Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Beautiful Autumn

We are thick into Autumn here. We have beautiful colors everywhere we look and kids growing like weeds.  :)

Goose is in 7th grade and acting more like a tween/teen everyday... Luckily some of that change is also a sense of maturity which we appreciate as he takes on more responsibility.

 Sweetie is in 5th grade... she has a bad case of "10 years old going on 16" but we love her for all her spunkiness. 

Speaking of spunky, Tank is in second grade and is full of fun wherever she goes. She is a good kid, always happy to help out and  wanting to be involved. 

Twister is 4, in preschool and happy to stay there. He told me yesterday that he wants to stay 4 forever, but he doesn't think Jesus will let him. Smart kid. :)

Cinderelly is 2 years old with all that entails along with a strong does of independence.  She recently figured out potty training (horray!), but she is so petite that I've kept her in pull ups (at least until they run out) because they keep her pants up better! 

I'm in the thick of a Chemistry course at the local college and doing well so far.  Next semester I have to try to get my CNA certification which unfortunately will be a large portion of my time.  I'm not sure how I will work out the schedule, but I'm sure we can make it work.  After the CNA, and 1 more class, I can apply to the nursing program.
Benson is much the same.  He is super busy at work, and being an amazing husband and father.  To our great disappointment, he did not find any relief from his chronic fatigue and pain during his visit to Mayo a couple months ago.  We are grateful that the level of pain is manageable, but we're still not sure where to go from here.  We continue to pray for guidance. 

Well, that's about as good an update as I've given in a LOOONNNNGG time, so I'm calling it good.  :)  Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A few pictures to wrap up the summer

I believe this qualifies as a photo bomb... A few pictures from our summer... We are back to school (including me) and life is getting really busy again. Anyway, enjoy:


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Valve oil and fairy houses

Valve oil.  Looks innocent enough, doesn't it.  Goose plays the euphonium (its like a tuba) and uses the valve oil to keep the valves moving easily.  Cinderelly on the other hand, uses valve oil to scare her mother half to death.  Here's the story.

A couple weeks ago, I was outside with Twister and Cinderelly in the front yard.  The older kids were still in school.  Twister went inside and Cinderelly followed him.  I finished up what I was doing and walked in a few minutes behind them.  I walked in to see Cinderelly with valve oil in her hand, but she was coughing like she was choking on something.  First I thought maybe it was the cap, but it was in her hand.  I put the valve oil aside and kept patting her back trying to help her dislodge whatever was making her cough so badly.  She must have been coughing for 10 minutes.  When she finally stopped, she still didn't seem to  be acting right, so I went to grab the valve oil to see what it was made of.  "May be harmful if ingested".  Great.  So, I called poison control to see what I needed to do.  I really wasn't sure if she had swallowed any of it, and I really thought her coughing fit was due to swallowing something, however, the first question the poison control lady asked was if she had been coughing at all.  Uh, YEA!  She proceded to tell me to go to the ER.  I said my kids would be home from school in about 20 minutes, could I wait?  Her answer was that in that case I should call 911.  Well, there was no WAY I was going to call 911 and have them come take my baby away while I sat home waiting a couple extra minutes for my kids to get home.  So, luckily, I have awesome parents who live nearby.  Goose got  home within 5 minutes of hanging up with Poison control, so I left Twister with him until my Mom got there.   I passed her car as I was driving off. 

I still expected in the ER for them to watch her and send us home.  In fact, that's what they told me they would likely do.  The danger with valve oil is that it contains something that is harmful if it is inHALED, not ingested. Since she had been coughing, they took a chest x-ray right away, and we sat and waited.  At first she was timid, then she seemed to start feeling a little better.  Not long after, she didn't seem right again.  She was feeling a little warm, and she was just snuggling up to me.  Not normal for this 2 year old!  Next up, unexpected throw up.  Nice.  Since throwing up can cause aspiration, that earned us an overnight stay in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. 
In the ER, starting to feel warm...
In the PICU, hooked up to a million monitors and the IV

Shortly after that, her x-ray came back looking, not perfect, but not like what they would expect for aspiration.  And she came down with a fever.  The PICU team was great though, they talked me through the best and worse case scenarios and watched her all night long.  The fever kept making it look like she might be in respiratory distress, so getting that down was a priority.   And actually, once they got it down, things kept looking better as time went on.  A second x-ray at 2am, was unchanged from the previous.  Her temp stabilized and her respirations improved without the fever.  So, by morning, we were discharged.  What a rollercoaster.   I do have to say though, that for as crazy and scary as that all sounds, I had a peace throughout the whole experience that let me know that she was going to be just fine.  When we were admitted, I had this distinct feeling that we had many prayers being said for us.  It was a really unique, calming experience in the middle of what should have been chaos.  I am so grateful for that peace, and of course, that she is just FINE. 

