"No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow." ~Lin Yutang

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

appointment day

this morning my princess buttercup had her 2 month check up with our family doctor.  i say "family doctor", but i kinda mean our pediatrician.  only he's not a pediatrician, he's a family physician DO.  so, i call him our family doctor because everyone in our family who visits a doctor, visits him.  he's great.  he's new to us and we really really like him.  he's not a pill pusher.  he's a healthy pusher.  that's kinda (in a nutshell) what a DO is. 
anyway, here's reason 5 million 2 hundred 6 thousand 983 why i like him:  he makes me wanna brag about my babies. 
as a parent, i try to be modest about my babes.  i'm a realist after all.  i know how annoying it is to hear parents that think there is nothing wrong with their children and that they are the best ever, blah blah blah.  so i try not to be like that.  in fact, if anything, i try to pretend that there's nothing really special about my kiddos.  they're exactly who and what God created them to be... that's nothing more or less than any other baby or kid in the world.  and really, if anyone really knew or believed this, it should be a believing doctor who has kids of his own and sees dozens of kids and babies every day.  and perhaps this is why i like our family doctor so much. 
he knows how special each kid is and makes a big deal about that.
here's our "big deal" about how special buttercup is:
  1. she's 12 pounds.  right on the money.  she looks great, feels great, and has gained 2 and almost 3 pounds since she was born.  this isn't anything spectacular or unheard of, but it's a good thing.  she's healthy.  she's healthy being supplemented for all her energy and activities by just my good ol' homemade breast milk.  (that's where i get to be proud.)
  2. she sleeps ALL THE WAY through the night.  every night.  she's been doing this for quite some time... pertineer 2 months.  she eats her last meal of the day anywhere from 7:00 to 9:45pm.  she goes to sleep around 9ish, but is always asleep by 10pm.  and she wakes up around 5am.  sometimes 4, but it's getting closer to 5-6 the older she gets.  that's a good amount of sleep time, but it's an even "better" amount of time to go without eating.  (which is where i'm proud again... that's the milk that i'm making that sustains her for that whole time!)
  3. she's starting to talk.  now i'm not talking about words and such... YET... but oh  mylanta she is the most adorable little thing ever when she gets on her little talkin' streak. [insert video of buttercup babble here] she just jabbers and jabbers...  coooo, ehhhhhhr, cooooooo, ahhhhhhhhh... with great big smiles and the most intense "adult-like looks" across her face.  (that's what everyone calls them.  adult-like looks.  they're just her expressions.  she's VERY VERY expressive and alert.)  the dr. said that a lot of the 2 month olds that he sees are just still laying there.  talking is normal for this age, but laughing usually doesn't come for another month or two.  ...she laughs.  she talks, she listens, AND she laughs.  it's adorable!
  4. lastly, the dr rolled her on her tummy to see how strong she was.  she not only pushed her head up to a ...oh i dunno 45 degree?... but also she started moving her legs as if she were crawling (trying to get them under her body).  he was flat shocked.  it was the second time i've seen her do it, so i was just tickled happy.  (i was shocked the first time which was a day or so ago.)
she's 23-1/4 inches long.  she's grown 2 inches in 2 months.  both her height and her weight are in the 75th percentile.  i don't really care about those stats, but if you do... there they are for ya.  our dr. gave me the update i was hoping to hear, "your girl's an infant genius!"  :) :) :) :)

wolfie had her orthopedic appointment for her foot this afternoon.  here's what we found out there:
  1. she's not healed completely.  (bummer.  that's what we were praying for.)
  2. the fracture isn't very bad and perhaps not even not all the way through (it's so tiny, it's kinda hard to tell for sure).
  3. she doesn't need surgery.
  4. she possibly could be healed in 4 weeks.
  5. she is to stay in the boot, putting weight on it as long as it doesn't hurt, using crutches as long as it hurts or until she can walk without pain with the boot... 
  6. she can go swimming.
she was bummed at the first point... but was overjoyed to hear that it might only take another 4 weeks!!!

and now tomorrow morning at the butt-crack of dawn we have 4 dental appointments.  i might not update you all with them.  but then again, maybe i will.  you'll just have to wait and find out. 

