Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Crazy Weather!

This morning was so pretty...sunny, upper 50s, maybe a bit into the 60s. The boys played outside on their bikes in light jackets - I drove to my dr's appt. with the windows down in the van, this picture was taken at 10:00 this morning...
Then it all started to hit. At about 11:30ish the boys came in saying it was getting cold - the sun went away and the wind came in its place. About 2:00 this stuff started falling from the sky - It looked more like hail than sleet - but I'm no meteorologist! The temp at this time was in the upper 20s.
Then the snow started to fall - we've had a couple of rounds of slight flurries - here is the picture out the front door at about 5:00pm - I was going to have the boys put on their winter coats and go outside to pose for me - but they refused, something about it being too cold. It's now 12 degrees...all in one day it went from spring to winter - maybe this can't happen only in MO, but we sure seem to experience drastic weather changes too much! Come on over :-)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Back from Vacation

Ok, not a "real vacation" - but it was a fun time...We had been wanting to take the boys to the Great Wolf Lodge in KC, MO - a pilgrimage we make just about every fall/winter, but this year we just couldn't seem to swing it and with the soon approaching baby to factor in we decided to "simulate" the experience with a hotel here in town. It has the same camping/woodsy/outdoors theme, and it is also experiencing an off-season lull in attendance so we were able to get a great rate. We goofed off all day at the pool and in the little yard our room had access to and ended with some late night movies - all of that activity and Steven was still able to go to work this morning to attend some required meetings. (Don't know if that is really a positive perk, but you know what I mean) Here we go with the pics...

Here is the little lawn area that our patio spilled into. The weather was great - a lot warmer than what we had been experiencing so the boys were able to run. It had this horse statue in the middle of the lawn.

Next was swimming...Huston never made it off the stairs - he is a very timid swimmer. The other two are fish - Isaiah was pretty independent, he can do the basic dog paddle and keep himself going and he loves to jump in. Avery needed assistance, but wished he didn't! (P.S. Know that you won't see many pictures of me anyway, I'm the usually the photographer, but you will never see a picture of my pregnant self in a swimming suit! - but believe me, I was there)




We then walked next door to the waffle house for a bit of supper - the boys were very hungry from their swimming, and can you tell they were a bit tired as well?


The evening was topped off with jammies, popcorn and Scooby Doo on the portable dvd player. Then off to bed in the bunk beds for the boys. (You can barely see the corner of them in the picture - I didn't really get a good shot of them - they took up most of that end of the room!)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Shh...quiet

It's been a quiet week here at the Spellman household. I am sure not complaining about this, just never thought I would see the day. When you begin the endeavor of raising 3 small boys, you begin to think that your life will never hold the peace and quiet it had once known - ever again. I know there are many moms out there that know exactly what I mean, I also know there are days that you feel you wouldn't trade it for the world. But I also know that there are days when you stop and ask your son, "Do you have to do everything making noise!" Here are a few snapshots of our quiet days. Isaiah has become quite the worker - he sits at a desk or table and does coloring, writing, legos, whatever keeps his little hands busy. He has even told his brothers that he would "rather not play at this time," he needs to do his "work." Wow, it is amazing to see him grow into this new stage and I know that he will not always be the "quiet worker" but he is certainly gaining his independence in things and that is really neat to see.
On another note, Avery has become a total Jonny Quest fanatic. We have the complete first season on dvd and the boy sits absolutely riveted to the screen (as much as a 2 year old can anyway) He has the opening and ending credits memorized and talks and acts his way through each sequence. I tried to capture it for you on video - I'm afraid it was rather late this particular evening so he doesn't quite do it justice, but it certainly gives you a little taste of his fervor...
video

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Football Wednesday

Tonight 2 of the 3 boys were melting down by 7:00 - so they had early bedtimes, while wide-awake Huston went downstairs to play football with daddy. So enjoy the Wednesday night football, without all the show-boating and the flashiness of the professionals...some of it looks a bit staged if you ask me :-)
video

And here are some still shots as well...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cleaning Day


Yuck...I hate to clean the house - I can think of just about anything in the world I would rather be doing, but I don't like living in filth either so I guess I just have to bite the bullet and do the job. So what to do with 3 small children when you want to really scrub and mop the kitchen/dining room floor? Pull the dining room table and chairs into the living room and make a tent of course...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Play Time...

We finally have been well enough to enjoy some play times. The last couple of days have been a bit busy - but not too bad - with meeting friends and finding things to catch up on around the house. The boys sure have been active lately - guess they feel that they need to make up for lost time. Our friend Ms. Mel gave us some boxing gloves and a punching bag and the boys sure had fun trying it out...

