Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Growing pains

My poor little 7 year old son, was up last night screaming in pain.

I was downstairs cheering on my Ravens team during monday night football, when widget comes down the stairs and says "Mom, brother is crying. He needs you." I guess I had the volume too loud or was soo into the game, I didn't hear him. OOPS. "Thanks son for getting me. You are a good brother for taking care of younger one."

So I go upstairs to his room and he indeed is not just crying but screaming "OWIE, OWIE, OWIE" while thrashing about in the bed. He is not even fully awake. I climb the ladder to his top bunk and try to wake him to find out what is wrong. I call hubby in for back up. I eventually get out of him that his knees are hurting. AHH! The "growing pains" are back. He has struggled periodically with these "growing pains" in his legs. We have talked to a couple different doctors about it, and they still conclude it is "growing pains".

He goes through periods of time, where the pain wakes him up out of a sound sleep. He just cries and cries and asks us to take away the pain. We have tried massaging his legs, warm compresses, ice packs, warm water spraying on his knees in the tub, walking, stretching, etc.(and of course this is always in the middle of the night, ugh.) The last resort we always turn to is Motrin, and it is really the only thing that helps. Within fifteen minutes, you can see the tension in his face start to fade. We really should just start with the Motrin, but I just hate to give it to him if we can find another way of relieving the pain. It has been over a year since he has done this. Well, he started it again last night, but it was worse than ever.

So we go through all our hoops and end up giving him the Motrin. We finally got him settled and back to sleep after it kicked in and relieved the pain in his knees. Two hours later, he does it again!! This has NEVER happened before. Once we get him back to sleep, he is down for the count. But not last night.

We had put him in our room once he fell asleep on the couch downstairs. We were not even going to attempt to put him back in his bed (he sleeps on the top bunk), it was hard enough getting him down out of bed. He is a big boy and he's "growing" LOL. Two hours later, he wakes up again screaming "OWIE, OWIE, OWIE". What do I do now? He says it is his feet? What? His feet? This is definitely a new one. He has already had our miracle silver bullet cure of Motrin and it is too early for him to have more. We try a few things as he continues to cry out in pain. Finally I tell hubby "See if you can find any Tylenol". We have had to alternate the 2 meds before with fevers, so lets give it a try and make it through the night.

Hubby is searching everywhere in all our little spots we keep medicine. Finally he finds an almost empty bottle that has one last dose in it. Hubby gives it to son. Twenty minutes later and after hubby praying over him for those twenty minutes, he is sound asleep....again. And this time for the night...Well, whatever is left of the night anyways.

Son wakes up this morning a little tired and asks "Mom, Why did I wake up in your bed this morning?" I asked him "Don't you remember your legs hurting last night?" He says "Oh, yeah. I guess I remember them bothering me a little." I am thinking "WHAT? A LITTLE! YOU HAD ME UP DURING THE NIGHT FOR A LITTLE? YOU WERE SCREAMING LIKE THAT FOR A LITTLE?" But instead I ask him "How are your legs feeling this morning?" He says with authority "OH, PERFECT!" What a relief!

I really am glad he does not remember all the pain he was in and that he was half asleep through it. It's bad enough Hubby and I remember it.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Rainy Day

Today was one of those rainy days that I dream of. A great day just to curl up and do nothing but read a book.

Well, maybe if I didn't have kids. Actually today we had 1 flag football practice for widget and one soccer game for younger brother. We made it through the football practice unscathed and made it 1 quarter through the soccer game when the sky fell out on us.

