Monday, May 31, 2010


I couple of nights ago I was discussing the english language with Noah. He was mostly asleep.

You see, I am not a huge fan of English. It just doesn't follow the rules. Now, I am also not really a fan of other languages either- mostly because I don't know them.

I guess I just prefer hieroglyphics. Only not really them so much either.

For the last 10 years while I have been out of school I have been able to forget about phonics. After all, the only thing I write are nursing notes and lists. Oh, and blog posts.

But now I am teaching Deacon to read.

Ugh. Phonics.
Ugh. Sounding things out.
Ugh. Sorry, kiddo, this word ain't right. Can't explain it, it is just one of those rule breakers.

Anyway, back to our convo (being cool allows you to shorten words and than you don't have to spell them. Just kidding. I do know how to spell conversation. And I know how to spell the leader of a school- principal- How do I remember that? Well, I vividly remember reading Ramona Quimbly and someone in there saying that the Principal is your Pal and that is how you remember it. Anyone else read that book?)

So I asked Noah why "Bear" and "Pear" are pronounced the way they are when "Tear", "Ear", "Near", "Fear" etc are all pronounced per their spelling and the rules of phonics.

He said he didn't know.

But the next day I brought up the subject again and he didn't remember ever discussing it. I guess he was more asleep than I thought. Which makes more sense because he usually has SOMETHING to say, even if he doesn't have a clue.

What happened next proved my point.

He said, "I have 2 explanations for this." He went on to the first one- something about root words being from other countries, blah, blah, blah.

Then he said, "But prehaps "Bear" used to be said like "Beer". But then when someone would say, "Bear in the woods, Bear in the woods"- everyone would get confused and run into the woods for some beer and then they would get mauled. So it was at that point they changed it- in order to decrease the number of maulings."

He is awesome.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Day in the Life

Wednesday morning I decided to put my work aside and muster up the energy to take the kids down to the park. We have always gone somewhere just about everyday, but I gotta tell you Berean's birth has caused me to slow down a bit. In fact there have been days since her birth that we haven't gone ANYWHERE. Pre Berean that was unheard of. AND if that wasn't lazy enough, today I DROVE all the kids down to the neighbors 1/2 mile away instead of walking. Now, in my defense it was mostly because it was near rush hour and the street gets pretty busy and unsafe, but STILL- that is not like me at all.
This is Deacon coming toward me on his bike. Yes, I LET him go a block and a half by himself. He went one way, we went the other and we met at the park. He did great.

Noah's bomber hat makes a fine winter helmet for the planet Hoth.

We got to the park and Roman took off his froggy backpack and promptly pulled out a pear. And a knife. That boy knows how to be prepared. I told him he couldn't eat it, however, because it was green. Then I put it in Berean's seat so that we would remember it.

The ritz crackers were very popular. In fact, the younger two were more interested in sitting on the picnic table waiting for snack time than they were in playing. I blame the winter clothes that they are wearing. They were probably too hot to play.

Yeah, he is cute.

Best friends. By the way, when I asked Lincoln who his friends were. He indicated Deacon and Roman. I love that.

Family shot.

After the park we had lunch. And then Berean, Lincoln and I went to Lincoln's 3 year old check up. In fact, since Berean had fallen asleep at the park and hadn't woken up yet, she had never even been taken out of her seat. We arrived at the clinic, checked in and went to sit down.
There was cute little girl sitting there and 2 women. We made some polite conversation and then I started doing some little activities with Lincoln. (Ok so I was actually just trying to finish up the Denver assessment thing I was supposed to fill out before I came).
Anyway, the one women thought he was so cute and was watching us with amusement. Then Lincoln went over and gave Berean a sweet kiss. There was a collective "ohhh, that is so sweet" from the waiting room. So Lincoln went back for another kiss. I was still looking at my paper. All of a sudden I heard a horrified, "He has a knife".
I looked up. Yes, it was true. Lincoln was in the waiting room of the doctor's office branishing a knife he had just pulled from his baby sister's carseat.
Remember the knife and pear I had thrown into the babies' seat? Somehow the pear had gotten removed, but the knife had remained.
And now the waiting room was horrifed.
I took it away from him, put it in my purse and mumbled something about the park and a pear.
I don't think my explanation helped.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Luke and Yoda

I didn't get a good picture of it, but this is Roman (dressed as Luke Skywalker) with a frog backpack (meant to be Yoda) on his back.
I think this is what he was going for:

And considering that it was 85 degrees, I think Luke's tank would have been a better option.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Whatever, Dude. Or Not.

