27 August 2008

So Gross!

So, you know how when you get sick, and are puking your guts up? If you happen to throw up soon after eating, it's like months before you can ever eat that particular meal again. It doesn't matter if it's your favorite bowl of Cherrios, every time you think about it, your stomach does some Lukin gymnastic move, and you put the box right back on the shelf. Heath got sick after a Christmas party 10 years ago, and he still will not eat salmon. In fact all you have to do is say the word, and he starts in gagging.

Well, this morning, we woke up to two sick children. It was quite the morning. Woke up thirty minutes before the alarm (curses!) and almost stepped on Terry who was sleeping in the floor by my side of the bed. That's a first for him. Went to go get the kids up an hour later, and couldn't find Daniel. Seriously. Not until Malcolm went to the bathroom did we find him. He looked like he was passed out cold. Been watching "House" the last few days, so I went into doctor mode. He suddenly woke up with a start, and went on like nothing was unusual. Said his stomach hurt, but I figured it was because he didn't like dinner last night, so he didn't eat much. They all ate breakfast, and suddenly as soon as it was over, I hear "Mooooooooom! I fink I need to frow up!" Why do they stand there and tell me? Just go get the business done! I look up to see Heath Jr. standing in the hallway, holding his mouth for all he's worth. Wasn't it the other kid that spent the night hugging the toilet? Does Heath make it to the toilet? All mom's should know that answer. For those of you who don't, the answer is a big, fat, NO! So the tired, pregnant lady gets to clean a mess first thing in the morning. I can't hardly bend over any more! We keep the bathroom door closed at all times, because Paulee believes the toilet bowl was installed for her personal pleasure. I opened the door and began to swoon. Remember the beginning of this post? I wasn't the one that puked up my life's worth of food, but I will not be eating Bacon wrapped chicken stuffed with parmesan cheese and spinach for the rest of the year, and possibly the rest of the century. UGH!

17 August 2008

It's love

So, am I really strange that I get so excited and pumped up over a new sewing project? I dream in fabric patterns and color lately, with scissors, and needles, and dresses twirling about the room. I think I've just come up with the next Fantasia song. Oh the joy of sitting in a fabric store looking at countless stacks of pattern books. Walking up and down all the aisles of fabric, soaking in the colors, the feel of the fabric, and yes, even the sound and smell. I think fabric selection is my favorite part. It can make or break a pattern. The hunt for the perfect yardage, it's intoxicating! But the fun hasn't stopped yet! Oh, no. You then get to come home and cut out the pattern pieces. This is a great project to do while watching TV after the kids are in bed. Trust me, don't try this with a one and two year old still awake. It's not pretty. I have heard that I am a really big nerd, because I cut out every piece that comes in a pattern set. Just the other day, I got out a pattern I haven't used in a couple of years, and I had to stop and cut out pieces. That was very aggravating! I was ready to begin the next step, but no, had to go back to the beginning and cut out pieces. Trust me, it's worth it to cut them all out to start. Back to my bliss. Putting the pattern piece and the fabric together and cutting out the shapes of a finished product. So very nice. Then comes the best part. Sitting down with the machine. It really becomes like a friend. The first one you ever own will always have a special place in your heart. And no matter how up-to-date you may get in machines, you will always pull out the first one, talk with it like a dear friend (since it is), and sew with it on occasion just to remember the sounds and the feel of it. And don't get me started on getting to go back and use a different generations machine. Just thinking about and my tears start falling. I can hear the rattle my Mom's makes, smell the special something about my Grandma's. I guess it's because my machine becomes an extension of me. My thoughts, creativity, my love for all those for which I have ever created. And my Mom's and Grandma's are/were the same just for them. Anyway, I'm just being a little nostalgic tonight. Better get back to that pattern piece cutting so I can get on with this seemingly magical process!

16 August 2008

Birthday Parties

So we attended a birthday party for Jeffie Jean's best friend/twin today, at a little place made up like a doll house. I don't know who had more fun. Jeffie, her friend, or Paulee. So here are some numbers for you from the day.
60 - minutes early we were, since Jeffie Jean lost the invitation and got the time wrong
36 - bobby pins used to make Jeffie Jean's princess bun
5 - little girls who were very tired, and extremely excited when we ran into each other afterwards at the local JoAnn's.
1,687,942,386 - pieces of glitter from Jeffie's eyes, fingernails, and hair I have found so far all over my car, couch, floor, blanket,....the list goes on forever. I'll spare you.

Jeffie Jean really enjoyed all the primping and pampering. They got to get up on a runway and do a fashion show, and then do a dance routine to of course a High School Musical 2 song. Jeffie was nearly in heaven. Paulee decided the dancing was way to much fun. And as usual, she just about stole the show. But, when you are that cute you just can't help yourself. And then as I said earlier, we drove over to JoAnn's and had a blast looking at fabric and patterns. I can't wait to get the new stuff sew so I can show all what we put together. That's been about it for today. Definitely a girly day!

