Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ah-ah-ah-ahem... this blog is a little rusty.

Oh my. 

More than two months since I last posted.

 All I can think is "Let me explain... no. There is too much, let me sum up." 

Easy answer, I finally got a smart phone and now no longer have to trudge down to the basement to check my emails and Facebook and stuff. So the blog kind of went by the wayside because I couldn't figure out how to post from my phone. I know I can, I just don't know how. Anyway I like to type on an actual keyboard every now and then.

So let's back up.


The kids started school. Things went swimmingly for about three and a half weeks and then we ran into a really ugly bullying situation with Jake. I don't want to talk about all the details of it in such a public forum, but suffice it to say that it left us all feeling very shaken and upset for awhile. You feel like you are being a good person, trying to raise your children to be good people, and then out of left field someone else's free agency comes smacking into your reality and you have to deal with the consequences of someone else's poor choices. The situation is still not completely resolved, but we are feeling back on a much more even keel. I also feel better knowing that we involved the appropriate parties, everyone took it as seriously as we did, and also everyone we interacted with regarding was very complimentary towards Brian and myself saying that they were impressed with how we reacted and handled such a stressful situation. It's moments like that that help reinforce that you just might be getting a handle on the whole being a good parent thing... 


In between my regular mom duties I spent equal amounts of time knitting and playing on my new phone. Brian went to work and came home and played on his new phone. We've turned into one of those couples that lay in bed at night playing Words with Friends. The kids went to school and geared up for Halloween. I told them it was a year for digging through the dress-ups and old costumes and seeing what they could come up with on their own.

Jake was holding out hope that I would relent and help him. But what he wanted to be (a character from a video game) involved a blue ponytail that stuck straight up in back and some pretty involved armor. "Uh maybe next year dude..."

Evie started with the glasses and we went from there. I was able to borrow a poodle skirt and she made an adorable bobby-soxer.

Lila gets the most points for creativity in my book, she's a Fairy Cow. All night long as we walked around trick-or-treating I heard comments like, "A flying cow? Never seen that before..." We went trick-or-treating with Myra and Candice and their kids, which was a lot of fun. The weather was perfect, and the only bad moment was when I lost Lila for a few minutes. She followed the wrong family and was halfway down the block before we found her! It took me a good while for my heart to calm down after that...


So much to be thankful for this month! All of our family and friends, and most of all....



We got approved and got our contractor and all that in October, but then we had to wait about three more weeks for the actual work to begin. But seriously, when you've been waiting for more than a year what's three more weeks? (It felt like But it's done now, so I'll let go of that...)

A big pile of dirt got dumped on the lawn the day before. And there are the kids for perspective.

The next morning they showed up with the big machines and the rocks.

They built a rock retaining wall and filled it with dirt.

Concrete forms.

Now it's getting exciting!!!

They cut off the old threshold step so the ramp runs right into the front door.

I think for Brian it was almost like the night before Christmas...

The next day they poured the concrete.

And now it is a gentle slope to get in or out of the house. We are all loving it so much. It's amazing how much faster Brian can come and go, the kids haven't been late to school once since it got put in. Last night he took the garbage out! Just because he could! 



Yep, it's amazing how much a few hundred yards of concrete has made a difference in our lives! I still wish we hadn't had to wait 15 months for it, there were quite a few close calls towards the end as Brian struggled up and down the steps, but it's in now and again I'm letting the rest of it go.

So that catches you up with the major events for us in the last couple of months. I'm either going to have to come downstairs to post more often, or figure out how to do it from my phone, because we are getting ready for Christmas and all the fun holiday times that are coming our way in the next month! And blogging months at a time is really hard. You have to remember stuff and that's hard on a mommy brain...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Because there aren't mailboxes in heaven...

The mailman knocked on the door today because we got a package that wouldn't fit into the mailbox. I'm expecting some fabric to be delivered so I was all excited and just about to rip it open when I saw that it was addressed to my children.

I'm not gonna lie.... I really, really wanted to open it anyway. But I restrained myself because I didn't want to take the excitement of opening it away from them. So I waited and waited for them to get out of school.

These are their excited faces. 
(And did you notice how both girls are ready to claw it open?)

Inside were bags of school supplies and arts and crafts for each of them. 

I barely got them to pause long enough for this photo before they had those bags opened and spread out to see all the goodies! 

They each had a doodle pad and some markers, which was particularly thrilling for Lila. "Oh Mom," she said with a little catch in her voice, "I saw the evening star and I wished for doodle pad!" They also each got a little pocket-sized bottle of hand sanitizer... or handi-tizer if you're Lila. 

A princess coloring poster!

Glitter glue and an embroidery kit!
(She literally screamed with excitement when she saw the embroidery kit.)

Lego folders and stickers!

Five minutes later each of them had sanitized their hands and settled down for some creative time.

There was also a card, which I tried to read to them, but didn't quite make it through because I was unprepared.

Once I'd gotten myself back under control I explained that Aunt Kristen (Jake recognized your address on the box) had sent them these fun things on behalf of Mima Kim, since she couldn't be here to celebrate the start of a new school year with them. 

by Evie

Thank you Aunt Kristen, not just for such a fun surprise, but for the spirit behind it. Your thoughtfulness in helping to fill that hole in my children's lives is something I will always be grateful for.

by Lila
With no help from anybody!