We were watching the game and periodically looking up at the sky, that seemed to get darker by minute. Whew! We had made it through 1st quarter and we were still dry. The 2nd quarter started and the drops began to fall, but just sprinkling. No problem we had an unbrella and these really cool chairs my mom had brought. They had a canopy over the chair which acted like an umbrella. So we were still staying dry under the canopy chairs and umbrella. Whew! Made it through the second quarter.
Then the third quarter started and the rain started picking up. It was no longer a sprinkle, it was pretty much a down pour. My mom, baby girl and I were hunkered down under the canopy chairs with blankets and sweaters over us trying to keep dry. Hubby was out cheering his son on, so he was soaked to the bone in no time. Oldest son was running things back to the car, so he was soaked too. Widget had brought his game boy, so he was hiding under the umbrella determined to protect it.

By the end of the third quarter it was raining so hard they called the game. It was a tough game too, noone had scored yet. Our soccer player was so excited to be playing in the rain, he didn't want to stop. But I was very thankful they called the game. I couldn't wait to be on the couch with a book, a cup of coffee, while I listened to the rain come down. Well that didn't happen either.

Instead when I came home, I saw the dishes needed to be done, the laundry needed to be rebooted (FLYLADY's term for switching the loads and getting it all started again), babygirl needed a nap, etc. So my dream of chillaxing during the rainy day didn't happen. But I did spend some time cleaning and had the most fun playing store, kitchen, and tea party with baby girl. Now that I wouldn't trade!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bedtime converstions

Last night as I was putting my middle 2 sons to bed. We got into a converstion about 2nd son's size. He asked "Mom, do I have a disease like cousin?" His cousin has a disease in which he cannot digest and absorb food properly. Therefore he has a feeding tube. Because of this disease he did not grow for about a year and is very tiny for his age.

My son was questioning why he (son) is so small. I began to tell him that his great uncle was the very same way, until his senior year in high school. Then he grew and is now 6'2". But I also cautioned him, hubby and I are not very tall either. We talked about not worrying about it because we can't change the way God made him. I wanted son to know that he is exactly the way God made him. To be proud of how God made him. There is not another one in this world that is exactly like him. To know God could have made him a giant, but chose to create him exactly the way he is. I asked "Do you get teased about your size?" he said "No, I was just wondering if I had a disease or something, because all my classmates are so much taller than me." I said "Oh. Son, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Be confident in who you are and how God made you. I know you may wish it was different, but embrace who you are." Son said "It doesn't really bother me, well sometimes it does, but I do like my nickname coach gave me." His coach calls him "widget" cause he is small, fiesty, and can wiggle around anyone.

Youngest son heard this conversation, because it was right before we were going to pray, and asked "Mom, what gift did God give to me? God gave brother the gift of being small, what did He give me?" That brought a tear to my eye. Youngest brother was seeing older brothers size as a gift and was able to verbalize that in front of his brother. That widget's size was a gift from God.
(youngest son is almost the size of widget and they are almsot 4 years apart).

I did proceed to tell youngest son that God gave him the gift of making everyone feel loved, accepted and special. He really has a heart for people, no matter the age, race, disability etc. It does not matter if he doesn't know you, he will just go up to you and start a conversation. Usually it starts with a compliment "I like your shirt" or "Your hair is beautiful". This is a God given gift. If you are ever down, visit with youngest son. He is sure to lift your spirits and by the end tell you "You are gorgeous." with all the hugs you can stand. I then will get his impression "Mom, that was a really nice person. I think they were glad I talked to them. Maybe they were lonely." Then he runs off to the next thing. What a gift!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Knowing Him

Have you ever noticed that when God is trying to tell you something, you find it everywhere you go?

God has really been reminding me, how I need to spend time in His Word. Everywhere I turn, it seems that theme is shining through. It may be a sermon I am listening to from church or a podcast, or from a song on the christian radio station. Most recently it has even been when I am preparing for our kids church. We are using a curriculum from North Point Church. The theme for the month is knowledge...Since God knows everything, it is important to know what God says (that was week one). The next week was ...Knowing what God says helps me make wise choices (week two) etc. So my question to the kids was.... How do you know what God says? By reading the Bible, God's Word.

My heart's desire is to know Him and to do that I need to spend consistent time in the His Word.

