel kept most of the dye off the table. Amelia tried a new dye that turned the eggs a shimmery color. We discovered that pre-dyed eggs put into the shimmer made for some really pretty eggs. I made a lovely yellow egg. While Justin took the kids outside to clear snow and play I made a delicious lentil soup with ham and obligatory scones with honey butter for dinner. Phillip ate two bowls of soup, which is a miracle. Usually I brace myself for constant whining about the food I prepare. It gets old, quick. Any tips for teaching kids to be polite about food they don't agree with? I must be the worst cook based on their reviews. Just wait until they leave home, I will become an instant culinary legend when the kids discover how hard it is to prepare food every single day.

Early, early Thursday morning Amelia barfed on her pillow. Why, why does barf always happen during the darkest hours of the night? She missed yet another day of school. I sent the boys to school with runny noses. Seems like a viral flu/cough/congestion is plaguing Sidney again. Justin battled a cold all week, all the kids had congestion, Amelia the barfs, Evelyn a fever, Josie congestion and fever, etc. The germs finally caught up to me as well early Friday morning with a long bout in the bathroom leaking from both ends. Gross, gross, gross. I declared a quarantine for the day. The kids and I slept and watched TV until 11 am. We spent a lovely afternoon building Lego sets and yelling at each other. The grouchy bug was especially strong with the mama bear. Justin left work early for Good Friday, he joined in the Lego fest. I built 5 Lego sets in one afternoon! The kids roped me into playing the teacher who dated Batman. The teacher eventually made hybrid Lego girls (our favorite characters were hot-air-balloon head and hose head) to protect the high school from the evil arctic snowplow tribe. Good times on Good Friday.

Justin took the kids to the Primary activity. Evelyn was especially in need of getting out of our house and away from YouTube and Peppa Pig. I cleaned the kitchen and bathroom in the silence of our home since Josie was sleeping. I filled the silence by banging dishes and whacking pots with knives. It was too quiet. I finally settled on listening to the Mormon Channel. The kids came home hyped up on goofy balls from sugar highs. I finally pulled out the Easter outfits and decided Evelyn's dress would not work with the collection. Jen came to the rescue, she found a yellow dress at Walmart. I thrifted a cute yellow dress for Amelia last month. Her dress was the inspiration, I ordered navy pants, suspenders, and ties for the boys and a cute little dress for Josie. I wanted to take Easter photos Saturday but poor Josie was so cranky I waited until Monday. At 5:30 I decided we needed baby chicks for Easter photos. Amelia, Evelyn, and I raced down to Bomgaards and purchased 4 cute baby chicks, a heat lamp, and some chick food. The kids were over the top excited to have 4 new pets for the weekend...excited until they discovered that baby chicks poop all the time. They took to carrying the chicks around in plastic bowls! Phillip was scared to hold the chicks because of their pokey claws. He held a chick once for a second. The rest of the evening we spent bathing, keeping Vader from eating the chicks, and playing with the baby chicks. I found Amelia crooning sweet lullabies to the chicks. What a sweetheart.

Our Easter was amazing. We made it to church late, I am not sure what happened this time. I had all the clothes ready and laid out. Somehow between convincing the kids to eat breakfast and fixing hair we ran out of time. It was fast and testimony Sunday so we listened to many sweet testimonies for sacrament meeting. I left with Josie afterward because she was quite congested and eating was a messy chore for her. Poor kid spit up most of her lunch as she tried to clear her airways. After 90 minutes getting her settled I was able to make Lion House roll dough for dinner. The kids were very excited when I picked them up because they each got Conference notebooks, candy, and learned about Easter. After lunch the kids tried to find their Easter baskets. Phillip was the only kid who found his basket, thanks to Amelia. Amelia and Everett gave up after 5 minutes of searching. Soon the kids had a lovely game going using the rubber chicks in their baskets. We invited Jen, Chris, and Caedon Abdon over for Easter dinner. They are not used to all the noise 5 kids can generate. Chris had a constant goofy look in his eye as my kids regaled him with stories and showing off. Jen snuggled Miss Josie, who was alert and awake for a couple hours. We ate a delicious dinner of orange-glazed ham, parsley potatoes, asparagus, rolls, juice, and lemon bars. Caedon hid Easter eggs for the kids to hunt in the yard....the first time. We had several other runs with hiding eggs. Our evening entertainment was provided by Caedon's face swap app on his phone. It switches the faces of two people. Let me tell you, Justin and I, looked pretty amazing. Nightmares for weeks.