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Saturday, May 26, 2012

summer break starts TODAY!!! (unless you counted last evening)

today we're starting.  we have SO MANY fun things planned...
this morning we discussed and switched out chores.  here's our list:
  • match up socks  --#2
  • pick up lawn (dog doo, shoes/socks that might've been left out there, toys, etc.)  --mom & #4
  • kitchen clean-up after each meal (including: rinse dishes, load dishwasher, wipe off counters)  --#2
  • fold and put away laundry  --#1
  • fill water bottles  --#4
  • sweep and mop (kitchen, laundry room, bathrooms, entry way)  --#1 & #2  SAT. ONLY
  • pick up living room  --#1
  • water Finnagen (3X/day)  --#3
  • clear table before meals  --#5
  • vacuum living room  --#3
  • clean both bathrooms  --mom & #3  SAT. ONLY
  • sort laundry and bring fullest pile to laundry room --#4
  • empty trash cans  --#3
  • wash off table (before and after meals)  --#2
  • organize toys and toy area  --#1 & 2  SAT. ONLY
  • vacuum rooms  --#4 SAT. ONLY
  • feed Finnagen (2X/day)  --#3
  • empty dishwasher  --#5
  • put away silverware  --#4
  • pick up toys  --#5
  • walk the dog  --#1
  • mow the lawn  --#1 / mom  FRI. ONLY
  • do laundry  --mom
  • make lunch  --mom & #2
  • clear table after meals  --mom
#1 being the eldest...
these are to go along WITH daily responsibilities:
  • clean room
  • make bed
  • get dressed
  • brush teeth
  • comb and style hair
  • devotions
and a NEW implementation (is that a word???):  we're pairing the kids up.  #1/#4.  #2/#5.  #3/#6.  they are responsible for their partner. 
SERVICE is our word/deed for this summer. 

breakfast is to be fixed and eaten by 9am.
chores are to be accomplished before noon (unless they are a time of day chore like the dinner-time chores).

this is my documentation.  notes taken. 

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Friday, May 25, 2012

the aftermath of the game...

on tuesday, wolfie got to bring her best friend to martial arts with her.  she was so excited.  so was the best friend.  i dropped them both off and otter pop picked them up.
they came home and wolfie CRAWLED in the door.  apparently she rolled her ankle while they were WARMING UP...  it was pretty swollen and sore.  she was icing it.  i gave her some ibuprofen.  she stayed the rest of the evening on the couch with it elevated and ice on it.  otter pop went out to a store and rented some crutches for her because she wanted to go to school the next day, it being the last week.  plus it was "middle school mayhem" and field day... so she couldn't miss that!!!  (even though it wasn't like she'd be able to participate much!!!!  when a teenager gets something in their head, ya can't do much to change it.)
so when she went to school.  i called the dr.  i was advised that when she came home from school, if it were still swollen and sore, to take her to an urgent care center to get an x-ray.  so that was in the plans... after the rest of the plans...
so, the aftermath of the jones' game went like this:
we came home and sophie came to our home too so that i wouldn't have to take ALL the kids to the urgent care center.  i looked up the closest urgent care center location and saw that they were all closed.  the closest one to us stayed open until 8 and it was, low and behold 8:08!
so, we went to the emergency room.  got it x-rayed, and found out she has a fifth metatarsal avulsion fracture resulting from ankle sprain.  she got a boot to wear at all times and was advised to use the crutches also as to not bear weight on that foot.  also, we were referred to an orthopedist for an followup appointment and further management. 
she is devastated.  i don't know what this will mean for our summer or her dreams of becoming a ninja.  we left the hospital at about 11...  and then i was finally able to eat dinner. 
it was quite a day!

