Sunday, December 16, 2012

And now we're sick

A couple of weeks ago Alex had a little cough/cold over about a week. It wasn't anything major and didn't seem to bother him too much except the cough sometimes woke him up at night. Then last week Bianca came down with it, then a couple of days later Danielle. Both of them still have a bit of cough although they are feeling much better.

A few days ago Mark started feeling bad and I thought he was coming down with the same thing. Today his temperature was 104.2, so I think he's managed to get the flu. Unfortunately I am now showing the same symptoms (haven't taken my temperature--I'm in denial!) so it's looking like the adults may be down for the count this week. I'm hoping since Mark got it first he will recover quickly so I can collapse. ;)

The downside of homeschooling: no substitute teachers!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Not catching up

I feel so behind in posting that it's futile to even try to catch up. So here's today. :)

We got a piano. :) :) We had a friend of ours keeping a lookout for a free piano for us. We have a (very nice) Yamaha keyboard that Mark and my family got for my graduation from grad school, but I am hesitant about letting the kids play on it, especially unsupervised! I wanted a piano that could take a bit of beating (literally) without us worrying that the kids would destroy something expensive. We don't have much in our house that qualifies for most people's definition of expensive, so I'd like to keep those few things intact.

A few weeks ago we heard of a free piano that would just require a move. Because it was in a basement, we did have to hire movers to get it from its old home to our house. It was delivered today and the kids are having a blast with it! We have been learning music notes and rests (quarter, half, eighth, and whole) this semester in the morning so I'm so excited to have the piano here so we can start working on note names. The piano is in the dining room where we do the majority of our homeschooling so it is perfect.

As an aside, anyone who doesn't know us and walks in the house immediately asks if we homeschool (like the piano movers today). I'm guessing it's the 4'x6' U.S. map and the 2.5'x4' world map on the dining room walls along with the pledge of allegiance and John 3:16 in German (we were studying Germany this week). And then there's the list of U.S. presidents and the Declaration of Independence posted on the office door. Have I mentioned that I love homeschooling? :) :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sign up now, girls!

Tim: "When I grow up, I'm going to buy a big sled for my wife. And we're going to sled down a big hill...a 6,000 foot hill."

All I can say is his wife will never lack for adventure. ;)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Last Tuesday went exactly as planned...


First, you have to know THE PLAN. I really think, given the circumstances, that it needs to be capitalized because I put quite a bit of effort into THE PLAN.

Not that anyone apparently cared. *ahem*

7am--kids up, dressed, breakfast (Mark handles that--got to love a hubby who is a morning person!)
8am--start school--pledge, Bible, prayer then on to schoolwork
While kids work, I make lunch to have ready to take with us for appointments and prep dinner
10am--leave for Danielle's annual eye checkup from her strabismus surgery
noonish--eat lunch, either at SLCH or home, depending on the eye appointment
1:30pm--if home, leave for speech (otherwise we're still at SLCH and can just go straight to speech)
home by 4pm--make dinner to take for Tim to eat at Alex's soccer practice and the girls to eat while Tim is at gymnastics (we're all together for this, but the girls eat slower and can't get done at soccer before we need to leave for gymnastics)
5pm--soccer practice for Alex, Mark meets us there
5:30pm--gymnastics for Tim
6:30pm--gymnastics for Bianca and Julia
7pm--dance for Danielle and Emily (dance and gymnastics are at the same place for all of the kids)
home by 8pm, quick bedtime

That was THE PLAN. There was a small snag...

