Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dirty House Update

Before the plumbing pictures of the "Dirty House"

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Yesterday I worked the normal 8 hours, came home, walked to school to pick up the kids, walked home, went through everyone's papers, dealt with a meltdown from Danielle, got Alex started on his homework, and then left at 5pm to drive 45 minutes. I interpreted a local commencement last night so I worked another 3 hours there. Got home (after an hour drive due to construction!) and Mark went over to the dirty house to take care of a few things before the plumbers come this morning. I used the time to do laundry, catch up on Reece's Rainbow emails, and make sure the kids had everything they needed for school today (they were, of course, already in bed sound asleep).

I crashed at midnight a few minutes after Mark got home and then was up again a couple of hours later for our BW. When Mark rolled over this morning and asked if I was getting up, the first word out of my mouth was "No." I then groaned as I realized it was lighter than it should be in our bedroom which meant I had overslept (not by much, but more than I would have wanted). :)

On the positive side, I earned a good chunk of money to go towards the dirty house, and the plumbing will hopefully be done by this weekend!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

This weekend

Mark had to work both Saturday and Sunday this weekend so I had lots of time with the kids.

We had a blast. :)

Saturday Alex had an animal report to work on and the two of us hit a wall and had a major breakthrough all at once. He was working on his report (we were talking about things from the book he had read) and I had asked him a comprehension question regarding two sentences in his book. He couldn't figure out how to answer it and got really frustrated. He was sitting at the dining room table and I was in the kitchen when he looked at me and said, "Mama, this isn't EASY..." To which I stared at him for a minute and then replied, "Who ever told you it would be easy? No, first grade is not easy, and second grade will be even harder. Life is not easy and you have to work. And sometimes that work is hard."

He looked at me and then sat down and figured out the answer. He actually thought. This is a major breakthrough for him (at one point during this question/answer session he told me he "didn't have any thinkings in his head."). He did a great job working the rest of the time and we got everything done we needed that day, then on Sunday worked on changing his brainstorming into sentences for his rough draft.

Saturday night we all went to church. It was a little chaotic since I had our snack (banana bread) in the oven and we were waiting for Mark to get home when the tornado sirens went off. By the time I actually got everyone in the basement they had, of course, stopped. But we waited until Mark got home to head back upstairs and then went to church. We made the mistake (never again) of going to Sam's afterwards to get groceries and dinner. The kids did great (we had all had a nap in the afternoon) but they had a really hard time going to sleep when we got home. I think they were all asleep by 9:30pm.

Sunday night I did showers for them before dinner and then we went upstairs at 6pm to start bedtime. We told them we'd have lots of time for stories this way, which we did, but they were still all in bed by 6:30pm.

And ALL asleep by 6:40pm. :)

It was a great weekend. :) :)

Friday, April 23, 2010


On Thursdays, the "big" kids have been staying at school in their after-school program while I take Emily to speech. I can get Emily to speech a little earlier without waiting for the big kids which means we get home to dinner earlier too. We had a few behavior issues the first day the big kids stayed after school, but one promise that if it happened again they'd be back to the waiting room with me and we haven't had any more issues. They love the after-school program!

Yesterday when I got to school to pick them up, the main after-school worker came almost running up to me. Apparently Danielle fell down while running downhill on the asphalt. She managed to scrape her front two teeth, cut her gum, scrape her upper lip right under her nose, scrape her right cheek, and cut up her left knee. Quite frankly, she looks like she's been in a bar fight! How on earth she managed to hit all of that on one fall is beyond me, but the after-school worker actually saw her fall so we know what happened.

While I never enjoy seeing my children hurt, I love knowing that Danielle is taking more risks with her body now. When we first came home she hesitated even walking up and down stairs, and would only "run" if she was on an absolutely flat area that she was familiar with. Now that her depth perception is (hopefully) better, she's really branching out with her physical activity. If only her balance would catch up! ;)

We were supposed to have her follow-up eye appointment from her surgery this week, but I neglected to call and schedule it (bad mama!). I had just called on Wednesday and set it up for next Monday. I'm happy she hadn't had her check-up yet since I'm a little concerned that her fall yesterday might have injured her healing right eye. I'll be sure to mention her fall on Monday if it's not still obvious.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Field trip and bedtime

Do you ever have an evening where you kids drive you to distraction? All of them?

I was so happy to see bedtime last night. Apparently they were too since they were all asleep within 10 minutes. :) I guess the exhaustion from the field trips carried over a day.