We hit a recordbreaking 92 degrees here yesterday.

92 degrees and my child was at the park in footie pajamas and winter boots.

This morning I confiscated all the footie pjs. I will keep 1 pair out for each of them, which they will have to "check out" for appropriate times- times like a cool night camping.

Normally I don't care that much what they wear but I am a little concerned about heat stroke.

So I did what I had to do.


On another note, this morning the boys came downstairs and reported that Berean was awake. I said, "well, I'd better head upstairs and see what state you left her in". Deacon gave me a quizzical look and said the name of our state, and then, "Why would you ask that?" We had a little conversation about different meanings of the word "state".


As far as my house and yard- well I am just going to keep plugging away at it. I am trying to have the boys help more and I am trying to remember to carry things to their appropriate places as I move around the house during the day so that there is less to do in the evenings. And I am just trying to come to the realization that I will probably not have anytime for "fun" for the next several years.

And I think I am ok with that, after all- 4 kids and a job is the lot that I have chosen.


Berean has been sleeping 9 hour stretches for the last couple nights! Yahoo!

She is so sweet- as has been said in the past (only that time about my cousin Molly)

"She has brought joy into our lives"

Monday, May 24, 2010

Controversial Monday: Garage Sales

I have been to a few garage sales in the last couple weeks and have scored some great deals. Things like the free popcorn popper that was free because it was missing a part- a part that my old falling apart popper still has! Yeah! I can cross 'popcorn popper' off of my birthday list.

Little girl clothes are easy to find at garage sales and I think that Berean now has a fairly complete girly wardrobe. Mission accomplished.

Truthfully, however, I get a little nervous at garage sales. What if I don't like anything? What if the garage is creepy? What if the people are acting strange? What if everything is super overpriced? It is so awkward to park your car, go up to a sale and than quickly see that there is nothing there you have the slightest interest in. Do you look? Do you turn around and flee? Do you pretend to be interested in something and than dash?

I have one piece of advice. Don't make eye contact.

I feel bad if I just quickly turn and flee. Like I am basically saying, "your junk isn't even worth a second look. Nothing you have is even slightly interesting. I am too good for you and your overpriced giant inflatable santa claus."

Such a dilemma.

I also refuse to have a garage sale. I give all my stuff away to people who come to my door and take it, like the Lupus foundation. Or I bring the baby stuff up to the crisis pregnancy center. It seems easier and less stressful.

What do you think? Is having garage sales worth your time? Do you love them or hate them? Is there anyone out there like me that gets nervous about the whole situation? Do you go anyway?

Tell me!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I wonder, yup, I wonder

Despite the title being out of Tacky the Penguins favorite song, this is meant to be a serious post.

The other day I was reading about stress and how you should analyze your stress to see if what you think is stressing you out is really what is stressing you out.

So I have been analyzing.

-When I am irritated with Noah 8 times out of 10 it is because I feel like he is not helping me contain the domestic mess. It is really the domestic mess that is stressful, not Noah.

-When I get upset with the kids 7 times out of 10 it is because they are doing something to make the domestic mess more messy and thus creating extra domestic mess for me to contain. It is really the extra domestic mess, not the kids, that is stresssing me out.(the other 3/10 times, by the way, are usually when they are whacking each other and screaming).

-When I feel stress when I am heading out the door to work it is not really about work. That doesn't create stress- it is the feeling that I am walking out on the domestic mess that I should be cleaning. Once again, domestic mess is the forefront of my problem.

-planning preschool VBS for the summer- the problem? It adds clutter to my house.

-new baby? Yes, all of her stuff causes me stress.

The clutter, the cleaning, the domestic mess. This is what is causing 80-90% of my stress.

But honestly, I have no idea how to get a handle on it.

Part of the problem is lack of space. The truth of the matter is, when you have a baby in your room with tons of cloth diapers, clothes and a crib it is hard to keep things looking pristine.

