Monday, June 30, 2008

Life with Allergies

I don't know why this happens, but I seem to get a second wind each evening sometime around 10:00ish. I think it's b/c the day is gone, the children are (usually) sleeping, and it's nice to have a few moments to do whatever in the world makes me happy. As long as "whatever in the world makes me happy" is something that can be done late at night and at home since it's too late to go anywhere and everything's closed anyway. So that does narrow down my choices a bit. It's still nice to have a few minutes to myself. Ironically, it's also the time of the day when I should be going to bed b/c the boys (Cade) wake up so dadgum early and I'm not a happy mommy when I'm tired and awakened at dark:30 in the morning. It makes more sense to go to bed and get some sleep, but I just can't pass up these last few quiet minutes.

This happens to be my 3rd post of the day- that's definitely my personal best. Makes it kinda seem like I don't have anything better to do or something. The safer bet is that I've got too many "somethings" to do and blogging is just my avoidance mechanism.

This post will also be more about Piper and my failure as a mother. I'm really on a roll, I tell ya! I mentioned in an earlier post (that I'm too lazy to link to) that Piper is allergic to eggs. We even have an Epi-pen in case she accidentally ingests an egg-contaminated product and starts to go into anaphylactic shock. Obviously, Jason and I are both diligent to make sure that whatever she eats is egg-free. We would really like to avoid the drama that goes along with jabbing your child in the thigh with a high dose of adrenaline to save her from the possibility of death. People comment that it must be really hard, but usually it's not such a big deal. We avoid fried foods (which almost-2-year-olds should probably be avoiding anyhow. Alright, EVERYONE should be avoiding) b/c usually an egg-wash is used to hold the batter on. We avoid baked goods. We have to be careful about pastas, breads, and ice cream. So far, we've done OK. And if we aren't sure about something, we stick to the motto "better safe than sorry" and just avoid whatever "it" is.

I've become an ingredient-reading fool. I know all the nicknames and aliases for eggs and egg products and I'm even starting to memorize which brands of foods have eggs or are considered "safe." At least I thought I was doing a great job with all of this... Tonight, I got her new toothbrush and new toothpaste out to clean her sweet (and sharp) little baby teeth. Before, we were just using a thing I stuck on my finger and brushed over her teeth, but she has alot of teeth now and she bites. Hard. So sticking my finger in her mouth is no longer on my list of Things I Like To Do. On a recent trip to the store-who-must-not-be-named, I bought her her own special toothbrush and flouride-free toothpaste so it's safe to swallow. I should clarify... it's safe for average kids to swallow. Not safe for egg-allergic kids to swallow. Because it contains lysozome from eggs!! It never once crossed my mind to check the list of ingredients on the toothpaste.

It had to have been divine intervention that I even noticed it- as she was brushing I just happened to glance at the tube of toothpaste in my hands and the words 'eggs' caught my eye immediately. And boy was she was M-A-D when I grabbed the toothbrush away from her in order to rinse off the poisonous substance. She loves to brush her teeth. As long as I'm not trying to kill her. As always, her face started to break out so I had to give her a dose of Benadryl. I put her to bed not long after that, which is probably a no-no. I guess I should have waited a half hour or so before putting her down to make sure she was still breathing, but I figured it was such a tiny amount that she would probably be OK. The good news is that I did check on her a bit ago and she is still breathing just fine.

Tomorrow I get to conduct a massive search for egg-free flouride-free toothpaste that's safe for toddlers. I bet you're jealous, huh? Wish me luck!

Her First Trip to the ER

Our sweet friends in the "Panda" House just called to check on Piper and so I thought I should update my blog with the details, since we've returned home from the ER in fine shape.

I won't keep anyone in suspense one second longer: Piper's fine. She has a "hematoma" which is just a fancy medical word for a bruise, which is sort of... DUH!, b/c we could, like, SEE IT on her head! The ER doctor didn't find it necessary to do a CT scan- she said the bones in that part of the head are very hard and she didn't think there was any internal damage. Part of me feels better that at least an actual DOCTOR has looked at it, but her discharge instructions were for us to follow-up with our regular pediatrician in 7-10 days if the knot isn't any flatter. Uhhh, that's what I did today and he sent me to the ER, so what might he recommend in 7-10 days?? Anyway, she also recommended Motrin and ice for the inflammation. If you've ever tried to put an ice compress on a toddler's head, then you know that ranks up there with the World's Most Difficult Tasks, just below Using One's Arms as Wings to Fly to the Sun. So I don't think that's gonna be happening.