(She really wanted me to add that last bit.)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What I learned today...

1. My children will ALWAYS wait until it's two days before payday and the budget is stretched so thin you can see through it to have a weird medical emergency.

2. They will also always wait to have that emergency until our pediatrician is closed for the day and therefore we must pay the higher co-pay to go to Instacare.

3. When your child is in agony numbers 1 and 2 don't matter.

4. Trying to help a 9 year old who is maybe six inches shorter than you and who cannot walk, while simultaneously trying to keep his 6 and 3 year old sister from getting hit by a car in the parking lot is not fun.

5. Just because I live with a man in a wheelchair doesn't make me automatically good at pushing someone in a wheelchair, judging by the number of people, chairs and door frames I ran into. Not to mention the blood pressure machine I almost wiped out by starting to wheel Jake off before they could remove the cuff...

6. It is always frustrating when you can't get a concrete diagnosis. "Wait and see..." is terrifying when you have no faith in your ability to handle medical crises.

7. It might be a hernia. Or the worst case of constipation ever.

8. Talking about "stool softeners" is confusing for a very literal child. "Can't we just use a pillow?"

9. Explaining that flatulence is the same thing as a fart will end the conversation. They are too busy giggling to ask anymore questions.

10. Some days you just can't quite believe the crap you have deal with as a parent...

11. I have an amazing Dad who is willing to drop everything and come help me physically, financially, and emotionally. I do not know what we would do without him sometimes. (That isn't something I just learned today. I've known it for awhile. But it still makes me so humble and grateful every time I am reminded of it.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Watch your wallet around this kid...

Jake: Penny for my thought?
Me: Not interested.
Jake: Oh man, if you only knew my thought you'd be regretting that decision.
Me: Okay, but it will have to be on credit. I don't have a penny on me.
Jake: If it's on credit then it will be twenty-five cents.
Me: What? Keep your thought to yourself then.
Jake: Okay, okay, ten cents.
Me: Nope.
Jake: Five cents?
Me: Nope.
Jake: Okay. Two pennies, final offer.
Me: Man... this thought had better be worth it.
Jake: Um.....
Me: You don't actually have a thought! Do you?
Jake: I love you?

Monday, August 20, 2012

For those who are about to rock...

We salute you!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A new twist on an old proverb...

When your three year old "accidentally" peels all the bananas... 

bake banana bread.

Why do I get the feeling this was her plan all along?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom

Today is my mother's birthday. We decided to celebrate by wearing yellow and having a yellow dinner, her favorite color.

Our lovely yellow decorations and lemonade to drink.

Her favorite flowers, daisies.

All yellow food:
Chicken with lemon and herb marinade
Golden fingerling potatoes
Yellow Squash
Yellow onion
Corn on the cob

It's been nice to spend time talking about her today without my children bursting into tears. And I think that she would really like that, that we are moving into a place where we can remember her without tears and sadness. Well, most of us. Lila keeps being confused when I talk about "my mom". She thinks I mean my grandma. I think she finally got it this afternoon. When Brian got home she ran to the front door to welcome him home and tell him all about the yellow party we were going to have. "It's mom's mom's birthday today! Oh... but she's dead." Brian quickly turned to check my reaction to this, but I just had to laugh because that's pretty much what I had to say to her to get her to understand why we were baking a cake today.

Happy Birthday Mom. 
We love you.
We miss you.
We were happy today.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Brown paper packages tied up with string....

Did you finish singing that line?
I do. 
Every time.

This summer my cousin Tiffany suggested a fun idea, she invited the girl cousins that wanted to, to participate in a name swap (sort of like a Secret Santa for the Summertime) called the Brown Paper Packages Club. We each listed 15 of our favorite things right now, and whoever drew our name would put together a package of little gifts over the summer and mail it off. Because who doesn't like to get packages in the mail?

Mine arrived this morning by Special Delivery!

Chock full of fun brown paper packages to unwrap.

I found out that Caite had drawn my name.

 Yay for sisters who are best friends too.
Let's dive in and open those presents!

Pretty ribbons.

I love the messages on the packages.

A string of beads.
I love beads.


Stamps, I love the sewing ones! I'm thinking some personalized note cards are going to be in my future...

Yummy smelling lemon verbena soap, my favorite scent.

Another good message.

No, she's not calling me a chicken. She's telling me to let go and embrace them as decorating theme for my kitchen... long story. But it made me smile and I'll show you it's new home soon.

Pretty fabric fat quarters.

Because she knew I would love it!


And because she knew it would make me smile...

A yarn ball winder!
I squealed like a little girl. I have wanted one of these for a couple of years now! I will be spending the rest of today winding up all my yarn. (Caite said she thought that we could probably decrease the size of my stash by at least 10-15% if they were all wound into balls... I say I'm game to give it a try!)

All my goodies! I love them all and think this was a fun and brilliant idea by Tiffany. I hope that my brown paper package arrives soon and that the cousin who gets it loves it all as much as I love mine!