Monday, January 31, 2011

My Little Thug

Hide your kids, hide your wife. You are sooo dumb.
(If you don't know what that means, go to You Tube and type it in then watch the video)

OK, the real story is we were shoe shopping and Ahren put the little sock thing on his head. Kaytee then showed him how to pose like a gangster. We had to leave without shoes because we were all laughing so hard.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Amazing Day

Yesterday was an absolutely, amazingly, wonderful day! Levi had been nursing a cold all week and yesterday morning he woke up with a slight fever and a sore (looked red) throat, so I let him stay home. I let the boys laze around and eat a late breakfast, we played on the computer, we did Yoga together, and they had a dinner of appetizers and root beer (they love this meal). There was not one time out all day. Not one fight between boys. Not one bathroom 'accident' all day. I got all the laundry done, the laundry room re-organized and floors swept and mopped. By the time Chris got home all 3 boys had had haircuts and were in the tub playing and dinner was in the oven.

I was so relaxed all day and I'm sure that was a big part of why it went so well. Oh how my little ones feed off of negative energy. No matter how hard I tried to fake it, they felt it and reacted poorly. They all slept in this morning, the two little guys slept 11 hours straight and Levi is still asleep. Heck, I slept really great!

Here's to the hardest most rewarding job in the whole world - Stay at home Mom!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Today someone handed me a huge gift. It didn't come wrapped in pretty paper and it didn't have a bow on top, but it was a gift none the less. It was the gift of my freedom, my sanity and my time back to me. The person who handed me this gift had no idea what he was really giving me. His view of this was that it was not a gift at all, but he was wrong. Today I became an unemployed, much happier, stay-at-home Mom. I was upset briefly, and then I realized that I finally got what I wanted. Wow! That revelation was huge. Even better was the looks on my boy's faces when I told them.

One of the reasons I am so relieved about this turn of events is that Ashley is quite sick. I didn't really spell out anything in particular when she was in the hospital in December. I was trying to respect the privacy of my 16 year old daughter. Apparently she has interpreted this as me not loving her! I have ignored her issues here on the blog, but only out of the best of intentions. So here is a synopsis of what my sweet girl is going through.

Years ago we discovered that Ashley inherited a hypothyroid disease that is auto-immune in origin. Her body was attacking her thyroid hormones, causing her thyroid to continually work harder and harder to make enough hormone to be effective. Her thyroid was enlarged and had many nodules in it. With several years of therapy with synthetic hormone, her thyroid returned to normal size and the nodules disappeared. My mother and sister both have this condition and because they did not receive enough therapy early enough, both have had to have their thyroids removed completely. In my sister's case, because her thyroid had worked so hard for so long and become so enlarged it had actually become cancerous. Luckily they got it all and she is cancer free.

Back to Ashley. Ashley is very bad at taking her medicine regularly. Her father, whom she lives with, counts out the meds and puts them in a weekly pill box, but heck if that child can remember to take them. She has been known to forget them three days in a row and then take all the forgotten pills at once. Her med levels were way out of control. A very, very bad thing for a hormone that controls so many other bodily functions. Over the holidays we got her re-regulated and onto a new med regimen.

Then last week, her joints all began to swell, her muscles ached, her skin got tight and unbelievably her skin began to turn blue in big patches. She saw the doctor immediately, but he had no clue. They sent her to the ER but they had no clue. They put her on pain meds and steroids and said to come back if it didn't get better. Her dad took her to another doctor who immediately thought 'auto-immune'. This doctor did a ton of blood work and is of the opinion that Ashley has Lupus. The tests should come back tomorrow.

So not only is Seth a handful of RAD and Ahren is a medical mystery, Ashley is facing a life long debilitating disease. My heart is breaking for her. You know, if I wasn't the one living my life, I would seriously think that I was making up this stuff just to get attention. Ask anyone who knows me in real life, this is all true. Unfortunately, all true.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Our Day at the Hospital

Let me start by saying I am exhausted. I didn't sleep well last night, just too many thoughts crashing around in my brain. There was a lot of confusion over what Ahren was really going to have done and that makes me nervous. My main goal was to get All the info we needed in One trip with the minimum of UPSET to Ahren.

