Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sticks and Stones...AND Soccer Balls

Saturday was our 3rd time in the ER this year. Don't gasp yet. It was 6 times two years ago. I'm fairly optimistic so it's lookin' up. It's alright; I've got some wild, fearless boys so I'm all good with it.

A simple tumble over the soccer ball on Saturday resulted in a fracture for poor Fun Time Charlie. The doctor did not see anything on the x-ray and sent us home with some standard advice: pain meds and ice.

However, we moms... we know.

As Charlie cried throughout the night and whimpered in agony each time he moved, I kept thinking, "there has to be something wrong." I know you know what I'm talking about.

And well, Moms, as usual our gut tells us the truth. The doctor called on Sunday and informed us that the radiologist had a peak at the x-rays and indeed there was a fracture...

I was sad for him, but relieved that we knew there was something causing his acute pain.

So off we went to the ER on Sunday to get a splint. The kid had gone 24 hours without any pain meds (his refusal...gag reflex). He even managed to snooze on the way to the hospital...

To top it off, today was the big day...the real cast. He was super brave and had the doctor and nurses cracking up. He's just that kind of kid. He rocks...

And in typical Fun Time Charlie mode, the kid has not stopped to complain once. He's still out there running, riding, and giving me a heart attack. I'm afraid that he's going to end up in a full body cast.

We may just end up in the ER for the 4th time this year. But, hey... that's not too bad compared to previous years. Maybe the ER staff will actually take the joking seriously and reserve a room just for us.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Random Happies #2

I'm trying to pay attention to the small, simple things in life. In the midst of school, sports, play-dates, and lack of sleep, it is easy to become immune to the little things around us that make us happy.

It doesn't take much.


Try it.

Something as simple as whipping out the trusty old spray paint to transform blah frame...

Into fun frame...

(still need to find a new frame to replace dated one with the wedding pic)

And when I wash my hands a zillion times a day, this bottle makes me smile because it makes me feel like I should be in my late Grandmother's farmhouse kitchen...

Stuff. It kills me. I don't like it. I try to clean it, hide it, and dispose of it. However, the other adult in the house (who shall remain nameless)...ha ha...doesn't mind it so much. After much searching, I found this for hiding his "stuff" since I can't clean it or dispose of it. Love it.

Kevin and I still save coins just like we did when we were kids. We save for a whole year and then count them out after making our estimates. We both were way off (way under...woot woot!) but Kevin still won. Grrrr. I may be a sore loser, but I love a little extra $$$.

Enjoy your week and look for some random happies to brighten your day.

Much love,

Friday, September 24, 2010

Just You and Me Kid

The school year is in full force. Luke is in school all day and Charlie is in preschool 3 half days during the week, which means I have some one-on-one time with Jack. Being the 3rd, he rarely gets that. He's never alone. Simply said, it is nice.

I think he truly relishes being home alone with me. I love it too...just the two of us.

Luke was the lone kid in the house for 3 1/2 years. We were buds and that time with him was precious. Charlie, being in the middle, never got that time. And the fact that he was 7 months old when I got pregnant with Jack, meant that he got the short end of the stick. No special mommy and Charlie days at Disneyland, the beach, or the park like I did with his big brother.

But Jack, he's lucky. He gets to have that time. And I'm lucky too because he's the last one and I get to savor this time with him.

So today we decided to hang at home instead of rushing to the gym after dropping the big boys off at school.

Being home with one...

Means I see a quiet kid sitting by himself "reading" on the sofa instead of destroying his brother's brick block towers...

Means there is one empty seat in the double stroller which at one time or another carried any combination of my 3 babes...

Means there was plenty of time to stop for self declared breaks by Jack on our walk to visit the horses. He doesn't have the same stamina (thank goodness) of his brothers. No pressure to keep going today...

Means there was time to teach Jack about shadows and do the crazy shadow dance...

And then he would randomly hug me and say, "Mama! Today is a good day!"

I thought to myself, "Yes, Jack Jack, it is." Ah, I think I'm going to like this time.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Not a Canidate for Mother of the Year

Some days of motherhood are easy. The kids listen, the house stays clean, and everyone gets along fabulously.