When you have 3 kids in one room it is also difficult to keep all the clothes, underwear, blankets and pillows looking neat and orderly- even if it has been straightened up.

When you have 49 library books plus schoolbooks in the living room, even if they are contained in a box your living room still isn't perfect.

When you try to cram massive woodworking tools, laundry, pantry and bins and bins of clothes into your basement, that doesn't look neat either.

I have been trying to get rid of things and organize the things that we can't get rid of, but it is time consuming and frusterating. And honestly, there is not that much to get rid of (unless I want to incur large expenses when I need to rebuy something I got rid of) Especially when I am trying to do it with 4 kids underfoot and little sleep.

And in the back of my mind is always The Addition.

Noah and I have talked about an addition, and we are both on the same page that if we do it finances need to be clearly in place to minimize debt etc. We are fairly conservative in our spending and so realistically we are looking at a few years.

I always hear about people with incredible stories about how God has provided for them when they needed a vehicle, or more space and the funds aren't there.

But God has given me a job where I can make money quickly and flexibly, despite having 4 kids. Is that his answer to our space problem? Is he saying to us, "I gave you this job, work your hours, bide your time and put on your addition when you make the money". Or does he want us to tough it out in the space we have. Maybe he wants us to get serious about saving, as I am sure there are lots of ways we could cut down our budget to increase saving. Or do we not have enough faith?

By me picking up shifts to cover any extra expenses that we have- are we not relying on God enough? Is he basically saying, "I could do incredible things for you if you would let me, but you keep insisting on running yourself ragged making the money you need on your own. I will be here when you are ready to give up and let me meet your needs."

Or is that being lazy when he gave me a great job?

And I love my job. I really don't go to work just for the money. I like caring for patients, I like learning new things, I like my coworkers.

I don't know what the answer is

In the meantime I will keep decluttering and pushing aside the diapers to open my dresser drawers.

But while I do that I will wonder, yup, I will wonder.

This Little Girl

*has found her fist*
*sleeps a 6-7 hour stretch at night*
*likes to smile*
*loves watching her brothers*
*joins in at storytime*
*has discovered the joy of a good mobile*
*and is starting to get more hair*

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What To Do? (What I Did!)

It is morning! Lets see what got done!

Picture this: It is 6pm on a Tuesday. You are still waiting for your husband to get home from work. Still left on the list:

-Run 5 miles (went a fast 3 cuz I needed to be back before Noah left for broomball, I had walked 2 miles in the morning so we are calling this success)
-fold 6 loads of laundry (just have a couple stacks left to put away, child needed attention and I fell asleep while rocking)
-plant tomatoes (got this done and as a bonus met our new neighbor and set up compost bin)
-build fire pit (didn't build it but picked the spot and Noah and the boys hauled all the block out)
-mow backyard (picked up the yard so I can do this today)
-eat supper (we did eat, which is good because I forgot to feed the kids lunch yesterday)
-clean kitchen (Noah did this)
-family talent show (this did not happen)
-4 kids to bed (Noah helped with this. Lincoln was up 'til 11 since he had napped...)
-general tidying up (did this)
-answer emails (answered most time sensitive one)
-spend 15 minutes basement (nope)
-15 minutes office (nope)
-15 minutes garage (nope)
-search the bins for summer clothes for Berean, Lincoln and Deacon (nope)

What would you do? Which things would you do first? Do you see why my house never gets decluttered?


I'll let you know tomorrow what got done!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Controversial Monday: Nursing Strike

Here is a question-

What makes or breaks a hospital stay for you or your family members?

Guess what it is for me-

it is the nurse.

If I have good nurses the experience is easier and less stressful. If I have bad nurses it is harder and leaves me with a negative feeling about the whole situation.

The MD is in and out quickly, writing the orders and giving the plan update.

The nurse implements the plan.

The Doc says you can get up and walk with help.

Well, you are only going to actually get up and walk with help when the nurse finds the time.

The Doc says you can have a certain pain medication regiman.

Well, you are only going to get those pills at the right time if the nurse is on top of things and gets them to you on time.

The Doc says you can go home.

Well, you will only go home when the nurse finds the time to get the discharge papers together.