The preceding Saturday Tim fell on the playground. He landed on his side with his arm flat underneath him. He complained of it hurting, but it was not bruised or swelling and he had full range of motion in his hand and arm so we just kept an eye on it. But Monday night he had gymnastics. We told his coach what had happened and just to let him modify activities as needed, and told Tim to do what was comfortable. However, after watching him practice, it was clear he was not comfortable using his arm at all.  Mark and I decided he probably needed an x-ray just to rule out a possible break. THE PLAN became this:

7am--kids up, dressed, breakfast (Mark handled that--got to love a hubby who is a morning person!)
8am--call to doctor's office to see if they can send him for an x-ray without us driving out there
8:30am--dr's office calls back; Tim has to be seen and can we come right now?
9am--dr's office with all six kids; we do morning school routine in the exam room (we found a small flag on a book for the pledge--not kidding)
9:30am--x-ray for Tim. At this point, no one thinks Tim's arm is broken including the radiologist. We were all wrong. He has a buckle fracture of the left radius. He needs a cast and can we go to Children's right away as orthopedics can fit us in now?
10am--frantic call to Mark for help. I have to have Tim at the orthopedist and get Danielle to her eye doctor appointment. They are in the same building but I can't be in two places at once!
10:30am--Mark takes Tim back to see the orthopedist and I take Danielle to the eye doctor (where we wait...for a looonnnggg time)
1pm--We finish at the eye doctor. I let the kids have stickers AND suckers because they haven't eaten and they have been very well-behaved. Note that there was no time to make lunch in the morning, or dinner. Dash home.
1:30pm--kids scarf down lunch (two hours later than usual!!) and we turn around and head back to SLCH
2-3:30pm--speech. I call Mark to figure out dinner. Since Tim won't be doing gymnastics now, we can all stay at Alex's soccer practice and eat there. Mark volunteers to pick up pizza. I fall at his feet in tears of gratitude on the phone.
4pm--home from speech, need to leave in 45 minutes for soccer. I actually contemplate trying to fix dinner to take with us, then realize I still have to get everyone dressed for their respective activities and decide dinner from home is NOT going to happen.
5pm--soccer practice. Mark brings pizza, the kids play on the playground (except Tim)
6:30pm--gymnastics for Bianca and Julia
7pm--dance for Emily and Danielle
8pm--home and bed for EVERYONE

I'm not currently a big fan of Tuesdays (see THE PLAN above to figure out why) but this particular Tuesday made the other ones seem pretty calm. Maybe God just thought I needed some perspective. ;)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Danielle: "I'm going to go outside and rake leaves!"

Me: "Don't go out in the yard. I haven't picked up dog poop yet."

Danielle: "I'm not. I'm going to use my tummy."

Someone want to explain how you rake leaves on a deck with your tummy???

Monday, April 16, 2012

I have a cold

...but my antibiotics have cleared my previous infections up nicely. This has been quite the month. I think I felt good the first few days and not since then. It's not that I feel terrible, just run down and ready to be healthy again!

We took Danielle's first (okay, second) set of casts off tonight and she gets the next set tomorrow. Then only one more set. She's also getting casted tomorrow for AFOs (ankle foot orthotics) to wear at night to help keep her stretched. She has tolerated the casts GREAT! She calls them her boots and thinks they're cool. I honestly expected a lot of drama over them but we really talked them up beforehand. And since she's not missing out on any activities she's pretty content. I will be very glad to get the serial casting done before it gets hot and we're trying to go swimming.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Everyone can tie their shoes!

...and there was much rejoicing! ;)

In other news, the offer for our house finally went through. We went through about a week where we thought the contract was going to fall apart. They wanted some things done that we refused to do. They finally caved and we are set to close in mid-May. That will be a wonderful day. :)

Danielle got her first set of serial casts yesterday...and we have already broken BOTH plastic foot plates that are in the bottom of her casts. Thus, we go back in tomorrow for new casts, without foot plates. So tomorrow we have speech x1, physical therapy x1, and casting x1. Better than yesterday which was supposed to be speech x3 and casting x1. We switched our schedule around so we weren't spending all day at SLCH and did speech x1 and casting x1. Part of the difficulty with the casts is that Danielle can't be weight-bearing for four hours after the casts are put on. Yesterday we went down to the cafeteria and did schoolwork while they dried, and then Mark came by after work and got Danielle in the van. I'm thinking we'll run the same plan tomorrow. During speech and PT the rest of us will play in the rooftop garden, and then when we're waiting for the casts to dry we'll do schoolwork.