Then there are bad days. In my house, we either have good days or really, really, bad days. Yesterday was BAD. Very, very, bad.

It all started with me picking up our oldest after school. Instead of going home, giving the kids a snack, and letting them play, I decided to drive into town with the 3 boys in order to accomplish my to-do list. I mean, really, what was I thinking?

"To-do list" and "3 boys" should never be in the same sentence together. Did I really think that my 3 boys, ages 7, 3, and 2 were going to show the same enthusiasm for checking off tasks on my "to-do" list as me? I should have known better.

After filling up a very empty tank at the gas station, we proceeded to the dollar store to by supplies for our oldest son’s teacher. It wasn’t intended as my next stop, but the kids were starving and melting down so I thought they could grab a snack there while I quickly grabbed my items for school.

After running into a school friend and browsing every aisle for anything not chocolate or 100% sugar, we got in line. I was so relieved that we were 2nd in line, except the lady in front of us has a credit card that wasn’t working. So we waited. And waited. And waited. The kids were getting antsy, I was getting sweaty, and the lady in front of me wasn’t going to give up.

The clerk persuaded to get her to go to the end of the line and try again. We finally started scanning our items and that’s when it all came crashing down. I told my oldest to stop bothering his brothers. He told me to stop. I told him to stop telling me to stop in my not so nice mommy voice. He told me to stop AGAIN (yes, my blood was boiling this point). Then 2 year old got upset with our oldest and hit him. Our oldest reacted and hit him back!

Don't worry, this was a very, very bad day. It isn't always like this and I'm sure they will turn out to be very polite and respectable people, not the little neanderthals they were imitating this day. We do teach manners and have read, Hands are not for Hitting a million times. We'll get there.

In the midst of the battle, I hear the clerk say, “Hi Jack.” What? How did she know our youngest son’s name? I look up and realize she is the nursery worker at my church’s MOPS (mothers of preschool children) group. Totally embarrassed, I mutter a quick “Hello” and grab my things. I’m tempted to run, but I try to calmly exit as if I have things under control. Hah!

Now you’d think I would have stopped, right? Oh no, not me. I still haven’t learned 3 kids later. Since the kids were still complaining about starving, I decided we could walk next door to the grocery store and get them a snack. Why? Why would I take 3 kids who have reached their limit into the grocery store? It was the mother lion instinct…must feed kids…must save cubs from starvation!

On our way, melt down #2 started. I grabbed my kids and huffed and puffed through the parking lot to my car. I think I was carrying one or two of them and was practically dragging the other by the hand! Once the kids were all strapped in I proceed to lecture (translate: yell) about their behavior when my oldest quite simply told me, “I can’t talk right now, you’re hurting my ears.”

Ouch… mommy moment of truth. I lost control. I took a deep breath and drove off. I could feel my blood rushing through my veins the whole way home and by the time we pulled into my driveway I could not even remember what had started the whole spiral of events in the first place. I still don’t remember. I just know it was a bad day. A very, very bad day.

Thank goodness they are not all like that.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


My life feels like the game of limbo lately. There’s a frequent feeling of the bar being lowered to the ground. The challenge is increasing. There’s a questioning of whether we can clear the bar or if it is just too much and we’re going to brush against it despite all of our back arching efforts and get called “out” of the game.

When your husband is diagnosed with CANCER, your life changes. Forever. Even when the cancer is removed and a year of sickening treatment is completed, it is still there.

You can’t help it. You put on a brave face and focus on the positive. You pray for strength and courage. But it still lingers.

Although we moved beyond the fear in order to enjoy our lives, it comes back to say “hello” often. It is there when I scan my husband’s body each month. I’m not sure if I am more fearful of finding a spot or if I am more fearful of missing a spot. And although we move forward and forget at times, it is there when the six-month scans come along. And when my husband has to have a biopsy of a spot in the local region of the original tumor, the fear is there again to greet me…”I’m back. Did you miss me?”

So what to do in the face of this game of limbo?

We wait. We pray. We hope. We count our blessings. We keep on rolling along.

