Monday, October 26, 2009

Busy, Busy

and I'm not really enjoying it. We have a lot of irons in the fire right now. I am swamped at work - everything needs organized, everything needs cleaned, lessons need to be written, schedules are looking more holey than swiss cheese and I am a little put out (ok, really... quite disgusted) with a trend that I am seeing but will not choose to discuss at this point in time.

This week Steven has his radio gig tomorrow night, a meeting on Wednesday night, an annual work/client get together on Thursday night, and he will leave for Iowa with his mom on Friday to help his grandpa move into a new place (and visit... he hasn't had the chance to have a good visit for sometime now). So that will be good that he can go, but kinda throws me into the category of single parenting... but I will say that Grandma Gloria will be watching the kids for me on Thursday before she and Steven head out of town so that I can go to work and organize, clean, schedule... and fume. But for that, I am thankful.

I just am praying that no other strange illnesses darken our doorstep this week. Isaiah's fever is long gone, he still has some coughing/sniffley stuff, and yesterday right before bed he started in with a strange itchy rash on his face. It's not terrible and overly noticeable, just there enough to be annoying and make me curious.

Schooling is going rather well - not exceptionally - but I'm not in panic mode. We've already read through all of our history (Story of the World, Vol. 2) but will be tackling it for a second go around with more in depth study before the end of the school year. I just wanted the kids to kinda get an overview first before I start overwhelming with statistics and details.

Math is at a good place for Isaiah and at no place for Huston, I need to focus on that a bit more with him. Huston has kind of been left behind by his instructor (umm... that would be me) but I again am not overly concerned, it will come soon enough.

Here is a picture of the kiddos that I attempted to take last week when we finally had nice weather for all of 1/2 a day (its been so rainy and dreary - I can deal with it to a certain point because the leaves are beautiful, but still even I have my limits of dreariness). I took well over 50 pictures (rapid fire) and this is the best we got...

and this is a sampling of what the rest of them looked like...

So anyway I must leave you and turn to face the week before me... I will survive, I believe... but if I don't post ever again, you now know what has happened to me.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I Think We've Dodged the Pig

this round anyway.

All day yesterday Isaiah was not acting himself. You could tell from his voice that his throat was funky, but he had no fever and no other symptom except for being very lethargic. I kept trying to perk him up and tried to tell him that he should get moving and start doing stuff and maybe it would help him to feel better (cuz I'm sensitive like that...) but finally by 7:30 when he refused a movie in order to go to bed I knew that he really wasn't feeling good.

By 9:00 my boy was "awakened" by a night terror and an extremely high fever. Huston and Isaiah share a room normally, but I had opted for Huston to bed down elsewhere last night just in case Isaiah did take a turn for the worse. So after many, many minutes of trying to snap Isaiah out of his anxious state of confusion we put him back to bed and I made a run to the store for some fever reducing medicine (of course we were out).

The night terrors kept on coming and by the third one I just determined I was going to have to sleep (I use that term loosely) at the foot of his bed to head off these weird brain spasms. (*note - Isaiah's night terrors are just times of almost sleepwalking. he is awake, as in his eyes are open, but he is in a different world of consciousness - confused as to where he is and who is with him and he sees things - usually very scary thing to him - that just are not there... they are so creepy... our doctor is the one that labeled them as night terrors). He continued to have them to the point that I was wondering if this was something more than just night terrors. But he finally settled down into some good sleep.

I had made arrangements with my now retired mother-in-law to watch the kids for me today while I went to the office and did some errands anyway - so I just tweaked the arrangements a bit and had her come to pick up the younger three and sweep them away to her house just in case we were dealing with the dredded flu that everyone seems to be getting or at least fearing.

But after a very relaxing day with Isaiah and some information from some fellow moms on facebook, I think we are dealing with a different kind of virus and hopefully Isaiah will be back to feeling good really soon. I just hope that he can sleep well tonight... I hate those night terrors.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

House is Still Going...