Our day started very early as Ahren and I got showers, dressed and bags of toys and food packed. He couldn't eat or drink from the night before so I knew by the time he was done he would be starving. Into his lunchbox went a ham and cheese sandwich, chips, brownies and 3 fruit juice boxes. My bag held knitting, my e-book reader and my Zune. We brushed teeth (don't swallow the water!) got ready and hit the road by 7:30am.

We traveled a total of 170 miles today. The only part that was hairy was the last few minutes trying to find the right entrance to the hospital. Downtown Houston is a mess of one-way streets and construction. The GPS helped, but it was still terribly stressful.

Let me say that everyone at Herman Memorial Children's Hospital was AWESOME. They sent us a Child Life worker who entertained Ahren for hours. She told him what to expect, showed him pictures and played games with him. She was adorable and Ahren fell madly in love with Miss Kelly. Heck, he wanted her instead of me at times! What a flirt.

They didn't have scrubs small enough for Ahren so they gave him a big scrub shirt he wore like a dress. Let's just say that lots and lots of folks saw his underpants today. No modesty here!

We tried three times to get the images. There were hours of screaming, lots of crying (me and him) many people involved and finally an anesthesiologist who knocked him out cold. Of course he went out while playing his DS. True to form.

Unfortunately, because of all the meds he had on board it took him a very long time to wake up. Hours to be exact. They thought about keeping him overnight but finally he woke up and drank some juice and we were free. He is still 'drunken' and wobbly at almost eight tonight. We get the results in a few days.

Please think of us as we seek answers.

By the way, Mama is a wreck and fully anticipates a looooong nights sleep to recover.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Big Day is Here

Tomorrow I head into downtown Houston (Oh please GPS lady, be kind) to take Ahren for his big MRI. We have to be there at 9:30 and the MRI is to start at 11:00am. No food or drink for my boy! If it really takes the full 4-5 hours they estimated, that is going to be one grouchy, hungry boy when he wakes up. I will have a cooler in the car with sandwiches, drinks and snacks for the drive home. Ahren has not woken up from anesthesia well yet. He is very combative and ticked off. Oh joy. Maybe this time, since he won't be in pain, will be better.

Wish us luck and many answers. We need it!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

An Ode to Poo

Little Poo, oh little Poo, you drive me so crazy,
When little boys don't wipe themselves because they are too lazy.

Little Poo, Oh little Poo, you really are so stinky,
Slipping down the stairs with ease as though you are a slinky.

Little Poo, oh little Poo, you fill me full of hate,
What made you want to slime the handle to the backyard gate.
(And WHYYYYY did I grab it before looking?)

Little poo, oh little Poo, falling out of pants,
You make me want to scream and yell and come up with new rants.

Little Poo, oh little Poo you're really gonna kill me,
Searching for you in hidden spots just does not fulfill me.

Little Poo, oh little Poo, dried all over a hiney,
I have to scrub and scrub with soap to make it all shiney.

Little Poo, oh little Poo, caked up someone's back,
Please oh please leave me alone, I swear I'm gonna crack!

Little Poo oh little Poo, smeared across a seat,
I give, I give, you can stop it now, you clearly have me beat.

Brought to you by Clorox wipes and bleach and one disgusted mama.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Catching up with pictures

It suddenly dawned on me yesterday that I had not downloaded pics from my camera in a while. Imagine my surprise when I discovered almost 200 shots dating back to before Christmas. Gee, Wendy, way to stay on top of things! LOL! That's me. I live on the proverbial rode to hell, full of good intentions but always a little short. So here is my first attempt at catching up. It will take several posts but i will get it done. Eventually.....

Christmas Eve, three little boys scrubbed clean, dressed in holidays jammies and so excited. Note the steri-strip on Seths forehead. It's the result of boy versus yo-yo. Don't worry, the yo-yo was OK.