Our ER "stay" was actually quite quick. Which is sort of a shame b/c I was totally prepared to be there most of the evening. The pediatrician told me that if they had to do a CT, then Piper would have to be sedated, they'd do the scan and then we'd have to wait for her to come out of the sedation. He told me to be prepared to be there for several hours. My memory is not void of ER experiences, unfortunately, so I knew that just waiting for all of this could take some time. And since it's not everyday that you actually get to prepare for an ER visit, I took full advantage of our "lack of emergency" status to make sure we had enough stuff to make it through the evening at the hospital. I'll be honest- I'm not going to be winning any awards for World's Most Organized Woman, even though I like to pretend that I am, but tonight was my night!

I had Piper's bag packed with no less than:
7 diapers
a full package of wipes
2 Capri Suns
graham crackers
cheddar bunnies
string cheese
2 fruit cups
a frappucinno (for me!)
a change of clothes for Piper (including extra shoes- hey- you have to be prepared for ANYTHING, people.)
pajamas (in case we got out after bedtime)
crayons (Piper's latest fave!)
writing paper and
stickers (her other recent fave)

We were set for the loooong haul! And I think we spent a total of 45 actual minutes in the hospital. It may have been slightly more, but it definitely wasn't over an hour. I spent way more time driving there and driving home. Which is one of the many things I hate about where we live. It takes way too long to get places. But I digress.

Honestly, it was all so quick that I hadn't even finished filling out all the paperwork before the doctor was through seeing her. The nurse who discharged us even gave Piper a popsicle. That was genius... NOT. I let her have it in the car and tried not to get too uptight about the mess. Since our car is the only car in history to be recalled for being seriously uncool, I tried not to think about orange stickiness all over the seat. I put a bib on Piper and spread her "blankie" over her lap to keep the drips off her clothes, but when she started swinging the melting orange delight all over the place and grabbing it with her hands, my patience had ended. I traded her the popsicle for a capri sun and graham cracker and we both headed home in a more relaxed atmosphere. But evidence of the sweet treat can still be seen around her mouth and on her fingers. And probably on my car's leather interior, too.

So now we're home and everything has returned to normal. And my mom assured me that the contrary-streak that's recently struck my 20 month old sweet angel is less of a personality change brought about by serious head trauma and more about the fact that she's nearly 2 years old. We are in so much trouble!

More Prayers Needed

Just wanted to jot down quickly that I'm trying to get Missy to the ER this afternoon. The short version is that she fell down on the concrete about a week ago and still has a goose egg on her forehead. I called the pediatrician today and he suggested that she might need a CT scan, which means she'll have to be sedated. Which means we have to go the the children's hospital ER. Which means we're going to be there several hours.

The rational side of me feels like there can't be too much to be concerned about considering she's been acting completely normal since it happened. The other part of me hears words like "sedated" and "internal bleeding" and ":head trauma" and "ER" and gets a little freaked out. And of course I'm feeling like a complete failure and neglectful mom for letting my daughter go for a week with a head injury.

Anyway, we're taking things one step at a time and just preparing for a long wait at the ER. Please pray for us.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Happy Birthday, Micah!!

I can't believe that today's the day I became the mom of a 6 year old. 6 years ago today my precious Micah was born. TIme has gone by so much quicker than I ever would have imagined. Besides turning 6, in a few weeks he'll be entering kindergarten and I'll officially be the mom of a school-age child. After being a mom of toddlers and preschoolers for so long, this feels very surreal.

Since we actually had his birthday party back in May so he could invite his school friends, we just made this day into a fun evening for him. Jason and I were at YEC this weekend and just got home this afternoon. Tonight we stopped by our niece's birthday party- she is exactly 3 years older than Micah to the day- then took Micah to eat a a restaurant of his choosing and visited Cold Stone Creamery for dessert. I even let him stay up a bit later to play with his new Batman and Spiderman "figgers." I think he had a fun time overall.

Since I'm blogging now, I thought I might dedicate this post to my first-born child.

Dear Micah,

Your life is an amazing blessing to daddy and me. Your knowledge and vocabulary never cease to amaze us. You soak up new information like a sponge and ask the incredibly thoughtful questions for a child your age. Even though you haven't started "real" school yet, you can read a lot of words, most of them we haven't even taught you- you just seem to know. Learning comes very naturally to you. The Lord has blessed you with a great mind and I pray everyday that you will use your gifts and abilities to his glory for all of your days.