So for those of you that are still keeping up with the list, I will now discuss the topic of our old house finally being under contract. I know you are on pins and needles. I'm not so much anymore - pretty confident that by this point the buyers will still buy and the contract will be signed... a MONTH from now. Geesh.

We got the offer on our house sometime in Sept... can't remember exactly when (I can't remember what I did yesterday)... but it was mid Sept. The offer was a bit lower than we had hoped, but still looked pretty good, we were just excited to get an offer truthfully. The house had been on the market for about 5 months - not tons of time I know, I should be thankful, and truly I am. Our savings account was getting smaller and smaller so really the 5 months seemed like an eternity to me at times.

Now back to the offer, it was good, but for some reason the buyers don't want to close until November 17th?? I don't get it, but oh well - at least it will be a nice gift for the holidays.

To further complain about a blessing that will come in a bit over a month... the inspections were done and our house tested on the borderline for radon contamination (from a rather sketchy report) and so now we have to pay over $800 to have our house aired out. We also have a few electrical issues that are easily fixed thanks to a friend from church - but all of this cuts out of our profit and by this point we are pretty much breaking even... 5-years of working hard to pay off a house and absolutely no financial appreciation to show for it after selling the house.

A little frustrating I must admit - BUT, I know what you're thinking - and I assure you that I am thinking the same things...

1. We have "sold" our house in every way but signing on the dotted line
2. We got a great deal on the house we are in now -- beautiful land, huge house, great floor plan...
3. We had the old house financially free and clear so all of the $$ we get will go toward the new house - that's a HUGE blessing and one that I need to thank God and my husband for (he's such a squirrel -- my husband, that is)
4. Hopefully my prayers that the buyers are a good solid family that will be good neighbors is answered as well. That house was so cute and in such a great neighborhood - I still miss it/the neighbors.

So yes, I wanted my cake and to eat it too -- but in the end be aware that I am so very thankful I got the cake.period.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Priceless Conversation

I wasn't with my kids the majority of today. I went to work at the church for the most part and my mother-in-law came to stay with all four of my kiddos here at home.

I needed it -- the time away. This past weekend, with all the traveling and wedding stuff sure took it's toll on me and Lillie has been extra-specially clingy and mama lovey. While I love that in small doses, the all day-every day stuff begins to wear a person down.

I relished my time away today. I had a lot of time to just sit in my office or in my car and be alone -- being alone is so refreshing, and yet something that I don't take enough time out of my day to do.

When I got home Isaiah told me something that Avery said today that just melted my heart. Isaiah said that Avery had been sent to his room to be alone and rest. Avery doesn't take many naps anymore, mostly he just relaxes for a bit. Isaiah said that he and grandma went in to check on him and he was just sitting quietly by himself on his bed. They asked him, "What are you doing Avery?" Avery answered, "I'm listening to God." They were taken aback by his answer so they asked him, "Oh, what is God saying to you." and Avery replied, "He say, I love you Avery."

Isn't that awesome. We should learn a lot from that little boy. How often do we need to just sit quietly and listen for Him... and you know what - He will say the very same thing to you that He was saying to my little Avery.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sharing a Peanut Butter Sandwich

This may not seem like much, but really, it is.

Avery has come such a long way over the past 6 months or so. He used to have such an explosive type personality. If things didn't go his way he would throw the hugest fit every. single. time. We had lots of boughts of tough love and time outs and restrictions of privileges and talking tos and all of that added in with plain ol' growin' up has turned our little spitfire into quite a sweet little man.

Now he still has his moments of grumpiness - don't we all - and while his moments may be a little more vocal than others, it is still worlds apart from which we came. This is the boy that missed out on his own birthday cake last year because he refused to comply with his parent's wishes... this is the little boy that avoided liquids of all types and kinds to the point of dehydration which resulted in an ER visit for an IV ... he was such a stubborn mule.

And he still is stubborn, but hopefully now he is seeing the value of being stubborn for the right things... (hopefully soon, one of those "things" will be pooping on the potty!)

