Friday, May 28, 2010

Lots of New

As I started typing this post, I realized that I sure do write about my kids a lot.  But right now in my life, that is the main thing I do:  take care of and love on these kids of mine.  Oh sure, I take the time to hang out with my girlfriends or go on a date with my husband.  But most of my day involves feeding, changing, teaching, snuggling, boo-boo fixing, hugging and kissing my Hannah, Leah and Lucas.  I love it!  So without further ado, here's another post about my kids!

As the school year has been winding down, everyone has been experiencing a lot of new things around here.
The above photo is of me with my three kids at Hannah and Leah's medal ceremony at their gymnastics class.  It was there that Leah showed off one of her new skills:
A backbend!

The following week, the girls had their graduation from Pre-K program.  Their class sang a beautiful song (that made me cry!).  And they wore a graduation cap as they walked across the stage and received their Pre-K "diploma."  As they walked across the stage, their teacher read their previously recorded answers to the following questions:  What did you like best about Pre-K?  Where do you want to go on vacation?  What do you want to be when you grow up? 

Hannah's answers were:  center time, New Jersey, and a Mommy (awwww)
Leah's answers were:  lunch, Great Wolf Lodge, and a designer (Daddy was proud)

Here's Hannah after her graduation from Pre-K.  Next year will be a big year for new things starting with kindergarten!!
Here's Hannah holding up a book she made about counting to ten.

And let's not forget about Lucas.  He sure is doing and experiencing new things everyday.  Such as....

Crawling on grass for the first time.

And discovering toilet paper

Oh how I love these kids and all the new things they are doing!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lucas and Gus

This may very well be my favorite picture ever.  Seriously, there is too much cuteness happening here I almost can't take it.  My sweet boy is grinning ear to ear and showing off his two teeth because he is just tickled to be sitting near our new canine-uncle, Gus.  Mike's parents were here at the beginning of the month, but left on the 12th to head out to California for a short vacation.  When Mike went into the hospital on the 14th, his parents turned around and came back to Oklahoma.  While there were here this second time, they decided to add a new member to their family.  Mike's parents are definitely dog-lovers (although they do have a cat named Little Richard).  They have a huge German Shepard named Cyrus (who is really just a big teddy bear).  And they decided Cyrus needed a friend.  Gus got to hang out with our kiddos Friday night and let me just say, they loved him.  And truth be told-- I did too!  He is such a sweet puppy.  We were all sad to see him go.  But we've seen pictures of Gus already adjusting to his new digs in Jersey.  Next time we see him, he'll probably be a lot bigger! 

In fact, having Gus around for awhile made us think about getting a puppy too.  But for now, getting a puppy will remain just that-- a nice thought!  Someday maybe!

Monday, May 24, 2010


Decapitation.  Nothing else to say really.  A jealous fit of rage by Prince Charming perhaps?  We are still investigating.

On a random note:  We watched the season finale of Lost last night.  I thought it ended appropriately.  Mike was disappointed.  What did you all think?  If you're into that sort of thing....

Saturday, May 22, 2010

What a Week

We have had a crazy week here at our house which is why I took a week off from my blog.  I had to shift to survival mode and cut out any nonessentials to focus on my family's health for awhile. 

It all started last Thursday.  Mike came home from work complaining that his stomach hurt.  He ended up vomitting all night long which made him very weak and dehydrated.  In addition, he stopped taking his insulin (bad mistake) since he wasn't eating anything.  Mike is a type 2 diabetic and for the last year has been taking a fast acting insulin to maintain his blood sugar levels. 

By Friday morning, he was also experiencing severe abdominal pain.  The pain seemed to "wrap" all the way around to his back.  At 9:00 he drove himself to our family physician while I waited at home with the kids.  Soon after he arrived, a nurse from our doctor's office called me at home and said, "You have one sick husband here.  You need to come and pick him up and take him to the emergency room now or we will call an ambulance."  I jumped into action (thankfully I was already dressed and ready!).  My mom rushed over to watch the kids and then I sped over to pick Mike up and take him to Mercy Hospital's emergency room.

By 10:30 Mike had checked in to the ER, and they had begun a series of tests to determine what was wrong.  His blood sugar was in the 500's (dangerously high).  They drew blood, did an ultrasound and a ct scan.  Finally, a doctor came in and gave us the diagnosis.  Mike had pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) and diabetic ketoacidosis (acid in the blood due to sugar levels being too high).  The pancreatits was causing all the incredible pain while the acidosis was making him feel so sick.  It was a bad combination and he was to be admitted immediately to the intensive care unit. 

We waited in the ER until 8:00 that night when a room in the ICU was finally available.  Once there, Mike was finally able to rest, and he received some powerful pain medication and anti nausea medication as well.  For the next two days, he was out of it.  He barely opened his eyes and could only speak in a whisper.  Finally, by Monday he seemed more alert and in less pain.  The concern at that point was getting him to eat and actually keep the food down.  Tuesday Mike felt even better, so he was moved out of ICU and into a regular hospital room.  And by Thursday he was finally ready to go home.  He is still tired and weak, but is able to eat a little and he is getting lots of rest. 