You can be quite reserved when you meet new people, which is strange for daddy and me because we enjoy being social, but once you've warmed up to someone, you hardly stop talking to them long enough for them to respond! I can see that you usually try hard to be a good example of Christ's love to Cade and Missy and that you try to be the best example you can be to them. You have such a sharp mind and you're developing quite a good sense of humor, too.

Most importantly, I can see the Lord working in your life, taking you on the beginning of your journey of faith. He has begun a wonderful work in you and he will be faithful to complete it. My prayer is that you love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind and that your life brings glory to him forever.

I love you, baby!


PS- Happy birthday, Codie!! Love you!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Name Change

Micah is currently obsessed with why people change their names when they get married. We have some form of this conversation everyday. Of course he wants to know why it's only women and not men who change last names, although I have some "progressive" friends who both chose to hyphenate when they tied the knot. He was also delighted to find out that people can legally change their name to whatever they want when they get older. He's still trying to decide what name he should choose for himself- Spiderman or Batman. I think Batman maybe the forerunner b/c he has that cool utility belt with the "gadgets." I haven't broken the news to him that the utility belt doesn't come as a free gift with the name change.

I mention that story b/c I'm still pondering a blog name change. I mentioned in one of my very first posts that I wasn't sure if the name I chose would stick. I don't think it is. It hasn't really grown on me. At all. And I'd like something to tie my URL and blog title together better. And by "tie them together" I mean they'll probably be the same thing.

When I first met Jason, every computer thing he did had "sturg" in it somewhere. Sturgpod, Sturgdisk, Sturgfile, SturgMac, Sturgfam, and so on. You get my drift. He's pretty much the Sturgman. It kind of sounds like he's really into himself, but it's not like that. I think it's kinda catchy, to be honest. When I had children, I became Sturgmom and I use that quite a bit on the internet and such. So I think I might go that direction.

I particularly hate it that my whole name is linked whenever I post a comment on someone else's blog. Not that I care who sees my name, but it just feels a bit obnoxious to me for some reason. Like the annoying kid in school who vigorously waves her hand to be called on b/c she can't wait to show up the rest of the class when she has the right answer. LOOK AT ME!!! Unfortunately, I think I was that girl. Maybe that's why I'm so self-conscious about it now. I've mellowed. A little.

So now I'm trying to figure out what to change to once again... And I'll only do it if I can keep what I've already started here, which I think I can. I'll probably end up Sturgmom's something-or-other. If you have any suggestions for the "something-or-other" part, feel free to leave me a comment.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Birds and the Bees

Of our 3 children, Micah is our thinker. And he asks a lot of really good, and really hard, questions. LOTS of questions. All the time questions. Non-stop questions.

Last night on our way to Bible study, out of the clear blue sky he says to me, "The only way a mommy and a daddy can have babies is if they're married." Since this sounded more like a statement than a question, I tried hard to be non-committal in my response, rather than going into all the ways that unmarried people often have babies together. I want to protect some semblance of innocence in my almost 6 yr. old. Lord knows, he picks up stuff like a sponge. Just being in pre-school around other children his age gave him more of an "education" than I was ready for.

So, I replied, "Oh really?" since he sounded like he already had it figured out and wasn't really asking. I figured he'd respond with some statement of confirmation that he knew this was the ways things were. Yeah right. Unfortunately, obviously unsatisfied with my lack of affirmation towards his theory. he pulled the "rephrase this statement into a question" tactic. He said "The only way a mommy and a daddy can have babies is if they're married, RIGHT???" Here we go.

The same mom who tells her kids about Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy suddenly developed a conscience and didn't feel like she should lie in this particular situation. So I delicately explained that the BEST way for mommies and daddies to have babies is when they are married, but that some mommies and daddies do have babies when they aren't married. Surprisingly, he didn't feel the need to pursue that matter further. Yet. But I have a feeling this conversation is going to come back and bite me sometime in the future when I least expect it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I'm under house a-stressed...

Get it? My dorky little play on words there? Say it out loud and maybe it will come to you. Instead of house ARREST, I'm a-stressed. It's bad, I know. But seriously...