Avery is very sweet to his sister. He tells her she's a "cute wittle giwl" nearly every day. They share a room and are partners in crime in stalling for bedtime, which on most occasions is still a very sweet aspect of their relationship to watch.

Avery loves "the brothers" as he calls them - he plays so well with Huston and he and Isaiah have a really good big and littlest brother relationship too.

I am very much enjoying my Avery. I will admit that there were many times I did not enjoy him when he was younger. Such a volitile little man he was, but now he is more even tempered yet full of such fun energy and creativity. He enjoys entertaining all that will watch him. Now if I could just get him to enjoy the feeling of satisfaction that comes from being completely potty trained...

Monday, October 5, 2009

And She Did It!

Kind of, mostly anyway. Ms. Lillie did in fact walk 3/4 of the way down the aisle in flower girl fashion. A video follows if you want to skip down to the end and watch it. (I've watched it over and over, she's my girl.)

I will now tell you the whole story behind the minute of fame. Melissa and Nick were married in New Lenox, IL - a southern burb of Chicago and at least a 6 hour drive from home. So Steven and I had decided to head on up there a day early to give everyone an extra day of recovery before the festivities were to begin on Friday night and in hindsight I think that paid off really well. So Thursday was filled with the Lincoln Presidential Museum and swimming at the hotel pool and lots and lots of driving in the rain, the. whole. trip.

On Friday night the rehearsal started at 6:00. Lillie had a great day of restfulness on Friday - we checked out a children's museum in the area that morning and followed it up with a great nap.

At this point I was still pretty skeptical about Lillie's abilities and told Steven that I thought we should arrive for the rehearsal a few minutes early so that I could encourage my boys to run down the aisle with Lillie - make a game of it - allowing her to feel comfortable in the sanctuary and with the prospect of going down the aisle. That scored big. Lillie loved the attention and then pretty girl after pretty girl (bridesmaids mostly) cooed over her and told her how pretty she was and little boy after little boy (ring bearers and brothers mostly) buzzed around her and ran her up and down the aisle and generally made her feel like she was the center of attention... so much so that by the time the rehearsal began and Lillie lined up behind all the bridesmaids, groomsmen and ring bearers she was ready to butt in front of them all and go down the aisle all by herself.

When her turn finally came, my Lillie strutted down that aisle WAVING to her audience the whole way down like she was in a parade. Everyone in attendance smiled and laughed and cooed over her some more. It was so funny - and no, I don't have pictures or film, cuz I stink. We left the church with confidence - both mother and daughter - and I was really amazed that she preformed so well at the age of 18 months.

Then Saturday came. I had until 2:00 that afternoon to get Lillie to nap and get her dressed up in her stuff so that we could hook up with Melissa and the bridal party for some pre-wedding pictures and then her big moment. We swam with the boys in the morning and I took her back to the room and kicked everyone else out so that I could get the little girl to rest. My instruction was for Steven to return with some sort of lunch for the two of us and to return in time for us to get to the church by 2:00. He said he would return by one.

I got Lillie to fall asleep quickly and she slept for a good amount of time. She awoke at noon and I bathed her and combed and fiddled with her hair. One o'clock came and no Steven. No lunch. I fed Lillie pretzels and other snacks we had hanging around the room. I thought I would pass the time by trying to iron the boys shirts. That would take my mind off of Steven being a teeny bit late and then we would be ready to take the kids to the church and get them dressed there... which was the plan anyway. I got down the hotel ironing board and iron and turned it on. I tested the iron on the ironing board and then ran it down the collar of Isaiah's shirt. I then flipped his shirt over and started to iron the FRONT of his shirt and that's when the iron LEFT A HUGE BLACK IRON PRINT ON HIS SHIRT!!!! I still did not panic totally. It wasn't really terrible, it was bad but I ran to the bathroom and scrubbed it with a washcloth and it came off. I dried it with the hairdryer and then looked at the clock and it's like 1:15 and still no Steven.