Then yesterday we spent the morning with some good kid friends of ours. We got to go and see their brand new house - it is still being worked on a bit, but for the most part is done. The boys loved it there and other than a few incidents that showed a lack of good judgment (kid brain damage setting in) the boys played very well with everybody. Here's a picture of the crew sitting down to snacks.So anyway I am still working on getting something scheduled into the week that will help the boys burn off some of that energy - but these two events sure seemed to help...it's great to have friends!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My Funny Boys

Ok, today we were getting a little bit more to the phase of normal again. Huston was able to go to his morning of preschool - he goes every Wednesday - and Isaiah and I did an experiment with crystals while Avery watched a movie then took a nap. After the experiment was over, Avery was in bed, and Isaiah was occupied with a coloring book, I laid down on the couch - and needless to say I was asleep in no time at all. I awoke to find this piece of paper placed on the floor in front of the couch.Can you read it? It says "Do not dstrv" (that's kindergarten language for 'disturb'). Isaiah thought he would take care of me by posting a little message letting all the people that pass through our house know that I needed some quiet. He can be a very thoughtful boy.

Later on in the afternoon the older two boys were playing quietly in their room when they asked me to help them get an additional toy down from their shelf. I was gone 5 minutes - at the most - I had left Avery occupied in the living room only to return to him at the kitchen table. He had dumped all of the salt out of the salt shaker and was busily scattering it about with his little pudgy hands. I came down the stairs to this sight and immediately yelled "Avery!" He jumped at the sound of my voice and clambered down from the chair saying, "mommy, mess...mess" So of course I took a picture. If you look close you can still see his little toddler imprint among the salt on the chair. You can also see his fingerprints on the table - he's totally incriminated himself.

Beautiful Sky

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I Need...

I need to do so many things...I need so many things to happen!
1. I need Steven to be home in the evenings more often...this is the second day of him not coming home until after bedtimes and its getting kinda old. It really doesn't happen too much, but it seems we do hit weeks when he has some kind of meeting or volunteer thing for multiple evenings during the week...
2. I need my baby back - Avery is still under the weather and his personality shows that... here he is with one of his inconsolable fits - he'll just cry and cry about what?...anything, everything or nothing...and what is the only thing that calms him down? That's right, the "nuk" (pacifier) that he is supposed to be getting rid of...guess that will have to be another something to hit again later.







3. I need to get some sleep - mommy's temper and patience lately has been very short...

4. I need to organize my life and stick to a plan...so many times I have an idea of what I want to do and plan it out and then something (like 3 boys getting sick the same week) foils that plan - not to mention that I have no self-discipline whatsoever. Do you realize that I have 3 different books started and am in the middle of 3 different Bible studies, plus I am trying to teach Isaiah and it looks like I am just teaching him to be a scatterbrained as me. Currently we are in the middle of a book about George Washington, rocks, and dinosaurs - plus we are starting a science experiment on growing crystals, learning about coins and money connected to skip counting in math and practicing our handwriting and reading...hmmm, does anyone else seem a bit overwhelmed by the lack of direction?

5. I need to find an outlet for my boys' energy...the two older ones have bunk beds. The ladder used to climb to the top bunk is removable, so we take it down to prevent Avery from going up there to crack his head on the floor...well, guess where I found him this evening?
And how many times do the boys just end up running, fighting, wrestling, jumping, jiving, wiggling...you get the picture. They are boys, they have energy - I need to figure out a plan for them to release it productively - oops...here we go again, back to needing a plan.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Two Steps Forward...

And one step back...Isaiah got bit by the sickness bug too. I had hoped it would escape him, but realize it is pretty inevitable when you are surrounded by little brothers with germs-a-plenty. Here is our modified sick bed - each of the boys has taken a turn in it, I sleep on the couch and they crash in the big floppy chair.
The other two are showing signs of normalcy. Huston is a bit irritable, I think he has been penned up too long in the house - and lets not forget the fact that he's 3. (so far the Spellman boys have had issues and battles with the three year old phase of life - I'll take the "terrible-2 year-old" any day!) Here is a picture of Huston in all his dirty faced orneriness...

And Avery has bursts of his mischievous nature too. I am in the middle of working on an afghan for baby sister and while working in the kitchen the other evening, Avery decided to help himself to some yarn from my project...