One of the ironic things about cleaning- and I mean REALLY cleaning- my house is that things always get way worse before they get better. Is it just me and my own deranged method of organizing and cleaning or does this happen to everyone? For example, I see one thing that needs to be put away, but before I can find a good spot for it, I end up having to pull everything out of a closet and reorganize it. While I'm in the middle of reorganizing and purging all the junk in the closet, I find 50 other things that need to find a new home which means I have to clean/organize a-whole-nother area of the house. In the meantime, all the homeless items are stacking up while I clean/purge/organize and after I work for a half-day "cleaning" the house still looks like a tornado blew through while I sat on the couch eating bon bons or something. And it's like a vicious little merry-go-round that won't stop and you can't off until you listen to "It's a Small World After All" so many times that you want to stick an ice pick in your ears. Whoa, I went a little violent there. But you get my drift, right?

So as I'm preparing the house not only for showing, but also trying to get some packing done ahead of time (non-essentials only, of course) I'm often finding myself in a bigger mess than the one I started with. Which can be infuriating at the time, but eventually leaves me with a deep sense of satisfaction once everything is in its place. It just takes awhile to get there. I wonder if our relationship with Christ isn't much the same. Just as He reveals an area of life to be cleaned up, it reveals another area of life that's in just as much disarray. I think we can sometimes become so overwhelmed by our filthy depraved lives that we just want to throw our hands up and quit. Thankfully, God's measure of grace gives us faith for the looong clean-up process of the heart and draws us closer to him.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


This post is just some random stuff I've got on my mind. I can't promise that it will be intriguing, witty, or even particularly interesting. OK, that sentence sounds as though I think my other posts are all those things. I don't, just so you know. So maybe I should just say this is a post and leave it at that. Enough rambling...

~ Our house is officially on the market. Well, I don't know if it's official until our realtor puts the sign in the yard, the lockbox on the door, and pictures of our house on the internet, all of which is supposed to be happening tomorrow. But we did officially sign a contract agreeing to list it. Now we're just trying to get it ready to show, which is a 6 month project we're trying to squish into one weekend. Seriously, though, our "curb appeal" hasn't been this great since the very day we moved into this house almost 5 years ago. Keeping us here for 5 yrs. was truly one of God's divine jokes. There is no other reasonable explanation. Anyway, getting, and keeping, the house ready for unannounced visitors at anytime of day or evening should be a blast. And by "blast" I mean the very last thing I want to be doing with my time all summer long with 3 children who, by their nature, demand considerable attention. I have no preconceived notions that I won't be running around like (more of) a woman crazed while shoving stray items under beds and hiding dirty dishes in cabinets just to make the place looks presentable 5 minutes before strangers appear on my doorstep.

~ We happen to be a Mac family 'round here and Jason loaded iLife '08 on my computer yesterday. In addition to keeping the house clean, I need to find time to catalog all 3,000 photos I've uploaded into iPhoto over the last 6 years or so into "events" which should bring a small semblance of order to my unprinted digital photos. And I should probably think about printing some of them.

~ Rather than blogging right now, I should be figuring out what I can make for dinner tonight. I still have to go to the store-who-must-not-be-named for groceries and it's already after 5:00. We've been gone for a week and pretty much only have stale chips, cream of chicken soup, and flour in the pantry. The most important requirements tonight are that it be a quick and simple meal, or we won't be eating until dark:30, and in the summer that's probably too late for the children to be eating. I feel fairly certain I'll have a meltdown (or 10) on my hands if I don't get down to the business of dinner pretty soon. And that's not even counting the fits from the fussy hungry children!

Friday, June 20, 2008

I'm back!

I feel like I've been totally MIA this week. Because I have. We went out to the "sticks" for a pre-teen camp that Jason was preaching. I didn't want to broadcast that before we left, for obvious reasons. Like "Hello Scary Internet Strangers! Our house will be vacant all week! Please come visit."

It wasn't really the sticks. It was about 45 minutes from our house, but our house is kind of in the sticks. I think "sticks" is relative, depending on how long you've actually lived in the sticks to where it no longer seems quite as stick-y. I'm rambling. I can hardly see straight after a week at camp.

Anyway, now that I'm back to civilization and once again have contact with the outside world, I'll be blogging more regularly. I can almost hear the collective sigh of relief from my ones of readers.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Of Mice and...Men?

