Friday, July 30, 2010

Things that make me giggle

Those of you who know me IRL (in real life) know what a dork I am. Just to prove to all of you that I deserve that title and wear it proudly, here are some recent things that made me giggle out loud.

1) Chris was playing with the dog and called out, 'Get the ball, Buster'. Hee hee. Get it? Ball buster.

2) We have a new doctor at work. She is super sweet but her name is Dr. Buttz. I, of course, had to proclaim it a good thing she is not a proctologist.

3) In an effort to introduce the concept of hygiene to my boys, I bought them all small samples of deoderant. They think these are the coolest things ever. In fact, they spent the next day making the babysitter smell their armpits. I'm sure glad I didn't get them jock itch powder.....

Pity me, for I am truly the queen of the dorks.....

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Musical Beds

A Poem
by a
Tired Mom

Come little boys and lay down your heads
Comfy pillows adorn your sweet beds

May sweet dreams fill your night
and you awake rested to the morning light

Darkness falls and all is calm
silence fills the wait for dawn

Then a cry splits the air
followed by another pair

I lay with one to calm them down
then switch beds - it's round and round

Go to sleep my little boys
before Mommy flips and burns your toys

Never once do they call for Dad
Can't decide if that makes me mad

They love me a lot and depend on me too
but when do I get to sleep in this zoo?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ups and Downs

Like most things in life, parenting is full of ups and downs. In the midst of the generalized chaos I call home, there have been some bright spots.

We celebrated Levi's 7th birthday. This child is amazing. He started Kindergarten last year not even knowing all his letters. (He spent the two previous years in pre-school, but was adamantly against learning his letters) By the end of the school year he tested out reading at a third grade level. Yesterday he was playing a new Wii game and read the following out loud. "Metallic objects may be blasted by the Bounty Hunter fireball to earn bonus points". He then explained to me what it meant. He has also begun reading the funny pages in the newspaper every day and he understands most of them. It amuses me to watch him sitting in Daddy's recliner quietly giggling as he reads along. (Just like his father, I might add!)

Our puppy Buster started obedience training and is the class star. The trainer told me he is the calmest Boxer she has ever seen. Dumb dog fell asleep on her shoe during class. She was trying to show us a training technique to get a dog to lie down and settle. Well, he settled down alright! She was talking and he just slumped over asleep, head on her shoe. Too cute! (Is it odd I consider raising a puppy to fall into the parenting category?)

Ashley is coming down tomorrow to stay for a while. Yeah! Man I miss that kid!

We passed the 6 month waiting period to adopt little S and I now just need to get a hold of our attorney, pay the fees and get a court date. It had slipped to the back burner with all the other stuff going on, but I need to get on it this week. We will get a court date very quickly. Another big YEAH!

After 24 loads of laundry in one week I am now caught up! I did all the bedding, towels, clothes, rugs, pillows, etc. Every washable item in the house got cleaned. This is my way of trying to control some of my environment. I also super-scrubbed a bunch of tile and wood floors and re-sealed them. They take a beating and needed a new coat of sealant. Boy do they look good....for now anyway.

And one certain highlight of this week was the warm Ghiardelli dark chocolate brownies with a scoop of ice cream I had one evening. Bliss in a bowl. Sigh.....

Friday, July 23, 2010


You can always tell when life is getting the best of me. I don't blog much. I hate having nothing good or fun to share. I wanted this blog to be a lovely story of our lives, lots of funny things to share later in life and a wonderful memory of our children. (Insert rose colored glasses here) Unfortunately, parenting is not always fun, easy or pretty. Parenting difficult children, well, that just pushes the balance even further away from my fairy tale story.
So, the truth? Lately has fun. There has been a lot of screaming (OK, some of it was me...not proud of that) Lots of destruction of property (tearing up toys, mail, clothes, furniture). Too much hitting, spitting, biting, teasing, tattling and kicking. No respect for boundaries we have set, no respect for others property and no respect for the rules. Each and every day has been a constant battle. I want to climb into bed, pull the covers over my head and hide.
A few days ago Levi was at a friend's house for a play date. That is something we do frequently but it never fails to set off the other two boys. They scream 'It's not fair' and then proceed to pull out every trick in the book to drive me insane. (Side note: Here in Texas they call it 'showing their butt' when kids act up. I find that pretty hilarious) By about 5 pm I had hit my limit. I put each boy on a separate couch in the living room and I turned on the computer and grabbed the earphones. I told them they had to sit their quietly until Daddy got home. I kept a close eye on them and if they started to move off the couch I quickly corrected them. Well.....Daddy was a little late that night and they spent a good 30 minutes sitting there. That was the best 30 minutes of the day. I made dinner and got everyone fed, Chris picked up Levi and everyone went to bed early.
Ashley has been struggling lately, too, with her meds for hypothyroidism. We had added a second med last Christmas and she improved greatly. Then she switched that med from generic to name brand and whammo. She spiraled out of control. I can just see it in her eyes that she doesn't feel good. No energy, everything is a struggle, her weight is climbing and she craves sweets constantly. She seems very unhappy. My poor sweet baby, I hate, hate, hate to see her struggle. So back to the doctor, another full work-up and more changes in meds.
Still no info from the Renal unit. Turns out right after our appointment the doc left on a two week vacation and so did her nurse. The results are there but they can't tell me. They have to wait for the doctor or nurse to call me. In the meantime he is having another episode of increased drinking and urinating and has gone through two super-diapers and two sets of sheets a night. We have to let him drink to keep the crystals from forming stones. If we buy bigger diapers they gap and leak even worse. The best I can do is to place a super-night time feminine pad inside the diaper. That works most of the time.
Work is super busy. It is my salvation. I get to go talk to grown-ups, there is very little screaming (curious now? Hee!) and there is good coffee. But, financially, it does not make sense for me to continue with this job. In the fall I will be making barely more than I will have to pay for child care. Kaytee will no longer be here to help for free. If I quit it would simplify the logistics of getting kids to and from the various schools. I would be better able to take the two little guys to their counseling appointments and such. It really would free up my time for more parenting. I know what I want to do and I know what I should do. Too bad they are opposites.
Additionally, getting a college age child ready and off to school is HARD and EXPENSIVE! We have her classes assigned and paid for, parking pass, apartment move in date, new laptop, furniture, books, room mate, utilities and such all set. Just thinking about it gives me a head ache. And a super painful heart ache.