Friday, January 11, 2008

More of that...please

The sickness continues...Huston is on the mend, but Avery was getting worse. It was troubling, if they have the same crud why is the medicine working well for Huston but not for Avery? Yesterday was the worst of Avery's days. He looked and felt awful. Just toddled around in a fog all day and at night was totally restless...fever, terrible cough, red and watery face, absolutely no appetite for anything...overall yuck. I finally decided to take him to the ER at the hospital about 11:00pm Thursday night. Neither one of us was getting any sleep, he was obviously not feeling good at all, medicines weren't working, and I was worried that if it was pneumonia that it could get pretty bad quickly, plus I was worried dehydration would set in with the additional symptom of diarrhea caused by the antibiotic he was taking.


So after almost 3 hours we were sent home with a new diagnosis of RSV and moderate dehydration. So we are increasing those breathing treatments, and forcing those liquids (he soaked a diaper very quickly this morning, so he's doing good). Avery did not enjoy his ER experience - too much poking around and testing, but I am glad we went, at least now I know why the medication wasn't working for him and we can get on with getting well.



Isaiah has been a trooper through all of this, pretty much has been homebound with the yucky brothers for the week. We were not able to do some things that he was really looking forward to which bummed him out, but in the end he could see the reason we had to lay low. He has become very interested in art lately. I signed him up for an art class, but we had to miss the first session because of the germs. I tried to make it up to him by taking him out one evening and purchasing his art supplies for class. Here they are...
And since he couldn't go to class I also got him a book on how to draw dinosaurs that was at the store. He sat down with it the next day, I helped him look at the steps and really take note of where the lines started and how they were shaped, but Isaiah did 95% of the drawing himself. I only helped him with the legs, they were kind of getting tangled up down there, and then I went over his lines with the pencil in an attempt to make the drawing dark enough for a photo...So here is his finished product...(I know I'm biased, but I think it is really pretty good!)

He was pretty proud and it kind of softened the disappointment of not going to the art class. I am anxious for him to start the class, not only as a way to continue learning art techniques, but also to see what the art teacher notices about Isaiah's color-blindness...because ever since that eye drs appointment, I have not seen any real strong evidence of a problem. He gets blues and purples mixed up, but not every time and I am wondering if he has just adapted to the problem, or did that dr just not know what he was talking about? hmmm....who knows?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Jessie's Observations

This morning was an interesting morning...I got to become a "fly on the wall," so to speak, in a medical lab for 3 hours. So many different types of people coming and going - it was a real study of human nature. So many personalities, some rather repulsive I'm ashamed to say, others pleasant, and still others weren't even memorable - just ordinary...you know?

I overheard so many life issues...the cheerful, welcoming receptionist was on the phone a few times in between checking in the patients - she was securing the details for her father's final days here on earth. He was being placed on Hospice care with very little time remaining. She had such joy for everyone who came in contact with her and only if you had overheard her conversations on the phone would you have known the very heavy burden she must have been carrying. It was so impressive and so humbling to see her attitude. It made you wonder if she was a believer...how else could she be so "ok" with the task before her concerning her father as well as be so caring to the people - the total strangers around her?

There was the man who came in and immediately recognized an older lady seated near me as the long time best friend of his mother...his mother is suffering from Alzheimer's, the sweet lady in the waiting room asked him how his mother was doing and apologized for not checking in on her friend more often - it was only a few minutes later that I learned that she too was caring for her husband who was stricken with the very same disease. When the older lady was called back for her lab work the man started telling me such intimate, personal information about his mom and the fight she has had with this disease over the past 8 years. The only name she remembers at this point is that of her husband - Jack - her son goes on to tell me that his mom calls almost every family member Jack - she can't remember the rest of the family names, but she recognizes they are part of her family so she labels them Jack - but she also knows that Jack is the name of her husband of over 50 years - because when he is not in the room she is asking "Where's Jack?" He also said this lady that he had been speaking to is so much smaller and physically weaker than the spouse she is caring for on her own, with the help of neighbors. He is amazed that she is able to do it, and doesn't see how she could possibly continue. His own father is such a big strong man, so much more physically and mentally capable to deal with the issues of Alzheimer's - how in the world is this sweet woman able to do what she does he asks me...he answers his own question when he goes on to say that to witness such love and pure devotion to a person is quite something to witness. It reminded me of Clifton and Frances - my surrogate grandparents growing up...how Frances faithfully cared for her ailing husband - giving her all, to the point that she unexpectedly passed on first - worn out from all that she gave. What faithfulness...a foreign concept in our society today. I don't know how many older couples came in for test today clearly taking care of each other. Sometimes is was comical, but every time it was so sweet to see. Where else in our society do you see that kind of loyalty? We can learn from the older generations in so many ways.