They all had a great time at the zoo and although Tim and Danielle's classes were only together part of the day, both of them managed to see Emily's class too! Apparently Emily then didn't want to go back with her class--she wanted to go with Tim and Danielle. Emily's teacher reminded her that she needed to stay with the "purple shirts" (Tim's class had red shirts and Danielle's class had blue shirts) and everything was fine then. :) :)

Can someone clarify something for me? Can a child have a learning or "thinking" disorder where they can't do something for hours and then when faced with missing out on something fun can "all of a sudden" do it? Or would that simply be a control issue? ;)

I'm guessing the latter... LOL

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I remembered the shirts, more or less. :)

Danielle had a field trip last Friday so her field trip t-shirt was still in the dirty clothes. I wash all of the laundry on a schedule (boys' Monday night, girls' Tuesday night, etc.) so Danielle's shirt wasn't slated to be clean for another day. I threw it in with the boys' laundry but that meant it went in the dryer this morning. Since it went in at 5:30 (yes, a.m.) it should have plenty of time to dry before she needs it. :)

They pack the field trips in this time of year so I'm going to have to pay more attention to the laundry to make sure everyone has what they need!

Seriously, I don't know how you people with 8 or 12 kids do it!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I have not been sleeping well due to a lot of things going on right now. I slept 9 hours Friday night which was wonderful! I felt so rested on Saturday, although at Mark's base ball game in the afternoon I'm pretty sure I still could have laid down and taken a nap in the sun.

Saturday was Mark's first official base ball game. The kids were thrilled to be out at the park playing again. Unfortunately, Emily has a love affair with her water bottle which means she becomes rather attached to the bathrooms. :) I usually try to make her wait at least a few minutes when she tells me she needs to go, but it made me giggle so much watching her do the "potty dance" that I took her pretty quickly. I really don't need any accidents at the park. :)

School should be back to normal this week, at least for Alex. The other three all have field trips to the zoo tomorrow. They will have a blast and all I have to remember is to send them in their field trip t-shirts!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


"Can I put my shoes on and go outside?"
"I don't know. I'm not mama, you know."


"These are our dogs. We have 1000 dogs. Can we have more dogs?"


"Is bake sale tomorrow?"
"No, tomorrow is Tuesday."
"I know, but is bake sale tomorrow?"
"No, tomorrow is Tuesday."
"I know, but is bake sale tomorrow?"

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Update on Danielle

Danielle's eye seems to be healing really well! She hasn't complained about it bothering her at all this time (last time her eyes seemed to dry out more). I think they worked on a different muscle this time and as a result she hasn't had nearly as much redness as with the first surgery. I need to call and set up her follow-up visit with the surgeon to make sure everything is healing well. Then we'll go back in 3-4 months to see if her eyes are lining up correctly.

I really hope so. It would be great to be done with surgeries for a little while and I know Danielle would be happy not to go back!

In the meantime I'm applying for financial assistance through the hospital to see if we can get Alex's therapy covered since our insurance is still refusing to cover it (even though they did for part of the year...sigh). He's made such great progress with his therapist that I hate to have him switch at this point.

Monday, April 12, 2010

New injuries

Not me, Tim. :)

Apprently he decided to somehow throw himself off of the swing at school today and managed to scrape up his whole right cheek. He looks like he got attacked by a piece of carpet. :) :) I got a phone call from the school because they didn't want me to be shocked when I picked him up--it's pretty obvious.

I don't think it bled and it didn't bother Tim. He didn't even tell his teacher when it happened. I have a feeling it hurt but not horrible and since it wasn't bleeding he figured it was no big deal. Of course when his teacher saw it she flipped out.

He was getting a little testy by the end of the day of everyone asking him what happened to his face. As a consequence of using a rude tone towards one person (adult) who asked he ended up writing "I will not be rude." twelve times tonight. :) In addition, we talked about why people were asking about his face (it was really obvious and clearly something had happened to his face) and how he could respond politely ("I just fell off of the swing." in a neutral tone of voice).

This is a crazy week at school for the kids as Alex and Tim are doing SAT (Stanford Achievement Test) this week and their schedule is disrupted. I tried to warn Alex's teacher last week that he might be in rare form this week due to the schedule changes. She certainly saw it today, and her comments when I picked him up just made me chuckle. We certainly do know our son!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Easter egg hunts

Yes, that was plural.

As it turns out, we did THREE Easter egg hunts on Saturday. That was so not planned.