So, to lighten the feeling, I'll show you what I've been working on with my girls. 

See those houses, those are FAIRY houses!  :)  I did the first one with my girls, then handed over the gluegun for Sweetie and her cousins to do another one.  Theirs will stay at my Mom's house in her blossoming fairy garden.  This is what ours looks like.  Actually it has even more stuff already, but these are the pics I have:

I still want more green in there... :)  But we are working on it slowly.  Little pieces at a time, it is becoming a magical place.  I love it when the girls take their little polly dolls and play out there.  :) Super fun. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Angry Birds (Bug edition)

I thought I would show what we did to pass the time during this past winter. I'm sure you are familiar with the angry birds app. We decided to play our own version. We had a bunch of these toy bugs from a game the kids had, so the game morphed into Angry bugs. We experimented with several types of ammo, as well as slingshots. The best indoor ammo we found was pingpong balls... and Benson kindly made us a pretty awesome slingshot. Here are a few pics from the past few months.

painted pingpong balls

Its feeling like spring, so I don't think we'll be playing quite so often, but still wanted to share!!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Falling off the grid

I can't believe I haven't posted since before school started!!  Where does the time go?  Well, I guess I know the answer to that, I've been extremely busy!

First up, *I* started school!  I took the first semester of Anatomy and Physiology and I got an A.  It took a LOT of work.  It was a little more stressful than I thought it would be, but worth every minute studying when I got my final grade.  :)  Add to that shuffling around 5 kids to the places they need to be, cleaning, laundry, my flower business, and working part time as a medical assistant, and I think you can begin to understand why I haven't updated very frequently.  I also started running and that has helped to keep me a bit sane.  Life is a bit stressful, very busy, but a lot of fun mixed in.  :)

Second up, Goose started middle school and honestly its been a huge adjustment for all of us.  Waking up earlier and keeping track of 6 different classes/homework/papers has been rough.  After a mid semester crisis, the teachers stepped in and have been giving him better support and we've made some changes at home to encourage him as well...  Here's hoping the rest of the year goes a bit smoother.  He is still an amazing reader and very smart.  He LOVES his baby sister and is a huge help with her.  Twister wants to be just like him and Goose is good about trying to include him when he can. 

Sweetie is in fourth and doing really well.  She is a good student and doesn't need a lot of monitoring to get her work done (and done well at that!)  She is a great helper with her siblings and really just fun to be around.  She was thrilled to have a girl close to her age move into the house next door this past summer.  They have had a lot of fun together, and jump on the trampoline and play outside frequently.

Tank is in first grade and also a big help and fun to be around.  She has so much spunk in her!  I love to go plays or other events with her because she is so animated about how much she loves it.  :)  She is getting pretty good at reading and is doing great in school.

Twister started preschool this year and is really at a super fun age.  When I was talking to him just the other day he said..." Mom, did you know when it gets dark outside, that I can see lots of Christmas lights??!  Its kind of like magic."  He is very charming and very cute.  Anyone else think that spells trouble?  :) 

Cinderelly is another charming, and cute little one.  She is talking up a storm and thinks everyone ought to be able to understand her.  She smiles and waves at everyone, but is wary of anyone wanting to pick her up... she is much too independent for that. I recently caught her practicing faces in the mirror.  Let me tell you, she doesn't NEED any practice!  LOL!

Benson . . . I could write a novel about him.  He is wonderful and amazing and my best friend.  In addition, he has really been struggling with a variety of health issues for a year and a half now, and every test seems to come back mostly "normal".  We are in the middle of some more testing, so we will see what that shows.  It seems like each specialist is able to find something worth treating, but no one has answers as to what is causing the symptoms and how they are related.  Despite the frustrations of pain, fatigue and other issues, he is working hard and pressing on.  He is very valued at his work and seems to get more responsibilities as they realize how much he is capable of. 

So, there is a quick recap of our last few months.  We haven't completely fallen off the grid, just took a small break.  :)  Here's hoping to a 2012 full of more fun, more busy-ness and maybe a few answers.