If you have a good nurse you will not care as much if your food was gross
Or the room was small.

If you have a bad nurse the food will be grosser
and the room will feel smaller.

I am thankful today that I am not in a union position and that I am not going to have to decide whether or not to strike.

I could say a lot more about the nursing profession, and a lot more about my thoughts on the matter- but there are too many and it would take too long.

So my question for you today-

Should nurses be allowed to strike? Or is it against some sort of "healthcare" or "moral" code for them to walk off the job?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Just a Few Things

* We took all the kiddos swimming last night. Noah and I swam laps first (it felt good, and you know what? I read that people who swim live longer than people who do other exercise. BONUS!) Then we got the kids for open swim. I held Berean while standing on the deck or in the shallow area and helped "life guard" the boys. Noah was in the water with them, but 3 are a little hard to keep track of, so I was an extra pair of eyes. Berean seemed to enjoy being lugged around and watching the goings on. She is a trooper, that is for sure!

*This morning a cat was looking in our window. Roman wanted to head out. I asked him why, he said, "I need to go out there so I can observe the cat". So cute. It reminded me of when we were at the park and he wanted to go in the woods and he used the tactic that he "really, really needed some nature". How can you say no to a little boy craving nature? It would be unamerican to say no in those circumstances!

*Baby B're has been sleeping a 6-7 hour stretch every night. Score! Do you want to know a secret though? I actually don't mind getting up with her. She is so cuddly and sweet and I know these moments of nursing her quietly in the night- just her and I- are not going to last that long. She knows me, she waits for me. She likes me. And I like her.

*This weekend is set up to be a big yard work weekend. I am excited to see things start to take shape around here!

*We have a busy few weeks ahead with VBS planning, birthdays (I turn 30 in a month :( ), Noah traveling, our first tri of the year and Noah cooking for the senior banquet. And of course work. And the domestic tasks that never go away.

*Notice that I haven't finished the boy updates from a couple of weeks ago? Lincoln is the next one and he has had an interesting couple of months. It seems like so much to write about which is why I haven't yet. The school district is following him right now for speech therapy, but I have been spending time over the last couple days working on getting him into a private therapy situation ($$$) at least for the summer. It is going to be expensive and it is going to be very time intensive and right now it feels a little overwelming to me, although I do believe it is necessary.

*You don't realize until you have 4 kids how many appointments that means. We will probably have 8-10 well child check ups this year, Noah and my MD physicals, and 10 dental appointments. Then there will be the speech therapy, an occasional sick visit and maybe an eye appointment. Oh, and Berean will have to go to the podiatrist! Overwelming.

Well, it is a beautiful day and I got an on call for work, so I think it is time to head back out to the dirt, the weeds, the rocks, the rake and the shovels. At least one of those things is calling my name :)

Ready to go out

Took the kids out to eat last week.

People are very friendly to us when we are accompanied by an Astronaut and a Penguin.

Having a baby doesn't hurt either.

And Deacon, although he feels he is too old to dress up, is a tremendous help with the drinks.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Taking it Easy

After a relatively stressful day yesterday, I decided to take it easy today.

Why was yesterday stressful, you may ask.

Well, it had something to do with having company in the evening (my norwex party) and my charming children eating my dessert twice.

It also involves a broken glass, the fact that Aldi does not sell Angel Food cake mixes, and a sister who lives near Cub Foods.

But today was a new day.

6:32 am: Baby wakes up. (yahoo! Another 6 1/2 hour stretch!) Roman is in bed with Noah and I, but I can't really tell if it is him because I don't have my glasses on. Noah is moving around quietly, getting ready to head for the Dentist. I feed the babe and she goes back to sleep.

8:00: I wake up and remember that Berean has a doctor appointment at 9:00.

8:06: get out of bed and head for the shower.

Spend the next 1/2 hour getting ready, hauling boys out of bed, and packing people into the car- complete with bananas and special K bars.

9:00-Babe gets her shots, screams a little and I realize that the bottle I had grabbed was not tylenol but was actually ibuprofen. Sorry baby girl, no drugs for you.

Took off for the YMCA. Through a series of events end up not having my tennis shoes, so I used the stationary bike for an hour and read Good Housekeeping. I learned three things:

1. a study says that people who are in relationships where the household tasks are shared evenly have a higher level of happiness with their lives then those people who do not share the tasks evenly. I believe it.