Monday, September 22, 2008

After school snacks dilemma

I am constantly bombarded with the "I'm starving, mom." Especially right after school. If it is not that, then it is "What can I eat? or There is nothing good to eat." I have 2 boys that I can never seem to fill up, and a third that is close behind. I already pack them 2 sandwiches in their lunch plus all the sides.

So my dilemma is .....
What snack do I give them after school, that will cure the starvation, but not fill them up, so they still eat dinner? Any ideas?

Today, we have oldest son's middle school soccer game, so I am already preparing for the loud cries of empty stomachs. I decided to make oatmeal bars and see if that might tide them over till dinner. Hopefully it will stick to their tummies a little better and not be so full of empty calories. I also will be taking some grapes along.

I would love to hear any suggestions for after school snacks especially ones that might be slightly filling.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Marathon cleaning

Tomorrow night our small group starts back up and we always meet at our house. We are fortunate to have a house that we can have the adults downstairs and send the kids upstairs to the other side of the house. It works out very well as it gives both groups their own space without interfering with each other. Only occassionally do we hear the screams of excitement from the kids. We have one of the teens from church come over and oversee the kids while we meet. Our oldest son is a big helper, but we usually have 10 kids and that is just a little beyond his capability of entertaining all of them for an hour and a half.

So today is the marathon cleaning day to get the house ready for everyone to come. We absolutely love small group, and are grateful to be able to have a place that works well for everyone with kids (we didn't want "I didn't have a babysitter" to be a factor). However, my weakness is then completely exposed!! I struggle with keeping this house the way it should be for guests. I may have the living room clean, but don't go to my bedroom. I may have the upstairs rec. room clean, but do not go in the downstairs playroom. I may have the dog area clean, but don't go see the bunny. I just can never manage to get it the way I would like it and KEEP it that way. So we end up enlisting the kids and have these marathon cleaning days before we have anyone over. Because when we have small group, the entire house is open to all. Yikes! I no longer have all my hiding spots.

I just wish that if God called us to be small group leaders, He would have gifted me with the gift of hospitality and house cleaning. Ugh.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Funny Friday Fun

I found this and thought it was humorous try it out.

2. YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (first 3 letters of your first name plus “izzle”)
3. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color and favorite animal)
Purple Panda
4. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (your middle name and the name of one of your pets)
Ann Coco
5. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name and the first 2 Letters of your first name)
6. YOUR SUPERHERO/CRIMINAL NAME: (Your 2nd favorite color and your favorite drink)
Green Milk
7. YOUR WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (parents’ middle names)
Anne Clifton

You may find yourself having some fun new nicknames. LOL.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I wonder how many people are like me. When my husband is away, I tend to find a "project".
Well this time is like all the other times my hubby is away...I found a project. I know my hubby must leave thinking "I wonder what wifey is going to do this time I am away."

This project of mine just kind of evolved. I did not plan to make this a project, or be intentional about finding a project. But it happened...just like all the other times.

It all started when I wanted to dust my bedroom. So I began by dusting the surfaces that I could find, then proceeded to uncover the surfaces that needed to be found. And so it goes. One thing led to another, and the next thing I know I am moving my dresser to the other side of the room, so I could dust behind it. I completely took my bed apart, so I could vacuum underneath it. Then decided my bed would look better across the room, so I moved it. Then I looked at the room and realized it was not balanced right. I needed to move the hope chest and the secretary desk, the endtables, the standing mirror etc., so I did. I also have a corner curio. That is the only thing I did not move, and that is only because I cannot move that one on my own.

Whew! That was not what I had planned to do yesterday. LOL. But then again, that is how my projects always evolve.

I went to bed last night feeling like I was in someone else's room. It is so different. We have never moved our furniture around in our bedroom in the 9 1/2 years we have lived here.

My hubby is coming home in the middle of the night on Wednesday. Boy will he be in for a surprise! He won't even know where the bed is, unless he turns the light on. LOL!