Monday, September 13, 2010

What I Want to Remember

I’ve been encouraged by a friend’s blog (lillyandthebrothers.blogspot.com) to take a moment during the week and focus on something to remember. These little people grow quickly and I want to truly remember. I don’t just want to remember the big moments, but I want to clearly picture the “stuff” that makes my kids who they are on a daily basis. Today was one of those days. It wasn’t a perfect day by any means. In fact, it was typical. And by typical, I mean HARD. Sorry, no fluff here; I’m just being honest.

For Luke, today was like climbing a mountain. The 1st day of school for a kid with Asperger’s is not easy. Although I have sensed the increasing anxiety about a new teacher, a new classroom, and a different set of classmates, he handled himself like a champ. He amazes me. I can’t imagine his world and to navigate it so bravely at 7 is beyond me.

I just imagine it like being thrown out of an airplane and landing on an island where I don’t understand anything. And despite his trepidation, annoying new sock sensitivity, and fear of the loud lunch room that “sounds worse than 5 fire alarms” for a boy with extra sensitive hearing, he did it. I’m proud of him. He teaches me everyday. Not that I don’t get frustrated…because I do. But, my love and admiration for him is endless.

And to top it off, I watched him walk into his new classroom, greet a few buddies, and sit confidently in his new second grade seat. When I anxiously picked him up he had a lot to say about playing with his friends and not a single word to say about the annoying new socks or loud lunchroom. Yippee!

For Fun-time Charlie, I just want to remember him in these…

The kid thinks he is so cool. He cracks us up and doesn’t think twice about what other people think. He’s is own man. He’s been cruising in these Target dollar bin glasses all day. Inside or outside…it doesn’t matter. I can’t take him seriously, but let me reassure you, he’s all about business with these suckers on.

Then there’s Jack…

Looks like an angel, right? Don't be fooled people. What a day for Jack Jack. He’s TWO. He’s the hardest one so far. He screams. He kicks. He hits. He says, "You bad guy, Mama!" I’m exhausted. I carried his whole 40-pound self from the soccer field to the car with him wailing this afternoon. Once we were in the car he told me in an angry tone, “I ARE a good boy, Mama!” Oh his grammar is terrible, but I want to remember that too. Then after putting him to bed several times, it was quiet enough for me to go in and finally tell him that he’s was being a good boy for staying in his bed. Except the kid was in his closet playing with cars! Oh, Jack Jack. I know it is just a phase, but you’re killing me!

So there it is. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Mostly good. Some bad. A little ugly. But, that’s how we roll.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

One Year Later...

We were at a major crossroad last summer. After selling our home in San Clemente and renting for 2 years, we needed to make a major decision.

As we were contemplating our decisions, we knew one thing: we wanted our next move to be somewhat permanent. You see, in 10 years of marriage we had moved 8 times. Sometimes, there were 2 moves in one year! We wanted to move somewhere where we could put down roots. We didn’t want to move our kids from school to school and from neighborhood to neighborhood. We desired to have a “home” for our children-a place of familiarity and stability.

We thought we were headed to Portland. Kevin works in software sales and was given the flexibility to move anywhere where his company has an office. However, within a week of Kevin heading up there to look for homes, we found a house in Bonsall, which is close to where we both grew up and owned our 1st home. When we moved from the area to San Clemente (Orange County) we swore we’d never move back. Except, God has a sense of humor and usually demonstrates that our plans don’t pan out…even when they are really good plans because His plans are better…much better.

There are days when we all miss San Clemente. We miss the sandy beaches and variety of parks. We miss the conveniences of living in the suburbs. We miss our friends a ton. Mostly, we miss living near my family. The boys have such a special relationship with them and we loved just being able to drop in for visits.

However, here’s the thing. When we give something up, we gain something in return. So instead of focusing on what we’ve lost by our move, we are focusing on all that we’ve gained. It’s a choice and one that we’re benefitting from making.

Let me share with you a few of our gains:

Walks up a country dirt road to visit our neighborhood horses.

A breathtaking view.

A school with history.


And now…

Seeing a tractor for sale in a front yard...

Local trails...

In law’s grove...

Fresh homemade lemonade...

Have a blessed day and focus on what you’ve gained recently.

Much love,