2. Michelle Obama answered 3 pages of questions and managed to answer them all without really saying anything interesting, controversial or shocking. I think that may be an art. (That is not intended to be negative. The interviewer just kept trying and trying to get something "good", but Mrs. Obama neatly and concisely sidestepped any chance she had to let any "dirt" out. Only thing the interviewer managed to get is that the first lady likes french fries. Oh my.)

3. having a "family talent night" is a fun activity

12:00- got home (finished listening to 101 Dalmations in the car), looked through the mail, made a few phone calls, told Noah to come up with a talent, made the kids lunch, fed the baby.

Baby screamed for 5 minutes straight. She hasn't done that before.

Still no tylenol.

Loaded everyone up and took them to friend's new house. Dropped stuff off, ate cheesecake. Told the boys to keep the billiard balls on the table and that actual dodge ball with them was a bad plan. Borrowed friends tylenol for the baby.

Home. Gave the boys a dollar for finding the lost DVD case. Actually I found it, but their arms were small enough to get it.

Did some computer work. Changed the laundry. Thought about supper. Boys playing quietly (inbetween fights).

Put on a movie for the boys after they had picked up. They wanted to watch "Bibleman" and wanted me to watch with them. I did. It was like a train wreck, I could not look away. Reminded me of that horrendous Carmen music video from way back.

7:00- Mexican Stroganoff for supper.

7:30- family talent show. Noah juggled, I sang "I am a Little Teapot" complete with actions, Deacon did skateboarding tricks, Roman hulahooped and sang a song, Lincoln whacked things with a sharp stick (which we took from him) and Berean cheerleaded, complete with fist pumps.

7:43- watched Roman hop around the living room with a carrot. He was practicing his talent for next weeks show- pretending to be a bunny.

Boys to bed.

Kitchen cleaned, Library roll call complete.

9:30- Blogging, Laundry, Cleaning up and Grocery planning!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Controversial Monday: Baby Monitors

I am on my 4th kid and have never used a baby monitor.

We were living in an apartment when Deacon was born, and it didn't really seem necessary to have one. Everything was on the same floor, and even though it was a fairly large apartment- we could still hear well enough.

Our house now has 4 levels and if I am in the bottom 2 levels I can't hear a baby upstairs. This doesn't really seem like a problem to me. Yes, it means periodically heading upstairs to listen and make sure all is quiet- but that doesn't seem like that big of a deal. I am moving around the house frequently in the evenings anyway- I don't usually just hang out in the basement.

And I don't really want to hear every squeek, every snuffle that emits from the baby. Sometimes there is a little fussing and the baby will go back to sleep with no intervention from me. I don't need to be watching a movie or working on the computer while hearing every sound that comes from the babies mouth.

When will I intervene? When the baby is really awake and not putting herself back to sleep. I don't need a baby monitor for that.

Apparently my tolerance is slightly higher than some.

I have never considered my babies fussy at all.

But I also don't consider a squawk here or there fussy. And I think that some people do.

And I want my kids to learn to work things out themselves without me listening to and possibly being compelled to intervene in everything that is going on. I don't need them to think that it all revolves around them.

So I do what we do in the hospital.

I round on my patients.

I round on my sleeping kids.

It is not a constant monitoring,
it is an intermittent checking.

And that is how I like it.

Baby Monitors- what do you think? Will you use one? Do you use one?

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Dentist

Yesterday I took the boys to back-to-back dental appointments.

It was so bad.

Deacon had some early mouth trauma with a tooth extraction and a visit to the oral surgeon early in life. That ruined the dentist for him for all eternity, or so it seems.

He was fine at his first dentist appointment before the trauma, but since then it has been a scream-fest.

He went first. I had to haul him onto the chair and hold him there until they started, then he relaxed a little and I held his hands. And he screamed. And he cried. The whole time. Lovely.

They asked him about school and I had to admit he was homeschooled. I could see them all thinking, "no wonder he is unwilling to be alone and insists on his mom being here". I wanted to tell them that he is normally a happy child who likes new experiences and exciting things. He just falls apart at the dentist. But I didn't. I just gripped his hands, ignored the screaming and talked with the dentist politely. He claims it was just because he was so hot. And it was hot. And he was all red and sweaty and hot. But that was mostly because of the screaming.