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Thursday, May 24, 2012


i had another fire accident.  would you like to hear about it?  well, read on my dear friend...

yesterday was a FULL day!  we had one thing after another after another and then packed with several on top of each other to end it off. 

jones' last t-ball game was from 5:30ish to 7:30ish.  wolfie had martial arts at 7 to 8.  middle school mayhem (a big end-of-the-year party) was also yesterday from after school until 5:30.m  i also had to make and serve dinner somewhere in there... before the sports because there's NO WAY these kids of mine could wait 'till after 8 to eat!  plus, 8:00 is bed time.  it was a school night. 

so, here's how i had it planned.  i would make dinner and have it ready by 5.  serve it to the littles at 5, jump in the car at 5:20 with a plate of dinner for wolfie.  we'd fly to drop off wolfie (early) and make it to jones' warm up for his game.  aren't i good?!  see... i'm getting the hang of it!!!

anyway, i turned on the oven to 425 to preheat while i whipped up the meal (mexican lasagna).  i had the skillet on top of the stove top, which isn't normal, but it was a clear work space, so i used it.  as i was whipping, i noticed the smoke coming from the oven, and i cursed at myself for not cleaning up that mess in there... AGAIN!  it's been smoking gross smelling aroma for the past two months it seems!!!  i kept working and it kept getting more extreme.  so i glanced down at the window and saw some flames...
oh crap!  so i opend it to see how bad they were... or something.  i'm not sure why i opened the door.  to see if they were real???  and they got higher.  so i shut it.  and i told the kids there was a fire in the kitchen. 
binkins went around and opened all the windows/doors and rallied the little ones.
i opened up the other doors and windows.
jones continued to fight with his shoe.  he was trying to get his cleats on. 
i tried to decide what i should do.  if i open the door again, the flames will be fed more oxygen.  if i don't take care of it, it might just ruin the oven.  what other options do i have???
so i flipped on the fan for the _____ (loss of word) option and then opened the door.  woops.  lots of smoke.  bigger flames now.  i turned around to see what the kids were doing in binkins "rally the little ones" emergency evacuation.  binkins, boo, and starboy were all gathered together in the middle of the living room with their fingers in their ears.  totally ready for what they knew was next.  (yes, it's embarrassing that they know what's to come -fire alarm- when mom starts a fire!)
i told binkins to take them all outside instead. 
jones continued to fight with his cleats.
the smoke started to get really bad.  it was getting heavy in the kitchen.  that's when i noticed my sweet sleeping babe in her bouncer on the counter.  so, i picked her up and placed the bouncer outside too and told binkins that she was gonna have to watch her for a bit.  no opposition there!!!
then i rushed back inside.  i knew i could figure out what to do.  even though every decision thus far was stupid... i'm not stupid!
so i got the fire extinguisher.  and i blew out the fire with it. 
and then jones came up to me with his shoe and asked me to untie the knot.  it was just too tight for him.
and we all lived happily ever after.  except wolfie didn't go to martial arts.  and nobody attended jones' game except for buttercup and me.  and then the aftermath of the game... well, that'll have to wait for another post!

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

dreaming of summer!