The children and I got home yesterday (Sunday) from visiting my family in a neighboring state. Since Jason was working and couldn't go, it was pretty much up to me to pack and load the van and then unload and unpack when we got home. So I'm trying to manage getting 3 children and as much stuff as I can carry in one trip inside the house when we pulled up this evening. I breezed through the living room several times while unloading the van and trying to corral the children towards the table for dinner. I never noticed anything out of the ordinary, but I was a bit distracted. Once everyone was settled in for dinner, I let the dog in from the backyard and sat down to my own dinner.

After dinner I bathed Piper, wrapped her in a towel asnd carried her to the living room because that's where the bag was that held the toiletries. I laid her on the floor and before I went to grab the diapering/after-bath necessities out of the toiletry bag when I noticed something on the floor near her head. The boys have enough plastic "woodland" animals to populate a medium-sized forest and they inevitably end up scattered all over the house, the current favorite being a small, gray, plastic raccoon. I immediately went to work trying to figure out which plastic animal this one was, figuring it looked most like the small raccoon (which is about 2-3 inches long). It was a little dark in the room, so I nudged the "toy" with my foot...and SCREAMED!

It was a dead mouse. Only I wasn't fully convinced it was dead. Irrationally, I feared it was merely "playing possum" and should I make a move toward it, it might somehow spring to life and attack me. Or worse, get loose in the house!

I yanked Piper off the floor and moved to the bedroom. In our home, the master bedroom is off the living room, so I stood in the safety of the bedroom while at the same time I was able to keep an eye on the mouse presumed dead. What did I think I was going to do if the thing DID come back to life? I knew screaming would make me feel better, but my mind was devoid of any actual call to action. I called Jason who was 45 minutes away and of absolutely no use to me in this situation. By no fault of his own. But there was NO WAY I was going to do anything that resembled moving that mouse, even if I'd had a 10 ft. pole. I considered trying to get a neighbor to help, but I couldn't leave the kids in the house alone and no one was outside at the time.

Then I had a stroke of brilliance. Micah loves animals! I called him into the living room to "check out the cool mouse." (It's all in the spin, y'all. I should have gone into PR!) After indulging a few questions from Micah regarding the level of deadness of the mouse, which I answered as confidently as I could, considering my own lack of faith, I asked him to pick the mouse up by the tail and throw it into the bushes in the front yard.

Don't judge me. Desperate times call for desperate measures, people. I knew I was taking a chance asking him to get rid of it for me. One time I asked him to get a tissue and pick up a dead bug (I was busy at the time, OK?), but he refused citing the large size of the bug as his reason for defiance. So I wasn't sure he would agree to the mouse, but praise the Lord, he did! He carefully picked up the mouse, which thankfully did NOT spring back to life, and carried it to the front yard where he tossed it into the bushes. Then he ran back to tell his brother, and I quote, "Cade, I just had a wonderful adventure! It was an exciting adventure!"

The way I see it, I killed several birds with one stone here. Most importantly, the dead mouse was gone, I didn't have to do it and I could once again return to the living room. Seriously, I was trying to figure out if I could just avoid the living room atogether until Jason got home and could "take care of it." Secondly, Micah had the chance to experience something "wonderful" and "exciting." What kind of parent would I be to deny him those opportunites? Thirdly, he was incredibly proud of himself and I built up his good deed as much as I could. He even got to tell Daddy about it later! So his own self-confidence was boosted. I'm telling you, except for the fact that there was a MOUSE in my HOUSE, this was a win-win situation.

How old will you be in heaven?

I've mentioned before that I try to spend a few minutes with each boy individually at bedtime. Tonight, as I was talking with Micah, after the obligatory superhero information he always wants to discuss, he posed the question, "How old will you be in heaven?" I believe he meant the "general you" rather than asking about me specifically.

In response, I answered how every parent does when they don't know the answer (or when the answer is too theologically complicated to explain to a 5 yr. old)- I turned the question back to him. I said "What do you think?" He thought for a moment and replied, "I know you for sure won't be a baby because babies can't do anything. But maybe you'll be a kid. Or a young adult. like you." [Bless you my innocent offspring!!! Here he used the "specific you," because obviously he meant young like ME. And if you've read my blog at all, you know I have this 3rd decade crisis going on. So my heart leapt a little with the pleasant thought that someone still thinks I'm young.) But then he continued...

"Or you might be young like the young David on Americal Idol."

Good grief, this child never forgets anything. And that's the answer he finally settled on. In heaven, according to Micah, we'll all be our 16 yrs. old selves again.

