Tuesday, March 30, 2010


The one thing we forgot on our Colorado trip was our bedwetting alarm. We realized the omission about 30 minutes into the trip, but the idea of turning around and losing a whole hour of driving was not appealing. In our defense, it was originally packed for leaving on Friday but then we decided to leave on Saturday and used it Friday night. It didn't make it back into the bags. :(

In all honesty, I wasn't that upset. It meant we got a full week of more or less uninterrupted sleep. Ahhh...

We bought some pullups and used those while we were gone, and they were pretty much soaked every night by the end of the week. After getting back we of course went back to the alarm. The first few nights were alarm nights, but then we had four nights in a row of our BW getting up and going to the bathroom in the middle of the night without the alarm going off.

So: While I think we're going to be using the alarm for awhile, it definitely seems to make a difference in his body's ability to recognize the need to wake up to go to the bathroom.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Alex and school

I love spending time with my kids. We had a great time Friday while they were out of school (for parent-teacher conferences) and then over the weekend.

In parent-teacher conferences, we learned that Alex will be promoted to second grade (although he doesn't know yet and we're not telling him that) because he is only really struggling in one subject--math--and we all believe he can do it. For some reason, he doesn't want to do it correctly which is baffling.

Let me give an example:

A few days ago Alex was working on a math paper. We have an area set up away from the ruckus with a table and chair so that he can work undisturbed but it's an open room so he can talk to me while I'm working in the kitchen (but can't actually see me). He had one problem remaining...he needed to add a nickel to a quarter. He knew he needed to add 25 + 5, but he refused to do it. So that he couldn't just sit back and play when he was supposed to finish his work, I would periodically ask from the kitchen while I was making dinner...

"Alex, what's 25+5?" "Twenty?"
"Alex, what's 25+5?" "Fifty?"

He was getting mad and wanted to go play. I told him he wasn't going until he finished his math.

"Alex, what's 25+5?" "Thirt...twenty?"

See?? He knew the correct answer and wouldn't say it!! AGHHH!! That kid could teach brick walls how to be frustrating.

But his reading is doing phenomenal and he loves to read. He's reading well enough now that I have to slow him down to make sure he reads correctly. He's wanting to read the sentences the way his mind thinks they should be, which is pretty much never correct. We're hopeful that his love of reading and his strength as a visual learner will allow his reading to help with his speech apraxia. Reading will help his brain learn the correct patterns for language which should improve his speech.

Friday, March 26, 2010

When life hands you sour milk...

Normally we pick up our raw milk from the farmer on Fridays. They make a delivery into the city that day so I meet them and pick ours up. Since we knew we were going to be out of town for a week, I had inquired as to whether the milk would last for a week unopened. The best guess was that it might be okay and that they would try to give us the freshest milk possible. Unfortunately, there was a miscommunication with the person delivering the milk and the milk we got was not as fresh as intended.

By the time we got back, we were only able to salvage one of three gallons for drinking. Given that we pay a little more for raw milk, I really didn't want to just toss the extra two gallons. Plus raw milk doesn't spoil, it only sours and is still edible.

So today the kids were out of school and we made cottage cheese and sour cream. :) Two gallons of milk made over two 15-oz containers of cottage cheese--and it tasted really good! We used the cottage cheese that night for lasagna. I did dump the whey from the cheese since it was sour and I wasn't sure what else I could use it for, but the cheese did not taste sour which was a little surprising.

I don't know if it's cheaper to make cottage cheese versus buying it, but it's really easy. You just heat the milk slowly to 180 degrees and it starts curdling. Filter and voila--cottage cheese!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


We seem to have hit upon a clumsy stage that is taking over most of the family. Our vacation scored us a seriously bruised knuckle (me), several bumps on the forehead (Emily--she always manages to hit the exact same spot!), a blood blister from a seat belt pinch...that turned into an infected finger (Emily), a lost tooth (Danielle), plus the usual assortment of scrapes and bruises.

Tuesday Danielle fell off of one of the front steps and scraped up her back while trying to help Tim carry a box. Yesterday Emily and Danielle bashed heads while playing upstairs and were both crying until I suggested they sit on the couch until they felt better. ;)

I think I should have gotten a nursing degree instead of chemistry!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Not how I like to wake up

You know it's going to be a long day when your husband rolls over and says "It's 6:45..." and you're already supposed to have been at work for 15 minutes.

That extra hour of sleep wasn't really extra since I was up with Emily, Danielle, and Tim from 2-3:30am for various reasons.

Oh well. I still made it to work by 7. :)

Monday, March 22, 2010


We have returned. :)

We spent a nice week in Colorado on spring break hanging out with Mark's family. We got to experience 65 degree weather playing outside and then sledding on Friday as the winter storm hit. The kids loved it! I had a very relaxing week with my in-laws, and while it's always good to get home, I was not ready to be done vacationing.