a month or so ago, my creative, fun, wonderful mom-of-a-sister posted about 60 things to do before her son turned 6 (in approximately 60 days from when she thought it up).  how fun, i thought.  so i marked 60 days on my calendar before my son, jones, turned 6.  and it came, and it went.  :(
but last weekish i started getting the itches for summer break.  i miss my kids.  i'm getting antsy to hang out with them ALL DAY LONG!  and no, i'm not being sarcastic.  i'm SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!  honestly, i'm having a hard time waiting.  both last monday and the monday before that, i almost didn't want to wake them for school.  in fact, I DIDN'T... but otter pop did (being the responsible parent that he is).  anyway, i dream of all these fun things to do with them.  i get all these ideas in my head of places to go and see.  i anticipate all sorts of activities... and then the summer comes and goes. 
i shouldn't shouldn't say that.  last summer we had a gay ol' time.  my creativity drew me towards vacation bible school every other week, all summer long.  the kids hadn't done vbs before and they really enjoyed it.  it also prepped my mr. jones for school... which i was pretty worried about. 
this summer i've decided to get all those ideas, and write 'em down.  we're gonna have a summer bucket list!  i started it yesterday.  here's what i have so far:
  1. picnics
  2. horse races
  3. birds of prey museum
  4. botanical gardens
  5. farmer's market
  6. check out free festivals that happen all summer long
  7. wednesday evening ***** centre on the grove (live music and entertainment)
  8. travel!  road trips!  mountains, ghost towns, national parks, local ginormous canyon, up north, visit cousins, visit grandparents/aunts/uncles, beaches, hot springs...
  9. camping
  10. find a dinosaur museum
  11. and still a vbs here or there
  12. play ball in the park
  13. go swimming
  14. hiking
  15. fishing
  16. climbing
  17. tree climbing
  18. bird watching
  19. house hunting
i'm so excited!!!!! 

next on my to-do list-making-list is to make a bucket list of things that NEED to be done during the summer.  maybe we'll compare the lists and make it a fun if-then tally sheet.  for instance, if we accomplish 1 to-do, then we'll pick 1 fun activity.  or if we get 3 *'d to-do things done, then we'll choose a * fun bucket list thing to do.  or, if we do 5 !'d to-do things done, then we'll choose a ! fun bucket list thing to do.  (those *s and !s would be labels we could put on our fun bucket list, if you didn't catch on.)

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Monday, May 21, 2012

monday menu #11 for 2012

this week is an exact replica of last week's.  except minus exact because there's one item missing. 

here's what i have: 
  • mexican lasagna with perhaps some corn bread muffins on the side
  • pulled pork sandwiches with some sort of healthy vegetable.  i'd like coleslaw... but i always get complaints because no one likes it.  even i am just pretending to like it when i eat it.  maybe just a green salad. 
  • grilled marinated chicken with grilled veggies (like, but not limited to potatoes, asparagus, green beans...)
  • hamburger helper stroganoff without the box's helper, served with green peas.
  • swiss steak and homemade fresh bread
i am still finding it hard to budget my dinner-making-time between running 13-year-olds to and from martial arts and 5-year-olds to t-ball practices and games and nursing an 8-week-old.  i realize dinner is a priority, because we have to eat... but MAKING dinner isn't as much of a priority i guess. 
i'm up for any tips that those of you have used.  really.

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

are you full?

i started reading acts (the 5th book of the new testament) a week or so ago.  maybe i've skipped over it in the past.  i've heard stories out of it -here and there- i'm sure. 
anyway, it is an account of the happenings directly after the gospel books of jesus' life.  (fancy it was placed directly after the gospel books...)  anyway, luke wrote it and it talks a lot about being filled with the holy spirit.  it makes me question what we, as modern day non-pentecostal christians describe as being spirit-filled.  you can tell that when luke describes the filling that it is something observable and dramatic... much like the pentecostal christians ... act (?wrong word?) it. 
what are your thoughts on this???  if you don't know what i'm talking about, read some of acts.  i'm only on chapter 8-9, so you don't have to read much to figure out what i'm referring to. 

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Monday, May 14, 2012

monday menu #10 for 2012

i hope a happy mothers day was had by everyone that has a mother. 
now it's monday and i'm up for another menu.  here's what i have: 
  • mexican lasagna with perhaps some corn bread muffins on the side
  • pulled pork sandwiches with some sort of healthy vegetable.  i'd like coleslaw... but i always get complaints because no one likes it.  even i am just pretending to like it when i eat it.  maybe just a green salad. 
  • grilled marinated chicken with grilled veggies (like, but not limited to potatoes, asparagus, green beans...)
  • hamburger helper stroganoff without the box's helper, served with green peas.
  • swiss steak and homemade fresh bread
  • bean with bacon soup (not homemade... i still haven't found a good recipe) and sandwiches
i'm making the grocery list right now and then headin' to town.  how's it sound?!  i think it all sounds pretty darn good.
what's on your menu this week???