Let's all join together now and pray that isn't true, because I'll be honest- that sounds a LOT more like hell to me.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


The kids and I made a trip to visit my parents this weekend (Jason has to work- BOOOO!) because my cousin and her husband and children, who all live in North Carolina, are also here this weekend. We haven't seen them in 4 years. Since that time, she's had another baby (her 4th) and I had another baby (my 3rd). The "babies" are 2 and 19 months, respectively. It's hilarious and wonderful to see all the children enjoying one another.

We went to my aunt's house to eat dinner on Thursday night. I noticed that of the 3 generations present, the children of the 3rd generation almost outnumbered the other 2 generations added together. There were 9 in the older 2 generations and 7 in the youngest (my 3, her 4). Lord willing, we will NOT be outnumbered! At least not with any help from me.

My other aunt (I have a large extended family) always sets up some small inflatable pools at her house for the children to play in. Unfortuntately, I forgot to pack swim diapers for Missy. I bummed one off of my cousin the first day, but yesterday Missy was out of luck. "It's OK, "I said. "She already [had a muddy diaper today]," I said. "She'll be fine to go swimming," I said. Does the phrase "famous last words" seem appropriate here? So, into the pool she went. With only a thin panel of nylon separating her un-potty-trained bum from the water. Do you see where this is going?

I set myself to the task of watching the babies in the smallest pool. They had a grand time playing and splashing. Before too long, though, I saw Missy trying to hand something to her cousin, Lauren. Lauren was vehemently denying that she wanted anything to do with whatever it was Missy was trying to hand off. "No, no, no, no, no," Lauren was saying while backing as far away as she could and vigorously shaking her head. With my curiosity peaked, I moved closer to get a better look... was it a rock? What had Missy found in the water? Oh, crap. Literally.

I hate the phrase "Murphy's Law." Who is Murphy anyway? And more than the phrase, I really hate the fact that the law even exists. But somehow, it does. And it did in this situation. Or rather, Missy did. In the pool. The little girls had to be evacuated from the water, stripped down and bathed. Of course, the pool had to be empited, sanitized, and re-filled. Strangely enough, although the pool was clean and had fresh water, it remained empty of children the rest of the evening. I don't really blame them. I wouldn't have wanted to go in it again either.

All in all, I was so glad it was only family. They have to forgive you and let it go. I would have been really mortified if the other people involved had not been relatives. I guess we'll just always be known as the "Party Poopers."

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I love my children. They're so different, all of them. I think it was Chuck Swindoll who said he never knew that all 3 of his children could be exact opposites. But it's true. Of the 3 of them, it's Cade, our middle child, who truly marches to the beat of a different drum. In fact, I think he defines the phrase in it's purest form. He is in his own world. In outer space.

As precious and adorable as I truly think Cade is, he has a very annoying photographic quality. That is to say, I can't get a single decent picture of him, ever. Neither can any professional photographer, including our friend Kenny, who is the single best wedding photographer I've ever seen. And an amazing photographer and artist in general. And Kenny's not sponsoring my blog or giving me any incentives, monetary or otherwise, to say that. As a matter of fact, I doubt he even knows I have a blog. He's just THAT GOOD that I had to give him a little free advertising. But maybe if he finds out he'll give me some free photography lessons or something. Lord knows, I need them!

Cade has huge blue eyes- HUGE, people. And great hair. And a button nose that all 3 of my children share. But Cade's annoying photographic quality is that, for every picture I take, he tilts his head up at a strange angle causing his nostrils to appear larger than the average person's and allowing the viewer to see straight up his nasal passages into his brain practically.

See what I mean? OK, I'll admit, I wasn't at the prime picture-taking angle for this one, but there's even more proof...

See here?

And here? Still need proof??


I swear on a stack of hymnals that I didn't pull out the less-than-stellar photos just to make a statement. These were the ONLY ONES I HAD! All with the strange up-Cade's-nose angle.

And the most recent picture I took of him?

I told him to smile and he jumped instead. Gah! (In my best Napolean Dynamite)

It's hopeless. But I love him!

My Apologies...

I've been severely neglectful of my blog lately. Now that summer has hit, I thought my life would be more relaxing. Like how I use the word "more" as if it's an indication that the school year was only slightly relaxing? Sure.

But it came to me that I kind of left my blog in a bad spot. I'm not sure if I should have left my blog alone for so many days with just the "tail end" hanging out there (sick pun fully intended. I'm loopy tired tonight.). It was not a happy place, so let's try to bury the past, shall we? Tonight I'm making restitution.
Awhile back I promised to post some pictures taken with my fabulous new camera. Too bad I'm not a fabulous photographer, but this digital wonder makes even pictures taken on "autofocus" look amazing. At least compared to what I'm used to looking at. So I thought I'd post some of my favorites taken lately.