Seth got a DS which was his #1 request. We immediately put a clear protective case and screen cover on it. Maybe this way when he drops it 4 thousand times it might survive.
We dragged the presents out over 2 days. The final opening was all the wrapped gifts under the tree from family. We waited until Kaytee and Ashley got here from their Dad's house so it was afternoon by the time this even began. We always open only one present at a time so everyone else can see what they got and say thanks to the giver appropriately. With seven people this takes a looong time and creates a lot of mess.
The day was quite festive. And silly. Isn't he just beeeyoootiful!
By the time each child got gifts from Mom and Dad, brothers and sisters and grandparents, the pile was quite large. This year, to help teach the lesson of giving, each boy got to go to the store alone with me one afternoon and pick out small gifts for all of their siblings. (<$5) Then they got to get a special treat to eat with mommy and then we came home and wrapped their gifts together. It was really special and a tradition I want to continue. Santa brought new bicycles fro all three boys and several group gifts. Some were big hits, like the standing punching bag set. Others, like the candy crane game below, are now stashed in the back of a closet. The kids LOVE this game, but it plays loud obnoxious music that gets faster and faster as they try and snare candy. Then the boys figured out they didn't have to play the game, they could just pull off the access panel and grab out the candy. By the time we figured out what they were doing Seth had eaten literally 30 pieces of candy, hiding the wrappers all over the place.
Even Jingles got a little gift. I knit him a little scarf to help him stay warm on his trips back and forth to Santa. He was very appreciative.
Levi got two more books in the Wimpy Kid series and was so excited. He is reading at a 5th grade level and loves to read. These are his favorite books. We will often find him curled up in a chair reading a book.
By the end of the day, as we were opening the last of the gifts, the excitement of the day got to be too much for Ahren. We actually had to wake him up to open his last present. Isn't that just the sweetest picture ever!
The last couple of weeks the weather here has been warm and wet. Not a good mix for letting three small boys work off energy outside. Every once in a while a Mama just has to let boys be boys. Notice they are barefooted. It was that warm and Mama did not want to have to clean up muddy shoes. Hah!
Boys or piggies?
After a good scrub in the shower (too dirty for a bath) we discovered they were actually boys again, not piggies. Levi kept trying to fool me and pull away his towel as I snapped this picture, but you know my horrible fear of toots. I just snapped and ran!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Seth's First Gotcha Day

Yesterday was Seth's first gotcha day with us. I can't believe a year has passed by so quickly. We have really made a ton of progress in that year. Don't get me wrong, there is still a lot of room for improvement, but things are so much better than they were 6 months ago.

We didn't tell Seth it was his special day. The thought of it would have been too much for him to be able to hold himself together all day. On top of that, the boys and I are all sick with a cold and we had a funeral to attend in the afternoon. Chris and I decided that I would stay home with the sick and grumpy crew and he would attend the funeral. Kaytee came to watch the boys while I grocery shopped.

When I walked in from shopping, I had balloons and a cake for Seth. That was 5 pm and that is the first he knew it was his special day. Even so, the rest of the evening was chaotic and less than celebratory. No one wanted to eat dinner or even sit still long enough for the rest of us to eat. Right after dinner we lit the candles, sang Happy Gotcha Day and ate cake. Jammies, a quiet movie and bed all came in swift succession.

Today I am paying for the celebration. Seth is out of control and that has the other two reacting in poor ways. Time out has been a revolving door all morning. There has been kicking, screaming, nasty trash talk and the breaking of things. We have had to put ice on one boo-boo when one child pushed over a wooden stool that hit another in the knee. Thank goodness I get to go to work for a few hours this afternoon. I am tired and still sick and not really up to the challenges today. I am not at my best therapeutic parenting. Today the idea of crates for kids sounds like a really good idea......or maybe duct tape. Just kidding! Tape leaves marks! Hahahahahahahahahah

OK, CPS worker, the last sentences above are purely comic relief, a tool we all use to de-stress when our kids are really wound up. Laughter helps everything, even our kids. They relax when we relax so we use whatever tools we have in our arsenals on these tough days. Laughter, lean on friends, blog our feelings and the occasional use of sarcasm. OK, more than occasional in my case. Heavy doses of sarcasm!

Friday, January 14, 2011

In which we account for body parts

If any of you know me in real life (IRL) you may have passed me in the car rider line in the mornings. Chances are I did not notice you, did not wave and most likely had a funny look on my face. Why, you may ask? Well, you see, the morning car ride to drop Levi off at school seems to be the perfect time for interesting discussions. Ahem, by interesting, I mean bizarre, random and frequently embarrassing.

Morning car ride discussions have revolved around Jesus, dead rabbits, bodily function noises, the Chik-Fil-A cow and many other things. It is amazing to me that three small boys can hold intense, in depth discussions about absolute garbage. Heck, they can argue a point that is so completely pointless that black holes are pointier!