21 March 2016

A Day (or two) in the Life of a Toddler

8:00 wake up screaming, yell "Salad!!" when mom comes in, and make pig noises
8:10 strip off PJs and diaper, strategically place diaper in a place Mom will step on it, she makes crazy noises when she actually steps on wet diapers
8:15 demand Spaghetti O's for breakfast, give up and instead pour yourself a bowl a cereal, keep pouring cereal until the entire bag is empty. Squat naked on the table to eat breakfast. Scream because the cereal sticks to your feet
8:20 make strawberry milk...aka fill cup with powder then lick the powder scoop.
8:30 pull all pants and shirts out of drawers in search for the perfect outfit. Choose two pants, three socks, undies, and a tutu. Shirt is optional
8:40 jump on Mom's newly made bed, hide naked bum in the pillows
8:50 strip off clothes again, pee on carpet, cry because Elsa undies are wet
9:00-9:30 Mom takes a break, let's toddler watch Peppa Pig or Bubble Guppies
9:35 fill 20 cups with water from the kitchen faucet. Watch in fascination as you carefully pour water onto the floor
9:45 squat naked (again) on counter and beg for marshmallows or apple sauce packets
10:00 run outside squealing like a pig, mom chases you because you are naked and it is 40 degrees outside.
10:10 back outside with clothes on, throw rocks at gutter but really you are trying to hit cars as they pass
10:15 sing Wheels on the Bus 20 times as the bus parks on the street
10:20 give mom sweet kisses as you pretend to go to work, wave bye, and give more hugs. Mom loves this game
10:30 get a cheese snack, eat one bite and feed rest to the dog. Make sure to carry a new bowl of shredded cheese (or cottage cheese) to the living room and sprinkle carpet. Lick cheese off coffee table
10:45 get naked again, wag your tail for mom, it is invisible!
11:00 pester Everett while he is stuck in another dimension. Run off with his binder ring (which morphs him from dimensions). He cries because he is stuck in the wrong dimension. You laugh and run like a maniac until Everett cries. Pull his hair for good measure. You cry when mom puts you in timeout until you apologize.
11:20 turn your attention to the dog. Try to ride him like a horse. He hates this so you grab his collar. Vader drags you until you lose your grip.
11:35 yank baby's head off mom's breast while baby nurses. It is cool to watch milk spray into the air.
11:50 Dad is home for lunch, you are naked again. You shake your invisible tail and yell "Salad". Dad makes you a corn dog, you eat the ketchup and the hot dog, the corn part is for the dog. Don't worry regular hot dogs won't cut it. Spoon ketchup and ranch into your mouth. Cry because Dad won't take you to work in his amazing truck.
12:35 swing or spin for 20 minutes until Mom won't push you anymore, try to find worms and bugs in the yard
1:00-4:00 Mom tries to make you nap. You get a diaper change, strip off socks, pants, and sleep in just shirt. Mom reads you some books: wonder pets put the baby animals to bed, 5 times; Elsa book, 6 times; Quacking Time 1 time; Caillou Goes to the Doctor, 3 times. Throw a fit when it comes down to turning off the lamp and going to sleep. Mom fake sleeps...maybe...she sleeps as you poke her eyes, wiggle like a worm on a hook, until you fall asleep manipulating the legs of your favorite Ellie Binky. Wake up when mom puts you in crib, cry for 20 minutes then sleep for an hour.
4:00 wake up crying, stuff your pillow, blankets, and ellie in the corner of your crib. Jump in bed once mom comes to get you
4:10 act cranky until mom gives you the iPhone while she nurses baby and helps siblings with homework.
4:40 Try to dump fish food into the tank, mom catches you. While she is making dinner return to tank and catch the sick fish, try to stuff it in your pocket. Mom makes you put the crippled fish back. It limps along for a couple days and another few toddler catches before it dies.
4:50 Make yourself another cup of strawberry powder, eat a spoon of PB, smear PB on your legs and lick it off. Leg smearing makes it taste better.
5:00 Put random items in all mom's pots, bang pan lids with a fork, spill water on the floor, eat the rest of your lunch mom neglected to put away.
5:10 go outside with siblings, cry because they won't push your trike.
5:15 help mom make dinner by stabbing tomatoes or avocados with a butter knife
5:30 eat dinner, mostly feed it to the dog, and play with your food; ask for a snack 10 minutes after dinner is over
6:00 help mom with the dishes, unload silverware onto the floor, carry the spoons into the living room and hide them in the coffee table
6:30 play with the pretend food, dump all the bins of play food into one pile, jump on pile, sort items by color. Feed your baby doll some food.
6:50 dump bag of marshmallows, lay on the pile because it is soft and comfy, find a blanket and make yourself comfortable. Eat marshmallows.
7:00 get naked again, this time mom puts you in the bath. Pretend you are a bumble bee, splash until mom makes you stop. Pour water on the carpet. Drink all the bath water you can. Mom leaves to get you a clean towel, you pull all the hand towels and rugs into the bath with you. Cover yourself and surprise mom when she comes back
7:20 pretend to sleep on the coffee table, naked, with a blanket and the boppy pillow. Snore cause that is what mom and dad do
7:30 run as parents chase you since getting PJs on will mean going to bed. Dang! Mom put a safety pin on the zipper so you can't get naked again. Thwarted...just wait
7:45 sneak the iPhone and watch Peppa Pig, all the older kids crowd around, you move until they can't see
8:00 night snack, wait until you are in the room to demand a popsicle.
8:20 scripture and prayer time, you always find a reason to scream or cry...or make Everett cry
8:45 Mom or Dad puts you to bed. Repeat scene at naptime. Mom always falls asleep in the chair holding you. You softly pat her cheek and wuffle your toddler breath against her neck. Heaven.