Monday, September 15, 2008

What to do

I have a quiet house this morning.

And I don't know what to do.
First I will spend time reading God's word and spend some time praying. But then what?

Do I clean?
Do I do laundry?
Do I spend some me time (not sure what that would even be)?
Do I go shopping?
Do I make dinner?
Do I exercise?
Do I take a nap?
Do I mow the lawn?
Do I start tackling the ironing pile?
Do I call a friend?
Do I read a book?

It all needs to be done, but where do I start?
So much to do, and so little time.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Family all around

Today was one of those typical sundays, well, minus hubby.

We are fortunate enough to have lots of nieces and nephews that go to church with us. Every sunday poses the same issues after church...

"Mom, can cousin come over?" or "Mom, can I go over to cousin's house?" If it is not a cousin, than it is one of the friends from church.

They always seem to ask when I am in conversation with someone else and cannot give my full attention to what they are asking. It never fails. I think they must plan it that way. So after excusing myself briefly to hear their plea, I usually end up saying."ok, whatever". Only to realize later what I agreed to. Ahh!

Fortunately today, we already had the arrangements made for who was going to who's house. Whew! I sent the 2 youngest with their cousin and brought cousin's brother here. It was kind of strange not have young kids here. I had 2 ten year olds and 1 twelve year old. We had an afternoon full of older boy fun, which included a flag football game for one of the boys.

What a blessing it is to have a large family all around you.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Middle school soccer game today

Today is oldest son's first soccer game with the middle school team. I had asked him to not try out for middle school sports until this year. He was so kind to agree, and played rec. sports until now. His school is 30 minutes away, and the logistics of after school practices or games every day was a little more than I could handle (especially with 3 other kids sports schedules and me having to work). But being in 8th grade, I wanted him to have the opportunity to do so if he made the teams, which he did. We thankfully have another family who lives up here who also have a son on the team, so we are able to carpool. Praise God for car pools!

So today is the first game. WooHoo!! He was told yesterday, he would be in the starting line up for defense. He was hoping for offense. Oldest son said he just wasn't performing well with his shooting, so understood the coaches decision. He is open to learning defense, and will probably suit him just fine. He is thrilled to be a starter, no matter where it is. Well...... except for goalie. Can't wait for the game to day!! GO JAGS!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hubby is away

Hubby is out of town :(

I am always sad when my husband has to travel for business. This time he has traveled to California and will be gone for a week. I feel like half of me is missing when he is gone. My evenings are not the same. I guess for the next week I will have to curl up on the couch, rub my own feet, and spill out my day to myself. Now that will be a good conversation. LOL.

Hi me.
Hello me.
How was your day?
You know, you were there all along.
My feet hurt.
I know.
Can you get that spot?
No, I am tired.

Somehow, it is just not the same without my precious hubby. He is so good to me. I guess these trips make me realize just how blessed I am to have such a wonderful hubby. I love you, babe.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Football has arrived

Ahhh! Football season has arrived! I just love sunday afternoons that are lazy, sitting in front of the t.v., watching NFL football, eating cheese steaks, pizza and nachos! It is my absolute favorite time of year. Especially when it gets cold enough that we get a fire going in the wood stove. That smell of burning wood (especially apple or cherry wood) and hearing the crackling of the wood snapping in the back ground with the cheers of GO! GO! GO! TOUCHDOWN!!!!!! Followed by the victory dance that we join in with in the end zone. Well only if it is our team that is.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

We did it!

We did it! We made it through the first week of school. It was quite a busy week. I thought having all 4 kids in school, would give me a few mornings a week that would be quiet and peaceful. If this past week was any indication of the how the rest of the year is going to be. All I can say is ...."Lord, give me strength". It has been a very emotional week. I know things should change and as time goes should get easier. I pray.