Lincoln was next. He had been cheerfully watching the portable DVD player and waiting his turn. He seemed happy, he seemed interested. Until it was time to get into the chair. He freaked out. I held his legs, the hygienist had him in a head lock and the other hygienist held his arms. And it took all of our combined strength to keep him still enough to get his teeth cleaned. He was sweaty, he was hot, he stunk. That kid is SO STRONG! Next time they will put him in restraints, they said. I felt a little bad, and I would have waited until he was a little older to take him, but because of his severe speech delay, the speech pathologist wanted to have him looked at by a dentist to assess his mouth structure and teeth and look for any problems- so it was necessary. I felt like I was at work helping hold down one of our withdrawing patients.

I think part of it was that he has gotten so used to screaming as a fall back because he can't communicate. Anyway, when we were done he gave me a hug, climbed off the chair and got his pout on- arms firmly crossed over his chest.

Roman was all excited about his turn. Pretty sure he was mostly excited because it looked like a good chance to scream and yell- as it seemed the thing to do. He yelled during the cleaning, but then managed to sit by himself for his xrays and actual dentist exam. He went to hop of the chair, which was still elevated and the hygenist's were all freaking out that he was going to fall. He just turned and looked at them with a look that said, "what do you think I am? 9 months old?"

Then we left.

We got in the car and the kids wanted popsicles. I told them that I had said popsicles were only for if they had been good at the dentist. And they had not gotten through it without screaming. That is not very good.

Roman pipes up, "the Dentist said I was good".

The Dentist was lying.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

What to do with a girl?! (and please don't touch the baby!)

Here is our little girl with the crooked smile.
When the doc announced "It's a girl", we were pretty shocked.
"what do we do with a girl?" we wondered.
But you know what? Taking care of a girl baby is the same as taking care of a boy baby, really.
You correct people who think they are the opposite gender.
You change their diapers (slightly more difficult for a girl)
You hug them.
You kiss them.
You listen to them coo.
You maybe say, "she is so sweet" more about a girl
but I know I said it about my boys too.
One thing I have noticed about this baby, although I don't think it is related to her being a girl, is that I don't like to share her.
I have never been possessive about my babies- always willing to let other people hold them etc. But secretly, with Berean, if someone else is holding her, I am always trying to get her back. I just want to hold her.
I think it has something to do with her being the 4th baby, and knowing that there aren't going to be lots more of MY babies for me to hold.
And there is something about holding your own baby that is different.
Well, MY baby is fussing, so I need to go hold her.
Happy Thursday!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Controversial Monday: Public Restrooms

I was reading a question and answer column the other day. A dad of 2 little girls wrote in asking where he should take his little girls to the bathroom if they were out without their mom.

The men's restroom, or the women's?

(obviously a family restroom if available is the first choice)

Basically, is it worse to take preschool girls into the men's bathroom,

or for a dad to enter the women's bathroom.

My initial thought was, "that is weird, he can't go in there!" But the more I think about it, the more I am not sure.

Men's restrooms tend to be dirty and less face it, there is less privacy. Do you really want your 4 year old daughter to have to walk by the goings on at the urinals?

The women's bathrooms all have nice stalls with doors, so provided you aren't peering between cracks all you will see is women washing their hands.

the guy in the column said that when he takes the girls into the women's restroom, the women are all very supportive of him- they don't think the poor girls should be subjected to the horrors of a man's public bathroom either. It is men that give him crap.

As a mother of boys, I am quite used to taking them with me into the women's restroom. Deacon is 6, however and is getting a little old. There is NO WAY I am sending him into the men's bathroom alone though, and if the little ones need to go I am also unwilling to leave him alone waiting outside a public restroom.

So I use family ones, or try to have someone with me to wait outside with him. Or wait until a bathroom is empty (which is hard in really busy places).

At the Y we only use the family rooms because there is women changing in the women's locker room and it is different from a bathroom with a bunch of stalls.

What do you think? What should the opposite sex parent do in these situations? What do you do? What will you do when your kids are older?