Yesterday morning the discussion rose to a new level. Somehow the topic became 'who could shower with whom' in our family. Could Daddy shower with Levi? yes. Could Mommy? No. Could Seth shower with Ahren? Yes. Could mommy? No. I bet you see where this is going. I did too but was helpless to divert the discussion. The inevitable question of WHY came up. This is where Levi decided to impart his 7 year old wisdom upon his little brothers. Here is how that went........

Daddy has a toot (his word he named his personal boy parts many years ago) and I have a toot, but mommy doesn't have a toot. People who have a toot are boys and you can see each others because you already have one so it's no big deal to see them. Mommy doesn't have one so she gets to shower by herself. I think toots scare her.

So there you have it, straight from the horse's mouth. I get to shower alone. Yay me!

Friday, January 07, 2011

Offline and Off My Rocker

What could be worse than suddenly losing phone and internet service? That's where we have been all week. Two days without phone and 5 without DSL. No idea what knocked out the lines, just that they had technicians out here every day and described it as complex.

So what have y'all missed this past week? Ash got out of the hospital Saturday morning, a day earlier than predicted. She is feeling really great now. She will follow up with her doctors in Dallas on Monday. Leave it to Ashley to get so sick while vacationing in another city. LOL! Believe me, the coordination efforts to get info and insurance issues straightened out was daunting. Add in the fact we lost phone and internet access. Sweet. Don't worry, this Mama Bear was up to the challenge.

Ashley was hand picked for a special high-achieving student trip to Egypt this summer. Only a couple of kids from each high school in the area get picked. It's a super-duper culturally rich experience of a lifetime. Unfortunately, the price is prohibitive. Instead of Egypt this year, she is opting to go on next years trip to Rome. That gives us a year to save up and maybe I will be able to go with her. She was so sweet about it when I told her we couldn't afford it this year. We just had several thousand in unexpected medical fees and we need to get her a car soon too. I wish I could give her the moon, but at least I know we have given her a sense of values.

Seth is doing better than he has ever done. I don't know what the big change is, or why. It started a couple of days before Christmas. He has turned into a super sweet little love bug, full of smiles and hugs. No tantrums, no hitting, getting along wonderfully with his brothers. Unfortunately as Seth turned into a Prince, Ahren turned into an Ogre. He has been hitting, kicking and pulling hair. The only good thing I can say is that he has finally stopped getting up numerous times at night screaming. He might come into our room one time, get a hug and a kiss and then go back to bed by himself. I think it has helped that Buster has been sleeping with him and Seth. They love that and so does Buster.

They called this week to pre-test Ahren for the big MRI. Somehow they had it down that he would not need anesthesia, that they would just give him a little valium and he would hold still for 4-5 hours in the big scary loud MRI machine. Now let's all think on that one a bit. Umm, NO! Are they crazy? We will be asking for the anesthesia so we can get the results the first time. It's a light anesthesia and will insure we get the best possible results so we can move forward to getting an answer.

Last year at this time, Seth weighed 28 pounds and Ahren weighed 50 pounds. Yesterday when I weighed them, Seth weighed 37 pounds and Ahren weighed 42 pounds. Both have gotten taller but it is telling that Ahren has lost 8 pounds this year. He went from chubby sized jeans to slims. Seth went from 2T pants to 5T pants, still super slims. Does anyone know where you can get suspenders for small boys? All their pants keep falling down! LOL!

Today is the Birthday of my 'A' kids. Happy Birthday Ashley (16) and Ahren (5). Both of you are so very special and so much alike! How two kids born from different parents could be so much alike is beyond me. They look alike and they act alike. Both are prone to the drama. Ash used to crack us up as a baby because she would cry and place her hand, palm out, on her forehead as she wailed. We called her Camille. Ahren is the same. He will make himself cry and work so hard to squeeze out a single tear that he practically pops a blood vessel. Both would do anything to keep from having to pick up toys and both have claimed their legs were broken so they could get out of it. Both have a super sweet, gently nature underneath a sometimes silly sometimes prickly exterior. If I had a nickel for every time these two have lashed out at me and told me they hate me or I am mean....

I think that rounds up the major events here this week. Now we are off to the store to get a birthday cake and birthday dinner fixins.