So, life. Kicking my butt. Ouch!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ahren is like an onion....

Have you seen the first Shrek movie? Remember when he describes himself like an onion, full of layers? That is Ahren's medical issue(s). We keep peeling away at him and all we get is another layer.

History: he began to drink and urinate excessively in February. Took him to our family doc who discovered that he had protein, a little blood, and ketones in his urine. His blood work also had some abnormalities. we followed up with a 24 hour urine which also had some protein and unusual levels of other things, an abdominal ultrasound which was normal, and more blood work that was still off. We made a trip to Texas Children's ER and they re-ran the urine and blood but this time things were looking much better. Still, they wanted us to have a consult with the renal specialists at TC so we got on the schedule and waited.

Yesterday was our long-awaited renal consult. It was a very long day but the doctor was really nice. I brought in a 1st morning urine of his which always looks very milky. It had settled into a solid white layer about 3/8 inch thick on the bottom of the cup and clear yellow urine above. That got their attention. Apparently you are not supposed to have solids in your urine, especially not enough to make it milky looking or form a thick layer. They got another urine sample while we were there and it tested normal. Oh, and his urine has always had a strong, unpleasant odor, really nasty smelling.

Now, what was that white sediment? Crystals. Lots and lots of crystals. Of unknown type. She ruled out a dietary cause and a kidney malformation as the cause. That leaves a metabolic cause. (Which we already suspected) Her exact words were, "The primary cause is not the kidneys." Next step is to identify the crystals because that leads us to the answer of exactly what is going on. And the protein and other abnormal readings in February? Most likely he had some tiny kidney stones that did enough damage to cause leakage in the kidneys. I remember him crying because his tummy hurt and it hurt to pee. No one suspected stones. Now I am kicking myself.

So next step: identify the crystals
After that: see metabolic specialist to diagnose underlying condition
And then: see neuromuscular pediatric specialist for suspected tethered spinal cord

I feel like we may finally be making some progress.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Beach Vacation 2010

We had to take a vacation on the cheap this year. Five kids, my loss of income, the economy, and one kid headed to college all added up to vacation at our beach house. We invited my awesome friend Gabby and her two boys to spend it with us, which provided lots of entertainment for all of our boys.

We swam in the canal (carefully and with lifejackets)
There is still debris from hurricane Ike down there.

I love action shots!
Beautiful girl.
This little man is a FISH! And totally fearless.
How happy does this boy look? My sweet little guy!
We pulled the tubes with the jet skis all over the bay. That is Kaytee driving, me spotting, and Ash hanging on for dear life.
We did lots of tubing. And lots of swimming, and fishing, and beaching, and well just LOTS.
Jet Ski Kaytee.
The area of the bay we go to is shallow enough for us adults to stand up in. That makes it so much easier to load kids in and out of tubes, etc.
Even though it was shallow life jackets were mandatory. Safety first!
Remember how I talked about how last time at the beach this young man could not follow the safety rules and ended up way deep? Well, I gave him another chance and guess what? He ended up way too deep. I had to run out through the surf and rescue him as he began to get washed over by the waves. The rest of the trip he had to wear a very uncomfortable flotation device at all times at the beach.
Kaytee sunning and smiling.
All five boys chilling and playing video games. When we needed a break from sun and sand this is how they unwound.
Oh, and lots of goofiness. Did you expect anything less from my crazy gang?
Ash teaching Levi how to pose with a tude (attitude).
Levi caught a fish! We put it back in the canal. We love to catch the catfish but if we are going to eat fish it will be in the form of frozen fish sticks.
More later.

Thursday, July 01, 2010


Yesterday was better....still a few struggles. But today? Today was much better. I hugged, I laughed, I gave out compliments. I thought out side of the box! Little S was bored and getting ramped up so I gave him a fly swatter and sent him on a mission. He tracked down flies with a vengeance and I applauded every move. He was loving it! I told him he was the best fly hunter ever and he absolutely beamed, not to mention he killed a ton of flies (let in by little boys who left the back door wide open yesterday)

I was still annoyed. Annoyed someone dumped red punch all over the newly cleaned hall bathroom. Annoyed that I only got to sleep for 4 hours last night, in 3 different places, and resulting in a serious crick on my neck. Annoyed that one child cannot eat a birthday cupcake without turning half of it into crumbs that spread over 50 square feet of space. Annoyed that I say the same thing each and every day and some children cannot understand the rules. Sigh...

Better. That's what I have to concentrate on. Better. One step, one crawl, one millimeter at a time.

Keep on huggin!