The treatment for pancreatitis is simply letting the pancreas rest while it heals itself.  Mike has to stay away from high fat and high sugar foods while it heals.  The treatment for the ketoacidosis is simply learning to manage his blood sugar!  We have met with a dietician and a diabetes nurse educator to go over a new way of eating (low carb meals).  And once he is feeling better, Mike is going to get back into the exercise routine he was keeping before he got sick. 

During this week, we have been absolutley humbled by the generosity and support of our family and our friends.  My parents stepped up big time by keeping all three kids overnight for three nights in a row.  This helped me stay at the hospital until late in the evening, and I was able to come home to a quiet house and get a good night's sleep (I've been sick lately too!).  Mike's parents had just left Oklahoma City and were vacationing in California, but they both changed their plans and came back to help out.  They have been entertaining our kids and were up at the hospital with Mike for several days.  Our life group immediately started brining food.  Every single night since Mike has been in the hospital we have had a warm, comforting meal waiting for us.  What a blessing!  And so many friends have been babysitting my kids during the day (BIG thanks to Jemma, Nikki, Jacquelyn, & Kali!!!!).  And of course a lot of people have been supporting us through prayer.  That is invaluable and we are so very grateful. 

So thanks for sticking with me through this very long blog post!  I thought it was important to keep all of my readers up to date.  It feels great to be back!  :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Under The Weather

I have been feeling under the weather today.  Sore throat, congestion, coughing, etc.  No fun!  So I'll post something more interesting tomorrow.  Tonight I am going to curl up in bed with a cup of tea and my book.  And hopefully drift off into a deep sleep only to wake up feeling refreshed tomorrow.  Good night!

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Dentist

Last week my girls had a dentist appointment.  It was just a six month check up, and they did great!  No cavities and they left with a bag of goodies.  Each bag included a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, and a prize.  In this case, the prize was a set of rotten teeth ("Billy Bob Teeth" I think they are sometimes called).  Needless to say, my girls were thrilled at their bag-o-stuff, so when we arrived home, they immediately began playing dentist.  In their room, they each set up a small dental office consisting of a step stool for a chair and a line of stuffed animals waiting to come have their teeth checked.  Both girls carefully laid out their new spoils so that each animal had his or her teeth thoroughly cleaned, flossed and rinsed.  This literally entertained them all afternoon.  I love imaginative play!

The best part of dental playtime was when I overheard Leah asking her stuffed lion what flavor of toothpaste  he wanted.  She said, "Do you want cookie dough, raspberry, orange, bubble gum or meatloaf?"  Meatloaf?  Ha!  I'm pretty sure that wasn't one of the options at the real dentist that morning.  I had to laugh at that one.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! 
Today I celebrate the wonderful privilege of knowing my Mom, the incredible joy of raising three terrific children, and the blessing of traveling this road with many amazing friends. 

Saturday, May 8, 2010

These Boots Were Made For Walking

Just thought you all would want to know that my boy is now pulling up to his feet and "creeping" around all sorts of furniture and toys.  I know the days are numbered until he lets go of his fear, and just starts walking.  He is constantly keeping us on our toes!

Mom, can't you see I am busy here!
Ok, I'll look cute for one photo op.
Now if I could just get these boots to actually move....

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My Bee

Her name is Leah Rae.  Her middle name is in honor of Mike's sister, Rachel.  When Leah was born she weighed in at a whopping 4 pounds and 10 ounces.  She was so tiny!  I had to go buy a few preemie outfits to fit her, because even a size "newborn" just swallowed her right up.  One of those little preemie outfits had a sweet pattern of cute, yellow bumblebees flying around.  And from then on, I started calling her my "Leah Bee."  She has caught up in her height and weight now, so she is not my tiny Bee anymore, but she does have the energy of a busy bumblebee, so that still fits her perfectly!

Leah marches to the beat of her own drum.  The outfit pictured in today's post was one she put together all on her own.  Yes, those are gloves on her feet.  She said she liked the way they looked.  Leah does not get embarrassed if something doesn't match perfectly or if it is just all together crazy!  She is confident in who she is, and I love that about her!

Being a good friend is something Leah is an expert at.  She is loyal, and she knows how to share.  She is always looking out for others and knows how to give encouragement.  I hear her say "Good Job, Hannah" several times a day.  At school, she is like a friend magnet.  She very well might be the "queen" in the beehive when it comes to being social.

Leah has an incredible memory.  She remembers details from places we've traveled to back when she was three years old!  Her brain is always making connections.  "Mom, this butterfly is like the one we read about in The Hungry Catepillar!"  And she loves to say, "Mom, I have a hypothesis!"  When she has one of those "ligthbulb" moments her big brown eyes open wide and sparkle with wonder. 