There was an Easter egg hunt at the kids' school/church Saturday morning right before our church Easter egg hunt. We thought we would stop by since the kids had been hearing about it at school and I thought they might like to see some of their teachers there. As it turned out, we missed the egg hunt for the little kids (Emily and Danielle) but were able to jump onto the edge of the big kids hunt and all of the kids found a few eggs. They were just scattered on the ground but the girls are not the fastest at picking up eggs and are also pretty easily distracted (especially Danielle!). Most of the time other kids got to the eggs before they did. We didn't stick around for the games and crafts they had because we wanted to get to our church Easter egg hunt.

When we got to the park, we quickly found a place to park and found the schedule. We've only been going to this church since August so we've never done their egg hunt before. As it turns out, it's HUGE! They have three separate areas set up for toddler, preschool, and elementary age kids and then they do THREE egg hunts for each age group. And there were literally hundreds of eggs out for each group. We had some time before the egg hunts started so the kids got their faces painted, did some sticker art, and decorated plastic eggs. Then we did one egg hunt for Emily (preschool) and then one egg hunt for the other three. They all ended up with plastic bags FULL of eggs. We dumped the candy out into their bags and returned the eggs. The volunteers were stuffing eggs as fast as empty ones came in to prep for the next egg hunts. :)

After the egg hunt we headed to our old neighborhood to drop Mark off for a meeting with a contractor at the dirty house. On the way, he noticed some people walking with Easter baskets and realized that it was most likely the day of the neighborhood Easter egg hunt. So we dropped in on that. Since I had the kids by myself, I took all of them to the big kid side. The girls did not find a single egg (actually, they found some but couldn't get to them in time) but the boys had better luck and managed to get 2 or 3 each. It was irrelevant as we were really just there to see some old friends and hang out while Mark was busy. :) We had lunch there and even managed to win a couple of prizes.

All told, we ended up with more candy from the egg hunts than we did from Halloween!

And yes, I have pictures. :) :) I finally downloaded the pictures off of the camera from February, so I'm a bit behind!

Monday, April 05, 2010


We made it home about 12:30 and Danielle promptly threw up in the car. :) I don't think it matters what meds they give her, she follows the same pattern: wake up miserable, sleep a bit more, wake up ready to go home, get home and throw up, then sleep another hour or so. Once she wakes up after the nap at home she's ready to go play. :)

Her eye isn't nearly as red this time but she looks a bit bruised underneath her eye, probably from the extra bleeding she had this time. She's in good spirits and did really well with all of it. She spent the afternoon playing outside. :)

I did find out that she's still not convinced I won't leave--or at least that she still gets concerned when she doesn't understand where I'm going. She did fine with me going to the bathroom while she was in her room after surgery (the nurse was with her) but when we left they had a nurse escort us out with Danielle in a wheelchair (she was really wobbly!). When we got to the parking garage I had to go get the car and Danielle stayed with the nurse. Apparently she got really worried I wasn't coming back. I think it was a combination of factors: she was in a different area of the hospital that she's not familiar with, she had a different nurse with her, and she didn't understand exactly what I was doing.

While I don't ever like her to be upset, I know that every time something like this happens and I do come back that it reinforces to her that I always will come back. I also reinforced that verbally after I had put her in the car. :)

Danielle will have a follow-up appointment in two weeks and hopefully we'll have a good prognosis, although we won't really know for a few months if her eyes will be able to maintain their desired positions.


Recovery was a little harder this time. They gave her some different drugs for anesthesia and she woke up faster. That was great except I wasn't back there when she woke up which freaked her out and her pain meds hadn't had time to kick in. So the first 30-45 minutes were pretty bad. Then they gave her some oxycodone and she went back to sleep. She just woke up and said her eyes don't hurt now. :)

Now for some crackers and apple juice and we should be on our way home!

Surgery is done!

The eye surgeon just came out and told me it is done. They only ended up doing one eye (they weren't sure going in if they were doing both or not) but she had a little bit of bleeding so we will need to watch that. Other than that it went great and the surgeon is hopeful this will be the last surgery she needs. They haven't called me back for recovery yet so I know she's still out. :)

Blogging from the hospital :)

As I type, Danielle is in surgery for her eyes. This was such a better experience than last time (so far)! She was not anxious or worried this time and we had no tears or even whimpering! We played together, talked to the people that came in, and she was able to sit up while they administered anesthesia (actually I was holding the mask).

Last time we had to hold her down to give anesthesia. It was not pretty or fun.

She was so much calmer and relaxed and it's great to see how much more trust she has in me and in her situation. She knows (as much as possible at this point) that I won't leave her and that this is just a temporary "nap" where they will look at her eyes.

Of course I forgot to bring my camera for recovery again!

I'll try to keep you updated today but no promises. If she wakes up puking I'll be a little preoccupied. ;)