St Patrick's Day

We were able to feed the Sister missionaries Monday evening. I hate deciding what to make for dinner lately. It is hard to come up with new ideas that the kids will actually eat. Justin suggested a lemon chicken recipe that I jazzed up with extra spices and served over spaghetti noodles. It was pretty good, like darn delicious. All you need is chicken spiced with salt and paprika; the sauce has thyme, butter, garlic, cream, parmesan, lemon, spinach/kale and mushrooms. We had an entertaining FHE with the Sisters. They taught a lesson based on the new Mormon video for Easter. The sisters enjoyed our version of "Glory," where we single out each child and tell about the awesome things the kid accomplished the previous week. The kids choose what kind of Glory we shower them with (car, cat, ninja, and fart are the favorites lately). Phillip showed the Sisters how to play Pickle-in-the-Head, a version of copy cat, but doing strange actions. The kids played some Charades after that while we ate Strawberry ice cream for dessert.

Josie is smiling more, I captured a video of her first smile (lucky me) in response to me talking with her. It is precious! After her cute smile she ended the video with a silly poop face. Josie loves to hang out in the bath on her cute yellow bath flower. The undressing and redressing are not so enjoyable. Evelyn often plops herself in the tub at the same time. She pours water on Josie's belly for me. Amelia loves to dance to Frozen in the kitchen holding Josie with Evelyn bopping along. Seems like Amelia had a better week, not as Badger-ish. Sister Elliott is taking her to PT most of the time and is making progress. She often ditches her crutches at the door and will not use them in the house. It seems her hip is feeling better so she does not feel like using the crutches. We pressure her to use them because that means the crutches are helping keep her bones from disintegrating.

Tuesday evening we went to Everett's parent-teacher conference. He is improving but still shows signs of emotional immaturity. I am really considering the option of waiting until next year for kindergarten. What is the hurry? Let him be a kid for a while longer. He is super smart so that is not an issue. He might be too smart for Kindergarten. The kids were quite excited to pick more books from the book fair at the preschool. Right before bed the kids suddenly decided to make Leprechaun traps. I tried Sunday and Monday to help them but they were too busy with other activities. Amelia and Phillip whipped up Lego houses. Phillip's had a trebuchet that would launch the sneaky devil into the house where the money was hidden in plain sight. Amelia's had a fake door, if closed the door would make a statue fall and block the door. The back door was actually blocked off with more legos.