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

what's this "mother's day" thing???

i wonder why God didn't liken himself to a mom... aren't they like the best things ever???  that's just my thought today on mother's day.
i have, hands down, the absolute best and perfect mother for me in whole entire universe.  hands all the way down.  no contest. 
let me tell you 30 reasons (for each year of my life) why she's the best:
  1. she's patient
  2. she's kind
  3. she does not boast
  4. she is not self-seeking
  5. she is not easily angered
  6. she is truthful
  7. she always protects
  8. she always perseveres
  9. she always loves
  10. she's a nurse
  11. she loves my dad
  12. she loves my kids
  13. she's full of help
  14. she's my biggest cheerleader
  15. she believes in me
  16. she has great faith in the one true God
  17. she's the best prayer warrior... she really prays without ceasing
  18. she's athletic
  19. she pushed out 4 wonderful babies and raised them with my father
  20. she never gave up on marriage
  21. she's optimistic
  22. she's stubborn
  23. she's a good role model
  24. she's really encouraging
  25. she's a great cook and baker
  26. she is a nice grandmommy
  27. she loves babies.  she's a baby-hog.
  28. she's healthy
  29. she always knows the right thing to say
  30. she knows how to pinch a penny!
something else:  HER mother!  my granny is so wonderful and great.  i could almost duplicate the list above for my granny.  my mom definately IS her mother's daughter!!!  my granny is not a nurse though.  instead she is a great wife and mother as her career.  my papa, her husband, died at an early age and my granny's self-sufficient nature blossomed as she became a widow.  she was forced to be independant and strong even though it seemed like the odds were stacked against her.  papa was a business-owner.  granny was his right-hand man.  together they ran their store like a well oiled machine.  after he passed, she didn't have his income, but since she's so practically minded, i don't think she had too hard of a time making things last, wasting not and wanting not.  she's great like that!  the other unique strong characteristic of granny is her competitive nature.  she, like my mom, is another biggest cheerleader.  she wants, more than anything, for her children and grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to WIN (unless she's playing a game against them, that is)!  and boy does she like to play a game!!!  any game!!!  her favorites are card games (like pineochle) and word games (like scrabble). 

i can't put into words how extremely grateful i am to have these two women as mom-models for me.  i can't even begin to express how thankful i am that i have both of them in my life right now.  what is this "mother's day" thing???  it's a day to express this sort of gratitude.  to reflect on the mothers in your life.  to take a little time to tell them "thank you".  so go ahead... give a little shout out!

Don't "like" me on facebook... you can't find me there.
Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

things that i teach and/or say to my kids

  1. there'll be days like this
  2. flush and wash
  3. do it the first time you're asked, the right way, with a happy heart
  4. yes ma'am
  5. listen for my voice
  6. no fighting, no biting
  7. if you wanna live here, you need to learn how to follow the rules.
  8. get along
  9. tv rotts the brain
  10. do unto others as you would have them do unto you
  11. outside excercise is great medicine
  12. laughter is the best medicine
  13. hugs, not drugs!
  14. pop/soda rotts your teeth
  15. your mouth bacteria eats sugar and poops acid
  16. choose to do what's right (even when it's hard)
  17. protect and respect
  18. serve others
  19. others first, self last
  20. ladies first... ALWAYS
  21. jesus, others, then you
  22. i love you
  23. don't drink the butt-water
  24. don't leave for later what can be done now
  25. be responsible:  don't leave something for someone else to do
  26. be respectful.  always.  to everone. 
  27. honor others.
  28. don't shake the baby!
  29. do what jesus would want you to do
  30. life is like a box of chocolates