I called his parent's hotel room and his dad was only somewhat helpful. He didn't know where Steven was, but he did have an iron that I could borrow. So the iron was brought and I was in the middle of ironing every one's shirt when the rest of my family finally came. I basically told them to turn around and go back to the van and Steven realized that we had no time to play with anymore. He was detained at the restaurant past his ability to rectify and he did bring us back lunch, but it was too late and too messy to eat it.

We were flying out the door, I am grabbing everything I had set aside and Steven is bringing the van around. I hook up with him in the circle drive and he realizes that we didn't grab the bag with his shoes and such. He runs to go get it (luckily our room was on the first floor) and he discovers that our room key doesn't work! He has to go to the front desk and get a person to let us into the room... 2 electronic key attempts and much time and stress later he returns.

Now we still are not totally late, but we are pushing it. I decide to dress Lillie in the van so that she is at least ready for pictures by the time we get to the church. Steven is driving fast (which if you know Steven, you will realize what a statement that is in itself - my husband doesn't go fast). We make it to the church by 2:00 on the dot - the wedding starts at 3 and the boys are not dressed. We have their stuff with us so I take it into the church and Steven decides to take the boys to a nearby store while pictures are going on and return by 2:30 to get the boys dressed.

So Lillie somewhat cooperates with pictures. She's kind of just thrown into it though and isn't too sure about all the photography strangers she is getting warmed up to it though because she is again gaining attention and praise from all the pretty girls. She agrees to a few good shoots and then she is just really beginning to shut down.

Meanwhile 2:30 rolls around and no Steven. I am getting nervous because I realize that in half an hour Lillie is supposed to walk down the aisle as a flower girl and she is beginning to get really grumpy and vocal with me (I think she cussed me out a couple of times) and I am also realizing that my husband has to dress himself and 3 boys for a wedding and not be late... and he doesn't come through the door until 2:40.

I try to stay calm and I dress Avery in the hallway. Steven takes the two older boys into the bathroom. Meanwhile I need to hunt down the rose petals for Lillie's flower basket and there is a misunderstanding as to where they are located. Amazingly we get it all together with a few minutes to spare before the ceremony begins.

Unlike the rehearsal Lillie is not raring to go. In fact she doesn't even want to stand in line with the ring bearers. I am pulling her to her spot to the very moment of her cue and I push her toward the aisle. Believe it or not she snaps into it and she allows the ring bearer, Colton, to take her hand and lead her down the aisle. She schmoozes the crowd a bit - waves and makes faces - and I have a moment to stand at the back and take the video of her moment.

Then it happens. At about the third row from the end of her destination she drops her flower basket. Keep in mind this flower girl did not sprinkle flowers. In fact every time she dropped flowers she had to pick every one of them up and return them to her basket... and here we were, moments from the bride's entry and Lillie had just dropped the entire contents of her basket into the aisle. Take a look.

Luckily the photographer helped her. You can tell in the video that the moment the basket dropped I almost bailed the filming and ran to the front to retrieve her - because I knew she would want to pick each and every petal up. The photographer scooped the flowers up and while he was doing that the ring bearers got tired of waiting for her and headed on up to the stage. Lillie was left not knowing what she was to do. She was distracted and just stood there. and stood there. and stood there. At the moment I stopped filming, I am then running down the side aisle to come around and up the front and lead her the last few steps.

And that is when the stress came to an end. The anticipation ended and Lillie threw a fit soon after I sat down with her in the audience. The flower girl ended up spending the rest of the wedding ceremony with me while we watched from the foyer. The poor girl was tired and hungry and probably sensed all the stress that I had inside of me since noon.

But the most important thing is that Nick and Melissa had a beautiful day and made a beautiful bride and groom. And Lillie enjoyed dressing up and being a part of the day too. Here are some pics.

The bride with her flower girl.

Lillie after the wedding... in her full ensemble.

The shawl was made by my grandma for me when I was Lillie's age.

The bracelet that the bride, cousin Melissa, gave to Lillie. (she LOVED it)

My good looking family.

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Nick and Melissa

Just as relieved to see the afternoon lived through.