15 August 2008

First Day of School

First, let me just say, THE OLYMPICS ARE KILLIN' ME! I had to get that off my chest. I stay up way too late to watch, and if it was an event like last night (women's gymnastics all-around competition), I'm so keyed up and aggravated, it takes me forever to get to sleep. Then the obnoxious alarm goes off way before I think it should, and it's time to start school. I'll be glad when the games are over, although I'm sure I'll find something else to keep me up and then will complain then as well.

Yesterday, we started our first day of home school. I had a blast. The kids may not have, but it's not about them anyway, is it? I'm just kidding of course. Heath started his first day of Kindergarten. He sure makes a cute little guy starting school! He worked very hard and was rewarded at the end of the day with a first day of Kindergarten award.
I also had a child start second grade this year. Daniel decided geography was pretty fun after all, but still isn't sure he likes math. He did enjoy getting to draw, and cannot wait until we start our art lessons. We'll see how that goes, since this non-art person is his teacher. Give me some fabric and a pattern any day, but a blank piece of paper, and a pencil, and I just freeze up. Don't really enjoy it much either, but we do what we must for the betterment of our children.

Miss Sassy, a.k.a. Jeffie Jean, started third grade. Blows my mind. I remember how old I thought I was in third grade. She is blooming right before my eyes, and becoming her own person. Don't get me wrong, she's never been one to need someone else's opinion, and has always done what she wants. But now instead of just doing the opposite of what someone else said, she thinks through things, and forms her own opinions and thoughts. And she is really thriving in our new format and curriculum for school. I'm not one to advertise or tote brands, but the curriculum put together by "MY FATHER'S WORLD", is really good. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

And then after Jeffie, I come to my oldest. I don't know if I should cry, pout, beam, or shout. Fifth grade. Fifth grade people. My son will soon be "two whole hands" old. He is so excited about this whole double digit thing. I told him the newness of that wears out really quick. And look at him.
It's just so wrong. In this picture, he is taking notes from our science lesson about environments. He shocked himself at his own ability, and that his most loathed subject (writing), wasn't a hindrance.

Then you have out little ones. What a mess they were yesterday. Terry was bound and determined to go to school too. Paulee was equally determined to make sure we didn't forget her presence.

Oh, and they weren't always this cute. We were constantly trying to keep Terry out of the crayons, pencils, and what-not. Paulee entertained herself with the contents under my kitchen sink, telephone, and other odds-and-ends. And then they began to tag team. At one point I realized there was just a stillness about the house that was screaming warnings to this mom. It wasn't quiet, just still. I head to the living room to find them both wearing my sunglasses at the same time. Terry ripped them off and ran away screaming. Paulee joined in the fun by rolling all over the floor laughing and screaming as loud as she could. Now tell me, how did she know to laugh at the situation? She's just 12 months old! Not long afterward, they get real giggly. We're talking way too much laughter for anything normal. What do I find? Paper clips. Everywhere.

The picture doesn't do the mess justice. They were "sorting", and counting them. "Two, two, two, two,...". And when I walked in the room? Terry immediately jumps up, shakes his finger at Paulee and declares, "Lolly, no no!" We had so much fun yesterday!

And if I end up with any calls to China to wish the Olympians good luck, I'll be writing and asking for help to defray the cost!

12 August 2008

Time keeps on slippin'

So, when I started this blog a couple of weeks ago, I had full intentions of writing everyday, or every other day. But next thing I know, it's been nearly a week since my last posting. How do people do it? One of my favorite reads is from a mom of six like me, and she posts everyday! And she almost always has a hilarious story to tell. Well, to those who have been waiting on baited breath for my next post, I apologize.

We made it home without any real incident from vacation. Well, if you call the front half of the air conditioner going out again and Heath and I losing 5 pounds in sweat no big deal. The kids were wonderful, and believe it or not, I almost enjoyed the drive home. I did say almost. I just don't understand the thrill of the drive. The thrill of sitting in a confined space, with little to occupy one's self with, for 8 plus hours. It's not my cup of tea.