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Friday, May 4, 2012

car seats, can't fit 'em all in... can't throw 'em to the curb...

so, i just randomly decided that surely someone has thought of a solution to fit three car seats in a vehicle... since, in our state at least, kids have to use a car seat up until the age of 7 and/or EIGHTY POUNDS.  (we go with the age 7 part because well, it's there.  i think it's actually like the forward facing rule where the child needs to be at least age 7 but also a minimum of 80 pounds...  that's never been spelled out for me though and they change the laws on these things every other year, so i feel law-abiding enough that i know at least part of the law.  with a law of such length (7 years is a LONG time to sit in a car seat -or booster), i'm sure that lots of families struggle with the issue of fitting 3 car seats in their vehicle.  i mean, i know great big SUVs used to be the craze, but gas prices are almost to $4/gallon... people are changing their ways!  it's not ridiculous to have three kids under the age of 7!!!  minivans are nice, but they aren't wide enough to fit three car seats in without either breaking your arm trying to buckle them in, or breaking the seats trying to smash them close enough together!
anyway, all that rambling to say that i did indeed find a car seat solution.  it's called the "Sunshine Kids RadianXTSL Convertible Car Seat" and it claims to fit up to three of these even in a 4-door sedan.  wow eh?  so, i went to search out the cost and the practicality of purchasing new car seats JUST to make more room. 
apparently they're supposed to retail at $289.  so... that's completely impractical.  however, they are on sale on a couple different websites, down to $89.  that's also rather impractical just for some room, but when comparing it to the previous three digit number it looks appetizing.  but, of course both of the sites that have it "on sale" are out of stock! 
(i roll my eyes at this)

in other news.  boo said "r" yesterday.  that's exciting.  now we just have to practice switching all the words with "r" in them to what they should really sound like instead of what they willy do sound like currently. 

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Thursday, May 3, 2012

monday menu #9 for 2012

it's funny that this is my NINETH  menu of the year... the first week of MAY!  but that's what happens when you're due to have a baby the 10th/11th week of the year!  as my last gratituesday post explained, the past 6 weeks have been taken care of with people's generosity and frozen prepared meals that i thoughtfully stocked our freezer with. 
anyway, so for the 9th menu of the year:
  • hawaiian chicken sandwiches (the ones with chicken patties, pineapple slices, and swiss cheese.)
  • breaded pork chops (those good ones that i found, made, and now they've been taken off that website for some reason.  all i remember was egg, buttermilk, italian bread crumbs...), with this great invention i heard of called green bean fries (you dip fresh green beans in egg and bread crumbs and then bake them).
  • cheeseburgers, baked beans, corn, and french fries.
  • tacos
  • crockpot italian chicken over bow tie pasta and broccoli
  • sour cream noodle bake (i think this is the recipe a great gal brought our family for dinner.  totally delish!  the kids ALL loved it!!!!!)
Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

gratituesday : frozen meals

well tonight i finally made a meal for my family... from scratch... for the first time (i'm pretty sure) since buttercup was born.  oh my holy giminy moses!  i am SO SO SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO thankful for the friends and family and strangers that brought us meals!!!!  and i am also so very thankful that i was smart enough to fill our freezer with meals for me to pull out and make with one swift movement. 
i can't tell you how frustrating it was for me to make dinner with a baby that seems like all of a sudden needs held ---because it's dinner-makin' time.  and that same baby also will need fed right when there's 3 things boiling on the stove and a beeper beeping because the bread's ready to come out of the oven. 
freezer meals are so wonderful!  so are friends that bring meals.  THANK YOU SOOOOOOO MUCH if you were a dear friend that did that!!!  and thank you Lord, for helping me plan ahead. 
now though the freezer's empty and i need to have the strategy of a supermom.  please pray for me in the days ahead that i might perform miracles and make dinner nightly like i used to.

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."