The traps did not entice the Leprechaun. He sprung the traps, must have been too upset about the traps because he left the money and made a mess on his way out. He zapped Speedor the remote control car up on the ceiling fan; created an epic Power Ranger battle complete with dinos eating the Power zord's toes, stuffed Mia's back pack with clutter, flipped a chair onto the horse, and made some dolls ride the bumble bee. We had lots of laughs before school about his antics. The kids had green pancakes for breakfast. Everett would not touch the strange colored pancakes, Evelyn ate 6! I had a blast dressing up the kids in green. We had corned beef, baked potatoes, and braised cabbage for dinner. I made soda bread for dessert. Justin was more excited to make a large amount of corned beef hash the next day for dinner. He was surprised the kids did not whine more about the meal. I finished reading On the Banks of Plum Creek with a tear in my eye. Phew, such a compelling series. We can relate with the strange weather being on Prairie lands. I've read 4 books of the series out loud now to Amelia and Justin. We finished off St Patty's on Friday with a family movie night watching Darby O'Gill. Both boys were pretty disturbed with the movie and hate banshees now.

The sister missionaries came over to help me move the big furniture from the craft room into the man cave. It is hard moving from a large space into a crammed space, still I am grateful Justin is reluctantly sharing his space with me. I am cleaning out all my craft stuff to pare down what is stored in said furniture. I trashed a lot of paper, scrap yarn, scrap fabric, and other craft supplies I have not used in years. Now all my craft stuff will fit into the cabinets and drawers I have left. The worst part about the man cave is going from natural light to crappy one bulb ceiling light. I bought a new light so hope it will brighten up the space. The room is slowly coming together. At the same time I sold a bunch of items on Sidney's For Sale FB page. I rather enjoy Spring cleaning and the subsequent purges. I am slowly posting and thrifting away toys so the kid's don't notice. By the time school is out Amelia and Everett will be ready to move into the basement room.

Justin and I got a NEW MATTRESS! This is huge! Our previous mattress was 11 years old, a pillow top mattress that could not be flipped. It was awesome for many years but slowly became molded and trenched. My back and hips always ached after sleeping. Justin purchased a "Purple" mattress. It is pretty amazing. The mattress came compressed in a roll, sort of like a roll of carpet. Once the packaging was cut away it popped into a King sized mattress. The mattress is made of some crazy space age gels and foams. Our last bed was so tall that it swallowed the room, seeing such a low profile mattress now makes our room seem bigger. I like that I don't have to jump into bed, I can climb. Ha ha.

Evelyn and I got haircuts this week. I went with a short pixie like I sported late last year. Evelyn got a cute A-line cut. Hopefully her hair will grow in thicker. She was not happy about her first salon hair cut, but handled it well. My hair is once again cut into a 3-minutes to style length. It suits my current lack of time.

I heard back on from O'Bryan Computer Services about my back up drive. The drive had power issues that cause it to disconnect the directories stored on the device. Sounds like I either hand over $600-1000 dollars or count the files stored there as lost. Most are redundant, some folders are only stored there (like my iPhone pics and videos). Makes me want to cry thinking about the loss of those files.

Justin worked on our taxes most of Saturday. It was a stressful day for us both. We owe money this time around because I made quite a bit of money last year and did not have as many expenses. Justin also got some cash payouts from stocks that we had to pay taxes on. It is no fun having to pay taxes! We like getting money refunds. We worked on claiming business expenses which really cut our owed taxes.

Yesterday we had Kelsey Watchorn over after dinner. She had Perthes in both her hips, a severe case. We are gathering information before Amelia's next appointment on 4 April 2016. It was interesting and heart breaking to her about her life with Perthes. We hope, of course, that Amelia's case is on the less severe side of the spectrum. Some points I want to remember are:

-only use pain relief when pain is bad, it seems to cycle and pulse. Extended use cause intolerance and reflux.
-use pillows between knees to center bones in hip socket
-one comfortable sleeping position is laying on back with legs up on couch or recliner back
-condition is genetic
-if she has more pain the next day then we need to evaluate what was new that day and modify that activity
-swimming and biking are the best source of exercise for her
-changes in pain level could indicate that the disease is worsening
-use PT and chiropractic to keep scoliosis and arthritis at bay or control the pain from secondary conditions.
-keeping the hip muscles strong is the BEST therapy available. The muscles alone can keep the bone in the socket even if the hip and bones are deteriorated.
-expect arguing and fighting from her over using crutches, limiting activity, and such. She will be grouchy because the level of pain can be so intense.

I am so, so happy that Mrs Watchorn is willing and able to "mentor" Amelia. She totally understands what Amelia is going through. She can also help me understand and be more patient with Amelia. I made Aunt Mary's congo bars for a dessert. Yummy.