The kids did great with all of the family. The girls had met their grandparents and one uncle but had not met Mark's sisters or their cousin yet. We did lots of playing and reading and...more playing... :) And no one got sick. Of course, we didn't go up in the mountains either.

I only took four sets of clothes for any of us and planned on doing laundry there. That worked out fantastic and meant that I didn't come home with several loads of laundry to do.

Everyone's getting back into the swing of things but the kids have several days off coming up. They don't have a full school week until mid-April!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Would you do this?

  • 17 hours in a van.
  • 2 adults.
  • 4 children ages 7 and under.
  • 2 dogs, each over 50 lbs.
  • I-70 through Kansas.
  • No DVD player, no books, no toys.
  • Lots of family bonding time.

We did and had a great time!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Friday was...well, it was productive!

I went into work early for an hour then took the van in for service (routine maintenance). The dealership dropped me off at the school and I walked home. I walked back to school with Mark and the kids then back home then I drove Mark to work and myself back to work. Later was milk pickup, van pickup, children pickup, prescription pickup, Mark pickup, and other car pickup.

I did a lot of driving.

But the van is good and everyone made it home.

Friday, March 12, 2010


It was wonderful.

The first Thursday with the new schedule was great. I left the big kids at school, took Emily early to speech and was actually able to do things during speech! I made phone calls, dealt with the continuing insurance issues, and enjoyed some peace and quiet.

I picked the kids up a little before 5 and was able to get dinner on the table at our normal time. It was fantastic. I think we'll keep this schedule for a while. :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

ESL funnies

Last Friday when I picked the kids up from school, Tim was very excited to tell me about his snack.

"We had ice cream cones for snack, Mama! Dalton brought tiny ice cream cones!"

Teasing him, I asked him if he'd saved any for me.

"Yes, but without the ice cream. They're in my backpack!"

I figured he was teasing me, as he loves to do and is just really starting to get the hang of. When we got home, he pulled out a little plastic bag.

"See Mama? Dalton brought ice cream cones for snack!"

I started giggling. "Oh...those are Bugles...they're chips."

Tim goes running into the dining room...

"Alex, look! Dalton brought beagles for snack today!"

I don't think I even bothered containing my laughter on that one!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Pray for Mark, please! :)

Mark has a very big test today--one of the 6-8 hour kinds. He is taking a specialization test for physical therapists (the orthopedics/OCS for those of you familiar). He has been studying many long hours in preparation for the test today.

Please join me in praying...
  • that he will feel confident and be protected from doubts
  • that he will remember what he needs to know for the test
  • that he will not grow fatigued
  • that he will have steady focus the whole time
  • that he will pass :)

He won't find out the results until this summer, but I know we will all be glad when this test is over!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

I hate Thursdays

I consider myself to be a pretty even-keeled person. There's not a lot that gets me terribly agitated, and very few things that I would claim to actually "hate."

I HATE Thursdays.

Thursdays involve a normal workday for me...up at 5:30am (that's the goal, since I need to leave the house at 6:15, but I wouldn't say I always hit that ;)), work 8 hours, pick the kids up at 3:30, drive to speech at 4. Before we get to speech I have to get their assignments out so the ones who aren't doing speech can do their homework since there won't be time when we get home...which also means the night before or that morning I need to make sure I pack pencils, a glue stick, a ruler, and the pictures Danielle needs for her homework. Head home after speech at 5. Get home a little before 5:30 (I am so thankful we live close to our therapists!) and scramble to get dinner and feed the dogs while 4 kids whine and argue try to be patient.

It is miserable and I do not do a good job at being patient with them, which makes me want to change things. I told Mark last night that I can't do Thursdays anymore. :) And I proposed a solution.

Right now Alex is not going to speech because we are still trying to work out the insurance issues. So from now on, I will leave Alex, Tim, and Danielle at the after-school program at school. They will love it because they will get to watch a movie (after they do their homework). I'm going to see if Emily's therapist can see her at 3:30 instead of 4. After speech, I'll pick the kids up at school (a little before 5) and head home. We should end up being home before the time we get home now. Dinner prep will still be a little crazy, but the kids will have had a little more time to just relax at school so that may help. And yes, I've tried crockpot meals, quick meals, no-cook meals...it's still crazy. I think the only thing that would make it less crazy is if I picked something up (pizza or fast food) which I really don't want to do.

Some days I just want to throw in the towel. No more therapy, no more school, no more work. The kids and I will stay home and play all day. But somehow, I'm guessing that's not what's in any of our best interests long-term.

But boy is it tempting.

Monday, March 01, 2010

How do you wake up?

Saturday morning laying in bed, I hear small footfalls and then a voice...

"Mama, I do have my tooth..."

I hold out my hand. "Thanks, go back to bed."

Alex is down one more! :)