Youngest son has just NOT enjoyed first grade. He came home saying "All we did was write, write, write, have a snack. Then write, write, write, then have lunch. Then write and write, and more writing. Then you picked me up." That was his first day's impression. The rest of the week followed with "Mom, I just sometimes start crying and I don't know why. I just want you" I think he is just so overwhelmed with having to go all day (versus his half day kindergarden last year) and having a lot less play time. He is all about play. He is also young for his age. This will be our first time having a child NOT want to go to school. Oh boy here we go.

Youngest daughter has cried several times, every day at school. According to her teacher it does not last long. It is just getting used to the new environment, the schedule, and making new friends. The hardest time for her is when there is free play. She just doesn't know what to play with and who to play with. That will all change the more she is there and the more friends she makes. The one encouraging thing is, she was upset last night when I told her she did not have school the next day. She really does love school. It is just the adjustment for her.

The older 2 boys are great with school. Oldest son has had a lot more homework. He told me he is committed to being proactive instead of procrastinating. He actually did all his homework friday night so it would be done for the weekend. Praise God!!! This was an area he struggled with last year. I was afraid he was learning he could cram it all in at the last minute and still get good grades. I am so thankful for this new attitude he has....I pray it lasts all year. He also made the middle school soccer team with one of his best friends. He is so thrilled to be playing for school instead of community ball.
Second son has had a great week too. It seems 5th grade will be pretty much the same as 4th grade, just different teachers and material. He came home and asked" Mom, can I still play in the band this year and play the drums again?" My response."Josh, you know our rules. You must play an instrument in the band." His response" YES!!(with an arm pump) your the best!" I wasn't exactly excited he chose the drums last year, but it is in the band. The research out there shows how important playing an instrument is to the learning process. So we gave in to the drums with the condition he learns to play the guitar. He agreed. We will hold off the guitar until 6th grade.
Well that was our first week of school. Ready or not, here we go.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Twas the Night Before School

Twas the night before school and all through the house not a creature was stirring..............

Well that last part was not quite right with this household. What a night we had. Three out of the 4 kids were just too excited and nervous to go to sleep. And the one who could sleep had forgotten to print out his 3 book reports that were due the first day of school.

Youngest daughter had so many questions. She would ask "Now, tell me again what kind of snacks I might have". And "what if I don't have to go to the bathroom at the bathroom break time. " Also "Is it ok for me to just say teacher if I forget my teachers name?" And so on for the next 2 1/2 exhausting hours. She finally drifted off to sleep at 10:30, much too late for my 4 year old.

We also had 2nd son who just could not get settled. He was just so ready to hop on the bus and see his old friends. Since school is 30 min. away for him, he gets lots of time to play his game boy with his friends. So he finally ends up in my bed and drifted off some time between 10 and 10:30.

Youngest son fell asleep quickly, only to wake up many times throughout the night. He finally settles completely by 3:30am.

Oldest son wakes up at 4am and says he just can't get back to sleep. Off to get some warm milk for him. He seems to settle down with that. Only to have youngest daughter wake up at 4:30am with all the same questions she had before going to sleep. AHHH!! Finally around 6am her questions are answered and she drifts off to sleep. Whew!

As I get ready to climb into bed, I realize it is time for me to go wake up the older 2 boys to get them off for their first day of school. And so my morning goes on with the little sleep, if any, that I had. Praise God it was not one of my work days where I would be responsible for patients lives!

I was a little anxious myself, especially with dropping youngest daughter off. She has been saying daily that she will cry when she goes to school. We talked about it and away to school she went. WITHOUT ANY TEARS!!!! So the morning goes on and I have a nice breakfast with some friends. It was a back to school celebration to reclaim our homes from the summer chaos.

I pick up youngest daughter and she did well. She did have 2 times when she had tears, but her teacher said it did not last long. Whew! Tomorrow will be a new test for her as she will need to stay all day. I will be glad when that day is over too. Now I wait until the time when I need to go get they 3 other boys from school and hear about their day. I think I will take a nap before then though. Good night!