It takes a morning like this morning, when you are stuck in a situation when the only thing to do to pass the time is to observe the people around you...it takes a morning like this morning to really see that small glimpse of what God intended for us to be - we are made in His image, Genesis tells us so - it's amazing that we can still reflect His image even with the selfishness and mess of today. It made me leave wondering am I reflecting? Sure I may reflect on a Sunday morning when I am around other believers, but am I reflecting His image to the strangers that I encounter in the drs office, or Wal-Mart, or at home with my kids...(ouch, that one hurt). Makes ya wonder.

A Rough Start

We have had a bumpy start to the New Year in some respects...started off with a bang when 2 of the 3 boys woke up with pink eye, and now we have progressed into pneumonia. Huston had an extra special rough night last night, could not stop coughing and his fever spiked to become pretty high. We tag teamed the Tylenol and Motrin every two hours and the fever still never completely went away, and let me just tell you - Triaminic stinks...it would not touch the cough at all. I eventually gave him a small dose of adult strength Robitussin and finally....


he was able to sleep. Shhh...it took most of the night to get him to this point. At about 3:00am he decided to go back to his own bed to rest. And then an hour and a half later Avery came out of his room and found his way to me to let me know that he too had a fever (and a cough). So for the rest of the night I helped Avery get comfortable enough to finally go back to sleep about 6:00am. Just in time for me to catch an hour of snoozing before I had to get up at 7:00am to get ready to head to the lab for a morning of blood work.


The gestational diabetes test I took last week came back with my blood sugars kind of high - so that meant I had to go in this morning and take the 3 hour test. (I had to do the same thing when I was pregnant with both Isaiah and Huston) So after fasting from both eating and sleeping all night they took 4 samples of blood in 3 hours. Oh, did I mention that I "woke up" with pink eye this morning too?!

Anyway, I returned home from the marathon blood letting to find Huston no better - so after an hour of snoozing (for both of us) I put a call into the dr. and set up an appointment for both Huston and Avery. The appointment was uncharacteristically on-time and efficient and we quickly learned that Huston has pneumonia and an ear infection in both ears. (never has complained about his ears) Avery does not "officially" have pneumonia, but it is only a matter of time before it shapes up to become that, so he is being treated for the same thing (his ears are fine). They both have to take breathing treatments for the next 3 days to knock out the wheezing. So hopefully, these two will be on the mend very quickly and back to their normal ornery selves soon...

Did I mention that these two boys were absolutely wonderful patients?...no hesitation in doing what needed to be done and they were so polite to the nurse practitioner. We go back in a week to make sure everything is healing properly...in between now and then I am praying that they don't share their germs with any other family members - selfishly I am especially hoping that the lack of sleep and the coughs in the face (among other yucky incidences) do not add up to sickness for me - just too complicated to be sick when your pregnant! Hope you all are doing better than this, but it really sounds worse than it truly is for us too. We are doing fine despite the dr's report!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Pathetic Pair


Huston and Steven are under the weather. Huston more so than Steven - I think that Huston is getting a bit worse while Steven's voice seems to sound a little more like his old self and for the most part he is acting like he feels pretty good too - he does seem to get tired. They both stayed home from church this morning...Huston's fever was high and since Sunday morning is pretty much my "work day" with helping all the different Sunday School classes, it was a daddy and the sick boy morning. They look pretty pitiful, huh. Don't worry they will be back to normal in a day or two.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Isaiah - Paleontologist...

Isaiah found an old (let me stress old) coloring book that used to belong to his dad - yes, Steven's parents are packrats - I will not be saving any of Isaiah's coloring books until he is in his 30s and has a family of his own...anyway it was a dinosaur coloring book and all of a sudden Isaiah was inspired. Isn't it funny how one little encounter with something will spark total curiosity and then learning comes so easily! So Isaiah is totally dinosaur interested right now. We went to the store this evening to get one of those dinosaur kits that let you chip away at a rock to uncover the creatures...he had a lot of fun.


As you can see, his daddy got into it too...Those little hands kept very busy once he got closer to his dinosaurs. He uncovered 3 of the 5 tonight and will tackle the others tomorrow. He was quite excited to see the first little glimpse of the dinosaur's head. We may have an archaeologist/paleontologist in the making.










See them?








Here is his finished product for the evening. He gets to paint them tomorrow. We are reading the book "Dinosaurs of Eden" by Ken Ham to go along with the fun. Go to www.masterbooks.net if your curious about the book. He really likes informational books like that (hmmm...could he be related to his daddy, or his grandad, or his papa - well, you get the picture).