So we had a pretty restful trip to Heath's parent's place. I've got to thank our friend Kris for the use of their pool. And more importantly, for taking such great pictures, and being kind enough to only take pictures of the pregnant lady while the larger half was covered by gallons of water. As you can see, the kids had a blast. Paulee loved being in the water. I think she drank half of the pool. She frog kicked when held in the water, and had her tongue sticking out the whole time. Of course it was always the person holding her fault when she shoved her head underwater, and came up sputtering and coughing. Boy would she get mad! But no worry, she quickly remembered all the fun of splashing, kicking and playing in the gigantic tub of water! Terry was terrified of the water. We had a life jacket/floating swimsuit we normally kept on him. Didn't matter. He had a death grip on whomever was stupid enough to grab him and make him get in the pool. Eventually, like when there were only two days left of vacation, he was a little more accepting of the pool, but still wouldn't get in without someone helping. At the left here, you can see the little one who caused such heartache. After his incident with the deep end, he choose to not dive or let his head go underwater. But he had lots of fun. He's the first kid I've ever seen that can swim in one place. Not tread water, swim. He would swim for all he was worth, and never move from one spot. Unless he got in the path of the current, then he'd swim backward, sideways, or whichever way the jets pushed him. It was quite cute. Daniel learned to love jumping off the diving board. He would look like he was in slow motion half of the time. He also decided it was difficult to dive how he wanted to with floaties on, but also determined the risk was too great to actually take them off, much to his mom's relief. Jeffie Jean is so close to not needing floaties. I think all that she needs is a little more practice and a touch more confidence. She was all over the place swimming, diving, and having a blast. Malcolm, as I said earlier, has become Mr. Swimmer. He would dive some, but spent most of his time swimming back and forth. His ultimate goal was to touch the bottom at the deepest point. Not quite strong enough to do that just yet. But the highlight was when

Dad let Malc hitch a ride on his back and swim down with him. Malcolm was thrilled.

We are quickly getting the last of our school stuff ready for Thursday. We will begin our first full year of home school. The boys are looking forward to most of the year. Jeffie Jean is not quite as happy as the boys. It hit me the other day that for her, the start of school is going and meeting your teacher, finding out who is going to be in your class, new school clothes, all the social stuff of starting a new year. This just isn't the same. And while getting to learn a whole new curriculum is really a fun thing, it's just not the same. I just keep thinking that she will settle in just fine once we get started.

That's about it from us. I'll try really, really, really hard to be more faithful in my posts.

04 August 2008

I should go on vacation more often. Yes, it means loads of prep work, hassles in getting everything packed, and last minute rushing, doubting that everything will get done on time. But the trade off is that we have been so relaxed there has been nothing of worth to write about for the last two/three days. What day is it anyway?

The kids have been uncharacteristically quiet, friendly, and caring toward each other. Heath's parent's house must be stuck in some sort of a vortex where laundry shrinks and rarely needs to be done. Or maybe it's just in normal time and it's my house that's in a time continuum and the dirty clothes reproduce threefold every hour. Oh, and the pool is now peaceful, cool, and so very relaxing. But that's probably because I handed over all responsibility when we are there.

The only funny stories that have occurred have been being told by the adults somewhere around midnight every night. And unless you were hear playing the card games with us, you probably wouldn't find the humor in a story about a paracoot, discharging cards, or the fact that my husband grew up living in places like a funeral home, McDonald's, and most peculiar of all, a crazy, circular, pink house they are not even sure had a bathroom.

Times of rest are good. Now if I could only motivate myself to get my homeschooling lesson plans done...

01 August 2008

Not funny at all

Writers note: Just letting the reader know, everyone is fine, no more need to worry than that which has already happened. I know personally that someone, remaining un-named but with the initials GRAM, will need this knowledge before reading further.

I'm not really sure where to start. I have waited three hours after the incident, and I am already shaking and tearing just trying to put the day into words. Please do not mistake the small attempts at humor as being uncaring, or crass. It's just this mamma bear's way of trying to not come apart at the seams. I"ll start at the beginning.

Today my grandfather is having his pacemaker replaced. Well, technically grandfather-in-law, but he's just too dear to add that part. Anyway, my father-in-law was going down to Jeff City to be with his dad and more importantly, to sit with his mom during the procedure. My mother-in-law decided to go as well to support them all, and since Heath never gets to be with his family during important events, he went as well. No big deal. Well, the kids and I stayed home, and were going to have just a normal day at Granny Sue and Papa's house. That did mean one terrifying detail for me, but I was going to be the cool, sporting Mom, and proceed despite my fears.

I have two great fears in life. My children swimming, and then anything else that could harm my child. So great is the fear of my kids being in any place of water that is more than six inches deep, that I have never taken them somewhere to swim without Heath. I am not that great of a swimmer. I do just well enough to enjoy a diving board, but just keep my head above water. Heath on the other hand is like a marine mammal. I never worry when we swim because I know that no matter what danger might have to be faced, he will save my child.