*A disclaimer- the amount of these pictures focused on 1 subject compared to the other subjects I have at my disposal is not a direct (or indirect) indication of the amount of love I feel towards any particular subject. It's only an indication of the decent pictures I have for posting. Thank you.*
Notice the lack of hairbow on one pigtail. It's part of her hilarious ride-in-the-car routine: Destroy my pigtails, tear up the hairbows until they're rendered unrecognizeable and useless, take off shoes and throw them into a spot that causes mommy or daddy to have to turn the van upside down before they can locate them again (extra points are awarded for tossing them under the seat), proceed to squeal until all riding in the van and those stopped next to us at red lights are functionally deaf OR blow raspberries until the front of my shirt is soaking wet and requires a change of clothes that mommy probably left at home. Good times. Seriously, who can resist that smile?

This picture is a little bright (thanks, autofocus!). But it was too cute to keep to myself. Note the wipey in her left hand. Are you singing "Cinderelly, Cinderelly, night and day it's Cinderelly..." in your head? Before you call CPS, you must know that no, we are not forcing our 19 month old to clean the floors on her hands and knees with wipies. Wipies happen to be her #1 favorite thing in the world, besides her daddy. Maybe she's practicing Upward Facing Dog in order to become the World's Youngest Yogi. I have been doing some yoga lately. More on that scintillating topic later!

This picture is probably going to go down in history as one of my "Most Favorite Pictures Ever." I'm not sure how my mother-in-law, who is standing behind Missy, feels about having her bare legs making a cameo in this picture that is not only getting pasted on the World Wide Web, but is also going to become one of my "Most Favorite Pictures Ever," which means it will get it printed and reprinted and framed probably. I'm just saying I don't want MY legs appearing anywhere on the internet, so I can only imagine my mother-in-law must concur, but I hope she'll only see that precious face and forgive me. Because that is a darn cute face of a girl who LOVES the water!

If this handsome guy isn't the Official Face of Summer, I don't know what is. Pure unadulterated joy right here.

Or maybe THIS is the Official Face of Summer. Not so much "joy"- rather a silent plea for school to miraculously start early. Nah, we're just getting started!
If you know my family, you know one member is conspicuously missing from this tribute. I'll be writing a vignette on him shortly. You'll see why he deserves his own post.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Good News, but No Answers

If you read this post, you know I had some medical procedures done today.  The good news is that nothing is wrong with me!  The question, which was why I had the procedures done in the first place, remains- why am I so anemic?  No answers for that yet.

I was purposely vague about what I was having done because, I have to admit, one of the procedures ranks in the Top....oh, I don't know...ONE most humiliating thing to ever happen to me in my lifetime.  But now I can look back on it and... you think I'm going to say laugh, but really I can look back on it and still feel humiliated.  I'm not quite far enough removed to laugh.  Or really even crack a smile.  More like think about it and want to crawl into a hole.  So what better place to share my news than on my public blog with all my ones of readers?  Here goes...

Long story short, due to my severe anemia coupled with some "intestinal" problems I've been having, my doctor was concerned that I might have a GI bleed.  In case you need a refresher in anatomy and physiology, your GI tract is the long tube beginning with your esophagus and ending at your elimination site (to put it delicately).  My doctor thought I was bleeding somewhere inside that tube and performed 2 medical procedures today to discover if I was and where it might be.  He used a camera on a stick first to look down my throat into my stomach.  Then, he had to use a camera on a stick to look, well, you know...

In order to prepare for the "lower" I had to spend 24 hrs. on a liquid diet.  Then, last night I had to drink a gallon of liquid ironically named NuLytely.  With the knowledge of what that clear liquid was going to do to me, I couldn't even look the pharmacist in the eye when I purchased it. Besides, anything that makes you "go" (you know... "go" as in "to the bathroom") that many times in the course of a few hours should NOT have the word "lightly" in its name.  There was nothing "light" about what happened to my lower intestine.  Nothing.  At all.  Except maybe my body weight when it was all over.

I arrived at the GI lab this morning with a sparkling clean colon and no idea what to expect out of the rest of the morning.  When Jason and I arrived in the waiting room, we lowered the average age of the patients to about 73.  Eventually, I was called to the back, got dressed in a hospital gown, a nurse started an IV and then I waited for awhile.  