I must confess to loving the flexibility of homeschooling. Since we have so many different therapies going on right now, taking people in and out of school would be a nightmare. This way we just take school with us. :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012


They accepted our counteroffer so I believe the dirty house is now officially under contract! Closing is tentatively set for mid-May. The buyers have some kind of special FHA loan with an additional state program and there are some long timelines regarding financing for that kind of loan which is why closing is so far out. And...we had another showing tonight. :) I think we've doubled our number of showings just in the last few days. I guess it's good we have more interest, just in case something falls through with this one (way to be pessimistic, I know!).

In the meantime we have a few little things we need to finish up over there so it's just as well we have a little time.

Only two more months!!! :) :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

We have an OFFER!

It's been a LOOOONNNNGGG wait. We have not had very many showings of the "dirty house" fact, I think I can count them on one hand. And that's since it's been on the market last November. Finally, today, we received an offer.

It was a little surprising because we've been expecting an offer all week, but this came not from the people who saw the house three times last week, but from a couple who only saw it last night. They made a good offer and we made one small counter (not regarding price) so now we wait and see. It would be SO NICE to have that house gone. I love it. I think it's beautiful. But now it's time to move on and get some things done where we actually live!

Friday, March 02, 2012

Friday funnies

On Fridays the kids get to watch a movie. Usually the helper-of-the-day gets to pick it. Today they were watching Aladdin. When the disguised Jafar takes Aladdin to the cave of wonders, he walks in through the "mouth" of the cave. After Aladdin's monkey tries to steal a ruby, the cave begins collapsing.

Bianca pointed out, very seriously, "That's why you don't go in people's mouths."

Wednesday, February 08, 2012


It's a good thing we love Children's Hospital so much, and that it is so close! We are spending three days there this week, although very thankfully all as outpatient.

Tuesday was one hour of speech for Emily. Normal time, normal activities for the rest of us (playing in the rooftop garden).

Today was a tooth extraction for Tim. He had full sedation and was intubated (which was a surprise for Mark and I) and had three teeth removed. He had an extra adult tooth on the top row that was preventing a few of his adult teeth from being able to drop down. This also meant he had not lost some of his baby teeth since the roots were not being dissolved by the incoming teeth. No worries; he lost two baby teeth and an (extra) adult tooth today! He did great and is the first of our kids to undergo anesthesia without throwing up afterwards (he's the third kid to undergo full anesthesia, and another has had nitrous). We had prepped him pretty well. He felt miserable when he first got home. He took off his coat and shoes and went straight upstairs to bed. I think he thought that's what he was supposed to do as I had told him that when he got home he wouldn't feel good and would want a nap. ;) After he woke up he ate a bit, watched a movie (a very special treat in the middle of the week around here!) and then started playing. By bedtime he was pretty normal, but a little more subdued than usual. I made sure he knew to wake me up if he woke up in pain. Sometimes our kids just don't think to come tell us if they have problems at night since they spent so long without anyone to help them. :(

Tomorrow is speech for Emily in the morning (school for all the rest in the cafeteria!) and then a physical therapy evaluation for Danielle in the afternoon. I was hoping we could get those scheduled concurrently but I'll take a separate eval time if we can try to get regular therapy times coordinated! We had put off having Danielle do PT for quite a while, giving her time to strengthen her muscles and simply be upright for more than a few hours a day. But now I am concerned about her posture and think she probably needs to do some more stretching and strengthening to prevent back problems in the future. Our pediatrician agreed so we'll see what the PT thinks after the eval tomorrow.

Thankfully the kids are very used to our crazy schedule and are learning to do school pretty much anywhere. That's particularly good as both Julia and Danielle will be starting speech therapy next month. I think we're going to need our own schoolroom at Children's!

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Spring January

We have had an unusually warm Christmas and New Year. It has been in the 60's here (in St Louis) for the past few days. Today we're taking advantage of the warmth and getting in some early spring cleaning. Mark is tackling the basement and I'm hitting the office (where all of the homeschooling paraphernalia is stored). We moved our office from upstairs to downstairs and I love it. It is so much more convenient for Mark and I to be able to get in there after the kids are in bed without worrying about waking anyone up!