I am so crazy about my energetic, tenderhearted, little Bee. Her unique spirit and her zest for life are true gifts to me.  And she will always know that her Daddy and I love her unconditionally.  Forever.  Gloves on her feet and all.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Just in case anyone was wondering, our days are not always hunky-dory perfect in our house.  I wish I lived in a world where everyone cleans up their messes the first time they are asked, where everyone says please and thank you, where no one ever dares to hit their sister, and where Mom never, ever gets upset or frustrated in any way.  Unfortunately, that is not the world we live in!  Not a day goes by without some sort of challenge in parenting.  Each day is full of highs and lows; I just choose to focus on the highs for the purposes of this blog.  But every now and then, it is good to address how we deal with the lows too.

Just today I have felt my blood pressure rise several times.  Once early this morning when my girls were not listening, but instead dragging their feet as we were trying to get out the door on time to make it to our 9:00 dentist appointment.  Another time when they were in their room playing, but Hannah got mad at Leah for some reason which resulted in a kicking/screaming match.  And again when that kicking/screaming match woke up their napping little brother.  I can assure you I have taken many deep breaths today!

When I have one (or two or three...) of those moments in my day, I use a varitey of methods to help me deal with my own emotions so that I don't react in a way that I would be disappointed in. I thought I'd share a couple of those methods with you.

Distance:  I sometimes have to find a way to distance myself from the situation at hand.  Sometimes it is as soon as I feel myself getting frustrated.  This morning, as we were running late, I had to step into my room (alone), take a deep breath, and remind myself that if we are late it wouldn't be the end of the world.  It wasn't worth getting worked up about.  Just a few moments by myself really helped in that situation.  Later in the morning,when the girls were fighting, however, I had to immediately step up, place both in time-out (in seperate areas of the house), and then sit down at the kitchen table for a few moments to collect my thoughts.  Sometimes, a little distance can help me refocus.

Thank You List:  During those moments when I can get away and think for a moment, I can either sit and stew on how annoying my children are being at the moment, or I can channel those thoughts into a thank you list.  This idea really clicked with me when I read the book Sacred Parenting last fall.  When we focus on the specific reasons why we are thankful for each child, we start to calm down and our whole attitude changes.  I feel ready to deal with the situation in the right mindset, not out of anger.  Today I had to think of all the reasons why I love and am thankful for my girls.  And when I was done, I could address the kicking/screaming situation in a calm, focused way.

These are just a few "tips" I have for dealing with those challenging moments as a parent.  I am in NO way perfect.  I've yelled.  I've disciplined in anger.  I've let my emotions get the best of me.  But there are many other times where I've been able to deal with the challenge in a good way. A way that helps me shape these little ones into the people they are becoming.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


My father-in-law (otherwise known as Doodad) arrived on his bike yesterday evening.  We spent the afternoon waiting and listening for the unmistakable sound of a Harley pulling up in our driveway.  And just before dinner we heard those loud pipes coming down our street.  The girls squealed and ran out to meet him; they were so excited.  Since then there has been a lot of playing, laughing, running, chasing, wrestling, movie watching, and snuggling happening.  Tomorrow, Gram flies in to join us for the rest of the week.  A week which will be filled with making even more memories.

I hope you are having a great Tuesday too!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lovely Weekend

It was a lovely weekend from start to finish.  We were busy, but not too busy which is just the way I like it, a perfect blend of on the go and at home.

Friday afternoon I met up with my cousin, Katie, for lunch.  We went to a fabulous new place called CoolGreens where we split a huge salad and a pizza which had figs, caramelized grapes, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese and arugula.  I washed it down with an orange/pineapple/mango smoothie.  Delish!  I also got to catch up with my sweet cousin.  She is heading off to law school in New York City this summer, so I am relishing the chances I still have to see her before she starts her next adventure in life.  Katie is an avid reader and recommeded several books for me to add to my "must read" list including The Book Thief by Markus Zusac and White Teeth by Zadie Smith. 

Saturday was a cloudy, rainy day, but it ended with a glorious sunset (see photo above).  It was as if the sky had been thorougly cleaned and was all sparkly and shiny and new.  We mainy spent the day indoors just reading and playing, but Mike did manage to take the girls to a local comic book shop for "National Comic Book Day" festivites.  The girls got to meet and have their picture taken with Batman and Spiderman.  The day also included free kids' comic books, face painting, and balloons.  My girls came back happy campers. 

What did you all do this weekend?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

First Hair Cut

Last week Lucas had his first official haircut.  My good friend, Lindsay, is a fabulous hair stylist.  She and I have known each other since elementary school.  She has cut my hair for over a decade now, and she also cuts my girls' hair, so of course she was the person of choice to give Lucas his first hair cut.   His hair was getting very long on top.  I would constantly have to sweep it over to the side to keep it out of his eyes, which had the effect of an old-man comb-over.  I tried to take a before photo, but he was pretty wiggly.  But I think you get the point.

Once seated, he just sat still and let Lindsay work her magic.

Eventually, his curiousity took over and he started reaching and grabbing for everything in sight.  This doesn't work so well when sharp scissors are nearby, so my other friend, Mary, grabbed a fluffy brush to distract him.  And the distraction worked just as we suspected.

Linsday gave my baby a great first haircut-- a "big boy" haircut.  And I do declare that he looks mighty dapper indeed.