Once they wheeled me into the endoscopy room, the nurse explained that I was going to have to gargle and swallow some bitter-tasting lidocaine which would numb the back of my throat, then she was going to put a "bite-block" in my front teeth to keep my mouth open during the EGD (upper procedure), since I would be asleep the entire time.  Asleep?  O praise our Blessed Lord- I was going to be knocked out during the entire thing!  Mercifully sedated.  Wonderfully oblivious to the humiliation to which my "lower end" was about to be subjected.  Angels began singing the Hallelujah Chorus.  Or was that the drugs talking? There were no angels, just sweet relief.

With my mouth forced in an open position and my throat numb I had a hard time swallowing.  I remember thinking "Am I just going to lay here an drool on the pillow the whole time?" The next thing I remembered was a nurse waking me up asking if I wanted a drink.  I asked for a Sprite- not because I particularly like Sprite, but because she listed out several choices and in my semi-drugged state "Sprite" was the only choice I could recall.  And the entire ordeal was over.  It was truly sucktacular.  But I do have keepsake pictures for a scrapbook!  Won't that be a fun project.  

Monday, June 2, 2008

No More Cake

In case anyone is interested, I think my cake fell (see this post). It wasn't my fault. I've been minding my own business, promise! It must have been the ingredients... but I just can't figure out which one. I'm bummed. It would have made a fabulous cake!

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Last summer I recall having one of those crisis times where, like I think all parents do, I had a few moments of thinking, "Oh my goodness, my child is going to be 30 yrs. old and still doing "fill-in-the-blank-here." For me, it was thinking my children might never venture into water deeper than 6 inches without a ring floatie.

Jason and I tried to get them to wear life jackets, but neither of the boys were going to have anything to do with that. If we expected them to venture off the steps at the pool or wade out any distance at all in a body of water, they required the safety of a ring floatie. No amount of encouraging, bribery or shaming (OK, kidding (a little) on the shaming part) would convince them that swimming might actually be enjoyable without the floatie. So I remember thinking, "Just how big do they make those things? Pretty soon, we're going to need some serious inner tubes if these boys don't get over this pretty fast!"

Fast forward to last night. We took them swimming at the pool in my mother-in-law's apartment complex. Only the floaties from last year are "missing." All we had were the life jackets. Gasp!

Micah decided, since he's a little older and a little wiser now, to test the flotation quotient on the life jacket- a HUGE step from last summer. Once he realized that 1) mom and dad weren't lying when they said the life jacket would help him float and 2) it's actually pretty fun to swim and float when your arms and legs aren't wrapped around the metal bar holding on for dear life at the pool steps, he had a fabulous time trying out his new-found freedom.

Cade, being the younger brother, was a bit more reluctant to float into the open waters of the pool. Fortunately for him, Micah was apparently channeling Tony Robbins last night, because he kept telling Cade, "If you just believe in yourself, Cade, you can do anything. Just believe in yourself and you can do it!" If you know, Micah, though, you know his voice only has 1 volume (unless he's whining)- loud. So not only is the Cade being imparted with the spirit of Tony Robbins, but the entire population of the pool area is starting to feel pretty motivated.

Eventually Cade decided to take the plunge (no pun intended). And bless his heart- he was paddling his arms and kicking his legs like nobody's business. The whole time he kept repeating his new mantra, "I'm believing! I'm believing!" I'm not kidding. With Micah reminding him to "believe" in himself and Cade chanting "I'm believing!" we were like a traveling Zig Ziglar conference.

Through my laughter, I asked Jason if he was planning to correct Micah's "believe in yourself and you can do anything" theology. His reply was "Where do I even start?" Honestly though, believe-in-yourself-and-you-can-do-anything is not exactly a philosophy to which we subscribe. We're more of the trust-in Jesus-and-you-can-be-anything-God-wants-you-to-be sort.

While I'm not sure where Micah picked up that phrase and we will have to work on fine-tuning his theology a bit, I'm super-excited that he was able to become a more confident swimmer and that he was encouraging his brother also. And Cade was believing with all his little heart.

The very best part, though, was that they were finally so worn out they slept until 8:00 this morning. Since they usually rise anytime between dark:30 and 7:00 AM, this morning was nothing short of a minor miracle. I believe there will be many many more evening swims to come this summer. I believe!