I did not want to be a party pooper, so I decided I would face my fear, and take the kids swimming at a friend's house. Whoever said you should face your fears, should be forced to face a firing squad! So from the moment I woke up today, I pleaded with God to just let it rain. It had been overcast and dreary all morning, it wouldn't have been anything miraculous. And then I wouldn't be the bad guy, but at the same time would not be a basket case either. But to no avail. So off we went. I was consoling myself with what I had learned from our swimming trip yesterday. The kids were pretty good. Malcolm has discovered that he can swim on his own, even diving of the diving board without floaties. Huge accomplishment for this child. Jeffie Jean is just a little shy of enough confidence to be right there by his side. She uses floaties when in the deep end without an adult, and does well. Daniel isn't quite that brave this year, but still wasn't a worry because he never takes of the floaties. Heath, the younger, is the same as Daniel. Terry is terrified of the water, wears a full body life jacket thing, so even if he were to slip and fall into the water, he would be perfectly safe. That left me with Paulee, who at twelve months old, gets to stay in mom's arms. So I was feeling as confident as I possibly could, and we set out.

The kids were wonderful. No running off, no running around the pool (probably had something to do with the threat of not swimming for two days if they did), and eerily enough, no fighting. Paulee was mesmerized by the pool, and I really had to watch her. She'd just crawl right off the edge into the pool if I let her out of my reach. We had been there an hour, when I look up and see Heath twirling like a top on the diving board. No big deal to most people. The child did NOT have his floaties on his skinny little arms. That's right did NOT. That boy got the full force mom speech. Not just three full names escaped from my mouth, but the entire fourth one too. "RICHARD HEATH BUSTER, JUNIOR! WHAT ON EARTH DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING?!" He jumped so high, I thought he was going to go straight in the pool. I lectured him big time on the dangers of playing on a diving board when you cannot swim and you do not have any safety devises strapped, duct taped, and glued to you. I thought I would puke. The child was shaking like a leaf, and decided to play in the shallow end for a while. Good, I can play with Paulee, torture Terry as I pull him in the pool, and keep my hands on Heath. Wish I was an octopus.

Heath eventually wondered off to play catch with Malcolm, and I rested on the steps with Paulee and Terry. I started my 1,292nd head count, and that's when the world stopped. I sat there for what felt an eternity watching my four year old desperately trying to swim to the edge of the pool, but not even successfully keeping his head above water. He didn't have his floaties on his arms. Finally, his name came thundering out of my mouth, and I leaped into action. What a wonderful blessing that the owners of the pool were not home. It is everyday a six month pregnant woman, in a bathing suit none the less, goes running around the pool as fast as this ex-track star can go. Poor Paulee was probably being held around her neck. Couldn't put her down, she'd just fall in the pool too. But then came my hero. I yelled one more name. Malcolm. He was swimming on the deep end. Yes, the same ten year old whose mind I just don't understand. He turned around, saw his little brother, swooped in, and drug him up and over the side of the pool. The images I have flashing through my mind at this point will only be understood by our closest family. Vent tubes, IVs, scarred heels, a bull. I can't make them stop. This child, the one I blew up at just half and hour before, is now laying next to me gasping and sputtering for all he was worth. The water finally comes gushing out, and he grabs me and clings to me as an opossum. Through my tears, I begin as softly as I can, what I expect to be a very solemn, scary conversation.

"What happened, sweetheart?"

"I couldn't swim."

"Why didn't you yell for Mommy?"

"It was kinda too hard. My mouth had all the water in it.

And the question I was dying to ask:

"How on earth did you end up in the pool?"

"Well, I jumped in of course."

WHAT! Did he not listen to one word I said? I could have pinched his beautiful little head off in that moment.

"Jump in?! I told you never without your floaties!"

"Um Mom. You said I couldn't jump off the diving board without my floaties. Malcolm and I were playing catch, and I needed to get the ball, so I jumped off the side of the pool to get it. Not the diving board."

I look over at Malcolm, and he is laughing. LAUGHING! How dare him. I asked him what he thought was so funny. He just giggled. "You're crying, Heath's crying, but he's fine. No big deal." Oh that mind of his.

So we all played in the shallow end for quite some time. Terry even allowed me to pull him away from the sides, and Paulee kept shoving her head underwater, then yelling at me for letting that happen. Malc and I were sitting next to each other for a moment and I asked him, "Do you realize what you did today?".


"No really, Malcolm. Do you understand what you did?"

"Yeah Mom. I virtuously saved Heath-ers life."

He then drew in a huge breath, pushed it out very quickly, and laid his head on my shoulder. Yeah, guess I'll have to lay off that mind of his. He knows exactly what is going on around him.

As for Heath? He was so effected by the event, he put his floaties on, jumped in the deep in, and sang a made up song about how he was drowning again. If only we could all recover that quickly. Not me. I am letting you know right now, this is one fear I will not face for the rest of the year. Who am I kidding. It probably won't happen next year either.